Algirdas Patackas, Aleksandras Žarskus



Even in modern times (from the 1930s onwards) any Lithuanian peasant could have been able to explain the ritual of drinking the "bride's blood". He would have said: "This is how the bride is killed". We are surprised and for him this would go without saying.

E.Gizevijus described the ritual of drinking the "bride's blood". The special drink, homebrewed brandy mixed and boiled with honey and raisins, would be served on a platter decorated with herbs. The platter would be put in front of the bride and she would pass it around the table. Every guest tasted the drink with a spoon until the platter was returned empty to the bride. Then everyone would stand up and move slowly towards the garner. The slow gait, movement, behaviour, the absolute silence, as if during a funeral, would testify to the significance of this very moment. After coming to the porch, the women started the lamentation song that made the bride and everybody else cry. Then, the door of the garner would be opened and the bride would bid a sad farewell to everyone separately. Then she went to the door, turned once more to her beloved ones and said the words as if for the last time: "At the very brilliance of my young days I bid farewell to you all". Then only the lamentation would be heard. The bride would sit down in the chair in cold resignation with the stunned look as if prepared for the deadly stroke.

The "deadly stroke" is the moment of putting the headdress without which "no woman can appear in public". This ritual symbolizes the loss of all the young and careless days of sisterhood. However, every loss is also a discovery, every farewell is also a welcome, and in every death there is a motif of the victory against death. The bride rises now with all the greetings. The lament ends and all eyes are sparkling with joy. This song is heard: "And the weeping turned into mirth, death opened up like life".

  In fact, the ritual of drinking the "bride's blood" would start the long period of preparation for a bride to become mother. This preparation is not a ritual. It is the direct responsibility of the mother-in-law. Also, all the guests share this responsibility of the bride becoming a mother because all of them drink "bride's blood".

  At those times every bride was ready for this period. During the Rasa celebration all the young people of a village would arrange the symbolic preparation (banishment, destruction) of the bride (witch). In Slavic countries, it was characteristic to drive out a girl decorated in herbs and garlands and then to share her decorations. Lithuanian girls would make kupolė a pole of ribbons, herbs and garlands and a few days before Joninės celebration would put it at the edge of the ryefield and protect it from lads. Then they would share the greens. This tradition can be found now only at Church. On Corpus Christi Day people break birches and then, during the last vespers, share them. Also, there is a Slavic tradition of decorating a birch instead of a girl (witch) and then destroying it. This kind of kupolė (birch) destruction or the banishment of the witch (bride, birch) was the symbolic experience of the essential change (transformation) in nature as well as in human life.

Nowadays, one can notice the desacralization of this ritual. The drink is now called "bride's tears" or even "bride's soup". This can be compared to the "vertical section" of the tradition, which discloses that it's becoming trivial. When a ritual loses its sense, it loses its life and any other effect can destroy it.

  E.Gizevijus has mentioned the "absolute silence" as the necessary factor of wedding ritual. Wedding orations also require silence: "Cease all talking gritting, dancing; be silent just for a Mary's minute". At the eve of the wedding, usually on Saturday, the bride's house is silent and sad. The bridegroom spends the evening also quietly. The next morning before the wedding ceremony it is even more; as the members of a wedding first walk silently three times around the table. The bridegroom cannot talk while taking the bride to his house until he reaches the threshold. Silence is also necessary during birth and death transformations. What could it represent?

In every transformation, there is a turning point, a culmination, the most dangerous moment at which everyone is struck and frozen as if stuck in between earth and heaven. But also, one's consciousness has to be kept vigilant. This is the state of concentration, when all the external senses cease, while a person accumulates his inner powers.

At this essential moment of transformation a bridge is built to pass over by the newly-weds. The word "bridge" has a linguistic root similar to the verb "cease" (tilti - tyla - tiltas) and it is sacred in our language. V.Toporov wrote: "In the mythic-poetic tradition, the bridge is the symbol of the relationship between different points in the sacred realm. The bridge is understood as a certain part of the road, yet unknown and not guaranteed. It is usually built in the presence of a traveler; at the most urgent and dangerous moment of travel when the road ends and the threat of dark powers is the most evident. /.../ The bridge opens the way from one time and space into another. Sometimes it can be vertical and unify heaven and earth, God and human beings, top and bottom. /.../ In the Slavic tradition, one's destiny is revealed near the bridge. The fairytale hero would always pass over the bridge after he has slaughtered the dragon".

