dawn of religion

anonymous asked:

Further concerning Susan's "distractions" in The Last Battle, I also interpreted her focus on materialistic things as a coping mechanism. I read an article once, I forget where, that said that Susan, due to the lack of a certain security in herself, didn’t possess her siblings’ faith in Narnia. Even while they were there, she was always concerned with what, to her, was most “grown up,” (which in itself is not a very mature thing to do). This insecurity, while harmless and sometimes helpful (1/3)

prevented her from building the same faith and resolve in Narnia that her sister and brothers were able to maintain. Like a child, she was driven by a desire for permanence, as well as for something that fulfilled her idea of what was most “grown up.” In Narnia’s physical, incontrovertible absence, she strove to fill the hole it left, and subdue her insecurities that told her she was very silly for having kept up an imaginary game for so long, with material things like “lipsticks and invitations” that the physical, incontrovertible world she was living in there and then approved of as “grown up.” My two cents anyway, and I agree with you about Lewis’s choices of distraction. It was nothing sexist, merely appropriate to the person he was writing about.

Thank you for adding this, anon!! I never considered, as a child, whether Susan was trying to fill the gap left by Narnia, but it seems to be a universally accepted conclusion and one that’s hard to escape. 

I’m just going to leave this snippet from the end of Prince Caspian here:

“This way,” said Susan, who seemed to know all about it. “Back into the trees. We’ve got to change.”

“Change what?” asked Lucy.

“Our clothes, of course,” said Susan. “Nice fools we’d look on the platform of an English station in these.”

“But our other things are at Caspian’s castle,” said Edmund.

“No, they’re not,” said Peter, still leading the way into the thickest wood. “They’re all here. They were brought down in bundles this morning. It’s all arranged.”

“Was that what Aslan was talking to you and Susan about this morning?” asked Lucy.

“Yes—that and other things,” said Peter, his face very solemn. “I can’t tell it to you all. There were things he wanted to say to Su and me because we’re not coming back to Narnia.”

“Never?” cried Edmund and Lucy in dismay.

“Oh, you two are,” answered Peter. “At least, from what he said, I’m pretty sure he means you to get back some day. But not Su and me. He says we’re getting too old.”

“Oh, Peter,” said Lucy. “What awful bad luck. Can you bear it?”

“Well, I think I can,” said Peter. “It’s all rather different from what I thought. You’ll understand when it comes to your last time. But, quick, here are our things.”

At the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when Lucy and Edmund receive their walking papers, we get some insight into that unseen conversation.

“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”

“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.

“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”

“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.

“Are – are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This is the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The Pevensies have a purpose in their own world which might, in the scheme of things, be greater even than the one they serve in Narnia. They have to bring what they have learned in Narnia into the ordinary business of their everyday lives. 

It’s clear from the way he speaks, after he learns this, that Peter is sad - but he can bear it, because he understands it. He has begun to catch on to the fact that Aslan is not one thing in one place only. (Susan, by contrast, is a little brisk. Throwing her emotions on the subject aside, intent only on getting back into her ordinary clothes and not embarrassing herself on the train platform. Foreshadowing?)

By the time we see Lucy in The Last Battle, she, too, has come to know Aslan by his true name: "In our world, too, a Stable once held something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”

They were supposed to become closer to their own world; those were their instructions. By never making the adjustment, Susan becomes more, not less, detached from her surroundings. Not only has she failed to find Aslan in our world, she’s now willing to deny that she ever found him anywhere else. 

A lot of people see the loss of Susan’s siblings as a punishment. “A god who would punish me for liking nylons and parties by making me walk through that school dining room, with the flies, to identify Ed, well … he’s enjoying himself a bit too much, isn’t he?” says an older woman who may or may not be Miss Pevensie in Neil Gaiman’s utterly sickening short story The Problem of Susan. “Like a cat, getting the last ounce of enjoyment out of a mouse.” I couldn’t agree more, if the train accident were a punishment. But Susan, you must remember, never did what she had to do in the real world–whatever that was. She’s still got a life left to live. Possibly a very long one. 

And she’s the representative of her family on Earth. Father Christmas gave Susan her horn because she was the most doubtful and frightened of her siblings. In contrast to Lucy, whose bottle of healing cordial makes her the helper everyone is looking for, Susan’s horn ensures that she will always be able to find help–someone will come to her assistance if she needs it. Aslan has taken a special and deliberate care of her. It’s fascinating, then, that when another person uses the horn, it’s Susan herself, with her siblings, who comes to the rescue. And that’s my hope for Susan in the Shadowlands, that she goes from being aided to giving aid. There might be hundreds of people in the real world who need her. Short of a quick trip to Narnia, is there a better fate than to be the answer to everyone’s prayers, to be the one who comes at the summons of the horn?

