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.


Sounder said...

Excellent observations Caryl.

You almost make me relate to 'conservatism', so best wishes and keep it up.

And I also think you are correct to back away from intellectualism. It has become a bit stale within our current cultural conditioning systems.

Anonymous said...

His bubbling vivacity was the foundation upon which his charm and his success were built.. The second half of the dream, therefore, represents thoughts concerning the elopement, which belonged to the first half of the underlying latent content; the first half of the dream corresponded with the second half of the latent content, the birth phantasy.. He rose with an assumption of ease, pulled down his waistcoat, buttoned his coat, and took up his hat.. Oh, you needn't get out, said he; there's not the least danger in the world.. Left three wives and seven children, they say --two of 'em black.. Van Kamp's shiver party.. I don't know how well he knows his own business, Major, I said as I started again for Brede's end of the veranda.. Podington agreed with his friend that walking home was the best thing they could do.. It was evident that the master worked, and that afforded a probability that the scholars worked too.. The young people make tender romances about her as they watch her, and think of her solitary hours of bitter regret, and wasting longing, never to be satisfied.. The conversion of the latent dream thoughts into those manifest deserves our close study as the first known example of the transformation of psychical stuff from one mode of expression into another.. It devolved upon him to even up the affair a little before his mother came back.. They were evidently anagrams, and had the merit of transposing the letters of the words employed without addition or subtraction.. You worked among the horses--breaking the colts.. Oh, ma! for the Lord's sake!--Sim, Sim, Sim, if you care any thing for me in this wide world, don't let ma go into that room! Missis Fluker, said Sim, rising instantly, wait jest two minutes till I see Mr.. Do I hear some critics exclaiming that there is nothing remarkable about How the Widow Won the Deacon , the story by Lampton included in this volume? It handles an amusing situation lightly and with grace.. He entered a store near at hand.. and acts as a safety-valve for the latter, and at the same time it insures the sleep of the foreconscious at a slight expenditure of the waking state.. Ah, Poopoo! glad to see you.. The town has entered a complaint against the Asylum as a gambling establishment, he said to my friend, the Director...

Anonymous said...

When starting upon such travels, he would sometimes breakfast with his traveling companion in the village, and, if somewhat belated in the return, sup with him also.. Moreover, just as it is naturally not the busiest physicians who form such alliances with dental practitioners, so in the psychic life only such foreconscious or conscious ideas are chosen to cover a repressed idea as have not themselves attracted much of the attention which is operative in the foreconscious.. It now takes on the distortion for which the way has already been paved by its transference to the recent material.. And I think that to have known one good old man--one man who, through the chances and rubs of a long life, has carried his heart in his hand, like a palm branch, waving all discords into peace, helps our faith in God, in ourselves, and in each other, more than many sermons.. If I thought that all this sparkling setting of beauty--this fine fashion--these blazing jewels and lustrous silks and airy gauzes, embellished with gold-threaded embroidery and wrought in a thousand exquisite elaborations, so that I cannot see one of those lovely girls pass me by without thanking God for the vision--if I thought that this was all, and that underneath her lace flounces and diamond bracelets Aurelia was a sullen, selfish woman, then I should turn sadly homewards, for I should see that her jewels were flashing scorn upon the object they adorned, and that her laces were of a more exquisite loveliness than the woman whom they merely touched with a superficial grace.. I am sure of it, said the girl.. These may take possession of the excitations in the circle of thought thus left to itself, establish a connection between it and the unconscious wish, and transfer to it the energy inherent in the unconscious wish.. To an external sense-stimulus the sleeper can react in many ways.. And if you cannot conveniently invite company to meet them, tell them at once that you will not insist on their keeping their engagement with you if anything offers afterwards that they think they would prefer; provided only that they apprize you in time of the change in their plan.. Isn't that rather a heavy load? he suggested.. Can we wonder that Master Horner determined to make his empire good as far as it went? A new examination was required on the entrance into a second term, and, with whatever secret trepidation, the master was obliged to submit.. I have sent my boat to the town, and we can walk up there and go by the canal to the lake; it is only about three miles.. I lack the necessary material to sustain these explanations from observation.. Not that he had ever told her of them in so many words, but--Oh, I need not stop here in the midst of this narration to explain how such intentions become known, or at least strongly suspected by girls, even those less bright than Marann Fluker.. But slightly affected by scientific opinion and untroubled as to the origin of dreams, the popular view holds firmly to the belief that dreams really have got a meaning, in some way they do foretell the future, whilst the meaning can be unravelled in some way or other from its oft bizarre and enigmatical content.. Absalom Billingslea, and Other Georgia Folk (1888), by Richard Malcolm Johnston (Harper & Brothers).. Ellsworth, I believe, politely said Mr.. He is a good sleeper who can do this; Napoleon I.. Sho, ye're jokin'! retorted Uncle Billy.. For silent it was to us, standing in the silence of a high place--silent with a Sunday stillness that made us listen, without taking thought, for the sound of bells coming up from the spires that rose above the tree-tops--the tree-tops that lay as far beneath us as the light clouds were above us that dropped great shadows upon our heads and faint specks of shade upon the broad sweep of land at the mountain's foot...