Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Power of Eve

I'm still here grappling with the issue of Eve in the garden and the meaning of the story of the origin of mankind. Most of you know how it goes -- Eve is tempted by the snake, partakes of the fruit from the tree of knowledge and then turns and offers it to Adam who could not resist.

The story comes from somewhere. And whether you believe it to be myth or fact, it is the creation story that a third of the world's population has heard and holds in the collective conscious.

What is the story's true meaning? What does it say about women? Should we hang our heads in collective shame? Are we really responsible for the fall of man, today, tomorrow and since the beginning of time? What are we to do about it? Flat out deny it? Or is there some nugget of truth that we should glean from the story while working on one of the Four Agreements and not taking it personally?

Upon further pondering, a universal truth that hit me was the fact that women's power to persuade men is not something to be taken lightly. Because we guard a hidden fruit (i.e. our sex) and men are driven instinctively to pursue it, their judgement can be easily clouded. When we whisper in a man's ear to influence his actions or choices, we are wielding great power and, as Spiderman's Uncle Ben once proclaimed, "with great power comes great responsibility".

Men are to follow the lead that comes to them from the Great Spirit directly. This comes to the gut, the Solar Plexus chakra, through the IGS as Zen DeBrucke calls it. It's a direct line and it works when a man knows how to listen intuitively.

Women are born intuitive. We "see" differently. We feel things deeply and are directly linked to our "gut" through monthly menstruation. Our bodies are linked to the phases of the moon when we are in sync. We are made to be at one with the Universe and ergo G-d/Source. So while we may have great knowledge and wisdom, we sometimes witness our men stumbling around in the darkness.

It is our inclination to step in and save them. Rescue them. Intervene and interfere. We have the fruit of knowledge and we want to them to have it, too.

Unfortunately, no one can "receive" it in that way from anyone else. And especially men, our men, cannot receive the light, the Word, the knowledge from Us. They must discover it on their own.

There is a famous and wonderful scene from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in which the matriarch is lobbying for her daughter to take a course to become a travel agent. It is a long and winding conversation until at the end, the husband "independently" comes to the conclusion that it would be best for his daughter to take a travel course.

It is a hilarious scene and women all over the world can relate. Of course, the husband is viewed in a somewhat pathetic light. But the situation reinforces another line in the film -- "Men are the head of the family, but women are the neck."

We have to use our power of persuasion prudently. Judiciously. Cautiously. We need to have faith and trust the man in our life to make decisions for the benefit of the family. We have to be willing to travel alongside him, oftentimes down paths that seem unsure and downright wrong.

Not that it isn't sometimes indicated that we whisper a bit of truth into their ears. And sometimes it is absolutley required.

Our motives are what's at issue. Are we controlling due to our fear and lack of faith? Or are we being lead by the Creator to help our men see things from a different perspective. Again, just because we know the answer doesn't mean we are obliged to blurt it out.

We must give them the chance to learn ON THEIR OWN, so they can become men. If not, they are condemned to be boys forever, and we, moms.

Bleck. Who needs that?

Monday, August 15, 2011


This story was told by Valerie Hudson Cassler in her address to FAIR.

I wanted to give more attention to the subject brought up by Sherri, the concept of Eve being responsible for man's fall and the implications this has had throughout history regarding her place in society.

The story told below gives another viewpoint of what is typically referred to as "The Fall" and could more aptly be called "The Journey". It describes a 'rebellion' that is the archetype for all family systems in which the children come of age and must separate themselves from the safety and structure of their home and face whatever their path has in store for them. Without this act, no spiritual evolution would occur. Without this knowledge of dark and light, joy and sorrow, peace and war, comfort and distress we could have no appreciation for the paradise that was given to us. We would have remained babies. Without Eve leading the way, we would never know what it is to 'choose' G-d's path.

It is a refreshing viewpoint for me personally having lived all my life with the Judeo-Christian perspective which invites women to bear the burden of guilt for our separation from G-d after being expelled from paradise.

