“The new religion destroyed almost all trace of the old.”—Catherine Hills, The Anglo-Saxon Settlement of England, from The History and Heritage of Northern Europe
A simple sentence, rich with untold meaning. Light and erudite with academic fluency, heavy beyond measure with poetic Truth!
The new religion, Christianity, won the day, the century, the millennium. But beneath it, all around it, never quite squelched—completely burnt—the old lived on, in deed, in unguarded Word, in art—everywhere in art—in poetry and philosophy. Our western heritage is brimming over in that old religion— its scraps and shards and errant flotsam from the general wrack and ruin Christianity wrought—indeed our past cannot be fully grasped, understood, without a coming to grips with that one weighty fact.
Why the Grail Quests at the very outset, why the leitmotif century after century of the search, the ever ongoing Faustian pilgrimage into the unknown? Why our ongoing Western unease of soul?
I’ll quote again: “The new religion [which was NOT ours’] destroyed all trace of the old [which was].”
Sacrilege I know.
You see why the Omphalos Cafe is so ill attended? If you’re still reading, careful where you step! There’s an overturning of every single thing we’ve been taught for well over a thousand years at its core. And a realization that unless we truly let this light into our hearts and minds, painful to many as it might be, we as humans are doomed to repeat the purblind errors of the past.
The evidence is all around, if we only open our eyes, hearts and minds.
All around… and within too.