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“The Secret of Men: What Patriarchal Cultures Never Tell Women, or Themselves — The Elders’ New Clothes and the Lie of It All
“The Secret of Men: What Patriarchal Cultures Never Tell Women, or Themselves — The Elders’ New Clothes and the Lie of It All
— Which is Chapter 37 of *Dance of the Seven Veils I* by Michael Adzema
The Secret of Men:
What Patriarchal Cultures Never Tell Women, or Themselves — The Elders’ New Clothes and the Lie of It All
“…a big inducement they had for coming forth with the truth was the guilt they felt, in the rites, at having to follow through on inflicting suffering and torturing the younger men, all the time knowing the truth and the fact that there was no reason to be doing it. They said they simply could not bear the guilt, or the burden of lying anymore.”
“With their sights no longer in the heavens, they could finally observe the tribesmen before them.”
This overall masculine and controlling pattern of behavior — exhibited in our religious, transpersonal, and scientific priesthoods — has remarkable parallels to something which happened in recent history … several decades ago … among a particular culture. When I was in graduate school, pursuing a doctorate in psychological anthropology, in one colloquium I attended, an esteemed professor in the department — Don Tuzin, and this was at the University of California at San Diego, in the year 1987 — presented to the department, faculty and grad students, on an experience he had upon his last visit to his particular place of field work. This was a group in Papua New Guinea.
His story was fascinating for what it displayed that no one had ever ever come across. It was an example of cultural change unlike anything ever written in ethnographies, or histories.
The Secret of Men
The particular tribe of which Tuzin spoke had from time immemorial perpetuated a sequence of male rites of passage beginning with adolescents of a certain age. The rites were especially brutal and humiliating, including the infliction of physical pain and deprivation and repetitive oral sex to be performed by the initiates for the pleasure of the elders.1
They conducted many of these rituals throughout a man’s life, beginning at puberty. The good professor had participated in them to some extent, as part of his participant observation, which anthropologists do. These rites were merciless, but in the course of them, the initiates were led to believe that great value would come from their endurance of the humiliations. For they would be given certain aspects of “secret” knowledge. At each one the participants were let in on some, a little each time, of the “secret knowledge,” had by only the eldest males in the tribe — the ones who had completed all the rites.
Furthermore, they were informed of the various other stages in the rites, which they would need to go through in the course of their life. Each of which would be excruciatingly painful. Yet each of which would be rewarded with a little more of the secret knowledge until, near the end of one’s life, one would be instructed into the highest knowledge of all: This was the knowledge that was the possession of only the most elderly males, the most “advanced” in said knowledge, in the culture.
The practices were severe, and women were not only left out of them, they were in danger of death if they were ever to learn any of what the men did or what they were taught … if they were to discover any of the “secret knowledge.” It follows that the whole truth was only known by the elders of the tribe.
The Elders’ “New Clothes”
Now, this anthropologist observed these ceremonies, studied them, and was let in on particular aspects of them. He could not be told “the whole truth” of course; for that was reserved for the elite, the elders — only those who had successfully completed all the stages of the ordeal, only those who had sufficiently suffered. Doctor Tuzin studied other aspects of the culture and returned again and again over the course of several decades.
However one time when he returned after a several year absence, he was to find everything changed.
The elders no longer ruled with an iron hand, in fact they were despised and openly rebuked, especially by women. The initiation ceremonies were no longer carried out. The women had more power … the elderly men were in shame. What had happened was that the elders — the ones who knew the “whole” truth — had confessed publicly, in a gathering of all the tribe, that there was no secret knowledge. There was none; there had never been any; it was all a ruse. The last secret to be conveyed in the final ritual was that there was no secret. It had all been a charade that had been carried on from time immemorial as part of the elders’ way of wielding power in the group and abusing and manipulating the younger men, keeping them subservient and afraid. No doubt also it served the function of keeping women as second-class citizens — in fear and under their thumb.
The elders revealed that the entire deception of “the secrets” had been maintained for the purpose of getting younger men to go through the ceremonies — with the inducement of greater and greater rewards — and in order to ensure their power and status in the community. Essentially, these elder men “fessed up” that the only last secret to be told was that there was no last secret; that it was all a sham; that the entire foundation had nothing beneath it — like a house of cards built in the middle of the air; that the center of the onion, after peeling back layer after layer, was in fact nothing.
Now, how do we know the elders were telling the truth this time? The elders confessed with all manner of shame. And they admitted that they were driven to reveal the truth because they could no longer bear the guilt of abusing the younger men, in these rites, knowing it was all a manipulation. They could no longer keep up the pretense.
