i n t e g r a l c o u n s e l i n g i n s t i t u t e
July 2005 Book Review and Quotes Archive
The Chalice and the Blade
by Riane Eisler
Review by Jan Kalberer
I loved this book and could not believe that it has been around since 1987 and I had not read it yet...when the student
is ready the teacher appears. It's one of those books that will continue to reveal itself inside my heart and mind. It has
impacted my life in concrete ways and effected how I think about my ancestors and more recent past generations. For
instance, I officiate at weddings and facilitate the couple's creation of a ceremony that intimately reflects both their personal
values and their values as a couple. THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE has influenced how I work with these couples and how
I think differently about what the partnership model means in preparing the symbols for their exchange of vows. We include
the families and friends in the ceremony in significant ways.
Eisler's book fed my curiosity about costly weddings with the big dress, big reception etc. Now I am not opposed to big
weddings, but I do wonder at times what it's all about. I wonder if it might be the collective unconscious trying to recollect and
redeem the essential feminine in our society. Perhaps the emphasis might be redirected in a balanced way toward using
resources both for the actual event and toward continuing support and education of the couple and their choices in married life.
It seems strange that the myth of the happiest day of their lives still exits for some couples as they prepare for their wedding day.
We need some different myths and models for committed marriage.
Eisler re-explores the research of Ancient Greece's artifacts and applies this new information from professionals to
institutions and structures in family, society, culture, economics, politics and religion. She wants to know how we got to be
where we are and has it always been this way? She examines these ancient pieces and proposes what feels to me like a very
real and radically different world view and models for how we live our private and public lives.
Read Eisler's book and then let's get together and talk about it. Riane Eisler and her partner, David Loye, have written a
second book, THE PARTNERSHIP WAY, which is a practical companion to THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE. Their sequel
presents a model for groups to meet, study and experience. I would like to gather a group of people and begin the study of these
two books. If that interests you, please contact me through this website or call our office at 503.236.3882. (Reviewed 07/05)
Happy Summer Reading,
Jan Kalberer Jan@integralcounseling.com
July 2005 Weekly Quotes
“In sum, under the new view of cultural evolution, male dominance, male violence, and authoritarianism are not inevitable, eternal
givens. And rather than
being just a “utopian dream,” a more peaceful and equalitarian world
is a real possibility for our future.”
“The beauty of being an anonymous guru is that you don’t need special training and credentials. you don’t have to convince,
transform, persuade, or carry the weight of another person’s life. All you have to do is plant seeds wherever you go. Your best
technique might be a useful insight and a word of encouragement. You offer it, and then you let it go. Come to think of it, maybe
all gurus and spiritual guides should be anonymous.”
“The grand imperative is evolution. What is its purpose? It seems to be to increasingly reflect the structure of reality. If that
is the truth then
the meaning is its reflectivity - a recursive algorithm.”
disturbed not by things but by the views they take of them.”
is not a side show. It is built into the ontological structure of the
universe. The illusion is that death is an issue."