Significantly, Joseph’s decision regarding Mary is our decision today regarding Earth. When we realize we have no life without her, do we not recognize Earth as our Great Mother? Civilization’s ways, dominated by patriarchy, continue to disgrace her abusively. By treating her as a thing to use rather than a being to love, “civilized” consciousness is unable to accept marrying her. Consequently, civilization is “stoning” her – her land, waters, and atmosphere.
Entries in civilization story (5)
You needn’t be a synagogue or church regular to have heard of Rahab. She has made her way into cultural lore as a kind of archetype of the whore, the seductress, the escort, the “pretty woman.” But has she ever been part of the Christmas story as you’ve heard it or told it?
Matthew, for his money, wants Rahab in the Christmas story. She rescues it from the smooth stone kind of story that fits civilization’s etiquette. She lures us into a different kind of story. We stammer a bit when we come to her in this “holy” story as we explain why “Her Unholiness” is there at all. So why did Matthew clearly relish her being in the story as he told it?
For the planet to survive we need a new mindset of cooperation and sharing, rather than compete and beat. Life is sacred and property but a loaned privilege, not the other way around as current societies are now run. The main objectives of our productive industries must be directed toward providing the necessary goods and services needed by humanity, not the bottom lines as encouraged by Wall Street speculators. Our human energies must be redirected to useful productive pursuits and away from the various parasitical industries of which we have an over abundance and can do without. Liberal arts and sciences should be supported because they help us to be human as developers of the future. Nation states are political units of humanity that exist for the fair administration and regulation of societies within their borders to assure peace and justice for all, not international warring bands.
Artists depict the holy family of Christmas on everything from cards to pieces hung in galleries. One pose that has may variations shows Joseph standing with a staff and looking over Mary’s shoulder. Both of them are focused on their newborn lying in a manger. The scene is iconic and conveys a holy hush.
Mothers and fathers everywhere are photographed similarly holding their newborn in adoration and quiet amazement at this new life now in their lives. Though these poses also hold a sense of the sacred, only Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are called “the holy family.”
What time is it in Earth’s story? Thinking in terms of geological epochs, we currently live in the Holocene epoch, a subcategory of the Pleistocene Era. The Holocene dates from 12,000 years ago, or 10,000 BCE. That is when the last epoch of glaciation across the northern hemisphere receded and temperatures began to moderate globally. All of what we call the “history of civilization” has happened within this Holocene period (Wikipedia) —a period of relative climate stability. The story of homo sapiens goes back well before civilization to 200,000 years ago. That puts the emergence of our homo sapiens ancestors in the latter part of the Pleistocene epoch which measures back to 1.8 million years ago.