The first and greatest rule is: Don’t start out saying, “This is going to be a disaster.”  You will be proved right at terrible cost.

This is going to be a disaster.  (But see, I didn’t start out that way.)  But it’s not my fault.  I shall attempt to delve into impossible matters.  There will be sacrilege.  There will be rambling.  There will be inconsistency.  You will be outraged.  That is the nature of the subject.  But let’s do it anyway, just for fun.  I wouldn’t go here at all even for fun, but I do need to qualify something I said before.  It’s only honest.

Pan: the edge of Chaos, the very hem of its hideous robe.  There are the gods.  You know them.  You may worship one or One.  They are Zeus, Ares and Aphrodite; they are Jupiter, Mars and Venus and their companions.  They are Thor and Woden.    Before them was Chaos.  There were the Titans.  There was Fenris Wolf and the Midgarth Serpent.  There was only the waters upon which the spirit of God moved. 

Here is a  picture of a Titan from Wikipedia.

Saturn Devouring His Son


Francisco Goya

That’s a god he’s eating.

No, actually it’s a picture of a Titan in the guise of a god eating a god.  Eating his son is a purposeful act.  That’s not Chaos.  The Titans did not act with purpose.  You do not worship a Titan because the Titan cannot respond in any organized way.  Chaos is beyond petition.

And between the Titans and the gods there is only Pan.  You could worship Pan but nobody does. 

There is a story about Pan.  When the runner Pheidippides was going from Athens to Sparta to ask for help with the battle of Marathon, he met Pan on Mount Parthenium.  (The first run was about 140 miles and he did it in 36 hours.  Some doubt the story saying he should have used a horse, but a horse could not do that.  A Florida Cracker horse might be able to but was not available.)  According to Herodotus, Pan said that the Athenians were mistaken in worshiping the modern gods of the time but should return to worshiping him, Pan.  Pan was their friend and would fight for them at Marathon.  In due course the Athenians defeated the Persians at that battle against incredible odds. 

“Panic” is said to be the state of fear one feels when encountering Pan.  And indeed that would account for the Persian defeat.  But that is not what Pan promised.  He only said he would help.

Pan was an early god for the Greeks.  He was the country god, distinct from the gods of Olympus, Zeus and his kin. 

As you know, I see history as being mostly the consequence of variations in fertility.  Societies arise, flourish and then fall.  And they fall because of the demographic transition, the fact that urbanized societies become infertile.  And that infertility is because urbanization alters mating strategy.  People marry others who are not kin within half a dozen generations, and the biology is such that this does not permit enough babies for the society to survive.

On paper the attack of the Athenians on the Persians seems near suicidal.  They were that outnumbered.  And the Persians were elite troops, better trained and better armed.  I attribute just about all such occasions to demographics.  The losing army is all old men.  The winning army is mostly young men.  You can believe me or you can look to supernatural causes such as Pan.

Pan was right.  Stay with the old country ways and you will have lots of babies and a young army.  He was privy to the unthinkable secret that is the whole point of this web site.  He really did win for the Athenians despite the fact that he never existed.

I think.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote a poem, “To Helen.”  He addresses her as “Psyche” as she stands holding a lamp.  Poe was a writer whose interests ranged from the loftiest spirituality to the most morbid farce.  “Psyche” for him was the spiritual end of this spectrum.  And in that poem he refers to ancient Greece and Rome as Holy Land, 

As in most cultures, holiness was central to the ancient Greek world.  You might munch on a fistful of fruit or dip a bit of bread into some olive oil, but if you were going eat meat, that could only be done as a religious ceremony.  The animal had to be killed on a hold altar in honor of the gods. 

There is another Holy Land on the eastern Mediterranean.  Hebrews lived there.  And where did they go to get meat to eat?  Except in the, not rare, times when they were apostate, they went to the Temple at Jerusalem where the animal was sacrificed.  Hmm.  That’s too much to be a coincidence.  I mean maybe it is.  I’m not sure.  And to Whom was this sacrifice made?  It was made to the God of the Hebrews.  And that name is shrouded in mystery.  “Jehovah” is used.  But that’s a made up word.  It is a combination of Elohim which means “the gods” and the letters JHVH.  Of two texts that are interwoven in the early Old Testament, one uses one term and the other the other term. 

