Joanna Cherry“If the feminine or feeling nature of humanity were freed to express in balance with the masculine nature—war, cruelty and greed would, as a natural consequence, pass out of human thinking.” Ann Meyer, Woman Awareness, p. l Friends, we start high here, then there’s some hard stuff, but it does come back up and out into victorious conclusion.
How We Got HereLet’s zoom back to the time we came to earth as a beautiful divine being, both feminine and masculine. As we lowered ourselves into form, our souls split into masculine and feminine halves, both equally divine, equally cherished in the universe. Most of us are the same gender as our soul half, through most lifetimes. (When we are the opposite sex, a “crossover,” we may be gay in that lifetime.) But the other half is not just off somewhere in a different body, it is also part of our inner consciousness. We are each both male and female. We may not have realized how much suffering abounds here—but after our first life, most of us were hooked. The hook is EMOTION. Most of us have gone all out to FEEL, and it hasn’t mattered a great deal whether the feeling was “good” (though preferred) or “bad”. Emotion is addictive. (See the movie, “What the Bleep!”) Opportunity abounding for outrageous feeling on this plane, our emotional natures were in hog heaven. The sticking point is that instead of remembering we are great beings encompassing life, giving ourselves a playful time on earth, we began to believe the physical to be the one and only reality. This lead to hurts becoming stuck in our emotional body, often for thousands of years. But the thing to remember as we explore our adventures as women, is not only did we choose to come here, we actually chose (though often unconsciously) each and every experience we have known. This brings us to a starting point, a ground of being, of responsibility, not blame, for our experiences. This responsibility is shared by all our fellow god/dess beings. In responsibility then, how did we create difficult relationships or events? In perfect agreement, on an inner level, with all others involved. In truth (on our divine levels), none of us has been hurt. A Course in Miracles says that time will one day stop, and at that moment we will know that our brother never did anything to harm us. None of the appearance of harm is real. A further understanding vital to our healing process: when we label an event or situation bad, awful, terrible, horrible etc., we make the healing process much harder. Eckhart Tolle’s works are helpful with this. Say something’s happened that gives us lots of heartache. If we not only have the heartache but also the thought/feeling that it’s really a bummer, we double our work to get ourselves back into eqilibrium. In The Art of Happiness (see end for reference), written by an American psychiatrist in conjunction with the Dalai Lama, His Holiness says many Buddhists and Hindus feel joy in difficulty because they believe they are releasing bad karma. In the West, says co-author Howard Cutler, we are more inclined to view difficult things as meaning that we failed in some way, something is dreadfully wrong, or life/God is against us. “Why could this happen?!” “How did I deserve this?” “This is so awful!” The fact is, on this plane, difficult things happen(ed). We can accept them (AND move to improve things), or we can double our suffering and give our emotional body a whole heck of a lot more to clear.
HealingUntil we get to our enlightened and joyous state, it’s in our best interest to heal what got stuck in our emotional body. I have finally grown into the courage to face and feel my deepest pain regarding being a woman for most of my lives. This has lead me to a profound discovery. When I was an active spiritual teacher, giving workshops and talks in many countries, I always felt a subtle barrier between myself and workshop participants. Though I had been clearing for some time, I couldn’t see what that was about. Now I’ve realized that I felt such shame about being female, so deeply unworthy, that I was hiding behind this barrier. I was terrified people would find out I was worthless. I have seen how my personal pain resonates with that of virtually all women. I am well aware, and at this moment amazed, that there exist many happy relationships between women and men; relationships that are honest and loving, that honor both. I know some confident, loving women, and men both wise and kind. But the vast majority, maybe 90%, of girls and women carry a deep, mostly buried shame and hurt as a result of female-male interaction. It expresses in oblique ways such as being defensive, angry, cool, or feeling superior to men. The hurt comes from a number of sources. We are less valued in the world than men (Yoko Ono once said that women were “the niggers” of the world). Over the millennia millions of women and girls have been raped by men, abused by husband or lover or boss. In Asia I’ve seen women carrying huge loads while their men sit and play games. Women are still getting their clitorises cut off in Africa; made to cover completely; denied education; forced into sexual slavery or sweat shops or servitude; and on and on. Countless thousands, born to poor families where a girl child means coming up with a marriage dowry they do not have, are buried alive, thrown in the river to drown, or left out in the elements to starve and die. Women and children suffer greatly in war, where rape and murder run rampant. These memories are stark in the present life, or buried in the subconscious from past lives. Human beings, feeling separate from God/dess, have had a hard enough time of it on earth. But to poison an already noxious brew, the dark ones have wreaked havoc throughout history. Men have been manipulated using their weakest points: the need to appear strong and tough, and the need of the loins. And it is men who have been sent to war, where they were (and are) expected to kill without feeling. Women have been manipulated using our weakest points: a smaller and softer body than most men, and receptivity that can become fearful passivity when it should not: in the face of being dishonored. In simplest terms, men are holding tremendous guilt and pain for their misdeeds, and women are holding the pain of feeling inferior, plus anger and hatred. Both have been equally hurt in different ways. Mistrust abounds between women and men. (Here is the first of several excerpts I am taking from the chapter "Awaken the Goddess" from my book, Living Mastery.): A friend, Pip Cornatt, has allowed me to share this poem with you: Woman, through your pain
I came to earth.
