Asians show no sign of a collective death-wish. They are generally proud of their ethnicity and nationality. This, I will argue, has much to do with their general attitude toward their ancestors. Ancestor worship is an essential part of Asian traditions, and although it has receded in big cities, it is still widely practiced. Anthropologists prefer to speak of “ancestor veneration”; the dead are not deified, but shown respect and gratitude, and expected to guide and protect the living—or to rebuke them when they do bad. Honoring the ancestors is considered not just a religious custom, but a moral duty, because it is an extension of filial piety, which is viewed unanimously in the Orient as the foundation of morality: your filial piety means you inherit your parents’ filial piety, etc.
In China, despite decades of communist indoctrination, ancestor veneration is still very common. It finds support in Confucianism, which emphasizes filial piety and respect for ancestors (although Confucius had little to say about the existence of spirits). People participate in ritual offerings to the dead regardless of their other religious affiliation. Catholics remain reluctant, despite the fact that in 1939, the Church retracted its official ban pronounced in 1707, pretending that ancestor veneration was not religious after all and therefore tolerated.
Ancestor veneration is “one of the elements that make up the cultural identity of Vietnam.” No matter if they identify as Buddhists, Christians, or anything else, almost every Vietnamese family, rich or poor, has an ancestor altar in the house. Everywhere in the Orient, but in Vietnam more than anywhere else, love of ancestors and love of nation are organically linked, because ancestors are those who built the nation and protected its territorial integrity throughout the centuries.
“Ritual services for ancestors have a long and rich history in Korea, and they are still an important part of traditional village life.” These rituals, sometimes referred to as Jesa, are practiced throughout the year, for ancestors up to the fifth generation. Some Catholics join in ancestral rites, but Evangelical Protestants do not. Many Koreans occasionally get involve in shamanism, which mostly deals with conflicts between the living and the dead (good ones and bad ones). Even in North Korea, according to recent estimates, 16 percent of the total population believes in shamanism.
In Japan, despite the post-WWII criminalization of national traditions, most people maintain a degree of veneration towards their dead, even if they claim to have no religion. Nobushige Hozumi, who wrote for Westerners a book titled Ancestor-Worship and Japanese Law in 1901, dispels the Western prejudice that ancestors are worshipped out of fear. Love, not fear, is the anthropological foundation of ancestor worship. It is simply a continuation of family bonds.
Up until the end of the 19th century, there were three levels of ancestor worship in Japan, Hozumi explains: family, clan and nation. Each family honors their own ancestors, those who are remembered directly or indirectly, over three, four generations or sometimes more. The dead are honored individually on the birthdays of their death, but also collectively on certain festival dates, which are occasions for family reunions. Buddhist monks or Shinto priests may intervene in some rites, depending on the family.
Traditionally, “Each clan has a clan-god or ‘Uji-gami’ who is the eponym of that particular community.” Because each clan occupied a certain territory, clan ancestors tended to merge with tutelary deities. The main shrine of the clan was also the shrine of the patron deity of the land. The worship of clan ancestors was the most important until the 19th century, because the original unit of Japanese society was not the family but the clan, each clan being legally represented by its chief. “The worship of common ancestors, and the ceremonies connected therewith, maintained the semblance of a common descent amongst large numbers of widely scattered kinsmen who were so far removed from one another that they would, without this link, have fallen away from family intercourse.”
At the national level there was the cult of the imperial lineage. It was not a cult of the emperor, but rather the participation of the nation in the emperor’s own ancestor cult, on the mythic assumption that the imperial ancestors are the ancestors of the whole nation. This national cult was also associated to a form of monotheism, since Amaterasu O-Mikami, “the Great Goddess of the Supreme Light” was considered the primordial ancestor, the mother of the first emperor. She is represented by the sun that once radiated on the Japanese flag.
I have no special expertise in Asian anthropology, but I think there is no debate over the fact that ancestor veneration is a tradition that has persisted to this day throughout the Orient, despite the assault of modernity and the cultural influence of Western individualism. Having known a Japanese family intimately for twenty-five years, I have had the opportunity to observe that even Westernized urban Japanese maintain a much stronger sense of loyalty and indebtedness toward their parents and ancestors than the average European. It seems to me to be part of their mental make-up. Whether this affects the ethical standards they generally live up to within their family, their community and their nation is something that hardly needs to be demonstrated.
Are we, Europeans, fundamentally different? Is our brain, for some evolutionary reason, hardwired differently and simply unable to function on this holistic, transgenerational mode? History clearly informs us that it is not so.
