Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why is the Divine Mother image important?

Researching material on the Divine Mother today, for a course starting next week, I found a wonderful series of excerpts from a book by Anne Baring and Andrew Harvey,The Divine Feminine. I type it out here for you because it struck me so profoundly that our dis-ease in this world at war has a connection to our longing for the feminine to play a larger role.

excerpt: "Why is the image of the Divine Mother so important? To answer this question, we need look no further than our experience of birth into the world. First of all, there is the experience of the embryo in the womb; the experience of union or fusion and containment within a watery, nurturing matrix. After the traumatic experience of birth and the sudden and violent explusion from this matrix, the prolongation of the earlier feelings of close relatinship, trust and safety is absolutely vital.

"Without the consistent and loving care of the mother in early childhood, the child has no trust in itself, no power to survive negative life experiences, no model from which to learn how to nurture and support itself or to care for its children in turn. Its primary response to life is anxiety and fear. It is like a tree with no roots, easily torn up by a storm. Its instincts have been traumatized and damaged.

"With the love of the mother and trust in her presence, the child grows in strength and confidence and delight in itself and in life. Its primary response is trust.

"Without this experience, life becomes threatening, terrifying. Without it the effort of living exhausts and dispirits. Intense and constant anxiety means that there is no resting place, no solace for loneliness, no feeling that life is something to be trusted, enjoyed; that it loves, helps, guides and supports us.

"Without this positive image of the feminine, fear, like a deadly parasite, invades the soul and weakens the body. Those cultures which have no image of the Mother in the god-head are vulnerable to immensely powerful unconscious feelings of fear and anxiety, particularly when the emphasis of their religious teaching is on sin and guilt. The compensation to this fear is an insatiable need for power and control over life.

"How hungry the human heart is for an image of a Divine Mother that would, like an umbilical cord, re-connect it to the Womb of Being, restoring the lost sense of trust and containment in a dimension which may be beyond the reach of our intellect, yet is accessible to us through our deepest instincts.

" is the image of the Divine Mother that heals and consoles, sustains and encourages; the image that awakens the feeling of trust and containment because it reflects our personal experience of our containment in the womb and our earliest human relationship.

"This is why the image of the Divine Feminine is returning to us now, to help us recover not only our sense of trust in life but also the relationship with a dimension of consciousness that we have, in our drive to be in control of life, ignored.....

taken from the The Divine Feminine, Anne Baring and Andrew Harvey, a book worth reading!


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