இயற்கை முறைக் கல்வி

Saturday, October 27, 2018

#metoo: a loud call to integrate our primal universe, our wilderness


There’s so much noise out there about sexual harassment, menstruating women entering temples and all. How come you haven’t said anything about them?

Well, I’ve been sitting on a lot to say. Making one statement here or sharing one story there, I am scared, will only fuel further reactions. Not my game. And moreover, I have some unpopular things to say. I’d rather take the time and explore it fully and say all I want to say in one shot. This topic is very close to my heart and needs a very nuanced dialogue.

Sure, maybe now is the time for it!

I’m happy to go, but only if you have the patience to go all the way through. I would like to weave in my own earlier posts where relevant, and what other people have written for further reading. Are you ready to follow all the links?

Can't promise to read them all right away. But will definitely file them away for future reading. So, let’s get started with your own life. I'm sure you have your share of #metoo stories?

Thankfully nothing horrendous. A member of my extended family groped me at every possible occasion for at least seven years from my school to college years. I finally took the courage to confront him, threatened to expose him and put an end to it. I had to discontinue my dental treatment because my 65-year old dentist was regularly molesting me. As a fifteen year old, I was laid down, groped and kissed in my mouth by a sixty-yr old hypnotherapist I went to. I was hypnotised so I don't really know what else was done to me. I felt terrified, dirty and nauseous for a few weeks after that. Everyday going to school on Peter’s Road was a nightmare with guys from the college opposite our school stalking me all over the city, reeling out information about my personal life. I once barely escaped a whole gang of them surrounding me outside my school. I have no idea how I pushed them and ran for my life screaming. But I did. As I narrate this incident, I'm having palpitations. During my activist life, I regularly faced advances, sometimes bordering on attempts, including from peers and 'Gandhians', constantly having to say 'No'. By the time I was 20, my body would get into an alert, sometimes panic, mode whenever I found a male body close to me, or worse, alone with me in a room.

Do you still carry a lot of trauma from all these?

Not much. Thankfully, I have had a lot of positive loving touch in my life since then. And done lots of inner work, learning to love myself and my body, to forgive and to heal. My sister has been a huge source of inspiration for me in this healing journey. She was in an abusive relationship and marriage for many years and eventually took the courage to step out of it. Being one of her confidantes, I was a close witness to many years of her inner work through her deep scars, nightmares, fears and self-doubts, forgiving the guy, and healing herself. She led the way for me in many ways.

But this kind of trauma is also not limited to one's own body alone. Every time I hear a story, my body recalls a memory, or simply plugs into the larger female pain body and experiences trauma, perhaps going back centuries to the days of burning witches and destroying Goddess temples. It connects to the trauma carried by my sisters in contexts of unthinkable domestic violence, marital rapes by their beastly husbands. Brutal gang rape and murder stories on the one end, all the way up to the chilling normalcy of a whole group of 18 guys in a gated community in Chennai regularly piercing into a tender womb and going back home to their roles as brothers, sons, fathers and husbands. The whole normalcy of this was so chilling that I couldn’t sleep or eat properly for a week.

Just before and during my bleeding every month is when this trauma manifests the most darkness in me leaving me with the dementors. Once I was working with my distressed helper who had borne three children out of marital rape. I almost found a caring community for her to move into, when she came home to tell me that she was pregnant again. She stopped coming to work and chose to stay with her abusive husband. It was my PMS time, and I went through so much rage and helplessness. I writhed in a piercing uterine pain for several days. I've progressively learnt to work with building a protective layer around me, the kavacham, to keep myself together, as sane and stable as possible, so I can be available for some healing work in this area. It’s not easy. It’s an ongoing work.

So, have you ever shared your experiences with anyone as you went through them growing up?

Never. A few years later, my sister, who had her share of stories too, became my only confidante. When I was 23, I happened to spend a night with a few women friends somewhere, when we decided to share our stories. I was aghast to find out that every one of them had stories, and one of them had been raped when young and was sharing it with us for the first time ever. Up until then, I had thought I was one of the few girls who had the misfortune of having been through anything at all.

