A Thermodynamic Interpretation of History: Division Two
An Archaeology of the American Feminist Intraworldly Messianism

CHAPTER 8: A Genealogy of Feminism
8.2.: The Origin of Cultural Feminism
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Copyright © 2004, 2006, 2007 by Lawrence C. Chin. All rights reserved. (Last revised, May 2007)

Power's favoring metastatic deformation as the best instrument for it to extract energy and devotion from its subject -- this operation of power is called "intraworldly messianism" -- is due to two aspects of the historical sensibility into which the eschatological metastatic faith of Christianity has degenerated. First is the ability to conceive a single principle governing world history, a philosophy of history, which de-forms from the Christian-Thomist theological notion that world history unfolds according to God's plan, i.e. a governing principle of history which is God's will to save his creation, e.g. world history unfolds in the three stages of God - creation (fall) - the return of creation to God (restoration through Christ). Feminism, (Aryan) racism (in which nationalism has eventually ascended), and communism, as all deformations of Christianity, thus share the same historical sensibility of a principal motor of history which is, of course, no longer God's will, but something like it.1 "In the 19th century, racism also evolved from a personal or even a social bias to an all-embracing ideology claiming to possess a master key to world history. In this sense racism was the eschatological counterpart to Communism because both claimed to possess the ultimate interpretation of the historical process." (Fischer, ibid., p. 8) "Just as Marx singled out economic factors as constituting the substructure of any given society [historical materialism as laying out the plan of history], [Arthur de] Gobineau [the founding father of "Aryan" superiority, with his Inequality of Races (1853 - 4)] focused on racial characteristics as the chief determinants of historical events." (Ibid., p. 9) "The defining characteristics of [Houston] Chamberlain's works [The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, 1899] was the racial interpretation of history. In attempting to explain the chief forces that had molded the 19th century, Chamberlain singled out Hellenic art and philosophy; Roman administration and jurisprudence; the Christian revelation; the destructive power of the Jews; and the redemptive mission of the Aryan race. The leitmotif of his whole work is the conviction that race is the ultimate determinant of cultural greatness and that the Aryan race had always represented a regenerative element in societies threatened by degeneration; conversely, the existence of lesser blood types, such as the Slavs and the Semites, always signified impending degeneration of societies" (p. 11).2

Next to class and race struggle, the emerging feminist historical sensibility thus adds gender struggle as well. This naturally leads to the second aspect, that world history is redemptive, de-forming from the end of history for the Christians, Christ's redemption of mankind and the return of God's creation at long last to Him. Just as the proletariat for the Marxists and the Aryan race for the racists are to redeem the world from thousands of years of class exploitation or of corruption of humanity by inferior races, so women for the feminists are to save the Earth from millennia of male domination which has been destroying it. In other words, liberal feminism has to transit into cultural feminism in order to complete its secularization of Christian eschatology. All cases are imitation of Hegel in forcing the Parousia never-to-occur into history through human action. This is the simplistic version of the story of the degeneration of Christian historical form into the instrument for power's growth.3

Cultural feminism emerged half a century later than liberal feminism with some difference: "Instead of focusing on political change, feminists holding these ideas look for a broader cultural transformation. While continuing to recognize the importance of critical thinking and self-development, they also stress the role of the non-rational, the intuitive, and often the collective side of life. Instead of emphasizing the similarities between men and women, they often stress the differences, ultimately affirming that feminine qualities may be a source of personal strength and pride and a fount of public regeneration. These feminists imagined alternatives to institutions the liberal theorists left more or less intact -- religion, marriage, and the home. By the turn of the century this vein of feminist theory moved beyond a view of women's rights as ends in themselves and saw them finally as a means to effect larger social reforms. Feminist social reform theory held that women should and must enter the public sphere and have the vote because their moral perspective was needed to clean up the corrupt (masculine) world of politics." (Donovan, ibid., p. 32)

While the liberal feminism was most akin to the ideology of classical liberalism underlying the developmental approach of supraorganismic integration of the Anglo-American, cultural feminism seemed like an offshoot of the other, collectivist ideology underlying the planned-overhaul approach that was to give rise to continental totalitarianism. This is especially noteworthy since the timing of cultural feminism in America matched up approximately with the infusion of the continental democratic tradition into the Anglo-American world. The recognition of this fact will allow the understanding of the essential break between the cultural feminism of the first wave and that of the second, which only share superficial similarities with one another. As said, there is never such thing as a hidden (white) female culture or Way of the Female inaccessible to males which, if brought to the open and universalized, would redeem humanity. The female culture is invariably adopted; but, more importantly, the female culture adopted by the first wave of cultural feminists was a different one than that adopted during the second wave. That of the second wave already exposed, the origin of the first wave seems to be located in that fermenting product of German Romanticism which became the foundation -- as the emerging Aryan mythology -- for the transition of the centralized totalitarianism of the French revolutionaries into the right-wing variant of continental totalitarianism.

Having already noted this similarity between Aryanism and cultural feminism (footnote 2), we may now take stock of the cultural background: "A decisive reaction set in against formal, classical, and rationalistic modes of thought, a reaction that profoundly undermined the equilibrium of Western culture. The primacy of reason, which had been the hallmark of the Enlightenment and much of the 19th century, was increasingly challenged by speculative writers who emphasized the preeminent role of the will, the irrational, the subjective, the intuitive, or the unconscious in human life... The revolt against reason was primarily directed against the spirit of industrial civilization, and this involved a profound dissatisfaction with urbanism, technical rationality, and the generally tame, unexciting, and unglamorous routine of bourgeois life. By some instinctual logic there was a sudden convergence of archaic patterns that, from decisive literary and philosophical quarters, began to challenge axiomatic assumptions about the rationality of the human being and the perfectibility of the social order through science, capitalism, and parliamentary democracy." One noticed "a strong undercurrent of revolt against bourgeois civilization and the values on which it was anchored," i.e. analytical rationalism. Such undermining of the "stable, predictable universe... by some of the leading intellectuals of Europe" represented a displacement of "the axis of social thought from the objectively verifiable world of physical experience [French enlightenment] to the subjective and only partially accessible world of unconscious motivation [of the German], as in the works of Sigmund Freud" and Carl Jung. (Klaus Fischer, ibid., p. 12 -3) As said, when the forces of supraorganismic integration into the nation-state -- the mechanisms of bio-power -- had extended into the lower class, the bourgeoisie, which was the origin of these forces, produced reactionaries in the form of racism and psychoanalysis, the plunge toward the dark world of the instinctual and the irrational of the (intra-)personal, and the mythic Aryan archaism of the collective, both of which converge, for example, in such ontogenic-phylogeny as Freud's Totem and Taboo. The ideological foundation of continental totalitarianism, evolving away from the rationalism of the (French) Enlightenment, has diverged into the left-wing, historical materialism for the proletariat, and the right-wing, Aryan racial mythology for the petit bourgeoisie. Supraorganism was seeking to integrate further through these occasions of reactionaries from the left and the right. This is the transitional period between formative stage of nation-state and its mature stage.

