Sunday, 13 January 2008

Chapter Eight

Intuition - The Channel To The Great Mother
The scientific world likes to believe that new inventions and ideas arise from logical thoughts, using the accumulated knowledge of the past as a bridge to reach further. The towering geniuses of the present stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, and apply their intellect to climb even higher. To a certain extent this is true. Those who open the way before us allow us more freedom to build on their ideas. But they can also limit us by what they have chosen to explore. Over time, the areas they have researched become well-travelled roads, which makes it difficult for others to even think about a different route, let alone begin the job of clearing away the entrance to a new way. Eventually we come to believe that the only paths are the ones we habitually use, and ignore all the others because we are unaware of their existence. We may feel that people who try to show us another road are mad, because we have closed down all our options except the ones 'everybody' accepts.
One of our mind-sets is the belief that we solve problems and originate new ideas using our intellect. The education of scientists focuses on this, and ignores emotion and intuition as at best, irrelevant or peripheral, and at worst, harmful to the clarity of the logical approach. But the intellect can only work with the old, by laboriously reorganising accepted wisdom - rearranging the furniture, so to speak. To bring in something completely new requires intuitive genius, which takes no time at all. As long as there is desire for an answer, it can arrive 'out of the blue,' usually when the logical mind is inactive. This process has been chronicled many times. Information is received in a dream, while listening to music, or walking in the countryside, when the intellect is not focused on the problem.
All of us, not only scientific geniuses, use our intuition in this way. When we are relaxed, we loosen the constraints of our 'logical' mind. We can observe a stream of thoughts arising spontaneously, and moving through our minds in an uncontrolled way. We make connections, lead on from one image to another, without there being a sensible or logical thread between them. Most of these thoughts seem to be nonsense, and some are so disturbing that we immediately censor them, but others allow us occasionally to tune into new possibilities, plucked from the unknown. We may not feel that this kind of 'daydreaming' is important to us, and see it as a holiday from the real work of our intellect, but it is in fact an avenue to growth. The feelings, images and ideas which come to us in this widened state of consciousness are a mixed bag of fears, speculations and creative explorations. If we compare the brain to a radio receiver, then this state allows us to tune into new stations; instead of constantly listening to Classical music, we dip into a little Hard Rock for a change, and see whether we like it enough to try some more. We can also contact those parts of us which are heavily judged against by the conscious mind, and become aware enough of our fears and hatreds to begin the process of reintegration. If we are not yet ready to do this, we slide away from such areas with the ease of constant practice, and may not even know we have encountered them.
Where do these inner images and thoughts come from? There are many theories which explain the source. In many societies, both 'bad' thoughts and inspiration came from supernatural deities, and were seen as external. Christianity used The Devil to explain the inner temptation to evil deeds, and the god as the force for good. Both influenced man in a kind of spiritual tug-of-war, and both used rewards and punishments to influence him. Although these ideas have lost ground in Western society, there are still many people who excuse their 'bad' behaviour on the grounds of having been influenced by evil entities, and give the credit for 'good' things to Angels, spiritual guides and the god.

Jung postulated the existence of a level of awareness below our personal unconscious which is a communal one, and called it the 'collective unconscious.' If we see our conscious mind as the part of an iceberg which is above the water, and our personal unconscious as the rest of the iceberg, the collective unconscious is the sea in which all the icebergs float, and from which they were all made. It contains the history of the Human race in it; all human vices and virtues, talents and inadequacies are part of us, through our link to the collective unconscious. In esoteric thought, this same idea is envisaged as the Akashic Records, which contain a memory of everything which has ever occurred.
Using this concept, we could explain all new ideas and impulses as having come from other people, who are cross-fertilising with us all the time, and allowing us to take relevant information from the collective pool. It would explain why new ideas appear simultaneously in different parts of the world, without any visible communication between people, and why we can observe phenomena like Fashion and mob violence, which are collective agreements to behave or dress in a particular way. It can even explain possession by 'evil spirits' or 'bad' thoughts, since at a deep level we may be vulnerable to their influence through our connection to the collective unconscious. However, it doesn't give a convincing explanation for the genius in Art, Music or Science, who is not resynthesising old knowledge, unless we accept that the individual manifesting such talent is merely expressing for us all what has been collectively produced by the whole human race.
The atheist scientist likes to think he is the only intelligent life in the universe, which is a depressing outlook when you see the mistakes made by scientists over the years. If we were to rely on them to get us out of the messes we have recently created, we would have very little hope of survival, despite their cleverness. According to the scientist, everything is an accident, a random mutation of the body or mind which promotes the survival of the species. New behaviours and ideas are products of our desire to adapt to and manipulate our environment, and are retained only if they do not threaten this. So our geniuses are variations from the norm, who may help us to survive better, or who may be of no use at all. The same goes for the imaginative ideas of the ordinary person. They are randomly generated by the brain, for possible future use in surviving biologically, which is our only imperative.
The patriarchal idea of a father god offers us an equally cheerless picture of the world. Here is a deity who is perfect, omniscient and omnipotent, yet he creates a life-form in his own image which is so imperfect that it needs rules and punishments to keep it in line with his will. On top of this, the father god somehow allows an evil deity, the Devil, to exist which seduces us from the straight and narrow road to heaven, then blames us for listening to it. We become the battleground on which the opposing forces of good and evil play out an unending war, and we can never trust ourselves in case some of our ideas come from the wrong side. If we are on the side of 'good,' then we worry that our intuitions will cause harm to others, and sacrifice our impulses to be more than we already are in the name of 'love.' If we are on the 'bad' side, we suppress any input which might cause us to lose out in the battle for our own personal survival and gain. Either way we are stuck, because we do not allow the free-flow of information to help us move from our current position.
Intuition is a gift from the Great Mother, a glimpse into unlimited possibilities from which we can choose according to our will. This is not a reward for being good, though we can look at it this way if we choose to. The gift comes without conditions, and will not be withdrawn because of failure to meet some rules laid down by Her or Her representatives. If we do not want it, we can block it out, but it is always available if we allow it to reach us. Nor is the Great Mother a deity entirely outside us, as unlimited and unconditionally loving as we are limited and unloving. She is who we all are, collectively, when we do not place boundaries around us to fence ourselves off from the rest of Creation. That part of us which believes itself a completely separate individual fears Her, because it sees connectedness and unconditional love for others as leading to sacrifice and loss for the ego. It is afraid it will lose the gains it has made for itself alone.
