Earth and Sky
Masculine and Feminine Principles
To understand the error innate to patriarchal religious forms, and how they condition events, we must look at the role of human consciousness on earth. Other animals, with spines predominantly horizontal, have the task of distributing energy on the planet. Humans, with spines erect, integrate above and below. Patriarchal forms take their direction from above: whether expressed in the Christian 'thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven' or the condensed New Age version 'as above, so below', the deity is always some form of sky god - Jehovah (Jove, Jupiter), Mars or the Sun (Son).
The problem with finding the 'One God' in the sky is that everyone has a different sky. Crystallized at the
moment of birth (as the astrological natal chart) or in the present moment, the harmonic play of influences
being brought to earth from above is always unique and always changing. Which is in fact the proper role of
the masculine principle - it is the principle of individuation. Try running an imaginary line through
your spine as you stand - by following it up into the sky, we depart on journeys of exploration which take
us further and further apart - the lines necessarily diverge. But by following the same line down, we come
to a meeting place with all others - the center of the earth. We come from the earth and to it, we return.
The path down and in is the feminine, and universal, direction.
empty yet inexhaustible
it gives birth to infinite worlds
- Tao Te Ching
When we try to find our unity and our universality in the messages of prophets and messiahs who claim to
represent the 'One God', who bring their precepts to us from 'on high', that is, literally from a position
of superiority, we are inevitably herded into camps at war with one another: Christian versus Jew, Jew versus
Muslim, Muslim versus Christian, Muslim versus Hindu, Hindu versus Buddhist, Protestant versus Catholic,
Shiite versus Sunni. With each group claiming that it, and it alone, conveys the true universal message.
By adhering to the constrictions of religious law as dispensed by the pretending One God - no matter whose
version - we have made the masculine, or Yang, into the Universal, or Tao. We not only constrict and
repress our access to the feminine pole which is our unity with one another, and from which unbounded
nurturance can flow; we also lose the true meaning of the masculine principle, the joy in our uniqueness and
our contrast with one another.
arise from the same source
this source is called Darkness
- Tao Te Ching
In our contemporary exclusive worship of the 'God of Light' we have come to fear the dark. We call our devil 'Satan', a name taken from the Egyptian deity Set. Now also usually recalled as a 'god of evil', Set was once simply the 'Set-ting sun', a god representing the twilight, or surrender to night. And night was Set's mate - the goddess Neith. Evening ('even-ing' - literally a leveling or rebalancing) has instead become 'evil' (or Eve ill, the disease of the feminine principle; Eve, mother of the human race, is ill).
We are bedeviled now by 'night-mares' - mare being the female form of horse, in native traditions a totem of power. Our true powers, separated from us, seek reintegration when our daytime consciousness releases; yet instead of welcoming our integration, we fear it. We separate ourselves from the stars and from the rhythms of the moon. The cycles of the moon are the ancient menstrual (moonstrual) cycles of a woman's body. Now we tell her 'take this medication and you will not be inconvenienced' by 'that time of month', or the 'cramping' that is literally the result of cells being pulled in opposite directions - down and in by her natural cycle, up and out toward activity in the world by our present convictions and obsessions. Life has an innate rhythm. Inhale is followed by exhale, day by night, summer by winter, life by death, and reunion. In our spiritual preference for light over darkness, 'good' (god) over evil (eve; the feminine) and thus man over woman, we are like a person who wishes only to inhale and never to exhale. To live and never die - forgetting that it is only death, physical, psychic and metaphoric, which yields new life.
We fear the feminine because we fear what our experience of individuation has taught us - that we must die. That the womb which yielded us will take us back. We flee to 'Our Heavenly Father' because we are terrified (or 'terra'-fied) by the claim our earthly life makes upon us: Death. Gravity. The grave.
Which fear is, if you will forgive me, a mistake. In fact, it is fear of death, and mastery of fear, which is indispensible in forming the individual soul. Souls are also born, and die (into something greater than themselves) just as, on a more elementary level, the body and the personality are forged, and then abandoned. The soul uses the experience of lifetimes as the person uses the experience of days and years in order to evolve. Physical death is the night journey of the soul, the return to underworld or source. But, in life, the soul is our creativity, our uniqueness. Another pun, the resonance of 'soul' and 'sole' (separate, alone) marks the individual who has learned to think for him/herself, and to manifest a uniqueness which avoids both the hazard of being a clone or copy of someone else's idea or ideal, yet also avoids the trap of resistance and reaction. When we are truly ourselves, we find our right place in the scheme of things. Here another reflection of the idea of 'soul' is revealed. We must not only be individuals, with all the pain and struggle inherent in forging our uniqueness, we must also be a part of something greater than ourselves - a unique expression of a greater whole. Which is why, in the human body, our 'soul' is found on the bottoms of our feet, our 'soles'.
We are, in the present lifetime, born of this Mother we call Earth or Gaea, and though we might dream of heavens and havens before this life or after, while we are here, life on earth and in the body is the allegiance we owe. Our individual uniqueness is the masculine aspect of our soul; our bond to the unity of our common humanity and our common earth life is the feminine.
As I close, 'exploders' (see 9/11) are at work in Afghanistan, and a small group of us will meet tonight to align our prayers, our will and our protection to the people of that country, and to the feminine underground which has managed to survive both Taliban and Northern Alliance, both Fundamentalism and Western Exploitation.