The Primal Feminine
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
We are gathered here because, for each of us, there is not only an intense interest in the destiny of our own life but also an intense interest in the destiny of humanity as a whole. It is hard to escape that our own destiny is tied up with that larger destiny. We are here also because, for each of us, we recognize that, while there are many things that go into a creative life, there is something at the core of that experience that is essential. We could name that core as being spiritual. There is something essentially spiritual that must be in place for us if all the rest of life is going to work. That is true in the larger world too. There is an essentially spiritual answer to the destiny of humanity. Of course, saying that doesn’t say much about what the answer really is. It just indicates that the usual consideration of politics, economics, religion and psychology, etc., won’t assure that humanity fulfills its destiny.
We have been considering the invisible quality that gives our lives meaning. We could try to explain why there are times when we feel the meaningfulness of our lives strongly, and why there are times that sense of meaning seems to drift away. There is an ineffable quality that allows our lives to have meaning and purpose and value, in our own eyes and in our own heart. That quality lets the world be that way for us, and it lets us bring something of value to the world. What makes the difference between believing that you don’t have something of meaning and value to bring to the people in the world around you, and the deep conviction that you do? It is the ineffable quality of spirit.
I’d like to explore this more deeply today. I’d like to propose something to you about not only your fundamental nature but about the fundamental nature of all humanity. I offer this to you for your consideration. You can ponder it in your own heart, and in your own thinking, and see if this is true. I will tell you up front that I can’t prove it to you.
What I want to propose is that for each of us, whether we are a man or a woman, our most fundamental nature is feminine. I mean that as a way of saying that there is something fundamentally responsive and worshipful about who we are in relationship to what we can’t see, relative to the spiritual. Who we are as humanity and, for each of us, who we are as a person was created out of physical substance by the action of an energetic pattern. It is our most primal nature to respond to and love that energy, that spirit, that invisible reality that made us.
For this morning, I’d like to speak of that response as our primal feminine nature. If we think of a young child or an infant, what do you notice about that child? There is a flow and response to life that reveals this primal nature. They may be a boy, they may be a girl; at this point, that’s not really the issue. There is a delight and a joy and a welcoming of life, and life not only in the things around that are there to be explored by a child—certainly life in the mother and the father—but also in the very energetic juice that is flowing through that child. That child is just letting that energy flow through, and it’s so beautiful to witness. When we see an infant, we may think to ourselves that we see a shining of something that comes from someplace else. Their shining countenance is as if they are transparent and there is some part of heaven that’s shining right through them. It is because of their openness to that—in fact, at that point, they don’t know how to be anything other than open and loving to their internal reality.
As the child matures, one of the very important things that happen for them is puberty. That’s quite an event for any person. At a physical level, their sexuality becomes developed. There are many other developments mentally and emotionally. In some way the young person becomes a man or a woman. At a bar mitzvah, when a young man is thirteen, he says, “Today I am a man.” He has become something that he was not previously. Out of his primal feminine nature, his primal response to life, something has evolved. His manhood has been brought up out of the flesh, and he makes the declaration: “I am a man.” Of course, having the physical equipment doesn’t get him all the way there, and there is much more to develop so he can fulfill all that his manhood was meant to bring into the world.
In some way, for men, we become men. That is something that is developed in us. It evolves over time, and it evolves out of our openness to the life energy that’s moving through us. Without that response to life, there’s not much evolution or development that will happen. But to the degree that that core, primal reality is intact for a man, he becomes a man. It is developed. Obviously, I’m not as familiar with what happens for women, but it is a similar process for a girl, except of course she becomes a woman.
So it’s true for us as men and as women that we develop into something. As wondrous as the infant is, he or she is not going to make it in the world that way. There has to be something developed; there should be.
What are the primary qualities that a person develops as they mature? There has to be a strength developed for that little baby to be a whole person and function in the world. We might think of strength as a masculine quality, but a quality that each of us, man or woman, needs to have a dose of. Maybe we could name the feminine quality that every person must develop to be a whole person as “truth.” We need some truth in our experience—the capacity to know what is true, to understand what’s true, and to act according to what is true. As beautiful as a little baby is, that capacity isn’t yet developed. Something has to happen over a period of time for that quality to mature.
We are talking about babies and children here, and about our development as a person. What is that development for? And how does it relate to our destiny as an individual and to the destiny of humanity? This development is occurring in relationship to something that we cannot see. We cannot see the energy that animates us. We can see the evidences of it in our flesh and in the flesh around us, but there is something that comes from the undimensional that you cannot see. That is what holds meaning, but it is more than that. It is what is creating all this. It is what raises up a person out of physical substance. That undimensional reality also holds the reason for the creation of a man or a woman out of the substance of the earth.