I grew up in a family, culture whose dominant narrative was "Women are the problem. Women need to stay modest and safe. If something happens, women need to learn to retreat and stay safer. Women’s liberation is the cause of much of our society breaking up." and so on. And so I had this huge fear that my already restricted freedom and mobility would be further restricted in the pretext of my personal safety.

So, for all kinds of reasons, our women who have not spoken up, are now getting the space to do that.This #metoo movement is just what we needed!

Absolutely. It is such a huge relief to finally have the space where girls and women can feel safe to share their traumatic stories, to stop holding on to things that don't belong to them - shame, guilt, fear, to name the violators in hiding. It is about time we touched and expressed our roudram (rage), bibhatsam (disgust) and veeryam (courage). Now, having said this, I have some concerns about the #metoo movement.

What concerns?

If you don’t mind, I don’t want to talk about them at this point. I will bring them up at a later point in this dialogue. Ok?

Ok. I’m curious though. But I shall wait. So, coming to the larger story, I can't make sense of why there is suddenly such an explosion of assault everywhere! It's literally EVERYWHERE! What might be the reason?

I haven’t done any rigorous study of this phenomenon. But I’m going to share my strong intuition. It is the same reason why our glaciers are melting, forests are being felled, our coral reefs and whales are dying, plastic gyres in our oceans are expanding, our air, water and soil are getting poisoned at unprecedented rates. Our civilization has reached the peak of its insanity.

I understand how these can be metaphorical to raping Mother Earth. But beyond this, could there be a real correlation?

In our march towards modernity, we have favoured the machine over people, outcomes over processes, math over languages, logic over the arts, intellect over intelligence, GDP over well-being, a mall over a forest, a parking lot over a grassland…

And?

In essence, the masculine over the feminine. The feminine is the space of the wilderness, the unknown, the magical. Modernity feels threatened by wilderness. The masculine feels much safer with tamed manicured lawns. Women who Run with the Wolves powerfully explains how we, men and women alike, have disowned the wilderness within, to in turn explain our present-day civilisational crisis.

I notice that you are using the words 'masculine' and 'modern' interchangeably. Or was that an accident?

Quite intentional. I would go on to say that modernity has successfully sold 'masculinisation' as the path towards emancipation to an entire race of males and female. I've written about it earlier here.  And in our march towards modernity, we have ignored our primal needs. We have forgotten how to honour them and engage with them with sensitivity. Because we have ignored them, they are exploding uncontrollably all over the place screaming for our attention. How long can we keep them under cover?

What do you mean by 'primal needs'?

They are our most primary needs as humans. Our needs for freedom, safety, security, nourishment, connection to Mother Earth and all life forms borne by her, including fellow humans. And most importantly, for our conversation, eros. Modern masculine ways have disproportionately focused on the mental faculty and has disregarded all our primary needs at the levels of the vital and physical.

Could you give some examples?

The masculine's obsessive focus on the output, on "getting things done". Even in lovemaking, the obsessive focus on the orgasm and not on the loving connection. Look at our race's current ways all the way from giving birth to dying. We wear gloves, cut open wombs to remove babies, don't touch our babies unless we absolutely need to or ever let them run around naked. We want them to be independent much earlier than they are ready to be. We tell them it's not ok to cry, send them to factory schools, steep them in a cut-throat competitive lifestyle, model them like machines and call them successful. And we let our elderly die either lonely or plugged into some life-support systems. So entire generations’ primary needs are going unmet thus. Even girl children, in the name of empowerment, are sucked out of their essence and fed through the same process. The modern technological society has been hunting down and squeezing out all the feminine wherever it can find it.

