The Natural Order (Thesis)
The Early Natural Order
The Pleasure Function
The Destruction of the Natural Order (Antithesis)
Reductionism and Moralism
Repression and Perversion
Love vs. Split-Love
The Disintegration of Sexual Paraphilias
Parent-Child Codependence and Emotional Child Abuse
The Oedipal Mold and Oedipal Culture
Mysticism and Atheism
Denial of Complexity
The Plague of Sadism
Conspiracy Thinking vs. Critical Thinking
The New Natural Order (Synthesis)
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The Nonviolent Trobrianders
The ancient Minoan culture from Crete was a highly developed civilization with a natural focus on sensuality, on beauty, free sexuality and a matriarchal worldview. This culture had integrated the Eight Dynamic Patterns of Living that I found to be regulatory when it comes to evaluating why a given culture lives in a peaceful and integrated or else, in a violent and disruptive way.
—The Eight Dynamic Patterns of Living are 1) Autonomy, 2) Ecstasy, 3) Energy, 4) Language, 5) Love, 6) Pleasure, 7) Self-Regulation, and 8) Touch.
Minoan culture respected all of the patterns I found to be essential for peaceful living and it had fully integrated the female, and also the female child in a partnership paradigm of living, and shared responsibility.
—More information can be found in Riane Eisler’s books and the many references they contain on Minoan Culture, ancient matriarchies and the perennial Goddess cult. See, for example, Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade (1995) and Sacred Pleasure (1996).
No slavery was practiced and no physical punishment for children in schools was practiced. The crime rate in that culture was very low. Their religion did not worship a male god but a pantheon of goddesses and spirits of nature. The low level of violence in that culture was exemplary in history, yet this civilization was virtually raped and devoured by the cruel, slavery-practicing invader tribes.
Riane Eisler, in her concise exposé on Minoan mores, culture and lifestyle in her book The Chalice and the Blade (1995), speaks of Crete as ‘the essential difference’ and reminds that already Plato described the Minoans as ‘exceptionally peace-loving people.’ Among the positive aspects Eisler lists about Minoan culture, referencing many other scholars, the most striking is that this ancient culture had a well-built model of what today we call democracy. Eisler writes in The Chalice and the Blade (1995):
Especially fascinating is how our modern belief of government should be representative of the interests of the people seems to have been foreshadowed in Minoan Crete long before the so-called birth of democracy in classical Greek times. Moreover, the emerging modern conceptualization of power as responsibility rather than domination likewise seems to be a reemergence of earlier views. (Id., 38)
Among the features of Minoan civilization is the fact that although it was ruled by a centralized government, this government was not exploiting or brutalizing the masses, which clearly is an exception when we look at other civilizations of that time. And Eisler equally observes that while there was an affluent ruling class in Crete, there is no indication that it was ‘backed up by massive armed might.’ (Id., 33)
A remarkable feature of Cretan culture is that there are here no statues or reliefs of those who sat on the thrones of Knossos or of any of the palaces. Besides the fresco of the Goddess — or perhaps a queen/priestess — at the center of a gift-bearing procession, there seem to be no royal portrayals of any kind until the latest phase. Even then, the sole possible exception, the painted relief sometimes identified as the young prince, shows a long-haired youth, unarmed, naked to the waist, crowned with peacock plumes and walking among flowers and butterflies. (Id., 37)
Still today, the health of the Cretan population and their wistful lifestyle is famed and acknowledged. In fact, a recent demographic survey has shown that in Europe, the Cretan population is by far the healthiest in that cancer and heart disease rates are among the lowest in Europe, and, together with Japan, in the world at large.
Among modern scholars, Terence McKenna and Riane Eisler stand out in their correct evaluation of the value of Minoan civilization and its example status for modern peace research.
In Food of the Gods (1992), McKenna writes:
The ambiance of Minoan-Mycenaean religion was one of realism, a sense of the vitality of bios, and sensual celebration. The snake-handling Minoan nature Goddess is representative of all these values. In all Minoan depictions, her breasts are full and bare and she handles a golden snake. Scholars have followed shamanic convention and have seen in the snake a symbol of the soul of the deceased. We are dealing with a goddess who, like Persephone, rules over the underworld, a shamaness of great power whose mystery was already millennia old. (Id., 124)
In the age of kingship, only Crete — an island and in those times remote from the events of Asia Minor — harbored the old partnership model. (Id.)
The mysterious Minoan civilization became the inheritor of the style and gnosis of forgotten and far-off times. It was a living monument to the partnership ideal, enduring for three millennia after the triumph of the dominator style was everywhere else complete. (Id.)
Early research on matriarchy was often criticized with the pseudo-logical argument that overcoming patriarchy and going back to matriarchy would equal to grant women a dominator status over men.
—The Swiss anthropologist and sociologist Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815–1887) is credited with the theory of matriarchy, or Mutterrecht, title of his major publication, a book that presented a radically new regard on the role of women in a broad range of ancient societies. Bachofen demonstrated that motherhood is the source of human society, religion, morality, and decorum and he drew upon Crete, Greece, Egypt, India, Central Asia, North Africa, and Spain. See Johann Jakob Bachofen, Gesammelte Werke, Band II: Das Mutterrecht (1948).
Riane Eisler, in her books The Chalice and the Blade (1995) and Sacred Pleasure (1996), suggests to abandon the dichotomy of matriarchal-patriarchal to replace it by egalitarian-dominator, thereby avoiding endless discussions if or not in matriarchal cultures males were oppressed by females.
