I’m Shrewd: Somebody Has A Plan For You

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Balance is implicit in the experience of wholeness for humans. There can be no doubt that male and female are identifiable characteristics for the basis of scientific theory in much of nature. However, science does also identify crucial differences in the natural order of procreation and therefor must consider these differences when recording data for more theoretical analysis. For instance it is a fact that approximately one out of every 2000 human babies are born with ambiguous genitalia. This ambiguity has many variations (visit childrenshospital.org for more information), and I would imagine that each of these babies have incredible challenges ahead in a society.

Beyond science, we humans need a connection to concepts of the human spiritual plain in order to inform us about our deepest desires and higher aspirations…These desires and aspirations are not found in science and therefor we humans must relay them and relate to them through a more metaphysical means. I think a good statement to reflect this is, “Somebody has a plan for you.” I would like to show how  this statement can be applied to the 3 core realms of consciousness:

  1. State
  2. Self
  3. Creation

1. State: The United States is currently experiencing a shift in cultural belief systems. No where is this more obvious than with the almost weekly coalition of demonstrators. We might notice that these demonstrations accrue as we get closer to elections. For the most part these demonstrations claim to be representative of a majority of “the people”, however I would classify them simply as public lobbyists – influencers who appeal to the media for attention rather than serve as individuals among a diverse group of thinkers perhaps on a civic board or commission. Personally, I serve on two boards and one commission and I find it to be very rewarding volunteer service in my community.

Singularly focused social action demonstrations are driven by outside agitators who envision a Utopia…”Somebody has a plan for you” in this sense means that the State (or governing authority) should be in charge of organizing all aspects of your life so that you will never want for anything. Balance is not achievable because it is slanted only toward State action.

2. Self: This word is very tricky to understand because what we are really involved with here is the ego. Ego pays little attention to community or spirit. “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “You have a plan for you” and the ego is driven toward that end. Confusion and indecision of your plan can cause tremendous anxiety and/or anguish. Living your personal “truth” is wrapped up with your desires and you believe that no one else in your life can ever know what you are going through. Balance is not achievable because it is focused only toward the one individual.

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3. Creation: This is the Devine nature of being. It has no ego and cannot be forced into anything except it’s authentic self. I can experience this authenticity when I paint a picture or design and sew a wedding dress.

Most religions exist because they attempt to piece together an experience to help the human translate what or who the Creator is. In this “piecing together experience” a doctrine is formed in order to allow the ego a way to transform into its authenticity and reach a spiritual plain. The “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “God has a plan for you” in which God is understood as the Devine or the Creator. In the United States the government has no influence on a religion except where secular laws may be concerned, and a religion has no influence on the government except for how an individual applies a faith based or goodwill approach to government policy and law. Balance is achieved because our Constitution’s Framers were mindful of this necessary inclination toward the Devine.

The Shrew Blog tries to maintain a perspective of balance as it considers the finer implications of social, cultural and theological influences in the U.S. Balance cannot exist without considering the polar opposite acceptance of the Male Principle (Order) since The Shrew admittedly understands more precisely the Female Principle (Chaos). It is my belief that the “Resistance Movement” is based on the Male Principle only because it chooses to use the State as a tyrannical keeper of order (in other words Socialism). The feminist “mask” is pushing for this order too because at its foundation is their equality with men which is far from being a balanced approach. To further complicate matters, the “Resistance Movement” has played on fears of racism, sexism and bias which are connected to the ego of individuals…Just witness how expertly maneuvered the resistance equation is: Complain, impose, blame => Socialist dominance by the few. And what is being resisted? Constitutional Liberty for the whole.

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Next up: Why the local economy matters…

Shrewd Awakenings: Pay Attention to Your Being

Is modern feminism the woman’s declaration of “Pay Attention To Your Being”?

