“Nameless indeed is the source of creation/ But things have a mother and she has a name,” from the Dao de Jing
IN THE BEGINNING there was a nameless mother, who had a mother too and whose own mother had a mother, and here we are, here you are, breathing, seeing, feeling, thinking, and being, many generations later. To the Dao de Jing authors there are no etiological mystery, no mythical speculation, no clay & bone illusions, no water miracles, no talking snake, no magic fruit, and no mind-bending fiction. The blood-reality of birth is origin.
Origin begins with our mother. How refreshing! How modern! How biologically astute! How culturally aware!
Creation has always been as simple as a saying from the Dao de Jing and painful(ly) convoluted as a Judeo-Christian obsession. Understanding the origin of all things gets to be difficult in the western tradition of Bronze Age patriarchy. When you argue ad nauseam that ‘manness’ is indisputably superior to ‘femaleness’; when you denigrate motherhood, ignore childhood, vilify otherhood, you are bound to reject simpler answers and you cannot see what’s right in front of you.
Having to explain ‘Papa-made-me’ instead of ‘Mama-made-me’, like we have done since the advent of the father-god has meant displacing and replacing evidence (is there any greater evidence of creation than a pregnant mother?) with enough obstinate creativity (can you say Adam’s rib, Claymation, and birth-by-breathing?) to fill the pages of thick books. And by ‘thick’ I don’t just mean 770K words too many, I mean Bronze Age pigheadedness.
Let’s face it, violence-less, non-disciplinarian, non-authoritarian family values as we are still discovering today weren’t part of the cultural reality of the Bible authors. If you bother reading the Bible, which I recommend, you will encounter references to a family you might not want to identify with—unless it’s state mandated and you live in a brutal theocracy.
The relationship between members of the bible family is unsurprisingly unilateral. You do as daddy says, even if he is as credulous as he is obstinate and ends up acting against the family’s best interest. The father generally sanctions the mutilation-circumcision, the violation-rape, or massacred-genocide of spouse(s), offspring, and extended family when the guru-Rabbi demands it. In short, to honor the family in the culture(s) presented in the bible is to sacrifice any family member when asked to. It is also to edit any reference to Motherhood, the closest thing to ‘familyness’ when required to.
Can you picture Eve, Adam, Moses, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in their mother’s arms, being breast fed, learning how to walk, playing with sticks and friends, going through puberty, rebelling, etc.? We can today. Authors of the scriptures couldn’t yesterday. They witnessed ‘familyness’/Motherhood daily, yet, not only, chose to leave the subject out of the book, but decided to replace it with the most improbable tales of origination.
And the greatest frustration about these misleading clay and bone tales is that the biological world hasn’t changed much for billions of years—it is eternally evolving. Humans have been smartly wired for over 30 thousand years and we’ve engendered and fostered life very much the same way throughout. Also, we see, feel, smell, hear, touch, and think much the same way.
Then, why couldn’t we see the origination of our species as it is, was, and will be? Why have we been so culturally blind and biologically ignorant? Why so little awareness of our surrounding? Was there a cock obstructing evidence? (Last question is purely rhetorical-ludic. Do laugh though.)
Birth was birth, then and before then. Birth is birth. Birth will be birth. The origination of our species has never changed and will never change. Biological life has always been ‘Mama-made-me’ and ‘daddy-watches.’ It’s only in books that origin morphs into its magically immaculate-emasculated, fictional version.
Gynogenesis is and will always be the only bio-origin, the rest is imagination gone wild.
The Dao de Jing authors got it right in the first place. They may have been ‘contemporaries’ of the Old Testament’s authors, their bio-awareness was culturally modern—I dare say, bio-universal.
Now, let’s not make them proto-feminists too soon. They too admired their ‘cock’ in the rising sun, they too were macho-patriarchs, they too have oppressed and repressed the Feminine, Grandmothers, Mothers, Motherhood, Daughters, Sisters, etc. But unlike their brethren out west, unlike our Patriarchs, they didn’t convince themselves that their ‘cock’ caused the sun to rise, the wind to blow, thunder to strike, the river to flow, etc.
A man-centered, sky-god never really got in the way of family obligation in Chinese culture, and that may have been enough to make a difference, to create a better awareness. Fact is, when your eyes are not desperately turned to the sky, when you don’t waste maddening hours trying to hear through the eternal silence, and when you don’t seek life’s answers in a beautifully blue yet remarkably indifferent sky, it’s much easier to find down-to-earth answers where they are and will always be: in front of your eyes, nose, tongue, and always reachable, if not touchable.
Call me pragmatic, but history is on my side when I say that observation yields greater results than speculation, when I firmly believe that open eyes see better than even the most open of minds. In truth, it is when we open our eyes that we really become aware (mind-open). We may be at the mercy of optical illusions, but they will never alter our understanding of the world as much as our cognitive delusions. A blind person always sees better than a dumb one.
In conclusion, I want to invite skeptics who doubt that seeing (birth) is knowing (origin) and the rest is nothing more than cultural exaggeration-invention to witness a birth. Witness a mother deliver her child or children into this world, be sensory-present for the hours of struggle, the painful delivery, and the first motherly sigh-smile of relief, life itself; watch, hear, smell, and witness the first baby breath, the first sound coming out of his/her mouth, and the first clumsy gesture; and, dare to tell me that you have doubts as to the true origin all things human!
Dare question the true-blood origin of Life! Dare talk of clay and bones and a Father-god-originator! Dare ignore Mothers, Motherhood, Mothering! Dare be so blind!
And dare question the bio-universal awareness of the Daoist etiology:
“Nameless indeed is the source of creation/ But things have a mother and she has a name.”