Not only did they know it was a fraud, but the rest of the story is that the culture had been increasing its contacts and ties with the outside world, which held other beliefs — beliefs completely different from the ones that directed their own lives. One of those was a cargo cult that had become popular in their region.2 There were other signs to the community of another world out there beyond that of their tribe, as well.
Apparently the elders, knowing that reality did not have to be construed the way it had been for them and the way they had been impressing it on the younger — that is, knowing there were alternatives to their cultural beliefs, which were just as credible, or more so, than their own — and tormented by their secret feelings, come of their own aversion to inflicting punishment and suffering on the younger ones, gave in to their guilt about it all, came clean.
When I first heard this story, I could not help but think about its striking parallel to my situation in graduate school, where I happened to be at the time as a first-year doctoral student. Most of all this story reminds me of what Roger S. Jones (1982), a physicist, wrote about his colleagues — those scientists who through the suffering of years of tortuous graduate study and the equally challenging hoops of research, obtaining grants, and university tenure tracks are led to face the foundations of their beliefs as being as equally insubstantial as those tribal elders knew theirs to be. In this respect, Jones’s book, Physics as Metaphor, in which he revealed that secret, is practically the Western equivalent of such a confession as those tribal elders put before their people. Indeed, his feelings at carrying around the lie, the “deception” or “swindle,” are remarkably akin to those of the guilt-ridden tribal elders, so many thousands of miles and so many millions of cultural beliefs distant.
Anyway, for the Papua New Guinea elders, well, afterwards, rather than the respect they had enjoyed for practically forever, they were openly rebuked by one and all, including women.
In this light, it was speculated by anthropologists that this awareness of realities other than that of their own culture — the one that they were indoctrinated and tortured into accepting — may have had something to do with their losing faith in their way of doing things. It was suggested by such observers of the phenomenon that this had led to the elders finding themselves having remorse about such things as hurting other people. For they would now know that there are other ways of living and being; that everyone does not believe and live as they do in their own culture. Hence that the torture and suffering they inflicted were not absolutely necessary … as they had once rationalized, and then continued to convince themselves. It might be said that losing ultimate, or “Divine,” justification for their actions caused them to view their cruelties in the human context of the here-and-now relation. With their sights no longer in the heavens, they could finally observe the tribesmen before them.
Transformative Power of Multiculturalism
Before continuing, I want to point out the congruence of this pattern with the example I was giving before about the ways that religions are able to espouse life-negating beliefs, and the actions emanating from them, by positing another realm where the good is made bad (like hell) and the bad, good (like heaven). Only in this case in Papua New Guinea the justification of the bad, which made it “good,” was to be had at that time, not in an afterlife, but at the culmination of the rites when the secret would finally be revealed that there was no secret. Suffering was made okay in the present through it being said to be the only way to a greater good.
As I said, looking cross-culturally is a great assistance to seeing beyond such flawed understandings and to bringing one’s understandings of things in line with one’s natural conscience, rooted in quite ordinary, and profound, empathy. As an example, religions that encourage war, clitoridectomy, witch-burning, lynchings, and pogroms, viewed in multicultural context, lose their potency in driving such behavior when their rationalization that such atrocity is rectified, indeed made superlative, in some bizarro afterlife where the bad is made good (wars, witch burnings, clitoridectomies) and the good is made bad (sexuality, for example) are seen in contrast to the beliefs of other peoples. Given alternatives, through multicultural understanding, and diluting the power of an unassailed belief system to force compliance of cultural atrocity, one is left to rely on simple conscience and fellow feeling. And this changes everything … and for the better.
Another parallel to Western culture that I see is to that which happened in the Sixties, at the beginning of the postmodern era. For indeed that was a time when the truisms of Western material culture and capitalist-imperialist worldwide hegemony, married with conventional religious orthodoxy, would be broken down and left in tatters in its confrontation with a multicultural world and an influx of scientific findings which challenged all orthodoxies. The international event that would precipitate this awareness would be the Vietnam War, of course.
Here also it was the exposure to an outside world of many cultural understandings that was the precipitating event. And, it would have a similar result: People knowing that alternative ways were possible would question old ways that involved violence that their consciences cringed at but which previously they carried through on when they thought there was no alternative. What followed that reevaluation was an extravaganza of national finger-pointing and soul searching and a quest to find deeper foundations for right action and life purpose.
Truth Is Liable to Break Out
Anyway, getting back to Papua New Guinea, this is a true story. Still, it can be seen as a parable or metaphor for many things currently arising and especially so in the sciences. In addition to what it tells us about knowledge and epistemologies, the last part especially might be telling us a lot about the effects, one might say benefits, to be wrought, in terms of truth, by this century’s increasing mixing of cultures and races and by the worldwide emergence of a multiculturalism as a common basis of global belief.
