Skip to content

Mother Culture, Siren Singer

June 14, 2010

Meet Mother Culture. I’ll be referring to her a lot in coming posts (actually have referred to her a lot already) and thought I should make a formal introduction.

Mother we all know. In all her forms.

Mother Culture though?

She is the womb you slip into when you slip out of your biological mother. She is the unseen, unacknowledged voice in your ear, shaping, guiding, controlling your journey through life.

Mother culture is all the traditions, symbols, values, ways, music, art, rules, laws (fine distinction between these last two, worth a ponder), limitations, permissions, acceptable limits, beliefs, systems, belief systems, religions…. in other words, everything that “defines” life as we know it and the bounds within which we live it.

Mother culture is the boundary marker of all human endeavour, the cornerstone and foundation of the dominant paradigm. The dominant paradigm is the visible aspect of Mother Culture and they are a co-dependent, mutually in-exclusive pair. They grow together and thankfully, die together too.  That is why we have the rise AND the fall of dominant cultures/paradigms. But more on that another day.

Make no mistake though, a womb is necessary for any creation to have form. Without boundaries, we would all be blobs, floating around in infinity. It is the egg that subtly gives the chick it’s form. It is the womb that forms the baby.

Think of it as a mold. No mold, no form.

If we did not have mother culture, we would not be.

Since she is there from the early days of a culture’s formation, and symbiotically in-forms the dominant paradigm, she is all powerful. To break free of mother culture is a herculean task. Few have succeeded. Those that did were called, fools, mystics or simply insane. Nowadays we label them as having ADD or ADHD or Schizophrenia and lock them up or drug them down.

She is the voice in your head that is constantly forming your “value” system, your basis for judgement, the boundaries of your freedoms, the expressions of your selfhood….. essentially everything you do or say. And with every whisper (not being dramatic here, something always “tells” you right from wrong, good from bad, acceptable from unacceptable), she further solidifies the dominant paradigm.

The voice of Mother Culture in the industrial age has been one hell of a siren song.

Going back not so long ago, within the space of the past two thousand years, the awareness in people rose of the ugliness of their dominant paradigms. The soldiers, the serfs, the peasants, the industrial labourer, the wage-slave, the dis-enfranchised, the shunned…. often tried to rise against the dominant paradigm.

But in every century, Mother Culture had a dominant voice. First it was Monarchy (Divinely ordained, Divine right to rule), then it was the General (simple, Brute Force at their command), then it was the Clergy (Ear of God, Voice of God), then it was the Political Leader (Firebrand, Warrior, For the People)…. and now the captain of Industry(if you behave I’ll pay you, if you don’t you’ll starve).

A little simplistic, the list above, but you are wise enough to fill in the blanks.

So using blind belief (also fostered by Mother Culture), idolatory (same), Fear (same), hope (same) and inducement (same), through different voices, Mother Culture has crooned us into submission.

And she learns from every revolt, refines the message. Refines the messenger (TV is Mother Cultures ultimate messenger and we all know no one, NO ONE will ever shoot their TV).

Clearly it works well enough for those who are comfortable in their servitude, happy in sameness.

What about the rest of us? How can we possibly shut off the voice of this siren, who has been perfecting her song for Millenia? She is embedded. Embedded things can only be surgically removed. And how deep? From the moment of birth? From womb to womb?

Make no mistake, even now, as you read this, she is furiously whispering in your ear, telling you that this is mere rambling and she knows, has always known what is good for you. She has kept you safe and well, has she not?

Let me then be the first to label her a fickle harlot.

Mother culture represents in-doctrination. In-doctrination is the sworn enemy of self-knowledge, It needs to be ripped out  for one to be able to see. She is the blinder over your eyes and knows that for you, adjusting to a new, “real” reality can be harsh.

Pay attention and next time you are judging (which is almost all the time) and listen to Mother Culture’s voice in your head.

Isolating her is the first step to breaking free.

