A crash course in changing the world.
“…in a world of constant change, you need to try to connect with the environment around you any way you can; by sweeping your eyes, by opening your mind to uncomfortable ideas, even by trying to sympathize with historically noxious figures. Only then could you improve your chances of not missing the signs that something, something important, was about to change.” Joshua Cooper Ramo
It’s time to rebalance ourselves and only then our world. In a Navajo healing tradition when someone was sick, they were sent to sit in a sand painting often from four to seven days in order that they might reexamine their lives and remember the time when they went koyaaniqatsi (out of balance). Only after identifying this juncture might they then find their way to hozho nahasdlii (to balance restored). Western civilization—arguably the most influential culture on our planet—as our economic/legal/religious system has evolved to dominate the world, is grossly out of balance and the evidence is tangibly stacking up—and has been so, for a long time. We must, not just individually but collectively, go back though our histories and determine at what point we diverged from lives of equilibrium.
Twenty-five years ago in a university philosophy class, a brief reference was made as to how Western Civilization had taken a wrong turn beginning with the Greeks. This mistake had then led us off into a dangerous tangent. I didn’t understand the professor’s specific case in point at the time, but was captivated by the general idea that we had somehow been journeying though history like a boat adrift on the sea with an undetected error in its navigational instruments throwing us catastrophically off course and headed for the shoals.
As a woman, traditionally viewed as the lesser important and the most inferior of the two sexes, I had long sensed and personally experienced the general denigration of the feminine—which has felt like “thousands of paper cuts”—as we are daily disparaged or disregarded, subtly or virulently, in every venue, from religion to politics, business, media, entertainment, the locker room, etc. I recognized that in our world women have not counted as much as men. The recipients’ of the hierarchical arrangements which infuses our world have been most specifically men and especially white men, who unquestioningly have worn their mantles of superiority.
Not until I began studying energy, such as is prominent in traditional medicines, did I come to understand the imbalances inherent within Western religion and philosophy that establish the basis from which we perceive the world. As I began to apply my new understanding of balance gleaned from my studies to relationships between women and men, I fundamentally realized that here was the crucial issue necessary for effectively addressing our planetary instability. Yin/yang, electro/magnetism, masculine/feminine, positive/negative: each polarity pair related to and dependent on the other—neither force superior nor inferior. These are important concepts which characterize the balance we must seek as individuals but perhaps a more easily understandable and tangibly relevant model is found in the hemispheric differences of our brain. As stated most succinctly by Noble Price Winner Roger Sperry, “The main theme to emerge… is that there appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and nonverbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively and that our education system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.” This prejudice has been extended collectively against women who are more attuned to the intelligence of the right brain. Click here to read more...