A great book of historical anthropology on the Aryans—Indo-Europeans, if you prefer—is The Aryan Household, its Structure and its Development by William Hearn (1879). “In the archaic world,” he writes, “society implied religious union. . . . Community of worship was, indeed, the one mode by which, in early times, men were brought together and were kept together. . . . The common meal prepared upon the altar was the outward visible sign of the spiritual communion between the divinity and his worshippers.”William Hearn, The Aryan Household, its Structure and its Development, 1879, pp. 26-29. The most fundamental religious association for Aryans has always been the family, encompassing the living and the dead. The cult of the dead structured society from the family level up. It has long persisted after the Christianization. Triin Laidoner writes in Ancestor Worship and the Elite in Late Iron Age Scandinavia:
The fact that 13th- and 14th-century laws often mention the sacrifices and offerings to gravemounds and that ancestors were clearly the backbone of social order and economic and legal norms shows that the traditions relative to ancestors were so deeply established in early Scandinavia that they survived long after the conversion to Christianity, and even into the modern era.Triin Laidoner, Ancestor Worship and the Elite in Late Iron Age Scandinavia: A Grave Matter, Routledge, 2020.
Ancestor worship was not only a domestic religion, because it extended into the public cults of great men, those whom the Greeks called heroes. Lewis Richard Farnell defined the hero as “a person whose virtue, influence, or personality was so powerful in his lifetime or through the peculiar circumstances of his death that his spirit after death is regarded as of supernatural power, claiming to be reverenced and propitiated.”Lewis Richard Farnell, Greek Hero Cults and Ideas of Immortality (1921) Adamant Media Co., 2005, p. 343. Another important classic work on the subject is Erwin Rohde, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and the Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 1925. There was no clear separation between the domestic dead and heroes worshipped on a more public level.Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, Columbia UP, 1940. Nilsson shows that heroes were the subjects of ghost stories, like other dead. More recently, Carla Antonaccio, in An Archaeology of Ancestors: Tomb Cult and Hero Cult in Early Greece (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), has shown that around the time the Gospels were written, Greece was “saturated with heroes” (p. 1).
In fact, there was no frontier between the realm of the gods and the realm of the dead. According to the great Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), the Northern god Freyr was originally a Swedish king worshipped after his death because of the benefits he continued to bestow on his people. When Freyr died, he was placed in his burial mound but it was claimed that he was still alive, so the Swedes took care of him by bringing him offerings. Because the harvests were good for three years following his death, the Swedes made him the god of the world and worshiped him for good harvests and peace (Sturluson, History of the Kings of Norway, I, 10). The nineteenth-century school of Comparative mythology used to interpret such stories as cases of men inventing a human origin for their gods (a process they called euhemerism, although it is the exact opposite of what Euhemerus suggested in the 4th century BC). But historical anthropology now embraces the former theory that sees the turning of the “great dead” into gods as a general tendency among all peoples.
There is even a wide spectrum of arguments in favor of the sweeping theory that culture evolved from funeral rites.Jan Assmann, Mort et Au-delà dans l’Égypte ancienne, Rocher, 2003. It is for their dead that men built their first stone dwellings.Pierre Deffontaines, Géographie et religions, Gallimard, 1948. It was to immortalize their dead that they shaped their first images,Hans Belting, Pour une anthropologie des images, Gallimard, 2004. told their first epic stories and their myths of the other world,Frands Herschend, “Material Metaphors – some Late Iron Age and Viking Examples,” in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society, University Press of Southern Denmark, 2003, pp. 40-65. or played their first drama.Death masks were used to make the dead speak, as was still reported about Caesar’s funerals by Appian of Alexandria (2.146-147).
The theory that ancestor veneration is the primary root of religion had been defended by Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges in his masterful work The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome, published in 1864: “This religion of the dead appears to be the oldest that has existed among this race of men. Before men had any notion of Indra or of Zeus, they adored the dead.” Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the family was the primary religious institution:
Generation established a mysterious bond between the infant, who was born to life, and all the gods of the family. Indeed, these gods were his family — they were of his blood. The child, therefore, received at his birth the right to adore them, and to offer them sacrifices; and later, when death should have deified him, he also would be counted, in his turn, among these gods of the family. But we must notice this peculiarity — that the domestic religion was transmitted only from male to male. . . .
Outside the house, near at hand, in a neighboring field, there is a tomb — the second home of this family. There several generations of ancestors repose together; death has not separated them. They remain grouped in this second existence, and continue to form an indissoluble family. Between the living part and the dead part of the family there is only this distance of a few steps which separates the house from the tomb. On certain days, which are determined for each one by his domestic religion, the living assemble near their ancestors; they offer them the funeral meal, pour out milk and wine to them, lay out cakes and fruits, or burn the flesh of a victim to them. In exchange for these offerings they ask protection; they call these ancestors their gods, and ask them to render the fields fertile, the house prosperous, and their hearts virtuous.
There is an obvious connection between taking care of one’s ancestors and the hope for a happy afterlife, because everyone expects to be welcomed by his ancestors when leaving this world. This was represented in Roman funeral processions, where it was customary to carry the image of the newly deceased; from the family mausoleum the images of the dead family members came to meet him halfway, to welcome him, and to accompany him to the family grave.