I met Mother Culture in the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

Be well and pay attention!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. DanWyns permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:58 pm

    Excellent blog anadianant. Bookmarked. Nice to meet you (digitally).

    I’m stuck. Language serves my body well enough, but is woefully inadequate for describing what my mind [thinks?] about. Emotions perhaps. Trying to transition from The Story of Me to The Story of Us. Infinitely difficult and infinitely simple, simultaneously.

    Part of mind fears the upheaval which is likely before us. I bought food and gold. Folly I’m sure. Another part of my mind is watching, without care or opinion.

    Interesting times indeed.

    • June 14, 2010 3:11 pm

      Dan, welcome and the pleasure is mutual.

      Language is a particular fascination of mine. And if I may take from what you’ve written, I sense what is commonly termed confusion.
      Take heart though. Confused is a great place to be. Con (with) Fuse (join, meld). You know much better than you think you know.

      And in such times of hightened everything, great change is possible.

      But unlike a fence sitter, who can only fall to the left or the right, always low, I suggest the inward direction.

      There you will find balance.

      The balanced amongst us will face upheaval with equanimity.

      • DanWyns permalink
        June 14, 2010 6:28 pm

        Yes, confusion is an apt description.

        It only bothers me when I try to communicate my thoughts with others, when I realize that I have failed. Words need to be in a precise order to be effective, a skill I do not possess.

        But otherwise, I am content. I am at peace with myself, and (usually) others.

        Several years ago I had a moment of absolute clarity, truly a life changing event. I admitted Ignorance, and saw that my one sliver of perspective could never know Truth, the whole truth, but just one tiny piece of it. People want to be Right, they ‘need’ to be right, I think. They can justify anything they want to believe.

        Ok, I’m going to stop now, before mangling my thoughts and words any more. But maybe you can understand what I was hoping to say.

        • June 15, 2010 2:29 am

          I get you Dan. Clear as light.

          And my hope is to nudge us into a place where right and wrong (they are so mother culture defined anyway) recede and an organic instinct as a guide to our thoughts and actions comes to the forefront.

          And that comes from Knowing thyself.

  2. Cat permalink
    June 15, 2010 11:57 pm

    anadianant: As a lover of language, it seems you must be aware of the damage you do by perpetuating the idea that the Mother is at fault here. I too read Ishmael when it first came out, and I was so deeply wounded and angry at his perception and the damage that his book would continue to wreak. What is this oil spill but the latest rape on Mother Earth? And the post you wrote feeds into the subconscious that somehow, it is okay, because the Mother is the seductress of all things evil. Why do you think the femininst movement gained such momentum? They saw it as Father Patriarch who is at fault, with his arrogance and ignorance and hubris, the “boys will be boys” attitude of rape and pillage, the devaluing of all things soft and gentle.

    Please. Let’s not perpetuate more unconscious hatred towards the feminine. She is our Mother. Think about that. Do not use her name in vain.

    • June 16, 2010 2:58 am

      Cat, thank you for writing in.
      I understand how you feel. As this blog unfolds, the intention is to slay every notion of good, bad, rightness etc. in the way we commonly accept them.
      In fact, in a soon to be coming post, the abject failure of the feminist movement is the focus. Followed by the abject failure of the masculine in every form (see how both are receding before our very eyes into a strange, homogeneous mix).
      There is no blame.
      No one is at fault.
      There are great and small cycles, unfolding mindless of us.
      We need to be mindful of them.
      Things just are.
      Our goal (my goal) is to find my center and make peace with my “self” first.
      Semantics, associations, culture all make the slope of communication slippery.

  3. Nadall permalink
    October 1, 2011 4:33 pm

    This kind of fits into here …. the Daily Bell has an interesting article regarding the role of literature in promoting ideas and memes of world governance today (Oct.1st,2011). Some of my heroes are in there. Dang. Fall, mighty ones …..

    • October 1, 2011 7:29 pm

      Yes Nadall, It does hmmm? i thought the same thing reading that DB article.
      A totally controlled environment, like that famous movie, the Truman Show.
      Who do you believe?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s