Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"The Fall" in a Nutshell...

Tomorrow, I'll begin sharing some highlights in "The Fall" by Steve Taylor. For those who aren't yet familiar with it, feel free to check it out, via the synopsis and reviews on Amazon, and you can even read the entire introduction in the "See Inside" portion (top left corner - click on the photo of the book).

In the meanwhile, I'll share here a sneak-preview of coming attractions ... a preview that is rated G for all audiences ... perchance to whet your appetite.

Once upon a time, there was a "Golden Age" upon the earth. This earth. Hard to believe, no? And yet, archaeological, geological and historical records give hard and strong evidence to this. Sociologically, every culture has a story, a myth, of this Golden Age ... and of something rather cataclysmic occurring, about 6,000 years ago, that dramatically and drastically altered that peaceful life.

The Judeo-Christian story for it is recorded in the biblical book of Genesis ... and when it's read as the metaphorical myth that it was intended to be, we learn much of the depth there ... which is hidden from view when a more western/literal/historical interpretation is forced upon it.

Yes, there was life on earth prior to Genesis ...!

And not Neanderthal cave-dwellers, either ... but a flourishing civilization ... many tribes, throughout the world, living in peaceful, egalitarian, hunter-gatherer societies ... complete with buildings (some as high as five-storey!), roads, rough sewers, and flourishing expressions of art.

These societies were largely matriarchal ... which does not imply that women *dominated* ... that's not the nature of the female psyche -- but that women were highly revered, even seen as the symbols of the source of life. All live was seen as reverential, infused with the Spirit of all, and this Spirit was seen as All in All.

The original understanding of this Spirit, of God, of the Source of All Life was of "Mother". Womb. During this time, all were equal ... a time of equality for all ... sharing of all things among all. No ego-dominance, therefore no competition. The arts flourished ... the people were healthier, physically and emotionally. Less stress. More freedom. No violence. No dominance. God was seen as in all things, sustaining all things ... all was one. Infused with the divine.

The Garden of Eden, and the other "Golden Age" stories, which all cultures have, speak of this time. It was a time before the ego-explosion of 6,000 years ago. The Genesis account of the Garden of Eden speaks of this in metaphoric terms ... of the "fall" into the ego, into duality, into thinking in terms of "good and evil" ... into the realm in which man did indeed rule over woman, and woman did indeed begin to seek her identity in man. When the fertile regions did become desert, and food became scarce ... when people began competing and fighting ... things of the earth/body/sex/female became abhorrent and devalued ... violence and suppression of women began, and has continued.

And it was IN that time when the scriptures were written, during the reign of patriarchy (which we've been in since then), wherein the concept of God as Womb/Mother was replaced with the Male "God in the Sky" -- separate and distant ... angry and war-like (just like the dominating, patriarchal men). So of course God would be seen as "Father" only. And of course Jesus would meet them where they were, and lead them into more. Our problem is that we stopped with them then ... we've limited our understanding to theirs.

The God I've been experiencing, since I cried out to know what's of man and what's of God, is not the distant, male, separate, war-like God of patriarchy. The God I experience is a God of All-Inclusiveness, all in all, pure and perfect Love, pure and perfect Wisdom, the One within who leads and guides and nurtures and reveals.

And this God is leading me to explore the feminine side of Divinity ... as I'm quite familiar with the masculine side.

The goal is transcendence and integration ... but you can't integrate that which you've not experienced.

I'm open to experiencing whatever God leads me into.

I'll share more of what I've been learning in this book, and in the one that I read after it ... "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter."

Men -- this is NOT just "for women"! Patriarchy has damaged and enslaved men, just as it's damaged and enslaved women ... perhaps in just more subtle ways. This is about the freedom of HUMANITY, not just of women. This will not be about male-bashing ... I happen to adore men (including my own husband and five sons). This is about exposing the egoic, patriarchal system that has done much harm, and which is threatening to destroy us all.

But we have the option of waking up.

Join me in this discovery ...!

Shalom, Dena


Bob said...

That could explain where Cain found his wife. It wasn't his sister afterall. Yeah!

You go girl!

Dena said...

LOL -- thanks for the encouragement, Bob (for which you'll be held accountable!)...!

Yeah, nice to know that we're not a product of inbreeding, no?

'Course, that doesn't resolve the West Virginia issue (teehee)!

cwtpmom said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news....but Cain married one of his brother's daughters. Moses 5

Who would dare write scripture using "I, the Lord God", in first person singular, then not be afraid of meeting this same God, when death stared him in the face? Anyone? Anyone? I KNOW.....Joseph Smith.

Have either of you read this Book of Moses? It's not found in the Apocrypha. It wasn't discovered in an old tomb in Egypt. "Selections from the Book of Moses: An extract from the book of Genesis of Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, which he began in June 1830. See History of the Church, vol. 1, pp. 98-101, 131-139." History bears record that these words were dictated through the spirit from God to Joseph Smith. God, meaning Jesus Christ. Oooo this gets deep.

Weigh whatever you read against truth. As difficult as that is to do with a moving truth-o-meter, I still think you know the difference between real truth and man's truth. When I read scripture, I employ my own personal faith (not religion, but pure and simple faith in Christ), and as I do that He tells me what is truth. And, I have to say, seems like it all is true :)

Bob said...

Dena, I hate to break it to you, but there is a huge difference between WV and Arkansas. Your memory obviously has failed you.

cwtpmom, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will admit I've never read anything from the book of Moses except what you linked to. And I agree with you. What is important for me is a personal faith. My personal challenge in searching for truth is to not let my glasses get fogged with my religious background and my own personal biases. I am finding myself changing my beliefs and understandings continously - sometimes in spurts and sometimes slowly like a turtle. May God bless in your walk.

Anonymous said...

I am telling you, we are travelling along parallel paths and it is amazing to me as I read more of your blog.

I'm a cradle Christian who left her church 8 years ago when I couldn't bear it anymore. I knew there was more and I kept searching for the Feminine in God and along my reading travels (I love Sue Monk Kidd) I also found Dance of the Dissedent Daughter which was water to me. And then came The Shack, another sign to me that I was on the right path, exploring the feminine in God. Examining all of my long held (assumed) beliefs that God was an old white dude.

It's a wonderful thing to be able to see your daughters and more importantly -you sons-grow up without the assumption that God is a Man. I love being able to give my children a God without limitations of gender.

Another wonderful book for you to read is The Language of God by Dr Francis Collins.

Thanking God for bringing me to your blog,


Dena said...

Wow, our journeys really ARE parallel...!

We're about to launch a book study of "Dance of the Dissident Daughter" ... including some brave men who want to join in (these are the same gallant souls who will actually purchase tampons in public).

Would you be interested in joining in? No pressure -- just the open invite!

Anonymous said...

Really? *bigsmile* I would LOVE to. Just tell me where to go. My name is Briana.

Dena said...

Because I'd hate to see the group crashed by folks who would come against it, I don't want to offer the link here, publicly. But, write to me: and I'll be happy to share the subscription link with you.

I love your name, Briana ... I considred it for one daughter, but naming her for the grandmas won out...!