Because every man expected his male descendants to assure to his manes peace and happiness, “every family must perpetuate itself forever. It was necessary to the dead that the descendants should not die out. . . . Every one, therefore, had an interest in leaving a son after him, convinced that his immortal happiness depended upon it. It was even a duty towards those ancestors whose happiness could last no longer than the family lasted.” Another consequence was the abhorrence of adultery. “For the first rule of the worship was that the sacred fire should be transmitted from father to son, and adultery disturbed the order of birth. . . . the son born of adultery was a stranger. If he was buried in the tomb, all the principles of the religion were violated, the worship defiled, the sacred fire became impure; every offering at the tomb became an act of impiety . . . and there was no more divine happiness for the ancestors.”
On the other hand, because “the ancient family was a religious rather than a natural association,” it was possible to be integrated into the family by religious ritual. That is why “the wife was counted in the family only after the sacred ceremony of marriage had initiated her into the worship.” Likewise, “an adopted son was counted a real son, because, though he had not the ties of blood, he had something better — a community of worship.” Even the slave became part of the family through a ceremony that “bore a certain analogy to those of marriage and adoption. It doubtless signified that the newcomer, a stranger the day before, should henceforth be a member of the family, and share in its religion. . . . This is why the slave was buried in the burial-place of the family.”
In conclusion, ancestor worship was central in Greek, Roman, as well as German and Celtic traditions. Why then is the cult of the dead so foreign to us, their posterity? Why does our sacralization of the individual seem like an inverted image of the holistic blood values of our distant ancestors? Having established that Indo-Europeans once were ancestor-worshippers just like Asians, we need to understand why and how, unlike Asians, we thoroughly abandoned what once constituted the substance of our social fabric. What happened?
Redbad (or Radbod) was the king of Frisia from around 680 until his death in 719. He is considered the last independent ruler of Frisia before Frankish domination. According to a legend first recorded in the Life of the Frankish missionary Wulfram, Redbad had been persuaded to accept baptism and had already put one foot in the baptismal font, when he had second thoughts and asked Wulfram: “Will I join my ancestors in the hereafter?” Wulfram bluntly told him that this was out of the question, since his ancestors, having not been baptized, were all in Hell, while Redbad would join the ranks of the blessed in Heaven. Redbad then retracted his foot and declared that he would rather be with his ancestors in Hell than spend eternity in Heaven with a pack of saintly beggars. Soon after Redbad’s death, however, the Frisians were beaten and baptized, and no more was heard of their national independence.
This story illustrates the cultural shock that Christianity meant to our heathen ancestors. The problem was not the introduction of a new cult, especially since the ritual sharing of bread and wine in honor a deified hero was not particularly exotic. It would have been fine if missionaries had stuck to Jesus’s principle that “in my Father’s house are many rooms,” one of them being specially prepared by Jesus for those who love him (John 14:2-4). But a redactor made Jesus contradict himself by adding, “No one can come to the Father except through me” (14:6), and Christianity abided by that rule. It is the cult of a jealous god, the very same “theoclastic” divinity that spoke in the Torah.The expression is from Jan Assmann, Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008. Conversion to Christianity meant the destruction of all other cults, and in particular the severing of the bond that united Indo-Europeans to their ancestors.
The shock had come to the Romans in the early 390s, when Phoenician-born Theodosius,Theodosius was born and raised in Hispania Carthaginensis, where his father (who died in Carthage) was a powerful landlord. Iberian Phoenicians are the likely ancestors of Sephardi Jews. having taken control of the West after his mysterious ascension in the East, issued a comprehensive law prohibiting all non-Christian cults — except those of Jews. Imperial palace officers and magistrates were forbidden to honor their Lares with fire, their Genius with wine, or their Penates with incense. It is hard to imagine a more aggressive policy against the organic life of the Gentiles, and it is hard to understand how the Roman elite submitted to it, before imposing it on the people. Roman society must have been very corrupted and very degenerate to have succumbed to this crypto-Jewish coup — kind of like the French today submitting to forced Trinitarian vaccine baptism (the three Pfizer doses).
Of course, ordinary people long continued to pray to their ancestors at home: they were referred to as pagani, that is, “country folks”, peasants.
But the assault continued. In particular, “Christianity made a very clear break from the beliefs and customs that had prevailed in ancient society concerning the deceased,” explains medievalist Michel Lauwers. Augustine, another Carthaginian, composed around 422 a treatise “on caring for the dead” to affirm that traditional funeral rites are useless, and that even the place and the manner in which the dead were buried were irrelevant: “The faithful lose nothing by being deprived of burial, just like the unbelievers gain nothing by receiving it.” In another treatise, the Enchiridion, he regretted that Christians persisted in worshipping their dead, sometimes with ostentatious banquets, but conceded that Christian funerals are a “consolation” for the living.Michel Lauwers, La Mémoire des ancêtres. Le souci des morts. Morts, rites et société au Moyen Âge (Diocèse de Liège, XIe-XIIIe siècles), Beauchesne, 1997, p. 79.