We might also relate its message to the inauthentic nature of ritual and of initiation. For such rites bring about individual actions contrary to one’s desires, intents, or conscience; and they substitute those of culture and society, especially the elite sectors of that. Without such brutal insistence by outside forces, these actions would not come forth. They simply would not happen under the aegis of one’s empathy, conscience, and fellow feeling. This story also says something about how when belief and ritual are removed, real feelings, authentic feelings are possible.
This might be considered a directly opposite interpretation of the normal explanation of ritual/religion/beliefs and their relation to feeling, by the way. The usual explanation is that without such traditions of ritual, religion, and beliefs, people are left at the mercy of their aggressive and incestuous inner natures. Thus, when religion breaks down, all hell breaks loose — and then the situation in modern urban societies is usually pointed to, to bear this out.
However my interpretation is that belief/religion/ritual keep real feeling from happening. They also keep truth from happening. They keep spontaneity and authenticity from happening. Therefore, when religion breaks down, all truth is liable to break loose. And this is bound to be a bit disruptive at first — as it is true that any dam that holds a river in check is going to see that river explode across the countryside at first until it finally comes to rest in its normal stable peaceful courseway!
In several other of my works,3 I expound on the story of Gilgamesh — the ancient hero of mythology, exalted in what has been called the first true classic of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, predating even The Bible. I point out that in the story, Gilgamesh is portrayed as a murdering, raping king, and that he is allowed to be that way by a fearful populace and a set of codes and “morality,” sanctioned by “the gods,” that justified and allowed anything he would wish to do. I contrasted that with the “natural morality,” as I termed it, of his counterpart, Enkidu, who was a man of Nature. In the story, Enkidu’s inclination is to block Gilgamesh from harming and raping another, to fight him so as to protect the innocent.
What I bring out in my exegesis on the narrative is that nowhere, among all the scholars over the course of thousands of years — all being patriarchal ones, and that is significant — has there been any question of Gilgamesh’s supposed “right” to rape and murder. Like the murdering and raping of king’s and rulers throughout history and in their many campaigns of violence and wars, the assumption of thinking people in patriarchal cultures is that kings have the right to destroy and use others for arbitrary ends; much as one overlooks those caught in the crossfire of police shootouts, or those killed and maimed in police chases, or innocent women and children murdered in war as “collateral damage.”
This is analogous, as well, to the way the unprivileged voters in modern America allow the wealthy patrons of politicians to benefit themselves with tax breaks and corporate subsidies of extravagant amounts at the cost of their own lives and happiness at the lower end on the totem pole. It is akin to the way powerful authorities in society — usually men — are allowed, without consequence, their use and abuse of those below them in status. Much as the fact that Donald Trump being a sexual predator and promoter of sexual assault against women was of no consequence in blocking his ascendancy to the most powerful position in the world, just recently.
And as for the toadying academics throughout history, the literary critics of the renowned epic? Quite frankly, scholars have simply bought into the rationalizations within the story itself and expressed confusion as to why Enkidu would even consider blocking Gilgamesh from engaging in rape. Saying what amounts to, “Doesn’t Enkidu know that the gods allow Gilgamesh that right?” they show their inability to buck the justifications put upon them by patriarchal rulers from time immemorial. One notices here also a similarity with the way scholars, hiding behind a dogma of “cultural relativity,” rubber-stamp the oppressive tactics, rites, and rituals of cultures who suffocate their young and lowly along lines to benefit only that society’s elites, as we looked into previously.
My point here is to say that just as we saw through Gilgamesh’s conscious or unconscious wielding of directives from the “gods” allowing him to go raping women … ahem, “requiring” him to … everywhere about us there are elites supporting their power upon the backs of untruths, slight truths, outright lies … or, the more current phraseology, their “alternative facts” … much as those conniving and lying elders from Papua New Guinea.
In any case, this story about cultural change and the secrets of men from the other side of the world stayed with me throughout the decades as a powerful metaphor of what I observed all around in patriarchal cultures:
The secret of men?
Well, it’s a lie.
There is no secret of men.
The Secret of the Wealthy
Lest one think the above is only an isolated incident, I wish to bring to mind how this is acted out daily on our news programs where the agendas and policies of the elite — the “men,” the patriarchs and elders of our culture — are laid out for us, are imprinted on us.
“Obvious Truths” — “Wealth Creators”
We hear in the commentary and talk show segments of such programs this common assumption that those with power and money are, in the words of media pundits and political personalities, “wealth creators.” This “obvious truth,” as I pointed out in my book, Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” is a lie. Not only has it never worked out that way, when the wealthy have had heaped upon them all kinds of riches — as for example in the low taxes during Hoover’s time, the tax cuts of Reagan, or the surplus giveaway through tax cuts of George W. Bush. But each time it had horrible consequences for one and all — including them! The results were the Great Depression, the Reagan-Bush recession of the late Eighties and early Nineties, and the Great Recession beginning in 2007 after Bush’s slicing of tax rates and mishandling of the nation’s wealth during his reign.
