Let’s face it: we live in a world, of which, is largely patriarchal. Competition and goal oriented mentality are nothing but products of patriarchy. We see it shining through in most areas of our lives, from career to sexuality. Take the goal of orgasm, a life built around performance, the goal of achievements. And disembodied spirituality, which sees God as a father figure and something that exists outside of us, some “enlightened” state that we need to reach.
Patriarchy is a system of society or government that originated about 6,000 years ago. In this system the father or eldest male is head of the family, men hold power and women remain largely excluded from it. In such society, masculine values are dominant. These are values of organization, structure, control, and separation of borders and property.
If we look at history, we see a concerted effort to remove all traces of the feminine from religious writings and thought. The Goddess became veiled and hidden. With patriarchy, we started longing for the realms of spirit by rejecting our experiences in the world. Earth is considered to be tainted, and we are here because we have fallen from grace. We learn that we are born in sin, just through the act of being born. The truth is considered to be above us, not among us.
Before patriarchy, in prehistoric times, matriarchy used to be the dominant form of social organization. In this system women had a dominant position in the society, descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line. Some tribes and societies still hold the matriarchal values nowadays.
Matriarchies are mother-centered societies; central to which are maternal values: caretaking, nurturing, motherliness, which holds for everybody. We see that the divine mother reflects in every woman’s being, and in her abilities to create. Every social, economic and political action is informed by the principle of the world’s – and the universe’s – all-encompassing maternal attitude.
Patriarchy and matriarchy both have proven to be far from perfect. Because when we had matriarchy men ended up being used for their strength, and in patriarchy, we disconnected from the feminine values of life, love, and connection. By cutting ourselves off from the feminine aspect of creation, we have created a profound spiritual disease that may very well destroy our civilization.
The movement and ideology of feminism arose largely as a counter action to the suppression of women’s rights and values by a patriarchal system. It did give lots of rights back to women, yet here is an inherent attitude of a battle within feminism. Women got liberated. However, they got liberated into the masculine, not into the feminine.
I believe that now it’s time for a new way to rise, a way of a conscious meeting of the masculine and feminine values. In that, we can see that none are better than others, but when we compromise either one we create an imbalance. And we must come back to a place to balance if we are to survive as species. The feminine principle must be put back in her rightful place as a co-creator, not as a dominating force nor as subjugated force, but as an equal force.
What we need is to realize that our earthly life and all its experiences are an expression of spirit in matter, not a battle between the two, but a sacred marriage. We need to realize how deeply the masculine and feminine love each other. That we need each other and that we can not exist harmoniously without each other. Just like shiva and shakti, which are never apart but become immersed in a continuous lovemaking.