WHAT ARE MEN SO AFRAID OF?

“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” 12 Mathew 32

The religious traditions that exclude women from a central role vis-à-vis God flagrantly sin against the Holy Spirit. By imposing strictures against women’s relationship with God, especially in preaching and teaching, men, in direct opposition to Jesus’ admonition, are forcefully diminishing the Holy Spirit by restricting it to one half of the human race – since the Holy Spirit is, of course, freely available to all human beings, not just to a single sex, and, certainly – not just to males.

So, what is it that men have been so afraid of? Is it that women’s natural love of nature implies they might also have the potential to be more intimate with God as well? And is that why men, so very long ago, felt an urgent need to manufacture a male “exemplar” God to prima facie exclude all images of women from the godhead? Or might it have been an even deeper fear – that God might actually possess strong feminine aspects?

There’s also been a lack of “inwardness” in our postmodern lives. It’s far easier to project human intelligence “outward” into science and technology, finance and politics, than “inward” where thinking inevitably has to confront emotions and feelings. Ironically, the outward “male” path is easier to follow than the inward “female” one because it’s so difficult for one’s rational thinking to sort out one’s emotions and feelings – especially when we become so “attached” to the latter. However, that’s where most of the “juice” in human life resides – along with an ability to get “real things done.”

Here’s the problem: in men’s traditional approach to religion, “spirit” has not been taken very seriously, while materialism has been avidly worshipped. As a result, the spiritual visions of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed have, over time, become transformed by the religious institutions established in their name into a kind of ersatz spirituality – shading into frequently violence-tinged “spiritual materialism.” This has created the kind of spiritual imbalance that, one day, might flip humanity into a final tragic cycle of self-destruction.

The “hard” male-dominant social structures that have created this spiritual imbalance – i.e., the world’s vast, almost child-like, yet extraordinarily expensive military organizations, the constantly morphing multinational corporations, and the West’s “sacred” capitalist economic structures – by common consensus have now gone too far and are currently threatening humanity’s very existence.

In light of all of this, isn’t it time – even past time – to think about spiritually starting all over again – and modestly and respectfully requesting women’s help?

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