"Christians then and many modern readers have been at pains to construct the necessary story of pagan survival and resistance out of very heterogenous"Christians then and many modern readers have been at pains to construct the necessary story of pagan survival and resistance out of very heterogenous materials. It's hard to trace, but real resistance happened--away from the light of day. People continued to practice their traditional religions, out of habit and loyalty to one's ancestors. The ordinary persisted where it could. Meanwhile, Christians constructed a gaudy story of struggle, resistance, and triumph. Taking the latter seriously tells us little about the former" (p. 197).
"The silence, I say, is deafening by comparison to what we might expect if the self-serving Christian narrative about die-hard resistance [of non-Christian practitioners of traditional religion] were true. The survival of traditional practices never amounted to an expression of a pagan movement. Outside Christian imaginations, [in the fourth and fifth centuries] there was no such thing as paganism, only people doing what they were in the habit of doing...The questions that the history of paganism raise at the end of antiquity are actually questions about Christianity....[as a] coherent, hierarchical religious movement" (p. 214)
"When Christianity came to war with skepticism and unbelief in the eighteenth century, the pagan-Christian story became a kind of proxy war for modern attitudes. An intense debate over Gibbon's infamous fifteenth chapter of The Decline and Fall on the rise of Christianity had little to do with history and everything to do with Gibbon performing and devout readers attacking his own passage from Anglicanism to Catholicism to skepticism. From approximately that time forward, the war between pagans and Christians offered believers a place to demonstrate the exaltation of Christianity and offered unbelievers a chronicle of its hypocrisy and corruption" (p. 164).
"But yes, the gods did live in stories, and they lived there quite well because they were so very like human beings. We have a hard time seeing this properly because we know the later history of the god of Abraham - who was later divided up and fought over by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The figure we meet in the Old Testament posed a problem for many Christians and critics of Christianity. He was too readily angered and too arbitrary and he countenanced far too much polygamy and worse among his favored ones. He too began his history as a character in stories, but then in Christian times he gradually became immortal, omniscient, and omnipotent. Science fiction writers discovered long ago that the rules of stories all collapse when we imagine a character who doesn't live by the rules. The character becomes boring and the stories go off the rails. Before he knows it, the storyteller is trying to explain predestination to a skeptical congregation" (p. 68)....more
After I read Dreaming Me by Jan Willis, I picked this up when I saw it at the used bookstore because Lama Yeshe was one of Jan's teachers.
"Lord BuddhaAfter I read Dreaming Me by Jan Willis, I picked this up when I saw it at the used bookstore because Lama Yeshe was one of Jan's teachers.
"Lord Buddha himself said...'I have taught many methods because there are many different individuals. Before you embrace any of them, use your wisdom to check that they fit your psychological make-up, your own mind. If my methods seem to make sense and work for you, by all means adopt them. But if you don't relate to them, even though they might sound wonderful, leave them be. They were taught for somebody else'" (p. 25).
"If you don't know your own mind, your misconceptions will prevent you from seeing reality. Even though you might say you're a practitioner of this or that religion, if you investigate more deeply, you might find that you are nowhere. Be careful. No religion is against your knowing your own nature, but all too frequently religious people involve themselves too much in their religion's history, philosophy or doctrine and ignore how and what they themselves are, their present state of being. Instead of using their religion to attain its goals--salvation, liberation, inner freedom, eternal happiness and joy--they play intellectual games with their religion, as if it were a material possession" (p. 35).
"Once you realize the true evolution of your mental problems, you'll never blame any other living being for how you feel. That realization is the beginning of good communication with and respect for others" (p. 38)....more
"The continually changing demographics of people of color in the US are the product of the United States' cultural and economic invasion around the gl"The continually changing demographics of people of color in the US are the product of the United States' cultural and economic invasion around the globe. As "refugees of a world on fire," the strategy for our liberation is not confined to our state-imposed identity as residents of the United States. Instead our origins oblige us to assume a position of a global women of color activism, while at the same time remaining specific to our concerns as Native, Asian, African-originated women living within specific nation-states" - Cherrie L. Moraga, "Forward, 2001" (p. xvii).
"Instead we (Third World feminists) must invite other groups to join us and together bring about social change. We must align ourselves with and support those who challenge their own inherited or acquired privileges, examine their social positions, and take responsibility for their assumptions" Gloria E. Anzaldua, "Forward, 2001" (p. xxxvi).
"Closer to home, we are still trying to separate the fibers of experience we have had as daughters of a struggling people. Daily, we feel the pull and tug of having to choose between which parts of our mothers' heritages we want to claim and wear and which parts have served to cloak us from the knowledge of ourselves. 'My mother and I work to unravel the knot' (Levins Morales). This is how our theory develops" - "Entering the Lives of Others: Theory in the Flesh" (p. 21).
"It was through my mother's desire to protect her children from poverty and illiteracy that we became 'anglocized;' the more effectively we could pass in the white world, the better guaranteed our future" - Cherrie L. Moraga, "La Guera," (p. 25).
