Posts Tagged hunter-gatherers

From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace: “Development” Is Actually a Reduction of Awareness Through Painful Experiences, Which “Civilized” Cultures Rationalize as Being “Good”

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This Plague of Devolution, Which Has Afflicted Humans in the Last 1% of Our History, Creates the “Kitty-Drowners” and “Butterfly-Mashers” of the World: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Five

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From Transpersonal Reality to the Fall From Grace

Invisible Others Exist

spiritual-experiences-occurredIf subjectivity or psyche is ultimately more real than the material world as presented to us by our external senses, it follows that certain “psychic” realities may exist and even be more real, even though not manifesting in the physical world. Thus, this position, this worldview necessarily includes the position that psychic or “invisible” realities—e.g. , God, Spirit, “allies,” spirits, and so on—(which are seemingly separate from us but which ultimately we are part of) may exist though in common-sense (i.e., anthropocentric) reality we do not normally concede they exist. This position can be supported at even the most fundamental levels. In addition to the argument presented earlier about the existence of quasars to hunter-gatherers, at the simplest levels of argument there are few people who would assert that realities that are not directly perceived, even by our most sophisticated instruments, do not exist, when their existence is compellingly thrust upon us by their effects and by the congruence that their existence has with the principles upon which our world is found to run.

lightbeingsIf one could not see the other side of the moon, one would not say that it did not exist. There are those among us who would theorize that it is made of green cheese, but that is another matter. No, even the least dimly lit among us would not assert that it ceases to exist when it is out of sight. Nor would we say that electricity does not exist simply because we normally cannot see it. Our operations on the world simply would not be possible, logically so, if the world operated like that.

However, I believe that we are not normally aware of these other realities, call them “spirit,” or “other consciousnesses,” because our past experience influences us to believe, and therefore perceive, in particular distorted ways. These ways are prejudiced by our past experience (1) as a spiritual entity, (2) as identified with a particular species form, and (3) as identified as a particular person.

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Yet our prejudices are challenged continually, in both lesser and greater ways, by the other realities which we do not see; for these realities impinge upon our experience whether we acknowledge their existence or not. That something is able to do that is a part of the definition of something that is considered “objectively real” as opposed to being “imaginary.” Thus in this case they would be “objectively real” subjective, or psychic, or experiential realities. So it is that some people, having become aware of this, will allow themselves to be taught by these experiential challenges to their prejudices and will therefore become aware of some of these other “invisible” but “realer than real” realities once again.

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Devolution From Grace

images3Also, it is in the process of being taught by the incongruence of one’s prejudices with That Which Is, that one can come to learn the roots of those prejudices in one’s “past” experience and can come to know that one’s experience was less 352846750072278prejudiced “prior” to those experiences and that one was more aware then of the “greater reality” of which I have been speaking. So a corollary of this learning is the realization that our so-called “development” is actually a process of reduction of awareness through various painful experiences which, 64053_3393096646594_1588625540_ncuriously enough, “civilized” cultures have come to rationalize as being “good” for an individual in the course of that person’s “development.” This gradual reduction in awareness in the course of an individual’s “development” is what I call devolution. And I use that term because it carries the meaning of the reverse of evolution and the opposite of forward growth.

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Finally, the startling conclusion arising from all this is that “civilized” societies’ distinction from the other 99% of human societies that have existed over the several hundred-thousand year history of our species lies in a peculiar pathology that is a result of cropcircle-devolutiona devolution — same meaning as above—that occurred to us as a species in that time. This distinctive mental illness is characterized by reduced awareness, which—for reasons having to do with the pain of cognitive dissonance and the need, therefore, to rationalize as good any experience (regardless of its true value) in which one finds oneself—is elevated (desperately) to an undeserved status in our worldview and is mistakenly said to be a result of an evolution . In our desperate struggle to justify the pathetic and meager state in which we find ourselves (and thereby to beat back the pain of realizing how much we have truly lost), we promote our meager “civilized” state far above that which is truly high and good and better for our species and for the experiences of the individuals within that.

