Barbara G Walker 1983.
Most incredible book I've ever read.
Not because it says anything incredible but because it reveals all the incredible things I've been told all my life.
It is not incredible. It is totally credible. I should have said that: 'Most credible book I've ever read'.
For in a world rent by the madness of organised religion and the crazy followers and adherents of such this book traces religion back to its source, or nearly so.
We're talking a subset of the world here, of course, we're talking, I'm talking, the Western World or the Civilized World or whatever.
The Amazon Jungle ain't in it. Maybe the Belgian Congo isn't part of it. And so on.
But our world which has taken the whole world and subjected it to our influence for good or ill is crazed and sick with all this religion and god stuff.
We all know it is crazy but we have this politeness: we don't ever say it is crazy. You don't question someone's religion. Everyone is entitled to be as crazy as they like when it's a question of their belief in god, or gods.
So you keep a polite silence. Which is fine. A good attitude. Person to person. At the individual level.
But when these madnesses grow into organised religions with followers in the millions and tremendous amounts of power and ability to do immense amounts of harm and to promote wars and genocides - that's when it is time to stop.
But no one knows how to stop any of it. Because we are all so indoctrinated and hoodwinked....
Even those who believe none of it. For those who will have none of it - who say 'there's no God' - who claim to be agnostic are merely giving credence to the claims of the religious maniacs by their disavowal of belief in that creed.
For they give that creed some respectability. As worthy of consideration. As a construct, self coherent and self supporting, capable of standing up. Like a respectable argument in a debating society.
That's a good example of what I mean. In an organised debate each team takes one side of the argument and they argue as best they can and a winner is decided and at the end it is seen that both sides 'did their best', 'had some good arguments' etc...
Like a case in the Law Court. 'You lost but you had a good argument', 'It could have gone your way' and so on......
They (the agnostics and such) are in effect saying 'you have a good argument but I don't believe it'.
But as this book clearly demonstrates they have no argument at all.
They have nothing at all but second hand hearsay and distorted myths and rumours and superstitions and falsehood...
And a certain historical record of vicious inhumanity.
This book clearly demonstrates that all grew from ancient almost incoherent beliefs back in almost (or entirely) stone age times.
The 'women' aspect of it relates to the fact that the earliest 'god' beliefs of the humans had god either as a supreme female deity or perhaps a male/female entity.
Because back in those days they were closer to reality and they perceived that all reality is a cycle of life and death, life and death, birth and rebirth, live and die, live and die, come and go.... and they saw the Supreme in these terms - as something cyclic.
But also that 'something' had to be female in at least a large part because it gave birth. Life, reality, they could see, was endless birth. Crops reborn every year. The very Sun itself dying away in winter and being reborn after midwinter.
They worshipped a projection of reality made in the image of the reality they knew and that meant cycles of birth and death all presided over by a female deity which both devoured the old and gave birth to the new.
Yes, devoured the old.
Pretty uncompromising stuff.
Such a learned tome.
It is just full of startling revelation. Not just the major revelation that all the God stories by all the religions are mere distorted rehashing of earlier yarns, but revelations about a myriad tiny details of what we believe without ever thinking for a minute about it...
I opened the book at random and here is the entry for 'Vestal Virgins' and it says 'Vestals were virgines, i.e. women who vowed never to marry because they were brides of the spirit of Rome...' Hence 'virgin' doesn't even mean virginal, it simply means not married.
And the first virgin was 'Rhea Silvia' or "Rhea of the Woodland" and was actually the Goddess Rhea transplanted to the Latin colonies and according to Roman legend she gave birth to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome...
Isn't that a fascinating piece of history? What a fascinating detail of our history and the history of our religion and our language. But how much of it is ever told us? By anyone? None. Not by anyone. And most certainly not by the religious. It is not something they want us to know.
and the whole book goes on like that.. that one is neither a special example nor an especially good one.. it is very humdrum for this book which is just full of startling information..
We are living on a threadbare diet of pure crap, cut off from a rich and flavoursome, nourishing wealth of past history.
This books records, in fact, how our section of the human race has been hoodwinked, conned, decieved, lied to and led astray throughout millenia by those cunning enough and plausible enough to set themselves up as purveyors of some special knowledge, some special truth, some special access to the mind of God, the desires of God, the will of God etc...
Liars, liars, liars and the more fool us for every believing a word of it.
This book is our heritage compressed. It should be delivered free to every household in the land and be a basic part of every child's educational diet.
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