Allowing love from the Great Mother to reach us through our intuition is not a trivial exercise. If we loosen the bonds of our conscious mind, we will experience many changes, as a result of the flood of information coming to us from the Goddess and from our repressed emotions and thoughts. For some it will be the way to a total transformation. The person they were will die, to be replaced by a larger self. If this happens quickly, or in an situation where there is no understanding or help available, the result can be what society defines as madness. Many geniuses have been regarded as insane because of the constant flood of ideas reaching them via their intuition. Often they had no way of slowing this flow once it began. They made manic attempts to act on it all, or attempted to pass the information to other people, who either did not understand it or were frightened by it. Or they mixed intuitive knowledge with personal desires and fears. Having experienced, however briefly, a sense of a self which was larger than the everyday one, they became convinced they were a god, or perhaps a reincarnation of Mohammed, sent to save mankind. They did not realise that if they were god, so is everyone else, because their ego wanted to believe in their supposed unique divinity. This, we have to quickly say, is a completely different story from actually being a clear and powerful channel for the Great Mother, though it may look similar from the outside.
When we venture into the dark underworld of the unknown, we meet ourselves. We encounter the Great Mother, who is unconditional love. Since we are part of Her, our bliss when we feel Her is a recognition of how it used to be when we were in paradise, still strongly connected to Her and to each other. We feel no barriers, no fear; only joy and happiness. Even a transient flash of this reconnection can act as an amazing catalyst in someone's life. Having felt love from the Great Mother, they can never be quite the same again. They may interpret their experience in terms of the particular religion they follow, and see visions of people and deities from it, but the form is irrelevant. However briefly, they have opened up.
The unknown also contains those parts of us which have been eliminated from our consciousness, because they have been judged against. We have judged against the Great Mother too, of course. We may believe that we are inferior beings, unfit to be anything other than what we already are, yet still unconsciously yearn for Her. But there are also forgotten longings, guilt and fears in the darkness.
If we live in a patriarchal society which forces us to behave in particular ways, and brainwashes us into 'correct' behaviour, our impulses to be different from this do not disappear. They go underground, and we may not be aware of them at all. A man, for example, who has been told that he must not lie, steal, kill or rape, may behave in an extremely law-abiding way. His fear of punishment prevents him from either acknowledging his desires to do all these things, or from acting on them. He may believe himself to be a paragon of society, destined for Heaven when he dies. He will probably also be highly judgmental of all those who do not behave as he does, but 'give in to' their antisocial impulses. If he is in a position to do so, he will punish transgressors in an extremely emotional and angry way. They are bad and he is good because he controls himself, so they must suffer as well as be prevented from harming others.

Such a man, who still has individual desires he has not fulfilled, needs the voyage into his personal underworld to meet them. If he does not do this, he merely postpones the inevitable. He represses his desires, but they are still there. It's something like sitting on a large monster in a sealed container. Only by remaining vigilant can the man ensure that the monster does not escape and wreak havoc in the world. Many tightly controlled men are convinced that this would happen if they allowed their feelings free expression. Unleashed, they would kill or otherwise harm everything in their path. They experience this as further pressure to control themselves.
If all of us stopped sitting on our own personal monsters one day, it's possible that there would be total mayhem. Some of our feelings and desires are pretty angry about being shut in a dark cupboard for millennia. They might overwhelm the conscious personality and run riot. Other feelings would not rush out, but huddle fearfully in the darkness, because any previous attempts at movement have been met with violent subjugation. They would require substantial evidence that the same thing was not likely to happen again. We can see the same phenomenon in everyday life. A child who has been repeatedly beaten by adults does not respond with instant acceptance when given help by a kinder person. She is likely to fear that this is a temporary lull in her misery, and be very wary. In time she may completely lose her fear, but it is a slow process. So it would be if we were to allow some of our hidden desires to emerge, because of our painful memories.
If we do not relax our conscious control and contact our own hidden parts, the monster does not remain patiently in the container. It tunnels underground, and pops up in our life as other people. They home in on us, exhibiting behaviour designed to trigger off our release. John Smith, for example, is an entirely worthy individual; a regular churchgoer, successful businessman and faithful husband. He has no inkling of the monster. When he finds that his brother-in law has two mistresses, he is apoplectic with fury, and bans him from the house. His strong feelings are a message to him that he should look at himself a little closer, but he doesn't. As far as he is concerned, his brother-in law is 'bad' and he does not realise that his self-righteous fury is in direct proportion to his unconscious fear that this is something he might wish to do, or has been guilty of in the past. At a conscious level, he feels safe from ever behaving in this way, but his anger shows us that it's not quite so simple. He may be exhibiting 'the fanaticism of the recently converted,' or refusing to see that deep-down he too would like two mistresses.
We react to the people in our personal life-drama as if they are completely outside us. They are not. We are all inter-connected. Those relationships and situations we need for our growth have a habit of catching up with us, whether we like it or not. We have an impulse to grow, to extend ourselves because of our very nature as children of the Great Mother. This involves us in an urge to explore the unknown. For each of us, that has a different form. Most men will be required, by their own unconscious desire to return to the Great Mother, to explore unconditional love for others; instead of looking ever outward for the answer to the riddle of creation, they will look in. They will have to begin the process of redeveloping their intuition, and respond to their increasing desires to help and serve others. Most women will have to accept their inner drive towards individual free-will, after millennia of feeling that to desire anything other than the happiness of others is selfish and unwomanly. For all of this we require trust in the Great Mother.
How do you tell whether an impulse coming from within you is the voice of the Great Mother, or whether it is the ego's? This causes problems for people who wish to 'do the right thing,' and worry that they can't tell the difference between impulses for 'good' and mad, bad or dangerous ones.
If we consider that it is equally valid to have a sense of a separate self and an awareness of being part of All That Is, then it is not 'bad' to be spoken to by the ego. We have to acknowledge all the parts of us. To deny individual free-will is not necessary. Nor must we deny our connection to the Great Mother. If we balance those two voices inside us, that of the ego, and that of the Great Mother, then we become whole. So we can listen to both. Men, by and large, have paid attention only to the promptings of the separate ego, and ignored the voice of the Great Mother. This has led them into self-centred behaviour, and produced a capacity for cruelty which can only come from blocking out awareness that the rest of creation is linked to them. They see people and the planet as wholly outside them, so it becomes acceptable to hurt them. Women, in contrast, have largely listened to the Great Mother, and not the ego. They feel their connection to others, thus diminishing their willingness to cause harm.
