MOTTO: Know you not that I must be about my mother's business

  • QUIETUS (The Quaternary Investigation into
    the Evolution Toward the Uniqueness in
    ) examines the social and
    political implications of a consistent philosophy
    in Shakespeare's Sonnets, poems and plays.

    The Institute for the Quaternary Evolution in Shakespearen Thought
    The Quaternary Institute
    Quaternary Institute & Quaternary Imprint



    Roger Peters Copyright © 2005


    The first edition of the 4 volume set William Shakespeare's Sonnet Philosophy [2005] is still available.


    The Quaternary Investigation into the Evolution Toward the Uniqueness in Shakespeare

    From Male to Female - where the default lies

    How the originary female is biologically constitutional,
    and why female priority should be politically constitutional

    Two earlier revolutions in thinking

    Over the last 500 years, two revolutions in thinking have dramatically upended our understanding of the world. The common denominator in each of the transformations has been the dethroning of biblical preconceptions about the Earth we live on.
            In both cases, the momentous change occurs only after the evidence in favour reaches a critical mass. Until then, ideas basic to the critical shift in thinking lie dormant in the culture for hundreds of years.
            The first about-face in biblical presumptions happens when Galileo turns the newly invented telescope to the heavens in the early 1600s. He confirms Copernicus’ theoretical calculations from the early sixteenth century that show the solar system is heliocentric, not geocentric.
            Suddenly, planet Earth, the seven-day creation of an omnipotent mind-marooned God, is no longer the centre of the world – much less the universe. Galileo’s scientific confirmation of long-held speculations is so disruptive to the received view the Catholic Church places him under house arrest and forbids him to publish for the rest of his life.
            Despite compliant astronomers like Galileo’s contemporary Tycho Brahe manipulating the results of their observations to placate an autocratic Church, eventually the heliocentricity of the solar system – and a new understanding of the universe – predominates over traditional dogma.
            The second fundamental back down for biblical beliefs comes when Darwin publishes The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. He shows definitively ‘man’ is not a special creation of an almighty imaginary God – in His own image – but a species that evolves over millions of years in a line of descent that includes fishes and apes. Darwin’s meticulous research, after years of observations on the Beagle and even more time studying domesticated species, rewrites biblical claims a male God creates the world – and ‘man’.
            Darwin’s findings provide the critical mass that confirms thoughts held by thinkers since the Greeks up to and including his grandfather Erasmus Darwin. The initial response to Darwin’s revelations is both acclaim at his standard of proof and dismay and denial by the Churches, some of whom hold out until late in the twentieth century before giving in to the obvious.
            Again, humankind’s sense of place in the universe and its fate on Earth turns on its head. Biblical beliefs held so tenaciously for 4000 years prove to be nothing than the fabrications of an over-zealous clergy and their scribes – acting on behalf of an all too human sensation called God – to assert control over a tithed congregation.
            The double blow by Galileo and Darwin to male-based biblical presumptions speaks to the dogged hold on the imagination of fantastic beliefs. Moreover, the eventual consigning of such prejudices and injustices to the biblical wilderness is a reminder the democracy of enlightenment inevitably outshines blind faith.

