Posts Tagged ‘catholic’


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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.


James Bo Insogna

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

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Co-dependency: the hallmark of a dysfunctional relationship.

No heavy dose of psychoanalysis is needed to diagnose my relationships as dysfunctional. I am guilty of co-creating malfunctioning partnerships confusing love with sex while haggling my own needs just so someone won’t leave me.

After 50+ years on the planet I have gained enough emotional sobriety to see the dysfunctional threads of co-dependency in my personal life. Now I wake to find them in places where I never thought it possible for them to exist. These threads of dysfunction are so deeply woven in the fabric of our collective consciousness we have become blind to their reality.

I began to think of these things as an image of Christ glared from the back of an SUV during a run through the privileged suburbs of NYC. Christ on the back of a Range Rover triggered ruminations of my own Catholic upbringing.

Ok. Maybe Catholic is a bit of a stretch.

Most of the Bible stories I know I learned from the movies; Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, The Robe, Godspell, Barabbas, Samson and Delilah, Jesus Christ Superstar (is anyone with me or have I completely dated myself?)

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, a sign straight from God that I had in fact sinned. It did not matter that the divine abberation was only visible to the eyes of my grandmother the voice of God had indeed spoken.

Thoughts of God filled me with fear. His super sonic vision could see every flaw, sin and wrongdoing I was up to from his throne in the sky. The impressions that laid a foundation for my religious orientation were not terribly formal but one thing was sure. In the eyes of God I was not good enough.

Inherent in any co-dependent relationship is an imbalance of power. We lose the voice of our inner authority as we succumb to the needs of our oh so human heart. We are driven by our needs for love, attention, security and approval. When they go unmet we shape our self in ways we believe will make us loveable.

The Catholic ritual of confession is an imbalance of power in action if there ever was one. Inside a dark and musty, smaller than a broom closet booth you begin a conversation with Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It is all downhill from there. Who stands a chance against the priest with a direct pipeline to God?

When we assign someone else the job of loving us, validating us, making us feel safe and secure we get to be rescued. We are off the hook. We get to avoid having to love our self. The savior takes on this responsibility and feeds their own false sense of empowerment.

Once someone has rescued you they now have a measure of control over you. They have established a position where they can influence your behavior. Once you surrender your power to another it is very difficult to take any action. You become a sheep in the herd. As long as we believe God is out there or found through the next spiritual teacher or guru we remain spiritually famished.

What if each individual believed and followed the truth of their own authentic voice? What if the value of individual truth was greater than the dogma of blind faith? Would centuries old traditions still hold merit?

When we believe someone outside of our self holds more power than we do, be it a priest, rabbi, guru, yogi, shaman, monk, (the spiritual title really does not matter) we give away a piece of our soul.

One of the practices I love in shamanism is that of burning your teachers in a ceremonial fire. Our spiritual teachers, from whatever tradition we hail from, can become obstacles on our own path. Anyone or anything that we believe holds more power than we do is where we weave cords of co-dependency.

Weeding out the untruths is how we come to know what is authentic for our own heart and soul. The seeds of religious truth intersect at some sacred junction of the human mind and divine mind. Truth land in our being as a knowing. No doctrine is needed to defend or justify their validity.

Truth is something each of us must find for our self. Just because someone says so does not make it true. Just because it is written in a holy book does not make it doctrine. We must discern if words spoken through a spiritual authority resonate with our own. If we look long enough we get to see the many false idols, false prophets and false beliefs imprinted through a collective consciousness of voices we have been swimming in for centuries.

Upending the throne of the outer authority reveals the seat of the glorious power that is you.








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