Saturday, July 21, 2007

Song of the Little Drone

"The fecundation of the bee is indeed a very special affair; there is nothing like a marriage-bed to which one retires, it all takes an entirely different course. It takes place openly, in the full sunlight, and though this may seem very strange at first, as high as possible in the air. The Queen-bee flies as far as possible towards the Sun to which she belongs...and that drone which can overcome the earthly forces – for the drones have united themselves with the earthly forces - only that drone which can fly the highest is able to fecundate the Queen up there in the air."
Rudolf Steiner, Nine Lectures on Bees (1923)


You know, my job’s "Nuptial Flight,"
& I’m married to it, right!
The Eternal Feminine – upward and on!
People call me just a little drone.
Little do they understand the honeycomb.
Just wait, my flying time will come –
When I ascend with my queen – to the Sun!
To the highest flyer is given – "the seal" –
That all being aspires to commonweal.
These are words - I make it real.
Today I attended a beekeeping seminar at Harriton House, a historic property and public park not far from where I live. I have been developing an interest in beekeeping and thought that this morning's occasion would provide a handy introduction to the subject. It was a time well spent, most enjoyable in the glorious July day.
Well - it was mostly well spent, although I had to cringe for the better part of a lecture by one of the educational staff. It is perhaps unfortunate that the organization of the bees provides such convenient fodder for a feminist projection onto Nature. The Queen, of course, is the mainstay of the colony; her attendants and the worker bees all likewise female. Little girls were duly summoned from the audience (mainly comprised of the under-7 age group, although there was a fair sprinkling of old people like myself) to represent these important characters. The poor drones were given short shrift of the matter, for are they not all sacrificed in the end? Thus the males in the audience were treated to a piece of covert propaganda that bespoke their unimportance.
It was understandable, given the age group of the audience, that the educator would not wish to dwell upon the delicate matter of fertilization. And yet the "nuptial flight" of the drones and the Queen, and the reward of fecundation accorded to the highest flyer - does this not present a picture of the spiritualization, it could be said, of the common life when it achieves civilization? In civilization as we have known it so far, it is primarily the males who have been the "high flyers" - only feminists and ideologues can pretend otherwise, or rationalize it as due to the perpetual injustice inflicted upon womankind. Where's the female Shakespeare, Tycho de Brahe, or Bach? I am saying it can't happen? No. I am just not pretending that it has happened.
This pretence goes very deep in American life at present. Larry Summers was tarred and feathered out of Harvard for questioning the pretence, and there are probably thousands of more examples. And now Harvard has its woman president, as indeed, according to the recent issue of the Wilson Quarterly, women how hold half of all management jobs in America. Perhaps ironically, women are becoming the drones of the New World Order. Less imaginative, and less apt to take risks than men, women are the ideal servants of the new regime.
Society is becoming a counterfeit bee colony. And as far as I am concerned, this is bad news for a real culture which, to begin with, cannot even go about being real until it throws off a few layers of pretence. For those of us who are outside the paradigm, pushing toward the frontiers of Quality and of Challenge and Response, the real bee colony is an object of deepest admiration and reverence. Its translation into a human counterfeit is cause for deep, deep concern.
Update, Sunday July 22: The "feminization of society" has a new dimension in the poisoning of the nation's waters by estrogens and steroid hormones from birth control pills excreted into sewage systems and then into the waterways. According to a front-page article in the National Catholic Register, July 15-21, "Contracepting the Environment," researchers found strange "intersex" trout in a supposedly "pristine" Colorado mountain stream. Said one of these researchers, scientists "are finding [in frogs, river otters, and fish] the presence of female hormones making the male species less male."
Perhaps not surprisingly, environmentalists are notably mute on the subject of hormone pollution of rivers. To deal with the problem would mean tackling the "choice" ideology of today's sexual mores.
The Archbishop of Philadelphia, in a pastoral letter "The Word Became Flesh - Married Love and the Gift of Life" (Feb. 8, 2007) reminds us that "contraception" means "against the beginning." In our society, which has become addicted to equality rather than quality, and security rather than initiative and risk, it should come as no surprise that the male sex is being continually belittled and devalued [while, of course, the real citadel of male power as it is expressed in economic doctrines, is never questioned or restrained.] Only a restoration of the spiritual truth of initiation can restore "the Beginning" and ultimately a sense of freedom, hope and progress.