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OB-UE021_butter_DV_20120814080729Correspondingly, when we are confronted with aspects of that better way of being, exemplified by certain other people in certain other cultures, we feel the urgent need to scapegoat them, lest we become aware of our Western craziness; thus we project onto them the characteristics of that pathology which is, in actuality, inside of ourselves but which we are frantically, and uncourageously, running from.

This plague, which has arisen and afflicted us in the last 1% of our history, thus creates the “kitty-drowners” and “butterfly-mashers” of the world. kitty-drowner-butterfly-masherThese things being true, we are able now to understand how it could be that we would find ourselves, at this point in time, on the brink of a self-destruction so all-encompassing that it would take most, if not indeed all, other life forms on this planet down with us into oblivion. (Have a nice day!)

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Continue with Fearful of Looking Directly at Experience, We Defend Against It with Ego and by Creating Time: Experience Is Divine, Cognition Is Illusion, Part Six — The Shield of Perseus

Return to We Are One at Our Source … Explaining Shared Experience and Overlapping Identities: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Four — How “Within” Can Also Be “Outside”

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The First Retreat from the Natural Self Was Matriarchal Consciousness; It Should Hardly Be Our Goal: You Cannot “Balance” a Duality … You Can Only Transcend One.

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Matriarchy Is Not an Answer to Patriarchy: Is “White Man’s” Pride and Prejudices Keeping Us from Seeing Our Real Solutions, Our Primal Return?

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A Golden Age

The question that naturally arises from the preceding chapter’s conclusions on the current state of affairs and their unfortunately intractable response is, What can be done about the present crisis in consciousness? But in order to do anything about our situation, we must delve a little deeper into understanding this state of consciousness and into how it has come to be that way. A more thorough exposition of exactly that endeavor can be found in several other works of mine (The Great Reveal, Apocalypse Emergency, Apocalypse—No!, 21st Century and Its Discontents, and Adzema, 1993a, 1993b).

From Ancient Greece?

images20120115-195400For our purposes here, I would like to point out that similar conclusions to what we have arrived at about our crisis have been coming forth from many quarters of our culture in modern times. Examples are Rupert Sheldrake’s The Rebirth of Nature, Marilyn French’s Beyond Power, Theodore Roszak’s  The Voice of the Earth, Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, Richard Tarnas’s The Passion of the Western Mind, John White’s The Meeting of Science and Spirit, and Ken Wilber’s Up from Eden. Nevertheless, what almost all of these perspectives lack is a well-grounded anthropological perspective (Beyond Power being the notable exception). Their analysis of the historical process that has brought us to this pass is often heavily conditioned by a Western bias towards history which sees humanity as beginning in ancient Greece during a matriarchal “Golden Age.”

Completely overlooking, in this way, the full 99% of our specie’s history that occurred prior to that time — when we truly did live in harmony with Nature, as foragers and then hunter-gatherers — these theorists naturally come to the conclusion that our problems in consciousness arose when we switched over from a matriarchal mode of existence to a patriarchal one: That is, with the advance of nomadic patriarchal conquerors over the pastoral and agricultural “matriarchal” cultures of the Hellenic period of ancient Greece.

Matriarchal Is Not an Answer to Patriarchal

This is unfortunate because to seek to find a Golden Age in the matriarchal period has required of such writers that they completely overlook many of the obvious shortcomings of the matriarchal view. This is not to say that the matriarchal cultures may not have been more harmonious with Nature … and with their inner natures … than their patriarchal successors. That they were less violent is also true. Therefore, that matriarchal cultures were less “fallen from grace” than patriarchal ones is not something I would dispute.

What I think is crucial to make known, however, is that the matriarchal cultures themselves were also “fallen from grace”: from a previous, even more “golden” state — one which was even less violent and more harmonious with Nature. [Footnote 1]

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Is “White Man’s” Pride and Prejudices Keeping Us from Seeing Our Real Solutions, Our Primal Return?