Once we move onto the path of the Goddess, there will be change. Men who have oppressed both other men and women will find that the voice of the Great Mother is impossible to ignore. Though the ego will still speak to them about loss if they listen to Her, its voice will become weaker as it realises that no sacrifice is involved. The man will be reassured by his experience of joy when even small movements are made towards unconditional love, encouraging him to listen even more. Women will find that the catastrophes they imagined would happen should they refuse to remain slaves, never materialise. Although they may take time to lose fear that men are suddenly going to switch back to oppressing them, they will find that men's new responsiveness to them is here to stay. This will encourage them to continue to develop their individual free-will without the terror of the past being recreated.
There are no rules about these inner voices, just as there are no rules about behaviour. If we listen to what their message is, we will eventually become whole, though we may not act on what they suggest. Just because I have an impulse to steal does not make it the right action for me, but I must accept that part of me feels like doing this. It is the suppression of desires and feelings in the first place which has caused us difficulties, even though it may seem the only possible action. A man on the path of the god, for example, may be forced to obey laws which give the women around him some freedoms. In his heart of hearts he feels they should be his slaves, but he has to hide this, both in his behaviour, and from his conscious mind. He does not really know he feels this way. Eventually the pressure of his need is too great, and he becomes a secret rapist, terrorising women while in his 'normal life' he is a devoted husband. It would have been better for him to acknowledge his desires and allow himself to feel his anger at having to suppress them. Perhaps he could have found a woman who still wished to be a slave, and avoided the horrendous build up of denial which resulted in violence.
A woman who is changing paths may experience difficulties if she denies her inner drives. She may wish to be treated as more than a second-class citizen, yet still be in a largely patriarchal society. She tells herself that her desire is not possible, but she still secretly possesses it. Underneath her surface rationalisations, which enable her to operate as a patriarchal woman, she is burning with anger and despair. Because she is unlikely to turn outwards with these emotions, and attack men, they fester inside her, leading to depression, and diseases like cancer. If she had acknowledged and accepted her desires, without guilt and fear, this would not have happened. Eventually she would have been totally sure that it was what she wanted, and reality in her vicinity would have changed to accommodate her wishes. Her unconscious denial that what she wanted was possible or 'good' had prevented her dearest wishes coming true. Once the denial disappeared, because she unreservedly accepted her desires, consciously and fully, life supported her, and granted them.
It cannot be said too strongly that we must allow ourselves to be who we are. Many thought systems encourage us to have desires and goals which do not fit us. We may aspire to ideals of nobility and selflessness which are contrary to some of our feelings. Not only does this produce repression of those parts of us which refuse to go along with these aspirations, it also leads to projection of these parts on others, inner unhappiness and what we might call evil. As Buddhists say, we must be in 'the Now.' This involves acknowledging all parts of us, and accepting them without condemnation. Only external morality tells us these aspects of us are 'bad,' which implies there is only one way for everyone to behave, only one way to grow. As long as we allow others to decide which side of our personality is 'light' and which is 'dark,' we will continue to hide bits of us from ourselves. Like Hercules, we must drag the many-headed Hydra into the light of consciousness, where it will die, as the fear of our 'dark' side will die when we allow it to surface, and listen to its needs with compassion and love.
Once we have begun to reclaim ourselves, listening to and feeling with our lost parts will bring us closer to balance and wholeness. They may be angry or in pain, so it is not merely a cerebral task. It will take time, for most people, but it will eventually bring harmony and joy. If we accept help from the Great Mother, and open to intuition, the process becomes easier. She is always ready to assist us, but we often refuse to ask because we fear what might happen as a result. As we have said before, those who have given most space to the ego fear personal loss; those who have given little space to the ego fear that they will lose the love of others, and become 'selfish' or tyrannical. These fears should not be ignored, but felt and respected until reassurance comes. Then we can act without internal conflict.
Although we parade logic and reason as being the best guide to behaviour, we do not use them as often as we think we do. Emotion, particularly denied emotion, plays a large part in our decision-making processes. If we add to that, our belief that we live in a hostile universe, in which conflict is inevitable, we can see that our lives are anything but 'reasonable.' Our House of Commons gives us a superb example of how decisions are made. Firstly, we have a Government and Opposition, which means that most of the time, a Labour M.P. is never going to agree with a Conservative M.P., whatever the rationality of the situation. If we add to that, the fact that politicians are as interested in power as in making a sound decision, we move even further from logic. Self-interest does not make for unbiased decisions, especially when an election is on the horizon. Individually and collectively, the Members of the House of Commons are riddled with prejudices and fixed ideas which have nothing to do with objective fact, however cleverly they argue their case on that basis. They also lack full knowledge about a particular issue, partly because their minds refuse to allow them to consider all that could be relevant, and partly because they are not objective thinkers, but seekers after power.
This does not make politicians in England 'bad' people. They are only as limited and muddled as the rest of us. But they have chosen an occupation in which they make decisions affecting millions of lives. Though they may vary in their altruism and perceptiveness, they still feel that somehow they are capable of making 'the right decision,' for us all. We in our turn allow this to happen.
We have other beliefs which prevent us from seeing clearly, most of which we have acquired from our parents and society in general. Some of these we may never question. Others are replaced as we outgrow them, but we never lose the need to surround ourselves with ready-made explanations of how the world works, to impose a structure on it. The model of reality in this book is no exception. Infinity is too much for us to comprehend in its entirety, so we select a chunk and call it the whole. We replace true, intuitive Knowledge with faith and belief. If some of our beliefs rest on shaky foundations, we use our intellect to search for information to support them. This is quite easy to do, because there is a vast amount available. We are able to pick out facts that support our beliefs and ignore the rest. The truth is that we do not arrive at our beliefs by looking clear-eyed at the facts available, and reaching a sensible conclusion. Our beliefs often fly in the face of evidence, and are the motivating force for selecting information, not the other way round. We hang on to them for safety, and only relinquish them when our inner consciousness is ready to change. Our beliefs evolve as we do.
