read, think, evolve
Volume 1 Number 2 April 22, 2000
One of the nice things about this topic is that it is so massive and complex one could spend a lifetime working on it and barely scratch the surface. Another nice thing is that it is theoretical and one has room to explore all sorts of ideas.
This week I will begin the quest with a look at the biggest us and them issue that confronts us: gender. As tempting as it may be to see women and men as being two different species, we are one. How much of the superficial differences are biological and genetic, and how much is cultural, is way beyond my abilities of analysis. I'm not sure it matters. We have to adapt and change to fit into the new world we have created, and it isn't too important if something is based in genetic imperatives or grows out of cultural influences. We have to choose new ways and move on. (Maybe it is harder to overcome genetic imperatives than culturally dictated ones?)
For the past five eons most of humanity has lived under patriarchal structures. The majority of anthropologists think that patriarchal structures of one sort or another have been prevalent for all of humanity's history. I agree with the minority opinion that there were eons prior to this patriarchal era when much of humanity lived in cultures based on matriarchal structures. As such, I feel, we have stated both the thesis of matriarchal structures and the antithesis of patriarchal structures. Now it is time to define and state the synthesis.
One level that we have to approach this on is the spiritual level. It is evident that the Goddess has been rising again in many cultures, but I am not sure how to go about elevating her so she stands side by side with God to guide us and guide us to healthier ways to live. Some argue that moving to a new religion that views them as equals is too big of an adjustment to hope for. Maybe the answer is to take existing religions and elevate Goddess images already imbedded in them? For example, within the mystical branches of the Christian and Jewish religions there is the character of Sophia who could be brought into the mainstream of those religions and begin the process of helping the Goddess to find her rightful place beside God. (Personally, I prefer the idea of creating something new, but it is probably unrealistic to think more than a small handful of people would adopt a religion that is too different from their existing beliefs. The problem is that we don't have eons for religious beliefs to slowly adapt from patriarchal to synthesis.)
I don't see how we can survive without moving to a point where women and men are equally represented throughout every level of every organization in the world; but we are a long ways from there, even in U.S. where there has been a lot of effort put into changing that over the past couple decades. (For example, I worked for years in a local government that is run primarily by liberals and where women hold quite a few elected positions. Despite that and all the effort the leaders put into pretending it isn't so, it is still a very male organization. Around 75% of the employees are men and at least 90% of the employees who make over $US30,000 per year are men.) (Personally, I would like to impose strict quotas until things have actually changed, but am I probably just a romantic dreamer hoping for something that can't be.)
As with many of these issues, the problem is how to make radical changes in the limited amount of time remaining. (The environmental deterioration caused by the industrial revolution, over population, and lots of other variables have brought us to the point where we don't have time for gradual changes.) (Maybe Complexity Theory that was developed in the field of evolutionary biology will prove true, and we will be open to evolutionary changes in our way of life as we move towards the edge of chaos and extinction becomes a clear and present danger? (Why do we have to be knocked over the head with something before we acknowledge it? (e.g., it is obvious to myself and many others that the environment has already been seriously compromised and requires immediate attention, but the vast majority of our brothers and sisters don't recognize that.)))
Well, I better take of my writer hat and put back on the web master one. (I don't have much time left to get the web site fixed up so that it will run on its own after I lose everything and move back out onto the streets. (The upside of becoming a homeless person again is that I will have much more time to study and write!))
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