We adored each other, you and I.
You fed me love, birds and flowers
danced in our world; magic lived
in our hearts. Later I was taught to use and control you.
Something precious died between us then.
For years I entered too many women,
desperately searching for that which
I did not know I had lost. Only when I swam deep enough
in the pain of my cruelty to you,
could I begin to feel your love again.
The journey is complete
Woman I adore you. How shall we extricate ourselves from hurt, anger, feelings of inferiority? We can begin by acknowledging how we came here and, as a divine being, take responsibility for our experiences. We are not and never have been a victim. I was given a vision while working on this article. I realized that though I have taught “no victim” for decades now, in getting into this deepest healing I was feeling past hurts as a huge weight on my heart. I suddenly was able to see right through this! There is no past in truth, and certainly no burden from the past—there is only this moment NOW which I can make whatever I want it to be. I saw us all as innocent, beautiful children playing together in the sunshine. What a rush of joy suffused my being! Yeeehhaaaaahhh! Let’s remember our divinity. We are the feminine polarity of God/dess: divine, sacred, precious, infinitely loved and honored by the universe. We are the love nature of humanity and its receptivity. (Werner Erhard taught in his est seminars that women are ten times more powerful than man because we RECEIVE power.) Our yoni (a Hindu word for the sacred vagina) and womb are treasures of creation. (I am grateful to “The Vagina Monologues” for being able now to speak of such intimate things.) In Hindu sculpture, the sacred masculine of the lingam rises OUT OF the sacred yoni. Yet how many of us treasure this sacred area, think of it as beautiful? This is an enormous learning for most of us! And speaking of appearance, how many of us love ourselves exactly the way we look? Did you know Elizabeth Taylor didn’t care much for her face, wanted to look like Ava Gardner? And hardly any teenager, with a body as perfectly youthful as it will ever be, approves of her appearance! Falsely based standards of society are the cause of this, along with too much egocentricity to be happy. A woman in comparison with other women should not fool herself: whatever her age, appearance, race, occupation, wealth, notoriety, weight, height, shape, life situation, or health, she is in fact equally as desirable as any other woman—WHEN SHE KNOWS IT. Why not let ourselves be OUR OWN standard, knowing the divinity we are loves and supports our body absolutely? Our body, divinity in form, deserves and needs to be loved. But also, this body which is given such huge importance in the world, the body by which we so often judge ourselves and others, is only a body. It contains a tiny fragment of our great consciousness. We want to be able to see BEYOND the form of our own body and everyone else’s, to the one that is larger than the universe. AND we want love and honor all physical forms, in which we have each chosen to experience this plane. We are the feeling nature, the compassion, of humanity (equally present in men but less in the forefront of consciousness). We are actually the mother of the world, each of us, just like Lakshmi or Saraswati or any goddess we revere. So we can start to look at all sides of the human situation and gain perspective. We can have compassion for our own anger and hurt. We can see how the outgoing, active nature of men, combined with stronger bodies, and the fact that most women have been kept home with children until recent decades, could bring about a notion of superiority of men over women. We women have been men in other lives also, and have accepted this false belief. We can begin to have understanding and compassion for both women and men, who all bought into this travesty. We can even begin to understand that no man has hurt a woman or child except through unconsciousness or pain. We certainly have been the cause of hurt to others, may have even abused others, and can put ourselves in the shoes of one who has abused. We can understand that each of us does our best with what we have learned, every moment of every lifetime. A man is as worthy, loved, divine, desirable, desired, intelligent, and capable as any woman, and vice-versa. We can forgive, or begin or expand our forgiveness of ourselves and men. We can go back to the truth: feminine and masculine are two polarities of Goddess/God in creation. Both are equally loved, valued, a precious treasure. To assist your self-healing as a woman, try if you like some things I’m doing. Picture your little infant girl self (this life and past), and love and cherish your yoni and womb, placing beautiful flowers there. Love your body naked in the mirror, whatever the age, weight or appearance, including particularly your yoni and womb. You can say with me, “I am proud to represent the divine, cherished, honored feminine in form. My feminity is a treasure which I value forever. I hold myself high.”
