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The Crone: The forbidden face of the divine feminine

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:34 AM
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You know, Spiramirabilis, it isn't me - and it isn't WhamBamTYM either - that's making this men v. women. Look:


[Youth and beauty] are consistently the only currency we are allowed to own and use.


really? a lecture – on what we’re supposed to do with our lives?


With or without our youth and beauty, and with or without your permission – we live our lives.

Clearly, by 'we', you mean, in all three cases, women. But my comments about youth and beauty apply equally to both sexes - as did the 'lecture', since I prescribe for others no medicine I would not take myself. And nobody, man or woman, requires permission from anybody else to live their life.

You seem to imply - perhaps this is not intentional - that men have no right to judge women. What is this? The sexual equivalent of multiculturalism? Are you insisting that citizens of Mars have no basis for judging the inhabitants of Venus because the ethical referents of their respective planetary cultures are different? May we not condemn slavery then, or ethnic cleansing, or female circumcision, as long as they are practised by people in foreign countries?


Often we would like to include men in [our] lives – but, alas, we come to realize that sometimes men believe they are in a position to negotiate the details...

My dear, anyone you invite into your life - male or female - is in a position to negotiate the details. That is precisely what the invitation means. And it cuts both ways: show me a woman who doesn't micromanage her man and I'll show you (1) a loveless relationship or (2) a liar.


...and somehow, though not always, the negotiations seem to be based not on our real value, the value we see in ourselves - but our perceived value.

So you're a Love Marxist?

In the first chapter of Das Kapital, Marx explains his theory of value, which is based on the amount of labour that goes into producing a good. Naturally, the person best qualified to set this value (in the first place at least) is the producer of the good.

Sadly, the labour theory of value is cockeyed. However 'fair' the price set by the craftsman on his labour, people will not pay it unless they consider that the value of the good equals or surpasses it.

In other words, value - in the sense you mean - is set by the market.

I see you perceive that already, since you ask:


who controls the market?

The answer, as ever, is supply and demand.


Astyanax: But what it emphatically doesn't involve is trying to be nineteen for ever...it's all to easy to see behind it the anxiety, the resentment, the boredom, ultimately the despair... the wreckage. The real damage. Which is on the inside, not the outside.

Spiramirabilis: so true – but how is this gender specific?

It isn't. It was never meant to be. You just took it that way.


Men may trade in a different currency – but, none the less – they react with the same desperation and panic when they see it’s value begin to drop.

Been there, done that, lost the plot, had the hangover but survived. Learnt enough to be able to answer with confidence your question


where does a man need to be lacking - how deficient must he be before he is considered to be a "wreck"?

Where? Anywhere. How much? Not very. All I have said prior to this applies equally to men and women, but here we come to a difference. The world - even today, even in the world's most 'liberated' places - is far, far harder on us than it is on women. Women pay for their mistakes with their happiness or their sanity (as men do, also) but men, additionally and so commonly the matter is barely regarded, pay with their lives. In extremis, a woman may sometimes find a man to protect her; but who will protect the man?

Finally,


Astyanx: not the wreck of a woman's beauty, but the wrack of her self.

Spiramirabilis: the wreck of her self....

No, wrack.




posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


lol - oh my god - Astyanax

I certainly wasn't expecting all this

I got as far as Love Marxist and had to stop - laughing too hard...

OK - I'm going to need to do some thinking - apparently

and thinking will require some coffee first

but you know what? you're at least partly right

partly

:-)



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


first – let’s not lose sight of what we’re really talking about here – and I mean what we’re REALLY talking about:


Wikipedia: ...an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle,[1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag.

The word "crone" is a less common synonym for "old woman,"...


the definition obviously can become – and has become – deeper and more complicated than this.

The Crone: The forbidden face of the divine feminine or : Why Aren’t Old Ladies More Popular?

what Wham (speaking with all the authority of a professional appraiser) says:

... It's true that women generally become less attractive as they age, but a number must not be used. If you can find an older, but still attractive woman who also has the benefit of maturity and acquired wisdom you have quite a wonderful thing...


very generous


...Inverting this, we find sometimes a woman who has lost her beauty and youth, and has also not matured spiritually and who has attained no wisdom. This unfortunate person is a wreck.


my interpretation of this? without her youth and beauty – she’s a complete loss – just a write-off

but with her youth and beauty? still of some use – value remains - no matter how much she sucks at being a human being

Astyanax – earlier in the thread:

...but the vast majority lived greatly constrained and disadvantaged lives, essentially as the property of their menfolk. I know of very few times and places in which this was not the rule - the exceptions one finds are rare and usually quite short-lived...


but why would this be true? How many reasons could there possibly be?

We’re too weak to be treated right? We’re too stupid? Too complacent? We’re too frigging busy taking care of y’all to make a fuss? We’ve got more important things to tend to – like children?

Too naive? Could it be that we trust too much? Are we complete idiots - actually caring about people – loving – believing?

Are we wrong (and/or stupid) to believe that our worth might outlast our real and only purpose – our obvious usefulness?

not your fault Astyanax – and you know this is not really how I see all men – I’m not even really and truly a very good feminist myself - you're probably a better feminist than I am :-)

but some truths are unavoidable – so, where does all this start – and how does it end?

With the crone – and we’re talking about her place at the table. Does she have one - by right? Or only what she's been allowed?

Astyanax – more recently:

Youth and beauty are not frozen assets. They are meant to be converted into that other, far more durable asset called a life of your own. This can involve having a career, making art, dedicating yourself to a cause, settling down and having kids, or some combination of the foregoing. The details are negotiable. But what it emphatically doesn't involve is trying to be nineteen for ever. That doesn't stop some women from trying. And yes, however grimly they maintain the exterior appearance of youth, attractiveness and enthusiasm for life, it's all to easy to see behind it the anxiety, the resentment, the boredom, ultimately the despair... the wreckage. The real damage. Which is on the inside, not the outside. Men make comics of themselves with their midlife crises, but women make themselves tragic. That, I believe, is the wreckage WhamBamTYM was alluding to: not the wreck of a woman's beauty, but the wrack of her self.



