Thursday, July 01, 2004

Cain Means Ownership

The Onerous Onus of Ownership

"Love's Body is a modern Thus Spake Zarathustra. Professor Brown is affiliating himself to a major line of nineteenth- and twentieth-century prophets, such as Nietzsche, Carlyle, D. H. Lawrence, oddest of all, Emerson. . . . Norman Brown has the same apocalyptic imagery, fire, resurrection, the judgment, the body, and a very similar apocalyptic message."
--Martin Green, Commonweal

The other day, I was talking to my bud, Woody, and he informed me that he would have to evacuate his domicile, since he could not come up with the money to pay the taxes on the house. Among his main concerns was this: What to do with all the stuff accumulated over the years. It was almost as if he were enslaved by the things that weighed him down...namely things, nouns.

While ruminating on the situation, a line from a book I had read long ago popped into mind.

"Cain means ownership."

It is from the book, "Love's Body", which was written just before the 60's began to take hold, in 1966 to be exact, by Norman O. Brown. I had read it in the '70s, and certain parts still inhabit portions of my not nearly so protean mind. This was one of them.

But then, I found myself seeing how this "Cain means ownership" thing, could also explain many of the troubles currently infecting the globe. Not just Woody...who is an innocent victim of its clutches.

Cain, as the story goes, killed his brother, Abel. There are, though, various iterations of what actually happened, and what is to be taken from the story. Laurence Gardner, for instance, talks about Cain's having been spawned from a different confluence of parentage than Abel, and that he had descended from the Annunaki, and was thus superior, by birth, to his entirely earthly half-brother, Abel. Things like that.

And if this is to be taken to be the meaning that Norman Brown meant to convey, well then one must surmise that ownership is a right of children of Annunaki. Or maybe that these good folks have an onus to maintain the nouns of the earth. Something like that.

But I don't think he was talking about esoteric understanding of the story of Cain and Abel. I think he is talking about the undergraduate view of the story, namely that Cain slew Abel, bla bla bla... And in this view, it seems well to explain how we, as contemporary Westerners treat property. We will kill our brother for it and over it.

We at Anonymoses think this is a misprioritization. God's Children should always take precedence over Man's Things.

That said, I still don't know what to tell Woody...