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11+ quotes from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue) by Riane Eisler

Quotes from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)

Riane Eisler ·  304 pages

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“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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?”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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.”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


“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”
― Riane Eisler, quote from The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)


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Riane Eisler
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