One of the most significant outcomes of the left hemisphere’s development was the emergence of the ego from the maternal matrix of primordial unconsciousness. Until the ego showed up we were unaware of ourselves as a separate species, as beings who could choose not to act on our every instinct.
Sages have little or no need to control or change the world; they just want to understand it. The Sage’s path is the journey to find out the truth—about ourselves, our world, and the universe. At its highest levels, it is not simply about finding knowledge, but about becoming wise. It is our Sage within which, like Wisdom People from every tradition in every age, resonates to the adages, “Know thyself,” “To thine own self be true,” and “That ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
In his book The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, vascular surgeon Leonard Shlain writes about the brain’s role in the evolution of our species. His research suggests that historically there has been a cause-and-effect relationship between an obsessive left-hemisphere orientation and the ascendency of the separate, abstract, male Sky God, the dominator mode of governance, and the repression of women and minorities.
Our ideas about God come from us. For approximately the last 5,000 years the West and Near East have projected our masculine archetypes—King, Warrior, Magician/Scholar, and Lover—onto a male God who is…
In Hinduism this shape is called the yoni, a stylized vulva used in religious art and as a maternity charm to celebrate and invoke the Great Mother’s creative, life-giving fertility.
The Scholar and Wisewoman are archetypes that represent the instinct for reflection. Like the two sides of the brain, they symbolize two distinct yet complementary forms of mentation: logos and mythos.
We Westerners have made unprecedented progress in our attitudes toward gender over the past fifty years and we’d like to believe we’ve overcome the old stereotypes and double standards. Some of us have, but we all know that prejudice against women and feminine qualities is still with us — even if kept mostly undercover.
The shocking violence in Arizona has multiple causes, but I have absolutely no doubt that our cultural obsession with left-brained values is one of the most influential. Fortunately, humanity is riding a mounting tidal wave that is heading for a new level of consciousness which balances and integrates opposites. Sophia of the wise and understanding heart is entering our awareness in a very big way, and adopting her modes of thinking and communicating cannot help but bring healing changes.
After visiting the magnificent Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona, we were driving toward the Grand Canyon when we stopped at a roadside stand on the Navajo reservation. I was examining a necklace made by the lovely young woman running the stand when I heard the strange, high-pitched mewling of a predatory cat coming from somewhere behind me.
Our ego creates and uses words to try to understand life’s mysteries, while our unconscious Self naturally and spontaneously creates symbols and images that bring us into a meaningful relationship with the mysteries. Both perspectives are necessary to a complete God-image and a balanced life.