And so, rather than trying to eradicate ancestor worship, the Church strove to establish its own monopoly as sole mediator for people’s offerings to their dead: Christians were told they could contribute to the salvation of the deceased by paying for masses, or giving alms that the Church would pass on to the needy. The idea that the living could help alleviate the sufferings of the ordinary dead gave birth to the doctrine of Purgatory and to a major source of income for the Church.Dominique Iogna-Prat, Ordonner et exclure. Cluny et la société chrétienne face à l’hérésie, au judaïsme et à l’islam, 1000-1150, Aubier, 1998.
Although the living could, through the exclusive intercession of the Church, help their suffering dead, the reverse was not true. Only the saints, the “very special dead” that had been officially admitted into Heaven, could bestow blessings upon the living — but not upon their descendants, since, being chaste, they had none.Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity, University of Chicago Press, 1981. The ordinary dead, consumed by pain, could do nothing for their mortal kinsmen, and whatever signs someone might receive from them were in reality tricks of the devil. All rites, stories, or beliefs that were not part of the clerical textbook were outlawed and slowly retreated into the folklore of fairy creatures, in ways that I have documented in my book La Mort féerique (based on my doctoral thesis in medieval anthropology).Laurent Guyénot, La Mort féerique. Anthropologie du merveilleux (XIIe – XVe siècle), Gallimard, 2011. By eroding considerably the ties of solidarity between the dead and the living, Catholicism gradually transformed “solidary death” into “solitary death”, in the words of Philippe Ariès.Philippe Ariès, L’Homme devant la mort, tome 1: Le Temps des gisants, Seuil, 1977.
Moreover, the doctrine of original sin, a cornerstone of Christianity laid down by Paul, implies that our biological genealogy is infected, and that we need to be cleansed from it by being born again “by the blood of Christ”, through baptism (Ephesians 2:11-13). In this way, our ancestors were declared our enemies, from whom Jesus saved us. Jesus’s own emphasis on personal salvation actually comes with a strong hostility to blood ties: “Anyone who comes to me without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).This is a radicalization of Matthew 10:37: “No one who prefers son or daughter to me is worthy of me.”
Applying this command to the letter, the saints or Christian hagiography severed their family ties and renounced all worldly responsibility and possessions. One of the best-known works of literature throughout the Middle Ages was the Life of Saint Anthony, the father of monasticism. Anthony was born of wealthy parents. After hearing during mass Matthew 19:21 (“If you would be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor; and come follow Me and you shall have treasure in heaven”), he “went out immediately from the church, and gave the possessions of his forefathers to the villagers,” sold the rest and gave the money to the poor, and committed his sister to a convent. Then he went into the desert and lived alone for the rest of his life.
Of course, holy men living solitary ascetic lives exist in non-Christian countries, India being a good example. But Louis Dumont, an Indianist, has shown that Christianity differs from Indian traditions in a fundamental way. Indians admit and approve that some individuals forsake their social existence to seek enlightenment, as long as these individuals do not challenge the social order and its holistic dynamic, but remain the exceptions that confirm the rule. Christianity, according to Dumont, has upset that civilizational balance by declaring that sainthood is the only perfect life, the only straight road to Heaven, and that salvation from this world is every Christian’s calling. Because it views salvation as an individual quest, the purification from personal sins, Christianity laid the foundation for modern Western individualism.Louis Dumont, Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective, University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 23-59.
Saints who died passively for their creed replaced heroes who died while fighting for their communities. The debilitating power of Christianity didn’t escape Pagan Romans who, after the sack of Rome by Alaric’s Visigoths in 410, blamed Christians for having brought a curse on Rome by prohibiting the old cult of the Penate gods. Augustine wrote The City of God as a response to this accusation. His first point is that the misery suffered by the Romans was a blessing that brought them closer to God. As for the virgins who were raped, their soul was not contaminated, unless they experienced some pleasure, so no harm was done to them (Book I, chapter 10). Edward Gibbon has echoed the opinion of Pagan Romans that Christians, with their eyes focused on the City of God, caused the fall of the Roman Empire:
This indolent, or even criminal, disregard for the public welfare, exposed them to the contempt and reproaches of the Pagans who very frequently asked, what must be the fate of the empire, attacked on every side by the barbarians, if all mankind should adopt the pusillanimous sentiments of the new sect. To this insulting question the Christian apologists returned obscure and ambiguous answers, as they were unwilling to reveal the secret cause of their security; the expectation that, before the conversion of mankind was accomplished, war, government, the Roman empire, and the world itself, would be no more.Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I, chapter XV, part 5, on ccel.org.
