Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Dominators and the Animal Body

The Dominators are a wealthy and powerful criminal class that have taken many forms and many names over the past eight thousand years. Through the millennia, they have assumed the roles of warrior kings and priests, emperors and royal families, corporations, politicians, nation-states, and churches.

Dominators have used a variety of weapons to terrorize and control people and plunder the earth’s resources, including terror and threat, weapons of physical violence, and weapons of mental and spiritual control. Weapons of mental and spiritual control include church doctrines, threats of hell and damnation, marginalization, ridicule, pathologizing, and demeaning, as well as the control of cultures and social institutions, and mythologies, the sciences, and what is acceptable as possible and real.

As the 21st century opens, Dominators control the social institutions of almost every culture on earth. They have achieved a virtual hegemony of power, using science, religion, politics, technology, economics, medicine, public education, food production, and every other human institution to control the earth and meet their own selfish ends. Today’s Dominators have claimed a monopoly on justified violence in a corporate trust of churches and states that claim loyalty to and garner ultimate justification from a variety of monotheistic gods.

The Dominators are a great adversary. Their power and reach is astonishing, greater than ever before in human history. The few remaining pockets of non-Dominator people, such as Tribal Animists, are being systematically destroyed. In every age throughout the reign of the Dominators, heroes and saints have risen up to challenge them, but they were quickly murdered or assimilated. These brave challengers have left us words of wisdom and stories about their lives of suffering, but not one of them has succeeded in transforming the Dominator culture. Even Jesus, to our shame, was assasinated and failed to prevent his church from falling into the hands of the Dominators.

Down on your knees, oh, Dominators, before the gods you have offended! Repent of your lust for power. Beg forgiveness of your fellow humans and be glad if they forgive you, because your gods will surely abandon you to the apocalypse that you have made.

The Dominators have woven a net of lies in which to catch our souls, some so fundamental as to disappear into our underlying structures of belief. For example, one lie is that the animal body is incapable of supporting soul or mind. If we accept this lie, then we become afraid to be who we are—animals—because we understand animals to be disensouled and therefore mortal, returning to dust. There is nothing we see in the animal that will survive death. But the disensouled animal body is a falsehood. Spirit permeates all things and spirit animates all things: animals, plants, rivers and rocks, stars and galaxies and grains of sand.

This Dominator lie and its subsequent rejection of the animal body has led to a host of spiritual and physical ills. Sexual dysfunction, abuse of our bodies in myriad ways, and lack of gratitude for the animal bodies we eat for food are three examples.

The animal body, however, is what we’ve got, and New Animists embrace it. Without the animal body, there is no life on earth, no pleasure, no sex, no salvation for the human species. The animal body is amazing, complex, delicately balanced, infinitely varied, altogether wonderful, and fiercely imbued with spirit. It is the greatest gift of our Creator, however you imagine our Creator to be, and we should rejoice and be glad in it, caring for it with loving tenderness.

Best wishes,

Please note: In this and any posting, I am not saying that my style of New Animism is the only way, or even the best way, but it’s sure as hell a good alternative to the Dominator way.


EmilyJean said...

I found this very informative website re: nature spirits.

I just glanced through it but plan to read all as I have time.

Sophia said...

Okay, here is a link to something I just read regarding the animal body versus the machine body, organicism and its shortfalls, resisting apocalypse, and feminism. It's called "The Cyborg Manifesto," by Donna Haraway. Believe me, it was hard for me to read both because of its difficult language and because of the challenges it presented to my worldview and sensibilities and desires. But, heck, if it makes you think twice about something, I say it's worth reading. It can only help us all make our arguments stronger with its demanding questions. Obviously, there is a lot about the natural world and human existence that it simply doesn't address; however, it does leave us with a sense of the myriad possibilities of perspective out that could lead us to liberation from the dominators.

Read the essay at: