Wednesday, June 28, 2023


Roger Vandersteine, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1975

THE GENESIS MYTH yields a rich harvest of illuminating insights. Eve is blamed for the Fall. The Serpent directs his sales pitch at her and she takes the first bite of the Forbidden Fruit which endows her with sudden self-awareness. She offers the Fruit to Adam but as he sinks his teeth into it, God's voice comes booming out from concealed loudspeakers, causing the original attack of Fear and Guilt.

"Gulp!" bleats Adam with a chunk of "apple" stuck in his throat: "She made me do it!" What else can you expect? The scriptures were authored by MEN.

From the evolutionary viewpoint, however, the Serpent is a metaphor for the Vital Force (which yogis call kundalini); and Eve is the principle of curiosity, receptivity, adventurousness. In other words, the spirit of scientific research. What about Adam? He robotically obeys his programming until encouraged by Eve to experiment. But before he can swallow and digest the Experience, he goes into a total funk and tries to pass the buck.

Quite despicable and most unmanly (or should I say unwomanly?) - but fairly typical behavior in male-dominated power politics. To cover up their moral cowardice men perform assorted acts of physical bravado. As a child Saddam Hussein had his cheeks pinched by all his aunts and uncles, but just look at him now: SADDAM! Even his name sounds like the pounding of great big guns.

People used to call George Bush a sneaky little wimp. Not any more: BUSH! and there's a great big crater in the desert. Being extremely horny may be a nice macho feeling - but it's no excuse for rape.

I know two well-circulated feminist jokes. The first is about the astronaut who encounters God in deep space. On his return to Earth he's asked to describe God and he just laughs and says: "Boy, have I got a surprise for you. She's black!" The other joke has it that women are superior to men for the obvious reason that God is a perfectionist who learns from his mistakes; when God decided to create Woman he was a little more experienced.

Consider next the structure of the sex chromosome: females are double X-rated while males result from XY combinations. Geneticists say the Y chromosome is really just a deformed and undersized X chromosome. Sorry, guys, but facts is facts.

Did I hear Harry yell, "Traitor!" Hey, I'm not undergoing a sex change. I'm quite happily male, thank you, and the preceding polemic is essentially a scheme to improve my chances of getting laid. Seriously, though, I do have genetic memories (or at least vivid fantasies) of having lived female lives and I'm convinced that individuals often switch genders in the course of their earthly incarnations. They also tend to experiment with a variety of ethnic and geographic combinations - so let's all hurry up and outgrow racialistic-nationalistic nappy-rash jingoism. It's not so cute anymore.

And while we're at it, let's declare a general armistice in the Battle of the Sexes and put sexism to bed where it belongs. Here, you can wear the pants. I'm quite comfortable in my sarong.

Another aspect of the Feminine Principle that fascinates me is the dramatic transformation that Motherhood brings about: from lithe and slender flowerbud to bulbous huge ripe pear state is an awesome procedure. And when they spring right back to fantasizable size, it's another miracle all over.

I know the institution of Motherhood is sacrosanct (after all it's a vestige of Goddess worship) and it brooks no criticism - but I can't help noticing the psychological stranglehold that so many mothers seem to maintain on their children. Somehow the influence of the Father appears easier to shrug off.

Not in every case, I agree, but the number of middle-aged men and women who can be plunged into depression with just one Christmas phonecall to their dear Momsies far outweigh those who continue to recoil from their Daddy's wrath when they're 45 years old. I'm curious to know what the sons of Deng Xiao-ping or Lee Kuan Yew have to say about this. (Pardon me? Can't hear you, the tanks are too noisy...) which leads me to wonder if humans might not fair better reverting to oviparous reproduction ("Quick, Dicky, the egg's getting cold!"); even so I can picture how some mothers may suffocate rather than incubate their offspring.

Smothering beats mothering! ("Oh oh, here comes Mum with the pillow... mmmpfff!") I can't speak from personal experience on this - but does the pain of childbirth leave permanent scars on a mother's brain, causing her to be ambivalent thereafter about her kids? Perhaps our conventional approach to obstetrics should be thrown out with the bathwater: I have friends who have given birth in a tub of warm water with surprising ease and no complications. And no nightmarish fluorescent lights or forceps or masked strangers who rudely snip your cord and spank you for the crime of being born. Surely we're not all too busy being neurotic to think about a few fundamental issues of life-and-death importance?

