Sunday, 13 January 2008

Chapter One

The Path Of The God

ALL HUMAN BEINGS on this earth are children of the Great Mother. Once, we all existed within her in a world of paradise. The story of the Garden of Eden is probably an echo of this world, which is also reflected in the state of bliss we experience before physical birth, in the womb.
But then there came a desire, both from ourselves and the Great Mother, for us to become gods and goddesses in our own right. We needed to be able to create independently. As a result, we were put onto this three-dimensional planet, so that we could grow and learn how to create for ourselves. This was a crucial step. As long as we lived within the Great Mother, we would always be overwhelmed by her Creation, so we had to live in a very limited world, one that was equal to our limited understanding, limited ability to create and limited ability to love.
Because the only way to grow is to do things for ourselves, make mistakes and bring about our own creations, we had to be in a situation completely outside the Great Mother, or at least appear to be. The Mother had to set us free, just as a baby with a mortal mother, on whom he is totally dependant, sooner or later has to be freed to learn to do things for himself and gain autonomy. A wise mother, of course, allows the baby independence, and encourages him to be as free of her as he is able, while remaining always at hand to answer calls for assistance.
This is what the Great Mother has done for mankind. She has given us both freedom and protection, in a kindergarten which is three- dimensional earth. Man, in his evolutionary infancy, lived in a form of paradise, still strongly connected to the Great Mother. When we look at primitive tribes in the rain forests of Brazil, the pygmies in Africa and the aborigines in Australia, we gain a sense of the leisurely and safe existence which man led. He was able to feed himself quite easily by gathering fruits, roots and vegetables, supplement his diet by hunting and build simple shelters using the materials he found around him. Unlike today, there were no encroaching aggressive cultures to threaten him, and dis-ease was unknown because he was still in harmony with himself and the planet. Only later on in our history did life become 'nasty, brutish and short.'
Of course, in time, man wanted more than this, as his drive towards autonomy and self-realisation asserted itself. He embarked on the path of the god, which involves the creation of a feeling of independence and self-worth at an individual level rather than a communal one. This moved him further and further away from the Great Mother. Gradually, he began to create the first simple societies, and later on, civilisations. More and more, he began to control the world about him, to control himself and to control women, because they were still connected to the Great Mother, and represented the symbiotic past he was attempting to leave behind. Slowly, he developed an ego, or sense of self as an individual, and this told him that the way forward was to use his energy for himself alone. In time, as the distance between him and his Creator increased, it convinced him that he was a totally separate entity from others, trapped inside a body which represented the limits of his being. An ancient myth which embodies this growing divergence of men and women relates to the Egyptian deities, Isis and Osiris. Osiris was chopped into thirteen pieces by his evil brother, Set, and Isis had to search the world to find his scattered remnants. She found all but the phallus, which had been eaten by a crocodile, and brought him back to life. This story illustrates the way that man began to divide the world into separate individuals, while women remained whole. Isis loves Osiris enough to reassemble him, and is the only one who can do this, because she remembers what the whole is. In terms of human evolution, woman is the only one who can unite the fragmented universe of patriarchal society, because she has never become totally disconnected from others.
As man moved further away from the Great Mother, his intuitive faculties diminished and he was left with only his growing intellect. He began to question the existence of intuition, and despise women because they seemed to rely on this illogical sense for guidance. Though he looked for devotion from woman, he gave her nothing in return. If he could have dispensed with her, he would have, but he needed her. So she became his slave, and gave him the space he required to further develop his ego, by taking care of many of his needs. She received only contempt and hatred for herself. Everything was owned and controlled by men. Even children, who clearly emerge from a woman, were seen as the property of males. The woman was merely the incubator for male seed. In some patriarchal religions, the child was seen as evil because he was 'born of woman,' and had to be ritually cleansed by baptism. In this way, he is reborn 'of spirit,' and can worship the male deity without the taint of woman defiling him.