In the end, there is nothing outside of G-d's plan for us. And our limited understanding of G-d's plan is what often creates confusion, inspiring the need to blame, explain, and criticize.

Instead we can all now thank Eve for having the 'ovaries' to do what she felt she had to do, so we could all follow her down the path that inevitably has been designed for our own enlightenment and spiritual evolution.

The Two Trees

by Valerie Hudson Cassler

When it was time for the children to grow up, the Parents made a beautiful garden. In the Garden were Two Trees. One had fruit red as the color of blood. The other had fruit that was as white as the snow.
When the Garden was ready, the Parents put one of their sons there. He was a very valiant son, and they loved him. But it was time for him to become for himself, and make his own choices. It was time for all the children to do this.
If they made good choices, they would become like their Parents, and they could all live together again. If they made bad choices, they would not want to live with their Parents again because they would not be like Them.
Only the children could shut the door to their Home and open the door to their journey. This was the first real choice the children had to make. They had to walk away from their Home and toward a new life, a life that they would make through their choices.
The door was the Red Tree. The Parents told their son that eating the fruit of that tree would shut the door to Home and open the door to a life of real choice. They told him not to eat it, so he would understand that once he chose the journey, Home and Parents would be lost to view.
He did not eat. He stood before the door of the Red Tree, and he knew it was not his destiny to open it. He waited for the Parents to send the one whose destiny it was.
She came. The Parents sent one of their beloved daughters, courageous and true.
She pondered what she knew of her Parents. She pondered her companion. Even an enemy tried to influence her, warping truth in an attempt to gain power over her.
She stood on the threshold between Home and the Great Journey. The Parents had decreed that if none of their daughters consented to the Great Journey, it would not occur. Those who would bear the responsibility of bringing all of the children through the doorway, and risk their life in this task, had the right to make that decision. She weighed it all in her heart and her mind, counted the cost to all of the daughters who would come.
But the vision of her Parents and their happiness was foremost in her mind. If she could be like them, and know what they knew, and love as they loved, the pain and the sorrow would all be worth it.
She took the fruit of the Red Tree, and opened that first door. At Home, all the children shouted for joy that a daughter had consented to the Great Journey, which meant that all would be able to join her . . .
. . . if her companion agreed to join her first. She brought the red fruit to him, and asked him to join her in the journey. He had waited for this moment, waited to be the first soul that a daughter of God brought across the threshold into this life.
He hearkened unto her, and accepted the gift of the red fruit from her. And another great shout of joy emanated from Home—the Great Journey had begun!
The Parents were overjoyed at the courage and the wisdom of their daughter for her choice to open the doorway of the Red Tree, and of the foresight and strength of their son to accept the gift of his companion, their daughter.
The Parents came one last time to see their son and daughter off on their journey. They warned them of how difficult it would be, that real choices mean real happiness, but also real sorrow.
But the Parents also told them where they were going and how they would get there. You see, their destination was the White Tree. The White Tree was also a doorway—the doorway back Home for those who chose what was good and right in their journey.
As with the Red Tree, the White Tree, there was a gift to be given. The white fruit would be the teachings and promises of the way of righteousness, which would lead Home. This time, their son would be the giver of that good gift, and their son would open the second doorway, the doorway Home.
The Parents told their daughter that she had proven herself worthy by her opening of the doorway of the Red Tree, and now their son would prove himself worthy by his opening of the doorway of the White Tree. He would offer her the white fruit, and she should hearken and accept it from him, as he had hearkened and accepted the red fruit from her.
In this way, both would be proven worthy, and he would rule with her as her equal and beloved partner.
They looked at each other, and could not help but smile. The Red Fruit of life and choice and the White Fruit of the way of righteousness . . . each so necessary, each so joyous, each given as a gift to the other by the hand of their own beloved equal companion. They felt a glimpse of the love of their own Parents for each other.
They clasped hands, and together headed off on their journey. Our journey. And the giving and receiving of the gifts of the Red Fruit and the White Fruit, and the opening of the first and second doorways, continue to this day . . .
. . . with you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

To Obey is to Hear

The parting of the Red Sea
1. to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of:

Word Origin & History
late 13c., from O.Fr. obeir, from L. oboedire "obey, pay attention to, give ear," lit. "listen to," from ob "to" + audire "listen, hear" (see audience).

