By Dr. Carol Carnes
There seem to be two Americas. There is the America of lilt and swing and there is the America of march and control. These are musical references which show how our culture has been influence by the Puritan European reigning in of nature and the African freedom with its joyful expression of all that is natural. It is the contrast between ballroom dance with its precise foot-steps and free style movement which celebrates the whole body.
The young tend to lilt and swing and to rebel against march and control until they discover that lilt and swing do not usually produce a good income! Not in this culture. These references were part of a talk by the late Alan Watts, but I have often thought myself that if we did not have the influence of our Black rhythm culture, we would be marching in lockstep, forever trying to defeat Nature. Racism is the tension between the two impulses: as Watts said, there is a distrust of African American culture in those people who fear freedom. This goes back to old time religious notions of sin and retribution. Of course, today we are all one big American family, but the distinctions are still being made.
Lately I have seen more clearly than ever, the destructive effects of Institutionalized religion which equates with institutionalized masculinity, which has robbed men of the joy of feeling whole and fulfilled. Designed to reign in the people, to control them and to get them in line to march into domination over nature, it has done its job well. As we used to say, it has done a number on us! This is not to denounce devotion, reverence and the very real feeling of a responsive universe. There is a natural spirituality in us that will always come to the forefront as we live in accord with Nature. My stance on religion is about superstition and dogma which have no basis in truth. This is about our fear of being alive and responsible for our experience. We blame a made up evil power for our violence or attribute the cause of suffering to the will of some male God in the sky. Our hearts have been co-opted and our minds have been corrupted.
The feminine aspect of our true nature belongs with the lilt and swing camp. Our hips sway, our bodies are fluid and in tune with the moon. The Feminine is free but she is not out of control. She is in charge of the environment. She is the organizer of families. She is the keeper of the flame. She will dance to the drum, but she is fierce when called to defend her brood. She is desperately needed in our world view, in our policy making, in our decisions for our future. She is desperately needed in our men. Without her, the sacred masculine cannot emerge.
For more about the Sacred masculine check out the writings of Matthew Fox, founder of Creation Spirituality.
Dr. Carol Carnes: Keynote speaker, meditation teacher, mother of two, grandmother of two, member of the Leadership Council of the Association for Global New Thought. Spiritual teacher of Science of Mind. Honorary member of the Board of Preachers at Morehouse College, MLK Jr. School of Divinity. Co-convenor of three Synthesis Dialogues with HH the Dalai Lama and other world leaders in various disciplines. www.carolcarnes.com