That it did not and never works is another example how — just like wars that never produce prosperity or gains, but only deplete a nation’s resources and set them back decades — still these gambits are put in motion. For the wealthy are every bit, if not more, driven by their unconscious pain — their prenatal and perinatal dynamics — as the rest of us. That they do their failing on a grand scale and — never learning from their mistakes — make their ludicrous pronouncements with the loudest of speakers only gives the rest of us examples in plain view of our own “normal” irrationality.
In fact, the wealthy are even more likely to make this mistake in that they are wedded to the mythology of a patriarchy, necessarily, whose values are those of domination and power. Not only would that preclude their ability to come up with stratagems and financial goals that would involve empathy with the downtrodden others, however much it would benefit themselves (Warren Buffett is one of the few in modern times who bucks that tendency). But also, to them, it is power and kingly royalty that are values. The well-being and financial security, let alone happiness, of any other than them is not even a factor in their equations.
Also, their values in this respect come of being aligned with “the father,” and his values, which involve this idea of superiority, a corollary of domination. Inherent in this idea is that power alone — their power in particular — is what is effective. Even if it is not. Their vision is of a patriarchally led society, with corporations and wealthy titans creating what is needed using the resources of all below and raining bounty upon all about … well, they’ll get around to that eventually they tell themselves. It is no wonder it was called “trickle-down economics.”
They truly believe in the power of masculinity to create; that it is the only power that can do that, the only fount of affluence and wealth. The idea that the masses — which to them represent the disorganized, the rabble, chaos, the natural, the feminine, and so on — can create, like a bounty of flora arising naturally from the multitudinous nutrients and potentiality of the Earth, is not only inconceivable to them, it is overlaid with outright contempt. Not only do they hate the feminine, for the reasons I have brought out, but they see only a top-down, a managed, a controlled, a made-to-happen creation of anything to be what is possible. For patriarchal is also authoritarian, controlling, dominating, enforcing, and Ego. They cannot see it otherwise.
The natural rising up of wealth out of the unorganized and self-interested efforts of the conscious decisions of the millions making up the masses is not only not conceivable to them, but, since it is not something controlled and smacks of uncontrolled Nature, anarchy, and the processes of the feminine such as birth, it is thought to be impossible. “Nothing comes from nothing.” “There is no free lunch.” These are sayings of the patriarchy, where there is no “feminine” grace, bounty, or unworked for rewards. Contrasting greatly with the worldview of the gatherer-hunters who see the world-at-large as the bounteous and freely giving Mother, or Goddess, these spawn of hierarchy, wealth, and patriarchy see nothing of any good that is not made to happen. We see the manifestations of Ego in that. By the way, such values never come up against the knowledge that their wealth to begin with is inherited and not earned. Such is the way Ego rationalizes to its own advantage, denying facts that might challenge or be contrary to what benefits one in believing it.
The Fall of “Obvious Truths”
As I pointed out in Culture War, Class War (2013), the rich are hardly wealth-creators for the reasons of simple psychology and commonly understood economics. Economically, the theory of marginal returns tells us that as wealth is attained, each additional dollar spent on the outer edge of its growth brings back less return … diminishing marginal returns it is called. In terms of wealth and jobs that breaks down to the fact that riches given to the already wealthy, i.e., “marginally,” has less return of jobs or more wealth. Why? Well, for the simple psychological reason that the wealthier one is, the less one is motivated to increase that wealth. So the less one is motivated to invest that wealth in a way that would increase employment.
While the science of economics is based on a model of an “economic man” with infinite wants, it fails to include that humans have limited ability, time, energy, desire to bring about the fruition of those wants. Thus there are actually limitations on wants, which never show up in economic models. For it would be too unwieldy to try to include psychological factors into sterile and discompassionate economic models. Yet the model showing diminishing returns demonstrates this psychological tendency to have less desire for more when one already has so much.
What is left out of their models is that for the wealthy there is less at stake. There is also increasingly more work involved in controlling the movement and management of wealth, at the extremes. Hence, increasing effort at the ends of the spectrum, combined with diminishing returns for that extra effort, why, that is the reason the wealthy fail at being wealth-creators. That is why throwing more dollars at those who already have plenty benefits only the few.