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I stopped believing that I knew anything at all. That the ‘revelations’ I had had were all well and good, but my ability to follow through on what I was preaching seemed all too limited. I figured if I couldn’t live what I believed, I sure as heck shouldn’t be putting it out there in writing to the world at large.

I turned to poetry. I turned inward. I stopped exposing my musings to an anonymous public. All the sudden it seemed too scary and I felt too vulnerable.

The thoughts I was putting down on virtual paper were not popular. They sounded crazy, even to me. Laughably antiquated. They seemed to be falling on deaf ears.

But there was one voice. And she said, “You were right.”  I shared with her how I gave up on the modest dressing -- my husband (who is not my legal husband) thought it was ridiculous, especially in 100 degree weather. I didn’t even try to explain to him. It just dawned on me that whatever revelations I may have about modest dress or any other feminine behavior are secondary to my spouse's will and desire.

And as I write this I am scarfing down an English muffin without tasting it. The bile in my stomach is too overwhelming. I am fresh off a fight with my significant other over something entirely insignificant, stupid even.

This is how it goes.

He tells me to do something.

I do it my way. Differently. Or not at all.

He explodes and sends me to hell.

I drive/march/walk/run off in a huff of righteous anger.

I cool down. I pick up food and head back to camp. He eats...or even better -- we have wild, savage make-up sex (you know the kind) while we pretend like nothing happened.

In the meantime I’ve screamed a thousand obscenities at him in my mind. I’ve killed him even. I’ve left him surely. I’ve found independence, recovered my “real” life, the one I used to have before I became dependent and useless.

I am like the Hebrews longing for Egypt after they’ve already come through the Red Sea.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bible stories, I’ll fill you in. The Hebrews lived 400 years of enslaved tyranny under the Egyptians. It took 10 plagues including the death of every firstborn to convince the Egyptians that maybe it was preferable that the Hebrews go along their merry way and they find some other peons to build their pyramids.

They let them go, regretted it, went after them and had them seemingly cornered with their armies and chariots with the Hebrew’s back up against an impassable sea.

Moses raised his arm and the waters spread.

The Egyptians followed and the seas rolled back into place while they enjoyed their last swim.

It should have been enough.

I don’t know the exact timeframe. And many would say it’s a legend anyway. Regardless, the lesson is as real as my mother.

As the story goes, on their way to the promised land the Hebrews got sick of manna from flippin’ HEAVEN and started to long for leeks and onions by the Nile river.

In other words, they were whining to go back to their lives as slaves.

Understandably, their G-d was P****D.

Well, I have lived under similar tyranny. Enslaved. Oppressed and downtrodden. I have been freed by the Grace of G-d and experienced true miracles first hand.

I have been called to do nothing but obey and follow the one true G-d.

And His representation here on earth is personified by the man in my life.

And all I can do is seethe. Rebel. Rail against his demanding, neurotic nature. The insanity and incoherence of his decisions.

I am free. I am cared for. Every day.

And the smallest things I am asked to do, I cannot do.

I am to follow without question and I do not.
I am to obey without question and I cannot.

My response to challenge, question, analyze, criticize, correct and defy is so strongly imprinted, I feel I am helpless against it.

All I can do is pray for Divine Intervention. And hope that you all -- you who hear, understand and sympathize -- will pray along with me.

To obey is to hear. Nothing more, nothing less. And I don’t know how to listen. Yet.