Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Vilification of Nature

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28)

"When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:" (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

"And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males ... And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.  And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire … 
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."  (Numbers 31:7-18)

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters- yes, even his own life- he cannot be my disciple."  (Luke 14:26)

I knew a man many years ago who took delight in chainsawing large branches from the trees of his backyard, and I even saw his wife almost cry in dismay over the aftermath.  When this same man moved to a new property, he gleefully told me that he was going to chop down the trees in front of his house because they were blocking the view.  He kept many guns in his house, and seemed prideful that he never had them locked up all the while his kids were growing up.  He was a bigot and an ex-Jehovah's Witness.  

The ex-JW aspect was a good thing, but though he had rejected the faith in general, its memes still lived on in many ways.  Strangely enough he was a very generous man, and I would say he was a good, upstanding man, of a very bright mind ( he was a wiz at electronics, he built beautiful violins from scratch, as a hobby, and sold them to musicians; he also did repairs for all string instruments, though he didn't have a musical bone in his body), even, notwithstanding his rather appalling ignorance in other ways; he was always very kind to me, and I personally was very fond of him (and not of his values, of course).  

He was an enigmatic man.  But I have noticed that the same holds true for many people who embrace the kinds of values that he had, of bigotry and of taking pride in dominating nature, that they are not necessarily "bad" people.  In fact, many such people I've met have been genuinely good folks. So what the hell is happening with them that makes them so dissonant with nature, and as a result, with reality? What is it that is fucking them up?

The legacy of the ancient, brutal patriarchal cultures of the Middle Eastern nomadic and agrarian cultures still reverberate in those nations, some things are still the same with very little hint of having evolved (with the exception of use of technology).  This aspect of brutality is not relegated to those regions alone, however; it has ramified the world over.  It is almost no exaggeration to say that this ramification is the history of the world of the past two millennia or so.  

There is so little self-reflective awareness in this process of history, that it had taken a viral life of its own; it was a catalytic and necessary aspect of evolution, but its eon has passed, even though it continues onward like a runaway locomotive.  The Genesis 1:28 pericope is taken literally as a relevant injunction even to this day, and the savage barbarism of Deuteronomy 7:1-2 (and other similar passages, as well as New Testament antisemitism, Islamic injunctions for war) is implemented in spirit and action.   

This is not atavism in any way; there simply has been no evolution whatsoever. There are built-in religio-cultural failsafes based on fear-memes that are safeguards against evolution (and involution), and it is somewhat ironic that even the very idea of biological evolution is denied. Some might argue that the human, ancestral, and patriarchal propensity for war, territorialism, and brutality predates the Judeo-christian-islamic trajectory the world over, and such indeed is the case.  It is a caveman thing, aspects of un-evolved struggles for survival.  It became Habit, which was carried over into the development of cultures and civilizations, because Habit is always a bottom-line default.  Matriarchal agrarian societies did evolve in areas, and they were signs of novelty that evolved beyond Habit.  But alas, old Habits die hard, as the saying goes, and they find their way into developing cultures, religions, and quasireligious ideologies, their seeds disseminated by memes.     

When aspects of default Habits of caveman eras are elevated to the heights of divine or noble virtues by patriarchal theological and ideological paradigms, the result is, ironically, androcentric androcracy. This is perpetuated in the androcentric delusion that the earth was made for man, and woman was made for man. The earth is seen as feminine ("Mother") and hence the object of domination and conquest.  She must be subjugated, and thus any nurture or respect for her is tantamount to idolatry, fetishism ("green dragon"), and basic inhumanity. This is why they consider, perhaps even unconsciously, brains functioning reflexively with failsafe memes, that it is their religious, quasi-religious, or moral duty to vilify and despoil nature.  Recycling, environmental concerns, single-motherhood, empowerment of women, and birth-control (in religious cases only) are attributed to "the devil's" deception, to "unrighteousness"; such things are impediments to the spread of NeoNeanderthals culture, religions, and ideology.