In my quest for a greater understanding of spiritual truths I do much reading and occasionally explore other blogs that might offer some potential wisdom concerning topics of spirituality and religion.  As a third generation Unitarian (currently known as Unitarian Universalism) my religion calls me to explore all religious truths in a responsible manner to guide me toward an authentic spiritual journey that brings my life meaning and informs my actions to do good works.  As Jordan B. Peterson relates in his new book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:

Meaning signifies that you are in the right place, at the right time, properly balanced between order and chaos, where everything lines up as best it can at that moment…the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that.

One blog that I have been visiting for spiritual insight seems to be heavily focused on the man’s perspective of feminism as it relates to U.S. culture and the Christian religion.  The blogger pulls passages from news articles and Christian writers to critique them for feminist bias.  As one can imagine, these critiques when set against the highly antagonistic idea of “modern feminism” makes for a great number of comments from men in general and Christian men specifically.  The blogger does state on his home page that comments are to be made by men only so as not to derail the male perspective.  Comments from women are acceptable once the conversation thread has run on for a time.  The comments can range from hitting hard against the author of the article or book being critiqued to getting down right nasty about the women who are in these articles or books as examples of an experience.

I chose to comment on one blog post by relating my own experience in relation to the current Christian authored article that the blogger was critiquing.  My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only.  I did not mind this “bashing” because it only stirred my need to understand their resistance.  I was subsequently “put in my place” with quotes from Bible scripture.  Ah Ha!!  I can now apply my own insight on my blog about where I believe Christian men go wrong when they take a literal hard line on what a woman’s place aught to be in orthodox Christian teachings…Perhaps “feminism” is a symptom to their issues?

To give you some context, I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter and I currently work as a self employed seamstress helping women with their bridal gowns.  I have a lot of confidence in my work and this helps the 120+ anxious brides that I see each year as they attempt to put on a ceremony and celebration of one of the most import days of their life.  I would have to say that at least 80% of these ceremonies are performed with a Christian perspective even though churches are being used less often as the ceremonial venue.  The dress and the vows hold a very significant place of importance with all of these women.  I find that the modern bride is less concerned with the traditions of this celebration and more concerned with how marriage will transform her in the process.  Many times I will see the bride a few years later (sometimes with a baby in tow) needing help with her bridesmaid gown for a friend’s wedding.  They seem more beautiful to me than when I first meet them…Their sense of self and the transition to motherhood seem to have cast a special glow around them!

I believe that most husbands see this glow in their wives.  I would venture to say that this may have a humbling effect on the man, after all he can never honestly know the pain and sacrifice of his wife.

Back to the blog posts that I mentioned earlier…”My comment brought a flurry of new comments by men as being a woman with no authority to give a spiritual opinion on matters strictly left up to men only.”   A commenter named Luke who, I assume, is a devote Christian gave me several verses from scripture to substantiate his premises about women in relation to Christian teaching:

1 Timothy 2:11 – 12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Here is my response…Woman was first to bite the apple from the tree of knowledge which allowed her to become like God, knowledgeable about good and evil.  Man took the bite next (also allowing him this knowledge) which left him vulnerable and in the position to forever make up for  this transgression to God because man was made first.  From this point forward women would forever bear the pain to bring forth life and both men and women would suffer through life until death (giving up immortality).  For a woman to be quiet means that she, as a woman, has the deeper understanding of life’s meaning because of her physical pain and her ability to bear children.  Her authority is to teach this understanding to her children.  She should not be a “mother” to the man in his adulthood.  This is very important!

1 Corinthians 14:34 – 35 …the woman should keep silent in the churches.  For they are not  permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.  If there is any desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home.  For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

Here is my response…Submission in this context places the burden upon the man to get closer to Christ, atoning the man’s sin for trying to be as God because man was not given pain of childbirth which clearly has made women more submissive in its own right (Law of nature).  Submission is not to the husband, rather submission is to the husband’s burden of his spiritual domain.  She was given time to teach her children, but to teach a man in church or otherwise is to thwart the man’s responsibility to himself and to God.  At “home” gives the couple the privacy for her to confront the man’s perceived inability to be a “man” in the eyes of God.

