Our ideas about God come from us. For approximately the last 5,000 years the West and Near East have projected our masculine archetypes onto a male God who is a
1) King: superior, all-powerful and morally judgmental;
2) Warrior: partial to and protective of our particular tribe or culture while rejecting our enemies;
3) Magician/Scholar: supernatural and all-knowing; and
4) Lover: passionately in love with us, His Beloveds.
So what does this say about the status of the psyches and societies that envision God this way? An ego with a purely masculine God-image has rejected the sacred power of femininity because it is afraid of and hostile to the feminine side of the psyche. Of course, this makes about as much sense as obsessing over the qualities of the left-hemisphere of our brains and repressing the equally valuable “God-given” qualities of the right-hemisphere.
Who in their right mind would deliberately do such a thing? This is the point, of course. The fact is, we’re not in our “right” mind because Western culture has essentially rejected the qualities of the right brain! Since the time of Aristotle, our egos have been so enamored of our left-hemisphere logos ability to process information with clear reason, discrimination of details, and logical, “objective” thinking that we’ve disdained the far more mysterious and uncontrollable processes of the right hemisphere.
The right hemisphere specializes in mythos. This analogical mode of thinking emphasizes seeing the whole picture instead of discriminating between details; connecting instead of separating; completing oneself through intimate relationships instead of proving oneself through perfected work; finding meaning in images, symbols and intuitions instead of only words and provable facts; personal, subjective realities instead of objective ones; inner events instead of outer ones; values and tender emotions instead of pure reason; and the physical, instinctual realities of our bodies instead of the traditional mental processes associated with intelligence. As you may have guessed, right-brain attributes are generally associated with femininity.
But why does it have to be either/or for the ego? Why have we rejected these qualities—or at the very least seen them as “inferior” to left-brained qualities—for so long instead of simply accommodating both? It’s really very simple. Like all mammals, humans begin life as helpless, instinctual creatures. But we have egos, and our egos want to control our primitive instincts so we can stay safe and gain more control over the terrifying powers of Mother Nature. After all, if you can’t manage your hunger you’ll eat your entire fall harvest by Christmas; then what will you eat for the rest of the winter?
Poor little egos. We just want to be more conscious and in control so we can feel more safe in a terrifying world. The last thing we want is to fall back (backslide?) into unconsciousness and powerlessness. So we obsess over left-hemisphere (Western?) thinking and disown the more “primitive” right brain. We project masculinity onto a remote, separate, all-powerful spirit and project femininity onto physical women who we strip of as much power as we can. Thus have we created societies run by power-driven leaders who are afraid of their own shadows, can’t get along with each other, and use and abuse women and all who are weak, vulnerable or different from the things our egos identify with.
How conscious is that? How conscious are you? How integrated is your brain? How integrated is your God-image?