Old marriage rituals were the symbolic transition (bridge) of the newly-weds into an essentially new period of life. The image of the bridge is also seen in making bots during the Christmas Eve. Girls build a bridge (of logs) to find out if they will marry.

The image of bridge is also found in plays, e.g. "Sycamore bridge" (Sycamore is the mystic, sacred tree of Indo-European nations, especially attached to watery places). There are similar games not only in Europe, but also in Africa, New Guinea, Burma, India. It is within the image of the bridge that all cultures come together. However the word "bridge" in other cultures reflects more its technical purpose, e.g. Russian: "moct" - "mocmut " (to cobble); German: "brucke" - "brucken" (also to cobble, to build), English: "bridge". The Lithuanian variant expresses the sacred (sacral) aspect of a bridge.

  The archetype of a bridge to guide the newly-weds through the most dangerous moment of transformation is so important that even nowadays bridegroom would always carry the bride over the bridge.

It is important to note the motif of bridge destruction. Our ancestors would always burn the sacred bridge, which meant not coming back, guaranteeing the successful transformation. They knew that the most dangerous thing would be to get stuck in the transformation process.

  Bridge builders had a leading role in all the wedding rituals. As V.Toporov noted, "bridge builders were not only professional, but also a confessional group, belonging to the class of magicians. "Bridge builders (also called "sycamore people", because a bridge could be made of gold and silver as well as sycamore) arranged all the main human transformations: Baptism, Wedding, and Funeral.

  The title "Pontifex maximus" given to the Pope by the chief magician of Ancient Rome discloses the connections between our "bridge builders" and modern clergy. The translated version of "Pontifex maximus" is "Great Bridge Builder". No one remembers, why the Pope is the great bridge builder" and why "pontifex" is the synonym of clergy. But the purpose of Baltic bridge builders answers this and also manifests the universal values, which cannot be limited by any formalities.

  The Devil is a concept of Christianity. The old Baltic (Lithuanian) culture had no personified evil, though the Slavic religion mentions its own idol, Veles, as representing the Underworld. It may be argued that the Lithuanian image of the devil originated from the "soul out of place", the so-called "vėlė", which has its linguistic associations with the word devil "velnias". "Vėlė" was understood as a kind of energetic, informatory field, a ghost, a soul who is stuck in the death transformation process. The image of the devil is understood both as this kind of soul and also as a Christian evil spirit. Thus, the Lithuanian devil is likely to signify the inner state, rather than the personified evil. This is especially characteristic for the image of the devil in old fairytales and legends. The above-mentioned concept of the devil can be proved by the fact that the devil is afraid of the so-called "suffering of flax". Also, the role of the devil in a wedding party described further in the text must be regarded as an internal mather.

  In his study "Chthonic world of Lithuanian mythology" N. Vėlius discusses the role of the devil at the wedding. We may apply the material in order to distinguish the features of devil.

It is said that in order to get rid of the devil, one must describe him as the "suffering of flax": "the devil is afraid of the blossom of flax and if someone gets lost in the forest and wants to be protected from the devil, it is necessary to count the sufferings of flax". In older fairytales the devil had not only to listen, but also to suffer the same as flax, i.e., to become a seed of flax, to be sown, to grow, to be cut, laid out, retted, buried, scutched, etc. And the devil would run away not because of the cock's crow, but because of his inability to bear the suffering".

Thus, we are faced with the notion of "flax suffering", which is very important in the Lithuanian mind and requires a deep study. Our generation, grown in town, needs a special explanation about "flax suffering". Our ancestors regarded the way flax would become linen as the image of transformation from one form or quality into another. There are quite a few Lithuanian songs describing, how flax becomes linen or wheat becomes bread.

  However, we should also discuss how a symbol is important in our life. According to K. G. Yung, "the symbol is the mechanism of energy that is transformed".

There are a lot of symbols, which have a transformatory (anagogic) effect. They have been applied by most ancient cultures or religious schools. "Flax suffering" was one of those symbols characteristics of the Lithuanian mind. It may be called an archetype. These symbols relate on individual mind to the one of society. It is the human mind, which governs mental energy. But it cannot make right decisions at crucial moments of human life, such as at e.g. wedding. Thus, the mind of society is considered then. It becomes operative after certain rituals of changing one's mind (e.g. silence) are followed.

