It is time to recognize that the hunting era has passed.
This should be a more feminine time, a time when women make great contributions to society.
If we continue to devalue what women have to offer,
we will continue neglecting and devaluing those virtues which are considered feminine.
And these are precisely the virtues that the world most needs now.
17th Karmapa Ugyen Thinley Dorje
The loss of the feminine features and energy is a serious problem in our society. The society we live in today is shaped by masculine aspects that impose a patriarchal culture based on race, power game, rationalism and success based on strength. Given this situation, it is easy to see how the female role is essential in the psychological development of the human being, regardless of their sex.
Whether through the anima, the archetype which leads man to self, or feminine aspects of self in women, which allows women to experience their very nature, the female function is crucial to the balance and awareness of the collective and to the growth and the transcendence of the individual. The sacred feminine retrieval is revealed, which is something essential for both women and men.
The loss of the feminine features and energy is a serious problem for man. The absence or repression of the feminine aspects in man reduces his emotional depth and is a source of discontent, loneliness, bad mood and feeling of meaninglessness. The loss of the feminine aspects and energy is also, and of course, a serious problem for women. This affects the natural setting and search of their identity.
The Sacred Feminine Aspect
Nancy Qualls-Corbett, in her work The Sacred Prostitute: The Eternal Feminine Face, speaks of women’s benefits in recognizing the presence of the triple goddess in female psyche: “A woman who knows the moon goddess becomes aware of their own lunar phases. She is aware of the cyclical rhythms of her body, and behaves according to the ebb and flow of energy and to the mood that are constantly changing. […] It recognizes and admits its own lunar nature.”
Maiden, Mother and Crone are part of the cycle of birth, life and death and represent the forces of creation, maintenance and destruction, which therefore represent the cycle of life and nature. This cycle is present in all human experiences, and especially in the psyche of women. The goddess, in the history of mankind, has left an everlasting mark in the human psyche and even if she is not religiously worshiped, she still is an indelible and a strong archetypal presence.
Nancy Qualls-Corbett, in her work says: “With the advent of patriarchal religion and the consequent loss of reverence for the goddess, the conscious development of women was significantly blocked. Slowly she began to worship gods made by men; the values of the men became their values; the attitudes of men to justify the subordination of women have become their values. The loss of the relationship with the goddess led to the adoption of masculine characteristics. Femininity was occupied by feminism, and, the pursuit of equal rights distorted to a match with the male nature.
Nancy Qualls-Corbett, in the same work says: “To restore the image of the goddess seems to be a herculean task because patriarchy is not willing to share its power. Still, the past decades have seen significant changes. The lifting efforts of the feminist movement brought the awareness to the battlefront of the need for equality between women and men. The attributes of women have been included in other roles than that of wife and mother.”
Today we live in a phallic world and the dominant images are of wealth, power and technology that present themselves as gods to be worshiped instead of the love, goddess, beauty, sexual ecstasy and numinous experiences. But the real cure for this phallic world is the retrieval of the sacred feminine and the transformation of the inner world of the human being.
The connection with Buddhism in contemporary times
Buddhism in the West is still very recent and new. The renowned British historian Arnold Toynbee, who died in 1975, said that the arrival of Buddhism in the West was the biggest event of the twentieth century. Along with this phenomenon, there happens to be also a greater inclusion of women in a new context and view. The presence of women is very welcome, it’s a breath of fresh air and expands perspectives. A Western Buddhism phenomenon is the strong female presence: there are nuns, teachers and students in a good amount.
The actual female presence should give both, the active construction of society and the manifestation of qualities such as compassion, care, protection and love. Although these qualities are not restricted to the female gender, with them, women can help build a more just and equitable world.
I hope that the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha can be fully clarified and used in our lives without gender distinctions – enlightened beings being respected and honored both men and women, whether young or old, whatever their nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, social and economic status and so on. A world without prejudice discrimination, but rather with peaceful and harmonious societies. And for this to happen, a new paradigm must implicate the appreciation of the feminine principle.
Nancy Qualls-Corbert – https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Prostitute- Feminine-Psychology-Analysts/dp/0919123317
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