As we said in the first chapter, men and women are very different, not only in their physical bodies but within the brain. Man has in fact two brains: one, on the left side, is the cold intellectual brain which belongs to him alone - the other, the right brain, is the intuitive, emotional and artistic side of him and is linked directly to the Great Mother. To enable man to go his own way and become independent of the Great Mother, there is only a very slender link between the two halves of the brain. Man can easily ignore his right brain and behave as if the intellect is the only part of him that exists. This is not true for women, who have a very strong bridge between the two halves. They can not ignore the presence of the Great Mother and disconnect the two sides of themselves so easily.
What this means is that woman has a continuing link to the Great Mother, and functions as Her representative on earth. She acts therefore as nourisher and protector of man. She gives birth to him on the physical plane, and looks after him until he is able to fend for himself, just as the Great Mother did earlier on in our racial history. This makes all relationships between men and women, in essence, one of mother and son. Although we may enumerate other relationships such as father/daughter, husband/wife and brother/sister, the root relationship is always mother/son, because woman is the embodiment of the Great Mother.
This fact, in patriarchal societies, has brought conflict between men and women. Man, in his striving to go forward on the path of the god, has often seen women as his enemy, interpreting her efforts to help him as holding him back. He does not wish to remember that he is a child of the Great Mother, and punishes woman for reminding him that this is the case. He has also often chosen to see woman as his servant, rather than his protector and guide, thus distorting her function in the world and restricting the help he can receive from her. Woman's function is also the reason why men find women completely mysterious, unfathomable and unpredictable. Simply because she is the representative of the Great Mother on earth, she is truly unlimited, and can impart wisdom, when she is allowed to, to help herself as well as others.
Women call on the wisdom of the Great Mother to bear children, to rear them, to look after husbands, and to keep the whole of society functioning. Without women, there would have been no human communities, merely a collection of individuals fighting to gain knowledge, power or pleasure for themselves. Women are in the position of looking in two directions at once. One way, they are looking back towards paradise, when all was harmonious, and are learning from the Great Mother. The other way, they look towards man, see him struggling to create for himself, and learn from him too. On the path of the god, man learns by doing and woman learns by observing and being.
Because man wanted to forget the Great Mother and go his own way, he created a deity in his own image - the god. Man began to move away from the Great Mother on to the path of the male god, to begin the first half of a cycle which culminates eventually in a return to the Great Mother. Unfortunately, the path of the god has also been the way of suffering, conflict and separation. Within the Great Mother everything is one, and that oneness rests within her unconditional love. Everything is accepted and nothing is rejected, leading to total harmony. Man desired independence and separation, so he originated the idea of conflict, in which it is possible for one idea, belief or person to oppose another. Each person began to be seen as separate from others. Having done this, man then arranged the whole of creation, in his mind, into a hierarchy. Some people and things became more valuable than others, leading to feelings of superiority and inferiority, and desires to possess and control. Although the Great Mother is able to give us freedom, unfortunately man on the path of the god is unable to give himself or any other man that same freedom. He fears that he will lose control of himself or others if he does not keep a tight rein on everything in his world.

