Oh my dear sisters and brothers,
We are deep in one of the most profound transformations we have likely ever experienced in our collective evolution, most definitely in our collective memories. The impact of this transformation will ultimately prove to be as species-altering as the time some 8000 years ago when humanity chose fear/power/control and oppression over the harmonious collaboration we once knew.
The unfortunate term that has been given to that 8000 year old choice is patriarchy. I say unfortunate because today, this term has come to be associated with men in a not-so-good way. The temptation when using this term is to believe that one is suggesting “men” are bad. They are not. But the truth remains – patriarchy means “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” By definition, those who control and benefit from a patriarchal system are largely male. While there are most certainly women who benefit from patriarchy, they hold no power or influence over the designs of the system. Their benefit is simply by association.
So please be assured that as I continue with this unfolding, my words are not anti-male. My words are to point out a system that is dying and the suffering currently being experienced by those who have benefitted from the system; those who do not know what to do when that which has supported their “success” is quickly crumbling beneath them. They also don’t know how to respond when the very lies that have held up this system are proving to be untrue.
The cold hard truth is that the patriarchy is facing its own death. As a result, the responses of those who have benefitted from the dying system are typical of anyone experiencing a death or a loss:
Acceptance will eventually follow these typical faces of grief, but likely not without a fight. Those who have benefitted from the patriarchal system are clinging hard to what they have known and are (sometimes) viciously defending the system that has been their source of support and means of validation.
What happens when we learn that what has been validating us, giving us our sense of self-worth, provided our income and our perception of success, is all a lie? If you have been deep in the throes of spiritual transformation and the ego death that ensues, you know of what I speak. Some find their way through the death of “self” to the Truth within. Many do not. And we live in a culture where transformational work is not only ignored, it is often dismissed as “witchcraft and sorcery.”
It goes like this – to keep a lie going, there has to be an enemy. The enemy of patriarchy is self-knowledge and inner growth. Pride is the compulsion that fuels the patriarchy, leaving those who benefit terrified of the truth of the human condition – our inherent powerlessness. In order to fully enter inner growth and transformation, we have to become humble and accept the fact that as a species, we cannot do it alone. We are not the sole proprietor of human agency. As a species we thrive in community. When we embrace the patriarchal mantra “every man for himself,” we die.
Patriarchy is built on that lie, as is the economic system of Capitalism. In a “dog eats dog” world, eventually everyone gets eaten. All of this is what has brought our world to the brink of its own destruction – a destruction of humanity’s own making.
And yet, those who built and thrive in the patriarchal system continue to deny the consequences of their actions. They deny culpability pretending the “liberal agenda” is the cause of the world’s destruction. The destruction of our world is not about conservative or liberals, it is about a system built on fear, power and control which benefits few while enslaving those “beneath” them. By design it is an unsustainable system that is on the brink of collapse.
To the point of its last dying gasp, the patriarchy will deny these facts. It will fight to maintain power by every means possible. It will demonize, threaten, argue against anyone and anything that points out the fact that they are dying or the lies that have allowed them to live. This goes for men and women alike who benefit from a system of fear, power and control who are benefitting at the expense of others. Probably to their dying breath they will continue to repeat the mantras that have justified their actions:
- I (alone) am the source of my success.
- I am successful because of MY hard work.
- There is a magical formula for success and I know it.
- If people are suffering, it is their fault. It is because they didn’t follow the magical formula, didn’t work hard enough, or didn’t think the right thoughts.
- I deserve what I have because of how hard I worked.
- I am a good person because God has blessed me. (because apparently God is busy doling out financial success to those who deserve it and withholding money from those who does not).
Pre-patriarchal systems knew otherwise. They understood the inherent vulnerability of the human animal. They knew that our survival depended on collaboration – that we would only survive as a species if we learned how to harness the inherent gifts of the individual in collaboration with the whole. They understood that our survival literally depended on our relationship with the earth – because the earth itself was our means of survival. Everything we need to survive comes from our earth – food, as well as the materials that close, house and provide protection. We also knew that like every other species, we were vulnerable to sickness and disease and that the earth (sometimes) provided the medicine we needed to maintain wellness or restore our health. Perhaps most importantly, they understood the reality and sacredness of death. Everything has its season, including the human being. And when someone’s time came to and end, the community celebrated the life and mourned the death while remembering the nourishment that person’s presence brought to the community and the nourishment their decaying body would bring to the earth when they were laid to rest. Before patriarchy destroyed these systems, they thrived in peaceful harmony (at least within the tribe) because they understood that their survival was dependent on mutual honor and support.
Patriarchy has made us forget this truth, and the consequences of this forgetting are obvious (at least to those with eyes to see). The time of the patriarchy is coming to an end and something new is in the process of being born from within it. Our task at this time is to be witness to the death throes of the patriarchy and the flailing about of those still clinging to that system while simultaneously holding the vision of the new world that is seeking to be born. One rooted in love, seeking out and supporting the inherent gifts of each and every human being, and harnessing these gifts in collaboration and cooperation with mutual honor and respect that naturally and effortlessly brings forth a world where decisions are made, not for the benefit of the few, but for the good of the all.