by Michael Schultz
When you get right down to it, we were (almost all) created through sex, born of a woman, embodied upon the Earth. Fundamentally, the body is the vehicle, the Earth is the life support system, sex is the catalyst, and woman the bearer of each generation. This is the reality and without any of these things, this essay would not be possible. The error is that we have on the whole judged each of these categories unconsciously as sinful or fallen in our culture. Much of this is based on Judeo-Christian mythology where we held up a masculine force as the only basis of the universe. God is associated with the Father principle with no Mother to be found.
But the Mother has never left, we have just discounted, degraded, and humiliated Her over the generations as unimportant, secondary, or not even in the picture. In the ancient pagan understanding, the Mother, or the Goddess was one of the primary archetypes that was worshiped. When the Masculine deity achieved primacy in culture, all other archetypes had to stand aside to Jehovah’s greater importance. This was an error, but it was an error that empowered the advance of a civilization of the type that worked to break free of the dependence on the sometimes chaotic nature of nature.
In other words, we became disconnected from the sources of life in order to advance as fast as we could. This is not to say that good did not come out of this advance; in fact, the masculine epoch helped us to understand more about the world on the objective level than we ever have before. Being human though, we naturally took reason past the reasonable limits. To be able to exercise reason, a human needs a mind. To keep that mind working properly, it needs a functioning ecosystem to provide for bodily needs. We forgot that. We separated mind from body, and the dominance of the masculine became the subjugation of the feminine. We’re currently in a space and time that is clearly showing us the error of our ways. Entrenched interests will lose a lot of money when we fully see this error, which is fundamentally part of our unconscious cultural programming. Our mythic DNA has been limited by the inbreeding of archaic cultural norms enforced unconsciously.
We now stand at the edge of the new epoch, defined by the balance of body and mind, of the feminine and the masculine. In order to move into this epoch with any kind of potency, we need to examine our unconscious programming. Obviously, this presents a crisis of consciousness, as how can we see what we can’t see? These invisible mythic chains are holding us back from leaping the chasm between this age and the next. So let us examine the fundamental errors so that we can resolve them.
The first error is that the Earth is fallen. That the very material that supports all life is actually a trick of some adversary of humanity and the Universe, commonly called the Devil. It’s repeated without cognition that the Earth is the realm of the devil, and that in some way the devil runs the whole material show. If this is the fundamental belief, the many extensions of this belief are causing ruin and discord on the material plane. One extension of this belief justifies absolute exploitation of the Earth for very limited ends. Limited ends like the accumulation of currency to act as a bulwark against the uncertainty in natural and unnatural systems. The fact that this crass materialism is justified on a belief that the material world is fallen only spotlights the blatant inaccuracy inherent within it.
The reason for the demotion of the Earth from source of life to source of wickedness was probably the unconscious desire of the priests of yore to stamp out the traditional worship of the Goddess. The Goddess, Gaia, the Earth Mother was an almost universal archetype of worship in cultures before the ascendancy of the Monotheistic religions. In order for these religions to thrive, the worship of the Earth Mother had to be stamped out forcefully. This destruction of a primary subject of worship was furthered considerably by the Imperial Roman form of Christianity. During the period of the Christian epoch of the Roman Empire, the believers destroyed most of the temples devoted to the polytheistic pantheon including those of the Goddess, already demoted by the Romans to the grain goddess Ceres. This Imperial church also manifested its denial and repression of the Goddess in the persecution of witches in both Europe and the Americas.
This denial of the feminine over the course of centuries, especially evident in the Christian era of western civilization has finally reached the point where recognition of the Earth, and therefore the Goddess, is necessary for future evolutionary growth. We ignore the clear messages from the Earth in the form of rapidly changing climate, extinction of species, and loss of biodiversity at our clear and present peril. The good news is that the recognition of our place in the world and our devotion to living in balance with natural systems will allow us to move to a new level of integrity and interconnection. We heal ourselves as we heal the Earth.
The second error is that our bodies are evil, or infected with “original sin”. Our bodies are the vehicle for us to learn, adapt and grow. This primary error is a simple tool for control. To have power over people, you must dis-empower them. It’s much easier to work on the programs to get people to dis-empower themselves, rather than having to constantly actively repress them. Always the goal is to get people to do the work for you if you’re at the top of any dogmatic hierarchical system. By creating fear and loathing of our own vehicles, we have a tougher time operating them effectively.
Human behavior is different when we hate our own bodies. From this standpoint it is difficult to connect to the inner self, and it is difficult to connect to each other and to the Earth itself. Before a child is introduced to the concept that his material vessel is fallen, there is a great joy in the body. How many children, given their choice, are happy to prance around naked without shame? The shame of the body and the functions of the body are taught and transmitted unconsciously. We see the body as evil, something to be afraid of, and to deny or to hide from the world.
