God and the Feminine

As you go about the world, ready to smile, it is most often the feminine rather than the masculine that smiles back. Whether in man or woman. The anima rather than animus. (Not that one is always ready to smile of course).

“If you and I are to live religious lives, it mustn’t be that we talk a lot about religion, but that our manner of life is different. It is my belief that only if you try to be helpful to other people will you in the end find your way to God.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

I’m not sure of the point of masculine qualities in the modern world. Aggression and all that goes with it. Perhaps male is simply necessary for female to exist at all?

“You couldn’t have strength without weakness, you couldn’t have light without dark, you couldn’t have love without loss”
― Jodi Picoult

 

Conjugating Feminism

Animo

Animas

Animamus

We comprise  dynamic balance. Yin, Yang – or Jung’s concept of Anima and Animus.

Animus ..  the male aspect of the female psyche, as the Anima is the female aspect of male psyche”

I like the concept of conjugation in relation to establishing this balance, as in Buber’s  “I & Thou” – moving onward to an existential “We”.

Perhaps then,  Animo, Animas.. Animamus. (Anim-am-us).

Feminism is a conjugating force  rebalancing centuries of dominance of male. The work though is inside each of us, balancing our Anima and Animus to release our true self. Can someone tell Donald Trump & Daish.

[And yes the attached sound-thought-expressions (I don’t want to call them music) owe something both to Bach’s Siciliano transcribed by Wilhelm Kempf]

Neighbourhood feminism

It is not heroic to feel injustice as it affects you personally. It is understandable, but not noble. A woman confronted by the pervasive but subtle continued tilt of the rules against her; a black in a white dominated society. The feeling of being apart, and made less human because of it – and the righteous anger that it provokes.

Understandable, forgivable.

But not heroic.

What then is the journey of the Hero? What is the dragon that she must slay? It is fighting for the other. Nobility is reserved for those few who feel and bleed for their neighbour. The man who is a feminist, the white who fights for justice with his black brother, for the woman who refuses to participate in the projection of society’s shadow onto another “nation”.

Best summed up as – loving your neighbour. As yourself.

Oh boy, I find it tough. Personally. Love my neighbour, as myself? For most of my life I’ve believed – with my mind – in equality. Indisputable unless you believe we are only material. BUT. That’s not the same as – loving my neighbour as myself. Loving requires empathy. You don’t love an empty ideal. You need to be with, to sense, feel and bleed for – your neighbour. Specifically – the “other”. Love flows in the language of compassion, rather than intellect..

The journey of the Heroine requires us to share feeling with our neighbour. Seeing them – as ourself. (Namaste). To love them – as ourself. To fight for them with the same passion and intensity with which we fight the injustice practiced on – ourself.

Neighbourhood feminism. One of the two great commandments given to us (men) by Christ.

Peace, Radicalisation and Progesterone

It was striking in the recent Scottish referendum that the young and male voted in a markedly different way from the old and female. The call to fight is an appeal to testosterone. It rouses people out of their beds, out of the apathy of materialism or despair. However, it comes at a cost. Division. Us – against yous. Our poor, our oil, our land, our nation.Not yours. Alongside the passion there is and has been a considerable degree of radicalisation. An awakened anger seeking outlet,  but to what purpose? Passion in pursuit of a just cause is good, necessary and admirable;  but nationalism is always wrong. The fruit of that plant is always bitter.

Whilst there is no doubting the motive power of the raw male, testosterone fuelled  radicalisation has unintended consequences. The best way to rouse the young male is to find and to caricature an enemy. One that must be fought. Winning is all. The world has witnessed that from age to age. It’s how wars start, it’s how repression is justified; and worse. We can see that in radical Islam. What has IS and their beheading culture really to do with the religion? Could these young men stay in charge unless they had the USA (great satan) as an enemy? Is the motive force amongst these radicalised young that of that great peaceful religion Islam? I suspect its more to do with  the desire of young men to fight, kill, win and control their enemies and women. To its great credit, in Scotland it wasn’t the noisy, the young and the men who carried their way. It was the old and above all it was women. Both groups with lower testosterone. That’s called democracy.  We must prize it. It was the testosterone-lite who quietly said no, at least not now and not like this. Those who have an eye to continuity and the future. It is of course particularly women who care passionately for community, compassion and an integrated society. Not exclusively thank goodness; but I wonder what a world would be like if it were run by  women, educated and empowered.  Do you really imagine that there would be noisy cars racing round Edinburgh? The turning away from the excluded parts of society in Liverpool, Manchester and rural England? The beheadings in Syria? No, of course not. On the other hand – there wouldn’t have been the degree of social injustice in the first place.

I have come and gone with feminism. A one time supporter, a some time doubter; but if we could evolve a world and society where testosterone was not the key to decision making, then put the women and the old in charge. Feminism as leadership rather than equality. Bring it on.

Is this the way to peaceful radicalisation?  Perhaps in a connected world where strutting masculinity were side-lined and channelled – then we could focus together on what really matters. I put it to you (as a mere man, but aging) – that the plight of women around the world and of the poor, oh and of our children’s environment – are somewhat more important than whether one male tribe in these British islands – covered in woad – triumphs over another.

Same old nationalism

I keep asking a simple question. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence? I haven’t yet had an answer, from anyone, of any type.

People talk about “political engagement”. As in – feminism, fight against global poverty, fight for democracy. All good, noble, positive. But “political engagement” combined wtih nationalism and you have what –  Isis, the BNP, National Socialism. The point is that the concept of  “nation” is dangerously intertwined with that of  “race”. Easy to tip from one to another. A cheap way of harnessing base prejudice to a politician’s particular interest. Did I say cheap? Expensive in the end. A bill paid in hatred, division, further prejudice. Ask Jim Murphy.

So I repeat. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence?

And living as I do in Scotland – part of a rich peaceful democracy – and nationalism seems to me to be self-indulgent at best – given the quiver-full of real issues that cry out for our political engagement.

Henry Kissinger wrote a telling and thoughtful piece in the Sunday Times Review today – about the dangers that could engulf the world. Look only to Russia and Ukraine, almost anywhere in the Middle-East and much of Africa.

And in Scotland our attention is where exactly? And why?

I would understand some of this if I had an answer to my question. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence?