sexta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2017
GOD AS MOTHER?
A woman gave birth to him.
Galatians 4:4 (Contemporary English Version)
This picture and the thought that it transmits fascinate me, and I would like to make a few comments on what it suggests to me. This may seem a bit far out for some but hopefully embraced by others.
In my first years as a professing Christian I was indoctrinated to believe that nature was corrupted by what happened in the Garden of Eden, anything that we might learn from nature is suspect and that the Bible is our only sure way to know the truth because it is the infallible Word of God. However, the experience of many years has taught me that the opposite is true. The scriptures have been edited and modified so many times through history that they cannot be relied on as being authentic. Nature has recorded our past. Our problem is in knowing how to read what is written and understand her language.
In our patriarchal tradition the ancients thought of God as being the Supreme Male Being and the creator of all matter, but He was above and separate from it. Material things (including living beings) were inferior objects and subject to manipulation by Him. Creation was dualistic, divided between the spiritual and the material.
Male gods are a very recent arrival in the millions of years of human history. They first appeared only about six thousand years ago with the advent of the male dominance of patriarchalism. Before that, the norm was matricentric societies which had goddesses who gave birth to everything. Before the gods appeared in mythology the earth and the heavens were birthed by goddesses, not created by gods. Motherhood was sacred, because only women could produce life through the action of the goddesses in them. The concept of fatherhood was unknown. We were all birthed, not created. Therefore nothing was a mere object, and everything had the essence of the Great Mother. The universe was considered to be a big living family with all things related to each other. The essence of life was to live in harmony, which is contrary to our culture where dominance is the mark of success.
In the light of what has been discovered in the past one hundred years I believe that the original 1gynocentric goddess cultures which emphasized nourishing were much closer to the truth than our present 2androcentric god culture which puts dominance to the forefront.
The gynocentric goddess cultures perceived the universe to be a dynamic, living and self-organizing being. Ecologist and environmentalist James Lovelock coined the term, 3“Gaia hypothesis” to describe the earth as a living super organism. Gynocentric cultures consider everything to be sacred and worthy of care and respect. In contrast, androcentric culture treats the universe as a mere object to be manipulated, organized and dominated. Its philosophy is that the earth exists for our benefit, and we are justified in taking from it all that we can.
The androcentric “God” is an exalted “divine other” male and should be worshiped and obeyed. He is the boss and can get pissed off if we don’t please Him. In contrast, the gynocentric “God” is female and should be respected and enjoyed as a mother. We were born from her womb and she will receive us again into her womb when we die.
With Constantine the church became androcentric and has supported androcentric governments and societies throughout its history. As the result of treating the universe as a thing and nature as something to be exploited the earth has become ravaged by wars, pollution, over population and ecological disasters. Our androcentric structure is driving humanity on a march toward self-destruction.
We need to return home to “Mother”. We need to recuperate the sense of the sacredness of all of nature and the sister/brotherhood of all creatures. We need to remember that by being birthed by the universe we are her daughters and sons and should treat Her as our Mother.
Returning to the opening scripture phrase, being born of woman is a universal experience. I would extend the term “woman” to include the whole universe which is basically feminine, because it is the womb of all of us.
1 GYNOCENTRIC: (Greek, gyno-, "woman", or "female") predominated by or emphasizing feminine interests or a feminine point of view.
2 ANDROCENTRIC: (Greek, andro-, "man, male") dominated by or emphasizing masculine interests or a masculine point of view
3 The term "GAIA" comes from Greek mythology, where it is the name of the Goddess of the Earth. In the late 1960s, independent ecologist and environmentalist James Lovelock used the name in his Gaia hypothesis, which posits that the earth is a super organism. This theory has gained much support in the environmentalist movement. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)