Light in the darkness 3

The feminine face of God

Linking back to the issues in the first post in January, on the left brain/ right brain there are differing views on whether men predominate in one, and women in another – one view is that women are more able to move between the two. Clearly both men and women have both in their psyche.

Carl Jung wrote extensively about the masculine and feminine parts in each person using a different terminology. He saw the animus in women as their repressed masculine part, and the anima in men as their repressed feminine characteristics. In the discussion highlighted in the last two posts between the three men, aspects of the overwhelming dominance of the patriarchy, and the more masculine ways of organising were alluded to, but not explicitly acknowledged and further explored.

In 2009, the Dalai Lama famously said that the world will be saved by Western women. He called for an ‘increased emphasis on the promotion of women to positions of influence’.  In response to a question about priorities in the quest for world peace, here’s what the Dalai Lama said: ‘Some people may call me a feminist…But we need more effort to promote basic human values — human compassion, human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others’ pain and suffering.’ It is not entirely clear what he meant about western women, but one commentator has suggested that travelling the world and seeing so many women impoverished and repressed, the Dalai Lama thought that western women of all ages were in a position to speak out for justice, and to take loving care of the planet and its people.

However, in the UK we know about women in power – especially recently in the Conservative Party, and sadly this has not led to increasing compassion, but the reverse. Rather it surely has to be a re-evaluation of the qualities of compassion, empathy and interconnection as linked to the sacredness of life that need to be acknowledged within enough people to tip the balance away from the scientific materialism and left brain dominance.

Anne Baring, Jungian analyst and writer, calls this way of thinking the sacred feminine, or the Holy Spirit of Wisdom, a feminine ethos with the focus on the need to cherish, to nurture life without any attempt to impose an ideology or creed:

‘…the influence of the feminine principle is responsible for our growing concern for the integrity of the life systems of the planet and the attraction to the mythic, the spiritual, the visionary, the non-rational — all of which nourish the heart and the imagination, inviting new perspectives on life, new ways of living in relationship to body, soul and spirit, generating a new understanding of the psyche.’

The recovery of the feminine principle within each of us is the key to the transformation of our world culture from decay, disintegration, and progressive regression into uniformity, banality and brutality, a transformation into something longed for and extraordinary.