Whereas, as I pointed out in the book, using my own father as an example, a poorer person, not having achieved yet a “comfortable” status, is exceedingly more motivated to bring back as much as that person can from that same dollar that is casually overlooked by a wealthy person. Each dollar, for someone who has little, is sweated over and maximized. The specter of failure, which is outlined by that of concern about survival itself, is a much stronger motivation for focus and effort than is any motive involving additional power and wealth for those who are already “comfortable” in their financial circumstances, not to mention way beyond that.
So it is that, for the wealthy, such extra dollars were, historically, and still are, thrown away on luxuries and passive investments — art, yachts, rare objects and artifacts, and the like — none of which create wealth. Many of which are only embellishments to their egos, visible evidence of their claimed superiority over the rest of us.
Regardless, we hear endlessly how they are wealth-creators, better money-managers, and so on; and the majority of us swallow it whole. We do not question their wealth-making ability, not seeing these emperors have no clothes.
Thus, the wealthy and powerful attribute to themselves special power and special knowledge, and clearly we underlings fall for it; even more shamefully than those tribe folk duped in Papua New Guinea. For we could, if we wanted, know better. Nevertheless, we are told they are better than us, wiser, even godly; and most of us bend our knee.
However, none of that is true, relatively speaking. We see this in the way the wealthy bust their budgets and balloon the deficit, while claiming all the while, that they — Republicans in this example — are not only better for business but that they are better money managers and are “fiscal conservatives.” A prime example is American president, Ronald Reagan, whose election in 1980 was driven by a pledge to balance the budget. Whereupon, after his election and his enactment of a “Robin Hood in reverse” tax scheme, he fattened the wallets of the wealthy and elite of which he was a member. Did his policies create wealth? Hardly. Between he and his protégé, Bush the elder, his policies nearly quadrupled the National Deficit in a mere twelve years and set off one of the most severe recessions America has ever had. We are still paying interest, through our taxes, for that money given to the filthy rich back then, for their “partying.”
Meanwhile the Democrats — claimed by Republicans to be fiscally irresponsible and budget-busting, allegedly tossing money away on unneeded liberal programs — created, under John F. Kennedy and using the same high tax rates that had caused prosperity in the Fifties, the most prosperous America that has been so far, in the Sixties. A few decades later, Democrat Bill Clinton actually succeeded in Reagan’s supposed goal of balancing a budget. Indeed more than one. He created, actually, a budget surplus, lowered the National Debt, and left office with such a surplus that a topic of discussion among the talking heads and powerful in America at that time was what to do with all the extra money.
So, the wealthy? They are not wealth-creators they are wealth-spenders. The only wealth they create is borrowed from future generations to pay for their fatter bank accounts, extravagant parties, and frivolous spending today. They are wealth-keepers, they are wealth-grabbers, is what all their actions are geared toward. And those actions, like the elders of Papua New Guinea, include any and all lies — facts and statistics and history be damned — that increases their power and wealth.
So, the secret of the wealthy?
It’s a lie.
There is no secret of the wealthy.
The Secret of the Powerful
So, we are told that the elite, the wealthy, have this “special knowledge,” which is like a special personal power or charisma, accruing to the powerful, to bring things about that ordinary folk cannot. Apparently, humans have a psychological tendency to impute spiritual or magical power to those who wield secular power. We see this in the way it was once thought spiritual power resided in the bodies of those at the top of the social pyramid in ancient times. It comes out as a belief in the kind of mojo that was thought to build up in the bodies of chieftains in the South Seas. The Polynesian word that was used for it is mana. It was a power that could be both transferred, through touching the person, but could also be harmful with which to be in contact. The more powerful the person, the stronger the mana, thus the greater danger and benefit that could accrue through proximity or touch.
The same peculiarity regarding the powerful and famous is to be found everywhere and always; we see it in modern societies in the cult of celebrity. Check out any of the magazines — People magazine, for example — in your supermarket check-out line. Also, you only have to notice how often folks will boast about having seen, rubbed shoulders with, shaken hands with, stood in a picture with … touched … some entertainment or political celebrity. They are saying that makes them important — you are to see them as a little more powerful for the incident — as if some of that personal electricity was transmitted to them through contact.
Of course, there is the obvious corollary of the presumptuous royalty of history identifying themselves as gods. More accurately it is analogous to the fact that the masses would fall for such a pretention. Perhaps the people demand it of their rulers, according to the analysis I am giving. Why would plebeians be so ignorant as to want their rulers to be superhuman, you ask?
Well, for many reasons, including the cognitive dissonance come of being subjugated and humiliated and at the same time seeing the obvious flaws, if not downright cruelties, of the overlords. Commoners are not merely frightened into looking away from the faults of their emperors, they know that to acknowledge the foolishness of their idols would be to concede their own stupidity, and cowardice, in not having seen it sooner. (Queue Donald Trump supporters, again.) The confusion, the cognitive dissonance of trying to hold both those facts in mind at the same time can be resolved if one attributes godly status to the ruler. Then, not only does the ruler not have to make sense but even his punishment and cruelty can be rationalized as some kind of warped “blessing.” His “rod and his staff,” oh, “they comfort me.”
