The Real Birth of Tragedy

With Tragedies, of course, we especially speak of works with tragic endings.[1] Doubtless, things are more “complex” with tragedies then they are with Epics. But with them we ask first: why? And if Tragedy is to persist as an Art form, to what end should it be used?

The value of Tragedy is often said to be “catharsis.” By observing tragedy, it is posited, we experience emotional catharsis. Here we are led to believe this is a “healthy” purging of pent up emotional toxins, fear, anxiety and so forth. The evidence for the healthiness of such a ritual has for long been assumed but never clearly shown.

Granted, it seems possible that sadness, in some moderate, occasional and correct proportion, may afford a kind of psychological “rest.” In the context of the Epic, for example, conflict and “setback” create the drama, the enthrallment. Likewise, they appear to inspire the audience to steel themselves in the face of similar setbacks and temporary tragedies in their lives. In a sad moment, which is impactful and forming, one can impress salubrious messages. Yet in the end, all is resolved well.

“Tragedy,” of course, existed in Religion and the Myth of early civilization well before its development in Athenian theater. The Myths and cults of Dying-and-Rising Gods like Adonis and Osiris show this clearly. Before this, as such Religions were coming into being, it already existed as an instinct.

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“Tragedy,” of course, existed in Religion and the Myth of early civilization well before its development in Athenian theater. The Myths and cults of Dying-and-Rising Gods like Adonis and Osiris show this clearly. Before this, as such Religions were coming into being, it already existed as an instinct.

This instinct is fundamentally Semitic and may not have begun to develop in any meaningful form until Aryan and Semite, likewise, began to develop distinctly.

One might say that Tragedy developed first and foremost from the knowledge of a personal death. Certainly we can say that Tragedy, as we know it, as a social expression, plays to a knowledge of this personal death, reminding one of this phenomenon. However, to this very day, one can readily observe how Aryans and Semites react to the phenomenon of death.

With the first, especially, let us say there is a tendency to “move on,” to accept it as part of a process. To be clear, we delineate between an honoring of ancestors, especially accomplished ancestors, and an acceptance of death. With Aryans, some will argue there is a failure to comprehend the import of death and that this is the consequence of a kind of shallowness. Even today the notion of the cold, “repressed” WASP or Nordic versus the warm or emotive Jew or Mediterranean persists. Here as well though we should observe an interesting correlation between emotionality and the ability and instinct to deceive.

Likely this relatively light treatment of death among Aryans appears from a warring, hunting, risking, exploring and conquering nature, where if the death of the individual were to receive too much import then an entire evolutionary strategy of success would grind to a halt. Even now the Aryan privately perceives himself at some root level as a warrior, obliged to face death with some measure of dignity if only so as not to demoralize family and brethren. Here though, we realize, “Tragedy” in its first appearance, also, doubtless developed as survival instinct and evolutionary strategy.

Here, as the Semitic type begins to become distinct from an Aryan parent, “Tragedy” as it were, becomes a means of remaining attached to the dominant and prosperous Aryan tribe. Once it was realized the crying and demoralized face could readily induce the same in another, “Tragedy” was born. Thus it developed first as a psychological and therefore “Religious” means of exploiting or dominating other less deceptive Aryans.

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To this very day, one can readily observe how Aryans and Semites react to the phenomenon of death. With the first, especially, let us say there is a tendency to “move on,” to accept it as part of a process. To be clear, we delineate between an honoring of ancestors, especially accomplished ancestors, and an acceptance of death. With Aryans, some will argue there is a failure to comprehend the import of death and that this is the consequence of a kind of shallowness.

Here, as even the child develops the ability to “fake cry,” one quickly realized the advantage of adopting a tragic mien so as to remain attached to the successful tribe of Aryans. One understands readily how “Comedy,” in any nuanced form, would develop from here, especially as we understand the tragic figure as essentially insincere and “theatrical.”

As an irritation with “Tragedy” grows, “Comedy” becomes “the best medicine” or the other head of Mercury’s Caduceus.[1] We see this duality in the masks of Comedy and Tragedy, noticing they are in fact “masks.” Likewise we can see readily how the “first priest” would develop from this instinct. As this tragic figure had the ability to sadden, he had the obligation to lighten and not merely through humor. He perceived that thoughts of death demoralize, so he eventually offered glad tidings of an afterworld as remedy. Again, we encounter two heads of Mercury’s Caduceus. One poisons, then “cures.”

