It's a myth that tells of a deep historic truth. It tells of the great shift in human culture that took place as we ended 4 million years of living a Hunter Gather life and took up Agriculture.
More than our source of food changed. Our entire worldview changed. We no longer saw ourseleves as being partners in nature but now as lords above nature. We no longer saw oursleves as being partners in creation with our human partners but also either as lords or servants.
In this new world of ownership, of control and of obedience, the relationships between men and men and between men and women and between parents and children replicated the relationship between big men and their herds.
Genesis declares the new contract like this:-
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
I laugh to myself when I hear of people defending traditional marriage. They defend this.
"Oh it's not that any more I hear you say." Really - well divorce courts seem to suggest that it is.
Something isn't working anymore with our core institution. 50% of marriages end in divorce. After a couple of drinks, most of us admit to at least being bored, many to being angry with our spouses. Look at our children. Many feel that they are "trophies" to be shown off or worse they feel like bargaining chips as their bitter parents use them as weapons in the war of the sexes. 30% of children in Canada, most from the middle class, are in deep trouble by 6. They have had such a poor social environment that they cannot behave socially and they cannot learn. This is not merely an opinion. It is a fact. Please look here and here for the evidence.
Imagine if wolf packs no longer nurtured wolves and allowed them to thrive? Imagine if killer whale pods became sources of whale dysfunction? Imagine if ant colonies damaged the future of ants?
What if we had indeed lost paradise 5,000 years ago? What if the price for agriculture was that we gave up the natural social arrangement that naturally made us most human?
How could we return? Would we have to don skins and take up hunting and gathering?
I think that the life of a courtesan can help us see parts of the core of the Natural Social Arrangement. I also think that many of us now live the life of the post modern Hunter Gatherer.
Please join me in this post, as I walk unsteadily to a place that eschews control and obedience but instead embraces life and potential. To a place that looks below the surface and beyond functionality to where the human spirit lives in all of us. As I fumble my way home to Eden. The most Trusted of all Trusted Spaces.