Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chapter 1
Betrayal, Denial, and Confusion
© Eso A.B.

When we look at the ‘rewritten’ versions (like that of the Dominican monks at the Abbey of Cluny) of the life of Basil, a.k.a. Jesus, we notice that the story teller, Matthew, has Jesus turn to his disciple Peter and say:

“Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”(Matthew 26:34; KJ).
Had Peter been aware that the events (said to have happened in ‘ancient’ Jerusalem) were happening in Constantinople, he might have replied that before long Jesus himself would express doubts—if not about himself, then about God, whose embodiment the Cluniacs claimed him to be.

As things stand today, all that remains of the pit of the fiery pyre at the Hippodrome that we are told of by Anna Comnena’s history, is that Jesus’ prediction to Peter that he would deny their friendship did actually happen. However, it did not happen in front of a threatening pit that roared fire, but while sitting around a bonfire in the cold hours of an early morning in the courtyard of someone called Herod.

However—in Mark 14:30 (KJB)—we read a slightly different version of what it was that Jesus said. He said to Peter:

“‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’”

This citation reduces the number of times that the rooster crows from three to “two”. Everyone who has ever raised chickens knows that, generally, the rooster, if nothing ails and nothing is out of the ordinary disturbs him, crows once about midnight, then just before day break. He crows about midnight to tell everyone within hearing that he is still alive; and he crows just before dawn to be the first to greet the greatest Goddess, the Sun. If the rooster crows more than that, he has his reasons for being restless. If there is something ominous going on, there is reason for jumping on a higher perch and being hyperactive.

Mark leads the reader close to identifying the crowing rooster with apostle Peter. That is, while the rooster crows twice, Peter denies thrice: once about midnight, then at about daybreak, and… again when the ‘written’ version of the story of Jesus’ has taken precedence over the oral version. The written version reflects the version of the incident as it happened in Constantinople where the story took place.

The complete story (NIV) is to be found in Luke 22: “Then seizing him [Jesus], they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest.” In the Bogomil version of the story, the ‘high priest’s name would have been mentioned, Nicholas III, who at that time was the Eastern Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople (1084–1111), but today is every child’s Santa Claus; a vicious and ironic paradox if ever there was one.

The story continues: “Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.”

Those guarding Jesus were the ones who kindled the fire. It was then that “A servant girl saw him [Peter] seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, ‘This man [Peter] was with him [Basil, Jesus].’

“But he (Peter) denied it. ‘Woman, I don’t know him,’ he said;” wishing to avoid being burnt as Jesus was about to be.

Evidently, as he [Peter] uttered these words, he happened to look at Jesus, and their eyes met.

“A little later someone else saw him [Peter] and said, ‘You also are one of them.’”

This latter happened right after the cock crew a second time. The rooster apparently interrupted a gloomy silence that followed Basil being thrown on the coals and he had stopped perning (a word used by the poet W.B. Yeats; probably meaning jumping about) and no longer screamed.

“’Man, I am not!’ Peter replied,” as he watched Basil’s bones turn into glowing red coal.

In the Dominican version of the story all remains peaceful. Jesus is sitting with his back turned to the fire and is facing East. He must have known that the sun would soon be rising and wanted to catch the moment.

“About an hour later [when the sun had risen and everyone’s face could be seen in daylight] another of those present asserted, ‘Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.’”

As the word “Galilean” passed the speaker’s lips, the cock crew (in the oral version of the story) a third time. This happened because, for the story teller, the word ‘gallo’ triggera the effect of pareidolia. ‘Gallilean’ sounded so much like the word ‘gallo’, rooster.

“Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he spoke, the rooster crowed. Basil turned his head and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words Basil had spoken to him earlier: ‘before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times’. We ought to notice that the rooster crows as many times as Peter issues his denials.

“And he [Peter] went outside and wept bitterly.”
But why should Peter “weep bitterly”?

Men do not weep after they make a deliberate lie. They sometimes do weep after a child, wife, or a close friend has died. Peter had just abandoned King Basil. He had not encouraged (by example) the crowd of Bogomils to link elbows and establish a living chain of bodies that would prevent Basil from being pushed by his guards into the fire. This is the place in the story, where the story teller—as sometimes is the wont of story tellers—may have pantomimed a “ki-ke-ri-gee”, a rooster’s crow, to drown out the tearful sobs that are said to have been uttered.

