Catalyst for Change
    by Andre Sheldon

    CATALYST for CHANGE – Part One

    In the year 2005, people on the planet earth are able to
    communicate with each other instantaneously because of
    telephones and cell phones, computers and the internet, and
    television and satellites.  As a result, people’s ideas and desires
    are contemplated on a worldly basis.  This interaction leads to a
    common understanding that people can help each other.  This
    understanding is evident when disaster strikes.  On December 26,
    2004, a Tsunami, a devastating ocean wave, struck in the South
    Pacific killing over one hundred thousand people and destroying
    billions of dollars worth of property.  The world responded
    immediately with health care, financial aid, and other emergency
    assistance.  For a short period of time, human needs became
    more important than ideology, religion, or national boundaries.  
    A disaster brought people together.  What kind of a disaster would
    allow human needs to transcend boundaries on a regular basis?  
    Or does it have to be a disaster?

    Many theories and plans exist, such as the “Open Society” sponsored by George Soros,
    “Tikkun” developed by Rabbi Michael Lerner, and the “Culture of Peace and Non-
    Violence for the Children of the World”, sponsored by the United Nations, which propose
    confronting societal problems and focusing on future generations as a method to prioritize
    human needs and utilize monetary wealth for the common good of people around the
    world.  These plans are not in the mainstream.  To bring these plans and ones like it into
    the mainstream, there would have to be a “catalyst” powerful enough to attract attention
    to give the plan power and authority.  To find this “catalyst”, it would be best to study an
    example of change from an old way of thinking to a new way of
    thinking, or change from an old world society to a new world

    There is a study of a previous old world society to a new world
    society that suggests a theory of cultural transformation that could
    be used now.  This study is the 1987 book The Chalice and the
    Blade - Our History, Our Future, by Riane Eisler (here on referred
    to as C&B).  Ashley Montagu stated that Eisler’s work is “The most
    important book since Darwin’s Origin of Species”.   

    In C&B, a partnership culture (gylanic) existed between men and
    women in an old world society before our written history.  The
    culture changed to a male-dominated society (adrocratic) and C&B
    examines how the change from a partnership society to a society
    of male dominance came to be, its pitfalls, and how it can change
    back, with suggestions for a new focus based upon working for the
    children of the world.  C&B relates the pitfalls of a male dominated
    society to the current world status and suggests that there are vital
    warning signs illustrating the need for a rapid change.   Eisler
    states that a rapid change is possible.

    What was the change that caused males to be dominant in society
    rather that equal in our pre-history?  Eisler describes nomadic,
    marauding tribes conquering agricultural societies for need of
    necessities such as food, water, and staples.  The bronze and
    copper age provided weapons enabling success in overpowering
    others and conversely, for protection.  A societal system of male
    dominance was a logical outcome of survival.  There was honor,
    glory, and the spoils of war for the strong, either offensively or
    defensively.  Survival, honor and glory, life’s necessities, all were
    attainable via force.  Men were the stronger sex henceforth they
    could attain and maintain dominance.  Therefore, the conclusion
    is that it was men and violence that changed the world.  

    The objective of Eisler’s study and theory is not to cast blame on
    anyone, but to recognize the root of the problem and plan for change.  Eisler, at the end
    of C&B, concludes “the problem is not men as a sex, but men and women as they must be
    socialized in a dominator system.”  Eisler states beautifully, “rather than being designed to
    socialize a child to adjust to her or his place in a world of rank orderings, learning will be—
    as we are already beginning to see—a lifelong process for maximizing flexibility and
    creativity at all stages of life.”  

    Socialization will ultimately be the method that creates a long lasting societal change,
    however change does not come easily.  The likelihood of a male dominated society
    changing back to a partnership society is negligible.  For five thousand years, male
    dominance has entrenched itself in almost all societies on earth.  When attempts for
    change start to appear, they are squashed by the male machine.  Eisler states, “beneath
    the seemingly inexplicable shifts that punctuate recorded history lies the basic resistance
    to our cultural evolution: a social system in which the female half of humanity is dominated
    and repressed.”  Also, “In the past, the pendulum has always swung back from peace to
    war.  Whenever more “feminine” values have risen for a time, threatening to transform the
    system, an aroused and fearful androcracy has thrust us back.  

