The emphasis of this article is in renewing our female attributes of compassion, justice and truth. Acquisition, power and control, all male traits, have dominated our psyche and pushed the human race to the brink of self-destruction.
Radha Kunke says that our natural tendency to work cooperatively has been subsumed in the race for greed and aggrandizement. Remnants of these behaviours can still be observed in tribal societies. The author calls for a spiritual turnaround.
In the article, she gives classic examples like Google with its open source platforms, Gen Y striving to move out of stifling cubicle environments and grassroots-level initiatives where resources are utilized to renew and regenerate traditional modes of spirituality.
I will begin with what Eve Ensler (of the Vagina Monologues fame) said about killing our “Girl Cells”, the feminine principle within each one of us. We have killed our ability to display our emotions, we have killed our “heart”, our spirit and have given precedence and all power to the mind.
Being connected and contented comes from being whole. Truth, justice, compassion, cooperation, etc. comes from the wisdom that comes from being whole. It brings with it pluralism, diversity, and respect for the other.
We see what we have lost by losing the feminine within us, the spirit within us. We have a world gone berserk, unbalanced, and skewed by excessive want, acquisition, power, control, domination. It has annihilated everything around itself so much that it is now in danger of annihilating itself. The male principle of protectiveness, care, leadership, and governance has degenerated to divisiveness and combativeness. We see this in every field, in every aspect – politics, economics, religion.
We see from the testimonials from the communities, from the people – that left to ourselves, we humans are not divisive creatures. There is a natural tendency to work together, to collaborate and cooperate. This is reflected in the way local communities respond, function and live. Where very clearly the principles of ‘no-harm to another’ and ‘no-harm to nature’ get automatically followed.
So, the answer is all around. It is, as Bob Dylan says, blowing in the wind. We need only to reflect, to see. The answers are inside us – individually and collectively.
At an individual level we need to withdraw within ourselves, we need to go on an inward journey that will help us to reinstate the feminine/the spirit/the heart within us. We need to become whole.
At a social level, too, we need to go within – to our roots, to our communal support systems – and take up once again the power and responsibility of decision-making, governance and self-sufficiency.
We cannot wait for this to be ‘given’ to us. We must start doing it pervasively. There are many, many examples where local communities have already, in the past and also in the present, taken matters into their own hands. These processes are however unconnected. And are happening sporadically. They need to become a way-of-living.
I would like to take you to an example from the book ‘Spider and the Starfish’ by Ori Braufman. The Spider is the centralised, all-powerful, monopolistic systems. The Starfish has a nature where when one arm breaks, it regenerates not only the lost arm, but also regenerates a whole starfish from the broken arm! Its processes of rejuvenation are not centrally governed, but inherent in its every cell.
Globally, there is no better example than the Open-Source movement that has challenged and brought down mighty corporations and posited themselves as serious alternatives. So much so that these mighty corporations have had to make adjustments to integrate such alternatives within their own centralised systems.
Google is an example of creating tools and spaces and giving them away for ‘free’. Wikipedia is a brilliant example of cooperation with no profit motive. Social media is a space of non-prescriptive gathering defined entirely by the individual. The internet itself an example of global communities. The individual blog is a rich, diverse source of thoughts and reflections of individuals.
The climate change negotiations themselves – the process – have been an example of hundreds of countries coming together for a single cause concerning all of us.
The Gen-Y is a classic example of how youngsters are countering the monopolistic culture. The ‘sprite bujhaye pyaas, baaki all bakwas’ is a wonderful counter to ‘yeh dil maange more’. They are rejecting the cubicle-farms, demanding and creating more space for themselves, on their terms. The opinions of this generation are no longer influenced by external, imposed ideas or ‘the Brand’, but through a communication within their own networks. They are known to be a community oriented, compassionate, take-everyone-along thinking generation. These thoughts, though scattered, will go a long way to affect and impact and change the collective conscious, the morphogenetic blueprints as Rupert Sheldrake called them.
Now that Copenhagen has failed, one has seen that the scorpion has finally stung, as is its nature. So without much ado, what remains to be done is to take matters in our own hands – at individual levels and at community levels. Actions for coping with and adapting to climate change consequences have to be debated within ourselves and be put in place.
We need no sanction, no ‘higher’ agreement to choose differently.
We need to educate ourselves from our own experiences, go back and rediscover technologies and systems in every field that have worked for us, rejuvenate and adapt our local governance systems, protect whatever natural resources remain and help them to revive themselves. We need to prepare ourselves for frequent disasters. We need to prepare ourselves to rebuild our homes and reorganize our cities.
One good thing that has come out of the climate change negotiation collapse is that it has eliminated our dependence on “them” and squarely brought the action to “us”. With no external solution coming to our rescue, we are forced to solve the problem ourselves. The feminine needs to take over. It needs to get to work on survival issues, as women have done for millennia.
We need a Satyagraha. A call for non-cooperation. We need to opt out of the ‘larger’ system. We need to ‘reject’ the ‘big’ damaging systems and build cooperation amongst the ‘smaller’ ground-level and viable systems. We should stop contributing and participating in the larger centralised markets. We should take away our dependence on centralised production systems. We need to move towards local self-sufficiency. We need to stop damage at local levels.
We have given away our power, our dignity, and our capacity to the “other”. We now need to reclaim it and bring back all that we have lost.
We need to behave like the Starfish.
We need to not just adapt but mutate! Spiritually mutate. We need today a militant spirituality. Active. Not a passive, pacifist spirituality. We need a male-female combination. We need a Whole.