The First Human Death

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Jiva
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The First Human Death

Post by Jiva »

I haven’t thought about this subject a lot, but I think it’s quite interesting. The Abrahamic religions and Hinduism both have early human representations of death that become important in some way or another: Cain as the first murderer and Abel as the first human to die; and Yama as the first human to die. Cain and Abel have been seen as allegories of culture establishing itself over nature: Cain’s name apparently being derived from the word for “metal-smith,” Abel’s from “herdsman;” while Yama (cultural pioneer) and his sister Yami (natural provider as the river Yamuna) occupy similar positions, although without any conflict.

Like I said, I haven’t thought about this much, but I suppose I was just wondering what people thought about this difference in stance. Among Christianity, at least, the emphasis always seems to be on Cain’s sin rather than Abel’s death and presumably the first assumption to heaven. Similarly, LHP interpretations focus on Cain as the first human giver of death rather than Abel as the first human to experience death.

Pandora’s Box seems to present similar ideas, although from a more philosophical perspective. Perhaps this is actually quite similar to the Hindu view: there are pros and cons. Later, patriarchal views seem to have focussed things on the negative, but it seems that it was originally a fairly even mix.

Aside from this I don’t know of any other mythological narratives of the first human to die, but feel free to mention others.
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Kenazis
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Re: The First Human Death

Post by Kenazis »

Jiva wrote:Similarly, LHP interpretations focus on Cain as the first human giver of death rather than Abel as the first human to experience death.
I haven't think Abel in this light before. First human to experience death. Interesting indeed. Story of Cain and Abel is not something that I have given much thought about, but the story (especially Cain) is pretty central in Liber Falxifer I & III.
Jiva wrote:Aside from this I don’t know of any other mythological narratives of the first human to die, but feel free to mention others.
What about Scandinavian/Germanic mythology? Askr and Embla are first humans, but who is the first to die? In gods, is Balder first? Just wondering and wandering...
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Re: The First Human Death

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At least in Northern American Indian stories of the Blackfoot tribe the origin of death is mentioned:

"At last, one day, Old Man decided that he would make a woman and a child, and he modelled some clay in human shape, and after he had made these shapes and put them on the ground, he said to the clay, "You shall be people." He spread his robe over the clay figures and went away. The next morning he went back to the place and lifted up the robe, and saw that the clay shapes had changed a little. When he looked at them the next morning, they had changed still more; and when on the fourth day he went to the place and took off the covering, he said to the images, "Stand up and walk," and they did so. They walked down to the river with him who had made them, and he told them his name.

As they were standing there looking at the water as it flowed by, the woman asked Old Man, saying, "How is it; shall we live always? Will there be no end to us?"

Old Man said, "I have not thought of that. We must decide it. I will take this buffalo chip and throw it in the river. If it floats, people will become alive again four days after they have died; they will die for four days only. But if it sinks, there will be an end to them." He threw the chip into the river, and it floated.

The woman turned and picked up a stone and said, "No, I will throw this stone in the river. If it floats, we shall live always; if it sinks, people must die, so that their friends who are left alive may always remember them." The woman threw the stone in the water, and it sank.

"Well," said Old Man, "you have chosen; there will be an end to them."

Not many nights after that the woman's child died, and she cried a great deal for it. She said to Old Man, "Let us change this. The law that you first made, let that be the law."

He said, "Not so; what is made law must be law. We will undo nothing that we have done. The child is dead, but it cannot be changed. People will have to die.""


There is also an interesting parallel to the Earth Diver myth in Blackfoot creation stories discussed here.
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Re: The First Human Death

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Jiva wrote:Similarly, LHP interpretations focus on Cain as the first human giver of death rather than Abel as the first human to experience death.

Pandora’s Box seems to present similar ideas, although from a more philosophical perspective. Perhaps this is actually quite similar to the Hindu view: there are pros and cons. Later, patriarchal views seem to have focussed things on the negative, but it seems that it was originally a fairly even mix.


