Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So maybe this is what Lyssa Strada is really all about?

I came across the excerpt below in my usual way... there's a German word for when a book reaches out from the shelf to claim you... it was something like that. The inimitable Digby had posted something on the "kerfluffle" about blogger-turned-political consultant Jerome Armstrong's being an actual astrologer and how outraged so many progressive bloggers are about it. There followed, as one can imagine, a heated-- yet generally civil, by blogging standards-- debate on the almost universally agreed upon lack of merit of astrology and myriad other so-called pseudo-sciences, which are to be distinguished from real science, in my opinion, not just on the basis of their objectivity, but also by their degree of male dominance. But that's just my opinion. Or so I thought. Apparently, there are some men who are aware of both the price and the cost of the lack of visibility of the feminine in western culture. (What about eastern culture? They don't really discuss that.)

The following paragraphs are from The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View, by Richard Tarnas, which I had read about, but have not yet read. I found the link, courtesy of Dewey in Digby's comment thread, to this conclusion of the epilogue of Tarnas's book:
This is the great challenge, yet I believe it is one the Western mind has been slowly preparing itself to meet for its entire existence. I believe that the West's restless inner development and incessantly innovative masculine ordering of reality has been gradually leading, in an immensely long dialectical movement, toward a reconciliation with the lost feminine unity, toward a profound and many-leveled marriage of the masculine and feminine, a triumphant and healing reunion. And I consider that much of the conflict and confusion of our own era reflects the fact that this evolutionary drama may now be reaching its climactic stages. For our time is struggling to bring forth something fundamentally new in human history: We seem to be witnessing, suffering, the birth labor of a new reality, a new form of human existence, a "child" that would be the fruit of this great archetypal marriage, and that would bear within itself all its antecedents in a new form. I therefore would affirm those indispensable deals expressed by the supporters of feminist, ecological, archaic, and other ountercultural and multicultural perspectives. But I would also wish to affirm those who have valued and sustained the central Western tradition, for I believe that this tradition-- the entire trajectory from the Greek epic poets and Hebrew prophets on, the long intellectual and spiritual struggle from Socrates and Plato and Paul and Augustine to Galileo and Descartes and Kant and Freud-- that this stupendous Western project should be seen as a necessary and noble part of a great dialectic, and not simply rejected as an imperialist-chauvinist plot. Not only has this tradition achieved that fundamental differentiation and autonomy of the human which alone could allow the possibility of such a larger synthesis, it has also painstakingly prepared the way for its own self-transcendence. Moreover, this tradition possesses resources, left behind and cut off by its own Promethean advance, that we have scarcely begun to integrate--and that, paradoxically, only the opening to the feminine will enable us to integrate. Each perspective, masculine and feminine, is here both affirmed and transcended, recognized as part of a larger whole; for each polarity requires the other for its fulfillment. And their synthesis leads to something beyond itself: It brings an unexpected opening to a larger reality that cannot be grasped before it arrives, because this new reality is itself a creative act.

But why has the pervasive masculinity of the Western intellectual and spiritual tradition suddenly become so apparent to us today, while it remained so invisible to almost every previous generation? I believe this is occurring only now because, as Hegel suggested, a civilization cannot become conscious of itself, cannot recognize its own significance, until it is so mature that it is approaching its own death.

Today we are experiencing something that looks very much like the death of modern man, indeed that looks very much like the death of Western man. Perhaps the end of "man" himself is at hand. But man is not a goal. Man is something that must be overcome--and fulfilled, in the embrace of the feminine.

[Image: source]

1 Comments:

Blogger Thursday Next said...

This doesn't sound too far fetched to me.

9:24 PM  

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