Preface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)








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titrePreface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)
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date de publication21.01.2020
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The matrifocal before the patriarchal


I shall come back to details later on the matrifocal society and the stakes for the knowledge society. However, it seems to me important to point out already here the matrifocal paradigm. It is evident that this antique vision represents a very different fundamental view—another image of the divine, of the sacred and of life, death, circular time, and space. Nevertheless, as we have seen, since the patriarchal narrations appear everywhere as the primordial narrations, they succeeded in obscuring almost perfectly the civilizations that preceded them. This is another dimension of the intolerance of the pre-moderns because they are clearly patriarchal. Thus, it is fundamental to have the matrifocal view rise again from the non-existence where (patriarchal) history engulfed it.
      1. Pre-modernity, agrarian period—“The Angelus” by Millet


The symbol of pre-modernity for me is a painting called ”The Angelus” by the French painter, Jean-Francois Millet (1817–1875). It depicts a man and a woman facing each other. They have stopped working. The man has removed his hat. He bows his head and recites the Ave Maria of the Angelus, facing his spouse who does the same. In the background, the church steeple can be seen in the twilight.

Pre-modernity is still lived by several billion people who make their living by farming. Indeed, when one makes one’s living from farming, the underlying vision is completely different from the industrial modernity, because the farmer is dependent on the divine forces that bring the rain and the sun at the right time…or not. He absolutely cannot influence the growth of the crop. He can only plant. Nature does the rest. Thus, his world is poetic and sacred, whatever his religion. Time is sacred. His values are stable and immutable. The proverb that describes well this paradigm is the one of Horace: “There is nothing new under the sun.

The global horizon of pre-modernity is precisely that meaning is stable and given by the divine, from eternity. There has always been a divine and a human dimension in life. In addition, this eternal truth does not and should not change. So that the transmission of values to the next generation is not a problem, since the basic values are stable. One can say, like Max Weber, the German sociologist, that pre-modernity is sacred and enchanted, whereas modernity “disenchanted” the world.

A very important component of pre-modernity is the respect of Nature. Nature must be respected because God gives it to us. Nature does not belong to man. It is not at his service. It is sacred because it is God’s creation.

This vision certainly is common to pre-moderns and transmoderns, as we shall see. The fact that Nature does not belong to us, but on the contrary, that we belong to it, is being rediscovered today, in transmodern times. In some ways, we are rediscovering a “sacred” reconnection with the divine or cosmic forces. Moreover, those forces are no longer called in the same manner, and they function differently. There is a rediscovery of the sacred, but it no longer is a vertical sacred, in a vertical space. Transmodern sacred is a horizontal sacred of “reconnection with Nature and the cosmos,” in networks. This new sacred is rooted in the body and in the present.

This sense of the sacred is perhaps what will make the transition from the pre-modern paradigm to the transmodern one, while leaping over the modern paradigm. Indeed, in modernity, at least in Europe, one would sound stupid for talking about “sacred” in public. Except perhaps in the U.S. where, as we have seen, the American dream combines an ultra-modern and secular vision with a sacred Puritan faith.

In transmodernity, this view of the sacred will take a different shape. In pre-modernity, the sacred was symbolically tied to verticality and, thus, to separation. God is above us in the sky. Cathedrals like Chartres and Notre Dame de Paris lift the souls toward the heavens. They are spaces of “vertical sacredness.” In the pre-modern vision of the sacred, one had to leave the world and to separate from it in order to be able to approach the sacred and the divine. One needed to go to a monastery and part ways with sexuality and from every day life…to search the divine in seclusion.

In transmodernity, the sacred challenge for everyone is to “reconnect” with the divine forces of the cosmos, since we are not above Nature but part of it. In addition, this broken connection has brought us is the dangerous unsustainable situation Humanity is in.

On the other hand, this sacred and stable pre-modern world faces some difficult problems in today’s world because it has a pyramidal and patriarchal-like structure. All values proceed from the Divine and are transmitted again by the male power of the clergies of the different religions, at least for the three “religions of the book.” These pyramidal and patriarchal structures, which exclude the women from the sacred, do not match very well with our contemporary mentality. This might be the part of pre-modernity which will not be included in transmodernity or planetarism.

The other aspect of pre-modernity that is not acceptable today is its strict intolerance, even its missionary dimension. This is intolerance is normal, since society is entirely structured around the ONE Divine, which gives meaning to everything. There is no possibility to accept another definition of the Absolute, of the sole and only God the Foundation of the system. Indeed, to accept the possibility of another foundation is to relativise the absolute and thus destroy the basics of the religious faith and vision. Therefore, no bargain is possible on dialogue with other Faiths. This is one of the most difficult aspects to accept by transmoderns and, of course, by the moderns. In a global world, everybody understands that this paradigm is non operational.
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