Thus, according to K. G. Yung society's mind can operate in two directions. It can either elevate one to spiritual heights or push one down into physical desires. Society's mind has both devilish and heavenly aspects. Its strong influence and even control over human actions is also reflected in most folk literature.

Modern psychologists are now rediscovering those old means of effect. R. Assagiolli, the author of psycho synthesis, encourages people to try the psychological exercise of "flax suffering". His patients identify themselves with wheat grains or coffer beans and follow the phases till they become an organic part of the human body (as cake or coffee drink). This kind of self-involvement (psycho synthesis) helps the patient to apprehend his/her identity in all the changes of life and to sense the unifying center of mind - an essential "I".

Thus, old songs cannot just be classified into work songs or wedding songs. They are an effective experience, which influences the human mind and human appearance in the world. Songs teach people not to fear transformations, because they are our reality, the natural and existential laws. There is existence only where changes are occurring. At the same time, people learn to sense the essence (psycho synthesis), i.e. to integrate themselves into the whole and to preserve their identity in all the transformations. Children's songs for play or going in circles prepare for transformations.

  The question remains why the devil is afraid of flax suffering. Flax becoming linen is a constant change into a new quality. The transformation neglects what is old and this brings suffering, which is impossible for the devil to bear.

  It is evident that "flax suffering" and marriage is the same kind of transformation, which would lead to a new quality only through "death" (leaving the old behind). If the devil is afraid of the flax suffering-transformation, he must also fear the wedding transformation. This fear of suffering or change reveals the nature of the Lithuanian (christianized) devil. The prototype of devil - vėlinas (a soul stuck in the process of transformation) is afraid of leaving his uncertain state and it makes him suffer. The domain of the devil is always uncertainty and chaos. Any attempt to restore harmony harms the devilish nature. If the period of bride preparation brings chaos to families and even people's internal life, then the devil is at his might. When this uncertain period ends with the transformation of marriage, harmony is restored. There are quite a few fairytales, e.g. "Escape with the help of a little kid", which repeat marriage rituals. The above-mentioned fairytale tells how a little child helped a girl to escape from devils. Nowadays, the bride does not run from devils, she becomes the "bride stolen by devil". N.Vėlius parallels the goat with the matchmaker, who had a leading role in performing wedding rituals. Also there was one more person, the so-called marčelga, who was likely to share the responsibilities of the matchmaker. Semantic similarities of the word "Marčelga" allow us to consider this person as a bridge-builder, who had to "build bridges" at the most dangerous moments that groom and bride experienced on their wedding day. "Building bridges" meant organizing the most important rituals of marriage transformation.

  Also, N. Vėlius mentions the fairytales: "Maid - Witch", "The Bride of Dragon", "Dragon is the Room of Newly-weds", "Faithful Servant" and others, in which is told, how all the devils of  the bride's self are pushed out by the matchmaker (the so-called "old person", "saint", "faithful servant") on the first wedding night. And only then the newly - weds can live happily together. Isn't this the way a fairytale expresses the essential duties of a matchmaker (as bridge - builder or fairytale hero)?

  Fairytale wisdom astonishes people. But it is very difficult to understand fairytale morals, and only because they touch upon the ethical norms which people have forgotten or do not want to acknowledge. That's why children may be the best fairytale listeners, as they are not disturbed yet by the disintegrating ability "of thinking".

Wedding transformations include a very important ritual: the action to begin a new life. Our ancestors saw a big danger in this human trial of morality, when spiritual light was confronted with physical desire.

The fairytales of other nations also describe this threatening aspect. Usually, the first night’s trial is sustained by the faithful servant of the main hero. Instead of prince he has to sleep with the princess, otherwise he himself will be dead. This "exchange" of bridegrooms is a quite frequent motif in fairytales, thus, consequently V. Propas, a folklore researcher, draws the conclusion that "it is a fairytale norm for someone with magic abilities to take bride's virginity instead of the bridegroom doing so". This is the way modern thinking turns out. But fairytales do not intend that. The groom's servant only tames the princess and "drives" all the devils out of her and then sends her to the groom. Religion and old cultures have tried to harmonize husband and wife relationships through rituals and traditions. Thus, the duties of the groom's servant might be regarded differently. He might have served the newly-weds as a teacher of morality, who disclosed the secret of starting a new human being. This is just one of the attitudes which were reflected in traditions, e.g. the ruler of the territory where newly-weds lived could make use of the right of the first night given to him. Of course, the level of community’s spirituality decided this kind of tradition.