It may be that the story of Redbad is today irrelevant, since Christianity is now the religion of our European ancestors up to twenty generations or more. It is true that the Catholic Church had embodied European identity for more than a millennium, and in 1920, Hilaire Belloc could still proclaim “The Church is Europe: and Europe is the Church” (Europe and the Faith, 1920). But the Catholicism of my grandparents had little in common with today’s Catholicism. The former differed from the latter as a living body of flesh and blood differs from a skeleton.
The flesh was, actually, largely pagan.Bernadette Filotas, Pagan Survivals: Superstitions and Popular Cultures in Early Medieval Pastoral Literature, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2005. Indeed, the thesis that Christian exclusivism destroyed European cultic traditions must be tempered by an antithesis: this very exclusivism was, in practice, an inclusivism to some extent. The Church embraced the traditions that it could not smother. Thus James Russel writes about The Germanization of Early Medieval ChristianityJames C. Russel, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: a Sociohistoric Approach to Religious Transformation, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. vi., and we can also speak of “Celticization” in Ireland and Brittany. The cult of the Virgin Mother is a Christian appropriation of more ancient cults. It seems that ancestor worship was not very much affected by the Christianization before the Gregorian Reform: mortuary archaeology in Gaul shows that, from the fifth to the eighth century, the dead were buried with clothing, jewelry, animal remains, ceramics, coins, and weaponry.Bonnie Effros, Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages, University of California Press, 2003.
This paganism in disguise, which was arguably the best part of Catholicism, survived until the 1950s, when 80 percent of the population of France still lived in village communities. The Council of Vatican II declared war against Catholic paganism, as the Reformation had done earlier. From then started the collapse of religious practice, and with it the dissolution of the village parish. Of course, Vatican II was not the only factor; tractors rendered mutual help less essential, and pesticides proved more efficient than holy water. But it was Vatican II that deprived the country folks of spiritual defenses against the ravages of modernity.
A new generation of enlightened priests, from petty-bourgeois background, targeted rural popular customs as “vestiges of paganism”. No more agrarian rites of blessing seeds and harvests! Catholicism ceased to be “the religion of the saints,” celebrated in prayers, pilgrimages and festivals. Many statues were removed from the apses where they nested. Saints, to be sure, were a pale imitation of pagan heroes, but the cult of their relics differed little and fulfilled the same purpose.Notwithstanding what Peter Brown claimed in The Cult of the Saints, many local saints in Europe were pre-Christian heroes or deities with a new biography.
The miraculous was frowned upon. Mary, the favored recipient of popular prayers, whose worship was so rooted that Notre-Dame of Here was never confused with Notre-Dame of Elsewhere, was downplayed, and Marian piety suspected of impurity. “Let the faithful remember,” imparted Paul VI in November 1964, “that true devotion does not consist in a sterile and ephemeral movement of sentimentality, any more than in vain credulity.” For century, the icon of the Mother of God had been the hypostasized figure of maternity, and natalist policies had always been able to count on Mary as a sure ally. The birth rate dropped together with church attendance after Vatican II (again, not the only factor).
Religious sentiment was rationalized. The festive popular Catholicism of old had little dogmatic content. But now that the mysterious haze of Latin was dissipated, people who had been educated in secular schools were required to declare every Sunday that they literally believed that Jesus was born of a virgin and resurrected after death. The recitation of the creed in vernacular was, I think, one of the worst blows to Catholicism: men of honor do not like to be asked to lie, especially before God.This section on Vatican II draws from Patrick Buisson, La Fin d’un monde Albin Michel, 2001. Buisson writes, p. 228: “the choice of the Church in favor of an implacable fight against superstitions ultimately fostered dechristianization by disembodying religious life, by depriving it of that which made it an expression of the sensible and the sentimental — a persistence of archaic mental structures.”
It is illogical, however, to see Vatican II as a betrayal of Christianity. The clerics who led the Council were the worthy heirs of the Church fathers, those urban intellectuals infatuated with the latest Jewish craze and intent to destroy, biblical style, all the false gods of the Gentiles. Vatican II was simply the last assault against European religious traditions. The Church cleaned up whatever it had so far maintained of the “veneration of the dead”, which was not much but better than nothing.
Now that Europeans are no more thankful to their dead, filial piety itself is outdated — even ridiculed —, marital unions are none of parents’ business, procreation is “my body my choice”, and the elders, having nothing to expect beyond the grave, no longer want to die, preferring to prolong their loneliness with a periodic injection of young blood. Children have only Mother’s Day to ritually express filial piety. Adding insult to injury, Halloween, that satanic mockery of the ancient Celtic festival of the dead, is now desecrating even our Catholic Day of the Dead.