But the writers in this area are apparently unaware of the true conditions of cultures outside of or prior to the Western “royal” line. Evidently, they are still to some extent influenced by the Western conditioning which has us scapegoat and denigrate such cultures and viewpoints as “primitive,” “savage,” and “uncivilized.” Thus they have us begin our history with a supposed “Greek miracle,” where we are said to have just “awakened” from a prior collective addiction to superstition, magic, and violence.

Lawlor_iconRobert Lawlor, in his book, Voices of the First Day, is one theorist who has not made such a mistake. In fact, Lawlor’s depiction of the aboriginal Australian world view demonstrate exactly the kind of “unfallenness,” “higher consciousness,” and harmony with Reality that most “matriarchal” theorists think they are espousing. It is one that is more truly in line with what might actually be our Reality — as the cutting edges of our sciences are finally telling us … despite themselves. It is interesting how we have come full circle in this way.

The First Retreat: Matriarchal Consciousness

Nevertheless, in response to the popular “return to the matriarchy” view, it is important to point out that it is not necessarily a good thing to go to matriarchal consciousness as a way of correcting patriarchal consciousness, even if it does represent a marginally better state of affairs.  For one does not correct the problems inherent in a duality by swinging to the other end in that same duality.

You Cannot “Balance” a Duality … You Can Only Transcend One.

That approach simply reinforces that particular split, that particular duality. After all, one would not think it a good idea to go from a period of totalitarian fascism to one of complete anarchy, for example. That would only put in play the forces to create another extreme crackdown. Neither would one consider it wise to swing from an extreme of hedonistic behavior to one of anal-compulsive repression; nor would one wish to order up a period of flood to counter one of drought!

“Balancing” Opposites Is an Impossible Struggle. Only a “Conjunction of Opposites” Brings Transcendence.

Though this pendulum-swinging tendency is often observed, it is hardly a desirable thing.  So, as it turns out, neither is it an ideal solution to go from patriarchality to matriarchality — just to “balance the opposites” . . . as some matriarchal advocates espouse. For doing either of these extremes sets up and reinforces the forces at the opposite extreme, readying them for the next wild swing in the other direction! No, one can only correct a duality by transcending that duality. And transcending, by the way, involves a synthesis — that is, either a going beyond, or a going before, to a state where both elements are not opposed — to a state where there is a “conjunction of opposites,” not their continued opposition.

Primal Consciousness

Hunter-gatherer consciousness — termed paleolithic consciousness by one researcher — and especially the even earlier forager consciousness was characterized by just such a, relatively, non-dualistic acceptance of That Which Is … for the most part. Its way of life, corresponding, has been called the “original affluent society,” in that it is estimated that only four hours a day were needed for attending to survival concerns.

But a mistrust set in.  Fearfulness and intractability in the face of change followed; and hence there arose the desire to attempt to control Nature, rather than to follow Her and conform to Her rhythms.

Continued with Ritual As Shadow: Magic, Ritual, and Superstition Occur with the Beginnings of Ego and the Agrarian Desire to Control Nature — the Matriarchal Consciousness

Return to “Why Did He Do It? White Man.” It Is Only Now That His Own Demise Is at Hand That Rational Man Stops to Reflect — The Primal Return

Footnote

1.  See also Matriarchy: a real solution to the shift in consciousness?

Continue with Ritual As Shadow: Magic, Ritual, and Superstition Occur with the Beginnings of Ego and the Agrarian Desire to Control Nature — the Matriarchal Consciousness

Return to “Why Did He Do It? White Man.” It Is Only Now That His Own Demise Is at Hand That Rational Man Stops to Reflect — The Primal Return

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Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death, Meat, and Murder … Beginning Our Apocalypse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 12

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Twelve: Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death , Meat, and Murder… How We Started Our Slide Into Savagery

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Deep Thought on the Falls – Meat, Sacrifice, and the Determination of Death

The Fall After Eden—Meat-Eating is the Issue with Cain And Abel’s Divine Offerings, Just as it Was with Prometheus’s

There are more parallels between the Eden and Prometheus myths and tie-ins to the issue of meat-eating.