In the same way, the pressure for supraorganismic integration fermenting within the newly established American republic produced cultural feminism with the same bourgeois ideological probe into the irrational as in Germany, only that here it was objectified into a "female culture", a "matriarchal vision: the idea of a society of strong women guided by essentially female concerns and values... pacifism, cooperation, nonviolent settlement of differences, and a harmonious regulation of public life." (Donovan, ibid., p. 32) This is clearly evident from the thinking of the first cultural feminist, Margaret Fuller (Woman in the Nineteenth Century, 1845). Her ideas may be organized into 4 stages. (1) Development. "For human beings are not so constituted that they can live without expansion." "We would have every path laid open to Woman as freely as to Man." (Cited by Donovan, ibid., p. 33.) Although this already smacks of an analogue to the Aryans' need for "living space" and freedom from intervention by other races in their natural unfolding of their special talents, given the actual confinement of women's situation at the time, this can still be considered as not yet going beyond Liberal feminism. But "Fuller's idea is that each individual is born as a seed with a unique design imprinted within (a favorite romantic image); it must be allowed to unfold through one's life course." (Ibid.) Hence it is really no longer Wollstonecraft's lamentation over the stunting of women's Geistesentwicklung because of the necessity of their prostitutive role. The transcendence of liberal feminism, then, consists in the special difference of the seed in woman from that in man. Hence (2) cultural separatism. "Such process [of woman's unfolding of herself] must be done separately, with other women." (Cited, ibid.) "Fuller contents that... [women] are fundamentally different from men... they would never wish to be men, or manlike." (Ibid.) Then (3) this difference, which in the present social condition makes for superiority. "There is an electrical intensity about women that men do not have... '[If not repressed] the electric fluid will be found to invigorate and embellish, not destroy life.'... Fuller seems to mean by this electric element an intuitive intellectual faculty:... '[Women's] intuition are more rapid and more correct. You will often see men of high intellect absolutely stupid in regard to the atmospheric changes, the fine invisible links which connect the forms of life around them, while common women... will seize and delineate these with unerring discrimination.' Women, in other words, have an intuitive perception that goes beyond reason to understand the subtle connection among people and among all life forms... women's vision is holistic. But because men do not see these subtle connections, women's perception are ridiculed and denied." (Ibid.) This relates back to (1) and (2), but also leads to (4) the transformation of the world. "[This denial] deprives the public world of an element, a perception without which it remains one-sided and limited. Instead... an influx of the feminine will radically change society. She wavers, however, as to what the change will be. It may result in a somewhat vaguely conceived cultural androgyny. Or it may result in the 'feminization' of culture." (Ibid., p. 35) The first means a world created of "a dialectic of complementary opposites, like yin and yang, an organic, harmonic whole. 'Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism... they are perpetually passing into one another... Energy and Harmony; Power and Beauty; Intellect and Love.'" (Ibid.) On this reasoning the disorder of the current world is the result of the imbalance, the over-dominance of one force due to the suppression or the restriction of the female force to the domestic prison. The other means "the reinstatement of a 'plant-like gentleness,' a harmonic, peaceful rule, an end to violence in all areas, including such violence against self as the use of alcohol and drugs and the slaughter of animal for food.'.. 'the establishment of the reign of love and peace'... [W]omen's intuitive faculties lead her toward a holistic vision; such a perspective is necessarily synthetic: it encompasses the reconciliation and binding together of elements that are thought to be separate. Such a process appreciates and does not destroy 'the singleness of life'" which the (Western, to be precise) male analytic individualism apparently does, leading to the disorder of the world. (Ibid.) "Fuller, therefore, lays out the first theory of... how their life and the life of society would be changed were their special qualities allowed expression. She therefore links the liberation of women with the amelioration of life on earth, as later [cultural] feminists were to do." (Ibid., p. 35 - 6) The similarity between this intuitive "gnosis" of women and the specific qualities of the Aryans however suggests that what Fuller described as "female culture" was not really female culture but reactionary -- masquerading as female culture -- against the analytical rationalism on which formative capitalism and nation-state were based: not a surprising similarity, since both derived from Romanticism. Margaret Fuller therefore inaugurated the revolt against this bourgeois rationalism of (here Anglo) Enlightenment on the Anglo-American side, as the transitional stage between the formative and the mature period of nation-state.

We want to emphasize that the essential similarity between Fuller's vision of women and Houston's of the Aryans should not distract also from a peculiar difference between the two. The redemption of the world by the Aryans (the elimination of the obstacles to the unfolding of their special qualities) had an inner logic of violence within, which, passed to the hands of demagogues like the Nazis, necessarily led to war. The inner logic of the redemption of the world in cultural feminists' vision was essentially pacificist; though sprung from the same root of the search for intuitivism and holism as was Aryanism, cultural feminism cannot be imagined to lead to a destructive war in the name of redemption. The reason for this divergence will become clear subsequently. The destructive effect of cultural feminism, as apparent today, is non-violent, a slow degradation of the Earth-environment through the production of Mass Women (something un-intended by the pioneers of cultural feminism) and the eradication of human intelligence through totalitarian standardization of social consciousness (political correctness and consumerist mentality).

At this point some greater detail is in order in the story of the metastatic deformation in the West for the sake of power-growth: notably the gnostic structure which cultural feminism had in common with Aryan racism and historical materialism.

