Archive for July 13th, 2010
I am returning to the dream about which I posted yesterday evening. I am taking another older photo in order to attempt to portray the feminine in archetypal form.
Nut, Palden Lhamo, Kali, Coatlicue, Coyolxauhqui, Gaia – these are names of goddesses that are associated with the colour blue. My initial response to the dream wherein the woman that had been raped was blue, was of being in the presence of a goddess, probably because I had experienced the use of blue in terms of divinity while spending time in India. Today, the goddess Gaia comes to mind as the great Mother. In distant memory, it was Nut, a blue goddess, from whom all came into being. The universal story of a great Mother from whom issued a host of gods and goddesses is told in every culture. And for most of them as far as I can find out, the great Mother is “blue” in honour of the birth water from which all is born.
So this becomes my starting point. The archetype of all that is Feminine, all that is Mother, is in pain. And somehow, I have just experienced her pain and as a result must act. I guess you could say I have been “called” to do something that will foster the healing of the Mother. Why? The best answer I can give is that I have come to realise that the Mother is within me, just as the Father is within me. I am being called to saved my “self” and in the process do my part to heal our planet.
I have to admit that I am struggling with how I am to do this. What words do I say here? How do I serve this call? Do I even want to follow the call and disrupt my relatively comfortable life of retirement? And why me? This is a big work. I will try to outline just a few changes that need to happen as part of the process in the following words.
We have to shift from “faith” to “consciousness.” Four major religions of the world are patriarchal – Christianity in it varied forms, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. In the three western world religions, people are taught to follow the way without question, that belief and faith are central. The goal of salvation comes to those who basically deny the world and their brains (consciousness). Matter and Mater are extraneous as is evil. In all of these religions, the god is out there somewhere, a transcendental being/non-being who has no use for human contrariness which seems to come into existence with consciousness.
I have met the leaders of churches that have lost their faith, congregants who have lost their faith. Though faith has disappeared, their roles in their churches remain the same. Sometimes they become more dogmatic in their religious practice hoping for faith to magically re-appear. It is as if “God” has abandoned them. For many of these people, consciousness is a curse. Life was simpler and more certain when they only had faith as their guide. But midlife had its own demands, a demand for individuation where there was a need to integrate those aspects of self that had been buried deep, denied the light of consciousness.
There is a need to find a way to bring consciousness and the feminine into the lives of those living these “faiths.” This seems like a huge task and one that needs a lot of time regardless of the “necessity” for this uprising of consciousness and the feminine. But it doesn’t seem to be close to being enough. We do have issues that demand immediate attention in terms of the economic health and well being of ordinary people in conflict with capitalism possessed. This concern with economics and the profit margin is negatively impacting on the environment that is needed to maintain the very survival of our species. But perhaps the greatest need is that of how to relate with “other” so that we allow ourselves to be saner beings.
So much to say, to do . . . words fail me.
I took this photo almost forty years ago. Somehow, a lot of my negatives from that time period were lost to poor storage or simply because I moved house too often. Time had a way of reducing the quality of the negatives poorly stored. I have to admit that when I was younger, the need to “archive” my photos and negatives was not the highest of priorities. I took photos and printed out those that meant something and that seemed good enough. Yet, in spite of all of the deficits of youth, something remains that has value in the present.
I have been spending some time digitizing the negatives that were rescued. Obviously there are “family” and “event” photos that be eventually placed in their correct position in the archives along with digitized colour photos that have been collecting in books and boxes over the four decades. But, the photos that are catching my eye are those that don’t quite “fit” into these archives. Why did I take them? What did I see then? Is there anything in these old photos that can find a place in a new archive of photos that don’t “fit” into the family and event photo archives?
This photo makes the cut for me for a new archive. Though it might also be a candidate for “family” archives, it definitely has archetypal value that goes beyond the unique family that includes the two individuals in the photo. And that, is what I look for in making choices of what to keep.
This photo talks to me of the “feminine” as well as “mother.” This could be any woman, any mother. At least, that is how I see the photo. Yet as soon as I made this distinction, this determination I challenged myself with the use of the words feminine and mother. Do I really know what either word means? Mother is something I can say I understand experientially as I have been mothered, born to a woman who then proceeded to care for me in her way. Feminine? I am not so sure. I think I know what that means, but that is about as far as I can go with the word.
I wonder if there is a need for distinction between masculine and feminine. Does such a distinction ever offer any positive value? I think of the extremes of patriarchal power and matriarchal power and see “harm” in either version. Is there any need to differentiate gender in terms of “characteristics” and “qualities” and “tendencies?” But yet, I know that men and women are different, that male and female are different. Besides and obviously physical difference (not so obvious at times for some for whom physical lines seem to be blurred), what is it that sets men and women apart? I am asking these questions because of how Jung has used the masculine and the feminine in trying to arrive at a state of wholeness for the human psyche. As for answers, I am too busy thinking of the questions at this point. For now, all I can say is that it isn’t time for me to have an answer. For me, it isn’t all black and white.