Our primal need for loving human touch and skin-to-skin contact especially in the growing years, our need for intimacy and safety, our need to have a positive relationship with our bodies, our need for sensuous experience with nature - playing with sand, clay and water, enjoying the breeze on our face, the rich smells, tastes and textures of nature - all add up to a healthy sense of sensuality. It is heartening to see that of late, there is growing awareness about the importance of attachment parenting, healing our relationship with nature, rebuilding community and so on. And interestingly much of this work for our times are inspired by the ways of indigenous communities. Like Jean Liedloff spent 20 years with Yequana indigenous community in Venezuela to learn how they raised their children and wrote her classic Continuum Concept, which continues to inspire and change the child-rearing landscape across the world. If we want to survive as a race, we need to go learn from these experts how they honour and work with their primal energies. Charles Eisenstein’s Three Seeds talks about these communities as the third seed in a way that really speaks to me.

I'm still waiting to hear something about eros.

Well, eros is basically life energy that rests at the base of our spine. It is simply there in every one of us. Our ancient cultures, especially Indian, has acknowledged and celebrated it for thousands of years. Paintings, sculptures, poetry, literature and entire treatises about eros including lovemaking by our Gods and Goddesses, have been an integral part of our cultural narrative. 

Actually, many indigenous communities in India still have the practice of letting young men and women discover their sexuality within a certain set of norms. Like the Ghotul system for instance. I once heard that the functional aspect of the practice of 'child marriage' in our country was that the boy and girl already had a partner that they had grown up with, when their sexual needs arose. It made sense to me! 

This shocks me! You support child marriages?

Why are you ready to jump at everything, for or against? Can we learn to step back and look at histories, contexts, both functional and dysfunctional aspects of things simultaneously? This is extremely important for a nuanced dialogue. Of course, I am against oppressive child marriages. And I'm not saying we need to start building Ghotuls across the country. GIVE ME A BREAK! I'm only trying to look at our culture's variety of practices which helped us engage with our eros. The same culture had ashrams, where brahmacharis were taught asana and pranayama to work with and channel their inner energies and urges. Our culture has experimented with an entire spectrum of practices! To add to the complexity, let me introduce you to a very beautifully and sensitively made movie Balika Badhu that tells the story of a young girl and boy getting married. 

 I agree I should have given you some benefit of doubt! But you see, topics like child-marriage are so charged that it's so hard to not react.

⧭ Anyways, somewhere along the way, our culture was colonised and began sterilising everything. We now have a largely unhealthy relationship with our eros, as with all our other primal needs.

  Now, what would be an unhealthy relationship with eros?

Either a pathological indulgence in it as a way of compensating for a lack of real love and intimacy. Or suppression. When psychologically immature men who naturally have very little sensitivity to the others, have grown up with a negative relationship with their own bodies because of a lack of adequate care and loving touch in their growing years, (or worse still experience of negative touch) have had no role models to learn about healthy boundaries, are placed in positions of structural power (as celebrities, managers, CEOs, priests or whatever), they are highly likely to violate the more vulnerable who are lower in these power structures. Ashok Malhotra’s Child Man: The Selfless Narcissist has dealt with processes related to this. My teacher Raghu has beautifully explained the whole socio-psychological phenomenon in his article The yogic response to sexual violation.

Another way pathology builds up is by completely ignoring and denying the eros and sanitising one's life. Like in Buddhist monasteries, the Church, or the ashram of some self-proclaimed celibate Hindu godmen. Unless, one is a really evolved being (has worked through this in an earlier lifetime) and has a high level of integrity, advanced yogic practices to work with awareness to sublimate and channel this energy for higher purposes, one cannot simply bypass it. So much perverse sex goes on in these places because they might be breeding it unconsciously. All these perpetrators are also the victims in the larger story.

Sexual abusers are victims? I have heard that one before, but it is an unpopular view nevertheless, I must say.

Yes, abusers being victims is an unacceptable thing when you look through the lens which sees ‘all of us as separate beings’. The old Story of Separation as Charles calls it. This dominant story that most of us are lodged in has been making less and less sense to me over the years. The story I experience of all humans (to begin with) more and more is that we are like the cells of a larger organism, deeply interconnected. The new story I'd like to inhabit more and more is the Story of Interbeing. This realisation is as ancient as the mountains. Mystics and shamans from traditions across the world have talked about it. You are welcome to take a short break and listen to this delightful rendering of Brahmam Okate where mystic Annamaya talks about this eternal truth in the simplest language.

