Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pensively ensconsed in a Lyon Café I recount the origins of this city in the nebulous past referred to by most scholars since the eighteenth century as 'Celtic'. As the sented coffee ignites my over-wrought brain, I turn to the question concerning the future of European civilisation and the problems pervasive to all our states. The magnitude of such as question prompts me to return again to ideas fossiled in our Indo-European languages and I am drawn therefore to the idea of Lug Láimh Fhada, Lug of the long hand, whose reach stretches across the face of Europe and into the mysterious recesses of Northern India, where a branch of our tribal ancestors called him Indra. Lyon comes from the Celtic Lugdunum meaning the Fort Of Lug. Lug is our Apollo, he represents the aspirations of civilisation, arts, poetry, wisdom and light. His long hand signifes his reach and it is this sense of influence encapsulated in the idea of reach that is best preserved in the German 'Reich' meaning kingdom and cognate with the Irish Rí, king, he whose influence reaches across a great expanse. Lug, the light-bearer of Irish mythology. Lug saves the Tuatha De Danann from the dark forces of the Formorians, and it is Lug we invoke when the dream of a rational world has eluded us, when the hope of science to rid the world of dark superstition, to dis- enchant the world and explain away the problems of modern life according to the dictates of logic, this dream of modern science, this fantasy of reason, the new mythology to which most of us conform has left us shrouded in an empty nihilism where all human value becomes ephemeral, relative to the whims and impulses of the moment, devoid of meaning.
What is Europe and why are we progressing to inexorably to absolute political unification? Are we not like lovers, whose instinct for marriage has blinded our faculites of prudent reflection and criticism? To paraphrase Shakespeare's Othello, has not love, our love for each other or our love for the idea of each other 'sealed with wanton dullness our speculative and officed instruments?
As I ramble on obessively about the significance of Irish mythology for philosophical reflection on our world, my French friend's attention is caught by a waft of roses, the delicate aromas of love and lust that circulate at this Valentine time of year. We discuss marriage, deceit and the indubitably worrying divorce rates in French and Irish society. If the family represents the smallest unit in bourgeois society upon which so much depends, and this invention fashioned to protect the rights of sucession of a patriarchal world order is in such disarray, are we mature and responsbile enough to contemplate a marriage of nations, each with competing views and tendencies to be united in an absoulutist federation controlled by an oligarchy in Brussels? How long will we continue to listen to the sacerdotalism of Brussels, the new priestly cast who preach the ultimate morality of European unification? Will the Union last and on what basis? When the Act of Union marrying us with Great Britain was passed in 1800, the people of Ireland had no say on the matter. This time we do have a choice but few of us know what this marriage is really about.It is clear that we are in need of marriage counciling! Here it may be useful to consider Lug once more. The festival dedicated to Lug was Lugnasad which were practised at a place called Tailteann in county Meath. The festival signified the tantric marriage of Lug with the earth goddess Tailltiu. At the annual Tailltean Fair, men bought brides and marriages were consumated; these marriages were legally codified according to the exigencies of Brehon Law and lasted for a period of one year and a day and were common until the 13th century. Tailltean's reputation for promiscuity was such that any casual sexual affair became known as a Tailltean marriage. My point, then, purely and simply is this: are we really ready for marriage? Do we know what is involved and will it last if we lose faith in the sacardotalists of Brussels and their dream of a macro-state empowered by a global cabel of unscrupulous corporations? Will we have the chance to see for ourselves, to discover what it is that unites us, what the concrete implications of unification mean for the common European worker, and whether we are ready for such committment? How long will this love affair last, and what will be the nature of the new 'reach' to whose aphrodisiac allure we submit with 'wanton dullness'? It is perhaps time awaken from this amorous dream and smell the roses

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