Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Woman Clothed with the Sun

The Woman Clothed with the Sun

A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.  And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon. . .  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God. . .

Now war arose in heaven. . .and the great dragon was thrown down.

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent. . .
Revelation 12: 1-6, 7-9, 13-14.

Women Who Will Transform The World

Sometimes, it takes one woman; sometimes, it takes many.  Almost always, I’ve found, when there are enough women in the room so that everyone stops counting, women become free to act like women.
   It’s then that we can eliminate double standards, and accept that men and women are different – and that they bring a different range of experiences, skills, and strengths to public life.  It’s then that we can start to value women as much as men and to retool our institutions to fit the broad range of choices that women – and men – make.  It’s then that we can expand our definition of leadership – and of the language we use to describe it.  It’s then that we’ll have more representative government, better schools, and more effective diplomacy.  We’ll have stronger communities and a fairer society.  We’ll be able to reduce conflict and build a better future.
   It’s then that we can take advantage of all that each of us has to offer.  And it is then that women will rule the world.  And when women rule, we will have changed the very definition of power.  We will have changed the world.1

The Unveiling
            The Unveiling: the unveiling of the code that describes how to access Wisdom, thereby transforming ourselves and our world.
  As we begin the 21st Century, humanity is confronted with the need for fundamental transformation at all levels of life.  The old ways of living in and perceiving the world are no longer capable of dealing with the rapid changes and global scope of the complex problems that face us.  We must evolve to meet the new needs of the times.  We will have to adjust to a paradigm shift in our core beliefs and in the way we understand the world and our place it in, for we can no longer ignore our responsibility for creating the problems that face us nor can we be easily absolved of our guilt in creating them.  Like God and the Devil, we have become creators, both of great good and of great evil.  
Since the human psyche naturally looks for unifying images to make sense of chaos, and these fundamental changes will involve a psychological death before new life can grow, our collective psyche has reanimated the apocalyptic images of Western culture, as well as Native and Eastern images, to try to make sense of current world events.  The Book of Revelation is sometimes called The Apocalypse, but we have to remember that an apocalypse is an unveiling, an opening into the hidden dimensions of the Divine reality behind our mortal reality.    Many people are trying to see beyond the veil, trying to understand the meaning of these times through these apocalyptic images. 
The events of September 11, 2001 have become a marker for this unveiling.  The Fundamentalist Christians believe it is a sign of the Second Coming, a marker on the Rapture Index.  Jungian psychologist Randy Morris believes that the events of 9/11 can be seen as a revelatory experience, a visitation from “beyond the veil” to enlighten us about the state of our national consciousness and shadow.2   After September 11th, the world’s heart chakra was blown open, and for a moment, we became one world.   Unfortunately, September 11th soon became the rallying point for the forces of war and imperialistic exploitation, which is symbolized by the great dragon of Revelations, but it also became a call for people of goodwill and conscience to unite in spirit and dedication to create a world of peace and prosperity and freedom for the whole world.   That one moment of unity gave us a glimpse of our future. 
            The 2004 Tsunami in South Asia overwhelmed our psyches just as surely as the waves overwhelmed their victims, for we had never before seen such devastation from a natural disaster.   It made us feel our vulnerability in the face of nature’s destructive power.   It also proved that modern people are so far removed from their instincts that they actually stood on the beach and let their children play as the waters pulled back before the waves came crashing to shore.   Only ancient tribal people and animals were in touch with their internal warning system, removing themselves from danger. 
            The April 20, 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill and the devastating March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, which has displaced over 100,000 people and poisoned the land and water are both urgent reminders that our technology is not going to save us but rather destroy us if used irresponsibly.  And yet, the powers-that-be refuse to take action to change the way we live and do business.  Their attitude is ‘business as usual’ – an attitude that is so wrong-headed that it leaves me speechless.  So now it is up to each of us to take a stand for Life and use our gifts to re-create the world.