Our syngenic instinct, and indeed our whole anthropological substance, has been eroded by two thousand years of Christian “salvation”, with its deadly cocktail of individualism and universalism. Only people whose mind has been indoctrinated by Christianity for many generations can be made as vulnerable as we are to the accusation of racism, to the point of welcoming hostile invaders in the name of universalistic moral principles, and not daring to denounce them when they rape our children. We must forgive.
If, as our distant ancestors believed and as Asians still believe, the ritual remembrance of past generations is the key to building families, communities and nations with a soul, then it is highly significant that we, Western Europeans, have now the weakest ancestral bond in the world, while our deadly enemies have an incomparably strong one, reaching back to a hundred generations.
In Judaism as opposed to Christianity, the exclusiveness of the cult means racial purity. As Kevin MacDonald notes, “Worshiping other gods is like having sexual relations with an alien — a point of view that makes excellent sense on the assumption that the Israelite god represents the racially pure Israelite gene pool.”Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, Praeger, 1994, kindle 2013, e. 2557-58. Even for non-religious committed Jews, there is no higher command than endogamy. Intermarriage is, “from a biological point of view, an act of suicide,” wrote Benzion Netanyahu, father of the Israeli prime minister.Benzion Netanyahu, The Founding Fathers of Zionism (1938), Balfour Books, 2012, kindle ed, e. 2203–7. Martin Buber wrote that Jews make blood “the deepest, most potent stratum of [their] being.” The Jew perceives “what confluence of blood has produced him. . . . He senses in this immortality of the generations a community of blood.”Quoted by Brendon Sanderson in his review of Geoffrey Cantor and Mark Swetlitz’s Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism, in The Occidental Observer.
Paradoxically, ancestor worship in the strict sense has always been banned in Judaism. The prohibition goes back to the Bible.Deuteronomy forbids the activity of “soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, weaver of spells, consulter of ghosts or mediums, or necromancer. For anyone who does these things is detestable to Yahweh your God” (18:11-12). Leviticus confirms: “Do not have recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians; they will defile you. I, Yahweh, am your God” (19:31). Whoever breaks this rule must be put to death (20:6-7 and 27). Isaiah condemns those who consult “ghosts and wizards that whisper and mutter” or “the dead on behalf of the living” (8:19). Yahweh chastises his people for “constantly provoking me to my face by sacrificing in gardens, burning incense on bricks, living in tombs, spending the night in dark corners” (65:3-4). Read Susan Niditch, Ancient Israelite Religion, Oxford University Press, 1997. It is consistent with the denial of individual immortality in biblical anthropology. That denial, well-known to scholars, prompted Schopenhauer to write: “The real religion of the Jews, as presented and taught in Genesis and all the historical books up to the end of Chronicles, is the crudest of all religions because it is the only one that has absolutely no doctrine of immortality, not even a trace thereof.”Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851), Oxford UP, 1974, vol. 1, pp. 125-126. He repeated, in vol. 2, p. 301: “And so in this respect, we see the religion of the Jews occupy the lowest place among the dogmas of the civilized world, which is wholly in keeping with the fact that it is also the only religion that has absolutely no doctrine of immortality, nor has it even any trace thereof.” But from another viewpoint, the denial of individual immortality is advantageously compensated by the belief in national immortality. “The Jews that have a deeper understanding of Judaism,” wrote Harry Waton, “know that the only immortality there is for the Jew is the immortality in the Jewish people. Each Jew continues to live in the Jewish people, and he will continue to live so long as the Jewish people will live.”Harry Waton, A Program for the Jews and an Answer to All Anti-Semites: A Program for Humanity, 1939 (archive.org), p. 133. Thus Moses Hess protested against the attempt of Reformed Judaism to mimic the Christian concept of the individual soul: “Nothing is more foreign to the spirit of Judaism than the idea of the salvation of the individual.” For Hess and many Zionists after him, the essence of Judaism, and the source of the strength of the Jewish people, is the belief in the destiny of Israel as a collective being with one life and one soul. As I wrote in “Israel as One Man”:
An individual has only a few decades to accomplish his destiny, while a nation has centuries, even millennia. Jeremiah can reassure the exiles of Babylon that in seven generations they will return to Jerusalem (“Letter of Jeremiah,” in Baruch 6:2). Seven generations in the history of a people is not unlike seven years in the life of a man. While the Goy awaits his hour on the scale of a century, the chosen people see much further. The national orientation of the Jewish soul injects into any collective project a spiritual force and endurance with which no other national community can compete.
This applies to the Jewish project of destroying Esau, aka Rome or the White race. Whoever wants to destroy a race has only to destroy filial piety in one generation, and that generation will finish the job from inside. This was achieved by in the 60s, but it had begun by reeducating German children to hate their parents and grandparents for supporting Adolf Hitler. As I argued in “Will the denazification ever end?”, breaking that curse is a major battle. Germans can take example on Monika Schaefer.