Politicians, religious leaders and scientists trade on our need for beliefs by which to structure our life. They offer us a ready-made package which we can 'buy.' This removes the uncertainty about what is right and wrong in a given situation, and they assure us that if we follow their guidelines we will be in heaven, whether that is a spiritual or material one. A world without structure and rules seems frightening to most people. Often they will fall into the hands of a rigid system because of that fear. New religions which regulate every aspect of life have mushroomed in recent years, as new matercentric ideas of free choice permeate society and frighten some people. Those who join such sects are comforted by the certainties of the guru or leader, and are willing to sacrifice everything for this kind of security, even their families. Societies in which everyone knows their place and keeps to it offer the same kind of safety. The known and explained is preferable to free choice, even if your life in such a world is a relatively unpleasant one. You know where you are.
We seem to be contradicting ourselves here, because we have also said that the speed of change, and of life in general within a patriarchal society is unhealthy. So why are we not endorsing rapid change as a way of effecting the breakdown of patriarchal structures and rigid belief systems? Again, form is irrelevant, and content is all. Change imposed from outside is different from change brought about by a new willingness to grow. In an ideal world, no-one will want to force alterations in behaviour on others, or judge them because they wish to be different. The movement towards the Great Mother will produce inner change, which will reflect in the dissolution of fixed systems that have outlived their usefulness. Those who still wish to join together in clinging to them, will not be allowed to force them on others who do not want this. If we find that others can still make us do things we do not wish to do, then we will have to go inside to find out why, and ask for help from the Great Mother in eliminating our denials.
Bill speaking..... My own life has taught me the mistake of believing that decisions are intellectually based. I used to think of myself as a thinker, an intellectual sort of person, until one day it dawned on me that I often argued points which couldn't be sustained logically. My beliefs and opinions had very little to do with logic and reason.
My family - my father in particular - and my society, brought me up to be what can only be described as a male chauvinist pig. It was an attitude I never questioned, even when it led to the breakdown of the first serious relationship I had as a young man. By chance I then read a book called 'The First Sex,' by Elisabeth Gould Davis. I can't say that it was a wonderful book, and it certainly showed no intellectual brilliance, but the content appealed to something very strong within me. My views on women changed overnight, and I began to read Women's Liberation books. None of them contained what I was looking for; nor has any book since that time. I realised that if I wanted to read the book was searching for, I would have to write it myself. Once I found Pamela was as interested as I was, it became possible.
Reading through the reams of material on the subject of life, the universe and everything, I found that certain ideas excited me and others left me cold. Pamela says that a true statement goes 'boing' inside her in the same way. It has nothing to do with the intellectual rigour of the argument, and everything to do with some other way of discriminating, a different kind of intelligence. I began to realise that something below my conscious awareness was guiding me, directing me to certain books, and using this feeling of 'truth' to show me which ideas would assist me on my own path. Obviously, other people would be directed to concepts which are right for them.
This guiding intelligence, I eventually realised, is my intuition, and I have followed it all my life, though not all of the time. Any occasion on which I have allowed my intellect to make decisions, has always led to disaster. When I was a child, it caused me some unhappiness, because what it told me was different from the views held by my family and society, but I was stubborn enough to listen, and follow its guidance. It always proved itself correct for me.'
The intuition is the 'still small voice,' referred to i the Bible. In most people, it is swamped by conditioning, until we almost believe it does not exist. But it is the voice of our Creator, the Great Mother. This produces a paradox for religiously inclined people. We are supposed to live our lives according to the wishes of our Creator, yet the channel that lets us contact her is feared, ridiculed, or seen as non-existent. We are told by people like ourselves what it is She wishes us to do, and threatened with punishment if we do not obey. Only since matercentric ideas have begun to change the rigidity of patriarchal religions, have any ideas filtered through that we are all part of the Creator, and can contact 'him' ourselves. Such notions, believed by various sects like the Cathars in mediaeval times, led to their wholesale extermination by the Catholic Church on the grounds that they were heretics. The real reason they were killed, of course, was that they threatened the temporal and spiritual power of the Church hierarchy. Power was seen to come down from the god, via the Pope, to the lesser ranks of the clergy. You were not allowed to marry, be buried, or be christened etc, without the offices of a priest. Nor could you worship alone. You had no opportunity to find your own way to your own truth, because it had already been decided for you. Even minor variations from the norm were forbidden.
Despite all this, the Creator can still influence us and our religious leaders by imparting Her wisdom disguised as dogma. When we allow it, our religious beliefs evolve to become more in tune with unconditional love. If this did not happen, we would sink into a black hole of negativity, with no hope of escape.
None of us has ever left the Great Mother, though we may think we have. She is still protecting us, and preventing us from becoming stuck forever in our mistakes. Much to the consternation of ruthless patriarchal leaders, they can never achieve a society in which everyone is totally obedient. Ideas always arise which reflect desire for change. If these come from the poor and powerless, they are relatively easy to suppress, but if enough people desire the change, even the most violent and genocidal ruler cannot hope to prevent it. When ideas arise within the ruling elite, then movement is swifter, since the power to effect alterations is greater.
It is a truism to say that people can be killed but ideas live on. If human consciousness desires something, it will happen, whatever the opponents of the idea do to prevent it. Though patriarchal men attempted to eliminate Wicca, for example, and killed vast numbers of women as witches, they were not successful. The practice of the Old Religion lived on, secretly, until such a time as it could gain wider acceptance. The same is true of other ideas. After the First World War, Germany was subjected to the humiliating Treaty of Versailles. This in no way crushed the desires of many to expand 'The Fatherland,' and added feelings of anger to those of failure. It is no exaggeration to say that the figure of Hitler, who sought to conquer other nations, represented the collective will of those Germans who wished to see their country achieve European domination. The systematic extermination of the Jews, who were the scapegoats for German problems, and representative of 'the other,' to Germans, were again killed by this collective will, which was strong enough to ignore the will of those who disagreed. Because most of the genocidal activities took place in secret, it does not mean that Hitler and his immediate colleagues were solely responsible; at an unconscious level, Germany accepted and condoned this activity. We are not saying this to sit in judgment on Germany, but because the denial of collective responsibility leads to further suffering. Given the same situation, we may have behaved in exactly the same way as Germany. Its behaviour is a mirror for us to see ourselves and learn valuable lessons.