I was just reading Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine & stumbled upon a mention of Cain & Abel. Interesting that you brought this up at the same time as the Finnish side is having several simultaneous discussions about sex & gender, since for Blavatsky the brothers Cain & Abel present sexes, Abel being actually the sister and the wife for the former. (Cf. my idea about the Michael–Lucifer being the similar celestial pair, where Satan is principally a feminine archetype.)

Jiva wrote:Cain’s name apparently being derived from the word for “metal-smith,” Abel’s from “herdsman”


If then one of the symbolic aspects of this allegory is about the (agri-)culture killing the former hunter-gatherer world view like it seems, it also represents the moving from the matriarchal to the patriarchal emphasizing of values. So the humankind really learned death (as a negative value) when it was removed from the natural cycle of things, removed from its mother's bosom (the Nature, Magna Mater). That is the collective trauma of our later culture, having its peak in our Oedipal and over-analytical mindset of the modern Western values.

Also consider the myth of the "eternal city", Rome, which in the Christian and thus modern Western mythology is the city of cities, the archetypical Urbs, place of the Emperor who was (for the Roman Catholics still is) also the High Priest. Also this city was founded with the blood of one of the founder brothers, Romulus killing Remus. From Rome really comes the roots of our culture, in all its tremendous (and because of that, usually misunderstood) masculinity, the worship of the patriarchal gods - Mars & Jupiter - in expense of the feminine ones, the manifold Magna Mater of agriculture... and inner spirituality. It is only in the latest fifty years of so when the feminine~LHP values – the Luciferian ones, operating in the twilight – have been brought to at least some little appreciation without the yoke of the over-analytical zeal of the Sun deities' machismo. But the occultist must find the equilibrium of both, thus reincarnating Abel.
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Jiva
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Re: The First Human Death

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Kenazis wrote:What about Scandinavian/Germanic mythology? Askr and Embla are first humans, but who is the first to die? In gods, is Balder first? Just wondering and wandering...
Yeah, Baldr is the first Aesir to die, quickly followed by Hodr. As for the first humans to die, I don’t think it’s ever mentioned. Askr and Embla are the first humans, but in the ‘higher’ mythology I think deaths are just assumed to have happened. Humans have basically very little importance, aside from as soldiers/einherjer (which is, in itself, revealed to be totally futile), until Konr Ungr and Lif and Lifthrasir.
Nefastos wrote:I was just reading Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine & stumbled upon a mention of Cain & Abel. Interesting that you brought this up at the same time as the Finnish side is having several simultaneous discussions about sex & gender, since for Blavatsky the brothers Cain & Abel present sexes, Abel being actually the sister and the wife for the former. (Cf. my idea about the Michael–Lucifer being the similar celestial pair, where Satan is principally a feminine archetype.)
I think I vaguely remember Blavatsky mentioning this. I guess it’s another example of her syncretism, as there are at least two Jewish sources that put Cain and Abel’s twin sisters at the centre of things. In Midrash Genesis Rabbah, Cain has a twin sister, Abel has two. Abel attempts to marry Cain’s sister, but he violently refuses. And in the pseudepigraphical 'First Book of Adam and Eve,' Cain and Abel have twin sisters. Cain is intended to marry Abel’s sister, but again refuses as he wants to marry his own instead. The result of both myths is that both cultural and natural lineages develop separately. Indeed, in the Vita version of the 'Life of Adam and Eve,' Cain and Abel are separated and appointed to their separate roles by Adam and Eve in an attempt to stop Cain killing Abel.

In terms of planetary correspondence, Qayin (Cain) aligns with Kaiwan/Kiyun (Saturn) and is the source for legends regarding Cain's shining face and so on.

And thanks for mentioning Romulus and Remus; Greco-Roman mythology is a massive blind spot for me :P. The scarcity of preserved Germanic mythology and the doctrinal nature of Judeo-Christian mythology make things easier to understand and contextualise in some ways.
Sothoth wrote:There is also an interesting parallel to the Earth Diver myth in Blackfoot creation stories discussed here.
Thanks for the links. This was an especially interesting thread and good to be reminded of, even if I can't add anything other than this :P.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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