Our Jewish lords, who have always believed that “All is race — there is no other truth,”Sidonia, Disraeli’s alter ego, in Coningsby (1844). are now brainwashing us with the dogma that race doesn’t exist; and the Catholic Church, or course, agrees. We are utterly disarmed against Jewish Power, but also against the invasive thrust of highly clannish Arabs and Africans. Unlike Christianity, Islam has never waged war on ethnic and clannish solidarities, and the example of Muhammad is significant in that regard. In the 14th-century, the historian Ibn Khaldoun made a vivid portrait of Arab blood culture, which “makes the troops composed of Arabs (of the desert) so strong and so formidable; each fighter has only one thought, that of protecting his tribe and his family. . . . The harm done to one of our parents, the outrages they suffer, seem to us to be so many attacks on ourselves.” For Arabs, Ibn Khaldoun insists, leadership always belongs to a clan, never to an individual:
A family which made itself respected and feared by its unity and its esprit de corps, and which is made up of individuals belonging to a race whose blood is pure and whose reputation is intact, places itself by this brotherhood of feelings, in a very advantageous position and achieved great success. If, along with this, this family counts several illustrious figures among its ancestors, its wields even more influence.Ibn Khaldoun, Les Prolégomènes, traduits en français et commentés par William MacGuckin, 1863, part I, pp. 281-283, read on http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/Ibn_Khaldoun/I...n.html
I am not saying that being a Christian today is damaging to your sense of kinship. It is not, obviously, for Christianity has long become a stronghold of conservatism. But there is nothing in the Christian faith that is inherently favorable to racial solidarity — or to gender differences, for that matter. The Christian God, who knows only individuals — unlike the Jewish God, who knows only tribes and nations —, will be of little help in the struggles to come.
On the other hand, Darwin will not save us either. Darwinian “race realists” are gravely mistaken if they think that their theory can instill in the masses the love of their race — or any kind of meaning to their life. I have explained in “Blood and Soul: An essay in Metagenetics” why I regard Darwinism not only as outdated science, but as a cultural disaster. Being a consistent Darwinian means believing that humans are purely material beings, random assemblages of self-replicating molecules, evolved from the single-cell bacteria by an indefinite series of chemical accidents. Besides, another indisputable “truth” of Darwinism, and its main message to the masses, is that our ancestors were African apes. How then can the Darwinian paradigm help us rebuild a vertical relationship with our ancestors? Ancestor veneration means talking to your ancestors to express gratitude and ask for protection and guidance, but a Darwinian has filled his mind with the absolute certainty that his dead ancestors have no existence. Just like Christianity cannot be a solution to the problem it has created, Darwinism cannot be a solution to the materialistic and individualistic mentality that it greatly contributes to amplify. I can only here repeat Nietzsche’s prophecy that, if Darwin’s ideas were “thrust on the people in the usual mad way for another generation, no one need be surprised if that people drown on its little miserable shoals of egoism, and petrify in its self-seeking.” Note that Nietzsche did not condemn the theory of evolution, only its Darwinian reduction to random mutations. He was more or less a vitalist, like Schopenhauer who denounced the stupidity of reducing “organic Nature . . . to a mere chance play of chemical forces.”The full quotes are in my article “Blood and Soul: An essay in Metagenetics.”
In conclusion, I hope to have shown that a very basic historical and anthropological overview is sufficient to reach the objective conclusions that, first, ancestor veneration has been, and still is in Asia, a vital spiritual foundation for organic societies, and second, that the destruction of the Romano-German ancestor religion by Christianity now leaves the White race totally defenseless in the anthropological war waged against it.
I am not suggesting that if enough families invited their ancestors for lunch, they could save our civilization. The Ghost Dance didn’t save the Sioux in 1890Interestingly, anthropologist Weston La Barre used the Ghost Dance as the symbol for the theory that relationship with the dead ancestors is the foundation of traditional societies (The Ghost Dance: The Origins of Religion, 1970).. And in 1854, chief Seattle of the ancestor-worshipping Suquamishs had to surrender, saying:
A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. . . . And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe . . . The White Man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.
But I do picture the Western world to come as a social and moral chaos where survival, sanity, and happiness will depend on the ability to build healthy and strong clans, which supposes a religious foundation upholding the sacredness of blood and kinship, and loyalty to ancestors — with or without Christianity.
In case you wonder if I myself practice ancestor veneration, the answer is: yes, somehow. I’d like to share with you how seeing myself — and my parents — as members of a community of struggling souls, has given my life an added dimension. But that is too personal a story. I can only recommend the experiment.
 William Hearn, The Aryan Household, its Structure and its Development, 1879, pp. 26-29.
 Triin Laidoner, Ancestor Worship and the Elite in Late Iron Age Scandinavia: A Grave Matter, Routledge, 2020.