In my experience of inter-beingness, I see violators as victims who need to be held in the collective field of compassion and healing.

Does that mean we let the wrong-doers go scot-free?

Compassion doesn’t mean mushy gooey sweetness. Actually, compassion has nothing to do with behaviour at all. It is about feeling and telling the other "I completely understand your situation. We are in this journey together!" And out of this space of solidarity, the highest act of compassion to someone so blind and asleep could be to give them a hard slap, push them to the floor, handcuff them, put them in jail or whatever else, depending on their levels of pathology. But can it be done by holding oneself and the other within the field of compassion? Can we say "I'm in control. This cannot go on. I need to do what I need to do to stop this. Now can you wake up and see that you are hurting me AND yourself? It scars your own being when you scar another. Can you please see this? Were you carried and held as a child and taught to love yourself and your body? Growing up, did you have role models who honoured their and others boundaries? Were you truly loved? What is your story?” For someone remains an enemy only for as long as we do not know their story. I am reminded of an indigenous community which has the practice of gathering around the member of their tribe who has committed a crime, and showering her/him with all the positive things they have to say about them. They transform with love. We once again turn to these ancient peoples! 

I'm reminded of a moving Academy-award winning film about a cold gangster, murderer Tsotsi and his intense yearning for his mother's love and touch. Nandu's character in Aalavandaan (Abhay) deeply impacted me as well. His deep yearning for his mother's love and approval, the trauma and abandonment he faces as a child, the uncontrollable rage and severe pathology he develops is portrayed as an exaggerated story. Such 'wrong-doers' undoubtedly need to be put in solitary confinement behind strong iron bars for others (and their own) safety. But punishment is a whole different story. Punishment comes from a space of hatred. It's birth place is the old story of separation. It can only breed further hurt, feeding into and reinforcing the cycle of violence. What they need is healing. I would even go on to say that they are martyrs of a much larger largely-unrecognised process of detox at the level of the collective.

Hey, wait a minute! With some effort, I may be able to live with the idea of sexual abusers being victims. But calling them martyrs is a bit too much!

I can explain if you are willing to journey with me and further see the world through the lens of inter-beingness. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's poem Please call me by my true names.

Poem sounds profound. And yes, for the sake of exploration I'll journey with you. But I must admit that I can't yet fathom saying "I'm the pirate who raped the twelve-year old girl".

Not easy, I agree.

I repeat. The seeds of Eros are in each of us. When we sow them in the right kind of soil (consciousness) with acknowledgment and celebration, they bloom and make us delightful beings, and then eventually mature and sublimate. When we sow them in the wrong kind of soil (indulge insensitively or addictively to compensate for a lack of self-love) they release toxins making us more and more pathological. When we abandon them without care (deny and suppress), they can get mouldy and spread another kind of cold withdrawn heaviness in our being, making us frozen, dull and depressed.

Now, as a thumb rule, whenever another's action shocks us and makes us feel “How could they do this? I can never imagine doing such a thing!” it’s a sign we may not have engaged with that part of ourselves enough. We have our shadows lurking somewhere too that needs attention. When we have worked with these seeds within ourselves, we know them so intimately, know both the best and the worst they are capable of. Compassion will arise as a consequence of this inner knowing.

Now, as a civilization, since we have not dealt with these seeds adequately, they have created a huge field of darkness, our collective shadow. We all have a share in it. Even those of us who might have dealt with it at our individual levels, need to own up to the collective shadow.

Why do those who have worked with it need to take ownership? By the way, you haven’t explained your use of the term ‘martyr’ yet!