These (what can be called) soteriological social movements ("intraworldly messianism" or "intraworldly redemption") of the West -- three: Marxism, Aryanism, and cultural feminism4 -- were, as Eric Voegelin identifies, deformation of the Christian metastasis along the particular path of the gnostic type. The common characteristics of gnosticism as it is, i.e. religious gnosticism, as the pursuit of salvation, are, as enumerated by Stephan Hoeller (in "What is a gnostic?"), following Emery: "[1] The Gnostics posited an original spiritual unity that came to be split into a plurality. [2] As a result of the precosmic division the universe was created. This was done by a leader possessing inferior spiritual powers and who often resembled the Old Testament Jehovah. [3] A female emanation of God was involved in the cosmic creation (albeit in a much more positive role than the leader). [4] In the cosmos, space and time have a malevolent character and may be personified as demonic beings separating man from God. [5] For man, the universe is a vast prison. He is enslaved both by the physical laws of nature and by such moral laws as the Mosaic code. [6] Mankind may be personified as Adam, who lies in the deep sleep of ignorance, his powers of spiritual self-awareness stupefied by materiality. [7] Within each natural man is an 'inner man,' a fallen spark of the divine substance. Since this exists in each man, we have the possibility of awakening from our stupefaction. [8] What effects the awakening is not obedience, faith, or good works, but knowledge. [9] Before the awakening, men undergo troubled dreams. [10] Man does not attain the knowledge that awakens him from these dreams by cognition but through revelatory experience, and this knowledge is not information but a modification of the sensate being. [11] The awakening (i.e., the salvation) of any individual is a cosmic event. [12] Since the effort is to restore the wholeness and unity of the Godhead, active rebellion against the moral law of the Old Testament is enjoined upon every man." The general structure of gnosticism can then be extrapolated. "It is difficult indeed to recognize Gnostic speculations which present such widely differing phenotypical surfaces as the Evangelium Veritatis, attributed to the Valentinian circle... and the Hegelian system as individuals of the same species... The essential core [of gnosticism despite superficial differences] is the enterprise of returning the pneuma in man from its state of alienation in the cosmos to the divine pneuma of the Beyond through action based on knowledge. Moreover, the god of the Beyond to whom the Gnostic speculator wants to return must be identical, not with the creator-god but with the god of the creative tension 'before there was a cosmos.' The essential core, then, can be imaginatively expanded by a variety of symbolisms, as for instance by the precreational psychodrama in the Valentinian speculations. The psychodrama relates the fall in the divinity, employing for the purpose a formidable apparatus of figures; the divine Pleroma and the Syzygies, the Ogdoads, Decads, and Dodecads of Aeons, a higher and a lower Sophia, a Demiurge, a Cosmocrator, and a pleromatic Savior."5 (Voegelin, Order and History, vol. 4, The Ecumenic Age, p. 21) Or again, "the experience of the world as an alien place from which man must escape to his original world [this is the condition to be negated by salvation]. 'Gnosis' [the means for salvation], as related by Clement of Alexandria, is: '...the knowledge of who we were and what we became, or where we were and whereinto we have been flung, or whereto we are hastening and where from we are redeemed, of what birth is an what rebirth.'... Ancient gnosticism sought deliverance by faith in the 'hidden' God as opposed to the evil God of this world." (For the following refer to Bill McCain's outline of Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.) This is still the pursuit of the spiritual meaning of life within the spiritual meaning of history. The objections to Voegelin's identification of the soteriological social movements as gnostic result mainly from this, that too many seem to fit into this general structure of gnosticism thus extrapolated (the original perfect Oneness, creation of the temporo-spatial world as an accident, the result of some evil or ignorance due to distancing away from the divine Original, human alienation in this world, and the negation of this "fall" through anamnesis of a secret knowledge of the divine) that, absurdly, everything in Western modernity becomes "gnostic": in fact the entire mentality of (Western) modernity is "gnostic", not just Marxism and the like but even the ordinary reliance on technology. But there is a reason for this: this is because the general structure of gnosticism, once extrapolated out of its phenotypic (mythic) variants, is in fact just the universal structure of salvational pursuit (in the second mode), so that all philosophies, from Platonism, through Hinduism, Buddhism, to even Daoism (if the lack of an "otherworldly" metaphysical imagination among the Daoists and the Chinese in general be ignored), can be called "gnostic". In fact, this book, The Path toward Scientific Enlightenment, is "gnostic". The confusion seems to arise from the failure to distinguish between the first and the second mode of salvation (c.f. Synopsis of the Scientific Enlightenment Proper.) The testamental religions, because they are the only first modes of salvation among the sea of the second modes (which all philosophies are) and inadequate as such, have always had within them the tendencies, through mysticisms and gnosticisms, to transit into the second mode. But then the essence of the soteriological social movements (intraworldly redemption) lies in the perversion of this salvational pursuit, this pursuit of the spiritual meaning of life into that of the material meaning of life; that is, the structure remaining the same, the goal -- salvation -- is no longer the negation of the limited thermodynamic condition of existence through the non-limited existence in Eternity, but "immanentized" into a life of happy consumption and defecation that somehow satisfies the human spiritual longing, i.e. does not "alienate".6 That "the structure remains the same" means then that the social world of human existence has fallen, through some evil acts or accidents, from an original social paradise of earthly living (i.e. production and consumption), and now a special elite appears with just the secret and right knowledge as to how the fallenness has occurred and how to transform this alienated social world through their revolutionary action in order to re-establish the earthly paradise. The secret of success of modern bio-power lies in this perversion of the spiritual into the material, deceiving the spiritually exhausted Westerners to mistakenly substitute the goal of the material meaning of life (unalienated, "holistic" and yet luxurious living) for the spiritual meaning of life (salvation through the return to the Eternal source of being). The reason why Western modernity can be called "gnostic" is then simply because its essence lies in the perverse substitution of the material conditions of life for the content of salvational pursuit, with the added historical sensibility inherited from Christianity. This is perversion because the very condition of earthly existence to be negated in the salvational pursuit has become its goal: ersatz religions.

"Modern gnosticism [soteriological social movements] seeks deliverance by various means: [1] Through assumption of an absolute spirit which proceeds from alienation to consciousness of itself. [Hegel; thus the transitional stage in the immanentization or 'materialization' of the spiritual meaning of life;] [2] Through assumption of a dialectical-material process of nature which leads from the alienation resulting from private property and belief in God to the freedom of a fully human existence. [Marx; the transition completed;] [3] Through assumption of a will of nature which transforms man into superman [Nietzsche, already perversion, further perverted into Nazism]." (McCain, ibid.) The general structure of cultural feminism is exactly identical with that of gnosticism. "The gnostic's soul (psyche) [the male-identified self in women] belongs to the order of the world. His [her] spirit (pneuma) impels him [her] toward deliverance [the female feeling alienated from herself in all her male- or husband-oriented daily routines, such as housework]. The task, pursued in many different ways, is the destruction of the old world (which means dissolving the soul) [the destruction of patriarchy outside through revolution and of the male-identified self inside through consciousness-raising] and passage to the new world (which requires strengthening the powers of the spirit [the true, woman-identified, feminine self]). The instrument of salvation is knowledge (gnosis) [the liberation of the repressed feminine, hitherto inaccessed, self, the 'electrifying' in M. Fuller] by which the soul is disentangled from the world [patriarchy]." (McCain)

The motivational reason remains, of course, the "revolt against God" after the disappointment and spiritual exhaustion with Christianity.

Hegel sets the tone: "Hegel [is] the greatest of the speculative gnostics. Subsuming philosophy under an idea of progress, he wanted to replace 'love of knowledge' (= philosophy) with 'actual knowledge' (= gnosis). Compare Socrates, who said that actual knowledge is confined to God and that a human thinker is at best philosophos and a lover of God. Hegel changes the meaning of the words. Philosophy is man's endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it [this correctly characterizes philosophy as it was originally, i.e. the fulfillment of the functional perspective]. [Deformed, immanentized g]nosis desires dominion over being and tries to get this by constructing systems, a gnostic form of reasoning. But being lies beyond human grasp. Hegel declares being to be both substance and subject and therefore within the grasp of the apprehending subject. He justifies the system circularly and does not permit questions." (McCain)

Hence the goal and structure of the soteriological ideologies: "Gnostic speculation is the symbolic expression of an anticipation of salvation in which the power of being replaces the power of God and the parousia ('presence') of being, the Parousia of Christ..." This is the essence of the perversion, by power, of the spiritual pursuit into the material, salvation becoming not eternal life with God but earthly life of happy "living" (consumption, etc.) with fellow human beings and life forms. "Parousianism: the expectation of deliverance from evil through the advent of immanent being." (McCain) Evil has ceased to be the earthly existence as such, i.e. as necessarily evil or sinful, but merely an earthly existence corrupted by some earthly element, whether private property, mal-breeding resulting in racial chaos, or male domination. "Creating a new world requires destruction of both the 'givenness' of the order of being and of its transcendent origin. Divine being is explained as human invention." (Ibid.) Hence the ideologies, although of Christian lineage, invariably become either atheistic (Marxism) or anti-Christian (Aryanism and feminism). Instead: "The murder of God requires a new god: the superman" or the electrifying and/or epistemologically synthetic Superwoman. "God is a projection of man into a supernatural world. Man becomes superman by reabsorbing this projection." (Ibid.) Now the vacuum left by the exhaustion of spiritual faith has been re-filled by: 1. gnostic salvation of the immanent (earthly) world and the reconstitution of the self as the abandoning God (or Christ). Hence the "ersatz religions": progressivism, positivism, Marxism, communism, fascism, national socialism, and (cultural) feminism. Note that the altruism filling these new "religions" is "the secular-immanent substitute for 'love'. The conception of brotherhood without a father." "The gnostic attitude: 1. dissatisfaction. 2. belief that the world is poorly organized (as opposed to believing that the world is good but that human beings are inadequate [this is the Christian view which, however, I contest later]). 3. belief that salvation from the evil of the world is possible. 4. belief that therefore the order of being will have to be changed (as opposed to the Christian belief that the world will remain as is and salvation is [gained] in grace through death). 5. belief that changing the order of being is within human ability. 6. belief that the task is to seek out the method of altering reality. The [modern, secular, or immanent] gnostic [ie. the soteriological world-reformer] is the prophet proclaiming this knowledge." (McCain)

