CHAPTER 8

THE VIRGIN MOTHER AND THE DIVINE CRONE

 

Introduction
Breaking the Incest Barrier
The Divine Role of the Crone
The Relationship Between the Hera and the Hero
Returning to the Garden
Men's Part in Reproduction
Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene
The Secret Sexual Knowledge
Christian Clones
The Brain Cells of Gaia
Power of Ideas
Gaia is the Supreme Being(s)
Summary

Illustrations
Permanent War Economy
Reunification of the Triple Goddess

Maternal Love and Eros
Gaian Family Formula
Christian Family Formula


Introduction

Motherhood as a metaphor of the planet is generally sexist and dangerous to both women and men, just as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (or the Sky Father) is generally a sexist and unscientific expression of the deity which leads to gender stereotyping. Patriarchy cannot exist without matriarchy and vice versa. Seeing the Earth as our mother perpetuates the maternal-paternal family/social system which does not foster a mature partnership with Gaia, but traps us in the isolation and alienation of the nuclear family housing unit. Both systems are models of domination which will only lead us down the oily highway in the present direction of human extinction.

Breaking the Incest Barrier

Lovelock, Allaby, and Sagan each discuss the reproduction of the planet in a similarly sexist way. The common denominator of their theories is that the planet is on the verge of reproduction through a technological virgin birth.

Allaby states in A Guide to Gaia,

Yet the mother figure survives, even in the modern world, and if the image of the divine virgin who gives birth to and then protects and nourishes a male divinity sounds familiar, this is not coincidence. There is much of Gaia in the Virgin Mary (7).

If the Earth is reproducing itself, therefore, it is doing so asexually. Asexual reproduction occurs in many species and especially among the prokaryote on which the Earth relies so heavily. There is no reason why the large organism should not employ a similar method (154).

Lovelock writes in The Ages of Gaia,

Many, I suspect, have trodden this same path through the mind. Those millions of Christians who make a special place in their hearts for the Virgin Mary possibly respond as I do. The concept of Jahweh as remote, all-powerful, all-seeing is either frightening or unapproachable. Even the sense of presence of a more contemporary God, as a still, small voice within, may not be enough for those who need to communicate with someone outside. Mary is close and can be talked to. She is believable and manageable. It could be that the importance of the Virgin Mary in faith is something of this kind, but there may be more to it. What if Mary is another name for Gaia? Then her capacity for virgin birth is no miracle or parthenogenetic aberration, it is a role of Gaia since life began....(206).

Sagan, who is incidentally a sleight-of-hand magician, is more subtle his description of the reproduction of the planet. He is even more revealing in his aversion towards recombinant sex. One can clearly see the same virgin birth formula in these passages from Biospheres:

Human beings have fortuitously become involved in the destiny of the Earth, as agents or midwives of its sexless reproduction (159).

Arising from Mother Earth we find ourselves incestuously involved in her reproduction (9).

The reproductive metamorphosis of planet Earth is more like the complex, associative, mediated reproduction exemplified by the birds and the bees than it is like the immediate reproduction of amoeba or the sexual reproduction of people. If the biosphere uses humanity to produce technology to reproduce itself, then biospheric reproduction would appear more complex, though no less an example of reproduction, than other reproductive acts in nature (103).

For these three men the Earth is a virgin-mother who has the power to reproduce herself asexually through advanced biospheric technology. In order for the planet to be considered a living organism, reproduction absolutely needs to take place. Their theory is that Gaia is using us to build biospheres capable of launching the five biological "kingdoms" into the heavens, in order to colonize planets such as Mars. Lovelock thinks that if people would view the earth as the Virgin Mother who is the "source of everlasting life" they would stop raping her. But for the last 2,000 years, the Virgin Mother, at least as the Virgin Mary, has not had the power to stop the plunder of its creatures and resources to bring about a millennium of peace on earth. Marina Warner writes in her book Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth of the Cult of the Virgin Mary, "The Virgin Mary is not the innate archetype of female nature, the dream incarnated; she is the instrument of a dynamic argument from the Catholic Church about the structure of society, presented as a God-given code" (338).

The Divine Role of the Crone

In Barbara G. Walker's book, The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power, she explains the problem of the Christian family formula and why the Virgin Mother has not had the power to stop the plunder of the Earth. In the ancient Goddess religion there were three phases of the Goddess: the Virgin, the Mother, and the Crone. The Crone is the female counterpart of the image of the wise old man with a long white beard who commands the band of angels. The word Crone was derived from the word crown which represented her moral judgment and rulership ability within the community. She is the culture-bearer, the prophetess of the One World Mind.

The Crone is symbolized as the dark moon, a menopausal woman of experience and age. However, I feel it is a misconception to believe that the Crone has to be an old woman. The important characteristic of the Crone is that she is wise, and has the self-esteem to form her own value judgments and listen to her own inner voice. She has discovered her natural sovereignty and does not succumb to male desires. One of the reasons why the Crone has been viewed as a menopausal women is not only because of the experiences she has lived through, but because her child-bearing years are behind her; she no longer has to compromise her ideals by following the Word of man in order to receive the sperm necessary for childbirth and her initiation into motherhood.

Christianity combined the Virgin-Mother phases of the Goddess in its mythology, but eliminated the divine prestige of the Crone, making her into an unrespected "hag." Males no longer found her attractive, so she was not sexually useful to him. He overlooked the supreme function she plays in planetary reproduction. Walker writes, "the Crone phase was too darkly threatening to be so handled" (13).

