Riane Eisler · 304 pages
Rating: (2.6K votes)
“All over the ancient world populations were now set against populations, as men were set against women and against other men. Wandering over the width and breadth of this disintegrating world, masses of refugees were everywhere fleeing their homelands, desperately searching for a haven, for a safe place to go.
But there was no such place left in their new world. For this was now a world where, having violently deprived the Goddess and the female half of humanity of all power, gods and men of war ruled. It was a world in which the Blade, and not the Chalice, would henceforth be supreme, a world in which peace and harmony would be found only in the myths and legends of a long lost past.”
“it is evident that there is another logical alternative: that there can be societies in which difference is not necessarily equated with inferiority or superiority.”
“there are only two basic ways of structuring the relations between the female and male halves of humanity. All societies are patterned on either a dominator model—in which human hierarchies are ultimately backed up by force or the threat of force—or a partnership model, with variations in between. Moreover, if we reexamine human society from a perspective that takes into account both women and men, we can also see that there are patterns, or systems configurations, that characterize dominator, or alternatively, partnership, social organization.”
“Through the use of the dominator and partnership models of social organization for the analysis of both our present and our potential future, we can also begin to transcend the conventional polarities between right and left, capitalism and communism, religion and secularism, and even masculinism and feminism.”
“The Goddess-centered art we have been examining, with its striking absence of images of male domination or warfare, seems to have reflected a social order in which women, first as heads of clans and priestesses and later on in other important roles, played a central part, and in which both men and women worked together in equal partnership for the common good. If there was here no glorification of wrathful male deities or rulers carrying thunderbolts or arms, or of great conquerors dragging abject slaves about in chains, it is not unreasonable to infer it was because there were no counterparts for those images in real life.10 And if the central religious image was a woman giving birth and not, as in our time, a man dying on a cross, it would not be unreasonable to infer that life and the love of life—rather than death and the fear of death—were dominant in society as well as art.”
“The Cretans’ more natural attitudes toward sex would also have had other consequences equally difficult to perceive under the prevailing paradigm, wherein religious dogma often views sex as more sinful than violence. As Hawkes writes, “The Cretans seem to have reduced and diverted their aggressiveness through a free and well-balanced sexual life.”33 Along with their enthusiasm for sports and dancing and their creativity and love of life, these liberated attitudes toward sex seem to have contributed to the generally peaceful and harmonious spirit predominant in Cretan life.”
“So again and again we see how under the prevailing paradigm our real past—and the original thrust of our cultural evolution—can only be seen as through a glass darkly. But once we are face to face with the full import of what this past foreshadowed—what we, at our level of technological and social development, could have been and still can be—we confront a haunting question. What brought about the radical change in cultural direction, the shift that plunged us from a social order upheld by the Chalice to one dominated by the Blade? When and how did this happen? And what does this cataclysmic change tell us about our past—and our future?”
“Indeed, if we look closely at the art of the Neolithic, it is truly astonishing how much of its Goddess imagery has survived—and that most standard works on the history of religion fail to bring out this fascinating fact.”
“in marked contrast to other high civilizations of the time, this religion—centering on the worship of the Goddess—seems to have both reflected and reinforced a social order in which, to quote Nicolas Platon, “the fear of death was almost obliterated by the ubiquitous joy of living.”10”
“Now, perhaps nowhere as poignantly as in the omnipresent theme of Christ dying on the cross, the central image of art is no longer the celebration of nature and of life but the exaltation of pain, suffering, and death.25 For in this new reality that is now said to be the sole creation of a male God, the life-giving and nurturing Chalice as the supreme power in the universe has been displaced by the power to dominate and destroy: the lethal power of the Blade. And it is this reality that to our day afflicts all humanity—both women and men.”
“This is that in all these places where the first great breakthroughs in our material and social technology were made—to use the phrase Merlin Stone immortalized as a book title—God was a woman. The”
“Bowman was aware of some changes in his behavior patterns; it would have been absurd to expect anything else in the circumstances. He could no longer tolerate silence; except when he was sleeping, or talking over the circuit to Earth, he kept the ship's sound system running at almost painful loudness. / At first, needing the companionship of the human voice, he had listened to classical plays--especially the works of Shaw, Ibsen, and Shakespeare--or poetry readings from Discovery's enormous library of recorded sounds. The problems they dealt with, however, seemed so remote, or so easily resolved with a little common sense, that after a while he lost patience with them. / So he switched to opera--usually in Italian or German, so that he was not distracted even by the minimal intellectual content that most operas contained. This phase lasted for two weeks before he realized that the sound of all these superbly trained voices was only exacerbating his loneliness. But what finally ended this cycle was Verdi's Requiem Mass, which he had never heard performed on Earth. The "Dies Irae," roaring with ominous appropriateness through the empty ship, left him completely shattered; and when the trumpets of Doomsday echoed from the heavens, he could endure no more. / Thereafter, he played only instrumental music. He started with the romantic composers, but shed them one by one as their emotional outpourings became too oppressive. Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, lasted a few weeks, Beethoven rather longer. He finally found peace, as so many others had done, in the abstract architecture of Bach, occasionally ornamented with Mozart. / And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.”
“Be careful whom you choose to hate.
The small and the vulnerable own a protection great enough, if you could but see it, to melt you into jelly.
Beware those who reside beneath the shadow of the Wings.”
“When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. (...) You can strike your own time, and start the count anywhere. When you understand that — then any time at all will be the right time for you.”
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
“You're some freaky shit, my brother. You really are”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.