Mathematics and Blood Sacrifice

Language, art, dance, and music are socially activated instincts.

Sex/reproduction, status, and aggression are socially constrained instincts.

Cultures do the activating and constraining of instincts. Cultures are made up of the living and the dead. This means that the beliefs of dead people have a great deal of influence over what you and I are expected to believe, and how we behave.  Accumulated (hoarded) cultural beliefs are projected onto the world to create a supernatural vision so powerful that it determines how we experience reality and how we interact with other human beings, especially in periods of severe stress.

Our peculiar ability to think outside reality allows us to create objects that are built on the principles of nature, or imitate natural phenomena, but which may not specifically exist in nature. Jet engines, internal combustion engines, computer chips, microwave and x-ray technologies, and chemical products such as glues, dyes, medicines, food and plastics are part of a long list of familiar products made possible by our clever rearrangement of matter and energy.

This type of technical activity is made possible by understanding the underlying principles of nature through observation and experimentation, and by using rational mental constructs that result in provable and testable ideas.

Simple technology is constrained by nature; it is obvious when a tool doesn’t work and needs to be improved. A structure that will not stand in a storm is obviously not good enough. A better one may be built by trial and error, and for most of human history, this is how it was done. In order to understand how nature works, a language that describes physical relationships is needed, and that language is mathematics. The power of its many applications has transformed human culture and the earth in an extremely short period of time. Nature ‘speaks’ to us through mathematical equations.

Unlike the practical and inquisitive Greeks, and despite mathematical creativity, the Maya failed to identify numbers as the keys to understanding physical reality. Their heavily magical perception of  “how things work” perceived maths as possessing supernatural powers and with disastrous results. Instead of a calendar that produced a useful window into how physical reality is created and organized, numbers and astronomical cycles created a prison from which there was no escape. Blood is the prime substance of both contagious and imitative magic: blood is power. For the Maya, mathematical knowledge dictated a schedule of human sacrifice, cannibalism, warfare, and doom. And so, it is not simply the facility with numbers that created a technological world, but insight into mathematics as the language of reality – a tremendously powerful language that reveals the secrets of the universe.

Human sacrifice and cannibalism: A topic few people acknowledge as fundamental to understanding modern social human reliance on magical thinking. 

Library of social science review of: Marvin, Carolyn & David Ingle. Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. U.S. (pb.) ISBN 0521626099. Review by Library of Social Science.

CAROLYN MARVIN, an award-winning author, is the Frances Yates Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. Her book Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag, reveals the central dynamic underlying violence performed in the name of the nation-state.

Sample: What is “really true in any community,” Marvin and Ingle claim, is “what its members can agree is worth killing for,” or what they can be compelled to “sacrifice their lives for.” Thus, what is “sacred” within a given society is easily recognized. It is “that set of beliefs and persons for which we ought to shed our own blood.” Rituals that celebrate blood sacrifice “give expression and witness to faith.” Warfare constitutes the central ritual allowing societies to enact or demonstrate faith in the nation.


Comment: The chronic state of “American Wars on XXX” that has dominated our lives since Viet Nam, reveals ongoing and desperate attempts to “renovate and shore up” a rapidly expanding awareness of the failure of American Culture to live up to it’s post-WWII promises of being a “powerhouse of virtue”. A promise that the U.S. would be a “new” kind of master, one that would liberate mankind, once-and-for-all, from a sad history of evil-doers, dictators and tyrants. It was a dream that was sure to fail, because it sought to impose a Disneyland system of “democracy” on the nations of the world, whether or not it was what the people wanted.

It was, and is, an infantile dream, full of magic and arrogance, blood and murder. 

Man the Cannibal / Re-post

Man the cannibal


Cannibalism is common to mythologies worldwide. Evidence for the sacrifice of objects, animals, foods, and human beings is abundant in archaeological reports, but how could the related practice of cannibalism have originated?

Cannibalism is described in many myths, from the killing and eating of captives, to witches that steal children and boil them for dinner, to fathers who are tricked into eating their own child, an “accident” which arises from the fear of uncertain paternity. Cannibalism has left physical evidence in the form of human bones opened for marrow and brains. It is not difficult to imagine that in times of hardship, humans may have killed and eaten their own, or preyed on the competition: slower moving relatives may have been fair game for early human species, and more easily “caught” than large and dangerous prey.