You know, Spiramirabilis, it isn't me - and it isn't WhamBamTYM either - that's making this men v. women


though Wham seems to be content to let you fight his battle for him, you two were the only one’s standing close enough for me to take a swing at :-)

defensive and retaliatory – I’ll admit. I would always prefer the less confrontational discussion – but that doesn’t mean I’m going to keep my mouth shut when I feel the need to say something - and I felt the need :-)

besides - I’m not the only one feeling defensive here


Clearly, by 'we', you mean, in all three cases, women. But my comments about youth and beauty apply equally to both sexes - as did the 'lecture', since I prescribe for others no medicine I would not take myself. And nobody, man or woman, requires permission from anybody else to live their life.


nice try – but you were clearly talking about women. I don’t doubt you for a minute when you say it applies to all – I know you at least that well

but you intended your criticism – and lecture – for us


You seem to imply - perhaps this is not intentional - that men have no right to judge women.

Are you insisting that citizens of Mars have no basis for judging the inhabitants of Venus because the ethical referents of their respective planetary cultures are different? May we not condemn slavery then, or ethnic cleansing, or female circumcision, as long as they are practised by people in foreign countries?


:-) oh, Mr. Astyanax...is this really what you take away from everything I’ve been saying? That I just want to deny you all your right to complain?


My dear, anyone you invite into your life - male or female - is in a position to negotiate the details. That is precisely what the invitation means. And it cuts both ways: show me a woman who doesn't micromanage her man and I'll show you (1) a loveless relationship or (2) a liar.


too true – my dear - but the negotiations I’m talking about are not what you’re talking about – or even what you imagine. I’m usually not likely to cut the women any slack in anything – so, you do know better than that – don’t you?

I did not mean that women never have demands of their own – their own standards - fair or unfair

but you keep wanting to leave the topic – which is – what worth is there to a woman past a certain age? What is her place? These are the negotiations I’m talking about – when is her contract up? And – does she get to know about that deadline ahead of time?


So you're a Love Marxist?


lolololol - stop, stop...you’re killing me....


However 'fair' the price set by the craftsman on his labour, people will not pay it unless they consider that the value of the good equals or surpasses it...In other words, value - in the sense you mean - is set by the market...who controls the market?

The answer, as ever, is supply and demand.


but we’re talking about people Astyanax – not beans – or fancy toilette paper – or a better mousetrap

your argument would work in favor of slavery – but, I think we all (mostly) agree – slavery is wrong – isn’t it?

I can at times be unflinchingly realistic – but no matter what - I always find myself gazing with adoration at the IDEAL

I can live with the criticism – that’s my choice


where does a man need to be lacking - how deficient must he be before he is considered to be a "wreck"?



Where? Anywhere. How much? Not very. All I have said prior to this applies equally to men and women, but here we come to a difference. The world - even today, even in the world's most 'liberated' places - is far, far harder on us than it is on women. Women pay for their mistakes with their happiness or their sanity (as men do, also) but men, additionally and so commonly the matter is barely regarded, pay with their lives. In extremis, a woman may sometimes find a man to protect her; but who will protect the man?


well – where can I go now - I wonder? I’ve made this argument myself – more than once

I will say only two things then – because I’m not going to get involved in an argument about who has the more difficult life ahead of them after they are born:

1. Women die often enough for me to say – that was completely unfair of you
2. This discussion is really about: what value is there in being an old lady?

It seems you want to play both sides of the field – what I’ve learned is – being a feminist, sometimes, can be like being a little bit pregnant – can’t it?

:-)

it’s way too late for me to make this short and sweet – but, let me try to make some sense out of it – at least try

where does a man need to be lacking - how deficient must he be before he is considered to be a "wreck"?

the answer is - it doesn’t matter

this is what makes me angry – it’s very simple – in the end it simply doesn’t matter

so, men may not be in control of us – or responsible for our happiness and well being – there’s no reason at all, ever, why they should be – responsibility for our happiness and how our lives play out is up to us

but men are still in control of the pedestal – and with our permission no less – isn’t that a kick in the pants?

you don’t have to agree or understand – I’ve come to believe that it might not be something men can even see – and that I can argue about it all I want – it might just be unexplainable :-)

or - I just don't have what it takes to explain it

I will say this - on a more personal note - it would be easy to assume this is about me

what it's really about is my mother


Spiramirabilis: the wreck of her self....



No, wrack.


“sigh....”

:-)


Mod Edit: Quotes fixed, Please use "ex" not "code"

[edit on 5-16-2009 by worldwatcher]

[edit on 5-16-2009 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
Quoting WhamBamTYM:


...Inverting this, we find sometimes a woman who has lost her beauty and youth, and has also not matured spiritually and who has attained no wisdom. This unfortunate person is a wreck.

my interpretation of this? without her youth and beauty – she’s a complete loss – just a write-off

Okay. For me, his qualifier, 'not matured spiritually and has attained no wisdom' eliminated that interpretation.


Quoting me:


...but the vast majority lived greatly constrained and disadvantaged lives, essentially as the property of their menfolk. I know of very few times and places in which this was not the rule - the exceptions one finds are rare and usually quite short-lived...

but why would this be true? How many reasons could there possibly be? We’re too weak to be treated right? We’re too stupid? We’re too frigging busy...

No, it has to do with the repellent algebra of violence. Men are physically stronger than women. So, for most of history, they've had no option but to obey the demands of men. Now, thanks to science, education and universal franchise, the balance has shifted.

