Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

February 4, 2012

I don’t think the missionary is coming back.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — paragardener @ 5:38 pm

A missionary popped up on my front porch, totally obvious in his black trenchcoat and hat. I didn’t feel the need to be saved at that moment, so I considered hiding in my house, but that seemed wimpy. I thought about giving him a rude, angry sendoff: “take your God and shove it!”

There was only one civil thing to do: I stepped outside to talk to him. “Can I help you?”

He showed me a Bible verse, something from James that referred to Abraham as Jehovah’s only friend. “Wouldn’t you like to be Jehovah’s friend?”

Uncomfortable silence. “Well, isn’t it good to have a friend?” he persisted.

“Um… that depends on who your friend is.”

I explained, as gently as I could, that I did not want to be friends with a god who ordered his people repeatedly to commit genocide, and I especially don’t like that incident in Numbers where Jehovah orders the Isrealites to steal all the virgins from a city they’ve leveled. That’s icky, and this guy’s teenage daughter was following him around, looking sullen, so that made it way more uncomfortable to talk about marriage-against-her-will. “Look,” I told him, “this fighting for God is still going on. These days it could be over the name of God — Jehovah versus Allah. I don’t want to have anything to do with it.”

He told me that people who still fight over God are falsely claiming to be his followers,’cause they’re not really doing what God laid out for them. I told him that I could at least accept that they were hypocrites, ’cause in fairness the Bible does promote peace and love in many places.

He asked, “what would you do if your neighbors were keeping a child in their house, abusing them?”

I mulled it over. Having your parents arrested and being sent to foster care isn’t always better than the nasty situation a kid is already in. “Well, in some circumstances I would have to call the cops.”

“Well you see, the people in these cities that were destroyed were doing bad things, like sacrificing their own children. God had to have his people take action against them.”

It came out that he had an article all about the topic, but it wasn’t on his person. I told him that he should come back and stick it through the bars on my security door. We talked about the Bible for another minute, and then he cocked his head like a confused dog, said his goodbyes, and walked on down the block. Had he heard the voice of Jehovah?

Now I’ve been thinking about our conversation, and I want to know: 1) isn’t killing everybody in the city worse than the occasional child sacrifice? We’re talking about soldiers murdering babies with hand-to-hand weapons en masse… 2) isn’t Abraham Jehovah’s friend precisely because he was willing to sacrifice his own son?

That was almost three weeks ago. I don’t think the missionary is coming back.

Come on, man, I didn’t get to tell you about my Gaia, or even display the shrunken heads of all the missionaries who visited previously!

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December 15, 2011

Did the World End 6,000 Years Ago?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 5:25 pm

Imagine a horrific water shortage throws the world into famine and tumult. Fathers are leaving their families to go and find food, and often as not they don’t come back. Orphaned children band together to prowl the streets and steal supplies.

After a while, only the strong are surviving. Organized raiders led by brutal warlords come to dominate the blasted landscape. These men fetishize power and violence, keep other people as slaves, and assemble harems to please their carnal whims.

Once the water situation is a little less grim, the new society organizes itself around the warlords in their fortified camps. No longer do warlords have to end all of their commands with “OR DIE!”, because everyone just knows it is right to obey their leader. Everyone has a place in the chain of command / obedience, from ruler down to slave.

Women have their right to contraception stripped, since the warlords want more numerous children to aggrandize their little empires. Needless to say, homosexuals meet a swift and final punishment, since they fall so far outside of the Big Man – Harem – Breed More Soldiers model. Some men might be castrated and kept in subservient positions, though.

As a final insult, the warlords put all of the teachers to death and replace them with priests, who seem to coach obedience within the armed-camp society more than they actually teach anything. Their lessons are about following orders, reveling in inequality, hating the sinful ways of people in the other camps, and constantly examining one’s self for disloyalty.

Did this scenario actually play out in the distant past?

A number of sources tell this story, or pieces of it. To begin with the familiar:

The Bible

In Genesis, we hear of an earlier, more peacable society consisting only of Adam and Eve. They were hanging out naked in a lush, garden-like environment in the Before; in the After, they’re clothed, guilt-wracked and have to work hard to eat. The Knowledge of Good and Evil might well be the Knowledge of Fitting In to Armed Camp Society — in that place you’d want to hide your sexuality to avoid being raped or jealously murdered. Eve is punished with difficult childbearing (all of the midwives were killed?) and told that her husband will henceforth rule over her, which is clearly warlordism and not a natural way for partners to get along.

