But before we continue with our travel through the Myth of Bhairava towards this proffered Syzygy, it is necessary to dwell upon a vitally important concept which underpins the vast majority of what comes next. We’ve also met it before, as an effective core theme of much that has been said thus far; albeit, even when directly mentioned, expressed as a reflexive of Cosmic Order rather than standing up in its own right.
This is the concept of “Balance”, and it is one that is absolutely vital to so many notions of law and justice across societies and cultures, yet which we often tend to overlook in favour of the more tangible means via which it is to be secured. Things like ‘restitution’, ‘revenge’, ‘recompense’, ‘retaliation’, ‘reconciliation’.
Only rarely do we stop to observe that what is common to all of these when they’re done *right* and *well*, is that they are ways of carrying out an effective act of “rebalancing”.
So when the transgression has been one involving the loss or degradation of property, then one common way to set things back into ‘balance’ is by having the offender make material restitution to the wronged party – perhaps by replacing or furnishing the repair of the property in question, or by providing an equivalent value of whatever in compensation. In this way, the aggrieved party is hopefully placed back in a position no worse than that he was in prior to the transgression; and as part and parcel of this, the handing down of the ‘just outcome’ heads off a potentially exponentially spiraling cycle of reprisals that are, in effect, *further* imbalancings.
And while it is unquestionably the case that in just about every Indo-European society, the concept of the Blood-Feud, or the Vendetta, or the rather eloquent Yugoslav phrasing of the “Grandmother War” [wherein a conflict is fought, effectively, because “our Grandmother despised their Grandmother” and so on and so forth down the chain of time, arcening towards some original cassus belli that has ultimately been lost to the ages] is very much a thing, even a source of overt pride well over and above its status as a matter of honour … it is *also* the case that many of the cultures in question have legalistic or jurisprudential mechanisms via which this might be *avoided*, instead. Probably the best known of which being the ‘Weregild’ [‘Blood Money’, to translate rather figuratively – ‘Man-Payment/Fee’ would probably be closer to the literal mark] found amidst various Germanic peoples; although it is worthwhile to note that even in such instances as the option of paying compensation for a transgression is made available … this is often just that – an *option*, with other, more violent restitutions wherein the payment is made *in* blood rather than *for* blood, also available. Albeit – and this is once again, rather important – with conditioning limits placed upon the violence in question so that this, itself, did not ignite a further escalation to the feuding. Which, to be sure, has occasionally seemed to have a rather … mixed success rate.
Now, the question might fairly be asked – why is it that these provisions exist … and what is it that makes them so *incredibly* important for both our comparative analysis of these mythic instances, and the resultant derivation of ethical injunctions for the modern Indo-European man.
As applies the first question, in amidst the general milieu of reasonings which might feasibly be conjured up, there are two which are immediately relevant for our purposes. The first, as we have already mentioned, is the desirability of *avoiding* an escalating situation – perhaps even a cascading effect – of imbalancings, resultant from but a single transgression. The provision of mechanisms via which the resolution of imbalances might be addressed in a controlled, constrained, direct, and therefore *limited* manner – is thus a strong support for the overall maintenance of Order within a context. Especially when the *alternative* is, potentially, internecine if not downright fratricidal conflict whose only sure end is when the land is so bereft of human life that it is “peace” by default, to reference me some Tacitus. There can be other considerations which are bound up in this – wanting to avoid an internal set of problems which might bring down or otherwise make vulnerable a country, for instance; or the necessity of providing a mechanism to make peace with a recently incorporated subject people; or avoid the complete extinction of one or even both parties and their extended kinship groups, especially in the face of some greater and more loathsome exterior foe; but I digress.
At some point, I may write a follow-up expansion of this concept with especial reference to Mitra-Varuna, and one of the world’s oldest extant international peace treaties … but except to note that the dvandva of Mitra & Varuna quite directly demonstrates ‘friendship’, ‘frith’, ‘positive bonds between people(s)’ as a correlate and active expression of Divine Law, Rta, Orlog – especially given the role of oaths and other legal apparatoi to guarantee such and maintain its integrity out here in the mortal world … we shall, for the moment, leave that there.
The second explanation is even more directly indispensable for our purposes, still – and that is, to provide a pathway back for re-integration, re-habilitation, indeed outright *redemption* for the transgressor , so that they might regain honour and perhaps rejoin society. [Presuming that it is not the sort of transgression that is, in effect, utterly unforgivable; or perhaps more relevantly, wherein the only absolution to possibly be found is in, or more especially, *after*, Death]
There are, again, an array of reasonings for why such pathways are regarded as necessary; however, one of the more salient ones for the scope of this piece, is that the *lack* of a means for re-integration can actually, *itself* perpetuate quite an imbalance, to overarching detrimental impact potentially even greater than that of the original transgression.
And now, having caught you up upon what is underlying my thinking here [which is, oddly enough, considerably informed by the ‘Utu’ component of the ‘Maori and the Criminal Law’ lectures I had back at law school a decade ago], we shall rejoin our main narrative threads, and accompanying ethical extractive-explication.