That is precisely part of the new story of all of us being expressions of the One consciousness. I have lived with a persistent eczema on my right ankle for over 15 years now. When it is hurting and oozing pus, my hands attend to it, my brain is looking for ways to deal with it, and numerous subtler actions are happening to deal with it across my internal system. For the eczema is but a manifestation of a release of toxins on behalf of my entire body and my ankle volunteered itself for the unpleasant task. It chose to give up its beautiful appearance, to be cursed and be frowned upon with disgust, to be the most hated part of my body for the longest time. But when I started seeing how it is actually being a channel for the toxins that belong to my body as a whole, including the most beautiful and attractive parts of it, I started feeling compassion for my ankle. It started healing too! That's how the term 'martyr' occurred to me. As individuated souls, I’m not saying that these abusers are consciously setting out to be martyrs. But they have allowed themselves to let the darkness channel and surface through them, to bring it to the collective’s attention at the risk of facing blame, shame, disgust and ostracisation, albeit unconsciously.

Everything cannot be attributed to the collective. What is the place of the individual here? Doesn't an individual 'choose' to act out his impulses?

I believe that we are both individuals with free will, and part of a collective, simultaneously. This concept of simultaneity is a complex one and needs a lot of psychological maturity to really understand. Ken Wilbur, who was inspired by Sri Aurobindo's Integral Theory has articulated it with most clarity. Every cell is a whole, and part of a tissue SIMULTANEOUSLY. Every tissue is a whole, and part of an organ simultaneously, and so on.. So every individual is a whole and part of the collective simultaneously. All the way up to multiverses (made of several universes). Every concentric circle – from an atom to the cosmos – is a HOLON. In Gandhian terms, swaraj (self-rule) and sarvodaya (the rising of everyone) are interdependent. One cannot get fulfilled without the other.

The #metoo movement is helping us women come out, speak up and give up what does not belong to us. If we see the world through the old lens, where all of us are separate beings, we'd naturally talk about ‘giving it back’ to the abuser, naming and shaming him with hatred. But if I locate myself in the new consciousness of everyone as an expression of the same being, I put it out there for the collective to look at it as a mirror unto itself.

While I do this, I’d like to simultaneously hold the individual violator accountable for what he did. If I don't connect my loss and pain with my violator’s treatment (what is conventionally called justice) if I can separate the two without getting caught in the reaction of one to the other, then perhaps we can do what is most appropriate / best for both and move forward. Like the story of a rapist and the raped learning to confront, dialogue, heal and co-author a book. 

So, is this your concern you mentioned right at the beginning?

Yes, while it is good to see women come out and speak up, my concern is that we might cross the line into indulgence in our victimhood. In a culture that is not yet used to self-reflection, the victim location is a very habitual one, a comfortable one and can become quite tyrannising. Endlessly pointing at the other can end up imprisoning us. As women it is also important to see how we are also contributing to the problem.

That definitely sounds like a regressive statement! I hope you don't mean that women wearing skimpy clothes revealing their cleavages, stepping out at night, etc. are causing the problem!!

Of course not. No way. But times are such that I personally choose to not do these in certain places for my own safety. But I'm not even meaning any of this right now.

To understand how women are contributing to the problem, let’s go back all the way to what I started with. We women are definitely colluding with a system that is hell-bent on masculinizing the feminine in the name of 'development' and 'progress'. We are colluding with a way of life that is either shutting out, scarring or vulgarising our primal being. It does all this by commodifying our primal universe. This includes all the gross ways of brokering sexual-favours, like the female lecturer who was recently caught trying to set up her students with men in power for good marks and high positions. And brutal mutilations of the genitals of young girls carried out by mothers and grandmothers, to prevent women from exploring their sexuality. But what I am talking about here is a more subtle, more insidious process of our modern development paradigm co-opting everything and making it into a commodity.

Including our primal needs?

Totally! In fact, our primal needs are the most that the development monster encashes on. Charles explained it beautifully, so I’m just going to quote from his book here. “Advertisers play on this all the time, selling sports cars as a substitute for freedom, junk food and soda as a substitute for excitement, “brands” as a substitute for social identity, and pretty much everything as a substitute for sex, itself a proxy for the intimacy that is so lacking in modern life. We might also see sports hero worship as a substitute for the expression of one’s own greatness, amusement parks as a substitute for the transcending of boundaries, pornography as a substitute for self-love, and overeating as a substitute for connection or the feeling of being present. What we really need is nearly unavailable in the lives that society offers us.”