Nowadays researchers always emphasize the very fact of the first night. Most of the fairytales and old customs concentrate on one's preparation for it. Indian scriptures do not mention the first night event either. It could be put off till next year. The wedding festival was followed by the ritual of the three-day-abstinence: "For three days, the newly weds must not eat salted food, also must sleep on the ground and then for one year, twelve days or six nights, or at least three nights, must abstain from sexual relations". Also, a Russian fairytale shows, how the faithful servant warns the groom: "Be careful!  During first three nights, she will attempt your strength; she'll put her arm on you and she'll press you stronger and stronger; you won't manage to withstand". This period of self-abstinence served the purpose of preparation to begin a new human being: "the longer the abstinence, the bigger probability of having better offsprings."

A few customs of first night trials have survived. One was found in the district of Vologda (Russia) in 1975-1977. On their first night, the newly-weds had to abstain from a sexual relationship. If they succeeded, the bride would refuse the bowl of water, which the mother-in-law would bring to her in the morning. Then she would light a candle, one for the bride and one for the groom, as a sign of honour; and then only the next morning would come again with the bowl of water.

Another description about first night customs was made in Byelorussia near the Polese marshes: "For two weeks, the newly-weds sleep as brother and sister. And only after their first, post-wedding visit to church, they can sleep as husband and wife". But in the Ukraine (also near Polese) a different custom is found. It allowed a male member of the wedding party to sleep with the bride on the first night. It could also be a son-in-law, a father, a godfather's son or the groom's elder brother. Of course, this night could be spent differently. This depended on the spiritual maturity of a person. Thus, the first night event was not part of wedding rituals; or, at least, it was not necessary.

The folklore researchers have not found any direct allusions about the abstinence on the first night though the fact that a bride's nightdress or bed sheet was not checked in the morning might be a strong argument. Indeed, if some guests visited newly-weds in their bedroom it was for the purpose of making predictions: if they found a grain of wheat, rye or barley, it meant a first baby-boy; and if they found oat, the first child would be girl. Nowadays, this kind of "visit" could turn into the custom of checking the bride's virginity.

We can define three possible reasons why one would not look for the proof of a bride's virginity: 1) when a nation's morality has achieved such a level that preserved virginity is a natural thing and does not arouse any doubts, 2) when the first night event is not to occur during the wedding and when the newly-weds abstain from sexual relationship, 3) when a nation’s morality is so low that it makes no sense to "check the bride's virginity".

The last variant reflects nowadays situation. The first and the second variant are interrelated and show that there was no special checking of the bride's virginity in Lithuanian weddings.

Then, what could be the reasons for the checking custom? These two are possible: 1) The nation's morality is in a transitional period. Ethics is on the decline already, but people still try to preserve it using formal customs of public doom. 2) When the prevailing masculinity is characteristic of the nation, and virginity is required only from the bride.

In Lithuanian culture masculinity does not prevail. Thus, the modern wedding custom to check the bride's virginity is determined not only by neighboring cultures, but also by the declining morality of the nation.

The older the customs of the first night event in the Lithuanian tradition, the more mystery, respect and sanctity is there in them. M. Pretorijus (XVI c.) and B. Buračas (XIX c.) describe a special preparation required for the newly-weds: "The Matron of honour explains how to live a family life. Then she crosses and blesses them and wishes them fruitful and happy life. The Male member of the wedding party makes the bed for the newly-weds and kisses their bedclothes". Sometimes a big loaf of black bread was put under the pillow. The sacredness and mystery of the first night event was also reflected in words: "Do a blessed work", as the last wish before the night. Also, the custom of fasting necessary before every big festival testifies to the sacred attitude toward the bride and groom's first night. Newly-weds had to abstain from food and drink; and in Indian tradition the husband had to be abstinent before every ritual of the successful beginning of a new human being.