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Cain Killed Abel, Sedentary Farmers Superseded Nomadic Gatherers

ilst185Some scholars see the Cain and Abel struggle as representing that between nomadic hunter-gatherers and the first settled farmers. Abel is the “righteous” man, a herder of sheep, and a nomadic type. He has an affinity with planetmates being a shepherd. GOOD SHEPHERD 2Later, Christ is compared with Abel as being a martyr but notice also that Christ is known as the Good Shepherd—that is, caring of peasantplowingbelowcastle (2)animals, too.

We need to think of the different ways herders and agriculturalists might view animals. The herder needs to raise and care for planetmates, regardless that they will eventually be killed. The farmer can view planetmates as a means only to an end—as slave labor or soul-less tools to be used in the raising of crops.

The Gods Want Meat = The Gods Want to Retain Determination of Life and Death

And in the Cain and Abel story, we have the same idea of an offering of a meat and a non-meat to a god, just as in the Prometheus myth. Again, meat is the accepted and more desired sacrifice by the divine.

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The Gods Want Humans to Offer Meat – to “Sacrifice” That Right of Determining Life/Death

01-anonymous-cain-and-abel-offer-sacrifice-unto-god-duomo-di-monreale-monreale-sicily-itIn the Prometheus myth, it all went awry because Prometheus did NOT offer the meat he should have to God. As I said, offering the meat as a sacrifice is the same as saying that it is left to God to determine the life and death of the planetmates (animals), not humans.schwartz1_thumb And in Abel’s giving up of a lamb to the Divine, the message is that the humans represented by Abel, the nomadic herder-gatherers will be willing to not eat meat, to forego it, to “sacrifice” it.

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Cain’s Story of Not Sacrificing Determination of Life/Death to the Divine = Humans’ Increasing Control Over Nature

2_cain-abel-sacrificesBut with Cain, the farmer, it is all about control. Cain does not offer an animal. Like Prometheus he gives the divine a lesser offering—not quite a tricking of the divine as Prometheus did but close to it; he is not willing to sacrifice as much. In giving up much more abundant grain and vegetables, the price he’s willing to pay is much less than Abel’s offering of a fellow planetmate, a lamb, raised and cared for from birth. Palaeolithic_bedsThe unspoken part in this myth is provided by way of the Prometheus myth. For in not offering meat to the Divine, the assumption is that Cain will be keeping the meat for his own consumption…and by inference that Cain is keeping for himself the determination of life or death of fellow planetmates instead of putting that responsibility where it belongs—in the hands of Nature/ the Divine.

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Deep Thought on the Falls – Murder

It’s No Wonder Cain’s Making of Life-Death Decisions of Animals Leads to His Doing That For a Human

GREEDFinally, the controlling, savage, and murderous qualities that come with increasing control over Nature—as I have described at length elsewhere—show up in that it is the sedentary, cain-abelmore controlling tiller of the soil, Cain, who has become capable of taking now, even, a human life. In The Great Reveal, I showed why that also follows: For once humans became capable of killing and eating planetmate flesh, it was not long before humans were able to kill each other.

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Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph?

peasantsplantingpotatoesearly-villageBut all of these developments, these increases of control over Nature, are traditionally seen as the “progress of man,” the advance and evolution of humans. On the brink of ecocide and fishkillhumanicide as we now are as a result of these developments, we have a nuclear_explosion_color_3_thumbunique vantage point for re-visioning these changes. Are these vaunted human “achievements” so great if they lead to species annihilation, species suicide, and ecocide as is becoming increasingly likely?

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We now continue to look into these questions. And the very next thing we see is that even the myths from ancient times give us evaluations and prognoses on us that are surprising in light of our current rationalizations of ourselves as a species.

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Continue with A Re-visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Apocalypse…Prometheus Made us “Civilized”…And Doomed: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 13

Return to Why Humans Are the Sorriest of Species … Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myths of Eden, Prometheus, Pandora, Icarus, Cain and Abel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 11

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