I’ve been thinking about toxic masculinity, with questions like, what exactly are the proud boys proud of? Then I researched them and came away sickened and soul-chilled. Basically they are proud of being white supremacists, incredibly racist but equally, decidedly misogynist.
This is what bothers me so greatly about our public discourse, or lack thereof, at the moment. What is destroying us is a psychic paradigm at its core. As people believe, so they do. As they do, our shared physical reality is manifested by the consensus will of the many. But it’s a paradigm! Another way to say it is it’s a set of beliefs made into law, not natural law, like gravity, decreed by men in charge.
Patriarchy is big and scary in its manifestation here on earth. At least three quarters of our beautiful earth is plagued by patriarchal rule exercising various degrees of repression of women, minorities, animals and the planet itself. Around the world, women suffer untold indignities and cruelty based on the patriarchal laws that rule them and the men who so gladly enforce them. In our own country, we are close to losing our reproductive rights as women, therefore, our equality and autonomy as citizens of this particular patriarchy.
Patriarchy is based on the supremacy of one gender over the other. It is about 6 thousand years old, not coincidently, as old as Creationists say the earth is old. Religion is the psychic enforcement of the patriarchal paradigm for society. Patriarchal religions are all based on tomes declared sacred texts and absolute law by the patriarchs who wrote them.
Once patriarchy succeeded in subjugating women, it was natural for the toxic credos of might and cruelty, empowered by divine justification, to turn to the next conquest, men and women of lesser power and might around the world. Slavery is based on the patriarchal paradigm that power deserves rewards; what’s yours is mine if I can take it.
The other day I was at a party hosted by dear friends. I was talking to their lovely young college graduate son about this and that. Something came up in our conversing that put me at a crossroads quite familiar to me; do I go there or not? Going there means using the P word to describe how I view our social situation; the P word is patriarchy. See, I know that word is going to be met with some form of dismissal; sure enough he repeated it, and smirked. He felt that summed up his opinion of the topic. He isn’t a wise-ass guy or disrespectful. He’s a lovely young man; it’s just knee-jerk conditioning we have all endured.
Patriarchy’s credos are chilling; its history is one horrific blood bath after another. We’re indoctrinated to think this is the only way that people have ever existed on this planet, which is complete bullshit. Archeological and other scientific investigations have dispelled the blinkered views that patriarchs prefer. Is it a coincidence that proud boys and their fraternities like to be called patriots? They’re patriarchal patriots who don’t want to see the good old days of racism and misogyny vanish and themselves out of power.
There are multitudes of armed to the teeth last defenders of a dying paradigm in our country. It is the most painful reality I must acknowledge daily; an army of disgruntled white men with dangerous weapons is seething in righteous rage, ready to protect these collapsing paradigms, male supremacy and white supremacy.
Yet, it is each individual that cements this ludicrous paradigm into reality by accepting the absurd imbalance between sexes, races and classes as god ordained and by having anything to do with a divinity who would ordain such a thing. Love is the manifestation of divinity; all else is a false god and a lie.
There are also multitudes of people deeply committed to Love as the ultimate spirituality. I hold on to the knowledge that spirituality has a much longer shelf life than violent man-made paradigms like patriarchy. I chose to be born into this time, this place, in a physical lifetime to learn what I need to learn and to do what I can do. I will be exiting at some point back to the spiritual path I have followed for eons. I know my life after this life will be pleasant and interesting because my ability to create my reality will, as it is in dreams, be much easier than it is in the physical.
We create our realities, individually and collectively. Modern dream studies have left us with little doubt. Anyone, who like myself, has pursued a dream practice for years has learned this certainty from experience. So it would seem that a person who has created for his or herself a reality of hate, division and fear is likely to continue that path after death. No thanks. With the bigger picture in mind, I choose Love.
Most of the men I know have no conscious interest in subjugating the women in their lives; most women I know respect women and love their men and children. What is less apparent to all of us, because it’s like the air that we breathe, is that we live in an old patriarchal paradigm. When we continue to diagnose our problems in isms and separate them one from another, we don’t see that it’s all one piece. Nature, that’s us, cannot be divided and conquered because nobody wins. The extreme psychic imbalance that patriarchy has caused is at the heart of every crisis we face.
Our unconscious devotion to the paradigm into which we have been indoctrinated hampers our metamorphosis into the most awesome human beings we can be. The paradigm we adhere to because God the Father says to is one of divisiveness; he alone is the one true it; my way or hell is patriarchal religions’ bottom line.
If you’ve read the gospels you might ask yourself what would Jesus think of today’s proud boys? Based on where and to whom he was born, he certainly was not Caucasian, European or “white” and he championed women while living in an utterly archaic patriarchy. I wonder if breaking all those taboos about menstruating women and women hearing teachings about the Torah contributed to his enemies, Jewish and Roman patriarchs, conspiring to crucify him?
Jesus’ teachings do not fit in with the rigid patriarchal constructs that were built into the world’s major religions, including Christianity. Jesus was about finding spirituality within; religion is about relying on external authorities and their dictates to tell us what our spirituality is or should be, all the while, relieving us of the responsibility of finding out ourselves. Remember the money lenders Jesus kicked out of the temple? What would he think of these rich ass pastors with their super churches, TV shows and constant hustle?
We are plagued world wide, not only by a physical coronavirus, but ironically, also by a mental virus. The vitriol and threats that are building from militant terrorists like the proud boys around the country is a sign of how desperately patriarchs want to hang on to their power.
But the counter weapon isn’t a bigger machine gun; it’s a change of heart and a change of mind. It’s opening to a new possibility for a world that is wonderful in it’s magnificence and deserves to be respected. It’s recognizing that the trappings of genitals and skin color are a thing of the physical world we’re living in together. They don’t mean anything outside of the experience that spirit is having in that body. Why would I choose to judge another spirit’s journey; that only diverts and stunts my own.
The difficulty people have in making that change, however, is that we aren’t offered much in the way of an alternative to God the Father religions. The numerous stories of goddess cultures before patriarchy were repressed and silenced; history is the story told by the conqueror, not what actually happened.
But our spirituality, our soul’s longing, is a natural flow in our psyches; we long for a vessel to express it. Embracing and including the Feminine Divine as God equal to the Masculine Divine is a good way to bring some balance to the modern psyche that has been drenched in penis worship for so long; but god/goddess is just a metaphor for what we intuit is beyond our physical senses, what lies in dimensions beyond this one.
Dreams can open our inner organic god/goddess given paths to all the divine knowledge we need to get by on this beautiful earth. The First peoples of the world knew and practiced this inner searching, but our modern awareness is focused externally almost perpetually, except when we sleep. When we stop ignoring our dreams, we begin the inner journey Home. When we live our best dreams, we bring to the world the healing all of us here so desperately need.