    A third about face for biblical verities

    The title of this essay, From Male to Female, signals another defining moment in the trend to upend traditional male-based mind-based constructs. Although Galileo’s discoveries and Darwin’s investigations involve reversals of long held views about the universe and the planet, they do not go to the heart of the inconsistencies to challenge directly the usurpation of female priority by male impropriety.
            Again, the impetus for the impending turnabout of the long-standing male/female inversion builds in the culture for hundreds of years, if not millennia. More recently, the social movement toward democratic rights for women adds its voice by challenging the great harm humankind visits on females – and males – in the name of contrary male-based beliefs.
            However, it may prove that the crucial momentum for the third revolution derives not from a female but from the consistent and comprehensive nature-based female-prioritising philosophy in the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare, though, does benefit indirectly from female input because it seems his wife, the older Anne Hathaway, guides the younger man out of his adolescent idealism toward becoming a mature and peerless dramatist and poet.
            Shakespeare argues throughout all his works for the recovery of nature-based female priority over male-based imposition of dominance. Shakespeare’s previously unrecognized philosophy – hidden from view for 400 years by egotistic male-based prerogatives – provides the necessary amplitude for a third revolution. Ideas circulating for hundreds of years now have an indubitable voice that rings with irrefutable soundness.
            To understand why Shakespeare’s philosophy remains unseen for 400 years requires the resort to an appropriately consistent and comprehensive appreciation of how the human mind works in nature. Whereas Galileo points his telescope to the heavens and Darwin voyages around life on Earth, Shakespeare looks directly into the intellectual and imaginative functions of the human mind.
            By examining the way we understand the world through the senses, language and inner sensations of the mind, Shakespeare shows why its logical functions are a direct consequence of the female being the precursor for the offshoot male in nature. Only by acknowledging the natural female priority over the dependent male is it possible to appreciate logically the isomorphic relationship of the human body and mind.
            The body/mind interface is crucial for grasping the philosophic connectedness of human thinking to nature. Shakespeare’s natural logic and sound arguments are incontrovertible for the relation of body to mind.
            At the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, Shakespeare argues without demur for the originary female to gain her rightful place in relation to the offshoot male. While modern biology now provides definitive evidence the female is the precursor for the male, the scientific findings merely confirm Shakespeare’s philosophical formulation of our natural female/male partnership.
            In Shakespeare’s day, his shift from male-based to female-based understanding and related expectations was a response to the murderous cultural debacle of the Reformation. It is even timelier now when a global demographic ensures the traditional male-dominant syndrome that induces gratuitous violence can no longer find a place to hide within the digital transparency of twenty-first century communications.

    Shakespeare analyses the logic of myth

    Understanding Shakespeare’s nature-based philosophy requires an uncompromised insight into the deepest workings of the human mind. His natural logic relates the way we receive incoming sensations to our use of language consequent on those sensations. More significantly, he shows us how to access the inner recesses of the mythic imagination, the confusion and abuse of which generates male-based prejudices toward nature.
            Galileo and Darwin’s astronomical and biological challenges to the male-based mythic beliefs of the Bible do not begin to consider the logical implications of our imaginative reconstructions of the world to suit our ambitions and prejudices. Neither thinker investigates systematically the male-based mythic constructs militating against them. Instead, each remains dedicated to their scientific discoveries in astronomy and biology.
            Despite the inhumane treatment Galileo receives from Pope and Church, he remains a devout Catholic – even visiting miraculous shrines for guidance. For Darwin’s part, although he forgoes his Christian faith, he ruefully admits his exhaustive biological researches leave no time to muse philosophically on the deeper reasons for biblical inconsistencies.
            Shakespeare, 400 years ago, uniquely examines the philosophic depth and breadth of the sensory and linguistic faculties of the mind. His advantage is that by understanding the logic of the mythic imagination – of which he is the unsurpassed master – he is able to align the natural trajectory from sexual body to the sensory, thinking and erotically creative mind with unmatched consistency and inspiration.
            Shakespeare’s ability to penetrate to the erotic heart of myth derives from his nature-based philosophy that contextualises all conceptual constructs. Unlike the traditional biblical myth of creation, whose geocentric orbit is sustained artificially by male-based constructs, Shakespeare establishes a global panorama based in nature for his overview of the female/male dynamic of the body that generates the natural logic of the human mind.
            In 1609 Shakespeare publishes the 154-sonnet set titled Shake-speares Sonnets to present the nature-based philosophy behind all thirty-six plays in the 1623 Folio and his four longer poems. The logical structure of the 154 sonnets can be represented in the Nature template derived from Shakespeare’s arrangement of the set.