This is a particular example of a truth which has universal application. Our personal and collective past must be acknowledged and allowed to bring itself up to date. If men, for example, begin to lose their desire for enslaving and suppressing women, they may find it difficult to cope with the backlog of pain then presented to them by women. If they say simplistic things like - 'that was in the past, it's different now,' they will miss out on a vital step in their evolution. One of the things they must do is to learn to respond at an emotional level. An individual woman is not just herself. She represents all the oppression, pain and suffering experienced by all the women she is in emotional contact with, which crosses racial, age and time barriers. She may be enjoying 'equal' treatment, yet feel strong ties to those she reads about in books, who did not enjoy her freedom. The man, in his turn, represents the men who have inflicted this pain. If he is in a relationship with a woman who wishes to release this reservoir of human pain and suffering by empathising with it and talking about it, it is something he has chosen. He can help her and himself in a way which transcends time, by becoming emotionally responsive to the material she gives him. As we have said before, time is not as simple as we think it is. Through his unconditional love for those he has oppressed in the past, man undoes his mistakes. One man is all men. Whether we explain this by saying that the man has had past lives in which he was cruel and selfish, or whether we look to the collective unconscious for an explanation, doesn't matter at all. A man needs to feel love for those who did not receive it in the past. Listening to and responding with the emotions of a woman who is in contact with past pain is vital to him. In this way, he unravels time, and allows himself to move on. If he refuses, saying that he does not want to hear, then he slows his movement towards the Great Mother. This is currently a popular stance with many men, who do not wish to acknowledge the past, or who do not have the emotional capacity, as yet, to respond. Their impatience when a woman wishes to talk about past injustices, or the suffering endured by women in other countries, is a clear indication of this. Nor are men the only ones who are unwilling. Many women have also cut themselves off from the past, and are not yet ready to process these emotions. At this point, we have to reiterate our perennial reminder about form. Not everyone who wishes to discuss past oppression is using this to clear emotions and grow. Use your intuition to guide you as to what is really going on. Some people have the trick of 'bringing up the past,' to engender guilt, punish someone for their 'sins,' or in order to eliminate the present time from their lives.
The Bible states the necessity of integrating the past quite clearly. It talks about the sins of the fathers being visited on the sons unto the seventh generation. Patriarchal religion interpreted this as punishment from the god which was so vindictive that it didn't stop at the guilty, but punished innocent descendants as well. If we look at it again, we can see that it shows once again our interconnection, in this case, through time. The repercussions of our actions from the past can be 'visited on' i.e. released, by the present generation. Parts of the human race which live in what we see as the past, i.e. they're long-dead people, are still connected to us. Giving them the chance of release, through our current empathy and connectedness, frees all of us, since we are all in contact. This seems a complicated and improbable idea, but it is nevertheless true. If we think of time as a place, it makes it easier. We can envisage responding to the plight of slaves in the country of Ogagnol, who are suffering now, because we feel that there is something that we can do. We don't feel that way about societies and people who have crumbled into dust. Yet they still exist and can be helped, because time does not cut us off from them in the way we think it does. It lives in us still, in ways we do not fully understand. We can undo the past mistakes of humanity if we choose to, just as we can rectify a fault in a house we built ten years ago.
Our Creator gives us the truth we need now, through our intuition. This may be something which is for us alone, for a large group, or for all. We need different beliefs at different stages of our evolution, not because we are stupid or inferior to others, but because we are unique, and need to evolve in a way which best fits us. Although we criticise patriarchal society, we know that it is pointless to attempt to change people's attitudes by argument. We can disseminate information to those who wish to hear, and hope it will be of use, but we have to recognise that our ideas will not appeal to everyone. The people who listen to what we have to say will be those who are already converted, or ripe for a change. Many patriarchal people are perfectly willing to die rather than relinquish their beliefs, and in some cases would like everyone else to die as well. Despite the fact that this causes suffering for themselves and others, they are not likely to abandon their ideas until they realise that pain is unnecessary. This may take a long, long, time.
The fact that truth is not the same for everyone causes confusion in society. Many people believe that a belief system which works for someone else will work for them, and we see fashions in ideas which are both helpful and unhelpful. The helpful aspect is that we are given more choice. The media present us with so many new ideas every day, that we have the opportunity to select in a way which was impossible even twenty years ago. Dietary systems, health care, political ideology, spiritual ideas; there is so much on offer that sometimes we feel like a small child in a sweet shop, unable to choose from the glittering array. This is not helped by the fact that patriarchal values infiltrate many of these ideas. We are told, as we were by the Christian Church, that only this truth is true, and all the others are false. This produces the same old fears. If I don't eat this way, think this way, dress this way or behave this way, I am 'bad,' incorrect, stupid, or just plain old-fashioned. When the desire for change arises, we may run around from one new philosophy to the next, despairing of ever finding the one which is 'true,' and which will do to us what its authors claim - the 'This book will change your Life' syndrome.
It's great that there are so many new ideas, and that the world no longer insists on total conformity. But we are in danger of doing the same old thing - looking to someone outside us to make our decisions, and feeling guilt and fear because we are different. The new orthodoxies are no better than the old if they look down on those who disagree, and insist that they have a premium on goodness and truth. A mediaeval Christian, who tells you that it is evil to dance on a Sunday, has the same consciousness as a modern-day vegetarian who despises all those who eat meat. There has only been a form change. The spirit of condemnation and superiority, and the idea that there is one 'right' way to be, is the same.
There is a truth for us all, though we may share it with others. We may need to try on a fair number of the new ideas before we find one which fits us. If it feels right, and comfortable, then it is right. The person next door may have chosen something completely different, which is right for him. Only our patriarchal thinking stops us from seeing this, and we impose our views and beliefs on others as if they are the only ones which will work. All of us need the freedom to choose who to be, and the right to take the consequences of our choices. It is our only way to learn and evolve.
Life in patriarchal society is much easier if you share the same belief system as everyone else. Being 'different' is lonely and often dangerous, because of intolerance and fear. You need to be courageous if you are to trust your intuition enough to deviate from the norm, because so many people have been persecuted, murdered, incarcerated or ostracised for their beliefs. For this reason, many parents socialise their children into acceptance of the status quo, not because they particularly like it, but because they fear for their fate if they are in any way 'odd.' This perpetuates the cycle of conformity. Some groups take pride in their ability to brainwash children. The Jesuits, for example, are reputed to have said, 'Give us a child until he is seven years old, and he will be ours for life.'
