The Feminine Side of God: Sense or Nonsense


In the pre-history of our species our survival depended on hunting. The best hunters were emotionless, task-oriented, focused, and factually precise. These are qualities of the brain’s left-hemisphere. As the human brain evolved, the most successful hunters were those whose left-hemisphere qualities were more highly developed. While this was the necessary next stage in our development, it was not the final stage.
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. We struggled to survive like every living thing. We acted on our instincts to mate (the instinct for sex) and find food and protect our young (the instinct for nurturance) like all creatures. We knew how to find and build shelters (the instinct for activity) in the same way foxes know how to dig dens and birds know how to build nests.
The birth of the ego marked the birth of human consciousness. The unique combination of the ego and physical developments like thumbs and the ability to walk upright eventually resulted in the strengthening of two additional instincts: the instinct for reflection and the instinct for creativity. Increasingly our specialization in these two set us apart from other animals.
With the passage of time we developed other capabilities that made us even more different. The ego created words, the basic unit of left-brained logos, and later on, alphabets. Meanwhile, we grew less dependent on symbols, the tools of right-hemisphere mythos, until eventually Judaism, Christianity, then Islam forbade people to create life-like images.
Here’s my point. 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.
But of what use were symbols to early hunters? To those of our ancestors with dominant left-hemisphere orientations, mythos thinking would have seemed like pointless, impractical nonsense. Personal meaning does not result in the kill. Imagining a web of life and being able to see how our prey fits into it does not put food on the table. What makes a hunter successful is knowing where the prey is and what its characteristics are, plus having the focus and discipline to get the job done. Thus do some left-brained dominant people still profoundly distrust mythos, women, and the “feminine” unconscious.
Luckily, humanity is still evolving. Most of us no longer find complete fulfillment in a survival mentality. We bring moral sensibility to the table. We have questions about who we are and why we’re here. We want our lives to have purpose. We are in search of our souls. To find them we’re engaging the faculties of both sides of our brains.
Thus, is the Western world returning to the Divine Feminine. But with one important difference. What we seek now is a deity of fully integrated masculinity and femininity.

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0 Responses

  1. jeanie, cool post as always!
    are you familiar with gerald heard’s “the five ages of man”? his masterwork. in it he tracks the timeline you are mentioning here by starting with what he calls—
    the “co-conscious pre-individual”
    which then goes through another three stages of “individuality” and then reaches our present one,
    the “co-conscious post-individual”.
    it’s an amazing book, published in 1963, way ahead of its time.
    i recommend it to your readers if they haven’t come across it yet.
    the one place your left brained hunters might have found symbols a powerful tool could have been in shamanic rituals through the use of tokens, fetishes, and of course cave-paintings, where they stepped across the threshold of ego and into the magic world of the unconscious dreamtime, that sudden spatial right-brain place where the animals could be called to them and permission could be asked of the spirits to allow them to take prey…..
    just thinking out loud, your posts are so thought-provoking.

  2. William,
    Excellent point! And thank you! You’ve just provided the topic for my next post!! The story you and I are more interested in is the one about the early hunters who did not discard the magic world of the unconscious dreamtime, but deliberately and respectfully integrated it into their thinking and evoked it in service to their survival.
    As you know so well, cultures which taught the ego how to work with it in loving, reciprocal partnerships were the wise ancients–like the Toltecs, Taoists, and ancesters of many surviving indigenous tribes–who understood that Ultimate Being consists of a unity-totality, a sacred oneness containing all conjoined pairs of opposites. Fortunately, their wisdom has survived, if only barely, the soul-ravaging excesses of left-brained industrialization which has so savagely severed our connection to the natural world that contemporary civilization as a whole has forgotten about the sacred unity underlying duality. I remind my readers once again to read your brilliant Toltec I Ching which preserves this wisdom in an exquisitely beautiful form.
    I am not familiar with Gerald Heard’s book and will look it up. I wish I had known about it when I was trying to work out a similar theory in my newest manuscript! I so appreciate your input to these posts. They are of immeasurable value to me, and hopefully to my readers as well.

  3. I found this an interesting theory on the development of the ego, but was a little baffled by your analysis and description of early hunters. After seeing and reading about cave drawings and early hunters’ reverence for the spirit of the animals, as well as tales and traditions, where indians worshipped and honored the spirit of the animal taken, I don’t think we can make all of judgments of hunters on contemporary practice.

  4. Woops. I should have read the comments before placing my last post. I too thank William for the gerald heard reference, and certainly look forward to your next post, Jeanie.

  5. Sally,
    Yes, in highlighting those of our forebears whose left-hemisphere dominance led to left-hemisphere obsession, (these would have been the impatient, hot-headed, ego-inflated young bucks from every tribe whose progeny eventually gained control of the dominator societies they founded) I neglected to trace the evolution of their elders and peers who handled this new development in our pre-history with wisdom and balance and continue to do so to this day.
    I’ve just written my next post which corrects this omission (to be published tomorrow evening). Synchronistically, it features a scene I witnessed four days ago on a Navajo reservation in Arizona.
    My sincere thanks to you and William for your extremely helpful input. Please keep it up! How I love the internet!! Without intervention from objective observers, some of the wellsprings of a writer’s inspiration can so easily get clogged. There are many viewpoints from which to address psychological and spiritual events, and the two of you remind me that in writing about one that depicts dysfunction I run the risk of neglecting another that describes the healing way.
    With much gratitude,

    Is emotional intelligence
    and nature of right brain
    and represents
    F = FAIR
    M = MOTHER
    NINE = Magical number represents
    universal wisdom ,
    embrace principle of forgiveness,
    compassion and vibrations of cosmic love,
    teach us how to accept each other,
    and bridge to many qualities like creativity,
    dedication etc…….
    Is logical intelligence
    and nature of left
    M = MATTER
    C = CLEAR
    IT also represents perfection
    ,adventure,science, information,
    worship of work ,
    objective technology,
    Every human has to work with both the brains
    together through mind which is bridge between
    subjective and objective , soul and body .
    woman because of gender has a natural inclination towards
    right brain which is feminine in nature represents soul.
    man because of gender has a natural inclination towards left brain
    which is masculine in nature represents body.
    left hand governed by right brain represents
    right hand governed by left brain represents
    fold them together for prayer to experience
    oneness that is present and taste of god.
    that is namaste (eastern greeting gesture )
    to bow to god in you.

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