"There is nothing but circumstance and good English, nothing but my mother marrying into the middle class, between me and that life" - Aurora Levins Morales, "...And Even Fidel Can't Change That!" (p. 57)
"Sitting in the kitchen in the oh-so-white New Hampshire with old friends, mother and daughter, Ceci says, 'It takes three generations. If you resolve your relationship with your mother you'll both change, and your daughter will have it easier, but her daughter will be raised differently. In the third generation the daughters are free.'...The relationship between mother and daughter stands in the center of what I fear most in our culture. Heal that wound and we change the world. A revolution capable of healing our wounds. If we're the ones who can imagine it, if we're the ones who dream about it, if we're the ones who need it most, then no one else can do it. We're the ones" - Aurora Levins Morales, "...And Even Fidel Can't Change That!" (p. 59)
"We are Asian American women and the reaction to our identity is what causes the chasms instead of connections. But do you realize, Ma, that I could never have reacted the way I have if you had not provided for me the opportunity to be free of the binds that have held you down, and to be in the process of self-affirmation? Because of your life, because of the physical security you have given me: my education, my full stomach, my clothed and starched back, my piano and dancing lessons - all those gifts you never received - I saw myself as having worth: now I begin to love myself more, see our potential, and fight for just that kind of social change that will affirm me, my race, my sex, my heritage. And while I affirm myself, Ma, I affirm you" - Merle Woo, "Letter to Ma" (p. 157).
"Ma, I wish I knew the histories of the women in our family before you. I bet that would be quite a story. But that may be just as well, because I can say that you started something. Maybe you feel ambivalent or doubtful about it, but you did. Actually, you should be proud of what you've begun. I am. If my reaction to being a Yellow Woman is different than yours was, please know that that is not a judgement on you, a criticism or denial of you, your worth. I have always supported you, and as the years pass, I think I begin to understand you more and more" - Merle Woo, "Letter to Ma" (p. 162-63).
"When she fails to realize that the 'social privileges' of lighter-than-black ethnic minority lesbians in this society are almost totally dependent on our denial of who we are, on our ethnic death, she also falls prey to the racist mythology that color differences are the end-all indications of social inequality...Yes, lighter-than-black skin color may confer on some ethnic minority women the option of becoming 'assimilated,' 'integrated' in mainstream American society. But is this really a privilege when it always means having to become invisible, ghost-like, identity-less, community-less, totally alienated? The perils of 'passing' as white American are perils indeed" Mirtha Quintanales, "I Paid Very Hard for My Immigrant Ignorance," (p. 171).
"'To assess the damage is a dangerous act,' writes Cherrie Moraga. To stop there is even more dangerous" - GLoria E. Anzaldua, "Speaking in Tongues..." (p. 190).
"I have been terrified of writing this essay because I will have to own up to the fact that I do not exclude whites from the list of people I love...For the politically correct stance we let color, class, and gender separate us from those who would be kindred spirits. So the walls grow higher, the gulfs between us us wider, the silences more profound. There is an enormous contradiction in being a bridge" - Gloria E. Anzaldua, "La Prieta," (p. 229).
"In short, I'm trying to create a religion not out there somewhere, but in my gut. I am trying to make peace between what has happened to me, what the world is, and what it should be...The mixture of bloods and affinities, rather than confusing or unbalancing me, has forced me to achieve a kind of equilibrium....I build my own universe, El Mundo Zurdo. I belong to myself and not to any one people" - Gloria E. Anzaldua, "La Prieta," (p. 232).
"But at the same time I didn't feel that I had enough power to really fight it. So I became suicidal....And I'm on these Valiums and I'm saying I'm not going to live this kind of life, and I look around and I decided that I'm going to leave here. I lay down to die and my soul raised up out of my chest and sits up on the ceiling. She has a long debate with me about why am I trying to check out of here. And I tell her why I'm trying to check out and she says "no, no, no, no, you are going to live and you are going to fight, and I'm going to show you what you are going to do'" - Gloria E. Andalzua, "O.K. Momma, Who the Hell Am I?" (p. 248).
"Every time a sister learns that she is not born to live in a world of fear, to be dominated, every time a sister sits down with a glass of water in front of her and understands that she is intimately tied to water and that all life is tied to water she is gradually building on an inner strength that gives her armour to go out and fight the world" - Gloria E. Andalzua, "O.K. Momma, Who the Hell Am I?" (p. 251).
"It's important that you know what you need it for because the spirit deals in need" - Gloria E. Andalzua, "O.K. Momma, Who the Hell Am I?" (p. 253).
"When we view liberation as a scarce resource, something only a precious few of us can have, we stifle our potential, our creativity, our genius for living, learning, and growing" - Andrea Canaan, "Brownness" (p. 263).
"And it is critically important to me that you who are here, that your commitment to revolution is based on the fact that you want revolution for yourself" - Pat Parker, "Revolution: It's Not Pretty or Quick" (p. 269).
"My mother & father were not good teachers They are too deeply damaged by this culture which is one of obliteration I don't know why I see differently than they do My blessing and burden" - Chrystos, "No Rock Scorns Me as Whore" (p. 274).
[all quotations are from the Third Edition, published 2002]...more
Eugenics vs. the hookworm in the context of white supremacy within and outside the American South. Important in lots of ways, not excluding the fact thEugenics vs. the hookworm in the context of white supremacy within and outside the American South. Important in lots of ways, not excluding the fact that the pathologized poor white is, quite literally, family. (Having just finished *Pinay Power,* clearly I felt like I needed to keep poking this beast from a different angle.)...more