    Nature Template

    Nature Template

            Shakespeare bases his Sonnet philosophy on the external nature-to- female/male dynamic that contextualises the inner workings of the human intellect and emotions. The consistent application of his nature-based Sonnet philosophy throughout the 1623 Folio of thirty-six plays and his four longer poems demonstrates the fecundity and cogency of reclaiming humankind’s birthright orientation within nature.
            In his day, Shakespeare issues a logical and dramatic challenge to the combative culture of Reformation sects. His plays, particularly, argue forcefully for the forswearing of male-based mind-based conflict and the recovery of the natural conciliatory partnership of originary female and offshoot male.
            Shakespeare’s unique combination of natural givens and thought-provoking intelligence and passion invokes from his contemporaries and seventeenth century admirers a deep but barely understood regard and respect. Unfortunately, the consequent response of blind idolisation coupled with textual interference in the Sonnets and Folio remains the Tertiary standard right into the twenty-first century.
            (See earlier volumes and essays for a comprehensive discussion of Shakespeare’s Sonnet philosophy as the basis for all his plays and poems and its implications for a global constituency.)

    Marcel Duchamp independently reiterates Shakespeare’s female/male mythic logic

    The only other artist besides Shakespeare to plumb the depths of the natural logic of mythic expression and demonstrate his competency in a dedicated artwork is Marcel Duchamp. In the early twentieth century, Duchamp creates a large work on glass that captures the same prerequisite female-to-male biology evident in Shakespeare’s previously unprecedented insight into the natural logic of myth. (See earlier volumes and essays for discussion of Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even – and his final work Etant donnes that repeats the mythic exposé).
            While Duchamp only partially replicates Shakespeare’s depth and breadth of philosophic insight into the female/male dynamic and its implications, they share the core realisation that the female’s biological priority over the male has ramifications for all artistic expression. Their brilliant appreciation of the philosophic basis of myth supersedes the traditional corruption of mythic logic by male-based mind-based mythologies like the biblical.
            The deep irony, an irony Duchamp recognises in comments about his own work, is that Shakespeare and Duchamp receive centuries/decades of hagiographic praise for their achievements while being completely misunderstood. Worse, while being stood on pedestals, the achievement of each is trivialised or denigrated by prejudicial alteration or misattribution.
            The common denominator that drives the disturbing combination of adulation and denigration for both artists is their unflinching recognition of the originary status of the female and the derivative status of the male. The puzzling response to their works comes down to an unwillingness or refusal by admirers/dissemblers to recognise the influence of the ingrained misogyny pervading their 4000-year-old male-based mind-based beliefs and culture.

    What does the science say

    Scientific research demonstrating the biology of the priority of female to male is unequivocal. On all counts, the female has more attributes from a precursor asexual species that gradually divides and evolves over billions of years to become Homo sapiens – with its originary female and offshoot male.
            Whether it is mitochondrial DNA, parthenogenesis, childbearing, residual sexual attributes, the default basis for genetic and hormonal sexual differentiation, gender assignments, or other characteristics, the female is always the encompassing entity for the subsidiary male. Like all sexual species, humans are biologically and logically undeniably female-based.
            Most science texts and online journals, etc., acknowledge the biological priority of the female at some point. Yet it is also very common for such texts to put the male first in their considerations and representations of the male and female contributions to sexual reproduction. The otherwise inexplicable about-face seems driven by an unscientific acceptance and influence of the male-based biblical paradigm that still prevails in the culture.
            Even in articles that accept the female/male priority – as in discussions about the fact only females can undergo parthenogenesis – there is usually a comforting comment at the end to the effect that males have nothing to worry about, at least for now. It is the male’s universal evolutionary inability to self-reproduce that leads to the valorising of imaginary forms of cultural persistence typically in male-based religious beliefs like the biblical.
            The degree to which the corrupt syndrome is inured in the culture is evident when Jonathan Miller, a noted Shakespearean play producer who is also a natural scientist, lends his name to a pop-up book The Facts of Life (1984) that puts the male penis and testicles before the female vagina and womb.
            Since the practice of perverting, or at least equivocating about, the facts of female priority is so pervasive across the scientific literature, little wonder the literary world has not yet come to see that Shakespeare presents in his 1609 Sonnets a more logically – and effectively scientific – case for female precursorship.
            Shakespeare’s analysis of the inconsistencies in biblical myth and his recovery of a natural female-based mythic logic are as rigorous as any research by a Galileo or Darwin. Moreover, Shakespeare’s nature-based philosophy goes to the crux of the issue as it criticises the philosophical apologetics at the heart of traditional religious fictions about ‘man’s’ superior place in the world.