 Lewis Richard Farnell, Greek Hero Cults and Ideas of Immortality (1921) Adamant Media Co., 2005, p. 343. Another important classic work on the subject is Erwin Rohde, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and the Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 1925.
 Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, Columbia UP, 1940. Nilsson shows that heroes were the subjects of ghost stories, like other dead. More recently, Carla Antonaccio, in An Archaeology of Ancestors: Tomb Cult and Hero Cult in Early Greece (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), has shown that around the time the Gospels were written, Greece was “saturated with heroes” (p. 1).
 Jan Assmann, Mort et Au-delà dans l’Égypte ancienne, Rocher, 2003.
 Pierre Deffontaines, Géographie et religions, Gallimard, 1948.
 Hans Belting, Pour une anthropologie des images, Gallimard, 2004.
 Frands Herschend, “Material Metaphors – some Late Iron Age and Viking Examples,” in Margaret Clunies Ross, ed., Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society, University Press of Southern Denmark, 2003, pp. 40-65.
 The expression is from Jan Assmann, Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.
 Theodosius was born and raised in Hispania Carthaginensis, where his father (who died in Carthage) was a powerful landlord. Iberian Phoenicians are the likely ancestors of Sephardi Jews.
 Michel Lauwers, La Mémoire des ancêtres. Le souci des morts. Morts, rites et société au Moyen Âge (Diocèse de Liège, XIe-XIIIe siècles), Beauchesne, 1997, p. 79.
 Dominique Iogna-Prat, Ordonner et exclure. Cluny et la société chrétienne face à l’hérésie, au judaïsme et à l’islam, 1000-1150, Aubier, 1998.
 Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity, University of Chicago Press, 1981.
 Laurent Guyénot, La Mort féerique. Anthropologie du merveilleux (XIIe – XVe siècle), Gallimard, 2011.
 Philippe Ariès, L’Homme devant la mort, tome 1: Le Temps des gisants, Seuil, 1977.
 This is a radicalization of Matthew 10:37: “No one who prefers son or daughter to me is worthy of me.”
 Louis Dumont, Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective, University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 23-59.
 Bernadette Filotas, Pagan Survivals: Superstitions and Popular Cultures in Early Medieval Pastoral Literature, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2005.
 James C. Russel, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: a Sociohistoric Approach to Religious Transformation, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. vi.
 Bonnie Effros, Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages, University of California Press, 2003.
 Notwithstanding what Peter Brown claimed in The Cult of the Saints, many local saints in Europe were pre-Christian heroes or deities with a new biography.
 This section on Vatican II draws from Patrick Buisson, La Fin d’un monde Albin Michel, 2001. Buisson writes, p. 228: “the choice of the Church in favor of an implacable fight against superstitions ultimately fostered dechristianization by disembodying religious life, by depriving it of that which made it an expression of the sensible and the sentimental — a persistence of archaic mental structures.”
 Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, Praeger, 1994, kindle 2013, e. 2557-58.
 Benzion Netanyahu, The Founding Fathers of Zionism (1938), Balfour Books, 2012, kindle ed, e. 2203–7.
 Deuteronomy forbids the activity of “soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, weaver of spells, consulter of ghosts or mediums, or necromancer. For anyone who does these things is detestable to Yahweh your God” (18:11-12). Leviticus confirms: “Do not have recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians; they will defile you. I, Yahweh, am your God” (19:31). Whoever breaks this rule must be put to death (20:6-7 and 27). Isaiah condemns those who consult “ghosts and wizards that whisper and mutter” or “the dead on behalf of the living” (8:19). Yahweh chastises his people for “constantly provoking me to my face by sacrificing in gardens, burning incense on bricks, living in tombs, spending the night in dark corners” (65:3-4). Read Susan Niditch, Ancient Israelite Religion, Oxford University Press, 1997.
 Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851), Oxford UP, 1974, vol. 1, pp. 125-126. He repeated, in vol. 2, p. 301: “And so in this respect, we see the religion of the Jews occupy the lowest place among the dogmas of the civilized world, which is wholly in keeping with the fact that it is also the only religion that has absolutely no doctrine of immortality, nor has it even any trace thereof.”
 Harry Waton, A Program for the Jews and an Answer to All Anti-Semites: A Program for Humanity, 1939 (archive.org), p. 133.
 Sidonia, Disraeli’s alter ego, in Coningsby (1844).
 Ibn Khaldoun, Les Prolégomènes, traduits en français et commentés par William MacGuckin, 1863, part I, pp. 281-283, read on http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/Ibn_Khaldoun/Ibn_Khaldoun.html
 Interestingly, anthropologist Weston La Barre used the Ghost Dance as the symbol for the theory that relationship with the dead ancestors is the foundation of traditional societies (The Ghost Dance: The Origins of Religion, 1970).