    To have societal change, it is important to understand where the problem lies.  In C&B,
    Eisler postulates there is a correlation of male dominance and war as follows:  “…once the
    function of male violence against women is perceived, it is not hard to see how men who
    are taught they must dominate the half of humanity that is not as physically strong as they
    are will also think it their “manly” duty to conquer weaker men and nations.”  Referring to
    feminist scholar Theodore Roszak, “Probing beneath the surface of all their national and
    ideological differences, Roszak showed an underlying commonality among the men who at
    the turn of this century—and throughout history—plunged the world into war.”  

    A warning sign: “throughout recorded history the androcratic system’s first line of
    “defense” has been the reassertion of male control.  Even more precisely, we have seen
    that a regression toward more suppression of women is an early predictor that a generally
    repressive and bloody period of history is setting in.  Eisler goes as far to say, “we can
    most clearly see how and why under an androcratic system our worsening problems are in
    fact insoluble.”  

    Eisler quoted Erwin Laszlo:  We “cannot leave the selection of the next step in the
    evolution of human society and culture to chance.  We must plan for it, consciously and
    purposefully.”  Laszlo points out, humans “have the ability to act consciously, and
    collectively,” exercising foresight to “choose their own evolutionary path.”  Norbert Wiener’
    s book on cybernetic processes states, “We have a further evolutionary advantage in that
    we can change our behavior quickly.”  Biologist Jonas Salk:  “our most urgent and
    pressing need is to provide that wonderful instrument, the human mind, with the
    wherewithal to image, and thereby create, a better world.”

    Eisler refers to many futurists as saying, “We must leave behind the hard, conquest-
    oriented values traditionally associated with “masculinity.”  For is not the need for a “spirit
    of truly global cooperation, shaped in free partnership,” “a balancing of individualism with
    love,” and the normative goal of “harmony with rather than conquest of nature,” the
    reassertion of a more “feminine ethos?”

    Eisler summarizes:
    “As this caring labor—the life-sustaining labor of nurturing, helping, and loving others—is
    fully integrated into the economic mainstream, we will see a fundamental economic and
    political transformation.  Then, unified into the global family envisioned by the feminist,
    peace, ecology, human potential, and other gylanic movements, our species will begin to
    experience the full potential of its evolution.”

    A woman’s movement, or as Eisler calls it, feminism, “could become the nucleus for a new,
    fully integrated gylanic ideology.  Incorporating the humanistic elements of both our
    religious and our secular ideologies, this modern gylanic worldview would at long last
    provide the internally consistent, overarching ideology required to replace a dominator
    with a partnership society.”

    There is a new world unfolding!  Around the globe there are thousands of peace
    organizations and millions of grassroot organizations, NGO’s, UN initiatives, universities,
    etc., that have laid the groundwork for change.  All of these organizations need
    assistance to bring their work into the mainstream for funding and media attention, but
    they have to fight male dominance.  As conjectured earlier, what type of a catalyst is
    needed for societal change?  If men and violence changed the world to a male dominant
    society then to change the world to a partnership society the antithesis is proposed,
    women and non-violence.  Women would be the catalyst to bring attention to non-violence.

    Non-violence is the tool for a peaceful revolution.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “Non-violence is
    the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.  It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of
    destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

    Eisler says, “What may lie ahead is the final bloodbath of this dying system’s violent
    efforts to maintain its hold.  But the death throes of androcracy could also be the birth
    pangs of gylany and the opening of a door into a new future.”


How beautiful the world is when we live and work together in peace.
Global Strategy of Nonviolence
Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”
Welcome! A Global Strategy of Nonviolence
FOR the CHILDREN A World-Wide Unity Campaign
A Strategy to Bring Peace For the Children and Stop  War
(GS of NV)

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