We feel unable to throw off our conditioned ideas for many reasons. It is difficult, for example, to cope with constant persecution for a particular belief, and we may abandon it for a quiet life. But subtler pressures are just as tough to resist. Since we need other people, it is doubly difficult to accept love and help from them, yet refuse to conform to their wishes. Sometimes, we can feel ourselves the only sane person in a madhouse, and despair of ever finding someone who thinks and feels as we do, or is willing to love us as we really are. Our pressure on ourselves and each other to fit a narrow mould has driven us crazy, but since we are all mad, no-one really notices.
One of the effects of allowing people more freedom to follow their intuition, rather than dogma, is that children will become happier as we change to a matercentric society. At present, although society pays lip-service to the importance of mothering, it regards it as one of the lowest status occupations. Mothers have traditionally had no rights and massive responsibilities. They had to accept the dictates of the male god, male-orientated rules, and the superiority of the father of the family. Lack of economic independence and respect from men, has given them few options when raising children. Though they usually felt love for their offspring, theirs has been an artificial situation. Their job has been to nurture children on behalf of patriarchal society. This has involved no say in the number of children they bore, and a long list of behaviours which they were supposed to inculcate in the child. Since male children are quite likely to love the mother who loves them, the process has also involved a mother in seeing that love crushed by society in the name of masculinity. A boy has been encouraged from an early age to 'break free' from his mother's apron strings, and identify with the general contempt for women which society promotes. In doing this he becomes 'a man.' The only fate foreseeable for her daughters was the same oppression she herself experienced. Until recently, most women have not questioned their role as the servant of man and his ideas. Though they may have been unhappy about raising sons to be killed on battlefields, and daughters to die in childbirth, by and large they had internalised patriarchal values. They attempted to love their children on the one hand, yet indoctrinate them on the other.
Pamela speaking. 'Coming into contact with mothers from other cultures has shown me more about past oppression than books ever could. In a women's Refuge, I was asked to think of a solution to a seemingly insuperable problem. An Indian woman had come into the house because of violence by her husband which had nearly killed her. With her was a son of six and a daughter of four. The son was the problem. He constantly hit all the children smaller than himself. When the mothers intervened, he bit and kicked them. His own mother explained that she could do nothing to prevent his behaviour, because according to the rules of her society, women were not allowed to tell men what to do, not even small and vicious boys. Although she had broken the rules of her society by leaving her husband, she could not overcome her conditioning in this area. So her son felt free to behave in the same way as his father. We found no wonderful magic wand, I have to report. Though the European women attempted to give love and support to the boy, he interpreted this as womanly weakness, and intensified his violence. Eventually, we had to ask his mother to move, because no solution could be found other than returning his violence, and no-one, understandably, was willing to do this.'
When we look at present society, we see that women are generally more interested in people, children and animals; living things. Even when they move out of the home into the workplace, they tend to choose jobs which involve nurturing or interacting with people. Men, in contrast, seem to prefer inanimate things, which is why they have to structure society according to external rules and laws. Even in so-called 'free' countries, the Law is more important than the person, except when an individual has enough wealth or power to sidestep it.
To make matters worse, men's lack of emotional and intuitive development means that they cannot work with others in an egalitarian way. They feel the need to know where they are in the pecking order, so that it is clear who is allowed to tell them what to do. Seeing everyone in terms of their relative status inevitably leads to power struggles, since the ego is striving to gain for itself. The only way this seems possible, is by taking something from someone else, whether this is power, status or money. These 'things,' some of which are intangible representations of a belief in scarcity, satisfy ego needs. Patriarchal people firmly believe that there is only a fixed amount of everything. In order to have more of what they want, someone must have less, and most of the energies of dominant patriarchal men are poured into taking 'more than their fair share.' This can only happen if others share their belief that there is only a certain amount of something available, and see themselves as not having enough power to get an equal portion. The world then becomes a place where you must grab what you can before someone else gets in first. When you've grabbed your bit, you must then guard it with your life against predators. Men in positions of power spend a high proportion of their time in erecting defences as a result of this way of seeing the world. They must guard against the enemy within the organisation - young men who want to topple them from their position of power - and the enemy without - anything from rapacious tax-collectors to burglars.
Believe it or not. all of this comes from seeing the world as composed of dead 'things,' without life, growth, or evolutionary capacity. Even people are not excepted. One has only to listen to a politician discussing economic policies, to see that populations are as inanimate in his perception as the building in which he works. The employer who sacks large numbers of his work- force during a recession, may feel that he has no other option, but his ability to do this is entirely based on his inner belief that people are things. The further away he gets from his workforce in terms of the size of his organisation, the easier it becomes for him. Callousness towards employees in a far-flung branch of your organisation is more possible than when you have become intimate with the people concerned. Of course, some men can be just as capable of regarding human beings as ciphers when they know them well. However, it usually produces a feeling of discomfort in even the most hardened of patriarchal men if they have to give the boot to Bloggs, who has a widowed mother, and is struggling to find the money to pay for a vital operation to save his child's sight. Usually they still go through with this, and push the feeling of unease away because, as they see it, they have no choice.
Nothing is a thing. Everything has consciousness, even if it is one which we cannot understand. This realisation will come to men when they allow their intuition to guide them. They will see that the universe is composed of living matter, all of which wishes to be. Looked at from a position outside of creation, patriarchal men can only see the world and everything in it as external to them, without life. The ability to manipulate people and the planet comes from this perception. To an entirely patriarchal man, the only living entity is himself. Everything else must therefore be for his use. What else could it be for, since if he is all that exists, he must be god, and he must have created everything and have power over it all.
This is an extreme, of course. Very few men have lost their feeling of connectedness to this extent. Most feel the existence of people to some degree, though the most patriarchal will still regard wife and children as extensions of themselves, rather than independent beings. But there are enough men in positions of power, who regard the world as their plaything, to cause mass distress. They feel justified in their disregard for others as a factor in their plans, because they have no feelings for them. This allows them to send soldiers to certain death in battle, slaughter civilian populations, and indulge in the usual crimes of murder, rape and intimidation. The anger they feel when prevented from indulging in these activities, and the satisfaction they experience when no-one can, is entirely connected to the needs of the ego. There is no point in appealing to such a person's humanitarian feelings, because they do not, as yet, exist. Irresponsible and selfish behaviour springs from their inability to feel love for others, and respond to them. At the other extreme, we find those people who are so sensitive and connected to others that they never say no to any request, in case they cause pain, or they feel too powerless to resist being pushed around. Again, it is unbalanced. There is very little to be gained from encouraging such a person to choose an activity which pleases or benefits no-one but themselves. As yet, they have too little ego or recognition of personal power. When both of the people in these extreme positions are ready to change, they will do so. All we can do, in the meantime, is to use our fallible systems of law and social control to even up the situation, and protect those with a small ego from those who would exploit them. We manifestly fail to do this, since we do not recognise that preventing oppression does not cure the desire to indulge in it nor the willingness to endure it.
