Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Supreme Court Majority is NOT Feminine Principled!

It is happening again-- the feminine principle is being buried alive by the justices in the majority when they supported the religious beliefs of a corporation, Hobby Lobby, and in so doing dismissed the rights of women to  have healthcare that is based on their conscientious choices regarding their bodies and their  reproductive well-being

A dangerous precedent  has been cast. The conservatives of the Supreme Court have time and again  favored the corpus of corporations rather than the persons of the populus.Ironic that conservatives tout the individual's right to bear arms and  repudiate regulation of money and the environment, yet have the gall to run roughshod over women's bodies!

Maybe change will come only  when men's bodies are affected. No blood transfusions for the guy, perhaps? No immunizations for his kids as well as hers? The corporation conscience, though an oxymoron, may have more religious taboos up its mythical sleeve.What then?

Ah, will a miracle occur? As the sleeve  aims its mythical corporate armed arm at its own mythical  corporate foot, will we find ourselves in a new age --of single payer universal healthcare?  Voila, corporations can soak their phantom foot and put their  feigned consciences to rest. The latter won't be so hard, since their consciences are always at rest unless they are awakened by a self -serving agenda.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

In my new book, QUIET WISDOM IN LOUD TIMES:THE RISE OF THE WOUNDED FEMININE, I address men of feminine principle. The issue of recognition of the feminine within all of us is addressed. That is, the attendance to connection, compassion , care, and yes, vulnerability and openness as a strength... not always as a negative!
So today on Father's Day, may I offer my kindest wishes to you, the fathers who have inculcated in  the raising of your children the sense of compassion for others, the need for relationship to others and to the earth, and the acceptance of feelings... even tears. I laud you in your gentleness that eschews all forms of violence.
In gratitude , Kayta

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dreams and the patriarchy, past and present

In 2011,I had a dream that an evil man was torturing  a good man, and in the dream I was looking for the  woman who would come to his rescue. The good man arose from the table appearing to search for the woman.Even in the dream, I wondered anout my own negative animus( inner masculine) overtaking the positive animus, how my critical patriarch within stymies my creative drive and thrust. How indeed my own animus within needs to be wedded to the feminine principle!

Upon walking, I further considered that the dream has a powerful collective message. That is, that our issues of the world have less to do with  men and women per se, even though the problem gets enacted that way. Instead, it is that the masculine and feminine qualities in all of us have undergone a  psychological divorce.In fact, we need a global wedding of the masculine in women and the feminine in men.Patriarchy skews the balance between masculine and feminine.

So perhaps my dream, in the sense of the collective psyche, can be  a portent of how the gentle(man) masculine is being tortured by the patriarchy also, and that the feminine principle must arise, arrive, be known, and seen, for Life to flourish.

I am reminded, once again, when I awake, of Michael Blomqvist in  The Girl with Dragon Tattoo.It is the female protagonist , Lisbeth Salander, who rescues him from the torturing serial killer of women. (And even more recently we have Katniss the heroine of  The Hunger Game trilogy, protecting another feminine principled man, Peeta.)

When the wedding of the masculine and feminine lives in  us all and the patriarch's death rattle resounds no longer, it will not be the result  of a knight in shining armor slaying the dragon and saving the damsel. No, the damsel shall ride the dragon and save the  Night!

And the more recent dream is this. I awoke from a long dream in which I was writing down  a poem said to be by Rumi,( but  was not.) What I could recall were  the last lines of the poem: God in the world is the Sense of God in the world. The accent in the dream was on the word "sense."To me, this is an honoring of the feminine aspect of God, bringing Sky God to Earth.For the Divine to be known to us, there is not only transcendence but also immanence.SHE must be sensed in the world, incarnated in flesh and field. Smelled, seen, felt, heard!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mind Matters — Weddings Go Deep

 I’ve never liked brides’ magazines and all the sentimental advertising fluff that seems to accompany American weddings. I was an iconoclast even as a bride myself forty-three years ago. However, this column arrives on the heels of my daughter’s wedding and so I am “re-specting,” that is, “re-viewing” what may lie hidden beneath the frills, fancies, and high finances.

For one, weddings are one of the few times that the feminine is allowed to flourish and be acknowledged. There she is, the bride in white with all eyes upon her. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung may say that the bride connects to something larger than herself, the symbolic archetype of the purity of the divine feminine. Perhaps then, the bride in her luminosity carries for those present to witness, all that the feminine archetype brings to the world—compassion, nurture, the carrier of new life, receptivity, care. Remember that when I say this I refer only to how the bride carries the archetype for the community in that moment. In her everyday life, she may carry that along with much more. Or perhaps in her everyday life she eschews any connection to the feminine archetype at all.

The crux of the matter is that when we look deeply into the meaning of the wedding itself, it is an honoring of the feminine that must withstand the joys and hardships of married life and the bringing into the world new life.

As my husband and I walked our daughter to the chapel’s threshold, I watched her footing as well as mine. I will always remember a broken stone step—mind the gap, I say to myself. My daughter with sure footing reached the threshold steady and solid to walk down the aisle in solitude to her joyous groom. I hope for them a way to marry the best qualities of both the masculine and the feminine archetypes that dwell in all of us.

Meanwhile, we who witness weddings can remember how with every change there is a loss. Even when the change is magnificent, we need to let go of the past. When I say to people, “In every wedding, there is a funeral; in every funeral, there is a wedding,” they usually gape at me puzzled.