What was threatening about the power of the Crone? Walker thinks that it is because she is both birth-giver and the death-bringer, "the wounder who heals." Christianity and the other virgin birth religions fear sex and death, and negate the cosmic role of the Crone Goddess. On the microbial level, Margulis and Dorion Sagan state in Microcosmos that "while genetically fluid bacteria are functionally immortal, in eukaryotes, sex comes linked with death" (93). Without knowledge of the microbial world, death does look like the final end. But it is not.

Barbara Walker quotes Rosemary Radford Ruether as follows:

Male eschatology is built on negation of the mother...The escape from sex and birth is ultimately an attempt to escape from death for which women as Eve and Mary are made responsible. Male eschatology combines male womb envy with womb negation (82).

Some Roman Catholic Christian theologians claim that before, during, and after the birth of Jesus, Mary's body stayed "intact." After her death, Roman Catholic traditions hold that her body never decomposed or gave off offensive smells, but stayed in perfect condition. In thus denying the continuity between life and death, males try to avoid the great mysteries of the unknown, denying our connection with the universal recycling of life.

During the prehistoric times of the reign of the Goddess, death was part of the natural life cycle. The basis of the primordial fertility rites was death and decay, which were seen as a process whereby energy was transformed from one state to the next (Gadon 1989). Certainly, we can see the negation of sexual reproductive birth through the words of Sagan, Lovelock, and Allaby. Allaby fears the Crone energy so much that he does not mention the word Goddess once in his book on Gaia!


The Relationship Between the Hera and the Hero

The most difficult task of the hero, proposes Carl Jung, is to break away from mother. As a civilization we must break away from our asexual, incestuous relationship with Mother Earth, and begin a new relationship with Her in order to reach a mature steady-state relationship with nature. But in order to break our infantile bond with the planet, a new birth of the myth of the hero is necessary in order for men to have a model of an eternal man who is no longer afraid of death and sex, or envious of the prophecies of the womb. The hero's call is to establish a new relationship with woman based on the mysterious forces of erotic mysticism. His task, then, is to become a love-maker, to put an end to the war between the sexes.

No longer can man cling to his mother thinking that she will save him. Nor will his father save him. The male’s unconscious infantile bond with Mother Earth is the reason why we continue thinking the planet will continue to supply us with natural resources and recycle our polluted air and water without regard to population. Dorion Sagan admits, "People are not in charge right now. For the most part, we are just a tunnel-visioned, self-serving species, highly dangerous to ourselves and to a few other species, and fascinated by the technology we image in our own" (Sagan 1990, 19). Thus, we live in a state of world anarchy.

The new heras and heroes must achieve independence from the mother-father in order to escape the narrow restrictions of the nuclear family, and so their message can speak to the entire world. The new mythology must be sexual if we are to understand Gaia and live by its ancient wisdom. G. S. Kirk writes in the Nature of Greek Myths that "all myths are about nature and natural phenomena, or in other words, myths must always refer to some cosmological or meteorological event" (50). The cosmological event which is presently occurring is our break from infantile dependence on Mother Earth, through the SEEDS of the biosphere achieved through a mature co-equal sexual partnership between the two sexes. (It is interesting to note that the word "savior" means one who sows the seed.)

According to Jung, the incest desire is not to cohabit with the mother, but to be reborn from her, by becoming a child again under her parental shelter. Externally, this parental shelter is the single family house, the structure of which is causing our environmental demise. Incest is the way man goes back into the womb without having come to terms with a mature sexual relationship. Incestuous man may never find a metaphysical soulmate whose womb encompasses the entire biosphere. Here we can see the rejection of the judgmental powers of the Crone in favor of the (apparent) unconditional love of the Mother, who may condemn or condone but plays no part in the dispensing of justice. In Christian mythology the incest relationship is finally fulfilled after the Virgin Mary's death. She ascends to heaven where she becomes the Queen of God's kingdom, married not only to God, but to her son-god Jesus Christ.

Jung says in Symbols of Transformation that the hero is reborn when the love he feels for his mother is transferred to his wife. He writes, "The first birth makes him a mortal man, the second an immortal half-god" (322). More than other men, Jung writes, the hero finds his mother in the woman he loves. When he finds his mother's symbolic equivalent he is born again. Jung continues,

In this tie to the maternal source lies the strength that gives the hero his extraordinary powers, his true genius, which he frees from the embrace of the unconscious by his daring and sovereign independence. Thus the god is born in him. The mystery of the "mother" is the divine creative power" (336).

I question whether the way of rebirth is through the dual mother, and what the hero does is to transfer his maternal need to another woman who is the "symbolic equivalent" of his mother. This also leaves his mate with no power of her own, denying her unique merit and diminishing her divine role. It puts the evolutionary importance of the woman's metaphysical union with the hero on the biological level with that of the mother. Because the incest barrier is not broken in Jungian theory, the hero is unable to go to explore the unknown forces beyond the symbolic truth. He is trapped in his animal instincts. Unable to understand the primal reason for his erotic union with the judgmental Crone, he is stuck in the mindset of the transcendental God.

If marriage with his soulmate does not happen, the hero will continue to degenerate through his incestuous relationship, running away from the Second Coming of Woman who is his only chance for salvation.

When we fail to individuate because of "childish laziness or timidity" or from the fear of death, neurosis can develop and even destroy the individual. Since, according to Freud, our society is based on an incestuous relationship with the Virgin Mother, the entire civilization is neurotic, if not on the verge of collapse.

It likewise seems vital to our species that the son be liberated from the incestuous relationship and subordination to God the Father. Since under patriarchal rule the son is unable to surpass the father's authority until after the father’s death, the father is but another stumbling block to the evolutionary consciousness.

