If you’re born into a system, and so are those who raise you and live around you, it’s very difficult to recognize the system — until someone finds all the research on the time before the system existed, and then writes a book.
In The Great Cosmic Mother, Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth, authors Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor, detail research from the Paleolithic period of human civilization to present day. They explain the fall of matrilineal societies to the rise of what has become our current patriarchal society. It’s fascinating reading that completely shifted my world view.
Patriarchy was a fuzzy concept before I read this book. Now I get it.
Reviewers have called the book passionate and powerful — I remember thinking, about half-way through, that it was heavy handed, yet I read all 400+ pages and underlined and made notes to the end.
“Modern sickness is that of disconnection, the ego unable to feel an organic part of the world, except via chemical and popular culture addictions . . . . The established patriarchal institutions all have a vested interest in keeping the individual mind disconnected from the experience of cosmic oneness, because this disconnection is patriarchy. The bulk of patriarchal industries—drugs, alcohol, entertainment media, fashion and cosmetics, pornography, the tourist business, polyester-suited politics, drive-in religious sermons, interstate freeway systems, you name it—exist and profit solely by selling momentary diversions to the multitudes of “quietly desperate people,” seeking anesthetic escape from the pain of personal alienation.”
“To all ancient people, the earth was alive, a great animal inhabited by a life-spirit, or “soul-substance.” All phenomena were manifestations of this divine force, and after death all forms returned to this source before passing into another animate existence. The earth spirit was the “central transformer” of all life-energies into the multiplicity of life-forms, all protoplasmically connected with each other as in the same body, the same imagination. In the Gaia hypothesis, earth is defined as a living, breathing, and co-responding body, creating its own atmosphere, filling its own needs, relieving its own stresses. Far from the patriarchal-mechanical model of earth as a merely passive receiver of stimuli from the sun and sky, this new model shows us an intentional organism, exhibiting will and direction, and quite capable of reciprocal relations with all its creatures.”
“What has happened to us? Our primordial and practical, material-magical perception of oneness between ourselves and the universe is the innate female state which, in this modern patriarchal world, we are all supposed to “grow out of” in order to become… men. In the place of our ancient female mode of being, now referred to as “primitive animism,” the academic psychotherapists, God-logicians, existential poetry technicians, and new car salesmen offer us their own product, called “the agony of alienation,” otherwise known as everyday life—which you can fix temporarily by buying something.”
The Great Cosmic Mother, Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth