- I awoke this morning receiving a message. For years I have learned to pay attention to the messages I receive when I awaken. This one felt exceptionally essential.
The main thrust of the message was the importance of valuing of life in ways our current culture and society has lost.
These values were lost about 3000 years ago when hierarchy, dominance, fear, control and war began to permeate human culture.
It wasn’t always so. I hope we will return to our distant ancestral values before we destroy sustainable life on the planet.
Our ancient ancestors’ values as now revealed through archeological digs, slowly being reinterpreted to show their truth in deep contrast to prevailing myths and beliefs.
Our early ancestors did not believe that a daughter spring to life out of the head of her father, as Athena was converted to claim. Nor would our ancient ancestors have found it believable that the mother of humanity, Eve, was created out of the rib of her consort, Adam. These are the stories of the more recent 3000 years of war, hierarchy, patriarchy, fear, power over and suppression of the maternal feminine, diversity and above all else nature itself.
This disastrous shift that took place over several thousand years across the globe following some 6000 to 3000 years of peace, equality of the genders, reverence for nature and thousands of years of growth in life nurturing technologies that brought a lifestyle of happiness that held out last in Crete. The quality of life that we can clearly read in the archeological remains is one of gender equality, shared wealth, and happiness expressed in exceptional art and architecture. As archeologist who saw the dig at Crete admit it was a quality of life that has not been experienced since.
We are at a point of global crisis in which the very source of physical life, nature – the Earth herself, and her life-giving processes are threatened with extinction, just as our current values have led to the extinction of thousands of life forms to date.
There are in our political system terms like ‘pro-life’ and ‘family values, ’ yet the policy decisions made by our government could not be more heavily weighted towards anti-life and anti-family.
We spend the wealth of the nation on war (killing life). In our addictive fear we call it ‘defense’ even as tanks are now part of the weaponry of our local police throughout the country. What are we defending that requires tanks as part of the arsenal of local police?
What society exhibits ‘family values’ by requiring mothers to leave behind their babies and return to work away from these newborns to ‘make a living’ and survive? Only a ‘sick’ depraved society would need mothers to abandon infants days after giving birth. These sick, depraved values not only dishonor the sacred task of motherhood, but these anti-life values also threaten the whole of nature, and it’s innate maternal qualities. We refer to ‘Mother Nature,’ but our actions and decisions as a society are doing everything possible to kill the mother in women and nature.
The so-called “Women’s Liberation’ movement did make some much-needed progress towards gender equality but at a high cost paid by mothers and children. Now women find they need to do two jobs instead of one. They need to be mothers and be working, often professional women. These dual responsibilities are highly stressful and often impossible to succeed at. Our children pay the price deeply by the abandonment they experience. We are just beginning to see the social fallout from this societal shift as the first generation of abandoned children start to come of age. The crisis of depression and anxiety among teenager is now epidemic.
We need to shift towards a truly pro-life value system. Where the qualities of nurturance and support of children, mothers, and every citizen and quality of nature would be at the forefront of where we invest our wealth, resources, intelligence, and education.
This value system was what our ancient, peaceful ancestors epitomized in their adoration of the Great Mother Goddess because we are so indoctrinated in the hierarchy it has taken time for the realization to come home that the culture of the Great Mother Goddess was not matriarchal.
Healthy mothers do not view children as less than themselves, subject to their dominance. They see their children and by extension other members of the family, humanity and nature itself as deserving of nurturance, love, support and empowerment of the unique potential of each being. It was these values that led to a culture of shared wealth, happiness, love of nature and art as epitomized in Crete the likes of which we haven’t experienced since. It follows that such values could re-establish peace, equality, and a safe, thriving planet.
The art of the Paleolithic and Neolithic times is beautiful, so body based and adoring of animals and plants it is clear how our early ancestors revered the life-giving processes of Nature.
How to we return to such values? The political journey in that direction is daunting, to say the least. Not that it shouldn’t be attempted.
Just as it seems that for our earliest ancestors life was fully an expression of their values. I feel we most start within ourselves to a deep reverence for life in all of its expressions and forms. For me, this means examining the ways I have internalized our current culture and making the fundamental shift to genuinely valuing life int all its forms and expressions.
I notice in looking at the reproductions of the goddess figurines of that early culture; I am somewhat uncomfortable with the explicit portrayal of the female genitalia. It is clear how much they revered the body’s sexual organs as the means of reproduction. What is it in me that has added other meanings, debased meanings to this part of my body? This is a question I need to spend some time with, as well as other internalized life degrading attitudes and beliefs.
In terms of actions that are in alignment with the values that honor life I am encouraged that so many younger couples are expressing that in their profound partnerships as they raise families. Family Values can be taken to its true meaning of love, connection, and compassion for each and all family members. Unfortunately, this seems too rare these days as family bonds are often troubled leaving much room for improvement. Finally honoring nature, bonding with its various forms and expressions in our lives is a great step towards peace. Who doesn’t experience deep peace in the presence of Nature?
If you question the sources of some of the information I have shared about our ancient ancestors, you can visit these sources as a start:
- The various works of Marija Gimbutas – The Language of the Goddess; Civilization of the Goddess in particular
- The Chalice & the Blade by Riane Eisler
- The film series by Cinema Canada entitled Women and Spirituality: the Goddess Trilogy