The hero's liberation from Mother Earth and God the Father seems to be the key to the maturation our planet so urgently needs in order to create a sustainable civilization and a functional cosmology. The ultimate goal of the Gaia Theory is to create homeostasis between the sexes. Matthew Fox writes,

The scientific word for justice today is homeostasis, which is the quest for balance and equilibrium that is found in all organisms and even in the universe itself. Mysticism is about returning homeostasis to the human mind (Fox 1980, 63).

Plato thought that such a state rested in health, beauty, medicine and music.

To become the leaders of a new social system, the hera/hero must revolutionize the historic traditional patterns of motherhood; the hero's mother is not only a part of this pattern; but a slave to it, and unwittingly perpetuates it. The important relationship, then must shift from mother/son to hera/hero. This shift not only opens up new pathways for biochemical interaction, but opens up a metaphysical communication which extends beyond the incestuous bond between mother and son. Consequently, the reproduction of planet Earth cannot be based on the sexless relationship between mother and son; rather, it must be based on a philosophic sacred, sexual union between lovers of the opposite sex.

By being liberated from their parents, the new wo/man becomes the center of a new social system. The Gaian revolution is born as the hero falls in love with the pythoness of peace. Jung writes, "The hero who sets himself the task of renewing the world and conquering death personifies the world-creating power which, brooding on itself in introversion, coiled round its own egg like a snake, threatens life with its poisonous bite, so that the living may die and be born again from the darkness" (382). Throughout the world the snake has represented the power of renewal. The serpent is the kingmaker.

Without this revolutionary partnership emancipating our libidos from incest, Mother Earth, the main symbol of woman's psychological entrapment and of the castration of men, will continue, as will Father Sky's external domination and intellectual belittlement of women. The female is trapped in the image of biological reproduction as her spiritual mission, resulting in the suppression of the Goddess of Wisdom within her, while the male enslaves himself to the helpless mother/son incest fantasy, which prevents the God of Wisdom within him from ever achieving the manhood needed to make love with the Great Goddess.

The romance between the hera and hero is the story of the inner process of maturation of both the female and male counterparts. Without the sexes physically connecting with each other, neither one can be saved, nor can they find the wisdom to save our species and all the others.

Returning to the Garden

In Carol P. Christ's essay, "Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Political Reflections," she writes,

Patriarchal religion has enforced the view that female initiative and will are evil through the juxtaposition of Eve and Mary. Eve caused the fall by asserting her will against the command of God, while Mary began the new age with her response to God's initiative, "let it be done to me according to Thy Word" (Luke 1:38)(Christ 1982, 81).

Mary, who is worshipped for her physical ability to birth and nurture the male deity, becomes a second-rate citizen--a saint, not a Goddess, lacking the will to release the power in her own self. She becomes a non-being, the obedient mother of the Son of God. For one to be human is to be the Son of God, a male, not a female. Mary is subordinate to the Word of the male deity, who honors her primarily for her womb. All women are seen similarly.

Feminist theologians have pointed out that when God announced that Mary had been chosen to carry the baby Jesus, she had no choice as to whether or not to accept or reject the “Virgin Birth.” When Mary asked the angel how she could become pregnant inasmuch as she was a virgin, the angel replied, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of God shall overshadow you; so the baby born to you will be utterly holy--the Son of God" (Luke 1:23, 36). One of the definitions for the word "overshadow" is "to make insignificant by comparison; dominate." Mary was denied her natural sovereignty of giving consent to the sex act; God’s insemination was thus an act of rape. In modern terms, she is artificially inseminated, thus even denied the pleasure of an orgasm!

In Vladimir Solovyov's book, The Meaning of Love, he points out that love between the sexes does not play an essential role in biblical stories. The "fathers of God" are those who arranged the births and sexual combinations. Solovyov writes, "Love is, of course, encountered in the Bible, but only as an independent fact and not as an instrument in the process of the genealogy of Christ." Christ is a product of faith, not of love. He continues,

In sacred, as well as general history, sexual love is not a means to, or the instrument of, historical ends; it does not subserve the human species. That is why, when subjective feeling tells us that love is an independent good and that it possesses an absolute value of its own for our personal existence, then this feeling corresponds also in objective reality with the fact that a powerful, individualized love never exists as an instrument of service for the ends of the species, which are attained apart from it. In general history, as in sacred history, sexual love (in the real sense of the word) plays no role in, and shows no direct influence upon, the historical process; its positive significance must have its roots in individual life (32).

It is apparent from this that biblical stories are not simple stories of love between the sexes, but also accounts of blind obedience, incest, rape, and murder.

Men's Part in Reproduction

Men do great harm and disservice to themselves when they view the earth as the virgin mother and fail to see the necessary part they play in the reproductive process. In Christianity, the church replaces the womb of the virgin mother, dividing sacred and profane places. One result of this schism is the building of unhealthy, fragmented cities. For Christians, enlightenment is not found through erotic mysticism, but through direct communion with Christ. Kenmare writes,

It is precisely because the Church as a whole has failed to understand sex in its totality, has isolated sex from love (not love from sex), that by far the greater majority not only find no appeal in the Christian teaching, but positively fear and shun it, believing it to be full of prohibitions and hard rules against which the innate warmth and instinctive needs of the personality has no choice but to rebel (Kenmare 1942, 180).

Although there may be an adolescent rebellion from the church, often times people go back to the church after failure in life. This return is mainly due from their lack of understanding about the nature of love: they seek consolation from the church since they have no alternative to which they can turn for guidance. Gaian and Neutopian thought give us an alternative worldview. It is interesting to note that alternative is from alter, in Latin, meaning second or other, and natus, birth or nation.