But we got lucky.  When Moses met god one day on a mountain (Did I mention that Pheidippides met Pan on a mountain?) he asked quite frankly, “What’s your name?”  He got in response, “I AM THAT I AM.”  That sounds enigmatic, but it might mean something.  “I am, I am.”  But that sounds like stuttering.  Maybe it was, “I AM WHAT IS.  I AM EVERYTHING THAT IS.”  But if I AM EVERYTHING, then there is no EVERYTHING but ME.  So it certaily makes sense if a bit awkward.  Why wasn’t Moses as lucky as Pheidippides?  Why didn’t God just say something like, “I am Pan.”  Well … er … uh … not to put too fine a point on it actually, He did.  He said, “I am Pan.”  The word, or the syllable “pan,” if you remember means “every.”  Panamerica is all the Americas.  The Pantheon is the temple to all the gods.  So the name, in fact, is the same.

So we have the same name being worshiped in the same way.  And Pan had one message.  “Worship me.  Don’t be tempted away.  If you stay with me, things will go well.”  Later God meets Moses again and gives him the Ten Commandments, which we have discussed before, and which appear to say, “Worship me.  Don’t be tempted away.  If you stay with me, things will go well.” 

So could these two religious traditions actually be one and the same?  Well there was an opportunity for contact.  The Greeks were in contact with Egypt from early on and the Hebrews were in contact with Egypt.  So the tradition could have spread either way, east or west.  And the Greeks were in contact directly with the Hebrews.  The tribe of Dan may have been Mycenaean Greeks, I am told.  So the tradition might have gone north or south.  And later the Greeks under Alexander took Babylon, and according to many scholars the tradition might have moved westward from there. 

The timing is ambiguous.  The Ten Commandments almost surely date before Baruch ben Neriah, who lived in the 6th century BC, because the textual evidence is that he tampered with them.  Pheidippides seems to have come later.  But both accounts may be based on older traditions. 

So it is all a puzzle.  You could blame the ambiguity on the distance in time, but after Alexander records are really pretty good, and things only get worse.  Alexander was handsome.  His face was well recorded.  And statues of Apollo after Alexander all tended to look a lot like Alexander.  In art a god is generally recognized by his attributes.  Don’t get caught mentioning, “That four armed Hindu god.”  They could all be represented as having four arms.  It’s the attributes they hold in their hands that identify them.

One of Apollo’s attributes is the rays of the sun sticking out of his head.  It is a crown of spikes.  That sounds suspiciously like the crown of thorns that is one of Jesus’ attributes.  Then the face traditionally given to Jesus is, well maybe at a stretch, the face of Alexander.  But in Revelation John specifically names the Antichrist.  The name is Apollo.  So Christ is in fact the Antichrist.  Worried yet?  

Take a look at the “Statue of Liberty.”  What are the attributes?  There is a torch for light.  There are spikes for a crown.  And there is a book.  Apollo was god a law, philosophy and the arts.  The book is good for an attribute.  The attribute of Liberty is a soft triangular cloth cap.  It is the cap of the murdered Julius Caesar.  The men who killed him put it on coins they minted.  It was adopted by the French Revolution during the Terror. 

Look at the body.  The hands and feet are not delicate.  There is no bulge in the robe to suggest boobs or butt.  The pose is that of a muscular man.  And look at the face.  It’s Alexander. 

Then there is the poem.  The statue was a gift.  France had saved our bacon during the American Revolution.  Common decency required we make some solemn gift in token, some recognition of the fact that liberty in the new world owed much to the love of liberty in the old.  Instead we let them give us a gift.  On their gift we wrote, in part, "Keep ancinet lands, your storied pomp..."  That's an insult (and a gramatical error). That is a totally churlish response to a generous gesture. 

Sorry.  That's what you get for thinking about Pan. Pan was the ancient one. Apollo was modern, handsome, high status, literate, artistic and doomed.  The gods had favorites.  Pan loved everybody.  Pan meant life.  Pan meant babies.  But Pan is very close to the primordial chaos. 

Is Pan really one with the Hebrew God?  Is he really one with the Christian God?  Pan's attributes are coven hooves, horns and a tail.  (And pipes which look like the pipe organ in a church.)  He looks just like the devil.  I do not know.

So when I say that the Ten Commandments represents the only time before now that anyone noticed that fertility depends on controlling mating pool size, I'm not at all sure.  With Pan you never can be. 

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