Tuesday, August 02, 2005

GODS: SYMPTOMS? or Causes?

I'm going to pick on Lisa again today; Lisa I hope you don't mind, too much. It's just that you're bringing up so many good points!

LISA: "Since male war gods are symptoms, I think it's a fruitless waste of time to go after something that will just manifest as something else once we've misdirected our collective energies upon it."
ATHANA: Well said! And of course that's an entirely different way to look at it. Male gods as symptoms, not causes of the woes of the world. And it would be a waste of time to fight a symptom versus a cause. But I do think you have it backwards. I do think male gods are the cause of our ills. I do think that if we excised them and put female deity back where it belongs, that things would slowly right themselves.

LISA: "... It's too superficial for me to accept that 3000 BCE + sudden male gods = war."
ATHANA: But why do things have to be complex?

And of course you know that it wasn't 3000 BCE everywhere. The time period varied depending on where you were, from about 4000 or 5000 BC, on down to the ADs in some areas.

Here's a major theory which I'll try to explain simply & briefly (and leaving out all the details and qualifications): Small, select, and culturally backward groups (mentally ill people perhaps outcast from society? Men genetically predisposed to violence -- with that extra Y [?] chromosome?) discovered iron and how to use it to make weapons. They also domesticated the horse and used it as a war weapon. These two discoveries, of course, gave them a distinct advantage over everyone else in town. These outcast societies grew. They wanted the things the goddess societies had, but didn't know how to produce them. (The steps I'm describing didn't necessarily happen in the order I'm giving them, and I'm thinking about the spiral analogy you posted on this blog a while ago....)

Anyhoo, these culturally backward people wanted the things the complex societies had, so they just began swiping them -- with the help of their new metal and animal war weapons, that is. The name we've given these peoples is "Indo-Europeans." I know there's discussion over whether the IEs took over violently or peacefully. But does it matter? If you're staring at a horde of hairy men sitting on the backs of big beasts and brandishing weapons you know could knock your teeth down your throat in a twinkling, are you going to ask questions?!?

But take over they did, there's no doubt about that. The proof? For one, all of us in Europe and India today speak "Indo-European" languages! And these Indo-Europeans, who swamped out the Goddess peoples, worshipped male gods. I haven't read it, but here's a book with an instructive title: The War of the Gods: The Social Code in Indo-European Mythology (International Library of Anthropology), Routledge & Kegan Paul Books Ltd.

What follows is an excerpt from a page by a Stanford University professor. The guy writes about the pattern I'm talking about. It's the same pattern you find all over Europe and the Middle East several thousand years ago. At first there's peace and the good life. The language has no words for war or king. Evidence shows there's probably a democratic form of government. What the author leaves out (they always do!) is that it is Goddesses not gods who are being worshipped at this point. I need to admit right here, however, that this professor teaches geotechnical engineering at Stanford, and I would ordinarily look for something else, but my computer is on the fritz tonight.

Okay, then BANG (I'm shouting, now, LOL): "Around 3000 BC" all this is overturned. No more easygoing life where everyone's equal. Suddenly there's "social stratification" and some people are much better than others, others are at the bottom of the heap. Suddenly democracy disappears. Kings pop up out of nowhere. Armies suddenly materialize. Art deteriorates. And new powerful male gods arrive on the same train with all these other goodies (also not mentioned below-- it rarely is):

"3000 BC. Sumerians in Mesopotamia. By late fourth millenium [BC] a network of Sumerian towns has developed in lower Mesopotamia of which perhaps the best known is Uruk.... The first known written documents appear at Uruk's Level IV along with representations of priestly figures. Absence of ideograms associated with war, king, and palace along with other evidence suggest a democratic and peaceable society engaged in trade to cities in the upper Euphrates, enjoying the pleasures of beer, fish, and sex, advised by sages and teachers and making exquisite pottery and engaging in diplomacy with neighboring cities. Evidently this changed sometime around 3000 BC with the arrival of strong social stratification, kings, and armies. Sumerians have moved from Eastern Anatolia bringing a new language and advanced culture to the existing Ubaidian peoples who have already started developing population centres in the lower Tigris Euphrates."
MORE >>>

And you see this same pattern -- described here for the Sumerians -- happening in India, in other parts of the Middle East, in Egypt, in the Mediterranean, and in Europe: Goddesses*PEACE, followed by gods*WAR.

Thnx to levi sz for the foto


Lisa said...

You know, I don't think that we are really disagreeing all that much here, lol. We really aren't disagreeing on the facts of history, that there was once a time of comparative peace, in that time the Divine Feminine was revered, then for some reason, societies began to shift to increasing violence, and at the same time, the Divine Masculine appeared as a violent entity.

Where we do seem to diverge is in our views of "why?" And because all the archaelogical evidence in the world will never get us into the minds of the actual people that lived during the shift, we are just a bunch of silly philosophers musing in our air conditioned apartments typing at a computer, and getting upset at people hundreds of miles away, LMAO! We will never know "why?" with any absolute certainty of course, but it is fun to argue our pet theories!

I don't mind your "picking on" me, lol, I love this stuff! Btw, I finally post "my anti-getting rid of male gods completely" manifesta on my blog, lol!

Inanna said...

Lisa, what's your blog's url?

Morgaine said...

The theory I subscribe to is that there was a literal Dark Age- probably cause by ash from a volcano in the lower mediterranean - which blocked out the sun long enough to cause the growing season to shorten for a march of several years. During that time, agriculture became difficult and not very productive, and hoardes who were willing to kill, hunt. and steal were able to take over and thrive. By the time the "smoke" literally cleared, they had patriarchy well on it's way, and they continued to kill, steal and enslave, just as they do right now.

Lisa said...


You can also get to my blog through my profile, by clicking on my name heading my responses here.

Anonymous said...

ursab athana have you heard of bonobos the original goddess society, there is a national geographic video the lost chimpanzee. one group comits infanticide, gang rapes.. war, the other makes love not war .also have you read the web page girls kingdom a wonderful still just in existance matricentraL world they took part in the world matriarchy conference last time.

Athana said...

Hey anonymous, welcome to the blog! I've heard a little about bonobos, but I'd love to just sit down and read more. Thanks for the reminder. And I will check out girls kingdom.