At the risk of sounding totally judgmental, we have to point out that almost all criminals, murderers, rapists, child molesters, soldiers, muggers, secret policemen, concentration camp commanders, arms manufacturers, dictators, torturers and bigots are male. If we leave out any element of condemnation, it is clear that it is men who pose the greatest threat to happiness for most people. Though they may have the ability to organise and control people, which women have little experience of, it could be said that they couldn't make a worse job of running the world if they tried. Not only are women oppressed, but most men are too. Our beautiful planet has been ravaged by war, the exploitation of its soil and massive pollution. We have the capacity to render it uninhabitable through nuclear accidents or nuclear warfare.
So far, so good. Millions of people are talking about the problems of the environment, and the oppression still found in many countries. There is a general consensus on the part of many Western men that women, the planet, black people etc, should be given more respect and consideration. Some have fully accepted that equality for all is the goal. Division of power and the sharing of responsibility for all decisions is aimed at, with both men and women, for example, participating in all aspects of life.
This is the current 'New Age' ideal; very comforting for men who have 'had it all,' because they go from having had all the cake to having half of it. It is also relatively unthreatening for women, who have neither the confidence to say, 'my turn,' nor the intuitive knowledge to see that a matercentric society is necessary for human evolution to continue. We cannot stop at some invisible middle point when we have lessons still to learn. The pendulum of change will swing past it. But men fear a world guided by women because of the way that they abused others when going through their own process of ego-development. They fear that women will behave in the same way, which some may do initially, having been conditioned by patriarchal society into believing that men's way is the only one possible. Also, they cannot see how women could manage it, since so few of them seem capable of tuning their video in, let alone ruling the planet. Women fear a matercentric society too, and for some of the same reasons. They are new girls on the job, and are heavily marked by millennia of being told that they are here merely to help and serve others. They will start out wanting to be 'fair and equitable' too. Then they will realise, through their connection to the Great Mother, that the best way for all is for men to be allowed to serve society and learn about love and responsiveness. The only way that this can happen is for society to become matercentric. As Jesus prophesied, the meek will indeed inherit the earth, but it will be in order to lose subservience and gain a feeling of independent value. When that has happened, we can achieve balance, because neither men nor women, logic or feelings, intuition or materialism will dominate.
This is not the same as perfection. Perfection implies lack of movement, of having reached a goal, so there is nothing more to do. It is the state envisaged by many Christians as Heaven. Consciousness will never cease evolving, so there will always be new possibilities, which of course brings in the chance of making mistakes. Integrating new ideas can be achieved without disharmony and imbalance, but only if we look at the whole, and disregard nothing. As soon as we begin valuing some people or things as superior to others, we introduce instability. Though we are free to move towards what we want, and away from what we do not want, this does not imply that some are 'good' and some are 'bad.' The Great Mother asks us to accept all of ourselves and become whole. We can't do this on an outer level until the inner process occurs first. If we balance ourselves, then society cannot fail to follow suit. Those who refuse to grow may well choose another reality in which they can continue to be out of harmony, but we will not be part of it.
Women, unlike men, do not regard the world as populated by things. Though they have been heavily brainwashed by society into limiting their love to their immediate family, i.e. a man and his children, most still insist on caring for others. Unlike men, they do not seem to need a reward for this in the shape of status, power, money and extravagant praise. When they see a need, or feel the pain of others, they respond, and take responsibility for relieving distress in a way which most men seem unable to do. Since the world has been brought to its knees by an excess of egocentricity, and a lack of love on the part of men, it seems ravingly obvious that women would make a far better job of ruling it, even if there were no spiritual reasons for this. Women, however, are no more ready, in general, to begin guiding and leading men than men are to be advised by a wiser and more enlightened woman. As we have pointed out several times, many women who are changing paths have chosen the route of suppressing their love for others in an effort to gain something for themselves. Out of fear that this is the only way, they have become just as unfeeling and callous as men. Though this may satisfy the masochistic needs of some men to be punished for their 'sins,' it does nothing overall to alleviate human suffering. Such women will relax when more men appear who are ready to surrender to powerful women. At present, since most men are solidly patriarchal, the only way to achieve anything as a woman seems to be to play them at their own game. Patriarchal men who are contemplating changing paths will respect and allow some power to a woman who has 'balls,' by which they mean that she is aggressive, dominating, success orientated etc i.e. she is like a patriarchal man. Though she may have to work twice as hard as a man to achieve any recognition, and be ten times as intelligent, she can get somewhere if she sticks to the rules.
This may seem unfair, and counter-productive, since society appears to be losing the nurturing side of these women, and gaining nothing in return. But it is an improvement on the total exclusion of women from business and politics which occurred before. And since nature abhors a vacuum, the grand sum of love in society is not diminished, because men who care for others are growing in number. Few are ready to surrender to women, since there are almost no matercentric women to surrender to, but they are growing in their awareness that this is their next step.
What is to stop a complete reversal of patriarchy, a world in which women are selfish, oppressive and uncaring, and men are the devalued nurturers of women's lives? This thought may be preventing many people from changing. Men fear the possible tyranny of women, and women fear that they will have to be tyrants if they cross over into having a leading role in society. If these views are not allowed to become conscious, they operate to prevent change. Women become exasperated by men who talk about equality yet manage to find wonderful reasons why it shouldn't happen right now, and men become equally irritated by women who demand power, then back away from it with a multiplicity of feeble excuses when it is offered. Both sides, at a conscious level, are totally sincere, but underneath is fear. Women look around themselves at society, and see that power involves treading on the feelings and rights of others, even if it is 'for their own good.' They have an instinctive bias against coercion, unless they are suppressing unconditional love, and they can see no other way to run society, because there has been no other way for millennia. They don't wish to cause pain, or thwart anyone's desires, so they continue to hope that somehow, a way will be found to make it all better, and that everyone will become loving and caring by the waving of a magic wand. Men see the same society, where conflict and coercion rule o.k. and either feel that women do not have the necessary qualities to change anything, or that they too will have to become dictatorial and ruthless to keep society functioning.
