Return of the Feminine Principle: ‘Thriving Life’ or ‘Destructive Death’
The feminine has become a much-talked-about subject; feminine leadership, feminine ways of working, feminine structures, values and attitudes are topics discussed everywhere, from the underground media to the boardrooms. The return of the feminine seems well under way.
It will be a long and exciting journey — and it is not without obstacles, not without resistance from those who would like to turn the clock back, and certainly not without the interference of market forces, trying to press this diverse movement into formats that ensure its adaptation to the existing patriarchal structures and thinking.
Nevertheless this journey will continue, as the current global crisis is rooted in humanity’s loss of ‘heart, soul and connection’ – all domains of the feminine – which have been replaced by a materialistic view of the world, by lateral thinking, greed and self-centredness. The more we accept that the latter have brought with them immense destruction in place of the nurturing qualities all life so urgently needs, the more we will be forced to explore the feminine and work towards its emergence and integration into every level of our existence.
The feminine debate ties in with the consciousness debate and the exploration of the ‘mind and matter interaction’. This is because, in the final analysis, it is a matter of ‘how we think about the world, our planet and human evolution within it’ that shapes the direction we will take as a species. This thinking about the world is changing and, with our growing understanding of the interconnectedness of all of life (on an underlying level), we increasingly realize that our one-sided materialistic and patriarchal ways cannot be sustained.
The essenntial quality of the feminine
When we try to define ‘the feminine’, we enter hazy waters. It has, after all, been hiding behind the veil, trying to escape the belittling, denying, devaluing and abusive treatment it has suffered through millennia of patriarchal thinking, structures and values. Importantly, it cannot be explored easily when we are stuck in a mind-set that restricts us to the rational and material.
Nevertheless, feminine attributes and principles, such as love, nurturing, caring, connectedness, gestating, intuition, natural wildness, embodiment and more, are not only named now, but longed for. Whilst this process is ongoing, I feel that it is necessary to begin by distilling the essence of the feminine: the life creating, life gestating and life sustaining force. This aspect lies at the heart of the matter and it needs to break through the hazy veil and come to the fore, needs to penetrate all our thoughts, ideas, values and morals and guide our actions. Without it we cannot love, nurture, care and connect. Without it we cannot achieve a shift in paradigm.
What does this mean? Well, not long ago I went to a talk by an indigenous female teacher, who addressed this subject quite forcefully with focus on our current economic systems, defining them as being rooted in ‘death’ instead of ‘life’. After thinking about this for a while, I couldn’t help but agree with her. In contrast to all other life forms, which have ‘thriving’ at their core, our world-wide accepted system of production and consumption is, at its very core, based on ‘destruction of life’ rather than on ‘sustaining of life’. Global capitalism and global consumerism only thrive if we innovate, produce and sell faster and more. To keep up this level of production, we have to plunder our earth for resources, wrecking it in the process, produce and slaughter disturbing numbers of animals, throw away perfectly good products, consume increasingly unnecessary goods, conquer and destroy countries and kill people so that we can seize new markets, produce more weapons and rebuild what we have destroyed.
As far as the value systems that derive from this ‘economy based on death and destruction’ are concerned, here are just a few: we have to be trained to value competing — globally over goods and resources and individually over position and income to buy those goods and resources. We have to be trained to value hierarchical structures, rather than connection, because it keeps us on the level of ‘we deserve more than you’ or ‘you are worth less than us’. Above all, we have to be brainwashed into believing that we have to value a growing economy over everything else. To keep this myth alive demands that we consume, that we buy the latest smart phone, the latest fashion, the latest overpriced food stuffs, present ever younger ‘faces’ through spending fortunes on cosmetics and surgery, flaunt ever bigger houses, better cars and so on. This striving for ‘consumption’ – yes, also the consumption now of information – leaves no space for love, caring and sharing, for equal distribution or for coming together as nations to tackle the issues that concern us all, such as the destruction of our planet.
Let’s not kid ourselves. This brain-washing is working. The most successful fear-creating mantra of our times is “our economy is slowing down”. When we in Britain hear it, we condemn the EU or the Unions or the Liberals or the migrants and we vote Tory because ‘we can trust them with the economy’. We don’t ask whether we really need all that stuff we produce worldwide, nor do we point the finger at the 0.01% who own most of the planet’s wealth. Instead, we keep working, producing, consuming and spending, contributing to the enforcement of the status quo of destruction in the process.
A shift in paradigm
So, returning to the feminine. As long as we all operate from the core principle of ‘destruction’, we are stuck in a negative loop, unable to function from the core principle of the feminine, which is about creating life and sustaining it. Unless we wholeheartedly adopt the concept of valuing life above everything else as our basic core principle, we will be unable to sort out our ecological mess, we will have no peace, we will go on producing and slaughtering obscene numbers of living beings for our unnecessary consumption and we will not even begin to live from our hearts and connect with our souls.
This planet is about life – life that wants to thrive – not consumption. The feminine as a principle is about life, about sharing, nurturing and sustaining life. It is about sensing and feeling with the heart the connection of all of life and valuing it as an incredible, and, dare I say it – sacred – gift, given not only to mankind, but to all living forms and beings. Until this basic core principle of the feminine underlies everything we attempt, we will have no worthwhile shift in consciousness and no shift in paradigm.
About the author:
Christa Mackinnon holds a Master of Science in psychology and is a family counselor, clinical hypnotherapist and shamanic teacher. She has worked as a psychologist, therapist, trainer, lecturer and trauma consultant internationally for 25 years, and is an honorary teaching fellow at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in the UK.
Christa now increasingly includes her spiritual learning and experiences in her professional work, combining shamanic and Buddhist teachings with contemporary therapeutic approaches. Based on her ground-breaking book on the subject matter, she facilitates Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for professionals, speaks at conferences and lectures widely. She is currently in the process of writing a new book, which will be about the feminine. Shamanism and Spirituality in Therapeutic Practice,
You can contact Christa via her website www.christamackinnon.com, which also gives you access to many of her articles and transcripts of lectures and talks, or email Christa firstname.lastname@example.org.
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