Tuesday, March 11, 2008

IN A Nutshell

To fix things we need to dump the father/war/sky gods and plug healthy Life-Models in the empty places left behind. And a grand life-model is Goddess. She’s what we used to use – when we lived in Paradise.

Goddess makes sense: mothers bear us, not fathers. We all come from mother goddesses, not father gods.

If you want proof that the major world gods today were just phonies made up to control people, all ya hafta do is think about the idea of male gods giving birth.

Excuse me, please [Bwahahahahahaha! Hahahaha! BwaHa!]

Okay, better now [wiping tears from her eyes].

Of course males can’t make babies, so many ancient male gods had to make up stuff – hilarious stuff, like making babies from ribs. Or having them pop out of daddy's head, like Zeus did with Athena. Or out of their penisis, mouths or armpits.

Goddesses -- especially mother goddesses -- will make super healthy role models for us. Why? Bbecause healthy mothers are natural, unconditional lovers of their children.

If we treat each other the way healthy mums treat their kids -- voila! We solve most of what ails us.
_________________
Thnx to Janchan for the foto; go HERE to see more.

13 comments:

Mandos said...

There seems to be a (perhaps misunderstood?) implication that in this framework males and their specific relation to the origin of life do not participate fully in divinity or that there is a breach between your maternal conception of the divine and facts about male existence.

In a nutshell, it depends on postulating a kind of male spiritual incompleteness based on a putative male physical incompleteness.

So for men to adopt your spiritual framework, it would have to be the case that they would have to accept their connection to the divine as incomplete as they themselves are incomplete. Do you think that this is a fair interpretation and, if so, do you think that it is likely that men would be willing to accept their incomplete status?

As, after all, there is an aspect of male existence that is not reflected in your conception of the divine and an aspect of your conception of the divine that is not reflected physically in men.

Athana said...

Mandos, I don’t deny the existence of male divinity. I do deny the authenticity of father gods and war gods – the kind of bogus contraptions that were artificially created beginning about 6000 years ago, and then used to conquer and divide the world.

They started small and have grown like cancer. They’re now dominating the industrialized world and most of the rest of the world to boot. And you see the results: war, sickness, misery, hopelessness and a dying planet.

We humans are like orphans left without mothers to die in the desert.

Motherness is the metasymbol the world needs right now to heal itself. I’m not a mother and never will be, but that doesn’t make me spiritually incomplete. Nor does it make you spiritually incomplete. Try not to be so self-centered about life and existence. It’s not all about you (or me). It’s about fixing a gross error that began 6000 years ago and is eating us alive.

Mandos said...

I’m not a mother and never will be, but that doesn’t make me spiritually incomplete. Nor does it make you spiritually incomplete. Try not to be so self-centered about life and existence.

So, you're proposing a shift in spirituality based on a sort of psychological symbology. I suggest that this symbolism is bound in your own experience. A symbolism that is based on a biological metaphor that rings true to you and to those who agree with you, but may not necessarily apply to everyone.

So I think it is necessary to see whether it does apply to everyone. You may see this as self-centered, but it's built into your formulation of human spiritual needs. Since it was generated by a certain psychological symbolism, one would think it would be important to see whether it fits with everyone's psyche and experience.

I suggest that the embodied psychological experience of a childless woman is not directly comparable to the embodied experience of a man. *Perhaps* to a childless man, but only in the experience of childlessness. A man with children is not directly comparable (in this embodied psychological/spiritual way) to a childless woman or a mother.

I'm dubious about the whole "metasymbolic" analysis itself, but *surely* how it meshes with individual minds and embodied experience matters. Since it's the basis of the whole "healthy mothers" business.

Mandos said...

To put it another way, let's assume you're right about the meaning of the gods of the major extant religions. (At least for Judaism and Islam, I question the need to identify their god as a "father god" as they don't exhibit any biological characteristics---unlike Christianity---but I'll accept it for the sake of argument.)

So, you characterize their growth and acceptance as an "accident." But then you say, "I do deny the authenticity of father gods and war gods ..."

You are claiming that a maternal god is more psychologically/symbolically appropriate for human beings, and that therefore the existence of father gods is an anomaly. But I suggest that as the male experience of biological parenthood is different, male divinity (which you accept) is going to reflect some psychological aspects of fatherhood.

Consequently, the spread of father gods may not be such an accident. That I suggest impinges on your project to "restore" mother gods. Perhaps the cat is kind of out of the bag, as it were?

Athana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Athana said...

First, the metasymbol of the mother is not bound up in my experience alone. Every human being born experiences “motherness.” And motherness has numinous qualities that fatherness will never have. The magic of growing inside another human being, who risks her own life so that you might have life – that is deep and fundamental.

And then there’s mother love, which we now know is triggered by the hormone oxytocin. Mothers simply cannot help loving the socks off their babies. We now know it’s hormonal.

Second, the evidence is strong that when societies centered around female deity, they eschewed war, violence, political repression, poverty and social hierarchy. That should make you extremely excited. With this evidence, it seems almost a crime not to trade in our vicious father gods for female deity. What do we have to lose? We're trashing our nest. There won't be any "us" left if we don't try new ideas to get us back on track. Female deity seemed to work in the past. It's time to try it again.

I agree that my experience isn’t comparable to yours. But I don’t think that matters. We both were born of motherness, spent our first year of life inside the body of another person who was female not male. Etcetera.

Are you really saying you think Allah and Yahweh are what – neuter? Are you absolutely certain there’s nothing in the Torah or Koran that pegs both of them as daddies?

Yes, you’re right that a male god could be a father. And several male gods *are* remembered as fathers. And they are mostly (if not always) monsters. Zeus was into infidelity and rape. The proto-Indo-European daddy god Dieus was into incest. Jehovah, in the words of Richard Dawkins, is “… a vindictive, bloodthirsty …, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Mandos said...

