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Three things, the bad and the good
#1
Living in Brazil, being Brazilian.

It sucks. I am ashamed of being Brazilian, and I don't like to live here. Specially in Rio de Janeiro. It sucks harder. I wish I could fundament this, maybe I'll be able to, as time goes by, but, for the moment, anger is all I have. Anger, frustration, and a strong will of leaving this place, this country, and never come back. (Which I can't, I don't have a way out, I don't know what to do... I do --once I'm between brackets-- have a friend, had a friend, I guess, a crazy one, in my youth --he'll be in the literature, when I get there, in the literature I'm writing, the last book of the 30-book book will be somewhat autobiographical, I hope-- so, I had this friend, he decided to leave, he's one of these crazy poets.., and he simply left. Went to Europe. Spain, Hungary... I wish I had this ..freedom. I don't. I can't go with a backpack and hope things will turn out ok, because I simply don't know how to do it, and that means I don't know how to live without a job, without somewhere to be... which is another conflict. I diverge...)

So, for the moment, only anger and frustration.

Maybe someday a cooler mind in order to write about anti-civilization and this will of totalitarian way they have, that is blocked (yet) by law and rights that they are trying to destroy... We as humans in the Western societies have strived but have (somewhat) achieved a level of civilization reasonably hopeful of becoming a better thing in a possible future, but no, apparently it's time to walk back, and leave this ideal, they think (or ..well, are ignorant of, which makes them be simply very human...). Perhaps we are doomed not ever to be civilized after all...

(sigh)

--

Christianity outside these ways you usually see.

There are religious institutions. Specially in Brazil, they tend to this (some call right wing, I don't, as I understand it as) antihuman and anticivilization thought, which has nothing to do with the god, but with whatever is anti-god. They tend to be. Not all are. There are all sorts of individuals in a 'church' (an institutional religion denominational church, which includes the ones originated before the Reformation (...)). As well as there were all sorts of individuals in Nazi Germany (...).

I met Christianity in what I call a 'post-Protestant church'. They, by then, called themselves non-denominational, but it wasn't exactly accurate. So, they were an instituted religion. Post-Protestant because they thought traditional Protestant denominations were, well, traditional, and submitted to institution more than to the cause, so they broke with Protestantism. Then they grew, then they shattered. When they first shattered, groups of people left the institution and went their way to simply live as Christians, with no bonds to institution. In Rio, in this church I was in, there weren't any of these. There were a few in São Paulo. So I lingered in this church longer than I should. (The religion broke in internal crisis in 2003, I came to leave them in 2012. I tried. In a way, I thought I could do something there. But it came to a point where I saw I couldn't, so I finally left.) When I decided to leave, I made contact with these 'Christians' in São Paulo. And then, as I saw the way they lived, I raised courage, and left the instituted church for good. And then, now I'm alone as a ..sort of a Christian. (I'm not sure I'm worthy of being called by this name... I try, I guess. Mostly fail.) I've learned interesting things with them. They really try to put themselves in tune with the god, hear him, follow his lead.

So, there's traditional Christianity (as instituted religion), which was built back then, in Rome, in the days of Flavius Constantinus Augustus, and that became Catholicism (that much later divided into Roman and Orthodox (which was Greek/Eastern) ones); then there was the Protestant break, that produced the traditional Protestant churches, which broke again, since the XIXth century, when post-Protestant Christianity (and straying movements) began to appear. Before Roman Catholicism is what people call "primitive Christianity" (primitive means first). Anyone who abandons instituted religions in search of a simple way of (Christian) life will turn to that first time, I guess. So, some people call it "existentialism", some call it "organic", others call it simply "simple", others don't have a name for it, because it didn't have a name, and when you give it a name you're incurring in the potential creation of something that is what is supposed to be avoided by what you wish to live... Which makes it a little complicated if you try to understand or think too hard about it. It's really not that hard though.

--

Ancient Rome.

Ancient Rome may have begun to end with Flavius Constantinus Augustus (usually known in English as Constantine the Great), who turned his society officially non-Roman in belief and religion. Was it inevitable? Maybe so. At some point, I guess, this new thought would come to rule the world. But ancient Rome, Rome itself, Roma as it were, is something before these Eastern religions came to Rome.

It is funny because Rome is not Rome anymore after Christianity, but Rome is not what we know before the Republic. It's pretty unlikely that Rome did have seven kings ruling around fifty years each. But we don't have means to know, because there's no written documents from the time. The only treaty on the ancient history of Rome (or one of the very few) that we have is Titus Livius' (usually known in English as Livy)'s account of the history of Rome. Livius lived in the first century (from bC to aD), and wrote about seven centuries before. Many of the informations given by him are questionable. We begin to have register of people and deeds from the first years of the Roman republic, around the fifth century bC, after one century (maybe) of republican regime. Which is nuts. So we don't quite know what was the beginning of Rome, and we can think that Rome ceased to be Rome when the Vestals and the other cults of the traditional Roman culture were shut, in the time of Theodosius (emperor a few generations after Constantinus). Theodosius was known for dismissing the last Vestal. Funny to think that within a few decades, in the reign of Honorius, Rome was being sacked, and after about a century, the city was definitely invaded, and was no more as the Rome of emperors and of Romans, but became Visigoth, and then Ostrogoth after that... An era had come to an end. (And these Christian Roman emperors endured for another eight hundred years or so in Byzantium, thinking themselves Romans, but, well, not such anymore... Until they too fell.)

So, there are four periods of Rome: under these seven legendary kings; as a republic (res publica), a time when Rome came to be Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR), and when an empire began to rise and conquer the Mediterranean; then, this empire met the rule of princes (emperors, in Latin, principes (princeps, plural principes)); and then, these princes became Christians, and made cease the ancient Roman culture (which Christians, then and still now call pagan (from paganus, meaning worldly), which was, actually, simply original Roman culture).
Hello. I'm Gustavo. (If you call me Gus, it's all right too.)
Reply
#2
In Latin (back in the time of Rome), c before i and e is still like c before a, o and u, that is, it sounds like k. So princeps, principes are to be said prinkeps, prinkipes. (Also g is always like ga, go, not like the gi of giraffe.)

And the Romans didn't have the letter v. All v's were u's. That's why we read CLAVDIVS, or AVGUSTVS in monuments. So, Flavius Constantinus is, actually, Flauius Constantinus.

Paganus comes from the word pagus, which is village. The meaning of wordly comes from the distinction between things of the pagus and things of the heavens (caelum). Paganus, to a Roman, meant therefore simply 'villager'.
Hello. I'm Gustavo. (If you call me Gus, it's all right too.)
Reply


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