Part IV: Illumination and Consensus Reached
[Editorial Note: The following is an edited version of the discussion that took place spontaneously on Mago Circle from March 1, 2013 for about two weeks. It was an extensive, heated, yet reflective discussion, now broken into four parts to fit the format of the blog. We thank each and all of the participants for your openness, generosity, and courage to stand up for what you believe and think! Some are marked as anonymous. As someone stated, something may have been “written in the heat of the moment” and some might like to change it at a later time. So we inform our readers that nothing is written in stone. As a matter of fact, the discussion is ongoing, now with Magoism Blog readers. Please comment and respond as you wish.]
Diane Horton: [C], how is it that you do not see that MT had no right to sacrifice other people for any purpose whatsoever? None of us have the right or the place to “sacrifice those we care about” for anything. She was not “above them”. And she had abundant means to do far more for them, to cure and comfort them. If indeed she imagined she had some lofty motivation as you so fervently believe, to use the power she had to withhold medical care from the poverty stricken sick and dying in some misguided and ultimately cruel attempt to bring the world’s attention to their suffering and produce compassion within those who would not otherwise feel it is the most monstrous miscarriage of any expression of what you might refer to as “love” that I have heard of outside of Jim Jones killing all of his followers in Ghana. That’s not Love. That’s not Compassion. That is Manipulation, and manipulation is ego-based.
Anne Wilkerson Allen: Yes. It is an indoctrination so deep and so prolonged that it takes a lifetime to overcome…and we rely on the love and compassion of others to help bring us to this understanding….thanks, Diane.
Diane Horton: Love you, Anne.
[C]: Is thinking that any human being sacrificing inside their very soul, their morals, & all that entails, is actually of lesser value than outside human pain, suffering, even death itself, right?
Diane Horton: I’m not sure I understand the question really, but I’ll try a response: one’s inner and outer life are of equal importance because they are all the whole person.
Max Dashu: I do agree with your first sentence, or rather its first clause, [C]. “Imagine Mother Theresa distraught to her very core 24/7 not just to the constant pain suffering, & death around her” and it is this i’ve been thinking about in the last days, while working in my garden. That she could not have been other than profoundly affected by the pain and suffering of others (which as Diane and Anne say, it was not hers to offer up as sacrifice). It soaked into her soul — how could such unalleviated pain and distress not profoundly impact her own spiritual state. As an animist i know that intense physical and emotional pain, just as the peace and glory of Nature, are forcefields and reverberate in all that is near them.
I believe her original, natural instincts were compassionate, to alleviate that pain, but they were derailed by the doctrine of expiatory suffering, and her own allegiance to a corrupt hierarchy who pushed her in the wrong direction, to her own woe. How could she not be distraught? every urging of the spirit rebelled against her obedience to authoritarian sacrificial codes. The Divine was speaking to her but she was unable to listen, fearing it was the voice of the devil pulling her from the right path and into damnation. So she trudged on in secret agony. I don’t believe she would have felt the same agony had she been capable of acting to salve the pain of others. By instrumentalizing it, she wounded her own soul.
Diane Horton: My god, Max – that’s brilliant.
[C]: Max Dashu, Thank You so-o for loving Mother Theresa too, & in compassion trying to understand her predicament, for you know from within us all she watches, listens, wonders if she is free at last!
[C]: Do you wonder, Max Dashu, how the whole world could not be of the Animist’ mind, as I do, while lovingly working in your garden?
Max Dashu: I wonder all the time, ever since a teen walking past to the execrable pile of concrete and steel that was the factory near my house, how humans could become so twisted, so far from Nature. How they could smash and tear and uproot. But my work as a historian has revealed the how, looking at the politics of colonizing women, the common people, Nature itself, and the takeover of hierarchical religions that persecuted the reverence of the Divine in ourselves, in Nature, and in all forms other than the narrow defile permitted by patriarchal doctrines. Which is to say, authoritarian codes devoid of real love and awe, that propagated witch hunts, vows of obedience, genocidal atrocities, and hells like the Magdalene Sisters in Ireland.
[C]: I breathe a sigh…there is hope out there…Thanks Be To One, Max Dashu, In His Garden!
Max Dashu: Her garden…
Anne Wilkerson Allen: That was a reminder that we let our guard down for a second and it all comes creeping back in….in a word…..
[C]: I’m laughing so hard I can’t type, Max, I meant ‘you’ in ‘your’ garden!
Max Dashu: Yes, i know, and i am woman, hear me roar.
[C]: Oh, my foot is in my fingers!
Max Dashu: Here is a book by Nancy Jay i think is really important for taking about the religious doctrines around sacrifice, particularly in ritual, but also in patriarchal theologies:
Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity.
This is not the only angle, since animist cultures perform animal sacrifice as a release of life-power, as in the Yoruba tradition. But Jay talks about male dominant codes of death-dealing superceding female birth mysteries, and all the contortions necessary to sustain the illusion of male primacy and supremacy.
Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity
Why does sacrifice, more than any other major religious institution, depend on …See More
[Z]: Your perseverance pays off, all! Impressed with brilliant mind, passion, love, and inquiry. I am just very busy catching up with the things that I have to do in order to get paid. My excuse to be slow in responses.
One thing that makes me comment: The above book is one that I appreciated reading at the beginning years of my graduate studies. I remember taking notes of some passages and made a mental note of this book as important to be shared with many.
[Z]: I mean I learned a lot from the book and loved it! I think this book should be a required textbook for the curriculum of “cosmoversity” to borrow DrMary Ann Ghaffurian’s term of self-motivated students and teachers. I call Mago Hedge School!
[C]: So like Mago ‘Hedge’ School-for the blind?
[Z] You are amusing, Sally! No, not really. For everyone.
[C]: Oh, Heavens, I just seen this & how you must have interrupted it.. I meant-I Really LIKED what you called your school & “for the blind’ reference was like blind behind the hedge not blind ‘unknowing’.
Mariamma Jones: Wow, what a creepy read. She liked to see the poor accept their lot and suffer like Christ did on the cross. Sounds like basic energy vampirism to me *shivers*.
Anne Wilkerson Allen: No more “Let it be done unto me,” EVER.
[C]: Sorry, Anne! Just seen this. Whew! To understand horrors, makes one personally horrible? What world is this, one & the same?
Anne Wilkerson Allen: I hope you are right, [C]. Too many mothers didn’t protect their daughters very well.
DrMary Ann Ghaffurian: “The reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” Agnes Gonxha
What could you expect otherwise of a child of the System? It rushes the novitiate of its ways down its powerful sluice jets, in place firmly, solidly, for half a millennium. And so unreproachable in the mid-twentieth century?
What could you expect from The “Mother, The Church?” The robes, the white hands, the Monstrance, sparkling overhead?
Can we linguistically suggest: mons-trance “my trance?”
Agnes, you could only be a little Mother inside the womb of the Church. Those dead and dying were all you had left to work with, a little like the Missionaries to Outback Australia, overseeing the end of Aboriginal life, and elsewhere… Caught between the “untouchables” of the Hindu caste system, and those that would die without “Baptism” (and therefore a chance to “see God”)…it was that chance you at least offered them, a Catholic Last Benediction of the Mother Church?
That kept you going? When the shrunken Mother in you secretly railed against those imposters in red, in golden thread, mocking The Mothers, with every gesture?
Caught on the meat drying hook, worse than Inanna in Ereshkigal’s.
DrMary Ann Ghaffurian: The Mothers are best not anonymous imho, Dr Hwang, and all.
Glenys Livingstone: Anne, re: “Too many mothers didn’t protect their daughters very well” … many mothers have been vulnerable themselves – had no idea how to identify danger … fear was a normal state of being. Then they are condemned for failing to protect their daughters -what!
Antonia McGuire: The world now is different to what it was in the 1970s. When my art teacher insisted that he see my parents, they didn’t turn up. My mum asked dad who was earning £17,000 per year [no state assistance with that income for further edu] if he would finance art college for me, but because he drank and lost most of his income on horses, my mum’s wages paid the bills. It wasn’t my mum who didn’t look after my education, she fed me – it was my father who convinced her that i should find a husband. If it was like this in the 70s, what was life like for females a century ago, 500 years ago and further. Mothers of any type have, and have had very little power with men in charge of them. Hierarchy is very convincing when it is the norm to take notice of it, and especially when it is powered by money and restrictions. I don’t think the mother had many options but to relieve the poverty as best she could.
Antonia McGuire: Haven’t really fully participated throughout, but yes if any of my input is of any consequence to theory, you can use my name.
Susan Morgan Bosler: The struggle for women has always been to escape the social rules dictated by a male dominated society and upheld by women who lacked the courage to change. In years past, woman wanted to fit in, not carve out new paths.
Leslene Della-Madre: while she may have incidentally accomplished some good, I have always felt that she perpetuated the cause of suffering since her boss was the church who invented it.
Wennifer Lin: I truly appreciate the MT piece because it’s so rich in its multivocality and transparency. The very thought of MT has become concretized as a socially-endorsed meme that simultaneously and subconsciously endorses the “soundness” of an unquestioned dogmatic religiosity. People take it too much for granted that MT is a saint, a savior, a nurturer …. and perhaps she did nurture, though as we can see, even that is questionable. What irks me is why the helping hand of such religious people wear the price tag of “conversion” …. of demanding that the “saved” give of her/his soul in exchange for spiritual redemption and the basics of food, shelter, medicine, and water. Such an exchange is imbalanced and deceptively cruel, and yet, it is the crux of all missionary work. To me, MT embodies such hypocrisy.
(End of the sequel. Read Part III here.)
- Our Contributors on
- (Poem) Murder of Crows by Majidi Warda on
- (Prose) Tlachtga by Deanne Quarrie on
- (Essay) Memory: Mnemosyne by Susan Hawthorne on
- (Poem) Samhain by Annie Finch on
- (Prose) Transformative / holistic / experiential education by Nane Jordan on
- (Prose) Transformative / holistic / experiential education by Nane Jordan on
- Special Posts on