About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Imperialism and Lion Hunts

Shooting a lion with an arrow? Wounding him and finishing him up later in a volley of more arrows? That was a pastime of ancient nobility and kings, but especially beloved by Neo-Assyrian kings.

I saw this basrelief in the British Museum - it was discovered in ancient Nineveh. In fact, the original lion hunt relief covered an entire wall. On that wall were several dozens of lions and lionesses transfixed and killed with arrows, swords and spears. This gory display decorated a wall of the private living quarters in the north palace of King Ashurbanipal, and was by no means the only Assyrian depiction of a lion hunt.

Now imagine that all these ancient basreliefs were originally painted in vivid colors: dark red blood running from the arrow wounds, bright blood gushing from lions’ throats.

We even know that when Assyrian nobility hunted their own lions and other big game to extinction, they started to import animals in cages from subjugated lands.

Is it any surprise that these psychopathic Assyrians did not have many international friends and had one of the worst reputations among ancient empires?
    Recently we were reminded that America has its own subculture of hunters with a similar regal itch. Walter Palmer is just one among a number of those who travel the world and buy so called “canned hunts,” which means to pay large amounts of money for killing protected and endangered animals. Thankfully, public outcry (even in Minnesota!) showed that we will not tolerate such brutalization (Assyrianization) of our society.
    This Sunday we open a series of seven worship services dedicated to the environment and inspired by the Earth Bible project. The series is called Songs of Creation and this Sunday we will sing the Song of Sanctuary - discovering and restoring the sanctuary for lions and all living beings.

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