Shrew U: Reading List…

One big reason why I started my blog, The Shrew, was to create a journal documenting a female perspective counter to mainstream influences like that of the women on the ABC talk show The View.  It is very apparent to me that the most vocal women on The View (Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar specifically) have absolutely no desire to do meaningful research beyond their own closed boarders of “the resistance”.  The gossip, innuendo and emotional superficiality on The View perpetuates the often “catty” stereotype of the female human species and sets back the progress of intellectual women everywhere.  Who watches this garbage?

The following is my recommended reading list for women and men who wish to honestly understand the social, political and emotional underpinnings of why the “resistance” movement is a non-starter for the majority of people in the United States:

  • Fields of Blood: Religion and The History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
  • Sapiens; A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Where Do We Go From Here; Chaos or Community? By Martin Luther King, JR
  • The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson by David Barton Thomas
  • Jefferson and The Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager
  • The War on Cops; How The New Attack On Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe by Heather MacDonald
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The African Background Outlined by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The Righteous Mind; Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  • Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics For A Better America by Sheriff David Clarke JR.
  • Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell
  • Sacred Instruction; Indiginous Wisdom For Living by Sherri Mitchell
  • 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  • Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary and The Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

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This list of nonfiction literature encompasses various perspectives from authors who are passionate about their topics.  Even though many of these books are not in themselves a balanced perspective, I have found that a balance is gained by reading the complete selection.  Why?  Because the books that drive on emotion lack references to actual contextual data and the books that drive on references to actual contextual data lack emotion.  We need both experiences in order to form a compassion that has integrity from which to speak and act effectively.

My religious faith has in the past two years made it known that it is part of the “Resistance Movement” which is why I no longer support the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Association.  I’ve been doing my due diligence and reading quite a bit to understand the logic behind this movement.  I’ve also met with my minister to voice my concerns.  My church only encourages the reading of emotional literature (The New Jim Crow) and preaches a narrative of white supremacy as well as toxic masculinity.  Please tell me how this approach furthers our doctrine of peace among people?  It doesn’t!  Hiding behind a “spiritual” and emotional mask does not automatically make you moral.  Actions and words have consequences.  You cannot say that you “side with LOVE” (a current UU catch phrase) and then support a movement of hate-filled rhetoric.  Marginalizing whiteness and masculinity is in actuality a quasi-creed for the UU religion and I cannot condone the practice.  UU’s have always boasted that they are non-credal.  This doctrine does not support a spiritual belief, instead it moves it toward the political which is completely out of the realm of religion.  It encapsulates the heart, closing the door on true compassion for humanity and oneness with our Creator.  When religion becomes political, chaos and tyranny will follow.  Just think about how kings in the past usurped the “God” Priciple to subjugate their kingdoms…Is this now similar to Athiest Democrats and Progressives exclusively claiming the moral high ground while at the same time trying to get rid of those who uphold Judeo-Christian values as well as the Constitution, both of which are being tread upon in the current political and cultural environment?

My next blog will focus on the deterioration of representative leadership in the U.S.

 

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.

Shrewd Awakenings: River of Choice

Is it really about guns?

I am deeply saddened by the tragic events at the Parkland, Florida high school on Wednesday.  My heart goes out to all the families that are affected by this violent act.  I know that the whole country is mourning the loss of these innocent victims.  Sudden death at the hands of a human being is mind boggling.  How can a human being be capable of such a crime?

In my previous blog, The Archetypes of the Human Spirit (a series of 12 posts beginning on November 15th ) I relate about choice and the consuming nature of loss and/or failure…

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I think archetypes like the all-consuming Monster Fish in the River of choice can offer a glimpse into the subconscious and why horrific acts by humans will and do play out in real time. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung understood that the human subconscious grapples with the dilemmas that are experienced on a daily basis.  In most cases a person can deal with loss and/or failure by knowing that supportive and life affirming family or spiritual support structures are present for him or her.  Bad and irregular thoughts or dreams occur but are usually placed aside because reality is a manageable experience in this case.

But what if a person is out of touch with their “spiritual self” and reality becomes a series of experiences or choices that negatively affect them to the point where it becomes all consuming?  As if being eaten by a monster fish, the resulting by-product is either becoming the monster itself or being the excrement that flows into the ocean of despair.  The “monster” in reality feels the need to play out its revenge.  By the same token, the “excrement” can seem to be lost forever, recycling from river to ocean to rain and back to the river.  In order for tragedy to not befall the victim or victims, awareness about these subconscious conditions must be present.  I believe that this awareness can only be imparted by an “interceptor” such as the archetypal Guide.

One must have faith that this guide represents a forward path to hope.  This is why spiritual connectedness to our Devine nature is so relevant.  We all bear the responsibility of empowering each other with the knowledge of this connection.  To not have any idea about your Devine nature and subsequent Devine purpose within humanity’s context is another tragedy altogether…

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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?