It is no coincidence that civilizational theologies have gods like that, as well, thus priming the populace to sycophantically bow to unjustified abuse from their secular potentates. This reason is a popular one, as well, for it is exactly what we, most of us, do at the time of the primal scene. This is what we will look at in the next part of this book, Veil Three, having to do with “Infancy and Childhood, the Split … the Primal Scene.”
Another reason ordinary folk want to attribute godly status to their rulers is the “escape from freedom” come of a subservience that is embraced. It simplifies one’s life to not have to make major decisions and instead to let a higher up, like was the case in one’s authoritarian family growing up, do that for you. This one in particular we see in Trump supporters today, for they are practically defined by the fact that they embrace authoritarianism as the way to go since that was what they were required to accept in their childhoods.
Quite simply they do not want the responsibility of a life with choices; they want daddy to tell them what to do. Not only can they get “patted on the head” that way, they do not have to deal with the confusion come of the “philosophical bands” … we will come to that topic in the next part, too, the next Veil. The philosophic bands of consciousness arise with the split at the primal scene which has people — having abjured their real self with its bodily felt directives — feeling confused and beaten and in a situation where they would otherwise need to deal with difficult questions of “who to be” … if one were not told what one has to be.
Still another is the benefit, if one is lucky, of being physically close to that power and of having some of it accrue to oneself by proximity. Consider how fortunate Kellyanne Conway feels now with her newly acquired status and fame. One can “ride the coattails” of power and celebrity for which one has not risked nor brought about oneself, yet still — as sycophants everywhere think — garner some of the prestige and be the first dog in line for the scraps falling from the table.
We see it as well in the importance people put upon family names, upon lineages. As if there is some magical power inherent in what someone is called. As if they do not fasten their overcoats one button at a time like the rest of us. As if their underwear does not also need laundering. But when we look more deeply into their lives, we see they are as vulnerable, crass, morally challenged, and human as the rest of us.
So, the secret of the powerful?
It’s a lie.
There is no secret of the powerful.
— from Chapter 37, titled “The Secret of Men: What Patriarchal Cultures Never Tell Women, or Themselves — The Elders’ New Clothes and the Lie of It All”
— of *Dance of the Seven Veils I: Primal/Identity Psychology, Mythology, and Your Real Self* by Michael Adzema, as of December 2017, now available in print and kindle/e-book versions at Amazon at
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*FUNNY GOD: THE TAO OF FUNNY GOD AND THE MIND’S TRUE LIBERATION* is a composition in three movements. It is activism, a prophecy, and a vision — integrated by the idea of Funny God.
“The Tao of Funny God” (Part One) unveils the necessary hero and understanding to face the imminent problems of humanity — environmental, political, and social … issues of peace and war, planet and life. Lunar and solar theologies and the rise of the Goddess and its meaning are brought into focus.
“Breaking News” (Part Two) is prophecy and good news framed as fiction … and some comedy. We see a coming together of heaven and earth unfold in the near future. With the pulling back of the curtain on the No-Form state of existence, brought about by very real near-death and death-death experiences, humanity finds itself on the brink of re-union with the rest of the consciousnesses of the Universe, which is revealed to be a Universe of Experience, shared.
“The Mind’s True Liberation” (Part Three) is vision — philosophy, spirituality, and the answers to the questions and problems of Existence mixed with humor. It describes and elicits an attitude and understanding of life and action that is good-hearted, transcendent, and liberating. You will find yourself saying, “My God, that makes sense! Why have I never heard that before?”
This book will leave you changed and smiling, at least. Some will taste enlightenment; others will sense liberation; and many will feel inspired and enthusiastic about participating in some of the grand and singular undertakings of our current age — an age that Funny God reveals to be affording an opportunity for a life of fulfillment and wonder unlike any since the beginning of time.
“these times are the coming together of heaven and earth….
“we walk in realms of the mythical, the archetypal….
“we are embraced by arms of Divinity … and find ourselves as fingers of God Herself….
“we are the myths in motion … are witness to secrets of eternity finally revealed….”
“we are players in epic stories of ends of days and beginnings of time….”
*WOUNDED DEER AND CENTAURS: THE NECESSARY HERO AND THE PRENATAL MATRIX OF HUMAN EVENTS* is about the environmental crisis, activism, and psychology. It presents a major new theory in psychology, specifically in prenatal and perinatal psychology. This new understanding is the one crucial to saving our planet, our children, and ourselves. This book, also, reveals the ones — people probably like you — who are here now and destined to save this planet … or die trying.
