Biblical framing of birth and deference to man as an inherent punishment or consequence of consciousness created a negative feedback loop. This compounded over time to cause the devouring mother archetype, or what I call the material void since it is expressed in both men and women in different ways. An act is only virtuous if chosen; thus, leading with a punishment does not allow for female forms of heroism but instead creates compounding reactions. The framing of reality shapes our perception and valuation of ourselves and others.
Divine punishment for gaining consciousness creates fear in the framing of reality, leading to guilt and a rejection of self. The mind of a slave is driven primarily by fear or greed. I argue here that these sentiments are fundamentally materialist and reductionist in nature. Fear arises from clinging to life because the slave believes his mind is a byproduct of lifeless matter. Greed is the slave’s tendency to be consumed by acquiring material at all costs, ultimately to be consumed by the void of meaning that it represents. Higher functioning beings have more complexity in the range of what drives them and thus are not easily conditioned to a fear response. Instead, the will of higher beings is driven by bonds. Pure will is not something that exists in a vacuum for long; without stimulation, it eventually loses momentum and evaporates.
Cultural Genesis and Heroic Spiritual Synergism in Sparta
Ancient man understood this profound truth; I can find no better example of this than the Spartans in battle. The Spartans were not reckless brutes by any means; they chose to refrain from engaging the Persians for decades and instead used other maneuvers through third parties and collected information. However, when finally faced with the greatest naval invasion in ancient history, they did not cave to fear or greed. This is the image of Higher Man: the one who will use his mind but also make his stand against all odds when the times demand it.
The Spartan concept of Freedom differed from the modern understanding common to the West. To the Spartans, freedom was not freedom from consequences or indulgence in superfluous detachment. Freedom was, as a whole, to embody the apex predator. To be free of external constraints on the Spartan spirit, culture, and way of life. The Spartans understood the reality that there were titanic and archetypal forces that would always pose a threat to them, being who they were. They were keenly aware that the apex of all layers of life was where the greatest intraspecies competition occurs.
Here, the Spartans welcomed the holy, formative processes of Overcoming. To truly live, one must embrace the gift of life and the struggles that characterize it. The Spartans were aware of a principal eternal truth: to try to elude life’s ordeals is in itself an act antithetical to life. Opposing the very elements that describe life — its struggles — inevitably results in dystopia. The conquest of life through self-overcoming enables the full range of human emotion that must be felt and released; the full cycle of the human experience.
Instead of living in the future or past worry, Spartans embraced the hardships and joys of life as they came. They esteemed all forms of sacrifice with an emphasis on bonding activities over escapism from the human condition. In this, they applied Stoicism in a manner greater than did the Stoics themselves. Their Stoicism was not for the sake of weathering a decadent society but instead integrated into their culture to create unique social cohesion. They had many measures to prevent material escapism that breaks unity and bonds. To shirk the meaningful (not menial) hardships of life is to create a diminishing return of all that is beautiful.
It is no shock then that they only honored graves with forms of heroic self-sacrifice since the organic whole was enriched by each individuated member of excellence and, in turn, protected by them. Men that died in battle and women that died in childbirth were given an inscription on their graves of their name to live on; individual distinction was held for the ultimate forms of self-sacrifice. Spartans understood positive reinforcement created reverence for the excellence that upheld their culture; something for every generation to aspire to.
People have more respect within a culture of self-sacrifice, and it inspires it from the top and bottom. This is seen even in Spartan eugenic practices where, at times, non-combatant older Laconian men would seek a Spartan to sire their children. We cannot grasp this concept from our worldview as modern people of the West simply do not perceive the necessity of a balance between individuated aspects of a whole. The whole is not only a consideration of the combination of parts but an implicit requirement that they exist in balance to create spiritual synergism. Spartan culture saw it as better for the couple and society to live as lesser parents to a greater child. They also did so with respect to the need for family units; it was never a free for all or a hedonistic fetish but a form of self-sacrifice. It is inconceivable to imagine modern European or American parents taking on such a practice in an age where children are frequently seen as pets or accessories with no care for connection to the living whole of their culture.