Note: There is no reason to assume that “homo” species saw other “similar” species as anything but potential prey, just as our current “cousins” – Chimps – and also monkeys, are hunted as “bush meat”.  Archaic hominids had no “species” concepts, nor was Homo sapiens (God’s special creation) anything so grandiose in a hungry world! Homo sapiens was not exempt from becoming food like any other animal – and the reverse is also true: This idea of “‘cannibalism” – eating one’s own species as “taboo” is a recent and modern conceit.

An obvious choice for sacrifice during famine would be a child who was too young to contribute to the survival of the group. (This is a tried and true strategy in nature – more offspring can be produced) A magical idea may have been put forth to persuade the mother to give up her child: the mothers of animals sacrifice their children so that humans have food. Perhaps they will accept one of our children in trade, and thus produce more animals to feed us. Necessary cannibalism that sustained a group through extreme conditions may have receded in better times in favor of prophylactic human sacrifices meant to postpone hardship or to jump-start a perilous undertaking. Acts of sacrifice would become a component of the culture myth and thus be incorporated into religious ritual.    

The Last Supper myth is a twisted tale of human sacrifice and cannibalism that Christians reenact, but without recognizing its roots in the annual human sacrifice and cannibalism practiced in agricultural societies. The thirteenth man didn’t serve dinner, he was eaten, and his body parts distributed to the fields, where food crops would be resurrected in the coming year – hence the unlucky number thirteen. The twelve apostles replaced the signs of the zodiac, the calendar that set the time of planting and harvest: Christians merely changed a yearly ritual into a one-off event. The sacrifice and resurrection of the demigod identified as Jesus was made available to cult members through the shared ritual of eating the sacrificial man and drinking his blood, an act of power transference basic to magic. It’s no accident that Christian doctrine banned cremation. Christians copied Egyptian resurrection magic, in which the body must be intact for rebirth to succeed.

In male-dominated cultures, the chief male god is awarded extraordinary talents of procreation, and he often utilizes virgins to secure his paternity. The god can appear in animal form or as a force of nature; he is sometimes hidden by atmospheric effects, such as a storm or beam of light (lightning bolt.) We tend to forget that violation by a god is rape. Recasting a brutal attack into a charming religious story serves to excuse behavior, that if committed by a lesser male would be considered a crime; the worst human behavior is reserved for a Top Male god.

The rape victim will relive the attack, removing details and reducing or accentuating others with the aid of “social” pressure. This process removes the crime to the supernatural realm, where it may live safely forever, despite the actual attack having had a beginning and an ending. This falsification of reality yields a consequence: once the event is recast as supernatural, it is difficult to bring it into the light of day, and to know that it was real. Real events end: supernatural events are eternal.  

Supernatural coping is not coping at all. The victim is stuck with a version of the experience that is eternal, fixed, and not compatible with reality, and which often justifies the crime; guilt is transferred to the victim. Phobias, compulsive behavior, overuse of drugs and alcohol, rage and self-abuse are symptoms of the “supernaturalization” of reality.

Ritual cannibalism is central to Christianity

John 6:53-56 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”

This is not a metaphor; this is a command to perform an actual ritual.

Here we go with archaeo-anthro “narratives again”

It is claimed by many “scientists” that cannibalism was not about “nutrition”. The “fairytale” goes like this:

  1. A horse, bison or mammoth would provide vastly more calories than a “puny human” so if you killed a human and ate it, it couldn’t be for “food” purposes. (Wow!)
  2. The reason for cannibalism must be a lot of socio-cultural religious mumbo jumbo, which applies mostly to “socially modern humans”  but neglects the obvious; eating humans is emphatically “discouraged” by modern societies: cannibalism is a severe “pathology” and crime today.
  3. Mortuary practices and ancestor worship rituals that include defleshing and flesh-eating are invoked, but these are specific rituals that are easily identified in the archaeologic record.
  4. And – a human would be “harder to kill” than a large animal and less “food” per unit of effort. This is so ridiculous! What universe do these folks live in? They obviously have been “well-fed” their entire lives and have never  experienced chronic  hunger or starvation….

No human ever hunted and ate rats, rabbits, squirrels, bats, insects, and any other small bit of living protein. And no one ever “fished” or gathered sea creatures because, It ain’t worth the trouble.

Magic powers are indeed served in “beheading and displaying heads” as war trophies, which is both an easy way to “count” enemy victims and to scare the bejeezus out of the populace and it is universal magic that the head is a source of power – it does all the talking and cannot be removed without killing the person. Blood also is big magic!

This graphic is used to “back up” the claim that no one would eat a human for the nutrition. Really? Look at those calories!