Da Black Whole

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Food is Just a 4 Letter Word

i'm an old fan of Sumerologist S.N. Kramer -- here, his translations and expertise in Sumerian culture link Sumerian shamanic or "lower spiritual" practice/understanding with the Christian Last Supper

here's a theft from Bible Origins

One gets the notion from Genesis's narrator that by "eating a fruit" one can "obtain knowledge." This concept appears in Sumerian myths. Kramer has noted that Enki, the god of Wisdom, desires "TO KNOW" about several plants in his wife's garden.


His assistant does the actual picking of the plants and presents them to Enki for eating. Later, Enki's enraged wife, Ninhursag, learns what has happened. Having eaten of her plants without her permission, she curses her husband with death.

the issue here is one of primal power, and of the sovereignty of the Earth, personified as primal Feminine ( prosaically the myth also addresses natural law, the mortality of the body)

but unlike the Hebrew Genesis, in which the "enraged and offended god" is masculine, in Sumer the outraged party is feminine, suggesting a matriarchal or at least strongly gyno-centric cultural consciousness

Enki becomes deathly sick and feels the pain of death beginning in his various body parts. Eventually a fox is successful in persuading Ninhursag to relent, and heal Enki. She asks him what part of his body "hurts" and then makes either a god or goddess to heal that part.

Note the parallels to Adam and Eve. Adam does not pick the fruit, another does. A wife is seen as bringing about the downfall of her husband and his impending death for eating forbidden fruit. The important concept, however, is that the god "of Wisdom," before eating each plant, asks "What is this ?" then he "obtains knowledge by eating" the plant. Note also that both Adam and Enki eat of a Tree-
Kramer (Emphasis mine):

"Enki in the marshlands looks about, looks about, he says to his messenger Isimud: "Of the plants their fate I would decree, their 'heart' I WOULD KNOW; What, pray is this (plant) ? What, pray, is this (plant) ?" His messenger Isimud answers: "My king, THE TREE-PLANT," he says to him; He cuts it down for him, HE (Enki) EATS IT." (p.148, Kramer)

as at the Last Supper, what distinguishes the "god," or king etc is the ritualization of ingestion, the blessing of what is being eaten -- subtextually assuming the inherent non-human consciousness of plants (and by extension of course animals)

this appears pagan and maybe idolatrous to the modern judeo-christian, but Melchisedek establishes the sacred relationship (and responsibility) to "food" early in the Torah's first book, at Genesis 14: 18-20:

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

the second book of the Torah extends the concept, clearly ritualizing the blessing in Exodus 3:1-5, with the sanctity of the Land "later" reflected in the Christian Host/Body of Christ :

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

the motif in Enki's "questioning of the heart" of each ingested plant is fulfilled by atonement in Christ's "This is my Body" -- the crucial difference perhaps being that in Sumer, where Inanna held great power, the Earth and it's "bodily possessions" are rendered feminine, or at least under feminine "ownership"

Enki's samplings of Earth's various consciousnesses has the flavor of the outsider or alien, while Jesus' transubstantiation with Earth is much more intimate, a unification, a full descent with earthly substance/consciousness -- something only a very assured and masculine person could attempt, much less get away with

... suggesting that the fulfillment was not on the Cross, in the intermediate material realm, but a culmination of the "three days of descent"

Another Sumerian myth about "the Queen of Heaven," Inanna, has her speaking to her brother, Utu the sun-god, to the effect that she has no knowledge about love and sex, she requests that he accompany her in a descent to the earth, to the mountains, where she will eat the various plants there. It is only after having eaten these assorted, un-named herbs including, apparently, Cedar and Cypress trees, that Inanna now possesses knowledge about love and sex in order to perform her wifely functions (in hymns she is "the bride" of Dumuzi and the goddess of Love and of Sex).

again, the Sumerian version has a celestial (i.e., "alien") goddess descending into incarnation via food -- in this case, the (very suspicious) "unnamed herbs"

partly because "food" is a vector of earthly consciousness, fasting has been used to cleanse, restore, and clarify the mind/spirit

partaking of food in full consciousness and not-partaking in full consciousness combines the best of both worlds


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