Anyhow, I'm of the opinion that Motherhood is vastly overrated: it should be gently phased out soon after the child is weaned (yes, I'm all for breastfeeding but that's about as much mothering as anybody really needs, I think).

Have I shocked anyone? Don't misunderstand: every child thrives on tender loving care and lots of attention unstintingly given. And that must come from more than just one source - especially if that one source happens to take the role of Mother too seriously, too dutifully (and perhaps resentfully too, since she seems to have no choice whatsoever).

My real point is this: anyone of any gender can play the role of Mother for a while. Such a vital role demands a platoon of stand-ins; no one should insist on hogging it. Most clear-thinking and farsighted mothers will applaud this trend of thought. But first, we humans have to learn to let go. Insecurity makes us clingy and possessive. Kahlil Gibran said it best:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which
you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth...

Get thee back to the grave, Confucius! Respect for our Youngers is what I preach, and I do try to practice it. Respect, in any case, has to be mutual and spontaneous. Or else it's pure intimidation.

Now, coming back to the idea of Woman as the manifestation of the Goddess. I happen to view ‘chastity’ and 'wantonness' as equally seductive attributes. The Virgin and the Prostitute. Surefire marketing concept, Ms Ciccone aka Madonna. Men, be honest and admit that you desire both these qualities in your women.  Opposites aren't necessarily contradictory; usually they're complementary. Innocence and Experience attract each other. Virgins are still being sold to the highest bidder. Prostitutes work at union rates, negotiable on cold nights. Over here we have a loose woman with tight lips and over there an uptight one with loose lips. Take your pick, brother.

The Goddess is nurturer and destroyer in one. Before the birth of the Cosmos, there was the Cosmic Womb which the Egyptians called Nuit, goddess of Night. Others call it the Primordial Chaos. I call it the Matrix of Infinite Possibilities. Maria or Kali, Fairy Godmother or Wicked Witch: she can soothe and she can torment. Like the calm or raging sea, like life or death, the Goddess is not a static reality. She is not rigid with rationality, though she can be entirely reasonable or unreasonable as it pleases her. 

The practice of automatically assigning God the masculine pronoun Him is disturbing, perhaps even dangerous. Our only chance of making it through these apocalyptic times is to restore the Feminine Principle in our religious reckonings; to acknowledge that the sphere of awareness implies a concave as well as a convex dimension, an inner and an outer form.

And most cogently, to realize that the two are an interchangeable oneness in perpetual dynamic equilibrium. Without this understanding, we shall continue to inherit a world governed by overgrown little boys with dangerous toys.

That's right. Don't you be fooled by that funny mustache. He's got a pea-shooter in his pants. And a hot date with Mae West. Or, as visionary historian William IrwinThompson puts it:

"Civilizations, like the penis, rise and fall, and when the towers and the battlements crumble into the earth, they return to the embrace of the Great Mother."  

Pretty Oedipal, eh?

[Written 6 January 1991 and subsequently published in The Star. First posted 18 May 2013. Reposted 15 August 2016] 

The eminently quotable R. Buckminster Fuller

BUCKYQUOTES from Critical Path

R. Buckminster Fuller
(12 July 1895 - 1 July 1983) 


Nobody is born a specialist. Every child is born with comprehensive interests, asking the most comprehensively logical and relevant questions. Pointing to the logs burning in the fireplace, one child asked me, "What is fire?" 

I answered, "Fire is the Sun unwinding from the tree's log. The Earth revolves and the trees revolve as the radiation from the Sun's flame reaches the revolving planet Earth. By photosynthesis the green buds and leaves of the tree convert that Sun radiation into hydrocarbon molecules, which form into the bio-cells of the green, outer, cambium layer of the tree. The tree is a tetrahedron that makes a cone as it revolves. The tree's three tetrahedral roots spread out into the ground to anchor the tree and get water. Each year the new, outer-layer green-tree cone revolves 365 turns, and every year the tree grows its new, tender-green, bio-cell cone layer just under the bark and over the accumulating cones of previous years. Each ring of the many rings of the saw-cut log is one year's Sun-energy impoundment. So the fire is the many-years-of-Sun-flame-winding now unwinding from the tree. When the log fire pop-sparks, it is letting go a very sunny day long ago, and doing so in a hurry." 