1 Corinthians 11:1 – 34  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…maintain the traditions…the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

My response…These passages refer to a linear system.  Consider my following graphic:

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Notice that the woman is at the center.  She is “Transformational Suffering” which is her life cycle; birth, child, child bearer, nurturer, crone, death.  Her life is dedicated to life itself.  From her come the children who test authority and require guidance from a physical presence.  Their concept of God is inadequate until maturation.  The boy and the girl are the metaphysical order and chaos as noted in Peterson’s quote.

The man is closer to the Church (the physical good) and to Christ (the metaphysical good).  Man is “Physical Good Works” which is his dedication to the “Church” because his life cycle is less transformative; birth, child, laborer, death.  Through his good works with the “Church” he submits to Christ and becomes closer to God.  He is a role model to his family.

Both man and woman submit to Christ (the metaphysical good).  Neither speaks for the other.  Both maintain traditions for their family, however these traditions are in reality values of good works that the community also must emulate.  With shared values comes meaning for living.  And therefore this meaning is ultimately inspired by Christ (metaphysical good).

1 Peter 3:1  Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.

My response…This passage affirms that wives should not act as a mother to their husbands.  A woman’s understanding of spirituality (the word) is always much deeper than a man’s because her suffering is greater.  This suffering begets nurturing.  Hense the next piece of scripture that Luke identified:

1 Ephesians 5:22 – 33  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

My response…This linear progression is clear.  A man must understand his spiritual burden before he considers taking a wife.  A woman must understand the importance of her transformative Nature and its strength as nurturer before she becomes a wife and mother.  The husband’s role as father and spiritual Being brings meaning to the family unit and strengthens the community.  I will add another piece of scripture:  John 14:6  I am the way, and the truth and the life.

Our Judeo-Christen founding as a nation is central to our strength as a people (the “way”).  If we see that our U.S. culture is breaking down around us, we need only look at the push to secularize our Being.  Women are not doing this on their own.  So many men have given up on their role as laborer and maintainer of spiritual good works in the community.  When women become the laborer as well as the nurturer they tip the balance of spiritual strength in their favor and take the “moral” lead.  The classroom is then the nurturer, but without the spiritual “lingo”.  And meaning is a concept remaining out of a child’s grasp unless he or she is fortunate enough to have spiritual guidance at home.  I believe that modern feminism is simply the woman’s declaration to men and women of “Pay attention to your Being”.  This is also the call of the women’s marches and the “Me Too” movement.

How are you paying attention to your Being?  Read my past blogs about “Archetypes of the Human Spirit” for some possible insight.

The Shrew View: On Strengthening Awareness

Is it time for all of us to strengthen our awareness muscle?

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Living in the United States is like a double edged sword.  The freedoms we cherish are at times unwittingly used against us.  Consider this passage from Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

What I mean by this is that our Creator has brought forth in this country a time of peace that could hardly be imagined 100 years ago. This has not happened by chance or by accident. Much of this peaceful coexistence has developed through increasing our understanding of an individual’s God given rights that are tangable (like property rights) as well as intellectual (like free speech) and of our physical personhood (our bodies and identities). We put a high value on these rights because if not then tyranny would be allowed to reign free.  Yet we know that the duality of good and evil exists as fact.

Not even God can stop an act of violence. God does however judge the perpetrator and his or her actions. Humankind can put in place methods to alleviate violet acts, but humankind cannot necessarily stop the thoughts and attitudes of someone’s heart.

In separate instances I have been forcibly kissed, robbed, mugged, and molested. I choose not to be a victim because to do so I give over my soul and spirit to the perpetrator who takes great pleasure in their offense. This is the double edged sword. My creator has given me the personal power of awareness which I can use to mitigate the severity of most circumstances. Awareness allows me to think and live more strategically, and one way that I have actualized this is through the principles of karate.