The Fall of Material Exchange in Rome and the Subsuming of the Hero by the Trader
It is important to introduce the principal idea from Traders and Heroes by Werner Sombart. Sombart differentiates between “Trader” societies and “Hero” societies. A Trader society is any society that places wealth as its mark of greatest achievement and its cultural goal; i.e. when economics becomes a goal instead of a means. A Hero society emphasizes spiritual synergism and the freedom of their identity from external constraints. This key understanding is missing from Nietzche’s reactionary positions on Higher Man. He defined culture as something destructive because he wanted to oppose everything about Judaism and Christianity, but he threw the baby out with the bathwater. As Spengler rightly understood, culture is seeded in the Barbarian or Hero society — culture becomes a simulacrum in hyper-urbanized society creating shame to conform to an “acted upon” state. Nietzsche’s stance that Higher Man then would be individualistic and without bonds missed the ability of Hero cultures to act upon the world dynamically and become more than the sum of their parts.
An example of a Hero culture would be the rebellion of the Gauls. Many Gallic tribes were given financial incentives to cooperate with the Roman Empire. The rebellion was not driven by the Trader spirit since that would be their material comfort and incentive. The Gallic rebellion was driven by the heroic desire for spiritual and cultural freedom from Roman constraint. On the other hand, the purported reason for the American rebellion is an example of a breakaway Trader’s reaction to an already decadent Trader civilization. In this context, the reasoning for the American rebellion, in that it was motivated by the financial and legal constraints of an empire to a remote colony, seems far less admirable. You also see guilt leading to liberal ideals in any increasingly decadent Trader society. An increase in material gain does not have the same effect in a Hero society, e.g. the Vikings.
Rome started off with pater familias but their relationship to other families was primarily through economic competition. Instead of a constructive balance between the maintenance of the commons and competition among groups, the Roman focus on wholesale economic competition resulted in an economic surfeit at the cost of spiritual integrity. For the whole to continue to evolve it requires spiritual synergism and cultural genesis even between families within the same culture. Rome started off not with the barbarian model of marriage but with the transition to the material exchange and competition in this form. This is not to say that competition is not important for bonding in-groups and a necessity with out-groups, but that the emphasis on material competition alone was the origin of decadence and ultimately downfall.
The pater familias had most of the Aryan dynamic of fusing the whole family but with the basis of it being a zero-sum material competition between families and inside of them. This eventually devolved into heroic men like Scipio the Younger having to save Rome for his fallen father’s honor. Scipio was the true empire maker of Rome and his line paved the way for Caesar. Instead of the elevation above others for his sacrifice for all of Rome, many descendants, and the respect and appreciation of the whole, his line was ended by the very people he saved.
His daughter, Cornelia, was a perfect example of the heroic subsumed by the trader or Faustian woman. She famously claimed her sons as her jewels in response to a woman bragging about superficialities. This is the same spirit as a Spartan woman responding to an Ionian bragging about her tapestries that her four dutiful sons are what a noblewoman should create and take pride in. Cornelia’s jewels were the brothers Gracchi and she invested heavily in their rearing to become brilliant men, which heralded her as an ideal mother — yet even this great family was consumed by the mob-elite machine.
The brothers Gracchi were just as heroic with their words as their grandfather was with his battle strategy, facing the utilization of foreigners by nobility increasingly fallen to the material void to harm regular Romans. They martyred themselves against the increasingly decadent and multicultural Rome. Later Caesar, a hero of noble birth, also fell to this same fusion of archetypal madness of the material void or consuming mother between the mob and the decadent holding power, confounding this unnatural state with freedom. Shakespeare depicted this same tragedy in his Coriolanus.