Gaia is not only the antichrist, but the antichurch. Mary Daly believes antichurch should be thought of in a positive way since it is not trying to capture equal ground in sexist space, but bringing into the world a rebirth of the Second Coming of Woman. Her theory challenges the credibility of myths contrived to support the structures of patriarchal alienation (Daly 1973, 139).

It is no wonder that status quo individuals have no authentic religious experiences, when the majority marry for social convenience and the begetting of children, and not for love. Their mindsets are locked into the existing social systems. A return to the biospheric garden "can come, but only and always through a proper understanding of love and a deep sense of the sacramental" (Kenmare 1942, 121). Agape, the love of humanity without the unity of Aphrodite and Eros, is not the way to enlightenment, because it ignores the microbial lifeforce incarnated in the flesh. Alan Watts says that the division between sexuality and spirit has caused us to be dangerously insane and on the verge of global suicide. He writes, "Obviously, only those who believe that the world of spirit is more real than the world of life, biology, and sex will gamble on detonating the atomic bomb" (Watts 1971, 111). However, a union of Aphrodite and Eros which is narrowly focused on the flesh results in deadly narcissism. Without understanding its divine social purpose, the inner necessity and evolutionary reason for copulation in the relationship will end in failure. Erich Fromm writes,

One can often find two people "in love" with each other who feel no love for anybody else. Their loves is, in fact, an egotism a deux; they are two people who identify themselves with each other, and who solve the problem of separateness by enlarging the single individual into two. They have the experience of overcoming aloneness; yet, since they are separated from the rest of mankind [sic], they remain separated from each other and alienated from themselves; their experience of union is an illusion. Erotic love is exclusive, but it loves in the other person all of mankind [sic], all that is alive (Fromm 1956, 47).

Since Aphrodite and Eros are basic to the inner understanding of the microcosm, as well as the force which guides us to our soulmates, the liberation of women from domesticity and the architectural pattern of development it engenders is imperative, if we are to control the population and save the species. The fecund Virgin Mother who was raped by God the Father must be replaced with the image of the creative, intelligent Crone, who is in touch with her unique gifts and bears important social roles for the betterment of the Superorganism. With love between the sexes living by the ancient wisdom of bacteria, galactic gardens of peace will open up to us.

The dangerous myths which have shaped our world have indoctrinated girls to believe it is their female duty to bear children, and boys their heroic duty to go to war to protect the motherland/fatherland. It is time for us to acknowledge the vital role the child-free woman plays in the survival of the human race. Edward Carpenter writes, "Sometimes it seems possible that a new sex is on the make--like the feminine neuters of Ants and Bees--not adapted for child-bearing, but with a marvelous and perfect instinct of social service, indispensable for the maintenance of the common life" (68).

Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene

As we understand the shortcomings of worshipping the Mother Mary as Mother Earth, we begin to conceptualize the Second Coming of Women in terms of Mary Magdalene, a Crone who was the first heretic of Christianity after Peter formed the church hierarchy without her vital sexual knowledge and holy wisdom. It was Mary Magdalene, not Mother Mary, who possessed the way of creating peace on Earth. Let me now engage in the mythopoetic enterprise.

Magdalene, the new Eve, was the female counterpart of Christ, the new Adam. Through their love they shared intimate knowledge which may have been the reason for the release of the holy, myth-making forces of their life stories. Like Christ, she was both a receiver and a revealer of Gnosis, the insight of self-knowledge. Being the companion of Christ made her not a saint, as the Church proclaimed, but the prophetess and possibly high priestess of the religion. Magdalene taught that ultimate reality was found through self-knowledge and faith was a matter of trusting one's own experiences. For her, divination was revealed through the intuitive and creative forces of self-discipline. She taught that in order to find love, one must surrender one's ego to the great works of the Superorganism and the building of the New Jerusalem, an arcology of love. To her, Christ was not the Lord, but a principal spiritual guide to the New Ordered World.

Mother Mary, on the other hand, was a pawn of rational knowledge. Faith to her was blind obedience and acceptance of the literal biblical tales apart from her own personal experience. Mother Mary undoubtedly believed that people who heard voices, or saw imaginative visions related to unseen ESP capacities, or swayed with the changing tides and rhythms of life, were schizophrenic. Under her rule, human perception was incapable of penetrating beyond the vision world. In her church, all truth was revealed, and required the unconditional acceptance of the laws of the clerical hierarchy. This meant obeying the customs and traditions of the tribe over one's personal needs, desires, and urges. In order to receive the blessing of the tribe and family, one had to prove one's usefulness by way of acquisitions and achievements. For Mother Mary, the resurrection of Christ was a material phenomenon which could be proven as an historical event. It symbolized "one's will over the natural forces." By contrast, Magdalene taught that the resurrection occurred within the intuitive imagination of the individual--a spiritual and unique process in which one experientially rediscovers the way to the true self.

When Magdalene was first to see the resurrected Christ, Peter became envious of her privileged position as a teacher of prophecy, miracle worker, and of the Gnosis which she shared with Christ. She became a target of his jealousy and doubt. Some of the gospel writers implied that she was both the "sinner" and the one who anointed Christ. To Peter, Magdalene was inferior to Christ since she was a woman, and as a woman, she was associated with matter and evil; she must repent in order to become "white and good." Christ, on the other hand, being male, was associated with what was good and spiritual. Whitmont sums up the problem,

As the reasoning light of the mind grabs the world in its outer, concrete manifestation, the inner gnosis, with its magical, instinctual attunement of fundamental survival needs and collective dynamics is lost to consciousness. The world of the Feminine, of the Goddess and her consort Dionysus or Pan, yields to the God whose name is "I am that I am" (68).

Mother Mary's womb became the church of orthodox external knowledge, void of the mysteries and joy of erotic union. Mary Magdalene became the outsider, a homeless "prostitute," albeit the sleeping beauty with the "forbidden knowledge" condemned to be surrounded by an ugly, violent world. Excluded from the Christian hierarchy, she may have spent the rest of her life alone in the desert. In whatever particular bodily form she has appeared throughout the centuries, her universal message has always tried to destroy the counterfeit spirit. The counterfeit has always divided up the world into the realm of light where the soul ascends to meet the "true God" in his "Kingdom of Heaven," and the realm of evil matter where the corrupt human body is imprisoned on Earth.

Even Christ tried to make Magdalene into a hero when he told Peter, "See, I shall head her, so that I will make her male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." By discrediting her divine wisdom and dismissing the role of female prophecy and by declaring her his follower instead of his equal, Christ made a fatal mistake.

Since Christ was supposedly unable to understand the place of erotic love in religion, he preached the practice of celibacy (Pagels 1989b). He declared his soul married to the Church and that his followers should give up their sexual relationships to carry out his Word. He supposedly gave Peter the authority to become the spokesman of the group and allowed him to "exercise exclusive leadership over churches as the successors of the apostle Peter." Elaine Pagels writes in The Gnostic Gospels, "For the second century, the doctrine served to validate the apostolic succession of bishops, the basis of papal authority to this day" (6).

But even with all his magical powers, Christ was unable to make Magdalene into a man. Marjorie M. Malvern writes in Venus in Sackcloth: The Magdalen's Origins and Metamorphoses, "As a female she rules over the present world, which is like to her, and counts as the first prophetess; she proclaims her prophecy with all amongst those born of woman" (39). Magdalene could not give up her knowledge of sexual love since it is the fundamental mystery necessary for regeneration.

The Secret Sexual Knowledge

Aphrodite cannot conceive without Eros' magic phallus. Without the mysterious forces of erotic love, the reproductive act is often reduced to prostitution, pornography, masturbation, and rape none of which teach anything about the miracles of life. The only other alternative is artificial insemination, which eliminates and alienates the male from the sex act. Mircea Eliade writes, "Except in the modern world, sexuality has everywhere and always been a hierophany, and the sexual act an integral action and also a means of knowledge." Consequently, without philosophic Aphrodite and Eros working for Gaia, the technological “virgin birth” of the biosphere could actually cause our species to spread its egocentric diseases of war, lust, and greed throughout the galaxy. In order to stop this destructive process, we must come to terms with our Creatrix. We are all part of the microcosm. Our bodies are the temples where microbes live. This is why it is a grave violation to the life-force to pollute our bodies, or kill another human being, or to separate sex from love, or death from life. When we realize that our bodies are systems of organisms working to maintain health and supply us with energy, we begin to be aware that in an important sense we live to serve the microbes who have been responsible for our immortality.

Many male writers advocating the technological asexual birth of the planet are reproducing the same patriarchal-matriarchal formula which has caused our downfall in Gaia's garden. Christian agape seeks union with God in an asexual way, divorcing itself from sexual and earthly responsibilities. Agape fails to note that the Superorganism which has produced us has made us into sexual creatures. The bacteria speak to us through philosophic Aphrodite and Eros.

In his essay, "Bacterial Writing and the Metaphysics of Sex," Dorion Sagan examines the ideas that seeing the Earth as an inseminable female is found all over the world and is the very root of the Indo-European civilization. In places where the terms were reversed, and Father Earth and Moon Mother were perceived, the unscientific division of gender relationships still prevailed. Sagan writes, "the asexual organism is not more female than male; Adam was not, in a simple reversal, extracted from Eve's rib. If females are not primordial, males are not redundant" (127).

According to Sagan, the sexism of the religious explanation of the universe penetrated into the mythos of science. Females were compared by the plant world and males to animals. When Anton van Leeuwenhoek first looked at his own sperm under a microscope, he called it spermatazoa combining the two Greek words for seed and animals. The sperm became the activists of life. The redundant ovaries became the passive receptacles and vegetable nutrition for the incoming sperm. Socially, this stereotype created the idea that the assertive woman is one who intuitively knows the mysteries of life without having to seek or assert knowledge of the natural world. If a women does attempt to verbalize her knowledge, she is seen as taking on “male” characteristics. In biological terms, women are seen in terms of asexual reproduction which Dorion Sagan points out can be seen in the use of the words "daughter cells," used to describe an amoeba after mitosis, even though their "sexless" acts do not create daughters or sons. He calls this a metaphysical bias which suppresses the right to differentiate. All of this, of course, omits the very active role of both ovum and placenta in both the genetic contribution of the female and her body’s hidden yet extremely active role in reproduction.

Christian Clones

By ignoring the erotic impulse, agape love for the Christ figure is also dangerous because it disallows people from finding their unique characters, instead becoming clones of the Godhead who are only reborn through the virgin birth. Yes, all is Superorganism, but agape leads to global sterility when people are unable to break the incest barrier with the Virgin Mother and must obey God, the Father. In contrast, Aphrodite and Eros find their unique and mature selves by connecting with Gaia through inward understanding and taking on a greater responsibility for their outer world. They use a symbolic language which neither causes dogma nor superstitious traditional rituals.