"A sampling of gnostic symbolisms. The first are modifications of the Christian idea of perfection. Its components (from Ernst Troltsch): [1] teleological: movement toward a goal beyond life; the 'sanctification of life'; the 'pilgrim's progress'. [2] axiological: the goal of ultimate perfection. The gnostic derivations can immanentize either or both of these components. The variations: [1] teleological: progressivism. Forward movement in the world to a goal that need not be very clear. Kant, Condorcet [& liberal feminism]. [2] axiological: achievement of a state of perfection in the world. Utopia or just the negation of some known evil. Vague on the means of achieving the goal. Both components immanentized together: activist mysticism. Comte and Marx. Clarity of means and goals. [Thus cultural feminism]." (McCain)

Of Christian lineage, the "gnostics" always have a historical sensibility. To go back to the "complex of symbols [which] was created in the speculations on history by Joachim of Flora in the 12th century. Contrary to Augustine, who believed the current age of the world was the sixth and last, Joachim proposed three ages: [1] the Father: from the Creation to the birth of Christ. [2] the Son: from Christ to 1260. [3] the Holy Spirit: the period after (in which we see the first suggestion of a post-Christian time). The symbols of Joachitic speculation: 1 The Third Realm: the last age of the world to be one of fulfillment." David Noble's summary of these three, "each representing an element of the trinity. The first stage, that of the Father, was the ordo conjugatorum, initiated by Adam and symbolized by the family and the married state. The second, that of the Son, was the ordo clericum, initiated by Christ and embodied by the priesthood. The third and final stage of history, that of the Holy Spirit, was the ordo monachorum, initiated by St. Benedict and represented by the monk. This third stage, a period of transition which Joachim believed was in its final phase of millennial preparation, was an age marked by the appearance of the viri spirituales, the spiritual men who constituted the saintly vanguard of redeemed humanity... [T]hese were 'the order of monks to whom the last great times are given.' Through spiritual contemplation and preaching, they would bring about a general spiritual illumination and release mankind from its misery." (Ibid., p. 25) (The cultural feminists were then the last of the "orders of monks".) This became the Western historical sensibility: "the humanistic periodization of history into ancient, medieval and modern. Turgot and Comte: theological, metaphysical, positive science. Hegel: antiquity when only one was free, aristocratic times when few were free, modernity when all are free. Marx and Engels: primitive communism, bourgeois class society, communist classless society. Schelling on the phases of Christianity: Petrine, Pauline, Johannine." (Ibid.) Thus feminist: matriarchal utopia; patriarchal usurpation and patriarchy; the new feminized pacifist world (or Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Matriarchate" where "women ruled supreme"; "[a]fter this came the patriarchate in which men rule, and after it will come an androgynous period... called the 'Amphiarchate'"). It is at this time of the rise of secular gnostics that "such works as J. J. Bachofen's Das Mutterrecht (1861), Henry Maine's Ancient Law (1870), and Lewis H. Morgan's Ancient Society (1877)" appeared which posited the rule of the females as the primordial form of human collective preceding the patriarchal rule (Donovan, ibid., p. 38).7 "This is a deeply embedded symbol. After centuries of waiting for the Third Realm it is not surprising that some turn to direct action to achieve it. 2 The leader who appears at the beginning of the era and establishes it. Originally the god-possessed leaders, later the secular supermen. 3 A prophet as precursor to the leader of each age. A new type: the intellectual who knows the formula for salvation and who can predict the future. 4 The community of spiritually autonomous persons. Men without the support and mediation of institutions. Monks without the Church. The extinction of the state. Symbolism for communism and democracy." (McCain) The final supraorganismic integration. This is why power favors such romanticistic ideologies.

At bottom, "The psychological motivations of gnostic thinkers. Will to power, but the triumph is a fantasy. The psychic gain: [1] certainty about the meaning of existence; [2] knowledge of the future; [3] creation of a basis for action. Why do men feel uncertain about these matters? The derivations from the Christian idea of perfection indicate insecurity about it. All certainty of divine, transcendent being hangs on a very thin thread of faith. Not all men have the spiritual stamina to keep this faith. The greater the success of Christianity, the greater the number of men who will be susceptible to the immanentizing shortcut." (McCain)

Here is reached the key point. And this we are to understand. To start with, another ground for the objection of the modern religiously gnostics to the characterization of the soteriological social reformers as gnostics is that none of the latter necessarily knew anything about gnosticism (C.f. Hoeller, ibid.). The rise of the secular gnostics was the result, not of influence of past gnosticism, but of social and spiritual circumstances in the modern West (i.e. during the time of the formation of the nation-states) which were similar to those surrounding the rise of gnosticism in the time of ecumenic empires. Asking the readers to ignore the claimed ancestry of gnostics (e.g. not from Valentinus or Basilides but John), Voegelin dives into the historical genesis of gnosticism in "the interaction between expansion of empire and differentiation of consciousness. In pragmatic history, Gnosticism arises from 6 centuries of imperial expansion and civilizational destruction. The ecumenic expansion of the Persians, of Alexander and his successors, and ultimately of the Romans destroys the cosmological empires of the Ancient Near East; and the ecumenic empires destroy each other down to the Roman victory. Nor do Israel and Hellas, the societies in which the pneumatic and noetic illuminations occur, escape victimization by the process. This pragmatic impact of conquest on the traditional forms of existence in society is abrupt; and its abruptness is not matched by an equally sudden spiritual response to the situation. The divine authority of the older symbols is impaired when the societies whose reality of order they express lose their political independence, while the new imperial order has, at least initially, no more than the authority of power. Hence, the spiritual and intellectual lives of the peoples exposed to the events are in danger of separating from the reality of socially ordered existence. Society and the cosmos of which society is a part tend to be experienced as a sphere of disorder, so that the sphere of order in reality contracts to personal existence in tension toward the divine Beyond. The area of reality that can be experienced as divinely ordered thus suffers a severe diminution..." (The Ecumenic Age, p. 22)

"This contraction of divine order to personal existence [also a path toward the transition of the first mode to the second mode of salvation], however, must not be misunderstood as a differentiation of consciousness. On the contrary, the image of order in reality becomes deformed, because the intracosmic gods of the ethnic cultures prove inadequate to the task of symbolizing the supraethnic humanity of an imperial society, while the differentiation that would supply the pragmatic ecumenicity imposed by the empires with the spiritual consciousness of universal humanity does not occur... [the] response [of populations of the intercivilizational area] has to find forms intermediate between the truth of the cosmos and the truth of existence. In Babylon and Egypt, cosmological piety and the cult of the old gods survive the impact of the Persian and Greek conquests, as in the Greek city-states the cult of the polis gods survives the Roman conquest; and the conquerors in their turn do what they can to support their ecumenic conquest by the sanction of high-gods judiciously selected from the old gods or newly created for the purpose. In the vacuum of personal order left by this equitable distribution of social pieties, then, the Greek mystery religions spread interculturally as the new form of soteriological order in personal existence. Nevertheless, these adaptations of spirituality in cosmological form to the ecumenic situation did not satisfy everybody. As the Gnostic outburst proves, there must have existed thinkers and groups in the multicivilizational empires who sensed the makeshift character of the adaptations. Behind the facade of Hellenistic syncretism, profounder changes in man's understanding of his humanity were in the making."