I agree that my experience isn’t comparable to yours. But I don’t think that matters. We both were born of motherness, spent our first year of life inside the body of another person who was female not male. Etcetera.

But that's not the relevant component of the experience. You want people not just to feel *loved* (experience "motherness" as the receiver), but to love. The childhood experience is the one of the receiver. You clearly want the adult human to be the giver of love. That requires that adult humans somehow identify or take instruction from the religious metaphor you want to use.

Just as "he" is often not considered an adequate gender-neutral pronoun, it's not clear to me that an explicitly female or maternal concept of deity can encompass male embodied experience to the extent that it could compete with known and existing masculine or neuter notions of divinity. That is, if you want the adult human male to identify with the female god. Because at some point the experience of the male human is likely to diverge significantly from the divine metaphor. "I fertilize, I don't give birth."

I agree that my experience isn’t comparable to yours. But I don’t think that matters. We both were born of motherness, spent our first year of life inside the body of another person who was female not male. Etcetera.

So as we are both childless with perhaps no immediate prospect of children, we are probably somewhat more comparable than many other pairs of men and women. But notice your "female not male" formulation. The problem is that the male *does* have a biological and emotional connection to life-giving. An exclusively female notion of divinity can't compete psychologically without cutting off the specifics of that connection.

Mandos said...

Second, the evidence is strong that when societies centered around female deity, they eschewed war, violence, political repression, poverty and social hierarchy. That should make you extremely excited.

Even if I accepted the evidence, I would question the implied causality. I mean, the null hypothesis is that these just happened at the same time. There are at least two other possible chains of causality after that. For instance, war erupted, and then the physical advantages of males pushed male divinity into the general consciousness (war > male gods). And then your favored male gods > war hypothesis.

And even if your hypothesis (male gods > war) were the case, then you have to first ask why men would stumble across male gods, and why they would be so persistent. Their persistence would itself be interesting evidence.

Are you really saying you think Allah and Yahweh are what – neuter? Are you absolutely certain there’s nothing in the Torah or Koran that pegs both of them as daddies?

Which of their explicitly stated theological characteristics would that be? For one thing, I know that the Qur'an specifically denies human biological traits or metaphors for God.

You may use the evidence that a male pronoun is used in each case, but do note that Arabic and Hebrew are both two-gender languages where neuter objects are conferred default masculine. But your mileage may vary.

Yes, you’re right that a male god could be a father. And several male gods *are* remembered as fathers. And they are mostly (if not always) monsters. Zeus was into infidelity and rape.

Yeah but to draw the conclusion that you are drawing is to say that any reflection of the male experience of parenthood in the divine necessarily leads to monstrosity. That suggests that males are not only incomplete in some way, but also defective, in that a fundamental aspect of male biological being cannot have any standing comparable to the female experience, and therefore maleness is a breach in the psychic continguity of the cosmos.

I suggest that that's a problematic conclusion to draw, and may not even be directly justified by your premises.

Mandos said...

And motherness has numinous qualities that fatherness will never have.

The relative size and numinosity of these experience may well be as you say, but there are a few characteristics of "fatherness" that are not included in "motherness". The feelings associated with "reproduction by proxy", "I-instigated-that" and so on are things that may not compare to motherhood in many ways (who knows?)---but they are things that are important in the male psyche and their influence on the spiritual future cannot be ignored.

Finally, while I'm not sure I agree with your whole hypothesis, I'm willing to accept your premises for the sake of discussion. So my point is not *primarily* to argue about the benefits of mother gods, but to suggest that even if it *were* as beneficial as you say, you cannot merely leave the specifics of the male psyche and experience to the side.

Morgaine said...

Mandos - the male is a variant of the female. The female always comes first in evolution - sexual reproduction is generally the last stage of the evolution of a species. The image of the Mother Goddess is inclusive - we are all contained within Her. Your problem is that you are thinking of maleness as "opposite" or "other" - there is one gender, and many genders. You're stuck in the irresolvable patriarchal binary - this is a completely different world view.

Athana said...

Mandos, yes! I “want the adult human to be the giver of love.” And who is the perfect model of unselfish, unconditional love? Mother. Why? Because of the hormone oxytocin (check out previous posts on this blog on oxytocin).

I'm not about competition, about the male competing with the female. I'm about all of us getting what we want – unconditional regard, respect, and love.

Athana said...

Mandos, as you yourself noted, what I said was not that male gods produce war, but that “when societies centered around female deity, they eschewed war….”

Personally I lean toward the theory that a factor X caused war (the rise of “the state”) and that war gods followed. But I think the war gods help cement institutionalized warfare in place.

.....

Just because father deities in the past have all been monsters (maybe you can name some who haven’t been), doesn’t mean they necessarily must be monsters today. But there are dozens of qualities males bring to humanity other than fatherhood. Why are you so insistent that fatherness be a part of male godhood?

Athana said...

Mandos, in western societies (and certain other societies as well), sperm contribution is terrifically important to the male psyche. I understand that.

But how does male sperm turn the male god into a role model for unconditional love (that kind of love we all crave, the kind that would make human societies ideal -- if we all gave it to one another)?

We all begin as PEOPLE, not males, not females. But then some of us get certain hormones, including the hormone oxytocin, and we become unconditional lovers of our children. Men can’t help it that they didn’t come with a genetic blueprint that included large doses of oxytocin.

Western society is not king. Western societies are about as dysfunctional as societies can get. Just because you adore your sperm contribution doesn’t mean it’s the basis for godhood.

Again, Mandos, I repeat: males must find their own basis for godhood. What does the male do that provides a beneficial role model for healthy human functioning? That's your basis for godhood.