The horn which, by the way, Caspian kept at Susan’s own insistence. Lewis leaves the door wide open for her to rejoin the others. But not until the time is right. 

anonymous asked:

Any documentaries you recommend?

Sure. Here you go with links and everything:

Andrew Marrs: History of the World 

BBC: Planet Earth with Sir David Attenborough

The Buddha by David Grubin with Richard Gere

500 Nations: Complete History of the Native Peoples of America

The Elegant Universe with Brian Greene

The History of God by Karen Armstrong

BBC: Today I died - Near Death Experiences

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians

War and Civilization: With Historian John Keegan

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Parallels and the Parental Figures

I just want to say a quick thank you to @beyondmythought-s and @ladyflorence1215 for both reading it over and listening to me ramble on about it!

I’ve been rereading ASOS and something that suddenly struck me is the relationship between Lysa and Sansa mirrors Catelyn and Jon’s relationship, albeit an exaggerated and dramatized version of that relationship. Jon was othered and demonized due to him acting as a living symbol of Ned’s infidelity and endangering her position as the Wife and the one in complete control. Jon’s existence is a reminder that Ned may have loved someone more than her and acts as a reminder of how her position as the matriarch is not fully cemented. This same reasoning exists in Lysa’s mind.

Both women try to minimise the influence of Jon and Sansa over their respective partners. Catelyn does this by having lots of children and trying to give Ned children with the Stark look. Lysa on the other hand, does this by taking away the feature that Catelyn is most well-known for, her Tully hair and in doing this, attempts to strip Sansa of her likeness to her mother.

 Jon was never out of sight, and as he grew, he looked more like Ned than any of the trueborn sons she bore him. Somehow that made it worse.

“I see it now,” the Lady Lysa said, as she set the core aside. “You look so much like Catelyn.”

 "It’s kind of you to say so.“

 "It was not meant as flattery. If truth be told, you look too much like Catelyn. Something must be done. We shall darken your hair before we bring you back to the Eyrie, I think.”

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A few years ago I read a book by Merlin Stone called When God Was a Woman, in which she wrote that ‘in the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman…the female deity in the Near and Middle East was revered as Goddess—much as people today think of God…the original status of the Goddess was as supreme deity…the Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not yet been introduced into religious thought.’

As a critical thinker, I know that sometimes a lie is told when the truth is declared halfway or haphazardly. Stone, who happens to be a White female artist and college professor, never mentioned the racial make-up of the female divinities of the world’s earliest civilizations she wrote about. I don’t know understand how Stone could write a book about When God Was a Woman and then later write a book on Three Thousand Years of Racism, which focuses on uncovering evidence of racism imposed by Indo-Europeans after they conquered most of the same regions discussed in When God Was a Woman, and fail to connect the probability that the Goddesses she first wrote about were originally depicted as Black women. How can she admit that ‘historical, mythological and archaeological evidence suggests that it was these northern people who brought with them the concepts of light as good and dark as evil (very possibly the symbolism of their racial attitudes toward the darker people of the southern areas) and of a supreme male deity;’ but not admit that the Goddess of theses Black people was also Black before they and She were conquered by White people (i.e., Indo-Europeans). 

Whether this failing was accidental or intentional is irrelevant, yet one could assume that the Goddesses would originally resemble the people who worship them. According to Albert Churchward, ‘the earliest members of the human race appeared in the interior of the African continent about two million years ago, then from the region of the Great Lakes they spread over the entire continent. Groups of these early men wandered down the Nile Valley, settled in Egypt, and then later dispersed themselves to all parts of the world…As these early Africans wandered over the world, they differentiated into the various human subspecies that now inhabit our planet. The men who remained in the tropical and equatorial regions retained their dark complexions, whereas those that settled in the temperate zones lost a portion of their dusky pigmentation and developed a fairer skin.’ Provided that the original racial profile of the Nile, Indus, and Tigris-Euphrates River Valley as well as the Aegean civilizations has been clandestinely confirmed as Black/African, then the female divinities worshipped in these civilizations should also logically be Black/African. Accordingly, in the beginning, to revise Stone, God was a Black woman.”

4

it’s a harder way and it’s come to claim her
and I always say, we should be together
and I can see below, ‘cause there’s something in here
and if you are gone, I will not belong here

flickr

The Good The Bad and The Ugly by DAWN ARSENAUX
Via Flickr:
analog collage