The union of Aphrodite and Eros leads to a personal and social freedom which is only found by connecting with the Superorganism and being self-disciplined towards its creative will. Aphrodite and Eros can liberate us by restoring meaning to our lives. Freedom is found only when we become whole, listening to the androgyny in the collective consciousness.

William A. Sadler, Jr. points out in his book, Existence and Love: A New Approach in Existential Phenomenology,

Man is also, and all too often, afraid of his freedom, particularly the freedom to exist within the infinite boundaries of love; thus he seeks to escape from it (208). The greatness and mystery are too much for him. Thus man is often a compromiser, choosing little freedoms for trivial possibilities as cheap compensation for authentic freedom which he is too frightened to pursue (210).

Man declares the greatness of romantic love and the new world it creates to be a fantasy. In denying the power of love, he "spins deceptions about himself. In the web of history he is caught and hung by his own deceptions" (Sadler 1969, 210). By ignoring the Great Goddess of Wisdom and substituting commercialism and science for religion, as Christianity and capitalism do, we are denying ourselves our connection with the life-force. This can only cause personal and social chaos. The "almighty buck" seems to be the economic idol of laissez-faire capitalism, which initiated the exploitation of nature through the creation of property rights, and challenged the time-honored idea of communal ownership of the Earth. With these developments came the rise of the professionalism, which, in turn reinforced the gods of rationalism and scientific domination. As we have seen, professionalism made people slaves to credentials, and giving the new professional class privileges over the peasantry. Professionalism was a neo-feudalistic change which replaced the charters, grants and titles of the Middle Ages with a system, in which credentials and formal documents (degrees, license, diplomas, certificates) are issued by the State. Without official documentation, one faced unemployment and homelessness (Hodgkinson 1983, 102).

In Love in the Machine Age, Floyd Dell writes, "the middle class has been and still is bringing up its sons and daughters as if their lives were dominated by the requirements of land and property. It is blunderingly seeking to perpetuate the psychological attitudes which were necessary to the land property regime--the adult childishness which hampers the social and economic arrangements of our time" (22). Under capitalism, parents keep their children chained to the bondage of inheritance rights which are diametrically opposed to creating arcologies of human love.

Neither totalitarianism nor anarchy are organic social structures which give us the individual power to work in unison with the Superorganism. Both systems are immature: one makes people submissive to authority and the other puts no restrictions on personal wishes in respect to the collective vision, leaving humanity without creative leadership (Kao 1975, 143). Warren Bennis writes in Why Leaders Can't Lead, "As a person cannot function without a brain, a society cannot function without leaders. And so the decline goes on" (66).

In Neutopia, there is a balance between centralization and localization, allowing people to express their gifts in collective ways. The public needs the artists and scientists just as much as the artists and scientists need the public. One becomes part of the feminist hagiarchy of creative junos and geniuses by virtue of her or his inward development. Through works of love and wisdom we find our natural leaders. Through philosophic Aphrodite and Eros we discover our royal artists, the futurists who synthesize the arts and sciences to create an aesthetic Gaian lifestyle. Through the "One-Joined-Together," the vital leadership of life can flow throughout the world.

The Brain Cells of Gaia

Even though Michael Allaby calls the planet the Virgin Mother, he calls her an “it” and refuses to acknowledge Gaia as an intelligent organism with a moral consciousness, thus denying the Crone her essential function within the biosphere. He writes,

The Gaian concept has no moral dimension unless you make the false assumption that Gaia is an intelligence, and in that case it is far from benign. This Gaia has no concern for human welfare, moral or even physical...For us to cast ourselves in the role of the planet's conscience is rather like criminals appointing themselves judges, and only judges at that (Allaby 1989, 147).

Allaby goes on to say that we are on a spaceship as part of the crew, a crew unable to guide its destiny, but with the power to destroy the world. He says that we are like delinquents who are rebellious against a captain, in whose judgments we have lost faith. He asks, "As individuals, are we tempted through our vanity and desire for knowledge, like Adam and Eve, so that mankind as a whole, mainly through its science and technology, has come to represent Satan, individual men and women the occupants of the Garden?" (88) This is a good question for Allaby to address to himself, since in his book he advocates the use of nuclear power to run the technology which dominates women and nature!

For Allaby, Gaia seems to be a complicated heartless machine-like orb “mother” who rules us by fear, since it can survive without us, but we cannot survive without it. He points out that prokaryote, who have been around billions of years before the development of plants and animals, are much more important to planetary life than we are, since they are the regulators of the planetary functions. Allaby compares Gaia to an automobile who has no need for a moral conscience. He says that the driver needs conscience, but it is ludicrous to think the car does. But it was only a few particular human beings who made the decision to build cars, and that decision has turned out to have such a destructive impact on the environment; traffic deaths and pollution through auto emissions have caused havoc to the entire health of the planet. Richard Register writes,

The fact is, if we want to leave any energy reserves and a reasonably healthy biosphere to our children, we will need to change the whole system so that cars are no longer an integral part [of the system]. We will, in other words, have to completely rebuild our cities on ecocity lines (Register 1987, 10).

Unlike Register, Allaby's mind is still locked into the Newtonian scientific worldview in his mistaken belief that science can be value free!