These unstable places in the story (the contradictions in the number of times the rooster crowed), point to the likelihood that the first written version of the story of the death of Jesus had at its foundation one or more older oral versions. The detail of the courtyard bonfire is in the story as a secret code signal, an archival reminder of the true scene at Byzantium’s Hippodrome.

According to the Russian academician Anatoly Fomenko, Byzantium-Constantinople was once also called Jerusalem http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umpfjhhkWTA. In ancient times many cities were called Jerusalem. It was a designation of holiness or ‘slava’. To use W.B. Yeats words once more: “O sages… come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre…consume my heart away….” The Russian people knew the name of the city as Yaroslav, later, in secular times, as Tsargrad (Kingcity).

Over the years the story became corrupted by inserting into the account events designed to heighten raw emotions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzxyUBhX1Vs . Emotionalism helps make the story appear unalterable. As the clip shows, we have not only letters to fixate the story, but also image making by way of paintings, film, video, and sound.

Let us recall the scene (see Foreword) from Anna Comnena’s “Alexiad”, where the Bogomils part to let Basil, their spiritual King, pass to the burning pyre. If only moments before, Basil had confidently predicted that angels would not allow flames to touch him, the flames of the pyre, which the parting of the crowd reveals, make Basil/Jesus slap himself as if to make sure that he, Bogomil leader and God lover, is real and that what he sees before him is not a mirage.

While Peter’s repeated insistence that he does not know Jesus also reflect on Jesus’ inner doubts and denial of God moments before his dying (shortly after his shawl* is taken from him by his executioners and thrown into the pyre), an even crasser denial of Jesus is expressed by the crowd of his followers, the Bogomils, when shocked by the horrors of reality, they fail to form a human chain, but part to let their King walk and then be thrown into the fiery pit.

Why did the King’s followers not close their ranks?

A fair guess is that they stood ‘surprised’ before a spontaneously and collectively acknowledged 'doomsday'. To resist Herod meant sure death. Therefore, all the Bogomils turned into sheep as those before the mythological Ajax, who—having turned himself into a roaring flame—rushes through their midst http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_(Sophocles).

At the moment the fire begins its slaughter, it is as if all of humanity’s  imagination is challenged. It is as if at that moment all of humankind judges itself an insane delusion. Only Emperor Alexius—mad (because so phony)—offers to save Jesus his life if he converts, thus, awakening the listener to the possibility that if he- and she- slap themselves awake, there is a choice to be made: the 'choice' to let Alexius do the thinking for them.

For all the despairing courage exhibited by Jesus (the ram), the tragedy is revealed in the cowardice of Nicholas III, the Eastern Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem-Yaroslav-Constantinople-Tsargrad, who surrenders the orally transmitted beliefs of arch-Christianity for a Neo-Christian rewrite. Nicholas III betrays the East to the West, which is soon represented by the New Rome established in Italy, which is part of the dominions of the West.

After the Crusaders led by the Franks sack Old Rome-Byzantium, and plunder the holy city of its relics and icons, and the Eastern Orthodox Church (under mortal threat) abandons the oral version of the story of Basil for the rewritten story as presented by the writing monks from Cluny Abbey (supported by the French king). The cynical indifference of Alexius submerges the arch story of the Christian faith into a spectacle presented so artfully, dramatically, and spectacularly.

Thereafter, only nausea remains. Attempts are made to cure the nausea, by making ridicule of it—as when the decapitated head of one Bin-Laden is to have found (joke or no) its final resting place at the Skull and Bones seret-society at Yale University. Perpetual death rather than eternal life comes to embody the nature of life. Song becomes vomit turned into tar.

*Throwing Jesus' shawl into the fire calls to mind the Shroud of Turin. Originally this shroud was probably of wool. As the wool burnt away, the body’s lymph glands impregnated the linen lining with fluid. This suggests that someone may have pulled the body from the fire and tried to rescue it before it expired.


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