Here are a few things that I would typically teach at my self defense classes for women and girls:

  • Walk with purpose (Have your keys ready to use for your car or home.)
  • Be in tune with your surroundings (For instance, don’t take your eyes off the stranger asking you a question…They want your guard down.)
  • Know your exits.
  • Listen to your intuition.
  • Say no and mean it.
  • Don’t feel rude by being loud or yelling to draw attention to a difficult situation.
  • Vary your routines when driving to regular destinations, choosing a parking spot, walking or running for exercise.

There is more good in this world than there is evil.  That is why it is so easy to live our lives without much thought to personal protection.  Awareness is the answer, not just for some but for everyone.

 

Shrew U: The Faceless Being and Hidden Treasure

Archetypes of the Human Spirit (Story Analysis)

Part 12

Archetype #10 – The Faceless Being

“Courage is the pure light of truth through which the Self must act”

An animated tree symbolizes the Hero, that part of your Self that is willing to leave the protection of the soul.  If the soul is “immortal”, then to leave this immortality is a courageous act.  There is risk in relying on your authentic Self and not your Ego as you confront your dragons.  Notice that the animated tree also holds what appears to be a sword.  This sword is your light of truth, and this truth points the way to hidden treasure.

  • Are you the Hero of your metaphysical journey?
  • Can this type of hero also be compared to what we call a prophet?
  • What Prophets in human history exemplify this type of journey?
  • Why do you think that you must let go of your Ego in order to take this journey?

 

Archetype #11 – Hidden Treasure

“Continue to seek the inner gifts that call you forward.”

Where the end of a rainbow meets a path there will be found a treasure of your making.  Some say that this treasure is “God’s will”.  God’s gift to humanity is the individual’s capacity to find meaning in his or her humanity…EPIPHANY!

It is up to each and every individual to take this metaphysical Hero Journey, a journey that exemplifies Love… Of yourself and of others.

Notice that beyond the rainbow the dragons appear as clouds.  They are there to remind you that Ignorance and Insecurity can arise in you again.  Also notice that these dragon clouds are playing with something circular that looks like the sun.  This orb-like shape represents your wholeness, the many facets that complete your Self.  This again is the Female Principle.  How?  The female symbolizes transformation because of the many transitions her physical body makes in her lifetime.  These transitions are physiological while also requiring psychological courage, perseverance and humility…all conditions of the metaphysical Hero Journey.

  • Can this metaphysical journey be taken more than one time?  If so, how can it be used to conquer difficulties in every day life?
  • Is this journey accessible to everyone?  How might Prophets like Jesus, Budha, and Ghandi have shown us this path?
  • What other stories or myths have you learned that use the archetypal images similar in this journey?

“Our greatest treasure is that which is hidden deep within our own unconscious, it is that dark unused part of our self that is in fact light that is unconscious of itself.” ~ Carl Jung

Conclusion by the Author…

It is my wish that this story will offer guidance to anyone in need of a new way to envision hope.  I think that our usual models of religious teaching are too cumbersome at times.  This model is easy to use by any individual.  May it prove useful.

Blessings,

Bette Brunswick

Shrew U: The Forest, Dragons and Tongues

Archetypes of the Human Spirit (Story Analysis)

Part 11

Archetype #7 – The Forest

“As the forest matures with nature’s care so, too, does the soul.”

The Forest represents fertility, life, renewal and the spiritual aspects of your Self. Your thoughts and emotions take root in the fertile soil and give life to your soul’s essence. Only you can attest to the care that is taken with your soul. Your secrets define your emerging authenticity. Forgiving yourself as well as forgiving others who do not know you as you know yourself are measures of maturation. Notice that this archetype aligns with the Female Principle (refer to post, “The Shrew View”, November 3, 2017).

  • Do you take time to honestly know yourself?
  • Could a walk along a familiar wooded path bring you the contemplation your soul deserves? Why does your soul deserve this activity?