By denying the role of the Crone, Allaby also denies himself the role of the sage. He fails to realize that we are the microcosm! He even suggests that it is better for us to not question humanity's role within the planetary scheme of things. He writes, "at best we have no part" in it (147). In Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Kevin Rathunde's essay "The Psychology of Wisdom: an Evolutionary Interpretation," the authors state, "the wise person is the one best equipped to judge and to keep the commonwealth in order. The ultimate requirement for ruling is knowledge of how to optimize the well-being of the whole" (Csikszentmihalyi 1990, 33). Of course, the whole is the biosphere, Gaia, the Superorganism. The ancient philosophers thought that the beauty of the divine order was so attractive that one would be compelled to follow its path and to submit to its pattern. Now, even more so than in Plato's time, the seeking of wisdom, "the process by which people try to evaluate the ultimate consequences of events in terms of each other," is absolutely essential to our planetary survival.

Sagan, in his book Biospheres, seems to hold a different opinion than Allaby on the nature of the biospheric intelligence. He finds comfort in thinking that the Superorganism has a superior intelligence to human beings, which is then responsible for planetary evolution. Gaia has survived several massive extinctions in Earth's past and would certainly survive a nuclear world war and ecological collapse if humans are too stupid to avoid species termination. He says understanding this "superior being" of which we are a part, would require "new techniques of unconscious resonance, new means of speaking" (100). Sagan sees us as "the collective witness and main actor in a participatory spectacle of sexual-symbiotic fascination" (123). He at least raises questions the possibility of humanity’s being the vital brain cells of the planet’s constituting moral decision-making. He writes, "I contend that the biosphere, through me, may be writing or helping to write these words. But if I can say this, the very notion of an "I" separated from the biosphere comes under question" (21).

Sagan believes the "biosphere uses us to accomplish its own ends," to which end he says is the planet's own reproduction. He writes,

It may be that the time has come, from a biospheric vantage point, for us to glimpse a new role for ourselves; no longer isolationists, selfishly rearing technology for our own ends, but integrationist--connectors and vectors of disparate parts of the biosphere--no longer murderers but intermediaries and matchmakers among the millions of species participating in the life of the biosphere" (105-104).

Thus humanity’s role within the biosphere is that of decision-maker, a brain cell of Gaia.

The Power of Ideas

Since ideas do not come through committees, sects, or nations, but through the individual, one must ask who, for Sagan, is the main actor? Is the midwife to the Gaian world view the collective, the individual, or both? Biologically speaking there is no individual, since our bodies are made up of a community of different organisms, so the answer must be both. But how is the Superorganism organized? What relationship do the parts have to the whole?

Humanity advances through the work of particular idealistic individuals who influence others with their ideas. Walker Abell, in his book The Collective Dream in Art, points out that inspirational ideas are a receptacle for a collective psychic charge which arises from the unconscious or subliminal regions of the mind. At the moment of inspiration, the artist works as a conductor of the unconscious collective forces of the Superorganism to make them conscious. Moreover, as Erich Neumann writes, "The Great Individual, who is a great man [sic] in the sense of being a great personality, is characterized not only by the fact that the unconscious content has him in its grip, but by the fact that his conscious mind also has an active grip on the content" (Neumann 1954, 426). The juno and genius are they who are most consciously aware and sensitive to what is going on in their unconscious, which they, then strive to express with their ideas and creations.

The ideas enter into the imagination and animate shared symbolic visions, to which humans must then give embodiment. This release of accumulated psychic impulses is established when there is an "appropriate connective between its subjective source and an objective outlet" (Abell 1957, 332). The conscious mind is not the generator of the ideas, only an interpreter or agent of the inspired messages (Walker 1961, 35). "Major artists are such, precisely because responsiveness to collective motivation charges their creative activity with the full force of the master tensions of their epoch" (Abell 1957, 332). These seekers of a deeper cultural reality other than that of our repressive market economy become free from personal competition when they seek union with others on the creative quest, to build a planetary science and culture of love. Abell writes, "Originality tends to unite one with one's more sensitive contemporaries, and separates one only from one's predecessors??that is to say from the exponents of cultural situations that no longer exist" (333). There are many different kinds of cultural and scientific agents, each fulfilling their destinies within the broad channel of planetary transformation. But it is Aphrodite and Eros who are the vortex of the lovolution. To join the Lovolution to find oneself within a global drama, playing a role and living for a cause, rather than "losing oneself" and dying for a cause.

When the multitude of people are exposed to great ideas, they may enter into their dreams. But in essence, it is the individual who must absorb an idea and act it out. Also, as Giordano Bruno states, "A creator is one who makes others create." Without a creative following the leader cannot lead (Bell 1957, 334). Aphrodite and Eros empower the collective by providing the vision, wisdom, and immortality to live in harmony with Gaia.

The history of utopian thought has been an attempt to discover the organic and mysterious social system embodied in nature. However, it seems that we have not as yet discovered the formula to lead our way back to the garden. In order to rediscover ourselves we must come together to study the Earth as a system. But what then is the power that will unite us? Since the historical roots of our environmental crisis are religious, the answer to the problem must be religious--thus the manifestation of the Gaian religion. In order to change the system, we have to have a story more powerful than the existing mythology. The religion of Aphrodite and Eros binds us back to this the mystical power. It demands we enter the mysteries, shut our five senses, and return to our origins!

We must beware of the folly of thinking of ourselves as stewards or engineers in control of the environment. Already the ecological crisis, which we have caused ourselves, is the result of thinking that we are the superior members of the biosphere, whose transcendental God created nature for humanity's exploitation. However, in Biospheres, Sagan points out that the destructive use of technology which we are witnessing now might have been a necessary part of a needed metamorphosis. The Judeo-Christian duality between people and nature allowed scientific investigation and technological development to flourish. During pagan times, the people saw guardian spirits in all forms of nature, every tree, plant, stream, rock, etc. The Judeo-Christian victory over pagan animism allowed a spirit of investigation to supplement such reverence. This psychic revolution in the way people perceived nature unfortunately went too far, ushering a way for human beings to exploit natural resources with indifference to the consequences.