This book is about the environmental crisis, activism, and psychology. It presents a major new theory in psychology, specifically in prenatal and perinatal psychology. This new understanding is the one crucial to saving our planet, our children, and ourselves. This book, also, reveals the ones — people probably like you — who are here now and destined to save this planet … or die trying.
For this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs, confronts a situation in current times where we are on the brink of an apocalypse of unimaginable dimensions. We are bringing about both a suicidal-style ending of humans on Earth, a humanicide, as well as are taking down with us all other life on this planet … we are committing an ecocide.
This impending eco-humanicide requires of those currently alive to sacrifice on a scale previously uncalled for to forestall the consequences of the actions of generations of ancestors. This book deals with these elements of sacrifice; it shows where we have gone wrong; and it reveals where we could finally, after thousands of years of failure in righting the wrongs of evil, greed, injustice, war, and barbarity, finally, finally get it right.
We can finally understand the roots of the evil that lies within humanity. We can see how and why they come into being within humanity … and within humanity, alone, of all species. And we find those discoveries of the causes of evil in humanity lie alongside the happy revelation that that evil within humanity is not part of our deepest humanity, so it is not inevitable that we act it out! Humanity can do better. And we need to!
Luckily, there is a movement afoot in global humanity giving rise to individuals uniquely qualified, able, and willing to be the self-sacrificing ones required right now. This book introduces these personalities — these ones who, rather than act out the traumas and pain handed down for thousands of years, instead say “Let it end with me.” These wounded deer and centaurs are spotlighted in this book.
Generation after generation of humans have passed down their personal pain and trauma, in some form or other, onto their offspring. Back into unrecorded history this vicious cycle has perpetuated itself. But many of us in these extraordinary times, and goaded on by the specter of global catastrophe, are saying, “Let us not continue this madness any further!” Attempting to break the cycle of hurting and then inflicting hurt, attempting to halt the prevailing insanity, we make the Gandhian effort to take the energy into ourselves, to change ourselves lest we, also, be like the generation before — forever passing on the insane legacy.
This book reveals the deepest roots of that human insanity that would end our species. They are found in the experiences in the womb and at birth. We see here how they have led to the atrocities and wars of all time, and how they can be finally gone beyond.
We discover, in these chapters, how these earliest of human experiences set humans up to be the species separate from Nature. We can understand through these pages how and why exactly we as humans are insisting on self-annihilation. We can grok why we do not heed the warnings and continue depleting the Nature upon which we depend, even though it guarantees the end of humanity and the likely death of our children before their times.
Revealed here are the origins of the rapacious greed infecting hierarchical societies, from the beginnings of civilization, which today has created a two-tiered global society of haves and have-nots, with 1% shoring up their wealth at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of the remaining ones.
In these pages we can behold what needs to be done, how we can save our children, our planet, and even ourselves. Herein we receive the encouragement and spiritual conviction to take up our roles as the necessary heroes of our times — to right all these wrongs, to protect our precious Earth and its inhabitants, to save the lives of our children
*APOCALYPSE EMERGENCY: LOVE’S WAKE-UP CALL* is about a frightening global predicament that everyone seems to be aware of but which few people are giving the attention and seriousness it deserves. Why people would do that and why the media would be inclined to shy away is understandable.
We simply have no way of comprehending the magnitude of what is happening—the end of life on Earth—nor how fast it is occurring—likely in our lifetime—since no living thing on this planet in its multibillion year history has had to face what we are.
The environmental collapse now occurring can be compared to a trillion-alarm fire with everyone looking the other way. We need to respond to it with the urgency of being in a world war, marshaling all available national and world resources and not with the complacency of a boy-scout litter pick-up campaign.
“Love’s Wake-Up Call” goes back and forth between the horrors that are possible and this unique situation with the potential so strong to bring humans to raise themselves up and be led by their better angels more than any other time. At no other time in the history of the world was the truth of the saying “we’re all in this together” more patently true.
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, currently there are ten of them, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
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Tribes and Wonder Versus Civilization and Suffering: More Nestling Up With the Implicate Order, Or Before and After the Western Fall (Split)
The Priests in the Church Were Keeping Out All the Screaming People, Forcibly Repressing, Refusing to Acknowledge It: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Seven
More Nestling Up With the Implicate, Or
Before and After the Western Fall (Split) (June 19, 1992)
This is a holotropic session of this day:
It started out when the music was very rhythmic, and the hands were doing a lot of fertilized-egg kinds of movements and embryonic kind of stuff. And sometimes I was having images of Prague and of inside the city—especially Old Town Square and the towers. [Prague is where the holotropic workshop was being held.]
