Monday, November 16, 2015


The images that our hearts and minds call up when we think of Paris are not congruent with what has happened this past week.  We think of culture and great food, art and music.  Now our minds are flooded with the impossible.  Grief is everywhere.  Unresolved questions abound. 

I remember reading years ago about a group of peacemakers, half men and half women, who would go into the hearts of areas of unrest and ask to hear the people's stories.  Many of our great spiritual teachers tell us that it is not until we have heard each other's pain and seen each other's tears fall that we can begin to understand.  Until then we think only of retaliation… for the retaliation… that came as a result of retaliation…  and on it goes.  This is at the heart of this kind of war.  And in my book, the utter useless, wasteful futility of war is something whose time has come. 

In relationships, if I am vigilant, and if I do my inner work, I will always find an offense, that I did first, that caused the offense of the other.  We in the West have some very heavy responsibility for much of the suffering in the rest of the world.  As the takers, we have squandered and displaced many - world round - from their homes, their livelihood and their ability to be in happiness and peace.

I'm not saying that that is what is at play here.  I'm just saying that we need to take a look at our own selves.  With open eyes.  Who is bombing who?  And why?  And for how long?  And where?  We need to look at ourselves if we are going to create a world beyond war.

The wisdom of this planet's human elders, those rare few who have lived in peace and in harmony for millennia, all hold within their knowledge the importance of the balance of the masculine and the feminine.  The woman and the man are acknowledged as separate and different and yet both are equal and equally honored.  And they serve to bring each other in check.

One of my friends from South America said that the peaceful high Andean people, the Quechua, felt that they could only forgive the conquistadors.  This was because the conquistadors came from a group of people who had no equal feminine.  They referred to them as 'the ones who had no mother,' no woman to balance their vanquishing and larcenous purely aggressive unchecked masculine energy. 

The mother says, 'No!' to violence, aggression and war.  And so does the Crone.  When the masculine and the feminine are held in equal regard, they hold each other in check.  My questions are, "Who is bombing who?"  And, "Where is the mother?"

© Josephine Laing, 2015

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