Capitalism has found endless substitutes for all our authentic primal yearnings. With an enticing promise of filling our deep void, it keeps offering us things that absolutely cannot fill the void. And we believe in its story and keep thinking more and more of the same will do it. So, while I’m glad that the #metoo space has opened up, at some point after we have vented it all out sufficiently, we need to learn to transcend our own stories and open up to see the larger tapestry.

What do you mean by 'transcending one's story’?

Here’s my eulogy for Subbaraju, a big inspiration in my life journey. Subba was born to a daily-wage labourer, got into IIT and graduated with the highest distinction, and yet chose to become a strong critic of the development paradigm, schooling and all, and walked his talk. He went to his village, set up and ran a beautiful ‘natural learning space’ for children, helped them fall in love with their village life, farming, bamboo craft with great joy. This is a radical act of transcendence considering that normally such “successful people” climb up the ladder further and further, come back to their villages, build schools and IIT coaching centres, and so on.. You know the trajectory. They are so enamored by their own "success" that they can’t see beyond it to understand how their good intentions are actually intensifying poverty. Like Jyoti Reddy’s story which once went viral as an example for women’s empowerment. A moving story indeed, but the likes of JR are still caught up in their own stories further suppressing the feminine principle. I’m not saying it’s easy to transcend one’s personal story in order to see the big picture. That is why, stories of the likes of Subbaraju are extremely rare and need to be told.

So, from what you are saying, it seems to me like indigenous communities, ancient India all had a very good understanding of our primal universe and knew how to work with it. So, would it be right to say that we have been regressing as a race?

No, I think it’s all part of a certain progression!

What???!!

Yes, and I can speak from my own personal experience here. I thought I was progressing and evolving spiritually and was well on my way to ‘enlightenment’ as they call it. In the chakra-language, I was progressing to fully inhabit the Vishuddhi chakra, which is all about realising inter-beingness, co-creation, etc. I signed up to participate in Ritambhara’s ‘Nayika’s Quest’ workshop facilitated by my teachers Raghu and Sashi. It was about experientially exploring the universes of the different chakras. As I explored the Vishuddhi chakra, I experienced a powerful pull from the Mooladhara chakra (the primal universe), and touched intense narcissism. Deep narcissistic hurt that I hadn’t worked through enough became visceral for me. I was shaken. It unleashed a year-long process where I went through months and months of such intense fears of abandonment, jealousies of all kinds, need for attention and appreciation, shame from all these and what not. Thankfully I had enough support from my sangha to stay with and work through these, and come out of the other side of this pretty dark phase.

Having had this insight into myself, and since I believe that we are all holons, I’m comfortable extrapolating this to the larger culture. The higher our collective aspirations rise, the more we evolve, the closer we come to the light, the darker our shadows become. The darker our shadows become, the harder it becomes to hide them. Read Charles’s The Lid is Off. It is like, God or that Higher Self gives us the most difficult questions to answer at the threshold of the breakthrough. Dealing with the darkest shadows is like the rite of passage onto another spiritual realm. So, our journey through patriarchy (or patricentricism as Ashok Malhotra calls it) is essentially a forward movement. As a race, we needed to work through them is at least what I believe.

So, you don’t think modernity, patriarchy, etc. were mistakes?

Well, there are narratives that consider them so. I deeply resonate with Sri Aurobindo’s narrative, which looks at all of these as part of a forward movement. Inspired by Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilbur has talked about all these in the first part of his Brief History of Everything, in a way that really spoke to me. Of course I cannot speak in an absolute sense. This is just my narrative. I believe that we needed to learn our lessons through individuation, separation which was aided by modernisation, patriarchy, masculinization and the like, and come back to union WITH ALL THAT KNOWING. Evolving in our consciousness means learning to acknowledge, befriend, sing, dance and play with our primal beings and INTEGRATE them with the rest of our being. And like Charles explains in his essay, in order to do this, with all our humility, reach out to, seek the help of, and learn (or remember) from the Three Seeds that opted out of the journey of separation.

⧭ Do you have a metaphor from our culture?

⧭ I'm sure there are many. But I can talk about one that I've drawn power from over the past year for my own inner work. The demon Mahishasura's penance to God Agni led to his being entitled to a boon. He asked for immortality. This, being against the law of nature, was denied to him. So, he chose the next best one "No man can kill me. Only a woman." thinking of it as an impossibility. When all the Gods failed at subduing Mahisha, they turned to the Goddess who fiercely fought with him, subdued / slayed him. Regularly reciting the Mahishasura Mardhini Stotram over the past year invoking the power of my inner Goddess, I believe, helped me with my own inner demons and shadows. Interestingly, I spent a few days last year immersed in the Devi Mahatmyam and found it to be one of the most erotic poetry I have ever read! So, Devi is simultaneously beautiful, sensuous, compassionate and fierceful (because she also merges with Shiva) all at the same time. Just who we need to turn to as a race.

Like all essays and interviews, how about we end this one with ‘What’s the way forward in more specific terms’?

I am reminded of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa, which was a bold and radical attempt at reconciliation and restoration, rather than justice. A space like that held with strength and empathy for violators to admit that ‘they did it’, express remorse and ask for forgiveness, inspires me. But it needs someone as wise and strong as Desmond Tutu, whose warrior was also his healer. A powerful movie is Dead Man Walking, which is about a rapist-murderer who is sentenced to death, whose inner world transforms at the end. This is also based on a real-life story which was written as a book by Sister Helen Prejean. 

Otherwise, I can come up with a long list of things we can do to honor, celebrate and integrate our primal universe.
* Bring greater awareness into our own disowned and disconnected primal beings.
* Offer and ask for touch that awakens the spirit rather than indulges the flesh.
* Let our children run around naked and learn to love their bodies without shame.
* Listen to our little teenagers share their stories of their first love and attraction with curiosity and acceptance, empower them to engage with their eros responsibly. 
* Spend time with sunrise and sunset, enjoy the gentle breeze on our faces, sleep under the starlit sky, connect to the moon cycles.
* Use more essential oils and fragrant herbs.
* Stop mowing our lawns, enjoy the wild flowers and quite literally welcome wilderness into our lives
* Learn asana - pranayama or any other eastern body-breath practice, to learn to work with and channel our prana, our internal energies.
* Build mindfulness in our actions through the day.
* Treat our bodies like temples, bring awareness into our addictive eating habits, introduce juicy, tasty and nourishing foods.
* Turn off our screens and spend time with other people in authentic spaces.
* Cry, sing, dance together. Paint, write poetry in solitude.
* As women, express gratitude as our blood parts with us every month.
* Sweat out in labour of love. Work with the soil. Infuse every act with the unique song of our souls. 
* Bring more awareness into our consumption patterns - whether stuff, or art, or music, or sex, or information, or whatever.
* Shut down factory schools, and replace them with real learning communities.
* Live a rasaatmik, juicy life.
* Learn to make love without focusing on the orgasm, instead feeling the heart connection.

Basically, explore all possible ways to better integrate the feminine with our strong masculine, and aspire to realise the Ardhanarishwara.

Going by whatever you have shared so far, I'm guessing that you unconditionally support the SC verdict on the Sabarimala issue.

No, I do not. But that's for another dialogue. Unlike this one, I need to do better homework on facts and histories to come up with some robust content.

 Phew! That's a lot of stuff to chew on from one interview - concepts, experiences, essays, books, movies all inclusive I mean!

⧭ Thank you for your patient listening and for deciding to 'chew on' rather than 'swallow wholesale' whatever I have shared. All of what I have shared is my perspective. I could be wrong. But I normally tend to take seriously, what I know in my index finger.

 Know in your index finger?

Click on the link and you’ll know. Bye! :)

2 comments:

Gokul said...

:))

Priya Ravi said...

Wow sangeetha. Super porumai...well written. Thanks for writing and sharing