It’s becoming more and more clear that the old way is not going to work. We can no longer say I am right and you are wrong. We can no longer make fun of people who don’t think the way we do. There is a shift in consciousness, and that wave that we are all a part of has radically changed. And if you think back to when you were a child, I’m sure you looked at the globe, you know, the world, and you thought China is a long, long way away, I’ll never see China. And all of these parts were unrelated. Where I see the hope is that we are now one world. We’ve been praying that for a long time, that we would be one world.
Now technology has made us one world. And we haven’t got the slightest idea what to do with it. We don’t know morally what to do. Ethically what to do. Politically impossible. And the dangers are becoming more and more terrifying. And what I’m suggesting to you in that dream of that woman coming in on that wave, it is the feminine principle that can bring a whole different thinking process to the patriarchy, as we have known it. Patriarchy thinking that way cannot work.
I mean you can’t have people worshipping God — and everybody saying they’re worshipping God — with totally opposing ideas. The feminine principle would attempt to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it would say, where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me? Do you care whether you see me or not? Now, these are very, very serious questions. Because the feminine is so difficult, ladies and gentlemen, to talk about the feminine because so few people have experienced it. What I’m talking about here is presence, and relatedness.
When I use the word feminine, I’m not talking about gender. I’m talking about an “energy”. It’s as ancient as the Hindu religion. Shiva and Shakti. And those two energies go right together. Shiva, the masculine. Not patriarchal. I don’t think patriarchy has anything to do with masculinity. It is a power principle that becomes a parody of itself. You know as well as I do that women that are trapped in patriarchy could be worst patriarchs than men. So patriarchy has done as much profound damage to men as it has done to women…
I’m not talking about a gender where I use the word feminine and masculine. I’m talking about the masculine as a creative energy, that fire, that air, that is just so powerful when it comes in, there’s the egg, it drops its golden — golden what? Sperm. And a new life is born. It’s that creative principle that can just move in and bring new energy, new faith. The feminine is the receptive side of that. The loving, the heart side, the soul side. That is balancing the — the feminine being the water and the earth. So the two energies balance, night and day. Nature is full of them. And when we’re talking about that feminine that’s missing, we’re talking about the heart energy. That can fill a room. Certainly in a relationship it’s the energy that holds presence. By which I mean the child comes in or the person comes in, has something to tell you or they have prepared a little bouquet. Have you got the time to see it? Have you got the time to see the love that went into it? Can you hear the anguish in the voice that is talking to you?
And some of you might think this is for the birds. But quantum physics tells us very clearly that the presence watching the experiment is influencing the experiment. It’s two different experiments — the outcome depending on who’s watching it. You see the responsibility that that puts on the presence in a room? And this is where the feminine is crucial.
An abstract from the Marion Woodman keynote speech at the 3rd Annual Women & Power Conference .
Marion Woodman is a widely read and acclaimed author, a leader in women’s spirituality and feminine consciousness, and a Jungian analyst. Internationally acclaimed for her work as a “bridge builder between the male and female worlds,” the former high school English and drama teacher has, in the 25 years since she enrolled in Zurich’s C.G. Jung Institute, earned a name as a groundbreaking analyst with a rare understanding of the role of the feminine in bringing about personal and cultural transformation.
Perhaps best known for her videotaped workshop with men’s movement pioneer Robert Bly, Bly and Woodman on Men and Women, she is also the best-selling author of many books, including Addiction to Perfection, The Ravaged Bridegroom: Masculinity in Women, Conscious Femininity, Leaving My Father’s House, and, with psychologist Elinor Dickson, Dancing in the Flames: The Black Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness.
In Woodman’s presence, the often enigmatic world of Jungian archetypal psychology becomes accessible to anyone, and especially to women who are on a quest for wholeness. Woodman believes that centuries of “patriarchal thinking” have stripped the soul from the inner and outer lives of individuals and in the world. To recover the soul, we must engage with the complex shadow world of the unconscious and go beyond absolute, either/or thinking to embrace the “dance of opposites”,