"The causes and structure of the outburst of Gnosticism will remain a puzzle as long as one does not clearly discern the variety of genetic factors adumbrated: the disordering effect of imperial expansion; the contraction of divine order in reality to the sphere of personal existence; the difficulties of expressing, in the absence of an adequate pneumatic differentiation, an anti-cosmic contraction with the pro-cosmic means of the cosmological gods; the gradual articulation of anti-cosmism in Israelite-Judaic history; the catalytic effect of the epiphany of Christ; and the paradoxical desire, stemming from the noetic differentiation of philosophy, to bring the disorder of reality, as well as the salvation from it, into the form of a well-ordered, intelligible system...."

"Above all, the anti-cosmism of the Gnostic movement is not a deformation of Christianity, for the Gnostic distortion of reality through the contraction of divine order into the Beyond of consciousness precedes the Christian pneumatic differentiation. The error of exaggerating the catalytic function of Christianity into a dependence of Gnosticism on Christianity has been induced by the struggle of the Patres against Gnosticism as a Christian heresy. Regarding the pre-Christian growth of anti-cosmic consciousness, then, the prehistory of the essential core in Gnosticism can be more clearly discerned in the Israelite-Judaic than in any other area of the multicivilizational empires." (Ibid., p. 21 - 3) We do not share Voegelin's view of gnosticism as "unhealthy", so to speak, but only his condemnation of the modern social and political ideologies mimicking the gnostics (or rather, the salvational pursuits in general within the Christian historicity). The anti-cosmism of the gnostics we see as simply the necessary component of any salvational pursuits, as even Plato and certainly the Buddhists can be said to be anti-cosmic. This has not been recognized because, it seems, gnosticism had grown out within the Near Eastern context where mythic narrative (of a sequence of events involving things) remained the main means for the expression of the experience of transcendence, and therefore of the gnostics as well, unlike philosophies. The "essential core" of gnosticism is hence not something particular, but universal, and not something particularly unhealthy. It is its Christian matrix which failed to reach its ultimate conclusion in the rejection of the temporal world altogether.

The rise of the "earthly gnostics" is due to the similar contraction of the order of reality into the inner self. Just as the rise of the religious (and so authentic) gnostics in the ecumenic age can be said to result from the disappointment with, due to falsification of, whatever mythic religiousness that was the background, the members of the Western Christendom have had to wrestle with the gradual falsification of Christianity by reality. The testamental religiousness was experience of transcendence expressed in myth, i.e. narrative of events involving things or process of things. What the originators really "believed" when narrating the myth is another topic. (See Introduction B. of Scientific Enlightenment Proper.) With the transition to the structural perspective and the rise of empirical sciences, the Biblical myth was literalized into a scientific or history textbook. As the knowledge of reality expanded through science and the course of history unfolded, concurrent with the receding from memory of the experience of transcendence (or spirituality) that motivated the formation of the Biblical myth, the literal text of the testaments was progressively being falsified. The unfolding of history had centuries after centuries diminished the possibility and reality of the Second Coming; this has already been mentioned. The structure of the world revealed by sciences had at the same time made the literal meaning of Biblical myths (whether relating to creation, early history of the earth, miracles or resurrection) less and less believable. At this point the Christendom diverged into two directions: either by denying reality altogether through fundamentalist faith or by becoming atheist and creating substitute, earthly religions of the same structure to fill the vacuum of spiritual deprivation.8 Note that at the same time the Europeans were creating a new world-ecumene through colonialism. The previous order of reality -- geocentrism, the supranaturalism of the cosmos as created and maintained by a transcendent God, Biblical history limited to the Near Eastern-Meditarreannean "world", and saeculum senescens -- had disintegrated in consequence of the astronomical discovery of the solar system, the discovery of other peoples, other "worlds", and the continuation and enlargement of world-history without Christ at the end. The accumulation of worldly power did not save the builders of the new (colonial) ecumene from spiritual exhaustion and the experience of the world as alien -- which was compounded by the radical change of life-styles and conditions during the formation of the nation-states. Alienation, contraction of divine order to the personal, and more importantly, the (by now) unbelievability of this divine order thus resulted in the reformulation of salvation as earthly salvation through gnosis of this world. This was the easier path, the short cut: this world was real, a certainty; the Kingdom of God at the end of history was not. The "cunning of Reason" then took effect: the earthly salvational efforts of the "modern gnostics" became the most effective instrument of power for supraorganismic formation at the next level.

The immanentization of the Christian eschaton has in fact been the trend of the history of Christianity in the West, and the soteriological social and political ideologies are only its logical conclusion or the completion of the process. The many products of Reformation -- such as Calvinism or Puritanism -- are midway, transitional stages between the original Christianity as salvational pursuit and its final ersatz such as Marxism, Aryanism, and feminism. The transition from "it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle" of the original Christianity to "making good living on earth is glorification of God in heaven" of the Protestant ethic already indicates the path of immanentization which is the meaning of "intraworldly asceticism" of Max Weber to be examined later. The Reformation thus seems to have been a deformation. The Puritans came to America to establish a earthly paradise while waiting for the coming of the divine paradise.

A quick note before we leave the discussion of historical sensibility. The firmness of our belief in the fundamental untenability in any revolutions or utopian or progressive movements, of our belief in a history that can only get worse to result in the extinction of the human race entière is rooted in this, that history simply makes sense to us in this other way. Our historical sensibility that underlies our apprehension of supraorgainismic integration and the augmentation of its metabolism and the soteriological social ideologies that are instruments for this is provided by an enlightened but common-sense examination of the consequences of syntropy-increase within the supraorganism, i.e. the loss of Person's freedom and the entropy-increase within the environment.


1. The background of all this, the transition between the Christian historical sensibility and that of what are to be called the "soteriological socio-political ideologies" or "intraworldly messianism", i.e. the matrix for the later, is the general trend of the immanentization of the theological history which forms parts of what Leonard Krieger has called the "nineteenth century historical coherence" in his Time's Reason (chapter 3). "Historical coherence" is therefore his term for the master key to history. He sees this 19th century trend as spun around two poles, Hegel's dealing with world-history as events (res gestum) leading to the perfect state, and Comte's history of consciousness leading from the theological through the metaphysical to the perfect mind of the positivist (res cogitum, so to speak). Then "[b]etween such avowed philosophers of history as Hegel and Comte and the practicing historians who detached history from philosophy and established it as an independent branch of knowledge in the 19th century [we may call these the facts-narrators, the dominant trend of historiography in academia today] was an intermediate level of historical theorists who were at once more earthly and more empirical than their doctrinaire mentors. Correspondingly, these theorists thought in terms of history rather than the philosophy of history, but they nevertheless addressed themselves to historical coherence and derived its principles from a constant nature and logic outside of history." (p. 68) Here Krieger means Marx and Engels. With Hegel he assimilates Schelling. I order the trend of historical coherence or sensibility differently; since with Hegel and Schelling God still plays some sort of a role in the fulfillment of history, they are considered here as transitional in the trend of immanentization of Christian historical sensibility whose end comprises Marxism, Aryanism, and cultural feminism, while the facts-narrators represent the dissolution of Christian historical sensibility altogether, parallel with the rise of analytic philosophy in the English-speaking world.

2. Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Foundation may be summarized (trans. by John Lees, N.Y. 1968; the German text on line at hschamberlain.net. Note this otherwise comprehensive website seems to have racist associations). The Roman Empire is (incorrectly) identified as having irrevocably shifted the center of world-history from Asia to the West ("Rom hatte den Schwerpunkt der Civilization nach Westen verlegt..." p. 255; presumably the Eastern Ecumene did not enter his mind). The "Fall" (the creation in the "gnostic" sense) is the fall of the Roman Empire, with the "race-chaos" (Voelkerchaos) of the intermingling of races reigning and not one pure race capable of inheriting the legacy of Rome. Except the Jews, who survived as a pure race, and as well the Teuton (Germanen), these two exact opposite personalities of world-history standing face to face as players of the new world-history. Note Chamberlain's more complex evaluation of the Jews: "Gewisse Historiker des 19. Jahrhunderts, sogar ein geistig so bedeutender wie Graf Gobineau, haben die Ansicht vertreten, das Judentum wirkte stets lediglich aufloesend auf aller Voelker. Ich kann diese Ueberzeugung nicht teilen." (p. 257) On the contrary, within the race-chaos of the fallen Empire: "Es befoerderte nicht die allgemeine Aufloesung, im Gegenteil, es gebot ihr Einhalt" (p. 258) as a result of its law-like religiousness which demanded obedience and not creative thinking, and its maintenance of racial purity. But the Teutons were awakening to their special mission of creating a new (best) world out of this chaos: "... [Chamberlain's] picture of civilization which saw in the German the savior and therefore the leading power of the world. The basis of German greatness was the Aryan race, which drew unto itself all the qualities of creativity and organizational genius that other races lacked... this German ideology as a way out of the dilemmas of modernity." (George L. Mosse's introduction, p. vi - vii) "[B]ut for the Teuton everlasting night would have settled upon the world; but for the unceasing opposition of the non-Teutonic peoples, but for that unrelenting hostility to everything Teutonic which has not yet died down among the racial chaos which has never been exterminated, we should have reached a stage of culture quite different from that witnessed by the 19th century." (p. xxx) The special qualities of the Teutons which made them the chosen saviors are most embodied in their religiosity, founded (in the European context) by Luther in opposition to its Jewish-Catholic matrix -- and they are, of all races, the most craving after religiousness: "Chamberlain's religion was the mysterious union of musical ecstasy, worship of nature, and the German heritage. Such a religion was for Aryans only. Christ himself became... the archetype of this faith -- a non-Jewish Christ who, as an Aryan, reacted against supposed Jewish formalism and hardheaded rationalism. The Foundations... is the measuring rod against which the supposedly materialistic Greeks and Jews are measured in the light of history." (Mosse, p. viii) Note the virtual identity between this and the view of cultural feminism regarding women's savior status and their special qualities: the intuitive, nature-oriented esctaticity revolting against the destructive analyticity and rationalism of men which are the status quo. As always, those who hate each other the most are revealed as brothers and sisters under the skin. The contemporary mutual antagonism between the white supremacists who draw their inspirations from such racist ideologue as Chamberlain and the feminists should not distract us from their commonality: it is a phenomenon of competition for the position of the replacement of Christ among potential candidates when Christ himself is not returning. The awakening of the Aryans to their mission began to take shape, as Chamberlain saw it, around 1200s, when the outline of the world they were about to create and the expressions of their special character emerged: the Magna Carta, reflecting their love of individual freedom and personal security; the disappearance of slavery; the prefiguration of Aryan religiousness by, e.g. Francis of Assisi who "call[ed] in question the tyranny of the Church as of State, and deal[ed] a death-blow to the despotism of money... [A]fter Peter Abelard (d. 1142) had unconsciously defended the Indo-European conception of religion against the Semitic, especially by emphasizing the symbolic character of all religious ideas, two orthodox schoolmen, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scott, made in the 13th century an admission which was just as dangerous for the Church dogma by conceding... the right of existence to a philosophy which differed from theology." (p. xxxiii - xxxiv) The foundations of modern sciences were also laid at this time.

The proletariats for Marx and Engels of course were also possessed of special qualities to which the upper classes were denied access. "The rise of such a proletariat, flung into a veritable abyss of misery at this critical stage of its life... was the moment to demonstrate the whole of history in terms of evolution and the possession of the means of production, framed and determined by class struggles, and to cry out to [them]: 'You, the outcasts, are the last and final stage of this evolution, yours is the task of bringing it to an end. Organize yourselves politically, economically and spiritually and then, by winning political power, you will abolish all classes in the common ownership of production. You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to win! Unite!" (Alfred Weber, Farewell to European History, p. 70) The cultural feminists, it seems, have more in common, in terms of "qualities", with the Aryanists, but more so with the Marxist proletariats in terms of social position. This is probably why feminists get along with Marxists but never with Aryanists.

3. Utopianism, whether racial, classless, or matriarchal/ androgynous utopia, can be seen to be the social analogue to medieval alchemy. "The search for the Philosopher's Stone implies belief in the mutability of metals through natural or artificial means; in the Summa Perfectionis, a work probably of early 14th century, we meet the question 'Nature perfects metals in a thousand years; but how can you in your artifice of transmutation live a thousand years, seeing that you are scarcely able to extend your life to a hundred?' To this the answer is given: 'What nature cannot perfect in a very long space of time, that we complete in a short space by our artifice: for art can in many things supply the defect of Nature.' Implicit in this... is the ancient notion that metals grew imperceptibly slow within the earth towards the state of perfection which is gold. If the alchemist could hasten what we might term the 'gestatory period' of gold, then he would be performing an obstetric act which essentially asserted his control over Time. And the tool with which he can accomplish his task is the Philosopher's Stone -- 'a certain pure matter', said Arnold of Villanova, 'which, being discovered and brought by art to perfection, converts to itself proportionately all imperfect bodies that it touches.'.. illam solam perfectam invenimus, quae postquam per nostrum magisterium est ad veram fusionem deducta, omnia quae tangit ducit ad verissimum complementum." (Harry J. Sheppard, "European Alchemy in the Context of a Universal Definition", in Die Alchemie in der europaeishen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte, p. 13) The forcing of the Parousia into history by the soteriological ideologues is the artificial and hastened version of the perfection of the world that has been an undelivered promise. The analogy with cultural feminism as with the Aryanists is obvious. The cultural feminist perfects herself, with other women in isolation from men, by finding her inner feminine hitherto suppressed (illam solam perfectam, quae est ad veram fusionem deducta), and converts the corrupted world to her perfection by touching it (omnia quae tangit ducit ad verissimum complementum). The similarity is not surprising if one recognizes that alchemy forms part of the human salvational pursuit and that cultural feminism, as a soteriological social ideology, is a version of the perversion of salvational pursuit, the expression of the pursuit for the material meaning of life in terms of the structure of the pursuit for the spiritual meaning of life.

