(Article changed on June 3, 2013 at 05:00)
No longer can we neglect the Feminine. Our need goes deeper than just that women are demanding "equality". The Earth, her ecologies, our politics, and our economies are all crying out urgently for this rebalancing of energies. We aren't just talking women's rights here, but humanity's very foundations. Many women are inculturated into the male dominance models, and don't realize the depths and powers of their femininity. Thus, our daughters are entrained and entranced in the dominate consumer culture fads of how and who they should be. This results in them often looking, or wanting to look like anorexic Barbie Dolls wearing tons of make-up masking their true Nature. Our sons must correspondingly slave for the Man to support this consumerism. " Get a job! " to keep up with the "image" becomes the moral imperative for both genders. Stuff comes before substance, wealth before health, loot before life, and productivity before procreativity.
To become more Feminine, we can no longer focus solely on "me", but instead kindle a deeper sense of "we." The " M " in man and me must be balanced with the "W" in woman and we. (Only when we put the curves back in both letters and join them reflectively do we get the infinity symbol, -- . The results of a "me" focus has been disastrous in the creation of wars without end, environmental devastation and the alienation of our children from Nature (i.e., "we" the entire planet), which, ultimately, is an alienation from themselves.
Let's work together to give our children a new life for the sake of their future as well as the future of this planet.
According to the National Mental Health Association, approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year. Meanwhile, it is estimated that one in eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime. Of course, much of this is attributed to the old "Adam and Eve" story of the Bible in which God curses Eve and says that Adam shall rule over her. This was because Eve enticed Adam to eat an apple which opened both their eyes to being naked. For this apple bite, snakes were relegated to slimming about on the ground, women became subordinate to men, and the labor of the feminine would forever labor in pain. (Since "the working class" has also been degraded to second-class citizenship, we now expect its men also to labor in pain for no real gain.) The interpretations of this story are multiple. The most dominant ways it has been interpreted has had horrific results for women and girls. In essence, the interpretations have resulted in women and girls being deemed inferior creatures to men and boys. It has also resulted in genital abuse (i.e., clitoral removal), sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and a secondary role in the culture leading to an overall lack of respect.
With all that how could a little girl develop a positive sense of herself?
This has escalated in the past couple of years. For example, when I was a child it was seen as wise to open doors for women from a sense of respect and what I felt as awe for that gender. Women were where we came from and were to be respected. My father taught me that. As I grew older, I figured that opening doors wasn't so much about women being superior, as it was that women were the foundations of life. Respect for women was the respect for life. It was a respect for Nature Herself.
Think about this as you drive about the interstate and view miles and miles of concrete, buildings, and desertified landscapes. The rape of our lands mirrors the domination of a rapist over his victim and of empire over the conquered and suppressed. The "rape of the Earth" is not just a metaphor; it is a devastating wound to our Mother.
In ancient religions, the Goddess was oftentimes the container of undifferentiated Life, which reflects the unfertilized egg in an individual woman. Within some Gnostic Christian myths, this undifferentiated life has been identified as Zoe (Infinite Life) whose Son was Bios (Finite Life). "As above so below" the saying goes. What is true in the Heavens is true on Earth. More importantly, it is true to you who reads this article. Thus religion means "to connect" and is not about institutionalized dogmas trying to rule the world at worse or increase money to their collection plates at best.
We are alienated, why? Let's return to Adam and Eve. If we want healthy girls and women, we have to go there. Even if you hate the Abrahamic religions, you have to understand what underlies our attitudes be we Christian or not. Perhaps the problem isn't the story, but the interpretations? The fact is, the values behind the interpretations of Genesis are ingrained in atheists as well as Christians, Jews and Muslims. Thus, these values must be confronted in this age of increasing species extinctions resulting from how we behave. Some interpretations focus on the story's pointing towards a normal part in the evolution of the species, in which we became more self-conscious. Self-consciousness is a double edged sword. On the positive edge of the sword, self-consciousness means becoming more aware of ourselves in the world. It opens up the potential of becoming co-creators with God and Nature. We could be the epitome of evolutionary development in this regard. On the negative side, it means being more judgmental about one's self. Thus, when their eyes were opened, Adam and Eve hid themselves because they experienced a sense of shame. Nudity is not just about being shy about one's body. It is about shame regarding who we are. If we consider our own embodiment as a loathsome embarrassment, then we are alienated at the most fundamental level from our Selves and our Creator!
In human evolutionary history, this story would have been told right around the time that tribal hunting and gathering cultures became more "civilized." Tribal peoples do not appear shy about being nude or going about with naught on except a loin cloth. Nor do they make any fuss about who they are or what they should be. Thus they could be seen as that aspect of the human race that has not fallen. They continue to live in as much of the Garden of Eden as Western Civilization has not yet cannibalized. It would have been right around the time of the shift from tribal to civilization that Genesis would have been written. Thus the story could be seen as a metaphorical account of a movement in human history in which women were marginalized and we all, men and women, became more and more subject to elite ruling classes who saw over the "labor" classes.
Pause and meditate on the connections being made here.
How much longer do all of us, women and men, remain abused, down-trodden prostitutes at the mercy of the upper classes that are raping this planet? And we support them with our consumerism! Look at the results in our anorexic daughters dressed up like Barbie Dolls crying "S hop till you drop!" This attitude is all about image--the mask we place over our shame. Not to present the socially accepted image is to experience shame. This returns us to Adam and Eve who became ashamed of their nudity and wound up having their God fashion loin cloths for them to cover their bodies. According to my observations, there appears to be a stage in the evolution of a child in which the scenario of becoming ashamed of one's self reenacts itself. For example, a boy at a certain age and level of self-awareness will begin to cover up in shame when his mother or another female walks in on him while he is nude. How much of this is a genetic programming in the human being and how much cultural could be debated and probably should if we are to evolve as a species. It may be we start taking lessons from the nudists in this regard in getting past ourselves. (Yes there are Christian nudists; not all Christians are right winged sociopathic nut cases. I even know of a monk who is also a nudist).
Can we advance our self-consciousness to a level where we become aware of how damaging the judgments we impose on our Selves, our neighbors, foreigners, and even Nature truly are? Can we truly believe the Lord when He says, "Judgment is mine!" and let go of our pretense that we too can and should be the judges of all earthly life? Interesting, one of the lines of God in the Bible is "I AM that I AM." All of us should take this line as a mantra because it reminds us that God is our Virgin Nature. "I AM". I AM is without judgment. Judgment is a lesser evolved unfolding from the body of I AM. Judgment can only occur when there is a bifurcation of the universe. In knowing the universe's unity, judgment falls away. Thus Christ repeats over and over, "judge not lest ye be judged." How we judge others, we judge ourselves. This is simply how it is in a uni-verse.