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Archive for April, 2007

Guru, Pandit, a shakti sage

More on the most recent issue of “What Is Enlightenment”; I mentioned in my previous post about the article on “Damanhur: Unearthing the secrets of a thriving utopian experiment” (what is enlightenment: Issue 36 April – June 2007).

So, this community has been secret until the past few years, operates under the untimate control of one man, integrates Eygyptian Mythology among other mystical teachings and kicks out people who are “disgruntled”.

OK, now in my definintion, this is not a “utopian experiment” it is a cult!  I would love to sit down for a “heart to heart” with the members who have been kicked out and see what they have to say about this utopia!

I actually had a belly laugh when reading that the head honcho, Oberto Airaudi, aka Falco says he reads a book a day.  “That’s fabulous for him”, I said to myself, “he is obviously not the one caring for the children!”

This whole secret thing and the Eygyptian mythology connection also gave me the creeps!  I don’t know alot about Eygyptian mythology but I do know that the Horus, Osiris, Isis triangle is filled with weird sexual connections, which seemed to be an ok thing at some point in mystical history but certainly is not ok for any reason in the current day.

So, in the “enlightened” publication of “what is enlightenment” we have another community profiled as a “utopia”, which is headed by one powerful male figure.  Out of five communities profiled in various articles, 4 are headed or founded by one powerful male figure.  In what way is this “enlightened” or moving towards a utopian future?

Riane Eisler distinguishes the dominator model from the partnership model in the following key word comparisons (pg 183 “The Partnership Way” Riane Eisler and David Loye 1990): fear-trust; win/lose orientation-win/win orientation; power over – power to/with; male dominance – gender partnership and so on.  I have considered it a given that in enlightened and or evolved publications the partnership way is understood as the respected and ideal model.

I feel like “What is Enlightenment” is in retrograde!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Introducing Shakti Sage

Hmmm, I have been pondering alot in the past few weeks.  As mentioned in my last post, reading “Integral Spirituality” by Ken Wilber and the most recent issue of “What Is Enlightenment” Magazine has really stirred things up for me.

 The feminist inside of me rose up in the last blog posting, in abit of a rant about “power over” words and titles and I used the term “blob” to describe me, in relation to a pandit and a guru.  This didn’t sit well with me for the following reasons.  I am no longer angry at men and/or dismissive of what they do.  I feel in retrospect that using the term blob was an “immature” of me and old way of relating.  I do, however stay with the idea that in a broad view, I am but a unique and singular blob in the “thick consistency” of humanity.  So are Ken and Andrew!

So, let’s start again; I am self-describing as a “shakti sage” and to me that means that I am claiming my wisdom (the sage part) as an older woman who has “been around” a few years and a few experiences and that I am fully aware of and try to tap into the heart-centered power, fire, lovingkindness and gentleness of my divine feminine (the shakti part) on a regular basis.  In my coaching work with women, I also support them to access their “shakti sage”.

So, it is the a shakti sage, reading, pondering and ruminating on the work and writings of the guru and pandit, filtering all words through a “partnership way” of relationship as outlined by Riane Eisler in her books “The Chalice and The Blade” and “The Partnership Way”.  So, a brief review; Ms. Eisler outlines “a dominator model” and “a partnership model” of relationship and shows that for about the past 4000 years most cultures in the world have been operating from the “dominator” model.

Whew, that feels good!

It may not come out in my words but since my last posting I have been feeling vaguely out of integrity with myself about the blob thing and have been feeling a sense of something new being called forward!

So, on to “What Is Enlightenment”.  Andrew Cohen (the guru) is the editor in chief and I love this magazine.  The current issue however, just sent shock waves for a few reasons. In the article entitled “prototyping the future”, four communities were presented, “all focused on one thing: the dream of a better world”.  As I scanned the photos and read the articles, one thing jumped out at me.  To me, only the first community, “The Vistar Foundation” showed anything remotely like a new prototype.  The following three communities are all based on patriarchal models of religion with abit of something different thrown in (tai chi, sustainability, rock music).  In reading about the success of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, I had absolute chills and felt sick to my stomach when I read the following quote from a female member, “mother of two and previously a tour organizer for a rock band” , “Just look at the [Bible].  Eve…was decieved even though she thought she was doing the right thing.  You know what happened?  Her husband didn’t step in and tell her what to do.  And now we’re all screwed because of it.”  The is chilling to me.  The author of the article then questions how does Mark Driscoll, the pastor of Mar Hill Church “inspire young post modern women to retrograde”  and answers that with the statement that they are looking for “liberation from liberation…and a principled lifestyle that is the exact opposite from the slacker generation.”

I say that in addition to the above, that the women in Mars Hill Church and more broadly in our culture are looking for, no, yearning for a model or way of being in the world that allows them and actually teaches them to access their own shakti sage.

So, yes, it is a yearning for more, a more spiritual, structured for some, principled, value based life but not from an infantized place of feeling the need for a male to direct decisions so women won’t screw things up!  I believe that what is being called for, screamed for, prayed for is a model of being strongly, spirituality, maturely female in our culture and world, in equal partnership on all levels, lines, states, and stages, quandrants etc.

I feel that this series of articles in “What Is Enlightenment”, through the description of the series in the title, vastly misportrays the reality of the articles.

Are you kidding me?  Fundamentalist religions (in the red zone) as prototypes for anything in the future?  From a very personal level this feels in total dissonance to what I thought the magazine was about on so many levels.