The question in fact is not who dominates whom, but if a given culture runs on a dominator paradigm or on an egalitarian paradigm. It is now shared by the majority of scientists that what we formerly called ‘matriarchal cultures’ were more egalitarian than the subsequent patriarchal or dominator culture. Thus, a way back to love obviously will have to consider a sort of archaic revival, to speak with Terence McKenna.
Riane Eisler writes in Sacred Pleasure (1996):
This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the ‘chaotic’ powers of nature and woman (both of which are in Babylonian legend symbolized by the goddess Tiamat) is what ultimately lies behind man’s famous ‘conquest of nature’ — a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth’s ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own. This is also what lies behind a medical approach to the human body that all too often relies on unnecessary and/or harmful chemical and surgical intrusions — an approach that in Western medicine goes back to the ‘heroic’ remedies developed by the Church-trained doctors who during the late Middle Ages gradually replaced traditional healers (many of them women burned as witches) and their more natural herbal and other treatments. For here too the guiding philosophy is one of omniscient doctors giving orders and of detached external control; in short, of domination over rather than partnership with nature. (Id., 294)
Ancient pre-patriarchal societies really stand out in that they did not practice dominance of females over males but a form of male-female partnership that so far was not established again in human society. This represents a painful loss in wistfulness and balance for the entire globe, and is part of our today’s conflictual position with nature, and the fact that we have destroyed most of the globe’s ecosphere to a point of no-return.
The Nonviolent Trobrianders
As early as in 1929, Bronislaw Malinowski published his report on the sexual life of the Trobriands in which he draws the reader’s attention particularly to the sexual life of children and adolescents.
—Bronislaw Malinowski, The Sexual Life of Savages in North West Melanesia (1929) and Sex and Repression in Savage Society (1927).
Malinowski observed, not without surprise, high sexual permissiveness toward children’s free sexual play. More generally, he noted the total absence of a morality that condemns sexuality in children. Instead, he observed, children engage in free sexual play from early age.
Initiatory rites, Malinowski found, were absent with the Trobriands since children were initiated from about three years onwards, generally by older children, in all forms of sexual play. This play is completely nonviolent and includes, with the older children, coitus.
The most interesting finding for Malinowski was that in this culture violence was as good as non-existing and that there were equally as good as no sexual dysfunctions. Trobriands were found to be almost ideal marriage partners and divorce was a rare exception. But what is more, violent crimes were found to be equally non-existent and incest strongly tabooed and inhibited by social norms.
Other researchers found similar phenomena with the Muria tribe in South India where children stay until their maturity in so-called ghotuls where they live their sexuality freely and in utter promiscuity. Older children initiate younger ones progressively into sexual play.
—V. Elwin, The Muria and their Ghotul (1947), and Richard Currier, Juvenile Sexuality in Global Perspective (1981), 9 ff.
These researchers found that after a phase of total promiscuity, the children, from the age of puberty, form and maintain strong bonds and partnerships that are based not on sexual attraction, but on love. They further found that these first steady relationships formed the basis for later marriages that, regularly, last life-long. (Id.)
Some researchers and sociologists allege these findings had no significant meaning for our culture since they could not be generalized. However, such arguments assume that man, depending on cultural conditioning, was basically different from one culture to the other. This assumption is questionable, for the biological foundations are with all humans the same, regardless of cultural, social or religious conditioning.
If anthropological or psychological insights were valid only for a given culture, how could psychoanalysis which was founded by Sigmund Freud in Austria be successfully applied in the United States or even in India or South America?
Political and social conservativism has many faces; if often goes subtle ways in order to vacuum-clean truths that are against the reigning ideology.
Interestingly, neither Bronislaw Malinowski nor Margaret Mead have found pedophilia present in Melanesia’s Trobriand culture where children enjoy the utmost of emotional and sexual freedom. In fact, typically, children in this culture are sexually active with peers, and not with adults.
In other tribal cultures, a bit around the world, pederasty, which is practiced with pubescent boys, has a quite limited function and is of a temporary nature. It mainly serves to accompany the boys’ initiation in the adult male group.
Still more so, men or women being sexually attracted to prepubescent children, refusing to have sexual conduct with adults is something almost non-existent in tribal cultures. This is why I conclude it must be somehow related to specific factors within the cultural setup of dominator civilization. And why not? I cannot say I have found a definite answer as to the etiology of pedophilia, while I have found some quite convincing factors that certainly contribute to adults’ erotic attraction for minors, and most of these factors are related to our overprotective and often emotionally abusive child-rearing practices combined with the nuclear family structure that does not really allow children to grow away from their mothers and out from the symbolic uterus. They cannot for that reason really build autonomy, which I found is one of the Eight Dynamic Patterns of Living in most tribal nations.
But this doesn’t mean we should stigmatize pedophilia. Much to the contrary, I am convinced it came up as a social pathology for healing an even greater pathology, something like a social catalyzer for outsourcing childcare from the dysfunctional family toward a new kind of family. My research boiled down to nonviolent pedophilia representing not chaos and violence but in the contrary healing and peace, as it acts counter to overprotecting parenting and allows children to engage in erotic friendships outside of the family. It also allows children to project their incestuous desires upon adults other than their parents, which was a major pro-pedophilia argument voiced by the late Françoise Dolto in an interview I had with her in Paris, back in 1986. In our conversation, the famous child psychoanalyst vehemently pleaded for socially coding adult-child sexual relationships.
I am convinced that all desires that nature creates are purposeful and intelligent. To my knowledge, pedophilia has never been considered under this header, hence the unique stance and importance of my research and the conclusions I draw from them.