Conventionally educated grown-ups rarely know how to answer such questions. They're all too specialized.


Society likes the idea of a bank as a safekeeping device.  People have always believed that when they put their money in the bank, it stayed there. They had no idea it went out on loan within minutes after it came in. They were completely hoodwinked by the appearance of the banks as safe, fireproof, and robberproof depositories of their earnings. Even today, in the last few years of the twentieth century, people know little more about banks than they did during the 1929 Crash or at the depth of the Depression in 1932, when all they knew was that they had lost their deposits in most of them.


ONLY COSMIC ACCOUNTING accounts for the entirely interdependent electrochemical and ecological relationships of Earth's biological evolution and cosmic intertransformative regeneration in general. Cosmic costing accounts as well for the parts played gravitationally and radiationally in the totality within which our miniscule planet Earth and its miniscule star the Sun are interfunctionally secreted. Cosmic costing makes utterly ludicrous the selfish and fearfully contrived "wealth" games being reverentially played by humanity aboard Earth.

Fortunately, the Sun does not demand payment for all the energy that it delivers by radiation to Earth in the overall cosmic scheme, which is trying to make humanity a success despite our overwhelming ignorance and fear. The stars are trying to tell humanity to awake and prosper and to consciously assume the important cosmic responsibilities for which it was designed. Since realization and fulfillment of that responsibility involve evolutionary discovery by humanity of the cosmic stature of its mind and the inconsequentiality of its muscle, the planting of humans on Earth may not bear fruit... The first manifestation that humanity may make good on this planet will be the serious introduction of cosmic costing into the mainstream deliberations of Earthians.


There are no solids. There are no things. There are only interfering and noninterfering patterns operative in pure principle, and principles are eternal. Principles never contradict principles. 

Principles can interaccommodate one another only in noninterfering frequency ways. Principles can interaugment one another if frequency is synchronizable.

Acknowledging the mathematically elegant intellectual integrity of eternally regenerative Universe is one way of identifying God.

The synergetic integral of the totality of all principles is God, whose sumtotal behavior in pure principle is beyond our comprehension and is utterly mysterious to us, because as humans - in pure principle - we do not and never will know all the principles.


Our most prominent present local Universe problem is how to wean humanity from metabolic sustenance only by exploiting nature's local Universe energy savings account - energy being locally imported by cosmic evolution design to produce a new star ten billion years hence. How can we convince those in power the world around that we can live handsomely as supplied only by our daily income of cosmic energy? The answer is we can't convince them. Only the cosmic wisdom manifest in inexorable evolution can cope with such matters.


When I was twenty-seven years of age [in 1922] Earthian humanity knew of only one galaxy - our own Milky (Latin:Galactic) Way. A year later astronomer Hubble discovered another galaxy. During the subsequent fifty-seven years, human astronomers and astrophysicists have discovered two billion more galaxies, all doing their galactic acts within the eleven-and-one-half-billion-light-year-radiused sphere of humanity's present limit [1981] of omnidirectional observing.


The would-be exploiters of atomic energy on board our planet Earth will in due course discover there is no way for them to solve atomic-energy- radiation waste-disposal problems save by rocketing it all back into the Sun, where it belongs. Humans will then have to learn how to keep all humans and their ecological support system operating successfully on our vastly adequate daily income of solar atomic energy.

Cosmically acceptable and effective decisions of humanity regarding such matters will not be made by leaders single or plural, political or religious, military or mystic, by coercion or mob psychology.

The effective decisions can only be made by the independently thinking and adequately informed human individuals and their telepathetically intercommunicated wisdom - the wisdom of the majority of all such human individuals - qualifying for continuance in Universe as local cosmic problem-solvers - in love with the truth and in individually spontaneous self-commitment to absolute faith in the wisdom, integrity, and love of God, who seems to wish Earthian humans to survive.


Nine Chains to the Moon (J.B. Lippincott, 1938; Doubleday, 1982)
Untitled Epic Poem on the History of Industrialization
Ideas and lntegrities
No More Secondhand God (Southern Illinois University Press, 1963)
Education Automation
Utopia or Oblivion (Pelican, 1968)
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (Southern Illinois University Press, 1969)
And It Came To Pass - Not To Stay (Macmillan, 1976)
Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking
Critical Path (St, Martin's Press, 1981)

[First posted 12 July 2013, reposted 7 July 2016]