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Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World Paperback – May 20, 2011
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Unfortunately, this is very difficult information to communicate. Not because it is intellectually difficult, but because the information is saturated with emotional landmines. It is important directly because it is so effective at 'pushing anyone's buttons'; the truth is locked away behind a universal hypersensitivity to this material. A straight-ahead strategy of treating this material objectively cannot work-- I've tried-- because our subjective emotional experience always gets in the way.
And that, of course, is one of the themes of the book.
DeMeo goes from the micro to the macro, dictated by the breath of this concept. We have to understand that the human being has a very sophisticated reason for our emotions and emotional functions: by taking in continuous information of the outside world and releasing it emotionally, we are able to remain minutely responsive to all inputs and make wise, integrated and creative decisions throughout our lives. This mechanism of emotional release was coined the term 'discharge' by Wilhelm Reich, who studied it extensively in the 1920s and 30s, building on the work of his mentor, Sigmund Freud. It refers to crying, laughing, sighing, shivering, yawning, and other feeling-expressions. The calm, hopeful, potent peace we feel after a long cry is an example of discharge at work.Read more ›
What caused the morphing? More on that below. First, though, a word on DeMeo's research. This is not any old "armchair science" book. DeMeo backs up his theories - ten years in the making -- with some of the most solid and extensive interdisciplinary data I've ever seen. To present this data for our perusal took over 400 pages, in a large-scale format, of scores of maps, charts, diagrams, figures, tables, drawings, photographs, footnotes and appendices as well as ample data-driven text.
The majority of DeMeo's data are sterling. For example, working with class-A anthropological data (from the Human Relations Area Files, etc.) and meshing those with class-A geological data (from the Budyko-Lettau Dryness Ratio), DeMeo shows that (1) around 4000 BCE a broad ribbon of land across Africa, the Middle East and Asia began dying; 2) People living in this land became the most patriarchal on the planet; and, 3) the further one wanders from this ribbon of land, the less patriarchal people are. DeMeo calls this land "Saharasia." It's an area that covers hundreds of thousands of square miles on our planet.
DeMeo offers a fascinating analysis of how the hideous change from matrist to patrist occurred. He bases his arguments on current studies of starving peoples. The behavioral changes in starving groups are enormous and appalling.Read more ›
He says that the drying up of a wide swath of land from Africa through the Middle East to Central Asia caused continued forced migration and psychological desiccation. That led humanity away from the easy going, sex positive ways of the mother goddess to the male oriented warfare and cruelty now considered normal.
He painstakingly documents this theory, but his documentation is flawed. For one thing, the evidence for the previous state of "matrist" bliss is scanty, with much of it coming from very old data compiled by early anthropologists in small, now destroyed, communities in places like the Trobriand Islands. He himself points out that people told those anthropologists what they wanted them to know and what they were willing to disclose. The anthropologists also interpreted their data through their own prejudices.
One blind spot is DeMeo's lumping of homosexuality into the category of an effect of the "patrist" repression of "healthy" heterosexuality. Another is his worshipful attitude toward Wilhelm Reich. DeMeo gives Reich, originally a follower of Freud, credit where credit is due. He first outlined the process of human "armoring" in the face of prolonged trauma.
DeMeo is eager to point out that while Freud first pointed to the importance of the "pleasure principle", he was wrong late in his life, denying the reality of the child abuse reported by patients.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Provides in-depth insights into some of the greatest social issues we have today.Must read.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A must read. That is pretty much all I have to say because the title says it all. There is so much information in the book, even a lengthy review would fall short. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
I don't even have to read this book to know its a load of racist bulls***.Published 21 months ago by Emily Lounder
I dont understand why people are skeptical about reich and his work on character analysis. This is a pretty straight foward book. Its just an interesting read. Read it.
Every review here seems completely unaware that this book is rejected by the African cultures it claims to describe. It is also rejected by educated people across the world. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by Jack
Eurasia, Centralasia, Saharasia.
This three key words are the main notions for understanding our civilizations and root. Read more
Just started reading and I recall my early years in graduate studies. DeMeo is right, no mention of Wilhelm Reich in journals, textbooks...not even a reference. Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by M. D. Dlugosz
This ambitious, 454-page large-format book aspires to do no less than to
"change forever [our] way of looking at the world, [our] home
culture and current events. Read more
The 1950s template homophobia proves to me the problems with this book I was worried about. It sounds like the author has a fascinating basis for his arguments, the conversion of... Read morePublished on November 17, 2012 by Sal Onassis