* * *



With the crone – and we’re talking about her place at the table. Does she have one - by right? Or only what she's been allowed?

Certainly, provided she has acquired the aforesaid wisdom and maturity. Or, at a minimum, good childcare skills; in traditional societies at least, older women share the work of raising the community's children.


nice try – but you were clearly talking about women. I don’t doubt you for a minute when you say it applies to all – I know you at least that well but you intended your criticism – and lecture – for us

Very simply: no, I didn't. What you read as lecture and criticism was purely observation, and it was not intended to refer only to women.


what worth is there to a woman past a certain age?

It depends on what she's good for, and who is making the evaluation.


What is her place?

Do you mean her place in society? See answer to previous question.


When is her contract up?

When illness, incapacity, dementia or death terminate it. Or she does.


Does she get to know about that deadline ahead of time?

Of course not, though there are portents to be read for those who have learnt the art. Referring again to the aforementioned wisdom and maturity...

Again, all of the above applies with equal force to men.

* * *



we’re talking about people Astyanax – not beans – or fancy toilette paper – or a better mousetrap

In this context, people are no more than a collection of skills and capacities, all of which are marketable and are marketed. That does not detract from their preciousness as individual human lives, unique, individual worlds.


your argument would work in favor of slavery – but, I think we all (mostly) agree – slavery is wrong – isn’t it?

It doesn't favour slavery, it simply does not eliminate it as a possibly. I agree that slavery is wrong; even wage-slavery, something much commoner nowadays than the chattel variety. But remember that it is economics, far more than good intentions, that brings about an end to slavery.

* * *



where does a man need to be lacking - how deficient must he be before he is considered to be a "wreck"? the answer is - it doesn’t matter

If it matters for a woman, why shouldn't it matter for a man?


men are still in control of the pedestal – and with our permission no less – isn’t that a kick in the pants?

You can't beat biology, I'm afraid: all this is hardwired into the mating program of H. Sapiens. But you must admit we (both sexes) have managed, by and large, to overcome or suppress the ugliest manifestations of the Urge to Merge.


I’ve come to believe that it might not be something men can even see – and that I can argue about it all I want – it might just be unexplainable

That sort of belief is best unbelieved as fast as possible. It's false and dangerous. The problem isn't lack of vision (or lack of sympathy) on the part of either sex. It is about our mutual enslavement to biology.

Besides, good Spiramirabilis, it is neither possible, nor in the least desirable, that all the pain of humanity should be taken from us - lest we be taken from ourselves withal.

'Withal': cf. 'wrack'.

* * *



what it's really about is my mother

I take your meaning and am deeply sorry to hear it.

[edit on 15/5/09 by Astyanax]
Mod Edit: Quote source tags edited.

[edit on 5-16-2009 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


:-)

oh - you make me so tired

are you really going to make me go back through all of this - and point out what you've un-pointed out? And then pointed out again?

I suppose you are - but - it's not going to happen today

I've just about stopped caring for today - and am ALMOST willing to let it go :-)

for now Scarlett will just have to say: I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Fiddle-dee-dee!



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 

Or Scarlett could try coming at it from a different angle. So far, you've merely responded to what other posters are saying. Your own position is far from clear - all we've learnt, so far, is that you think (or rather feel) that older women get a raw deal from society, and that men are at least partly to blame for this. You don't explain how you came to this conclusion, why you think the world is so arranged, or what (if anything) should be done about it. Time to put down your cards.

* * *


Triune Goddesses and Daft Old Dears

While you're riffling through your hand, Spiramirabilis, allow me to address this Crone business. Several posters on this thread have stated, as if it were an accepted fact, that older women were more highly valued in ancient cultures than modern ones. They go further than this: they insist that older women were looked upon as a manifestation of the divine, and worshipped as one aspect of a tripartite feminine numen, to which aspect they give the name Crone.

All of this is untrue. No ancient culture ever worshipped a maiden-mother-crone trinity. It is an invention of the twentieth century. The invention, moreover, of a man: the poet Robert Graves. You can read all about it on Wikipedia.


Graves wrote about an archetypal goddess triad which he referenced to several European mythologies, and his theories are popular with many neopagans due to the similar Victorian-synthesis approach to myth and history.

Elements of Graves' scholarship such as poor philology, use of inadequate texts (for example, the 'pseudo-Celtic' Canu Taliesin from the 19th century which he believed to represent an ancient document), and use of out-dated archeology have been criticised. Scholars... generally do not receive the work favourably...

However it was accepted as history by many non-scholarly readers and, according to Hutton, The White Goddess remains a major source of confusion about the ancient Celts and influences many un-scholarly views of Celtic paganism.

While Graves made the association between Goddesses and the moon appear 'natural' , it was not so to the Celts or other ancient peoples. Some neopagans have been bemused and upset by the thorough debunking that the 'Triple Goddess' has received in recent years from such scholars.

Surprised? Well we might be.

But let's look around, shall we, and see how much support there is for belief in a revered crone-goddess among the ancients.

Is this Crone represented in Graeco-Roman mythology? To which of the Olympians does she correspond? Hera, Mother of the Gods? Fat chance: Hera was a cheerful matronly strumpet. Athena, virgin bluestocking, goddess of wisdom and magic, was young, not old, as were the other female Olympians, Aphrodite and Artemis. Demeter in her winter aspect comes the closest, but she was hardly a major player - unless you count the Eleusinian rites, of which we know almost nothing. Perhaps this triple goddess was worshipped at Eleusis? Alas, we shall never know, and Graeco-Roman mythology provides us with no crone-figure nearly as powerful as the feminine manifestations of motherhood, wisdom, fertility, sexuality and fierce chastity symbolized by the Olympians.

