Woman's Hour

January 1, 2009

This is woman's hour, in all the good tendencies, charities, and reforms of to-day.

Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy

"That's the line people got excited about in Emergence. It was written over a hundred years ago and we just thought it needed investigation in today's situation."

"You mentioned the crumbling patriarchy which I took to mean the apparent exhaustion of untempered male ways of dealing with things—like war, crime, extreme risk-taking and so on."

"Exactly. Many academics and even popular commentators talk about the return of the feminine, basically along the lines Mrs Eddy set out."

"Let's keep in mind we're not talking about women per se. Each one of us has both female and male energies and we should try to get a clear idea how that's showing up in us so we can truly live them."

"Sometimes you can get the clearest idea of the different energies in a person of the opposite sex because they haven't had to live a body-identified role and mold it into an acceptable image. Like Margaret Thatcher — her male animus was extreme."

"Can you think of a man whose female energies are extreme?"

"Sure, lots, but they usually end up as caricatures of the feminine, like drag queens."

"Men are afraid to express true feminine traits because the world devalues the feminine. It has to be subtle."

"Maybe Barak Obama is a good example of the feminine properly harnessed and put into play."

"Well, he was brought up by women. So much for the business about two mommies hobbling a kid."

"I've got an interesting quote from Science and Health. Look how she shifts back and forth between God and man. She's obviously seeing they're one substance: “Genesis i. 27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. To emphasize this momentous thought, it is repeated that God made man in His own image, to reflect the divine Spirit. It follows that man is a generic term. Masculine, feminine, and neuter genders are human concepts. In one of the ancient languages the word for man is used also as the synonym of mind. This definition has been weakened by anthropomorphism, or a humanization of Deity. The word anthropomorphic, in such a phrase as "an anthropomorphic God,"is derived from two Greek words, signifying man and form, and may be defined as a mortally mental attempt to reduce Deity to corporeality. The life-giving quality of Mind is Spirit, not matter. The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity (S&H 516: 24-14)'."

"I always enjoy hearing those words 'considering Him feminine'."

"That reminds me of Michael and Gabriel as Mrs. Eddy describes them. Here: 'The Old Testament assigns to the angels, God's divine messages, different offices. Michael's characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the hosts of heaven against the power of sin, Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the more quiet task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe, when strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God. The Gabriel of His presence has no contests. To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death (S&H 566: 29-8)'.”

"The Lesson ('Is The Universe, Including Man, Evolved By Atomic Force?') includes part of the so-called Magnificent Luke 1: 46-50 where Mary's virginal receptivity is a match for the penetrating male aspect of God. Here's the correlative line from Science and Health: ‘Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine "powers that be"(S&H 249: 8-9).'"

"Also notice how Mrs. Eddy describes the male energy: ‘Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy’ (S&H 249: 6-8).'"

"Her insight into the metaphysical reality of the male and female can be seen as intuitions of quantum physics: as infinite submissive, expectant expanse — the female — filled by active, forceful substance—the male."

"That's so hetero. Where does it leave Gay people?"

"I'd say greatly enriched and supported. Remember we're not talking about men and women. These are the underlying energies—the archetypes — impelling people to act and live in individual ways."

"Let's get back to why Mrs. Eddy felt it was woman's hour."

"Well, even in her day the patriarchy was gasping for breath, but look how much longer it's gone on, bloating up from a poisonous lizard into a dragon — now staggering and drooping. The gentler, more humane methods associated with woman are hugely needed."

"I hope we can get there before it's just a matter of cleaning up the carnage."

"The work of Marija Gimbutas turned up a whole matriarchal system governing Europe before the invasion of male dominated tribes. There's been criticism of her discoveries, but Joseph Campbell endorsed them. Anyway, with matriarchy there was worship of a Goddess — or rather several of them — a focus on consensus, sharing, equality — and honoring of homosexuals."

"Wow! So what happened to end it?"

"Muscle won out. But in the age of machines, computers and Christian Science muscle is becoming a beauty accessory."

"I read a fascinating article about Rene Descartes' dreams on November 10, 1619 which he felt ushered in the scientific age. Before that mind and matter were a mishmash and the church controlled all scientific thought. With Descartes' breakthroughs, matter could be viewed as apart from mind and dealt with scientifically."

"To a Christian Scientist that might seem like a backward step."

"Yeah, but given how dissociated the world was from any sense of reality, it was a big leap forward. Now we've pretty much exhausted the Descartes model — which itself could be seen as the final ratcheting up of the patriarchy. It's time to reintegrate mind and matter on a conscious and enlightened level. It's Revelation chapter 21."

"With a bride, a woman, descending from Heaven!"

"And Christian Science to help it along."

"In the Lesson ( Christian Science ) there's the parable about the woman hiding leaven in three measures of meal. Mrs. Eddy designates the meal as science, theology and medicine or ways of divine thought, which can also be experienced dualistically as matter. She sees Christian Science as the leaven and it's a woman who's involved in placing it in the meal."

"Jungians see the unconscious as feminine. So our divine selfhood is ever active in the unconscious moving our conscious attitude towards perfection."

"In the next section of the Lesson, Jesus is quoted as saying '..he that hath seen me hath seen the father' ( John 14:9 ). So whatever we might be sensing at the belief level we're actually experiencing God. And that's how woman goes forth to battle with Goliath."

"Mrs. Eddy saw each person, including herself, as male-female. Jung fleshed that out, finding the inner woman or anima in man and the inner man or animus in woman. I'd say both Eddy and Jung thought we should become conscious of our contra sexual part and not be led astray by powers rattling around in the unconscious, pushing crazy motives and of course projections onto people 'out there'."

"Until she could face her own inner bad boy, Mrs. Eddy had to deal with the likes of Dr. Patterson. When she got to know her own maleness better and saw it as divine she could engage with Asa Eddy."

"Ah very good! 'Saw it as divine.' We need to get beyond dualism to heal in Christian Science. Here's a good quote: 'Look high enough, and you see the heart of humanity warming and winning. Look long enough, and you see male and female one — sex or gender eliminated; you see the designation man meaning woman as well, and you see the whole universe included in one infinite Mind and reflected in the intelligent compound idea, image or likeness, called man, showing forth the infinite divine Principle, Love, called God, — man wedded to the Lamb, pledged to innocence, purity, perfection' (My 268: 27-5)."

"We're out of time. Is there a suggestion for a topic?"

"The inauguration is coming up."

"How about new beginnings or inauguration itself"

"Or government. We haven't done that in a while and it applies to many situations, not only Washington but also Zimbabwe, India, Palestine, California etc."

"I like it. Okay everyone? Okay, Government for two weeks."

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