My talk from #2021PoWR. The video of the talk is here. On the panel with me were Dr. Alka Arora, Kimberly J. Davis, and Kris Malone Grossman.
In 1893, Swami Vivekananda started his opening speech at the 1st Parliament of World Religions thanking the sisters and brothers of America. And, I was thinking, how amazing it is that this interfaith convening has been happening since then, recognizing that the solutions to the problems that the world faces will not come from any single entity or tradition, but from the space of dialogue and collaboration.
In the face of what we are facing globally today, there is often a tremendous pressure to act.
And, what’s needed right now is being able to act from our inner guidance—that our actions be vitalized by knowing rooted in embodied, holistic modes of cognition. Women’s spirituality emphasizes multiple ways of knowing. For too long, the dominant, often androcentric verbal/intellectual/analytical modes have been seen as having all the answers.
We can see that these give only incomplete answers. Acknowledging this, we need to practice and get comfortable moving differently, from a place of embodied, depth-based intuition. Instead of letting ourselves be pressured by external codifiers that signal we behave in certain expected ways, it time we find, grow, trust our inner authority.
The old pacts that divided our world into camps of right and wrong—us and them—have proven to be inadequate. Insofar as they are affiliated with models of justice that are often rooted in a colonial/western metaphysics, they have divisive aftereffects. We need to break these pacts, and realign ourselves with a different way of moving in the world, seeing me/us/them not as right or wrong, but holding the recognition of our deep interconnectedness—that we are part of the same becoming--stream—that the same energy that created every other form of the world made us, and vice versa.
Any real influence we can have on each other’s thinking and actions must also come from this place—this confluence—of interconnectedness. Such a notion of activism sees us as braided—not only with other humans, collectives, tribes—but also with the nonhuman and more-than-human elements embedded in our pluriverses. The remembering of our interconnectedness is a remembering of who we are. When we know who we are, we can draw on the power to create change from a story that stretches back and forward across generations, across cultural/geopolitical formations, across the membrane of memory, across species.
It is time, also, to look at all the ways in which we have been socialized to see ourselves as powerless; to ask ourselves, who is invested in keeping us powerless, who benefits from our experiencing powerlessness? Which systems? It’s time to divest from those systems, and to create new systems that come together not as linearities—as blocks—but as movements. Borders of movements are continually shifting—making possible crossovers into heretofore unknown/unborn freedoms.
It’s time to revision dualistic philosophies—every ecological node where the imperative of perceiving phenomena through an either/or lens created splits in our own being.
In Saktic Tantric philosophy, it is the dance of the still and the active principle—Shiva and Shakti—continuing since time immemorial—that gives birth to life as process. This dance is the mystery at the core of All-That-Is, it is the story of wholeness—the incipient, in potentia, unformed, as well as the potentiated, the formed, at different stages of dissolution. Shakti—as the primordial cosmogenetic energy—forms the ground of the Absolute. Every wave or vibration emanating from the ground re-creates the pluriverses. The Absolute is eternal, and changing.
Every activation—creative action—mirrors the inexhaustible stores of possibility and energy in the Void, the dark face/phase of the Mother. Every ripple of energy arises from the desire-body of Shakti, aspecting three forms of the Goddess: sthula (material), sukshma (subtle), para (supreme).
In the tremendous need of the world, it is not the size of the action that matters—it is how we open our hearts to the world, embodying the mutability—the seasonality—that is an intrinsic part of our arising from the Source.
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