Crones in Greek mythology include the Fates (or Furies), simply because they are sometimes portrayed as old women, and Baubo, a bit-part player. But relating them to the Crone aspect of the Wiccan triune goddess is a bit of a stretch. Hecate and Diana Nemorensis (whom the ancient authors addressed as Trivia) don't fit either.

What about that other great pantheistic system, Hinduism? Spiramirabilis, you spoke earlier of Kali. But Kali is no crone: that is a western error rooted in the hideous depictions of her commonest aspect. In fact, Kali is the womb of Time and the consort of Shiva, the supreme god of Saivaite Hinduism. She represents femininity at its most potent and terrible, but she is a mother goddess, not a crone. Here's a description of the real Kali, as worshipped by Hindus; and here's Wikipedia, which correctly points out that


In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe.

Of Hindu deities, Kali is by far the most misunderstood by Westerners. And that's saying a lot.

Any others? No major goddess of the Hindu pantheon is portrayed as a crone. There is a sixth-century Saivaite saint known as Karaikkal Ammaiyar, a minor figure in Hindu mythology, a beautiful young woman who was given a crone's body by Shiva at her own request. More than anything else, she symbolizes devotion to Shiva (the male deity par excellence; he is actually portrayed in shrines as a penis, or lingam).

If anyone can find a crone at or near the centre of an important religious tradition, ancient or modern, I should be pleased to hear of it.

But no Wicca links please; they're just fantasy and mythmaking. Here, for example, is an A-Z of crone goddesses compiled by a Wiccan. You'll note that the goddesses on the list are either implausibly obscure (Nigerian folk deities and such), minor deities or demigoddesses (Baubo) or else don't belong at all (Kali). Yet, in spite of all this determined stretching, the list is awfully short.

Here's another Wiccan list. Same comments apply.

In fact, this maid-mother-crone triune goddess is, as I said before, a twentieth-century invention, completely artificial and founded in no strong historical tradition. I grant that it is quite likely is that there were cronelike deities worshipped by actual crones - angry old women whom society had no longer had any use for - and that such a marginal tradition (yer Baubos and Baba Yagas and Karaikkal Amman) may have been subsumed by Wiccan mythmaking. But that is as far as it goes.

* * *


Those who speak of a 'Crone archetype' are almost certainly wrong. Jung himself never mentioned any such archetype, though he did of course say that the potential number of archetypes was infinite. Here is a very readable essay on the commonest Jungian archetypes. No crones in evidence. Remember, Jung was a man of his time, and his theory of archetypes was somewhat male-biased. For instance, he never really explored his own conception of the Animus, the women's equivalent of the Anima. As for the daffy old dears who have appointed themselves the female inheritors of his tradition, they've rather let him down, I'm afraid.

In my view, archetypes are the conscious reflection or manifestation of unconscious drives and hardwired responses to external stimuli. Thus, they are evolved - or rather, the instincts and complexes of behaviour they represent are. If so, it is hard to understand how a crone archetype could evolve, because crones, by definition, do not reproduce. A mutation for instinctive behaviour exclusively advantageous to the survival of barren old women cannot, rather obviously, be selected for by nature (the case with wise old men is, of course, entirely different).

Old women were not greatly respected or revered in any ancient society. Why should they be? They had no defined function and no power to compel veneration. The belief that they did is just modern-day revisionism, which collapses under rational scrutiny.

[edit on 16/5/09 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:55 AM
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Originally posted by MonoChromeWrayth
I am coming from the male perspective and to me it seems that ... " traditionally " the male was the protector, hunter and a source of physical labour. All these things can be measured a lot easier than wisdom and knowledge. With the advent of civilization the male's " traditional " role is reduced which sent them into survival mode.

Which is why they attacked the role of the Crone, because she was the source of knowledge and wisdom. Because when the necessities of life are taken care of, there is naught left to do but learn from those that know more than you.
....................................


Men protected what they felt they owned. Women needed little protection from each other or from other males on the whole.

Women are respected and love only in their roles as mothers, wives and sometimes sisters.

To most men a women either has to belong to him in some way or desired by him to have value.

It is easy for men to dismiss the old Crone because she does indeed make him uncomfortable because to acknowledge her means that he has to acknowledge the eventual lost of the females that give meaning to his life.

She is also a vivid reminder of all the women that he has interacted with in his life that fell outside of his ring of protection. Some of those encounters are not desired to be revisited.

Young girls mean promise. Young women mean life. The Crone is the precursor to death and is feared and hidden from sight and mind.

The Crone is also the keeper of knowledge and nurture. She is the tree that gives shade, shelter, food and vision for those worthy of a place in her might boughs.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I see things are not going to be as simple as I had imagined for this morning
:-)

so - instead of lumping everything together, first thing is first:


Okay. For me, his qualifier, 'not matured spiritually and has attained no wisdom' eliminated that interpretation.


I can see I’ve done a really poor job of trying to explain why Wham’s statement got me going - so I’ll just say - it appears that the only value that holds it’s value is not only superficial - but it fades - so in the end it can’t possibly hold it’s value
what you’re seeing as a qualifier - I’m seeing as what should be the most important thing - no matter what - that part of the individual that is up to the individual - not the packaging

when he says that if she loses her beauty and youth - but has not also managed to become a fine example of a human being along the way - she is a wreck - it suggests to me that if she were an awful person - but still beautiful, she would still have some value

I’m beginning to see this as being very funny - that maybe as men you are just not able to see what I’m getting at (or you just don’t want to acknowledge that you see it)

or - you’ll tell me that this is only natural - and I would be forced to agree - because - yes, I know

but still -

and that’s my real point: but, still...

on the other hand - since I seem to be the ONLY woman who is stuck on this point - maybe I am the problem here

I find myself yammering on about stuff, all alone, much of the time :-)

so - sometimes I have to take a step back and wonder - why?

I usually don’t figure out why - but it’s enough to get me to shut up and move on :-)
so, moving on...