Meditating on these things, it is clear to me that there is this primal feminine nature at the root of who we are, and on one hand there is our strength and on the other hand our truth. All together, the image in my mind is one of a flower. The base of the flower is the primal feminine nature. On either side there are the petals that are our strength and our truth.
If there is the primal feminine, there is also the primal masculine, which is the invisible energetic pattern that raised all this up from the physical substance of the earth. If this whole process develops as it should, there is a place created, symbolized by the flower, in which the primal masculine can come into human experience. That is the fulfillment of this process: that the primal masculine comes into human experience and therefore into the world. At that point we have the opportunity to bring the primal masculine relative to our world. In other words, when this pattern works out for us, we bring the energizing, inspiring, creative impulse for our world. It takes more than a baby to do that. As beautiful as the response of the baby is, it takes the development of strength and truth in our experience to have something substantial enough to welcome primal masculine into our experience.
Some of us have been listening to the audio recording of a class that was given here at Sunrise Ranch in 1953 by the founder of Emissaries of Divine Light, Lloyd Meeker. He was talking about the culmination of the creative process. Where does a human life go if it is a fulfilling one? He had an absolutely astounding answer as to where human life goes if it’s lived to fulfillment. The answer was that we get to have the experience of opposing God. He quickly added that the opposition he was speaking of was not one that contained conflict with the invisible. So another way of saying that is that we have the opportunity to meet God face-to-face. I propose to you that it takes a developed person, a person who stands in their strength and in their truth, to meet God face-to-face.
How does this process work out? Isn’t it essential in all this that we never lose touch with our own primal feminine energy? If we do, the development of who we are becomes a house of cards that just falls down, because the process of development is being powered by our primal feminine nature, whether we are a woman or a man. I would submit to you that our sexuality, whether we’re a woman or a man, is powered that way, too. But it isn’t just our sexuality. Our whole life is powered by our responsive nature. Our development as a person, our service in the world, is all based on that. And if you are taking on a project of any kind and you don’t have the juice of your primal feminine, you will run out of energy, because that’s where the juice comes from—your response to the primal masculine.
Put in other words, we’re talking about Mother and Father God. It is that love affair that makes everything go. I’ve found that if the world is getting confusing and there is something missing in my strength or in my truth, I can come back to that primary vertical access between the primal feminine and the primal masculine. I can come back to the primary love affair and find that is the origin of everything. It powers everything. In that, everything makes sense.
The developed or evolved masculine and the developed or evolved feminine may get out on a limb sometimes. Do you notice that? Human strength that is not powered by the primal feminine turns brittle and fades. And people may have all kinds of ideas about what the truth is, or what their truth is, but if those ideas have lost relationship to this core dynamic in their being, those ideas lack wisdom. There are so many ideas that seem to be good but are disconnected from what brings true meaning. Those ideas give us wonderful gifts, like atomic bombs and greenhouse gases and all the rest—never mind the small disasters of our personal experience.
Even the very simple matter of getting along in community seems so difficult if the primal feminine is not there. When people share their primal feminine with each other, there is an experience of unity. Another word for that is worship. But I am not just talking about the Sunday going-to-church kind of worship. For men or women, if we don’t have a way of sharing our worship with other people, sharing that soft part of ourselves that just flows in love for the ineffable, there will be no glue to hold everything together. All our ideas about truth are not going to hold us together.
I’d like to read a passage from the Bible that I believe is addressing these things. This is from the second chapter of Revelation. I think this was probably written to good people—certainly religious people. This is the letter to “the angel of the church of Ephesus.”
I know thy works, and thy labour and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
These are clearly very good people; strong and hardworking, and very truthful.
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:2-4)
To put this in more straightforward language, I would paraphrase it this way: I don’t care how smart you are and I don’t care how strong you are. And I certainly don’t care how good you are; if you have forgotten your first love, it’s all for naught.
When we speak of innocence, isn’t this what we’re speaking about? We cannot walk around our whole lives being only innocent. In other words, there has to be the developed masculine and the developed feminine—we have to be strong and we have to be truthful. But we have to be innocent through it all. And if we ever stop being innocent in our love for what means something to us, our lives go to waste.
This is purity of heart. Who are the pure of heart? They are those who have not left their first love; those for whom that love is alive and well and in place. As it is, yes, we develop strength. In fact, this is the origin of all strength. And we become wise, and this is the origin of true wisdom. We find that we are visited by that reality which is at our core, which made us and which is us. We get to be truly ourselves. We get to know ourselves, and we get to be and express ourselves in our world; we get to be genuine people.
March 17th, 2009
Posted in David Karchere | Print this page