The bed of newly-weds was also special. It was put in the corner of the granary near the door. Nobody could move it, because its one side and end was bricked into the wall and there was only one leg in the middle of the granary. Though this bed did not seem very practical, people tended to follow the ritual. The leg in the middle of the granary symbolized the Tree of the world, a life and knowledge (Arbor mundi). Thus, the first night event occurred in the axis of the tree of life. It was an event that disclosed the mystery of someone coming into the world of space and time. The physical copula builds the vertical bridge (tree of life) between two worlds, where a man and a woman co-operate with God. Even the soul that is to come to this world also participates in the event. A married couple prepares the way, a vertical bridge for the soul to come, and then in the mother's womb the soul is given a body. This is the greatest miracle, when the soul united with matter becomes a human being.

A "civilized" person sees only the secondary non-essential side of this miracle, i.e. just a pleasure. This kind of attitude provides only superficial knowledge, which leads into the misinterpretation of the most wonderful existential phenomena. Modern "sexual education" teaching how to experience the biggest satisfaction and how to avoid undesired consequences puts a person into spiritual obscurity and also pushes him/her to become a slave of his/her passion. The result of this is that a lot of people do not withstand the first night trials and falls under the devil's influence.

This is not just a nice theory. The practical side of this is community habits and public opinion. One of the habits was for every woman at the second month of pregnancy to give up sexual relations, because a child then could be born with defects, e.g. spots, specks, warts. Those women who tried to avoid pregnancy (e.g. counting their "barren" days) were considered debauches. If mother did not nurse her baby, other people of the community accused her of committing a sin against God and people. Even at the time of nursing sexual intercourse was not suggested. Thus, community habits and customs encouraged young people to abstain from sexual relations and save it just for the creation of a new human being.

 However, this level of morality can be achieved only by active spiritual love from both sexes. The best spiritual teacher and guide for the newly-weds was the matchmaker, who, according to old traditions, first had to be godfather for the bride. This fact describes his responsibility to give them all the essential cultural and spiritual values. Nowadays, the matchmaker’s distinctive sign is a greasy towel at his waist. This is how matchmaker’s duties have changed: 1. teacher of ethics and morality, 2. organizer of wedding party, 3. arranger of "table" needs.

  The devil is an important figure at the wedding. There are a lot of proverbs saying that the devil is braided into a maiden's hair. What relationship could be between devil and braids? Some legends tell that God himself taught a girl to braid. Since then, there is a saying, that a girl is good as long as her hair is braided, but as soon as she gets married, she loosens her hair and the devil is loosened then, too.

God teaches harmony and morals. Braiding is a sacred action that helps to maintain both external and internal harmony. Chaos is the sign of devil's power. When a girl puts her hair in order she restrains the devil's chaotic activities, and any disorder in her external appearance calls out the devil inside. Women tend to perceive the world as an indivisible whole. That's why any discord in one place, according to a feminine understanding, will cause a much bigger chaos around. Thus, external harmony (e.g. braided hair) helps to maintain internal harmony, and external disorder attracts the devil.

In Lithuanian language the word "debauchery" has the same root as the word "loose". Indeed, in the Lithuanian mind, debauchery meant internally loose behaviour, e.g. slovenliness, naughtiness, disobedience to any moral rules. A person who cannot manage his/her own vital powers is a debauchee. Only recently, this word has acquired the meaning of sexual misbehavior.

Loosened hair is a sign of infinity and liberty. Liberty gives equal rights to choose right or wrong. Thus, loosened hair is not necessarily a sign of immorality or depravity. In wedding rituals, loosened hair symbolizes the state of change - transformation. But change can be to either side: good or evil. The Biblical Eve eating an apple is also in an uncertain state. She will either become like God or... receive a punishment.

The bride remains in such an uncertain state after her engagement. Then her hair is loosened and bridesmaids have to accompany her everywhere, because the devil can catch her.

The Virgin Mary is also portrayed with uncovered head and loosened hair. This represents her as the fiancee of the Holy Spirit (sponsus Spiriti Sancti), but never as Mother. The girls, who take the Eucharist, also were with their hair down. This tradition is an example of our ancestor's deep perception about the transformation, which also unifies old Lithuanian customs with Christianity.