Incidently, Eden is located in Mesopotamia, by extremely vague Biblical directions. That area definitely experienced a drying trend over recent millenia, going from “The Fertile Crescent” to sandy desert. We know for sure that the people of the region adapted by farming grain (imagine the work, with stone and wooden tools!) and moving into walled cities. The Old Testament in general is an excellent source book regarding civilized society at this time…

Excerpts from Numbers 31…

Moses to Isrealite commanders: “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

…The LORD said to Moses, “You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured. Divide the spoils equally between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community. From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep. Take this tribute from their half share and give it to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part. From the Israelites’ half, select one out of every fifty, whether people, cattle, donkeys, sheep or other animals. Give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the LORD’s tabernacle.” So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.

The half share of those who fought in the battle was:

337,500 sheep, of which the tribute for the LORD was 675;

36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72;

30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the LORD was 61;

16,000 people, of whom the tribute for the LORD was 32.

Moses gave the tribute to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part, as the LORD commanded Moses.

The half belonging to the Israelites, which Moses set apart from that of the fighting men— the community’s half—was 337,500 sheep, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys and 16,000 people. From the Israelites’ half, Moses selected one out of every fifty people and animals, as the LORD commanded him, and gave them to the Levites, who were responsible for the care of the LORD’s tabernacle.

There is this genuine strain of questing for justice in the O.T. — notice how they divided the sex slaves so fairly amongst themselves! Another point on the Bible — the warlord chieftain of the moment has been replaced by the LORD, a king of kings, seeing all and ruling from behind the curtains like the Big Brother of 1984. This document is supposedly a good foundation for morality, and in fact I often think of some fable or poetry or parable out of the Bible; still, can you see how it documents a horrible time? Cretins then refer to the Bible to justify the horrors they’re perpetrating today.

DeMeo’s Analysis of Anthropological Data

James DeMeo, a supporter of Willhelm Reich’s theory of sex repression and mystical, put together a vast amount of existing cross-cultural data on warfare, marriage, child-rearing and such to establish the origins and spread of warlordism. He found that warlordism, which he calls patrism, originated in a broad swath of drying land including not only Mesopotamia, but also the Sahara and extending in the other direction through Central Asia (for short, Saharasia). The alternative to patrism, matrism, is humanity’s default in this model, and it once covered the entire globe. Patrists have prevailed because of their excellence in violence, and spread over the world.

DeMeo believes that patrism continues generationally through painful or pleasure-censoring child-rearing practices, such as genital-mutilating rituals or demands that children be quiet, uncurious and obedient. These practices result in adults who are more aggressive, sadistic and authority-worshiping than natural people — and better warriors with shield and spear in hand. Thus, the original trauma of famine and warlordism has been replicated and spread by conquest and sadistic cultural practices: an enforced catastrophe.

If you doubt the existence of less-violent, matrist cultures, look up “Trobriand Islanders.”

Eisler’s Chalice and Blade

Another source of information on the rise of “patrism” is the 1987 book “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler. She describes a Neolithic agrarian way of life that revered fertility goddesses, featured male and female priests and treated males and females equally in their tombs. This widespread culture was conquered or displaced by Indo-Europeans (aka Aryans), who rode horses into battle and stressed masculinity and death in their religion. I have yet to read it except in this tiny summary, but I understand that this book really opened people’s eyes to the idea that more peacable cultures can be viable, and that women’s historically lowly position is due to historical circumstance, and not inborn human nature. I bet that Eisler uses the term “patriarchy” and not “patrism,” but her story is pretty compatible with DeMeo’s and the Biblical evidence.

Sick, Sad World

Sometimes I think to myself, “is the world really sick, or do I just look at it too darkly, or are my expectations just too high?” Now I have some evidence that the world is really sick: people are living in a cycle of catastrophic famine behavior, the cause of which was in the ancient past. We’re perpetuating it on ourselves through a culture of repression and violence. It cheers me to know that the horrible water-shortage scenario I imagined really happened (more or less), ’cause it means there is a reason for people to act so damned mean. The imagined possibility of changing the situation becomes a real-life chance.

The story explains much about us, like where this gay-hating strain came from or how slavery was ever okay. It explains why the Battle of Good and Evil (Us vs. Them) is the plot or subtext of every Hollywood movie, and why going about naked is shameful and criminal. I’m sure you can find the celebration of warlord values all over the culture for yourself, so no more of that.

The flip side is that promoting matrist culture and resisting patrism constitutes a cure. If we treat children better, develop some wherwithall to take care of our own families and communities (outside of capitalist exploitation), and learn how to better resist violent authorities, well, those seem like the things that would damage the warlord culture and allow people to flourish in the world we were meant for.

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