Saturday, September 15, 2007

WANT UTOPIA? Get THE GODDESS ~ Part I

This is the first of three-part series that summarizes this weblog.

Four lines of evidence point to a causal relationship between Goddess and “utopian” societies: 1) New biochemical studies on the hormone oxytocin; 2) New primate studies on our first cousin the bonobo; 3) The existence of societies still centered (until recently) around Goddess; and 4) The apparent pairing in the Neolithic era of the Goddess and utopia (ca 10,000 to 3000 BC depending on where you are around the globe).

DEFINING TERMS

By utopia I mean not a perfect society but one relatively free of war, violence, despotic government, and social ranking (a condition often including ageism, classism, sexism, poverty, slavery, caste systems and other ills).

By “Goddess” I mean a Great Mother deity who is the source of earth and everything on it as well as the source of the cosmos.

(1) OXYTOCIN

The hormone oxytocin is found more often and in greater strengths in women than men. Recent evidence suggests it makes mothers automatically fall in love with their babies at birth. Since this mother love is unconditional it can serve as a powerful social archetype/role model, helping us treat others with the same unconditional regard that healthy mothers model for us 24/7.

Oxytocin is also a calming hormone. Under stress men fight or run (“fight or flight”). Recently however it’s been discovered that oxytocin helps women respond differently to stress – with “tend and befriend” behavior. So for this reason also women would seem to provide excellent societal role models – if we’d let them.

(2) BONOBOS

Although bonobos, the last primates discovered, are as genetically close to us as chimps, unlike chimps they apparently do little war, violence or social ranking. Furthermore females do not allow males to dominate them. Recently someone quipped that if we’d discovered the bonobo before the chimp we’d all be talking less about human violence and male dominance and lots more about human empathy, caring and cooperation.
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Above is a 3,400-year-old wall painting from a Guiding-Goddess society on the Mediterranean island of Santorini. It shows a teenaged girl admiring the Goddess (obviously not in the picture)

2 comments:

Morgaine said...

And Sex - Bonobos use lots of sex to resolve conflicts, and they are quite prolific - also a very Goddess-y trait.

Mary Sowerby said...

I read in "The Fall" by Steve Taylor that the chimps only became violent when humans took away their food sources, too. And once the humans left them alone, they went back to a peaceful existence. So maybe even chimps aren't necessarily inherently violent.