So, for most of history, they've had no option but to obey the demands of men. Now, thanks to science, education and universal franchise, the balance has shifted.


and guns - don’t forget guns :-)


Very simply: no, I didn't. What you read as lecture and criticism was purely observation, and it was not intended to refer only to women.


we were talking about women - and so I assumed

It was wrong of me to assume - and so I apologize


You can't beat biology, I'm afraid: all this is hardwired into the mating program of H. Sapiens.


and maybe this is the point where we really won’t ever be able to agree :-)

I do understand - we are what we are. But then I think - so?

What of the parts of us that are not as easily explained by biology - defined by science?

I can guess at what you’ll probably say here - but maybe I’ll be surprised? :-)


But you must admit we (both sexes) have managed, by and large, to overcome or suppress the ugliest manifestations of the Urge to Merge.


I do admit that the monkeys have managed to do a pretty good job at being more than just monkeys :-)

but, I’m greedy and impatient - I always want and expect more


That sort of belief is best unbelieved as fast as possible. It's false and dangerous.


I think maybe you misunderstood what I meant - or I didn’t make myself clear - or both :-)

It’s not for lack of trying to understand - or wanting to understand. I didn’t mean for it to sound defeatist or lazy - or - whatever it is you’re hearing

like most people - having lived a certain amount of life - I’ve come to realize that sometimes there are barriers that prevent us from really understanding - bunches and bunches of barriers...

would you not agree that as a man, being born male - there are certain things that come with that experience that I might understand on certain levels - but will never really be able to understand the way you understand them?

throw into that mix the male experience combined with your own very personal experiences - sympathy, empathy - intellectual and/or emotional understanding - no matter what - there are some things I’m just not going to get the same way you get them

that’s all I meant

I see it happen all the time here at ATS - hurt feelings and anger and confusion all around


The problem isn't lack of vision (or lack of sympathy) on the part of either sex. It is about our mutual enslavement to biology.

if you really want to understand where I’m going with all this - that would be it right there - our mutual slavery - how much of it am I expected to never question and just accept?

I propose we unite - I’m in the mood for revolution anyhow :-)


Besides, good Spiramirabilis, it is neither possible, nor in the least desirable, that all the pain of humanity should be taken from us - lest we be taken from ourselves withal.


maybe I just don’t romanticize pain and suffering the same way you do? :-)

but, I do understand what you’re saying - and - mostly agree

huh - a materialist with a romantic streak running clean through - that’s gotta itch :-)


'Withal': cf. 'wrack'.


“sigh...”

I wish they would give us little sound-emoticons to play with - the exasperated sigh would be my favorite :-)



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Or Scarlett could try coming at it from a different angle.


it turns out that it’s true that tomorrow is another day - and on this brand new day it turns out - Scarlett is dead to me

:-)


So far, you've merely responded to what other posters are saying. Your own position is far from clear -


why, Mr. Astyanax - it almost sounds as if you’re accusing me of something


Time to put down your cards.


my cards have been down for quite some time - maybe you just don’t understand my cards? Is it possible? :-)


While you're riffling through your hand, Spiramirabilis, allow me to address this Crone business...


no riffling will be necessary - I know what I’m holding - have known for quite some time

but - way to put me on the spot :-)

(I won’t forget...)


...all we've learnt, so far, is that you think (or rather feel) that older women get a raw deal from society, and that men are at least partly to blame for this. You don't explain how you came to this conclusion, why you think the world is so arranged, or what (if anything) should be done about it.


for me to explain how I really feel about this - it would end up leaving the crone topic entirely and taking this outside...

but, what the hell - what are they going to do - take away my novice status? :-)

I promise to somehow make it all come together in the end - with crones and everything

so, let me correct your thinking here - it’s not that I think older women get a raw deal specifically - it’s just that the topic was/is about the place of older women in society - and how we understand her role, her worth - and all that comes with this subject

and so - it was easy for me to launch into this subject - just as it was

so that you don’t think I’m copping out - sir - I will say that because I am a woman - it’s obviously a subject that’s going to get under my skin in a way that it might not if it was about older men

but, I want to point out that - it might not be about what it’s about as far as how I really view it all - it goes beyond gender for me

it is a very personal thorn in my side in as much as I grew up in a household where I got a front row seat to the whole show - and could see just how unjust things can get

I’ll tell you the very short story version:

my mother was born into beauty, through no fault of her own.

something people don’t talk about all that much, or are maybe unwilling to even really look at - is how difficult it can be to just be - to be a person wonderful or otherwise - if all you’re ever really allowed to be is - beautiful

she was a wonderful woman - in so many ways

and my father was a wonderful man - in so many ways

these two people got married - my mother for love - my father for - as it turned out - beauty

it’s hardly a unique or even interesting story - is it?

without getting into real detail - which would not be fair to either my mother or my father (both passed on) let’s just say - from the time I was old enough to understand what was what - I could see that the situation was ugly

but more than that - it made no sense

I was never able to move past how ridiculous and cruel the whole thing was - because I could only see how unimportant the outside really is - and how unfairly we treat each other - based on nothing important at all

it’s true I was just a kid - but I have to say - by the time I was twelve, I used what I still believe was my free will and made a little deal with myself: this was never going to be my problem - I am what I am

I know you don’t have free will Mr. Astyanax - and I really couldn’t be more sorry - it can be a very useful thing sometimes :-)

anyhow - more than helping me to figure out certain things for myself in my own personal life - it forever shaped how I look at the world - and other people

I work very hard (and not always successfully) to see the person - not the package

I don’t mean to suggest in anyway that any of this makes me special - I really do think that most of us are less susceptible to the razzledazzle than we think we are

so, back when I said that this is about more than just the crone - this is what I meant - I believe we are each more than what we’re allowed to be sometimes

I don’t know if that word allow is going to raise any hackles - or not. But, in case it does - I also believe that it’s up to the individual to accept who and what they are and just get on with being the best who and what they are they can be

but - even as strong as any of us ever become - we sometimes trust that someone else can see us for what we are - and love us just the way we are

so - it’s not about women at all - old or otherwise - for me

but it was about women in this thread - and my earliest recollections of how much misery can come out of not being loved for who you are are obviously based on what all my mother went through

however - we all go through it - that’s the truth

we women and men are either not fast enough, smart enough, old enough/young enough. We’re too thin, too fat, too pretty, not pretty enough - it’s always something...

like I said - not exactly a unique view of the world or of us - but I can’t leave it alone

and I hate the injustice of it all

you can explain to me all you want about how natural it really is - I know

so?

