When I was 18, I took my English 101 class at Cypress College, the local junior college. It was actually a pretty good experience; I have fond memories of my math teacher, Jack Gill, and my psychology instructor, Jorge Ampudia. As well, my English teacher was named Ambika Talwar. Ambika recently put out a travelogue about her time visiting Greece. In it, she shares thoughts and feelings that are present-oriented, literal, and even pedantic. At other times, she waxes philosophical. I wanted to share a passage that is interesting from her book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses. Ambika Talwar is an interesting person, to say the least. You can read more about her here.
We remember that matri-focal systems all over the world were replaced by patriarchal systems in which male gods adopted female goddesses of the old cultures, ones that, it is posited, were developed with nurture and endurance. But the new systems changed all this and co-opted female deities making them consorts, or daughters, of the new male gods.
So patriarchal systems took over, thrived, and enforced their principles thereby becoming masters of newly conquered ancient lands that appropriated existing systems of grammar, which may have lost a sacredness, as suggested in some early symbols. Then conquering became a way of life, a way to rule by domination.
It is tragic that our history is lacking in narratives that speak of a more harmonious way to be, so we maintain a dominator patriarchal worldview as true. Alas, we have been too long caught in aggressive shadows that have not been resolved.
Sadly, this trend has continued in our times, leaving the fate of our humanity in ruthless hands—but a new awareness is emerging and people are seeking alternative ways to live and relate. The dread of vile militancy rises, and it must be expunged from our cellular memory and consciousness. How can such a change be inspired? Is it too late? Where languishes our self-willed awareness?
Many of us who live in conflict and uncertainty at the same time ache to revere, re-learn, create and practice harmonics of integrated tribal structures to honor our unities with nature. We long for innocence to sing in us again.
Nature’s way is way of abundance, but man has created scarcity that is destroying life through plunder and deception. A better way is to live in accord with “rta” or cosmic rhythm whose cycles may renew and revitalize our perceptions of our relatedness. May it be so!
In such envisioned place, fluidly organized communal structures revere life and allow the participation of each unique genius to flower. Here children are seen for their utter natural beauty and spark of supreme intelligence. Here father and mother, in their adoration of one another, enclose the world with this dynamic loving, having continually recovered their true selves despite their different upbringing. Grandparents and little ones play around trees. Here friends are true not envious. Here people gather to celebrate just because. Here work is but just that which brings more than enough with adequate time for rejuvenation. Here homes are built in keeping with laws of nature and the elements. Here we learn the art of choice and responsibility, where freedom is practice of love. Passion is commitment. We are creative in our diverse ways. Like Cycladic homes woven in rock and mountainside, such tribal structures live in continual innovation for all goodness and with reverence for beauty.
How many layers of stories must be peeled away before we can find truth? And when we have found this truth, how do we know it for having lived with illusions for millennia?