Monday, June 12th, 2017
THE FEMININE FACE OF GOD MAY BE TRANSGENDER
I’m re-reading THE FEMININE FACE OF GOD by Sherry Ruth Anderson & Patricia Hopkins published in 1991. You know how we think nothing really changes (which is totally crazy in today’s world?).
We get numb until we have perspective from a distance to see all the shifts. This book was written to tell the story of how women explore and experience the sacred at a time when we were still experiencing men and women as very different. The patriarchal DNA of organized religion was still very active. And it was anathema to women. I would say that is is also repugnant now to many men wanting to respect their spiritually and not see it as feminine nor brutally hierarchical and demeaning to the wisdom and experience of male searchers.
We are all, male and female, searching for a pertinent and personally meaningful spiritual side to our lives. And not finding it in organized religion. That is what my book I PRAY ANYWAY made me see as I wrote it. We are in a historic moment or re-organizing what could be next in religion, if anything. But the spiritual yearning doesn’t go away. And so we turn to our own experience of the divine as a starting point. Discussing our yearning or history or experience of the sacred has not been acceptable. It was either too intimate or capable of creating enemies or embarrassing for the assumptions that could be made about who you are. When I first wrote I PRAY ANYWAY: Devotions for the ambivalent, I was soon bashful if not ashamed to talk about prayer in an everyday way. Now I ask strangers, “Do you pray?, How? Why?” People respond immediately, after being taken slightly aback. As I once blurted out, “I’m spiritually cranky and I talk about it.” Restless may be a better word than cranky. Enjoy these quotes from THE FEMININE FACE OF GOD.
Here are some fun quotes from the book:
—What does it mean to accept spiritual responsibility in our lives? How can we be still enough or clear enough or compassionate enough to let the deep truth emerge? Is there a “new way”? If so, how do we go about finding it—
—This means questioning everything we have been taught or taken for granted that is not validated by our own experience. Simply by asking one key question, Is this true for me? About each “truth” we hear, we challenge ourselves to become what we truly are.—
—it was disheartening to recognize that as a society we place no importance on sacred sharing in our daily interactions—
—So profound is this longing for our essential self that even when we are feeling alienated and estranged, our so-called negative feelings point toward the reality our soul knows as home.—
—I was swinging back and forth between a very deep cosmic urging and my feeling of terrible limitation. And what it all came down to was: Can I trust myself—
—However, prayer for is never limited to religious forms—
—Our culture offers us no support for periods of spiritual deepening in our lives.
—Out of a yearning for what is personally real and true comes a yearning that is essential because it comes from the immediacy of our lives, and that is just what we need to find and live from: the penetrating alertness that lets us connect with what is sacred.—
All of these quotes and their content are ideas and feelings will be explored and played with in a ‘playshop’ I will be giving in September. More on that to come. I have it outlined to be fun and outrageously irreverently reverent and challenging and clarifying and satisfying as we tell our truths.