Everyone is a unique individual, with characteristics which are different from anyone else's. Man on the path of the god cannot cope with this. He sees difference as a threat, to be eliminated by any means possible, rather than a reason to celebrate the incredible diversity of creation. From this attitude came intolerance, repression, violence and wholesale war. Men of similar ideas banded together, however temporarily, to impose their ideas on others. Control was exerted to force people to think, feel and behave in certain ways. Protest was met by the setting up of laws and moral codes so that dissent could be outlawed - whether it was religious or political.
The process of man's loss of innocence on the path of the god is clearly documented in the Tao Te Ching. It says,
As the Great Tao declines
Morality and laws come into being.
As wisdom and knowledge arise
They make way for lies and deceit.
When there is conflict in families,
There is obedience and duty.
When countries are in turmoil
Warriors are praised.
When Tao is, all is one,
When Tao is lost,
All is divided.

Unconditional love for all has been replaced by rules and structures of behaviour within a society which sees some people as worthier than others. Intuitive knowledge has been replaced with intellectual learning, and harmony has been lost, leading to conflict between people who have forgotten their connection to each other.
All this has come about simply because mankind has only a very limited mind. The mind of the Great Mother is completely unlimited, and can accommodate all ideas and all people, without fear. She has given us parts of her wisdom, and everyone has access to this. But man only feels safe in a world where he understands and therefore can control everything. The unknown or the uncontrollable are very fearful to him, and women, as the representatives of the Great Mother, are the ones he wishes to control the most.
When we look at the beliefs of mankind in Mediaeval times, we can see how limited he was. The earth was seen as the centre of the universe. The sun orbited the earth, and the moon and stars were seen as lights in the sky. It was a small safe cocoon. As man's knowledge of the cosmos has increased, the horizons of his universe have expanded, allowing him to see even more possibilities. He now accepts that the earth orbits the sun, (although even that fact is not entirely true,) that our planet is only one of several within the solar system, and that he inhabits a vast galaxy, only one of the millions within the universe. Mediaeval man would not have been able to grasp this, not only because he lacked the technology, but because the information would have both terrified and expanded him beyond his limits to cope.
Even though our beliefs and knowledge have changed, we still want to control the world we live in by setting limits on its possibilities. This is exemplified by the deterministic view which was widely held by scientists until the close of the Nineteenth Century, and which still has an influence today. Determinism sees the universe and everything it contains as an intricate clockwork mechanism, whose behaviour, provided we know the rules, can be predicted with absolute accuracy. Although Quantum Physics has shown us that the universe is fundamentally unpredictable, many scientists still use a deterministic model. Medical researchers, for example, talk about 'the mechanics of disease', implying that the human body is merely a machine. Historians , though not strictly scientists, also see events as having been determined by specific causes, disregarding the myriad factors at work in a particular situation. Although this may be satisfying to their limited minds, and expedient, the result is that any event seems to have as many causes as there are historians. The 'whole story' is impossible to see. Our limited mind is something we are reluctant to admit to.
Bill: This was brought home to me as a young man when I joined an organisation in Australia called Rostrum, which is a kind of debating society. At each meeting, three speakers would discuss one particular question. Each would put his argument as convincingly as possible, and persuade you he was right. Then the next speaker would attempt to destroy the case of the other speaker, changing your point of view again. The third speaker behaved in exactly the same way, so that you were once more convinced that this was the truth. This fascinated me, and I soon realised that a good speaker can convince you of anything by selecting which facts he presents to you and interpreting them to support his ideas.
All of us, because we are limited, can only retain a certain amount of information, which then shapes our perception of the world. For this reason, all patriarchal religions and political systems use censorship and propaganda. They control very carefully what information reaches the general public, suppressing anything which might threaten their power, usually under the guise of serving 'the common good'. This applies to so-called free countries as well as to those where the oppression is very visible.
What this all adds up to is that because of our limited minds, we can never know the truth about anything. To see the truth requires an ability to perceive the whole of something, and we only have partial vision. Women are well aware of this because of their strong link with the Great Mother, and do not usually strive to use their intellect to solve the riddle of existence. Man is not like this. With typical arrogance, and a burning desire to know so that he can control or use, he sets out to find immutable laws and formulae which will explain the universe. Even when his motivation is to bring peace and harmony, he cannot use his intellect to solve one problem without creating another. He may develop technology, for example, to eliminate poverty and disease, yet create a fresh difficulty, over-population, as a result.
When we look at the recorded history of mankind (or even today's newspaper) and see the appalling stupidity which has occurred, we may be tempted to turn away in despair at ever achieving happiness and peace on this planet. What we must remember is that an amazing amount of learning has also taken place. Like the Prodigal Son, man has had to learn how poverty stricken he has become on the path of the god, before he can swallow his pride and return to the Great Mother, who has never ceased to love him. The return journey is the path of the Goddess, and we will discuss it in the next chapter.