Gaia is the Supreme Being(s)

Could unseen microbes be the supreme beings which the ancient pre-Christian nature worshipers saw as guardian spirits in all forms of life?

Margulis and Sagan's description of the microbial world in Microcosmos could be read to correspond with Lawrence E. Sullivan's description of supreme beings in the Encyclopedia of Religion. Sullivan says supreme beings can see and know everything and are present everywhere. We are made in their image even though they remain invisible to us. They are viewed as being the foundation of all life, owning all that exists, the fertilizers of vital forms of the universe. Sullivan writes, "As the foundation of all that is real, they may be the sovereign upholders of the world order, rulers of all beings, and even providers of moral commandments and socio-ethical mores" (167). To those who are transgressive, supreme beings punish in passive ways, by famine, epidemics, and drought. The ancient wisdom against engaging in promiscuous sex can now be reaffirmed, as sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS show us that ancient morality had a biological purpose.

Sorin Sonea and Maurice Panisset write in A New Bacteriology that bacteria are the "life-promoting stability of the chemical features surrounding the living world" (8). The majority of bacteria are benevolent and compose the essential organisms which make up a global community. Bacteria are responsible more than any other living group for the fertility and stability of our planetary ecology. Not only are we surrounded by them, but we are made of them. They are our first ancestress. When we are in harmony with them, we serve them. Since bacteria are the foundation of life on earth, they cannot be said to be unintelligent beings. They are, at the very least, arguably mysterious creative force behind love, the hidden matchmaker behind human evolution (see Chapter 2).

Could it then be said that bacteria form the voice within the unconscious mind? Furthermore, could they have manifested the deity of the Virgin Mother and transcendental Father in order that we would develop the technology for their galactic reproduction? If the answer is yes, it is not surprising that bacteria have symbolized themselves throughout our religious history in the image of the Virgin Mother. Percy Shelley is quoted in Romantic Art Theories as saying that, "Only in artistic creation did the unconscious soul of nature merge with the conscious soul of man [sic] to produce works in which nature becomes spirit and spirit ennobled and redeemed nature" (75). Since religion is the art of sexuality, it makes sense that sexually reproducing bacteria may compose the unconscious soul of nature, revealed in a sense through existing spiritual symbols of humanity, e.g., the Madonna and Child. It is urgent that we be aware of the religious significance of such symbols so that more evolved religious symbols representing the true nature of love can ennoble and redeem human nature.

Since our new knowledge of the bacterial Superorganism, the life-force of the planet, promises to open up infinite possibilities for the creation and improvement of genes, we are beginning to have a new, mature, even divine relationship with the microorganisms as human beings become the co-creators of life forms and new worlds. Through the Superorganism's desire for reproduction, we become equal partners with the microcosmic Great Goddess of life. Gaia perfects us and now we are perfecting Gaia. This is not only a technological partnership, but a spiritual one as well, as we begin to educate our population to the spiritual nature of the Superorganism and begin to direct the building of biospheric arcologies.

Gaia can create global order out of world chaos. It is calling us to develop what Buckminster Fuller called "a world computer data base," and what H. G. Wells termed the "World Encyclopedia." It is certainly a meaningful coincidence that Sorin Sonea and Maurice Ranisset describe the Superorganism as being a "computer with a large data base," while these earlier futurists expressed the same concept in their writings. The intelligence needed to ethically guide the world data base will come through those engaged in the works of philosophic Aphrodite and Eros, whose union makes them the mistresses and masters of the whole.

A mature relationship with the microcosm requires that we develop a new understanding about the role of sex. There is a reason why we developed egg and sperm cells in the individual sexes. Sexual reproduction should not be thought of as a biological waste of time and energy which should be eliminated, even if asexual forms of reproduction by human cloning or parthenogenesis are now becoming human possibilities. These advances in biotechnologies could cause de-evolution. Trying to artificially breed people for intellectual or physical traits using eugenics goes against the natural wisdom of the microbial romance. Aphrodite and Eros are the best determinants of who should breed with whom. Breeding for any reason other than for love is an injustice to the law of life, making the sex act an act of death. In Morality and Eros, Richard Rubenstein writes, "Love is the great opponent of death-in-life" (111). Through the use of advanced technology, messages and information about the ways in which the Superorganism works within us can be broadcast universally. Peter Russell points out in The Global Brain, "From an evolutionary perspective, perhaps the ultimate purpose of technology has been to enable society to make the shift"(173) to a spiritual way of perceiving life. It is no longer unreasonable to think that humanity's crones and sages are indeed the consciousness of Gaia.

Summary

In this chapter we have discussed the danger of using Mother Earth, or the Virgin Mother, as a metaphor for the planet. The Virgin Mother does not have the sexual wisdom necessary for our planetary salvation. The two sexes becoming the Unshakable One leads to an understanding of the One World Mind and the occult powers it generates. We have seen that what is needed is a creative hero who has conquered his fear of sex and death by taking into his heart Aphrodite's eternal love. In order to do this, he must individuate by breaking free of the dependence-creating incest bond with his biological parents and thus to become a spokesperson for Gaia. Gaia, the microbial life-force of the planet, seems to be the Supreme Being(s) throughout time. It reveals a new morality of life to us in the form of revolutionary archetypal energies which artists then make known to the public.

 
 


 
 
Human Extinction or Lovolution?