There are also the subtle ways that the body is held up to be imperfect. The ideals for a body that is “worthy” have been narrowed for generations. We have cultural standards of beauty now that are tremendously unhealthy, but are held up as the ideal. Because of these standards, everyone measures themselves against this ideal, finds themselves lacking, then judges the bodies of others and enforce their judgement as a group, which continues this unhealthy cycle. This divides us against each other, we become the judges of others and ourselves and continue the cycle without ever really wondering who sets these ridiculous standards.
Our bodies are vehicles for liberation, but when we are divided against ourselves our body becomes the barrier. When the unconscious program that the body is fallen is operative, many people fall into the trap of believing that the goal is liberation from the body. This trap cuts us off from the source, even as we believe that we’re transcending the body. This is the path of false ascension. To spend energy and time working to transcend the vehicle is simply making sure that it is improbable to move forward. It’s important also to remember that this argument is not in defense of mindless hedonism, but rather, the simple acceptance that the body is the one of the main tools we’ve been given to experience the world around us and gain in wisdom.
The third error is that woman is fallen. This is a pernicious interpretation from the myth and metaphor of the Garden of Eden and Eve’s role in eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The story of Eve being an outgrowth of the rib of Adam also reinforces the error in some minds of the natural place of woman being subsidiary and subject to the man. The myth of the tree in the garden can be interpreted in many different ways, but this was the primary interpretation throughout most of the Abrahamic religions histories. A rebel interpretation of this myth is that by being connected to her own body, Eve was connected to her own serpent energy (kundalini) and used that energy to be able to understand the duality, which is the field of the mind. In this interpretation, Eve was the hero, and the serpent represents the slow process of liberation from the subjection to the whims of a tribal male God. So, it’s natural that Yahweh through his male priests would slander her.
Woman is not fallen. Our mothers are not fallen, our sisters, aunts and grandmas are not fallen. To believe that is to hold oneself above the very persons that suffered and struggled to bring every human life into this world. To set men above women is to misinterpret all of history, and is based on spurious and archaic evidence at best. This myth that so many men hold of their dominance is a slow poison that women have only recently begun to heal in earnest. By holding down the ambassadors of the feminine principle, humanity became detached from and fearful of half of our spiritual inheritance and spiritual leadership for countless generations. For centuries, women were not allowed to hold any positions of spiritual authority, even though they are the caretakers of the path of the immanent.
The idea and experience of the immanent is the deep teaching that women have held over the course of most of human history. The immanent is the fact that there is no deep need to reach beyond the here and now in order to experience the bliss of the universe. This is not to say that the transcendent is not important, just that it is not the full path. Through the dis-empowerment of women, we became dependent on teachers and priests as guides to the transcendent. We disconnected from the knowledge that the transcendent is all around us and we are the guides for ourselves and for each other. We became goal-oriented, the goal being salvation, rather than recognizing that the universal source of life is not separate from us. We are a part of it, not apart from it.
The fourth error is that sex is sinful and fallen. This is especially evident in areas influenced by the Abrahamic religions. In the United States, we have a particularly virulent strain of puritanism that informs our culture. To be cut off from sex is to be cut off from the very source of charisma and creativity. The religious corollaries of sex as an evil to be avoided except when necessary is reinforced by the idea that the divine man was born of a virgin, and never participated in the so-called “sins of the flesh”. This informed his followers to create a celibate priesthood. This was always a dicey proposition, as repressed sexuality tends to come out in non-adaptive and predatory ways. When we deny our basic drives, they do not go away, they just find other ways to surface.
To believe that sex is evil or fallen is to condemn the very act that prefaced the existence of each person on this planet. This is a denial of roots, a denial of an activity that when entered into willingly can be a great and wonderful boon to tightening bonds and reaching transcendent, ecstatic states of consciousness. This culturally-imposed limitation on a boundless source of pleasure, discovery, and connection is the source of a lot of our cultural problems. Homophobia, desire to legislate standards of sexual behavior of others, deep hostility to any expression of sex other than the purely-procreative, traditional expression are all outgrowths of our cultural inability to live and let live where sex is concerned.
Sex is a natural expression of self. All sexual encounters between consenting adults are potential paths for self-realization, ecstatic states, growth and transformation. There is no inherent moral or ethical evil in sex, and the only sex that is fallen is that which is forced upon the unwilling. The sexual revolution is not over and done with, the sexual revolution is moving into the second act, and as more and more people begin to explore their bodies and their sexuality with open minds and open hearts, we will begin to remember the power inherent in the healthy expression of our sexuality.
If our culture is a temple, these four false pillars are in the process of crumbling into dust. We must build a new temple together, based on recognizing the value of those aspects of life that we have denied, repressed and projected our illusions upon. The Earth is Sacred. The Body is Sacred. Women and Men are Sacred. Our Sexuality is Sacred. When we recognize deeply within our soul that we are in fact not fallen, we can then rise.