(FB 1541542685 Timestamp)
NATURAL RELIGION: THE AESIR-VANIR WAR
by @[100016659043273:2048:Daniel Gurpide]
(must read, core concepts)
Manâs taming of the living world occurred in parallel to the taming of the massâby the elite. This historical phaseâinitiated with the Neolithic Revolution and concluding today with the passage into the so-called âBiopolitical Revolutionââis extremely important. It is not difficult to recognise in it what was called by Karl Marx âthe end of primitive communist society,â by Sigmund Freud âthe killing of the primal father,â and by Claude LÃ©vi-Strauss âthe separation between Nature and Culture.â
Significant testimony to this period has been preserved in Indo-European mythology, thanks to the story of the formation of the society of the godsâas related, for example, through the Aesir-Vanir War.
The Aesir and the Vanir represent two different ways of life. During the founding warâwhich set at odds, in symbolic form, the lifestyles of the great hunters and the farmers that emerged out of the Neolithic eraâOdin-Wotan, as the pre-eminent god of magic, âdomesticatedâ the Vanir with his magic and assigned to them an harmonious position in the organic tri-functional society, where the âdomestication of natureâ was completed. This myth signifies the transition from a generic instinctive human subject to a specific conscious human subject who exercises magic power over other men, thereby engendering the conditions for social stratification that are the distinguishing feature of every post-Neolithic society.
Society is now organised into two castes, two social groups. One, which is the dominant class, assumes sovereign and warrior functions; the other assumes the economic function. This structure is reflected in the society of gods, whose genesis the myth, in its own way, reveals. The new society is constituted by the superimposition and domination of âmagicâ above religious man, of predator above producer. The myth of the Aesir and the Vanir, like that of the Romans and the Sabines, highlights the respective characters of both social groups or families of gods. The formerââpreyingâ gods who continue the activities of the First Man as self-domesticating manâassert themselves by virtue of the binding magic of their chief, Odin/Wotan; the latter, âproducingâ gods, carry on the activities of the First Man as âself-domesticatedâ man. They must and do submit to the former, despite the power deriving from their âwealthâ (symbolised by Gullweigâs gold).
This social-divine dichotomy derives from a particular world perception that may be found again, remarkably, in the structure of the Indo-European languages, with the sharp separation between subject and object. âMan-subject,â who continues to exercise âmagicâ on himself (self-control), begins to exercise it now on the other type: âman-object.â The domesticating âmagicâ is exercised on man-object from withoutâand the canons are fixed by other-than-him. Liberated by this âreligiousâ bond from the need to domesticate man in himself, he can now dedicate himself fully to âdomesticatingâ nature: that is, to the production of goods.
The coexistence of these two social types in a harmonious society takes place by synoecismâcontractual arrangementâfollowing a âwar of foundation.â The sovereign god among Indo-Europeans is always both a terrible godâexercising a âmagicâ constrictionâand a beneficent guarantor of âcontracts.â From the Indo-European origins there was always a clear conception of this social contract, which found its most accomplished expression among the Romans.