:-)


Spiramirabilis, you spoke earlier of Kali. But Kali is no crone: that is a western error rooted in the hideous depictions of her commonest aspect.


I did mention her - and as far as symbolism goes - Kali is my gal :-)

I know she’s not about the crone - she was mentioned - had to acknowledge my true feelings :-)


In fact, Kali is the womb of Time and the consort of Shiva, the supreme god of Saivaite Hinduism. She represents femininity at its most potent and terrible, but she is a mother goddess, not a crone.


I love myth - and symbolism - I can’t see the two as being separate

it takes about 7 Greek goddesses to make one Kali - you really get your moneys worth from her :-)


In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe.


so - you can maybe see why she’s my favorite


Of Hindu deities, Kali is by far the most misunderstood by Westerners. And that's saying a lot.


it says so much it’s hard to put into words - but - there are things about Kali that work directly with what I’ve been trying to say about the crone - if you can understand Kali - you get it all


Old women were not greatly respected or revered in any ancient society. Why should they be? They had no defined function and no power to compel veneration. The belief that they did is just modern-day revisionism, which collapses under rational scrutiny.


what a buzzkill Astyanax - what happened - did a little old lady cut you off in traffic this morning?

:-)


[edit on 5/16/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I believe we are each more than what we’re allowed to be sometimes

Right. This is the core of it. The thing is, we all perform under these constraints. Is there anyone on Earth who doesn't think they're more than they're allowed to be?

Life is the art of the possible.


something people don’t talk about all that much, or are maybe unwilling to even really look at - is how difficult it can be to just be - to be a person wonderful or otherwise - if all you’re ever really allowed to be is - beautiful.

Yeah, ugly people don't want to know about our troubles.


It's true, though, what you say. I think I know one beautiful woman who hasn't been damaged by it. Can't remember her name right now, though...

As for beautiful men, they're goners from the kickoff.


did a little old lady cut you off in traffic this morning?

No, just calling it as I see it. Doesn't mean I endorse what I see.

Over here we tend to get cut off in traffic by armed high-speed convoys ferrying politicians from one pig-out to another. Little old ladies, if they know what's good for them, don't drive.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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I'm enjoying reading this thread but Please stop using the quote features incorrectly and too much. Instead of using "code" use "ex" or "quote". Using the incorrect tags causes the page to be distorted.

Trim Those Quotes!



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Is there anyone on Earth who doesn't think they're more than they're allowed to be?

Life is the art of the possible.


true - absolutely

but I do think there are some people that got the possible kicked out of them

those are the ones I worry about


As for beautiful men, they're goners from the kickoff.


:-) could you explain?



did a little old lady cut you off in traffic this morning?

No, just calling it as I see it.

Doesn't mean I endorse what I see.


no - I know you don't

but I do wonder, Astyanax - don't you ever want to be like the rest of us - and pretend that things are nicer and prettier - and funner - than they really are?

I don't actually need an answer to that one - it was just so fun to ask

:-)

[edit on 5/16/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
:-) could you explain?

A beautiful man has every other man's hand against him. We despise beautiful men as effeminate lightweights, even as we envy the sexual success they experience. For a good-looking man to succeed in the world, he has either to leverage his looks into a showbiz career or spoil them with a few well-placed scars.


don't you ever want to be like the rest of us - and pretend that things are nicer and prettier - and funner - than they really are?

Good grief, why on earth should I want to go back to that helpless, hopeless way of being? And why pretend, when life is so good, the world so beautiful and people so amusing?

I speak without irony. The world, with all its cruelty and suffering, is perfect. I wish I could explain it better, but it would take too long and people would never understand. I love life. I embrace impermanence. I am not a cynic.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
don't you ever want to be like the rest of us - and pretend that things are nicer and prettier - and funner - than they really are?

Good grief, why on earth should I want to go back to that helpless, hopeless way of being? And why pretend, when life is so good, the world so beautiful and people so amusing?

I speak without irony. The world, with all its cruelty and suffering, is perfect. I wish I could explain it better, but it would take too long and people would never understand. I love life. I embrace impermanence. I am not a cynic.


Holy crap... for the first time ever since coming to ATS, I agree with you Astyanax. Probably not relevant to you, but I pay a good deal of attention to your posts most of the time for reasons others have already stated and will undoubtedly remind you of in the future. But that isn't the topic...

To the topic, I think it's interesting. Though I would say this about the goddess aspecting... it's compensation. A way for humans to try and attain something they consider a better, higher way of living by using other-worldly beings as models. In this case it's the efforts of women and men to place value where value isn't seen to exist. An elderly woman who is moving beyond her social "functionality" (by which I mean making babies and not physical appearance). It makes sense. No one wants to be seen as valueless.

But then value is completely arbitrary. And so the disappointments we often receive in life come from expecting others to judge our value the same as we judge it. To see in us what we find exceptional about ourselves. But the search is usually fruitless because as individuals we define standards on an individual scale, even if they can be held up to appear universal through certain commonalities. It's a pointless cycle.