And I kept having pictures of people who had lived here, and all the suffering that had gone on here, and the striving. I kept picturing the people who had lived and written books and everything, plays and philosophies, inside their little rooms—all the different kinds of lives that people had here [Prague].
I kept picturing Swami [Sathya Sai Baba] and kept saying: “Oh Swami,” as if I were feeling and acknowledging what had gone on here: the feelings and desires, the struggles and the yearnings, and all those human things and feelings that had passed through this place. And I felt sad for all these people, the hardship they had gone through and all the feelings. And then I got up and went to the bathroom.
And when I came back it was just very peaceful. The drumming and everything was just something that was there. And I enjoyed parts of it: There were African parts, and they would have drumming and I would understand what it would be like to be an African person in a tribe.
At one point, however, the African tribe music sounded different or not good. And I had the feeling that this was singing from another tribe, not my own, an enemy tribe or something; I didn’t like it.
And then as it went off into different phases of music I would often feel very good—very interesting and beautiful in a certain way. And then it went into Native American chanting; and I thought that was incredible, that I must have been an indigenous American at one time … just wonderfully beautiful.
And it was either just before or just after that there was this Gregorian-type Church music. And one of the things that I kept having—scenes from Prague going through my head the entire time—and one of the scenes was the inside of a church.
And when the Gregorian music came on, I pictured the inside of that church again. And one of the interesting things was I realized at a certain point that people in the room around me were screaming [they actually were, in reality]—and there was a lot of that going on—and I had this feeling as if—when the Gregorian music was on—that the people in the church, the priests that is, that they had this reality going on in which they were keeping out all the screaming people, they were keeping them all outside the church, trying to repress that, trying to deny the reality of that. And so I felt like I was tuning into the reality of this place: That they [the priests and ecclesiasts] would forcibly try to repress this other element and keep it out of their consciousness, would refuse to acknowledge, let alone deal with it.
As many as 30 million women were murdered horribly over a period of 300 years during the middle ages for having any trace of free-mindedness. This was done under the direction of the Catholic Church. They were often burned at the stake.
It is no coincidence that what followed for next four hundred years of Western “civilization” was a pall of Stepford wifery unparalleled among the cultures of humans, which we are only with great difficulty over the last hundred years awakening from.
Yet these forces of repression and murder continue with us today wishing to take us back to such middle age benighted views. They exist in the anti-abortion movement, even among mainstream Republicans, again with women as the direct target. And they exist in the tea party and conspiracy circles, even among some progressives, where feminism and progressive-liberal ideas are called “illuminati” — showing again that free-thinking women and enlightened views will not be tolerated … and will be scapegoated for all the horrors of the 1% and the powers that be, just as they were in the times of Catholic tyranny.
By the way, I’ve been misunderstood if anyone thinks this is just an attack on the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the primary evil then. I mentioned Western civilization. There are many more evil perpetrators today. It is not about blaming any institution. This is a product of our “civilization” and its anti-body, anti-sexual, anti-Nature insanity and the inherent evil of hierarchical societies in general.
Continue with Biology as Metaphor and Mythology, Part One: “The Map Is Not the Territory” and Biological Phases As Levels of Consciousness
Return to The Bliss of Connection with Others … But There Is a Pain in Unexpressed Love: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Six — Womb with a Review
1. Cellular/ Transpersonal Experiences
Having established the legitimacy of transpersonal aspects of prenatal, and especially cellular, re-experience, it remains to be seen what light this new perspective throws upon traditional formulations. I suggest to you that this perspective is a catalyst to a radical reformulation of traditional concepts of consciousness and development. My understanding is that it supports a view compatible with Eastern, Platonic, and “primitive” philosophical renderings—which can be characterized as Emanationist —and completely undermines the dominant Western evolutionary paradigm. I delineate such a perspective, which I call the Falls from Grace Theory, beginning in the next chapter.
However, let us first take a look at a sampling of the kinds of experiences and perspectives that are possible at this cellular and prenatal level of re-experience before attempting to see deeper into the structure of consciousness and development, presented immediately afterwards, which contains and makes sense of them. The current chapter—A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness—contains transcripts of cellular/transpersonal experiences I had through the modality of holotropic breathwork. In order to retain the flavor and potency of the raw experience itself, these transcripts are only slightly edited and are from the descriptions of my experiences I recorded immediately after having them.
Continue with Biology as Metaphor and Mythology, Part One: “The Map Is Not the Territory” and Biological Phases As Levels of Consciousness
Return to The Bliss of Connection with Others … But There Is a Pain in Unexpressed Love: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Six — Womb with a Review
To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
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