Goddess RealitiesHere are other excerpts from the chapter mentioned above. I wrote this chapter in a bright and truthful state of mind, before I waded into the sludge of my personal past. The truths deserve to be part of the article; I hope they serve well. O goddess! O Divine Mother! Honor to thee! There she is, dancing around the heavens, upon the earth: the beauteous one, the dazzling, the joyous! The female polarity of God, the goddess. She is divine mother of all, the matrix of creation and the energy and power which manifests it. She it is who knows without need for words, who is alive with feeling. She is beauty eternal, the attractive principle; the receptive principle. She is a joyous dance of co-creation with the masculine. God of all, beyond characteristics, polarized itself in the act of creation, bringing forth the masculine and feminine principles. These two principles are in eternal, divine love and orgasm with one another at the very center of creation. Every god and goddess of the Hindu and Buddhist religions has its other half, the consort, without which it is not whole. Pictures and statues often have the two making love. Without the feminine there is no masculine, there is no mind, no action; there is nothing. Without the masculine there is no feminine, no love, no creation; there is nothing. We are already beginning to bring into full awareness, and expression, the equality of the female with the male, within each of us and our society. Women are rising in power, leadership and respect in the eyes of the world. Our true feminine is love, not just love for a child or a mate, but unconditional love for every person and situation, for everything. She does not see walls or differences, she sees oneness. Her compassion will never take us into war. She will not allow a hungry child to go unfed. She cares for all, equally, and provides for all. The feminine brought forth will heal the world. Could there be anything more important or powerful for this time? It is happening for each of us—or waiting to happen.
Merging Our Feminine and MasculineThe true feminine, the goddess, also births in us the true masculine, the god. He who is the will, the power of initiation, the creative spark, the logic of the mind, of seeing aspects or parts of things, in linear time, in order to work with them. The outward searcher and mover. He who adores and honors the feminine, and is adored and honored by her. (These definitions of feminine and masculine are somewhat simplistic; you will find different ideas in every religion, and in the Tao. But they will do for our purpose.) Most of us have imbalance between our masculine and feminine sides, and mistrust. The concepts of power and love in our society are telling. Power is thought of as (usually a man) having money and influence, often accompanied by a lack of care for others (like the bad rich men in many movies). Love is thought of as sweet, feminine—and weak. The truth is, as indivisible aspects of God/Goddess, power and love are one. These false concepts and barriers need to come down if we are to express ourselves creatively, lovingly, confidently in the world. For if the feminine is open and receives a great inspiration from spirit, and her masculine is undeveloped, the idea will die on the doorstep. Compassion for the town's poor will bring no action; the song will go unsung. If the reverse, the masculine will do lots of doing, but not in happiness, wisdom or love. Both sides are vital to our lives. Our feminine goddess and masculine god, conscious and in love together in our being, create a synthesis, an expression that works wonders in our lives and the lives of others. I recently read an account of the transformation of the poorest section of Curitiba, a Brazilian city. The streets were so narrow and garbage-filled that rats and disease ran rampant. The city garbage company offered to clear up the mess—for a stiff price. The mayor, knowing the need of his people, thought about how much food that money would buy. He seized upon a plan. He bought food from the poor farmers on the edge of the city, many of whom were barely surviving. And he traded a bag of groceries for every bag of garbage someone brought from the slums. He solved three problems with one outlay: he helped the poor farmers, fed the hungry, and cleaned up the garbage. His compassion for the farmers and the slum inhabitants—his feminine—brought forth the solution, which his masculine put into action.
Goddess Love, God ActionEach of us will eventually express the compassion, carried into action, of the goddess/god we are. Every kind word and helping hand we give today is part of that. Our global village, with its instant communication about the suffering of others, has wakened many a heart and moved us to give in ways both small and great. The spiritual teachers of earth, in feminine bodies such as Mother Teresa, or in masculine bodies such as Yogananda, are a beautiful inspiration to follow our heart and see what we can do, beginning right at home. The goddess, backed by the god, will heal the world. (End of excerpts.) I affirm, with each and every woman and man, that we unstick ourselves from all past hurts and come into our natural consciousness of joy, light and freedom! Blessings to you upon your path! Recommended books: The Art of Happiness, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler M.D. Riverhead Books, 1998. Serpent of Light, Beyond 2012, by Drunvalo Melchizedek. Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 2008. This book gives amazing and wonderful information about the next 13,000 being led by women. Ten Lessons in Woman Awareness, by Anne Meyer. TIC Books, 1968. TIC’s number, to order: 619/447-7007. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. (easily found). Anger, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Riverhead Books, 2001. ©2009, Joanna Cherry. Please do copy and distribute this article of Joanna’s, acknowledging its source. Thank you.
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©2002, Joanna Cherry. Please do copy and distribute this vision of Joanna’s, acknowledging its source. Thank you.