    How far is not far enough

    So, what is Shakespeare doing when redressing the biblical inversion of the natural female priority over male dominance that makes his work potentially more revolutionary than Galileo or Darwin? To put it another way, what have feminists and other activists for female rights and equality not been doing if their protests fail to spark the profound and abiding change in attitudes Galileo or Darwin’s discoveries incite?
            As earlier comments infer, the momentum for a revolutionary change to restore natural contingencies and overturn male-based injustices gathers in the culture for many years. When Galileo and Darwin alter so profoundly our preconceptions about the world we live in, they do not so much challenge directly the social, political or religious prejudices that characterise the inverted view of the world.
            Rather, they somewhat accidentally sidestep the psychological apologia that passes for philosophy in the justification of biblical beliefs. By investigating nature at large, they recover our birthright natural philosophy or logic – however intentionally or unintentionally.
            When Galileo confirms empirically the theoretical calculations of Copernicus by pointing the telescope to reveal the natural movements of the planets, his discoveries eventually overturn religious beliefs – despite own his fervent faith in an otherworldly God. Darwin, far more intentionally, uses a philosophic method completely consonant with observed facts to surmount biblical ideas about the origins and state of the natural world.
            When we turn to feminists who argue for the natural role of women or for female priority, they tend to do so from social, political, scientific or religious standpoints rather than a penetrating philosophic analysis of the offending male/female doctrines in biblical myth.
            Two such feminists or advocates for female rights are Germaine Greer and Riane Eisler. Greer is a polemicist who addresses issues largely through self-publicising bombast. She is far more opportunistic than Eisler who is more nearly philosophic in the cultural anthropological insights behind her writings.
            Yet both women fail to appreciate the critique of male-based biblical impositions in the works of Shakespeare. Greer, as a published Shakespeare scholar, resorts to an interpretation based in Christian mythology when Shakespeare’s devastating nature-based critique of patriarchal misogyny in King Lear proves too difficult for her to comprehend.
            Eisler, rather than appreciating that Shakespeare’s works provide the most thoroughgoing criticism of male/female injustices consequent on biblical beliefs, misses the sardonic irony in The Taming of the Shrew because she does not understand the relationship of language and sensations to mythic expression.
            No previous thinker, female or male, over the last 400 years has been able to unravel Shakespeare’s brilliant and consistent philosophy of natural female priority. Instead, the world awaits the realisation that in the works of Shakespeare the needed critical mass is available to transform a religiously divided world.

    Why female priority is constitutional

    Thomas Jefferson realises at the end of the eighteenth century that it requires a Constitutional edict to place natural philosophy at the head of all systems of belief – and no one else since has quite risen to the same level of perspicacity. He appreciates that only nature has the required singularity to correct the confusions arising from the psychology of believing the biblical God is anything other than an imaginary first cause.
            Jefferson, though, like everybody else, has no understanding of the brilliant nature-based philosophy in the works of Shakespeare – and this despite his lifelong interest in Shakespeare. His Deism prevents him from making the necessary adjustments to give force to his bare intuition that biblical beliefs should be kept from becoming the basis of power in a State.
            It seems timely, then, to bring about a Constitutional change to whatever set of edicts a country operates under, to include the natural fact of female priority over the subsidiary male. The resulting Act would encourage partnership rather than dominance by one sex or the other – as Riane Eisler appreciates when she institutes the Partnership Way.
            Because the issue of female rights is so fundamental to our natural being, then the only just and effective way of ensuring its implementation and expectations is by including those rights at the head of a new Constitution or as an Amendment to an existing Constitution. Only then will the biologically constitutional female/male priority become the legislative and practical precondition for all aspects of a truly democratic constituency.

    Roger Peters Copyright © 2017

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