Let me try to explain. There will, I think, at every wedding, be sadness at what has ended, a letting go of what has been to make way for what will be. Surely, there is a twinge of grief to this which we need to honor. There is also the awareness, if we are not in denial, that marital bliss contains struggles and obstacles, as well as rapturous moments.

I actually find it easier to ponder the funeral in the wedding than I do the notion of wedding in the funeral. Certainly, the wedding aspect is not readily comprehended when in the throes of grief. However, eventually, even in our grief we need to find new meaning in life, and a new relationship with the loved ones who have died. And that is the wedding! There is a Jewish proverb which says: When the heart grieves what it has lost, the soul rejoices in what it has found. This proverb seems to be apropos to both weddings and funerals. May we rejoice! That’s hardly sentimental fluff.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Patriarchy is Sooo Passe

Patriarchy is so passe , yet so pugilistic and pushy. The patriarchs are not giving up their antiquated ways of being and thinking without a fight. I consider that narrow minded  thinking to  be the downside of patriarchy's desire for structure and clarity. It has been said  in psychotherapy that psychological health is determined by a tolerance for ambiguity. Certainly, patriarchal institutions and perspectives are hardly tolerant of ambiguity.

Taken to its extreme, this lack of tolerance devolves into prejudice against people for  any way they are "different" and not in the "patriarchal tribe."Hence the patriarchal mind can demean others for their religion, color, nationality, socioeconomics, gender: Any way to set people apart as other. The patriarchal flaw is lack of inclusivity and the need for absolutes and exclusivity.  Dictators are exclusivists to the nth degree:Hitler claiming the "Aryan race" to be exclusivley human; Stalin murdering millions who did not fit his warped notion of what is human.

However, we fool ourselves if we believe we have to be that extremely evil to err in the service of the patriarchy. Laws that are deigned to  thwart citizens their right to vote, laws such as "stand your ground" in Florida that  give carte blanche to  the guys with guns to "deputize" themselves  are prejudicial and patriarchal and flagrantly unethical if not immoral, even though they may be "legal."

Irony of ironies, the patriarchy loves to determine what is legal for women's bodies, claiming an outraged sense of morality there. But then, the patriarchy fears the feminine both in body and in principle. The feminine represents ambiguity as well as earth and body. The patriarchy in all its forms desires control of both the earth and women. Rape of the earth and rape of women are two sides of the patriarchal coin.

Right now, at this moment, the patriarchy is revving up  in its assail against both women and the earth not because  patriarchy is truly vigorous but because it is  in its death rattle.Even though it is loud,how long will its last gasp be heard?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Karma and Psychology

I have been away for a conference called “Creativity and Madness.” Why have an academic meeting stateside when traveling to Thailand, Hong Kong, and Bali is an option?

I presented on the “Rise of the Wounded Feminine in the Media,” using examples from various TV shows and movies, such as The Hunger Games and Whale Rider. Others presented on the culture of Thailand and psychological issues in Bali.

And where does this all converge in a Mind Matters column? I was interested in the psychological stressors and ways of coping the people had in these countries. I can only report anecdotally about the few people I spoke to—especially women. It seemed to me that men in Bali, for example, were more satisfied with life than were the women. So I wondered about the rise of the wounded feminine in the place that tourists call paradise.

While the male tour guides waxed on about how much they loved their life in Bali, for example, despite the fact that no one had any vacation time, the women I met talked about having to juggle child care with work hours. One massage therapist noted that she and her husband worked different shifts so that they could care for their three-year-old son. I asked her, with all the beaches around, if she got to go swimming much. “Oh, no,” was her reply, “we are busy with work and our rituals.” Yes, there are many religious rituals to follow each day. Every Bali home has a small Hindu temple and every day little baskets of offerings are made to place in various corners of homes and shops—these little trays of flowers and food are ubiquitous.

Rituals that support one’s spiritual beliefs aside, everyday life in Bali seemed less paradise, more hard scrabble, to me. Another woman reported that she had three daughters and no sons. That meant that she and her husband would have no one to care for them when they got old.

In Bali, the wife joins the husband’s family in their little compound. This woman I spoke to only got to visit her parents once a month, and in the event of their being disabled, she was hard pressed as to what to do. She was an only child and relied on a cousin to come to her parents’ aid from time to time. She also noted that there was little opportunity for anyone to further their education to become a nurse or a physician unless they had money. Hence, some women masseuses choose to leave Bali to work in Turkey or Russia—they then marry and remain there. Another young sales clerk I met was looking forward to settling in Finland and witnessing snowfalls with her Finnish boyfriend (whom she met in Bali) beside her.

In both Bali and Bangkok, karma and destiny constituted a psychology of acceptance of the way things are. The upside to this is that these people know full well the line of the AA prayer of “accepting what I cannot change”—and they do that with patience and humility. On the other hand, there may be a lack of “changing what I can.” We of the Western World commit the sin of hubris and entitlement, thinking we can change and control and dominate whatever we please. Yet the East may err on the side of accepting their “karmic” lot in life. Both Easterners and Westerners may need a little more wisdom to know the difference between what we can and cannot change!
Meanwhile, I would introduce the West to the Asian patience of driving sans road rage and the ability to smile and be polite in all public places. Throughout Asia we were met with politeness—Thailand is indeed known as the Land of Smiles.

Ah, but we received our literally rude awakening when we arrived at the San Francisco airport. From the United Air ground employee yelling at us to the Americans angered in the passport corral line that my husband had the audacity to want to stand next to me, we were reminded we were home. Stress up, smile and patience gone. What is our psychological or karmic story here, I wonder?