In the past century, uncounted people have dreamed of giant tidal waves sweeping through the land or hanging suspended in the sky.   R.J.J. Tolkien called these his Atlantean dreams, feeling they were past life memories.  C. G. Jung saw these dreams as harbingers of the Aquarian Age, an age in which there will be a great upsurge in the collective unconscious (symbolized by the ocean) so that the archetypal patterns that make us human can be lived out consciously.  An age of conscious humanity.  From ancient times, the image of the Age of Aquarius was seen as a deluge, an upwelling of the waters of life that brings freedom from tyranny.   Like the giant tidal wave, this energy will destroy those aspects of civilization that cannot or will not give way to individual freedom and creative collaboration.   We have now experienced the reality of these dream images, and yet the archetypal image opens us to a deeper understanding of the transformations our world must undergo; not just physical changes, but the transformation of the hearts and minds and bodies of humanity.  But just as these newest disasters created fear and vulnerability, they also engendered compassion and a clearer vision of reality.   A global consciousness is forming.
Many people live in fear of such disasters, while others call upon their bravery and determination to deal with these disasters in a courageous way.   Hurricane Katrina in 2005 saw New Orleans overwhelmed by the waters, except this time, nature was abetted by human neglect of the levees that were to protect the city.  Natural disasters have become commonplace, or rather, they have become common knowledge.  Before our modern era, we might never have found out about the devastating tsunami in Asia, which caused more deaths than many wars.  Because of modern media, we have come to realize that floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, devastating fires, mudslides, tornadoes and hurricanes have all occurred with startling regularity in the last decades of the 20th and first years of the 21st Century.   Global warming is accelerating at an alarming rate, and yet our governments are slow to impose restrictions on corporate violators and individuals have been slow to take personal responsibility for conservation.  Our old paradigm, which cannot encompass this emergency, makes it hard for people to take action.  Only a new paradigm can.   A good first step is to recognize the dangers of global warming and then get the nations of the world to join together to do something about the human causes of global warming.  The Earth’s ecosystem is breaking down.  Mother Earth is getting sick.  If we let this continue, we will destroy ourselves as well as everything else on Earth.  Good stewardship of the Earth must become part of our spiritual lives. 
Then there are the equally devastating results of our failed Western economic policies that have ravaged the environment and caused a widening rift between the rich and the poor.   The wars of the 20th Century and the war on terrorism that has begun the 21st Century have shown us that hatred and intolerance are still viable rallying cries to men who would rather dominate than love.  Cancer and AIDS have reached epidemic proportions.   Corporate scandals of corruption, vast public and private debt, violence and addictions are pervasive in Western society.   The world appears to be descending into chaos.  Our ego-centric Western consciousness, which tried to transcend the human condition and transform this planet into a 'safe' place, has instead brought us to the edge of destruction, both in war and in peace. 
            Our world is literally dying, and our corporate philosophy of conspicuous consumption, the materialistic shadow side of the Christian belief that this world is unimportant compared to our heavenly home, is the major cause of the problem.  Where once religion and philosophy steered humanity towards its purpose, we now have the corporate media pounding out our glorious new purpose: to consume!  After the tragedy of 9/11, President Bush called on Americans to go shopping.  It only got us into more debt and now we see the bankruptcy of these policies.  Our economic policies are killing off species at cataclysmic rates.  We are destroying forests which might contain cures for many of our diseases and which certainly clean our polluted air.  We are poisoning our waters, which is LIFE to everything on this planet.  We are depleting the topsoil that grows our food.  We are poisoning the land with our toxic wastes and causing mutations and birth defects in ourselves and the other species we share this planet with.  We are killing ourselves!    And yet, while American supermarkets, fully stocked with food that we finally realize is killing us, spring up every mile or two, millions around the world are starving to death.  Yes, we are killing ourselves, but it seems that Western culture intends to kill off everyone else before it has to die itself.

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