So I think the only true value of any individual is how much they are themselves as opposed to what they think they should be. To the point, why does a woman over 40 have to be "sexy" in any fashion, or attractive? And why should anyone be pressed to see them that way for any reason? What's wrong with her being a "hag"? Why should it matter to anyone and why should we be so concerned with placing our own value system on someone else? Generally because we are often shallow, insecure creatures who are more comfortable painting our colors on others than on ourselves. And when we do apply them to ourselves, we're often brutal and cruel, making it all the less desirable.

In the end, being old/young/pretty/ugly/wise/foolish doesn't make anyone special. Being ourselves, which means any combination of those and more, is what makes us "special", i.e. unique. And there is no standardized archetype that fits those qualities perfectly.

Hmmmm.... Seems I've rambled and don't know for sure where I've ended up... I'll move along now



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 01:04 AM
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I haven't read the thread.. but mentioning 40 and hag in a thread post peaks my interest. ( I'll get you my pretty)

crone/hag to me in symbolistic terms is a woman who has found wisdom that only comes from letting go of the "feminine value system" and has moved beyond it. Finding that once beauty, motherhood, and sexual attractiveness have "abandoned" her, she must find another reason for existence...a push for spiritual awakening. I believe we think only an older women can accomplish this task, as all younger women are vain, selfish, blind, and self absorbed. (of which I can barely argue) (oh yeah and I have heard tell...also fantasy based)

In that alone there is value imo.


[edit on 17-5-2009 by seagrass]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 




A beautiful man has every other man's hand against him. We despise beautiful men as effeminate lightweights, even as we envy the sexual success they experience. For a good-looking man to succeed in the world, he has either to leverage his looks into a showbiz career or spoil them with a few well-placed scars.


so - the same, only different - still in a way isolated



I speak without irony. The world, with all its cruelty and suffering, is perfect. I wish I could explain it better, but it would take too long and people would never understand. I love life. I embrace impermanence. I am not a cynic.


you've explained it well enough - but I'd love to have the long explanation





[edit on 5/17/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 05:53 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I can see you are genuinely thinking in circles here on some of this stuff, probably on complete accident. I, like you, tend to think/ponder/contemplate in my own time (I'm a daydreamer, baby) and I am not exactly always that great at conveying my own opinions and viewpoints. Despite all that, I thought I would respond to some of the statements you've made thus far (or at least make an attempt at making sense ).

Not to call you out or attack you but just to contribute some perspective on the discussion here. At least that which can be expected from a college-educated, 30 year old man. (I'm starting to feel old
).


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
and guns - don’t forget guns :-)


The following question opens up a can of worms that alot of people choose to avoid.
"How much and to what extent have women's roles in society been dictated and/or downplayed by men"?

I posted my thoughts on this earlier in the thread, but I think you and Astyanax are both generally correct with relation to this issue. When you try to debate the details over this stuff, I think its such a complete grey area that arguments on either side are no less credible than the other. This is pretty much expected though when you're dealing with psychological and/or sociological issues where human behavioral cause and effect are not so easily defined (especially years, decades, and centuries after the fact). With relation to this particular issue, the effects are more apparent than the cause, and the causes are many.

There are still many cultures out there in which women obey and/or compromise their behaviors in order to adhere to traditional values and social norms. This means that this social tragedy (The idea of the Crone) is, in alot of ways, traditional. And because of those traditional values instilled in cultures all over the world, women are willing to sacrifice their wants and desires in order to fulfill a traditional need or purpose. This idea of men being defeatist and overpowering with regards to women isn't the only reason women were generally viewed as much less important, or at least seen as such, decades/centuries ago.

In alot of ways, it happened because it was what was expected of them from the rest of society, It was seen as normal, and it was tradition. But even men know that women have always played (and will always play) an extremely invaluable role in society overall.

I've been thinking about the issue regarding Old women in society being seen as without purpose or useless by others. This is true to a degree. But in many cultures women are the ones that traditionally run the entire show. Inuit cultures here in Alaska, where I live, are still like this today. Inuit social structure is very matriarchal almost where women decide all the important issues of the day and wield pretty immense power in society. From what I've seen and read, The extent of this social power increases with age. But this all basically comes down to women being traditionally more important than men (at least amongst their tribes/people).


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
when he says that if she loses her beauty and youth - but has not also managed to become a fine example of a human being along the way - she is a wreck - it suggests to me that if she were an awful person - but still beautiful, she would still have some value

Some of the reason for this might be encoded in our DNA and be natural. But I still don't agree with it at all (I agree with you). There are alot of factors that aren't being considered here. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So a young woman isn't just going to have an easy go at life by looking a certain way. And even if she does, she won't necessarily wield more power in society than a 40 year old single mom with 5 kids. Women, especially young women, strive for Sex, money, and power just like Men do. I see the only difference as what they have to do to get it.

If the premise exists that old women have less value/ less to offer society than younger, more attractive women then I see it as flawed logic. I think that even if a younger woman is seen as having more value (whether it be on the conscious level or subconscious/DNA-programmed level) then the older women aren't being fully considered for what they do or are capable of doing. Therefore, if the value of older women is seen as degraded in this way, it would seem that it would ONLY apply when you compare older women to younger women. And sometimes that doesn't even apply.. It's a complex issue with alot of grey areas involving society, traditional values, biologically pre-programmed ways of thinking, and it definately has it's contradictions and/or exceptions to the rule just depending on how you look at it.

Being "beautiful", all by itself, only goes so far. And we are analyzing and discussing the value of older women compared to younger more attractive women when I think the term "value" is an extremely subjective use of the word in this particular context. It in no means applies to the whole of society because we know that many cultures value their "hags" almost to the point of being worshipped. Therefore, I don't even think it is useful towards any ends to define what "value" should mean in this debate because I don't think we would ever agree on even where to start with that in the first place.. It's kind of a loaded term.

Again, it's a grey area that we seem to be defining and discussing as if its a pickup truck here when we have no idea what it should, necessarily, imply. There's no doubt that older women have different things to offer society than younger, more attractive women. But even if you were able to somehow fully reconcile and appraise what each as to offer and compare everything, how would we even be able to come to some kind of consensus as to what is important and what isn't? We would never be able to agree, because we would also all have different opinions as to what is valuable and what isn't. But I think we're on the same sheet of music here and I think I understand what you mean.


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
if you really want to understand where I’m going with all this - that would be it right there - our mutual slavery - how much of it am I expected to never question and just accept?


I don't think it is even an issue of what should be accepted and what shouldn't though. A huge part of being happy in life is being comfortable in your own skin. Biologically, we have our differences and our similarities. If one only accepts that which he/she cannot possibly change, then how would that person ever be happy in life? IMO, How someone goes about differentiating between what they can and can't change is really beside the point here because it is always going to be extremely subjective.
For example, some people think that global warming is going to happen regardless of what anyone does. But there are still groups, people, and organisations out there vying to turn it all around because they see it possible for a certain level of human control over what happens. Global warming is an extremely opinionated and subjective topic. But the point is that each person basically decides for themselves what is possible and what isn't possible. People only sometimes accept the things they cannot change. Alot of times they don't. And this is cause for alot of the evil, sickness, depression, and darkness in the world. All over stuff people have no control over.

-ChriS



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by BlasteR
 



I can see you are genuinely thinking in circles here on some of this stuff, probably on complete accident.
some might even say that my thinking was completely accidental :-)


(I'm a daydreamer, baby)
have you learned how to make it stop yet? :-)


Despite all that, I thought I would respond to some of the statements you've made thus far (or at least make an attempt at making sense ).
a star for the attempt


Not to call you out or attack you but just to contribute some perspective on the discussion here...


I was thinking of calling myself out on a few things here this morning – so – no problem

I don’t really have anything to contribute or contest - I agree with most of what you've said - and I like the way you said it

the one thing that I was going to bring up anyway this morning is – I let myself wander into territory that confused what I was really trying to say

I really didn’t intend on making the focus of this topic revolve around either youth – or beauty. It does seem to be the natural focus – but I think it would be better to pull back some and look at it from a little further out


Some of the reason for this might be encoded in our DNA and be natural.


it is so obviously a natural part of who we are – it almost feels like a complete waste of time to question it – doesn’t it? This is the most fascinating thing about being human – to me – what are we? Why do we question what so obviously just is – and wonder what we should be?


But I still don't agree with it at all (I agree with you).


finally...someone :-)


...the term "value" is an extremely subjective use of the word in this particular context. It in no means applies to the whole of society because we know that many cultures value their "hags" almost to the point of being worshipped. Therefore, I don't even think it is useful towards any ends to define what "value" should mean in this debate because I don't think we would ever agree on even where to start with that in the first place.. It's kind of a loaded term...


and this is where the whole discussion of the crone stops being about just the women – this isn’t just about the worth of older women in our society. You’re right – the word - value - and how we use it. It is something that’s hard to pin down when you’re talking about the worth of a another human being


I don't think it is even an issue of what should be accepted and what shouldn't though. A huge part of being happy in life is being comfortable in your own skin.


I wonder – while wandering through my meandering thought process (especially yesterday’s thought process) if you didn’t see – this is exactly what I meant to say.

I danced around it yesterday (and the days before) but, saying that men were still in control of the pedestal, but with our permission – that was the closest I came to saying: we are only worth what we believe we are worth. It’s not up to anybody else

and when I said: ...I used what I still believe was my free will and made a little deal with myself: this was never going to be my problem - I am what I am

the same - we are ultimately responsible for assigning worth to ourselves - and maintaining that value

but that goes for everybody – man, woman and child

but, even as I say it - I realize it's simplistic

Astyanax said, earlier in the thread:

... The best time and place ever to be a woman is in the secular West, right now.


it’s so true – but it didn’t happen by accident.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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A star from me, too, BlasteR.

Now, both of you:


You’re right – the word - value - and how we use it. It is something that’s hard to pin down when you’re talking about the worth of a another human being.

Nature has no morality but the scope of possibilities*. It has no imperative but existence. It does not demand of us that we behave according to any code or example, and itself shows every example and no example.

So where do values come from? Absent any supernatural source, they can only come from us. We devise moralities and impose them.

Where do we get them? Of what raw material do we make them?

And how come everyone's are different? If values differ, how can there be any values?
 

*DON'T CLICK THE LINK IF CREEPYCRAWLIES GIVE YOU THE HEEBIJEEBIES

[edit on 17/5/09 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 




...Absent any supernatural source, they can only come from us.


now - why do you gots to go and do that, Astyanax? :-)

you knew the bugs weren't going to answer all my questions

and - by the way - thanks for the warning - but, BEFORE the link would've been more helpful

(wasn't that bad though...)


We devise moralities and impose them. Where do we get them? Of what raw material do we make them? And how come everyone's are different?


is there an answer to these questions - or were the crawlies supposed to be all of it?


If values differ, how can there be any values?


which brings me back to - why I go crazy over this stuff

I understand - on a very basic level - how we come to develop morality

but why aren't we like the others - why do we wonder how important the old girl monkeys are - what's the point?

why don't we just shut up and survive - like all the other critters?

I know it's not just because we're really smart bugs with too much time on our hands

and just in case I'm missing the answer that's right in front of me - let me ask:



We devise moralities and impose them.


so - if it's all arbitrary - up to us essentially - making it up as we go along - there's no reason we can't just decide what is and isn't important any old time we want - and change all this nonsense whenever it suits us

OK - cool - I can live with that

[edit on 5/17/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



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