Bacchae and a Dream

Quarter of eleven.

During my nap I had a wild dream about a cult of chicken worshipers that bore a resemblance to my church. Like the devotees to Dionysus they tore their victims to pieces. The chickens may actually have been turkeys, because of November and Thanksgiving. Towards the end of the dream I was being prepared for slaughter, but the parishioners delayed my sacrifice until November. They had been feeding me the flesh of chickens, whatever that means, and the whole chicken or turkey worship thing… I guess I’m not going to church tomorrow morning. I imagine that the chicken symbolizes a certain kind of spirit, in the style of Nietzsche, where Christians were represented by the camel. Traditionally we say “chicken” to indicate cowardice; also the chicken is a flightless bird and a witless piece of livestock. And turkeys are known for their stupidity. But I still wonder if there’s a connection with the ancient cult of Dionysus and the way the bacchants in a frenzy ripped people to pieces. Or more specifically, they tore King Pentheus of Thebes limb from limb after he had imprisoned their master and summoned him to trial. The earth itself squirts geysers of wine and milk at the liberation of Dionysus. I should review the tragedy by Euripides; I read it once fifteen years ago, in order to prove that Jesus Christ was a fictional character, no more real than Dionysus. It pays to know your classics and to compare mythologies. The price of ignorance is your freedom. 

Mind Food

My new bible shipped today, so that’s on the way. If nothing else it’s a nice hardcover book 📚 coming in a nice package 📦. Savor the unpacking process like Christmas Day. Then open to the apostolic letters to try to find the heading “Not Philosophy but Christ.” In that section is where Paul claims that even philosophy is a carnal pleasure…. which doesn’t ring true to me. If Plato for instance were carnal then why did he write so much about the spirit world? Furthermore, remember that Plato lived and wrote roughly four hundred fifty years before Christ was born. Still further, one of the apostles borrowed a Platonic notion regarding the ideal world in his epistle. I remember running across it once or twice. The important thing to know about the Bible is that it wasn’t written down in a vacuum. It had influences from classical antiquity, and that’s why we have so many ancient tales of martyrs, virgin births, the arraignment and revenge of deities (compare Jesus Christ to Dionysus in Euripides), and a lot of common themes suggesting continuity of all human history and mythology that was written down. Campbell has already observed the fact. The Bible was surrounded by a whole vast record left by humankind. Moreover, it was arbitrary how the Church picked certain books of the Bible for inclusion. What they judged to be not divinely inspired they rejected. But those clergymen were human beings… This sort of “relativism” is the truth. The common thread for all of it is humanity, nothing greater or lesser. How can any one vision of God or the gods come forward as the only one? Any thinking layperson can ask this question, and she would be right…