Friday, June 23, 2017

The Alphabet vs the Goddess.........reflections.

“Older yet, and lovelier far, this Mystery………and I will not Forget.”
Robin Williamson

Travelling for 3 weeks, and now, on the Summer Solstice, landed at last at Brushwood in Chautauqua county N.Y., where I have spent many summers. 

A synchronistic encounter with a psychic reader, on the street in Boulder, Colorado, had me thinking as I drove the long hypnotic miles, about the significant advice he gave me.  “Ask and ye shall receive”……and my journey began with questions that slowly have found their answers on the road.  I've spent so much of my life in motion, and driving seems to be a moving meditation for me, the "in transit" state.  I don’t know how to explain that, except that “listening” in various ways is important as I travel, and being on the road is being in that “between” realm, freed from the habitual patterns of  life.

One of the things the psychic, sitting alone at a small table,  told me, with his water-clear pale blue eyes looking into mine, was that I should write.  That I should write about my life.  Write about my vain that seems to me, to produce "memoirs".  And yet, what other  frame of reference  can we have, if not our lives?  So here I am, someone who has not been able to write for over a year, someone who would much rather be out in the woods meditating on the extraordinary variety of greens to seen on moss, sitting under a lightning struck old growth maple tree I know pretty well,  sensing the Fey Folk and warding off the less ephemeral mosquitos………here I sit at the keyboard.  But the Tree and the Moss will have their day too.   And the language spoken in that wood calls me back and back, and is full of twigs and luna moth wings and the cry the phoebe bird makes and sienna shades of tree cambrium  whorls that tell the tale of a hundred seasons.........and rarely speaks the human tongue.  Too long apart from that conversation I become stupid, I forget my real place in  World.

It’s ironic that I should receive "instructions" from spirit to write, because my companion on this trip has been THE ALPHABET VERSUS THEGODDESS, a 1996 book by Leonard Shlain. * The author (who I met when I lived in the Bay Area and greatly admired)  was a man of many interests.  He was a neurosurgeon who wrote about art and culture, exploring the intersection between brain, consciousness, aesthetics and culture.   He eloquently proposes that the demise of the Goddess and the descent of women throughout the world  had much to do with the evolution of literacy, and the loss of visual language and oral transmission, recording how these phenomena coincide throughout his-story.
The demise of the Goddess represents the fracturing of the human spirit, literally divided against itself.  Dr. Shlain  explores his premise throughout the evolution of the monotheistic “literate” religions,  and their patriarchal origins, to explose a universally renunciate  mythos, appallingly violent and misogynist, that always follows the development of “literate religion”.   In other words, Schlain argues that the increasing left brain, “masculine” domination of society became concretized with the development of writing, along with the loss of right brain, visionary/intuitive “feminine”  modes of consciousness and accompanying values.   

Yes, I can write I reflect,  but I think in images.  When I have studied mediumship I experience  Spirit communicating through symbolic images...........and I have never met a medium, or an animal communicator, who hears long and authoritative sentances.  Spirit, and animals, seem to communicate largely with universal language of image, symbol, sometimes sound and smell as well.  So do dreams, in timeless, visionary  ways.  

The first thing a new human encounters are the mobile faces of her or his parents, the language of facial expressions.  Perhaps that is why I’ve always been so fascinated with masks, and why it is so important to help the  “art illiterate” to understand  that a painting, any  work of art, is really a conversation.  It invites reply, response, engagement.  

Leonard Slain's book is a provocative, important book.

*In this groundbreaking book, Leonard Shlain, author of the bestselling Art & Physics, proposes that the process of learning alphabetic literacy rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture. Making remarkable connections across a wide range of subjects including brain function, anthropology, history, and religion, Shlain argues that literacy reinforced the brain's linear, abstract, predominantly masculine left hemisphere at the expense of the holistic, iconic feminine right one. This shift upset the balance between men and women initiating the disappearance of goddesses, the abhorrence of images, and, in literacy's early stages, the decline of women's political status. Patriarchy and misogyny followed.

Shlain contrasts the feminine right-brained oral teachings of Socrates, Buddha, and Jesus with the masculine creeds that evolved when their spoken words were committed to writing. The first book written in an alphabet was the Old Testament and its most important passage was the Ten Commandments. The first two reject of any goddess influence and ban any form of representative art.

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Onto my list the book goes! I think that's great advice from the psychic!