Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mother hedonism and father sin

We went to a theatre performance a few nights ago where the dutch author Tom Lanoye read from his latest book "Fort Europe - Canticle of division" together with three actors for the dialogue bits. In it he deals with the dubious attitude of most europeans throughout history towards the european unification. Irony is an integral part of the writings of most dutch intelligensia, especially this one, and the public didn't need smileys to get the non-jokes told by characters, not necessarily the author's POV.
One part I found particularly of intrest for here dealt with the religious background. I bought the book & roughly translate a bit here. A female stam cell biologist obsessed with the concept of the 'new mankind' on her way to Dubai speaks about her feelings towards the old continent.

The three big religions - Yahweh's, Jesus's and Mohammed's - all came to maturity in a desert. They base themselves not on life, but on survival. Hence their patriarchy. Women pass life to the next generation, men protect it till their last breath. A man fights and shouts on his deathbed, as if treated unfairly. A woman nudges her shoulders and closes her eyes.
The real Europe has a bit of everything, but no desert. The desert transforms humanity. Science sets it free. The European science. There is no other. Europe is a matriarchy colonized by three patriarchal religions.
That's why Europe's not longer in Europe.
That's why I had to leave today's America. A patriarchy colonized by another patriarchy. Surprising that I could work there for so long.
America is an experiment gone wrong. Once started as a secund, better Europe. Our first colony that was able to free itself, thanks to romantics - French of course, like Lafayette. Romantics have the courage to shape a whole new continent. They have no courage for the New Mankind. They're too much in love with the old one, themselves. (…)
The Enlightment, starting in Paris, did not take root in Manhattan. Manhattan is well known for its rocky underground. And the soft underbely of the United States is pregnant of religious farmers on the run for enlightment.

As mentioned before, not all statements may be part of the author's reality tunnel. Robert Anton Wilson's and Timothy Leary's concept of 8 circuits reality levels comes in handy here.
It seems a double path leads from the abrahamic creation myth: the patriarchal bio-survivalist (first circuit) developped the concept of sin in order to survive as a species in harsh circumstances. Therefore the invention of laws, rapidly becoming morality through the lenses of the religious leadership. Grounded in Malkuth, this way of life was particularly useful in the desert.
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The matriarchy on the other hand was based on Ishtar's breasts, a wild culture of wealth in the gigantic woods of Europe. Many abrahamic creation maps show the garden of Eden in the vicinity of a mountain, from which the main earth rivers flow - just as milk flows from a breast. Feeding and protecting, this hedonistic relationship seems to hint to the socio-sexual circuit.
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Looking at ancient wordmaps I suddenly realized they often drawed the garden of Eden centrally near a large mountain and rivers flowing from it.

ThePsalter map (13th century) shows Jeruzalem at the center of the world and the earth paradise at the eastern top, but Mount Sinai's in Jeruzalem and three rivers flow from there: the Don to the North, the Nile to the South and the mediterranean to the West. (from a Dutch magazine "Knack" special edition "Atlas from here to Utopia", about world maps)

and here the same Illustrator'd by yours truly:

This "Mappa Mundi" from the french town Saint-Sever shows the way to the far East. Paradise seem surrounded by mountains where all the earth rivers seem to find their source.

John Hopkinson's "Synopsis Paradisi" (1598) shows Eden at the meeting of Tigris and Euphrates in a mountaineous region in present-day Iran (strange to realize how the American Bible nuts bombed the garden of Eden a few times).

This map from "De Statu Saracenorum" by William of Tripoli (ca 1271) finally situates the earth paradise in the East, between Mount Caucasus and Mount Taurus, and - to conform to the law of fives - five rivers flow from there: the Nile, the Phison (Ganges), the Gyon, the Tigris and the Euphrates. This book was used to try to convince muslims to believe that they were meant to become christians eventually.

(These three last world maps from "Carnet Trimestriel du colège de 'Pataphysique" nr 16 about Adam and the paradise)

Of course this all links back to the fall and the original sin… children will have to grow up and leave the garden of Eden. Whether they accepts this as a necessity or resent it as a punishment will depend on the POV of the people surrounding them.

Both patriarchy and matriarchy got mingled in Europe, the heimat of western civilization, and it resulted in an unhappy marriage.

Hedonism provided by the biosphere (nature) added to the concept of sin from the new culture gave birth to guilt.

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Visualised in a sefirotic tree this shows how the guilt-tripping european is filled with disdain for the rest of the world: consciousness chained to Yesod or the ego.
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This worldview was transmitted to the United States. Notwithstanding the couragous idealism of the founding fathers (trying to break free from patriarchy in their concept of a new nation), the worm was already in the fruit. Religious madness started all over again in a period in time where Europe had emptied religion and kept hiding in its empty shells for remaining upright.

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