Wednesday, January 09, 2008

capturing shakti, part 1

Capturing Shakti

Part 1

In a previous post I had mentioned that I wanted to capture shakti and a friend wrote a comment that suggested that I express shakti rather then try to capture it. A simple suggestion, but it sent my mind whirling off into a strong tangent, one that incorporated thoughts about my previous post on being a mystic and musings I had on finishing the book A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This post will be my attempt at sharing this thread of thinking with you, and it may need to be posted in parts, as I do have to cook dinner at some point here, as well as perform other household tasks.

The propaganda (and by propaganda I simply mean the spreading of ideas or information for the purpose of hurting or helping an institution, a cause, or person) that has been drilled into our brains since day one on this planet is that men and women are diametric opposites, that each of the sexes has a very definite sex role that should be played out in a very definitive way, and wavering from this rule will result in catastrophe of the very highest magnitude. To begin to understand this reality you need only to think of the deluge of blue or pink crap that is handed out on the occasion of birth, but you may as well reflect on all the other obviously sexist and strongly encouraged items that are parceled out to the unlucky newborn as they grow older in this world, such as toy trucks if you are a boy, and toy kitchens if you are a girl. Dolls if you are a girl, and cars if you are a boy, and on and on ad nauseum. Of course there are exceptions, but by simple casual observance it is obviously the general case that newborn humans are programmed to think that they have definitive rules of sex behavior as soon as they exit the womb. My thesis is that this early dogmatic education is the primary cause of the majority of the suffering that is perpetuated on this planet.

I think that this dualistic thinking mode, or meme (DTM) can be found throughout most large civilizations and so-called advanced cultures. The patterns that DTM produce in a society can vary wildly, as evidenced when you ponder the Ying and Yang principles of the East, or the God and the Devil principles of the West. But suffice it to say that in many cultures a spiritual binary system has evolved to explain how everything works. There is an on and there is an off, and somehow with this knowledge we can explain all things, or we can take the extension of this knowledge and create more complex spiritual systems of explanation, like the I-Ching or the Kabbalah. Math arises out of the sea of abstraction and gives meaning to the essential meaninglessness of the world on the wings of science. Art and Religion stay entrenched in their more esoteric interpretations of DTM. All attempts at understanding life rely on the mystical nature of being alive. The more mystical your attempt at understanding, the less you inhabit DTM, and ultimately the DTM can resolve into oneness with all, or nonethingness. When the object begins to wonder if it really is separated from the subject, then the mystical experience begins and our dualistic perceptions of reality seem to be an illusion.

In the book A Handmaiden’s Tale, the Commander and Handmaiden have an exchange in which the Commander comments that women can’t do math. The Handmaiden takes him to task for this, and he replies that if a woman counted 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1, she wouldn’t arrive at the sum of 4, she would just count 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1. I believe this is essentially a commentary on women’s innate earth knowledge, in the sense that theory and abstraction and thus science and math exist only in the mind and not necessarily in the earth, and women, who share the energy of nurturing the seed with the Mother Earth, can see that four separate “ones" does not necessarily produce the sum of four. The burden of caring for new life begins with the mother. Once born, fathers and the community can share in the raising of the new life, but during pregnancy the mother is essentially the whole earth for the new life growing inside her. Men have the energy of pollen or sperm to fertilize the egg in the ovary, and I believe that we share in the energy of the Father Sun, and the Moon is what brings us, female and male, together to begin the cycle of life over and over. But now, you see, I begin to dabble in dualisms, and I must stress that I believe that the male organism can experience the energies of the earth and manifest them, and the female organism can experience the energies of the sun and manifest them as well. I certainly don’t believe that any one person has one elemental aspect based on their sexual gender, but I know that in terms of procreation, what I have written rings true to me. Shakti cannot be captured by force of will, she can only be expressed by letting her flow naturally, observing her through the cycles and patterns of the universe.

In Zen there is the idea of Little Mind and Big Mind. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Little Mind is 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 4, and Big Mind is 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1. Even that is extremely erroneous in that in Big Mind there are no 1s or even the concept of Big Mind.

Earth-based wisdom is not abstract knowledge, and the abstraction paradigm produces the subject object imperative which results in the dualistic thinking meme.


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herehanky said...

I appreciate and enjoy this line of thinking but I find your last paragraph perplexing... abstraction, to my mind, is the opposite of what you've described; it attempts to erase the line between subject and object rather than enforce it. One definition of the term 'abstract' is "expressing a quality apart from an object". Perhaps you're speaking of objectification or concretization, rather than abstraction? Or am I missing something here?

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