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As an irritation with “Tragedy” grows, “Comedy” becomes “the best medicine” or the other head of Mercury’s Caduceus. We see this duality in the masks of Comedy and Tragedy, noticing they are in fact “masks.” Likewise we can see readily how the “first priest” would develop from this instinct.

With the appearance of the Athenian theater both Tragedy and Religion became increasingly complex. Ultimately a great, artificial and confusing fissure was developing between things that would normally be considered Religion. Eventually it seems that “The Arts” emerged as well, alongside a more sober and serious “Religion.” Perhaps this was part of a reoccurring, degenerative process that had appeared before. Nevertheless, here, it seems, one was anesthetized to eventually believe that one of the two was no longer Religion in the sacred sense of that term.

Here “Arts” could be regarded more lightly, even while the effect on the development of the “Psyche”[2] —to wit especially desired women— and thus breeding, remained identical, if sometimes attenuated. In many ways, no longer believed important and thus worthy of serious scrutiny, it became more powerful. It crept in “innocuously.” It became Plutonian, Chthonic, an “invisible” and “denied” Religion.

Theater itself though, arising from the Dionysian cult, was Jewish or proto-Jewish in origin.[3] Indeed, the JEM, as we will discover, provides us with Bacchus; “The Vine” is one of the important forms of the Jewish God. This is one of the primary figures with which Jewish esotericists identify. Thus Jews, at long last, should be given credit and blame for the appearance of “Theater” as well as many of its treasured fruits. In the Ancient Greek context, its rehabilitation of the Semitic figure Prometheus, adversary of the Aryan Jupiter, is among its more important accomplishments.

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Theater itself though, arising from the Dionysian cult, was Jewish or proto-Jewish in origin. Indeed, the JEM, as we will discover, provides us with Bacchus; “The Vine” is one of the important forms of the Jewish God. This is one of the primary figures with which Jewish esotericists identify. Thus Jews, at long last, should be given credit and blame for the appearance of “Theater” as well as many of its treasured fruits.

“Hollywood” is, of course, merely the continuance and great expansion of this cult. Though before this, “the Vine,” needing to grow subtler so as to charm serious-minded ruling Aryans, became “Religion” again in the Church. There instead of producers, actors and directors you had cathedral masons, priests and bishops. And thus, in this manner the god of Winter, Bacchus, now in a hidden form, dominated wholly in Apollo’s absence.

As the JEM reveals, in Christ, Bacchus became Dionysus Erikryptos or “completely hidden.” This was one of Bacchus’ epithets in the ancient world and one of the reasons he may also be understood as a rough synonym for the god of the underworld, Pluto, who was also the “invisible one,” as well as Mercury who carries a “cap of invisibility” as one of his attributes. Here we understand both as references to crypto-Jewry. Indeed, even the admitted Religion of Jewry is ruled by an “invisible god.”

In the film and book Rosemary’s Baby, one of the most remarkable works of JEM this broader study will review, Roman Castevets, himself symbolizing a hidden ruling Jewish presence in the “Roman” Church, reveals in a conversation with Rosemary’s husband Guy Woodhouse that all religion is “theater.” This is, of course, true and Bacchus is the God of Theater. Though we are now developing this ability and must do so. Apollo, from whom all Gods develop, possesses the gifts of all the Gods. Regardless, to understand “Tragedy” as we now understand the term, it is best to address its symbolic “Religious” roots.

 

[1] The term Tragedy comes from the Athenian Theater.  Though always dealing with tragic events and a somber tone, not every Greek Tragedy featured an unhappy ending. For those technically inclined, these exceptions naturally might be understood as less tragic by a common understanding of this term.

[1] The caduceus was the staff carried by Hermes, and can still be found today within the symbol of medicine. However, it is also a staff carried by heralds in general within Greek Myth, and Mercury carries one in his left hand.

[2] We remember that Psyche is first and foremost a beautiful Aryan Goddess as this study explores.

[3] Bacchus or Dionysus was identified with Yahweh in the ancient world as this broader study explores.

One thought on “The Real Birth of Tragedy

  1. Actionable article, useful when thinking about future Myth; over the last few months you’ve been laying a very significant groundwork, now it seems you’re taking on more immediate matters.

    Like

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