My earliest visions of God filled me with fear. As a young girl I imagined God overseeing the world from a throne in heaven where his X-ray vision bore straight to my soul to find every flaw, sin and wrongdoing I was up to. My fierce, church-going grandmother (God rest her blessed soul) drove the fear of God straight to my heart. Stick out your tongue was her mantra whenever she thought I was up to no good. Sure enough a black spot appeared on my tongue as a direct sign from God that I had in fact sinned.
From a quasi-Catholic upbringing, my spiritual search went from Heaven to Nirvana. I cannot recall the exact moment I heard the word enlightenment but it was the word itself that propelled me to seek. Enlightenment was a destination offering an escape from my internal misery and unhappiness. Nirvana, a world of perpetual bliss, was waiting upon my arrival. Like the proverbial carrot dangling right in front of my nose, it was always out of reach.
With no tangible taste of what enlightenment might be, my mind conjured up images of lone male monks meditating in remote caves high atop mountains. The goal of everlasting happiness was the reward on this solitary path to enlightenment.
We are all informed by our personal histories, families of origin and individual experiences but we are also informed by a collective consciousness that is shaped by a dominating belief system as to how the world operates. For centuries, masculine principles have had a monopoly on our prevailing collective consciousness, molding our mindsets and shaping our souls.
My early images of male authority figures as God and lone spiritual pursuits as attainment were heavily weighted by a patriarchal paradigm that has dominated our vision of the world from a masculine point of view. This masssive framework that infiltrates our minds and shapes our beliefs has held the masculine in power at the expense of the feminine. The suppression of the feminine principles has created an imbalance of power reflected both in the world within us and the world around us.
excerpt from forthcoming book, The Feminine Path to Enlightenment