4. A New Catechism (1967; trans. of De Nieuwe Katechismus) notes "humanism" as the beginning or most general form of intraworldly redemption -- the substitution of otherworldly redemption for redemption in this world due to the loss of faith in that otherworld: "...in our part of the world, apart from Christianity, a quite different attitude has developed to pain and misery, under the name of 'humanism'. The existence of God is neither denied nor affirmed. But it is said to be too uncertain to be used as a basic principle for one's life. Humanity must rely on itself to attain happiness and goodness [in this life; not the eternal bliss of the soul in the realm of eternity!]. Misery and suffering must be attacked with all the means at man's disposal, science, technology and intelligence..." (p. 273) Eternal salvation degenerates to increasing living standard and ensuring psychological health, like Foucault's "intraworldly salvation" seen earlier. Humanism is thus just capitalist-consumerist propaganda masquerading as a substitute for religion, like the triad of Marxism, Aryanism, and cultural feminism which have developed from this general matrix called humanism.

This "Catholic faith for adults" also summarizes Marxism very well. "One very distinctive form of western humanism is Marxism. It claims explicitly to be a doctrine of deliverance or redemption... Like Buddha, Marx was moved by the sight of human misery... Unlike the Buddha, Marx did not seek deliverance in individual detachment, impassibility or dissolution; nor in the effort to 'go on being just a man', like the humanist. He saw deliverance in a very definite material process, in a return to the original relationship of man to the work of his hands. In early times, in the state of nature, man remained in possession of his product. He had put 'himself' into his work, and so lost himself in it. But he retained the use and enjoyment of it, and so he held on to himself. As far as that was concerned, he was not alienated from himself. But with the growth of civilization, and the resulting mechanization and division of labour, a new condition arose. Some men own immense means of production on which others labour. The capitalist grow richer and richer. He owns things which he did not make. His own personal self is absorbed in these things, which are extension of his person. His own person then becomes a sort of an alien thing. He becomes a stranger to his human self. He is 'alienated'. The exploited worker becomes just as alienated, and in a still more painful way. He puts himself into the work of his hands. If he could hold onto his produce, he could remain himself. But he must surrender it -- receiving less for it than it is worth. So the worker is alienated." When the workers can no longer tolerate this, they take over through violent revolution the means of production which are then socialized. "A society will then be formed which will be a city of salvation, in which the state of nature will be restored. Men will once more enjoy the work of their own hands... Each man will do the work which he wants to do: '... And this makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow. In the morning I can fish, in the afternoon hunt, in the evening breed cattle and also criticize food, without being a hunter, fisherman, livestock farmer or critic, but just as I wish to be' (Deutsche Ideologie)." (p. 274 - 5) Notice the substitution of worldly for originally religious conditions: man's alienation from God becomes man's alienation from himself; God's creation of man in His image becomes man's production as an extension of himself. Man becomes God and his production for the sake of maintenance of his metabolism becomes the most holy thing.

This trend of humanism -- the substitution of man for God and daily life-processes (production, metabolism) for the eternal salvation of the soul -- was first set going by Feuerbach (Marx's "teacher") in his The Essence of Christianity. Julian Roberts, in German Philosophy, summarizes: "Religion was merely a misappropriation of ideals which should, rightly, belong to those who worked to produce them -- i.e. humanity itself... [Feuerbach's] guiding motive was to secularize what the theologians were wrongly withholding from the community... Once we had recognized that 'God' was nothing but our 'alienated self' (entaeussertes Selbst)... [we can] secularize religion's binding power... and... put it to work in the conscious building of a new, humane society... Feuerbach's reading of alienation was very similar to the accounts Freud later produced of projection and repression in the psyche. God was a projection of those elements we were unable or unwilling to recognize in ourselves... Whether God was a joyful projection or a signal of demoralized repression, the task of humanity was to reclaim this lost substance. Feuerbach saw the development of religions as a historical progression; each succeeding one captured for humanity some of the elements that its predecessor had objectified in the sky... 'Humanity transfers its substance outside itself before it comes to find that substance within itself'. The final stage in this progress... would be a totally secular culture which had incorporated all the values and aspirations previously ossified in religion." (p. 188 - 9) This perfect society always ends up being a harmonious state with economic production as the only meaning of life: hence intraworldly redemption is really just propaganda for mass-economy (whether capitalism or socialism).

5. David Brons summarizes Valentinus' theology: first, God, the infinite and indescribable, "encompasses all things without being encompassed." Then the Son. "The origin of the universe is described as a process of emanation from the Godhead. The male and female aspects of the Father, acting in conjunction, manifested themselves in the Son... The Son manifests himself in 26 spiritual entities or Aeons arranged into male-female pairs [in concentric circles]... Together they constitute the Fullness (pleroma) of the Godhead." The Fall. "[These Aeons] do not know the one who brought them into being. The Aeons sensed that they were incomplete and longed to know their origin.... [Then o]n behalf of the whole Fullness, [Sophia, the youngest of the Aeons and the innermost of the concentric circles] took up the quest to know the supreme Parent. She attempted to know him by thinking alone, something... impossible. As a result, she became separated from her consort and fell into a state of deficiency and suffering. Through the power of Limit, Sophia was divided in two. Her higher part was returned to her consort but her lower part was separated from the Fullness into a lower realm along with the deficiency and suffering. This lower realm is identical with the physical world... The outermost sphere which encompasses the Son is where the Father (Depth and Silence) is. There is a boundary or Limit between God and the Fullness. There is a second boundary or Limit between the Fullness and the deficiency. Just as the Fullness is a product of the Godhead and lies within it, so also the realm of deficiency is a product of the Fullness and lies within it. The deficiency arose as result of ignorance and it will be dissolved through knowledge (gnosis). Through the mediation of the Son, the Aeons within the Fullness were given knowledge (gnosis) of God and received rest. All of the Aeons then joined together in celebration and became completely integrated into the personality of the Son. The reintegrated Son is also called the Savior. He is destined to be the male partner or bridegroom of the fallen Sophia." The Son saves lower Sophia from ignorance and the suffering consequent upon it. But "the ignorance was not fully dissipated... For this purpose, the creation of the material world was necessary. The lower Sophia and the Savior secretly influenced the Craftsman [Demiurge] to create the material world in the image of the Fullness." Human beings were thus created. "The decisive event in the history of the world was the ministry of Jesus. He is the physical manifestation of the Son or Savior. Prior to his coming, the true God was unknown. Jesus came to bring knowledge (gnosis) to a suffering humanity that was desperately seeking God." In the same way, the feminist woman came to bring female intuition (gnosis) to a humanity suffering from male analyticity. "People bear fruit spiritually by attaining a state of mystical knowledge (gnosis) in which they are joined with their angel who accompanies the Savior. Awakened from the drunken stupor of ignorance, and freed of suffering, they recognize their true spiritual nature. This is the true resurrection from the dead, that is, from the death of ignorance. This resurrection does not take place in the afterlife. It must be experienced in the here and now. Valentinians describe the process of union with the divine in terms of a general eschatology that can be realized in the individual here and now. First the person spiritually ascends above the Craftsman and the lower powers to join Sophia, the Savior and their angel. Rejoicing with all of the saved, the person is joined with their angel and enters the Fullness. Such a person is 'in the world but not of it.' They have already attained a spiritual existence such that, for them, the world has become the Fullness."