 

Archetype #8 – The Dragons

“Dragons reveal an intensity of character that cannot be denied”

Dragons are intense aberrations. These are deviations from maturity. I name one dragon Ignorance to reference all that you probably still have yet to know and learn about yourself and about other human beings. I name the second dragon Insecurity to reference all the human beings and material things that you believe you need in your physical life, however this “need” is in actuality a deep want for self recognition but only in the physical realm. Know these dragons well because if you ignore them, their intensity lashes out in behaviors you may not expect of yourself.

  • Can you identify your dragons when they appear? What behaviors do they bring out of you?
  • Why do you think your dragons have a relationship with the people and things in your physical life? Can you identify these relationships? Are the behaviors relating to these relationships worth the energy that is given to them?

 

Archetype #9 – Tongues

“Criticism must be heard intelligently”

Tongues represent criticism, either told to you about you or directed at you from yourself. If you haven’t taken the time to nurture your soul then you will not be able to identify weather criticism is valid. If the criticism is valid, how do you then apply that that criticism toward self improvement?  Notice that these tongues are of the dragons and are intertwined.

  • Is all criticism bad? If it is, then how can you turn the information into constructive criticism?
  • Because these tongues come from dragons, does the criticism also apply to the relationships in your life? How?

 

**Next up…The conclusion of “Archetypes of the Human Spirit”

Shrew U: The Monster and The Guide

Archetypes of the Human Spirit (Story Analysis)

Part 10

Archetype #5: The Monster

“To dwell solely on failure and loss may consume all efforts to improve.”

I depicted this archetype as a very large and gruesome fish that has the ability to attack.  Making choices means that a choice might be wrong and, in this case, the repercussions of a wrong choice could be so overwhelming that you might not be able to continue your metaphysical hero journey.  To be “in the belly of the beast” is to be in a very bad place.

  • When have you made choices that did not end well?  Were you able to learn from your mistakes?
  • Can the darkness of being in this “belly” be compared to being in the “womb” of darkness?  What is the difference?

 

Archetype #6: The Guide

“Wisdom will take much time to acquire.”

A guide that comes to help with your journey can come in many forms.  A wise old man in this case signify’s the heavens (white hair like clouds and blue eyes like sky).  Notice the light inside his eyes.  This light is a reminder of your search for purpose.

  • Do you trust in the authentic wisdom of your inner voice?  Is this voice different from your intuition?  If so, then how?
  • In your life, can you find real people who listen well and do not judge?

If your metaphysical Self has made it this far, you have only just begun the transformative process…

Shrew U: The Road and The River

Archetypes of the Human Spirit (Story Analysis)

Part Nine

Archetype #3: The Road

“Pay attention to all that is seen and not seen.”

We all travel a unique road in our metaphysical “journey”.  No matter your sex, skin color, religious belief, or up-bringing, the story is only yours.  The start of this journey is new to the Self and offers a glimpse of innocence.  Allowing yourself to know  the concept of innocence in this way can help you to clear away any emotional baggage that you carry from your physical life.  Be curious on this journey.  However, if you stray from the road you will always be off course.  The road leads to your purpose, and everything that comes across the road is a necessary developmental stage.

  • What cultures or religions emphasize a journey of inner personal growth?
  • Are you able to imagine yourself without sin?
  • In your daily life are you as aware of those things that you cannot see or know as you are about those that you can see or know?
  • Do you discover those things that you cannot see or know by using contempt (sinful)? Or, do you discover them with curiosity and humility (moral)?

Archetype #4; The River

“Choices give life definition like a river that has cut its path through time.”

Choices are like a river that is in your way.   This archetype is very important because if you never try to cross it (i.e. Make a choice), your Self will never mature as it should.

The water in a river moves downstream and you cannot know it’s depth unless you go into it.  Crossing to the other side  represents a change to your Self.

  • How do you feel when there is change in your life or when you know you need to change your behavior?
  • River water is perpetually returning waters.  In life there is usually more than one choice.  What do you think about your own choices?