Don’t even get me started on “Damanhur”!

I know that fundamentalist Christian groups have “The Promise Keepers”, a men’s group that teaches men how to be the “head of the household” and lead and take control of the family.

What is being called for is a huge “gathering, coming together of or connecting of shakti sage women” to co-create, gestate, birth and mentor a “new way of being”.

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

The Pandit, The Guru and The Blob

I’ve been doing alot of reading over the past two weeks.  I “devoured” “Integral Spirituality” by Ken Wilber and am in the process of reading the current issue of “What Is Enlightenment” cover to cover.  As well, I have had the opportunity of engaging in a co-creative conversation with two of my wise women friends.

In the magazine, “What Is Englightenment”, Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen, self-described as the pandit and guru respectively, discuss “consciousness and spirituality”(my words).  You can read the magazine, or a dictionary for that matter for the definitions of guru and pandit and I will define “blob” for you right now.  According to websters, a blob is “a small lump or drop of thick consistency”; I am claiming the term “blob” for myself in this blog posting (that is rather poetic, don’t you think, a blob blogging?) and add the following; I am a blob within the thick consistency of humanity on the planet.  In my personal uniqueness as a blob of middle aged womanhood, I am currently hanging out in the UL quadrant, flipping back and forth between zone #1 and #2.  I have spent the past couple of weeks reading, digesting, ruminating and ultimately having a ton of questions and wonderings about what I have read.  Don’t worry if some of the terminology, abbreviations are new to you, I am only including these for my personal pleasure, the essence of my writing will still come through (I hope).

Let me explain my choice of the word blob, in addition to suggesting something thick and perhaps  fluid, it is a “charge neutral” if not “charge slightly negative” term.  To me, in my zone #1 (green, tending to turquoise, tending to indigo???), the words, pandit and guru, especially coming out of the mouths of white, anglo men, feel like “power over” words.  While I feel the both the recent issue of WIE and the AQAL framework begs for a feminist analysis, I will not attempt this basically because I do not feel qualified to but will simply outline my thoughts, feelings, observations of same and questions.

Noticing the time, and the quantity and intensity of writing still to add, I will end here for now and pick this up later…….

Until then, suffice it to say, there will be a riff, a rant and a rave!

namaste,

Zoey

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

Easter, New Thought Christianity and Oprah

This is a riff and rant and a rave!

 Having been brought up in a very conservative Fundamentalist Christian church (Lutheran btw and my dad was a Lutheran pastor), Easter has always been a very important and pretty somber (on Good Friday at least) religious celebration in my life. 

In adulthood, I moved away from fundamental Christianity, preferring to pull together my own beliefs from many spiritual traditions in an inclusive way.  It is interesting to note the similarities between religions: non-attachment, goodness, sharing, loving-kindness are some of the ones that are very important to me.

“New Thought Christianity”, and churches like Unity talk about not just the life of Jesus but mainly about the teachings of Jesus and it is from this perspective that Good Friday has a practical and powerful significance.  Yes, Good Friday is the day that Jesus was crucified.  In New Thought Christianity, it is also the day that we can use to “crucify” our wrong thinking and error thoughts and let go of resentments, anger and frustration through forgiveness.  It is like doing a cleansing of our internal rooms to shake loose and shake out any dusty and damaging thinking.  On Easter Sunday, we emerge, following the wonderful spring cleaning of “forgiveness”, in our perfectly imperfect humaness, living as best as we can our own “Christ consciousness. 

Try the following forgiveness affirmation: I totally and freely forgive anyone in my live who has harmed me through thoughts, words, or deads either consciously or unconsciously.  I forgive them, I bless them and I release them to their highest good.  Add specific people’s names in to make this even more powerful and don’t forget to include yourself too.  Often the person we hold the most resentment towards is ourself!

Now, for the rant!  I am thankful for my childhood religious background as it provided me with a foundation from which to springboard into more esoteric spiritual reading and thinking.  Over the past 15 years, I have read almost everything written about the Universal law and the Law of Attraction.  Even before the “Secret”, ahem, this stuff was pretty well known in many circles.

So, when Rev Run Simmons’ family was profiled on Oprah the other day, and they (all 7 of them, 2 parents, 5 kids) were visibly so upset while watching a taping which included  losing their daughter (and sister) one hour after her birth, while all the while going “thank you, thank you, thank you”, I felt physically nauseated!

In my opinion, the interpretation of the Secret and the Law of Attraction and the spiritual basis that was spoken about by Oprah and Rev Run, missed a huge piece, and that is the concept of paradox.  What the family was doing if you ask me, was denying their true, authentic and valid feelings and emotions.  So here is the paradox, yes, these are important feelings to acknowledge and honour and yes, from a “higher perspective” all is perfect.

In my experience, if these feeling are not given full time and voice, but are repressed or denied, this will only lead to further and deeper anguish later on, maybe showing up in a different way or for a different reason but show up they will.

The Universal laws are complex, paradoxical, not easily explained through words and can not be “understood” intellectually only but need to be lived and felt experiencially and in a body-centered way, which is why I believe the practice of yoga and meditation are so important to add into a more Western approach to spiritual practice!  Do I fully understand these laws, are you kidding, I am an infant in my understanding but sure do try!

OK, whew, so much for the rant!

namaste,

Zoey

life & business coach for women

www.positivelyoutrageouswomen.com

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