Since we are concerned with the general structure of gnosticism and not its surface phenotype, we may as well include the Marcionites ("named after their founder, Marcion[, b]orn around 85 in Sinope, in Asia Minor.") among the gnostic trend. "Like Valentinus, Marcion constructed his own version of creation. He believed that there were two gods -- the God of the Old Testament and the God of Jesus. The first one is a Creator-God, whose nature is a mixture of righteous justice and harsh vindictiveness. The second one, the God of Jesus, is pure grace, love, and goodness. According to Marcion, these vastly different deities personify the contrast between law and grace found in Paul's letters. Marcion asserted that while the Creator-God was often depicted in the Old Testament as petty and wrathful, Jesus had revealed a God who was previously unknown and who would graciously free humanity from the stern demands of the Creator-God's laws. According to Marcion, because Christ came from the spiritual God, he could not really have been of the flesh. Otherwise he would have been part of the Old God's creation. Neither was he the fulfillment of the Old Testament's messianic promises." (After Jesus, the Triumph of Christianity, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 1992, p. 131 - 2) The general structure is the same: the Creation as Fall through evil or accident, wherein alienation is experienced, and salvation from this alienation through return to the God of pre-Creation.

6. Remember that with the historical materialism of Marx the motor of history is the human relations of production. (In this sense it is really similar to this thermodynamic interpretation of [the material meaning of] history.) And the salvation is: "Let us picture to ourselves, a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labour-power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labour-power of the community... Everything produced by him was exclusively the result of his own personal labour, and therefore simply an object of use for himself." (Serge L. Levitsky's introduction to Das kapital, condensed, Gateway Edition, 1965, p. 59) Now the original "holistic" relation with the products of one's production and for one's consumption had been restored. That salvation was no more than a "holistic" life of production, consumption, and defecation was the index of the spiritual depravity of the Marxist ideology. The Lebensraum after which the Nazis sought was similarly just a socialist earthly paradise where a pure race consumed and defecated together in harmony. The utopia that cultural feminists sought was also just this, a pacifist world where everyone consumed, defecated, and reproduced in a loving atmosphere modelled on a mother's lovingly looking after children's consumption and defecation. Gone is the eternal salvation of one's soul.

7. These nostalgic trends in anthropology had influenced such cultural feminists of the era as Elizabeth Cady Stanton ("The Matriarchate") and Matilda Joslyn Gage (Women, Church and State: A Historical Account of the Status of Women through the Christian Ages; With Reminiscences of the Matriarchate, 1893); but also Friedrich Engels' Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigentums und des Staats). Stanton's Matriarchate corresponds to the unity of the Godhead before the creation of the world (the Fall), a period when women were "'arbiters of their own destiny, the protectors of their children, the acknowledged builders of all there was of home life, religion, and... of government.' Such a society reflected the values and concerns of the women who created it. All the early accomplishments of civilization were effected by mothers concerned about protecting and nourishing their children: homes, early agriculture, early medicine, and domestication of animals. Women also encouraged social behavior that made the community cohere; these included 'the arts of peace, and the sentiments of kinship.' 'The necessities of motherhood were the real source of all the earliest attempts at civilization.'.. '[At the time women] used that power for the best interests of humanity.' Were women once again permitted to rule, we would have 'a civilization at last in which ignorance, poverty, and crime will exist no more...' In short, Stanton saw the matriarchate as 'a golden age of peace and plenty' and the patriarchate as the 'source of tyranny, wars and [all] social ills.'" (Donovan, ibid., p. 38 - 9) Thus the Amphiachate is the return to the Origin-Bliss, as in gnosticism, Christian theology, or generally in all salvational pursuits.

As Donovan summarizes Engels: "Engels' central thesis in Origin... is that the prehistoric, communistic matriarchate was overturned or superseded at a particular moment by the patriarchate. Unlike the matriarchal feminists, however, Engels associates this transition with economic developments, in particular, with the establishment of private property and the emergence of commodities to be used for exchange and profit. Before the change, however, society was organized in matriarchal fashion into matrilineal gens, or extended families, that revolved around the mother. Engels here relied upon Morgan's research on the American Iroquois nation." This sort of matriarchate, as noted, appears frequently among the early Neolithic stages of the agriculturalists practicing the slash-and-burn type, to which both the Yang-Shao of China and the Iroquois belong, and which therefore do not count as primitive. "In the 'communistic household' of the gens 'most or all of the women belong to one and the same gens, while the men come from various gentes'. While there is a division of labor 'between the sexes' (the man hunts, the woman tends the house), within these spheres they hold equal power... The woman, however, appears to be a little more equal, because the material base of that society is centered in the woman-controlled gens. 'The housekeeping is communal among several... families. What is made and used in common is common property.' This 'communistic household... is the material foundation of that supremacy of the women which was general in primitive times'. Note that Engels is associating the realm of unalienated labor with women and the collective household. The first great change in the mode of production that led to the patriarchal takeover and to the development of alienation (or evil, if one whishes to associate Engels' theory with the Judeo-Christian myth of the fall, which seems invited) was the taming of animals. [Emphasis added. In the gnostic schema, this fall corresponds to the unwanted creation of the world of the flesh.] Because there was a greater supply of food and animal products when cattle were herded rather than hunted, materials were available for exchange. Cattle therefore became a commodity privately owned (by men) and exchanged for other goods. Other inventions increased production and this 'gave human labor power the capacity to produce a larger product than was necessary for its maintenance'... surplus value. To continue the growth of the system, however, more and cheaper labor was needed; this led to the use of slaves. Wives also acquired 'an exchange value' at this time. It was the male who benefited from this transition, for 'all the surplus... fell to [him]. The woman's domestic labor began to count less in comparison to the wealth he was accumulating... 'In proportion as wealth increased, it made the man's position... more important than the woman's'. 'Mother right, therefore, had to be overthrown.' This overthrow constituted 'the world historical defeat of the female sex.'" The fall completed. In general this is similar to the thermodynamic interpretation of the origin of women's oppression. "Because he now had property to bequeath, the man became more concerned with ensuring paternity. For this reason, and because of the economic shift in power, the man 'took command in the home also; the woman was degraded and reduced to servitude, she became the slave of his lust and a mere instrument for the production of children'... The family was thus transformed into a monogamous male-dominated nuclear unit. [Note the anachronicity: the primitive tribe moving directly to the nuclear family of the Western nation-state, skipping the extended, polygynous family of the classical patriarchy of the agrarian state; the same fault as the feminists commit.] 'The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.'... This is because main retains a stronger material base. It continues in the modern industrial family. With the development of the nuclear family came the privatization and the denigration of household labor '... the wife became the head servant, excluded from all participation in social production'. 'The modern individual family is founded on the open or concealed domestic slavery of the wife, and modern society is a mass composed of these individual families as its molecules'." (p. 73 - 5) Interestingly enough, "Engels' solution to the problem of women's oppression is to urge that women fully enter the public work force, thus eliminating their confinement to 'private, domestic labor,' which would be changed 'into a public industry'. Engels thus urged 'the abolition of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society'... All of this would be accomplished under communism." (Ibid., p. 75) This, of course, has been accomplished, not just in communist countries, but most perfectly in the capitalist-turned-consumerist American society (mobilization of women for public production of exchange values and the breakdown of the monogamous nuclear family into two economic units), because the real goal of liberation, and of the soteriological social ideologies as immanentization of Christianity, is not liberation or salvation but supraorganismic integration and the augmentation of its metabolism.

8. The theological philosophy, as Voegelin observes, had first diverged into the experientially dead propositional theology of Ockham and the mysticism of Meister Eckhart preservative of the experience of transcendence. Then from the propositional branch I trace the rise of religious fundamentalism.

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