In a sense they are not wrong. In a patriarchal society, hierarchy and domination are inevitable, because those who have power use it for personal gain, and not for the happiness of all. Those who seek to influence others have their own ego in mind when they do it. Even if they see themselves as the guardians of morality and law, they are benevolent despots, since they have the arrogance to believe that their way is the best and only way to achieve stability and happiness.
Women's link to the Great Mother cannot be totally suppressed. They know that coercion merely produces outwardly correct behaviour, and does not change consciousness. Although they may initially punish men for their behaviour, once they are ready to forgive, they will desire to rule by consent. Only in this way can they feel at ease with a leading role in society. When men see that no force will be used, and that women truly desire harmony, not domination, they will become passive and willing to surrender.
The desire to guide society in a way which denies no-one's freedom will not arrive overnight. It seems to us that women must access the power of the Great Mother in order to develop both the wisdom necessary to be leaders, and the knowledge that no oppression or mistreatment will be necessary. They must turn away from the male god towards a female Creator, and open themselves to her love and power. Only in this way can they truly become Her representatives on earth. If they do not do this, men will not want to worship them, or accept their guidance voluntarily. They cannot respect and follow women who lack inner connection to the Great Mother. The only other option available to women who are changing paths is to ape patriarchal men, and fight for dominance and 'rights,' using the same tactics as men do. This will not get them what they want, except in the short-term, and it will certainly not produce a happy society, for them or for others. Men will feel no desire to surrender to them, so it will be a patriarchal power struggle, with the unhappiness and disharmony this brings. Any gains will be followed by losses as patriarchal men wait for a new front to attack on. It may seem to us that women have only achieved the gains of the last few years because of their struggles with the male establishment, but it is not true. There has been no need whatsoever for the strife and violence. It satisfies that part of us which enjoys conquering and battles, but it lays up trouble for the future. Patriarchal men who have been forced to moderate their behaviour towards women have not changed their inner attitudes. Given half a chance, they will rejoin the battle when women have relaxed a little, and redouble their efforts to 'put them in their place.'
This should not make us fearful, since irreversible change has occurred, and moved us towards a matercentric society. The inner willingness of men to change paths, and return to the Great Mother, and the willingness of women to begin the development of their own individual creativity, has produced the alterations in society, not the surface shouting and yelling. If we ask for what we want, and we have no conflict about having it, the Great Mother supplies our desire without any fuss. The anger and violence associated with recent changes has been caused by lack of certainty. A woman who feels her new desires may not be met, because of past experience, or who feels someone may lose out if she gains, may add anger, fear and justification to her requests. It seems to her, because her connection to the Great Mother has weakened, that this is what you have to do. You don't, unless you enjoy making life difficult for yourself.
Passing laws to remove barriers against women is as patriarchal in essence as laws which restrict them, though it will be some time before we fully realise this. If a man is denying a woman's right to freedom in a certain area, are we overriding his free- will by preventing him from discriminating against her? We are, because we are using coercion to force him into 'correct' behaviour, so we are no better than he is. Unfortunately, in our present patriarchal society, we can't see a better way to prevent the abuses of power. The growing power of women, and the feeling that oppression must be curbed, leads us into solutions which fit us as we are now. We respect force, whether it is the force of the law, or some other form of coercion. Bullies notoriously abandon bullying when faced with penalties of some kind, even if it means violence is necessary. So we use it. It seems to work, but it does not change the bully's desire for a victim.
Society accepts coercion as a way of life, which allows the bully to operate, whether he is in the school playground or in charge of a multi-national company. Co-operation, however, involves freely joining with others in a collective endeavour, and has no element of fear or force in it. To reach a co-operative society, we must eliminate coercion from our lives, in all of its forms, as fast as our fears and desires allow us. As always, this requires trust in the Great Mother, which develops slowly as we allow her to help and support us. Eventually, we will come to realise that no-one can make us do what we don't want to, and that the same goes for everyone else. We will abandon all our strategies to persuade, cajole, and oppress others, since they no longer work, and have no desire or expectation of being restricted ourselves.
To begin with, men who are changing paths may obey women, out of respect for their power in the patriarchal sense. They know, at some level, that women are going to be the leaders of society, but they can't imagine a world in which this is achieved without force, punishment or structures. Some of them will thoroughly enjoy this stage of their growth, and seek out a bullying and ruthless woman to be the agent of their atonement for the sins of the past. Others will look for a softer version of this; the woman who is strong yet more caring than a male boss. But she will still be partly patriarchal, in her firm belief that it is her money, her decisiveness and assertiveness, or her position in society which allows her to lead. She still needs the props of a hierarchy to feel safe, and so does the man. He is not likely, at this stage, to obey his secretary if he is the boss. She is not likely to either want him to, or believe it's possible.
After the crossing of the central pillar, change becomes more radical. Men will be willing to listen to and follow the advice of women who have no status at all within patriarchal society i.e. they are not rich, young and beautiful, well-educated, respected professionals, successful businesswomen, white or aristocrats etc. This doesn't mean such women will have nothing to contribute, far from it, merely that their patriarchal status is irrelevant. What will count is that they have begun to manifest the power and wisdom of the Great Mother. Men will be able to feel that this is so, since they will have been developing their intuition for some time, and will have lost their ability to judge women's usefulness by patriarchal standards. Women, in their turn, will cease appraising men in these terms too, and begin to value the passive (i.e. receptive to them and the Great Mother) and intuitive man, who seeks to serve society with his skills. As women become valued for their wisdom and ability to guide men, their confidence will grow, enabling them to relax further into their new role. Since the guidance given by women clearly benefits society, men will continue to look to them for advice. Their growing love for all will not allow them to continue to judge and oppress others for personal gain, so the whole structure of society will change. The idea of profiting at someone else's expense will die away, as will the need for external power in its myriad forms.
Eventually, there will be no trace of man's overbearing egotism, and women's self-sacrifice. Once each sex has learned from the inside, and expressed on the outside, the knowledge that we are one with the Great Mother and All That Is, yet independent creators as well, we will have completed our cycle. We will move on, to new cycles and new worlds.