The Celtics and the Gaul had a god named Ogmios. He is given the credit for creating the Celtic Ogham alphabet. His strongest divine power was his persuasion. It was said that the telling of one short tale and you would be bound to him as a loyal hero warrior for the rest of your life.You’ll notice that the image depicts chains attached from his tongue to his follower’s ears. Metaphorical art of course, but those metaphorical links were stronger than any steel or blood. Ogmios, many anthropologists suggest, was a precursor to Hercules, the father of the Spartans.
Thousands of years before Ogmios there was another god in Sumeria, one of the old ones, named Enlil. He was on of the big three of that time. Enlil (“lord of the wind”) was the storm god and the god of earth and air. He was one of a trio of major gods that included Anu and Ea, the gods of heaven and water. Enlil created language, and written language, and then the nam-sub.
The nam-sub was a magical language, which projected the story written in its form out into the reality of the world. To hear the story, was to experience the story. Nam-sub was used to create Me, which were tablets that had an amazing amount of potential energy. Potential energy that apparently no one except another god named Enki realized.
The Sumerian story about the Me, and the nam-sub was written down and goes something like this:
Once upon a time, there was no snake,
there was no scorpion,
There was no hyena,
there was no lion,
There was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Man had no rival.
In those days, the land Shubur-Hamazi,
the great land of the me of princeship,
Uri, the land having all that is appropriate,
The land Martu, resting in security,
The whole universe, the people well cared for,
To Enlil in one tongue gave speech.
Then the lord defiant,
the prince defiant,
the king defiant,
Enki, the lord of abundance,
whose commands are trustworthy,
The lord of wisdom, who scans the land,
The leader of the gods,
The lord of Eridu, endowed with wisdom,
Changed the speech in their mouths,
put contention into it,
Into the speech of man that had been one.
Other than that sounding remarkably similar to the Tower of Babel story, it really has very little in common with the Hebrew tale. Enlil gave to the people one language, and everyone thought that was grand because we could understand each other… really understand what the other was telling us. We could feel what they felt, see what they saw. Then Enki came along and took one look at this and said, “No.”
Enki changed all the languages up and also, it is pointed out, that he added contention. That is to say, from that point on, when I said ‘It was the worst pain I ever felt’, you didn’t understand it as I did. Because we have two different pasts, and all of our definitions are based on our experiences. Also, you might have thought of emotional pain, where I was meaning physical pain.
The result was, the nam-subs no longer worked for everyone in the world. The only ones who kept the one language were the priests, and when Sumer fell, and the priests died, no one knew the language. Sumerian is one of the few truly dead languages in the world. With trade and wars and lovers and writers, languages which grew up near each other tended to swap words, and even if a whole civilization fell, its language would survive through the words of their neighbors. But not so for Sumer. People say Latin is a dead language when nearly half of the vocabulary that make up the English, Spanish, French and Italian languages are directly from Latin.
In our time it’s not difficult to see what Enki saw 5,000 years ago. All of our brains, running the same operating system, with the same programming language? One virus and we all love oatmeal, and only get our news from Sponge Bob.