Utopian ideals dehumanize the heroic Spirit of Life and the formative processes all cultures stand upon. A detachment from organic processes and the full range of the human experience creates the two spirits confused as one in the Faustian ideal: the Hero subsumed by the Trader, ever sacrificing his own excellence for those destroying him in this form of civilization’s evolution. Birth and battle lose their meaning when they are mechanized — thus the horrors seen in the world wars crushed the Spirit more than enlivened it like previous wars — they became dysgenic instead of eugenic with man as a tool to his tools.
The posturing and submission aspect of war that the Spartans preserved from barbarian and tribal dynamics was lost to the increasing mechanization of total war. We now even see times when war is almost entirely technologically driven, which is made especially possible by the mass urbanization of hyper-domesticated people. Losing true warfare loses the spiritual bonding and overcoming processes that the Spartans understood as holy — similar to those of exploration. The competition at the top of the food chain would ever evolve since forms by their very nature are not meant for a stasis but to be driven by essence — attached Being is always Becoming new forms in a balanced living chain.
Birth Is a Formative Process of Self-Overcoming and Contributing to a Living Culture
Birth is the most beautiful, terrifying, tiring, exhilarating, loving, and challenging experience in life for women with the most meaning because it encompasses the full range of human emotion and overcoming. In all times except under the increasing mechanization of scientism, birthing was done in the presence of a support network of women that understood its spiritual nature. This process is not an input-output: the way women are treated during birth affects outcomes, which is hard to quantify because the conditions of creating an experiment inherently cause the lack of holistic and spiritual connection that leads to better outcomes.
The bringing of conscious life into the world is the greatest mystery of the feminine, the crux of maidenhood transmuted into motherhood, and the passage of a fully conscious Spirit into its physical manifestation housed on the layering of all creation. Two people are born when a woman first gives birth: the child and the mother. A woman is not fully herself until she overcomes her infantile self and holds her child.
This also is one of the contradictory aspects of the Bible’s creation myth that leads to the devouring mother or desire for safety and stasis that taxes the human psyche the most. If birth is a punishment, as is the man ruling over the woman, then eventually that will lead to a reaction. Birth is given a negative context even with the worker name of “labor” and then all of the efforts to mechanize birth for safety and predictability made it even more harmful to the holistic birthing process. This shows the negative feedback loop of allopathic treatment of symptoms instead of understanding pain as an inescapable part of a formative process. The rejection of it has only brought more pain and less meaning to the most meaningful of life events.
It is in the nature of mankind to rebel against shame and guilt that distort holistic processes. The ancients understood negative reinforcement as a consequence for the breaking of bonds, not the forming of them. If birth and deference are punishments then there is no heroism in it, only fear, only slavery, which does not allow for a dynamic pairing. Even the myth of Psyche herself being punished by Aphrodite for disobeying Cupid was negative reinforcement of the breaking of her vows and bonds to him.
If deference is not out of appreciation and a balance between the organic whole and the excellence that forms its Being into Becoming, then every aspect of connection is detached. This sets the stage for women to be threatened by their husbands’ achievements instead of being proud of them and helping to support them. Humanism is a response to the shaming — and then rejection — of organic human identity and overcoming of the self to self-actualization. Pair bonds constitute a significant part of self-overcoming in the image of the holy coupling. In its place, the desire for material stasis or the overcoming of meaning and the gift of life itself is the second layer of what confounds the Hero and the Trader in the Faustian archetype.
It is no shock then that as society devolved into isolated material comfort-seeking, replacement rates would drop. If birth is not a heroic spiritual and bonding process but instead given shame and treated like a terrifying medical procedure, why would women want to give birth? If fusion with a congruent man is a punishment and not a meaningful bonding process to the whole culture you love, then why would women want to defer to a husband? Men and women are not meant to be in a battle with each other nor are the various stations of hierarchy within a culture. This slight shift in shame and guilt in the framing of reality compounded and folded into a horrible mess with rebellion having both truth and increasing distortions, always folding into the subsequent rebellion.