The devil's role at the wedding party is disclosed through his relationship to illegitimate children. When such an illegitimate child is started in the mother's womb there is no matchmaker, who had to drive all the devils out of the newly-weds. An illegitimate child begins his existence in the internal chaos - desire. The devil (desire) is present at that moment. Thus people say that an illegitimate child is always born of the devil. This child would bring chaos into a community's life. Some primitive cultures allow the killing of children that are born before the wedding, as if they are not the children of human beings. "It's cruel", a modern person would say. But what about the "civilized" society? Is it better if it makes amusement of God's given privilege to create a new human being? "Civilized" society kills unborn children, a very big percentage of unborn.

The devil can be present even in the relationship of the married couple. If this is not for the purpose of creating a new human being, the devil (desire) is the ruler of the situation.

We kill the children "started" by the devil (can they be ours, if we kill them?) and use innocent terms for this: breaking off pregnancy, cleaning, etc. We even legalize this. The most painful thing is that mothers, called to take care of every living being, condemns their own (maybe the devil's) children to death.

  A transformation is an expression of how Eternal Creation and human powers function. At the time of transformation one can rise into a higher existential realm. The significance and purposefulness of Eternal Creation requires irreversibility. Another part - the transitional existence and the irreversibility of transformation - gives time a new shade of meaning. In this way transformation may be regarded as the period of bigger ethical responsibility and also of ethical threat. Only a person who has free will faces an ethical threat and the possibility of evil.

Danger at the time of transformation is caused by the instability of the transformational period and by the activity of all vital powers. When vital (also creative) powers are at their highest, a person encounters both good and evil. In nature, transition happens due to coincidences or the Creator's plan. But human beings have to decide for themselves as they are conscious and have free will. Otherwise, the threat would lose its ethical meaning.

The instability (freedom) of the transitional period is expressed in wedding customs. The bride has to wear loose clothes and shoes, and also to loosen her hair. The members of wedding party should never pass a stopped mill. They should give presents to the miller so that he could make the wings of the mill rotate freely. If something is tightened or stopped, the transformation cannot be successful.

The ethical threat of transformation is also expressed in the legends about the blossoming of fern. The threat increases at the turning point of transformation. The darkest power of human vitality does not allow the searcher to achieve light, because if he succeeds, they will die. If he refuses he will get nothing but misery and disappointment. How can he protect himself? The one searching for the blossom of fern would make a circle around himself (isolation) using the branch of a rowan-tree, take a burning candle, a book and, what is most important, try to keep his self-determination.

One can find it hard to give other more tangible proofs for such abstract speculations. But there is one: our national clothes. The flax, from which women would weave a headdress for the bride, had to be especially clean and carefully prepared. Then before weaving the women prayed, fasted and put on clean clothes. The ornamented linen, used for the first night of the newly-weds, was kept till the wedding of another daughter. Also, the wedding nightdresses were preserved for the funeral.

This is the material expression of a spiritual culture.

A very important part of clothing was head cover. It showed what age a person is and which social group s/he belongs to. Women in Lithuania wear their headdresses till their first baby was born. Thus a headdress was necessary at the time of the wedding transformation, when good and evil are equally present. This possibility to choose good or evil was also reflected in the ornaments of headdress. Usually, it was divided into two parts: harmony (e.g. riders guarding the tree of life) and chaos (e.g. animals destroying the tree of life). Later on, women preferred wearing kerchiefs.

Certain customs were followed at the wedding in order to protect the newly-weds (esp. their fertility) from witchcraft and other evil influences. Nudles were pinned into clothes crosswise; grains, poppy-seeds, salt (also a silver coin) were put into shoes; bread and salt were slipped into one's bosom or garlic put into mouth; net was turned round one's foot or the twigs of a rowan-tree were given to the newly-weds. Also, there was lighting of the candle or passing through the burning straws. These were not some magic means, but a cleaning of surroundings, making it sacred. But the best way of protection, of course, is not just to follow the customs, but also to let the inner light guide through the transformation. This will help one understand the essence of the ritual and prevent us from idle "magic".

What was told about the first night customs seems too unexpected for a modern man. He lacks the sense of sanctity, though his heart is longing for harmony between body and soul. It's time for us now to discover the essence and to testify to it in our daily life. Good traditions should not be just imitation or following of religious teachings. They must come from our spiritual life, from our living wisdom. Let us always search for our essence. We are the sparkle of divine vitality. It depends on us, if we become eternal light or remain a sparkle. Let us lighten our mind to make the light of our soul brighter and brighter. Then we will not know any threats.