Bringing The Feminine Back Into Our Money System
The End of The Patriarchy
The vital conversation that needs to happen has entered into the cultural mind – the imbalance in the world between the masculine and the feminine! Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook has brought the subject into the mainstream media with her new book, Lean In:Women,Work, And The Will To Lead which looks at the question that when it comes to business, are women their own worst enemy? She has also created with leanin.org a “global community committed to encouraging and supporting women leaning in to their ambitions”. Although I do not agree with her point of view, I am glad that the conversation is coming to the forefront of consciousness.
My point of view is more in alignment with what Kate Losse, a former Facebook employee, says in Dissent Magazine, in her article entitled Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins From Leaning In?. Sandberg’s premise seems to be that women’s problem in the corporate world is not because of institutionalized discrimination against women, but rather women’s resistance and other issues of self that get in the way of increasing career demands, and her solution is how to be a better worker. This what Kate says in her review of Sandberg’s book: “Sandberg has penned not so much a new Feminine Mystique as an updated Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” and “By arguing that women should express their feminism by remaining in the workplace at all costs, Sandberg encourages women to maintain a commitment to the workplace without encouraging the workplace to maintain a commitment to them”.
I have been there. I joined a large accounting firm in the 1970’s in part to prove in a profession that was mostly male at the time that women were equal in the workforce. Several years later, when I had lost my hips and breasts, and my compassion for people I realized I didn’t want to try any longer to be like a man.I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my soul for success. I bolted the career path and started seriously on the spiritual path. It was only some years later that I began to realize that feminism to me was no longer a question of being successful in a man’s world, but rather bringing consciousness to the imbalance in the world between the masculine and the feminine.
So even though I am more in alignment with Kate Losse, in my view the whole conversation does not go far enough. This is what I say in my book, Money•Spirituality•Consiousness:
“An amazing thing about woman is that, with the growth of a fetus and the birth of an infant, she is creating and then birthing into the world a being of both the spiritual and the physical realms. That is what the feminine does—she brings spirit into matter. But the feminine can’t do this without the masculine. At their core, the masculine and the feminine principles are not separate—they are both part of the underlying oneness of Being—but differentiation is necessary for creation. It is the dance between the two that is essential, that allows the manifest to be birthed out of the universal.
With the repression, and even the condemnation, of the feminine over the last four thousand years or more, we have lost sight of the fact that in the domain of gender, as in all others, twoness does not mean separateness. The masculine and the feminine are really one playing as two. Instead of being recognized as a partner in a dance of “equal but different,” woman has been considered secondary, both existentially and legally throughout history
With the subordination of the feminine, the mystery of woman’s role in the whole of creation has been lost, throwing off the balance between the spiritual and the manifest. This repression of the feminine and the ascendancy of the disassociated and distorted masculine are what has come to be known as the patriarchy, and it has had cascading and calamitous effects on our world. Without the balance that the feminine provides, the masculine has taken the forms of “tyranny, control, war and oppression, logic without emotion, science without consciousness, and ‘objectivity’ without relationship”.
What I am pointing to again, is that is that all solutions to human suffering are based in increased consciousness. It is not about working harder in the world of the imbalanced masculine, or opposing the patriarchy, because that will just drain our life energy, resources, time and creativity and crystallize the split between masculine and feminine. Grappling with solutions only externally will not give us solutions the world needs. Rather, we need to be addressing the imbalance between the masculine and feminine in each of us.
As spirit and matter harmonize in the course of our own personal journeys, this world will start to reflect that harmony. Human beings will begin to live in an equal masculine and feminine partnership, in which spirit in matter is valued and the masculine cherishes and protects the earth rather than plundering it.
There are people who recognize this imbalance is institutionalized in the money system and are bringing practical solutions to the forefront of consciousness, most notably, Bernard Lietaer,and Jacqui Dunne, in their new book, Rethinking Money:How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity. Their book explains how new complementary currencies can turn scarcity into prosperity. Complementary means not a replacement to the existing money system, but as an addition. There are several examplesin the book book, one being Swtizerland’s WRI currency which has made Switzerland the most stable economy in the world. I was lucky to hear them speak about their book at a public talk at IONS in California, and it was inspiring. Using this technology for things that are missing in society such as elder care, mentoring children- in other words social purposes- are what are missing in our patriarchal money system. From his talk, I perceived Bernard’s view is that we need diversity in money systems, so that the question becomes not about the amount of money, but the types of money. This will create not just efficiency, which our centralized money system is only focused on, but also adaptability and resilience, which are necessary for a sustainable money system and thus a sustainable world. In his view Patriarchal societies have centralized money systems with interest (see my blog post on the devil interest), boom and bust, concentration of wealth, and destroy community. Matrifocal societies have dual currency systems and honor feminine values, promote economic stability, general well being for all people, and build and sustain community. He said, we need a “Planetary Wisdom Civilization” or human beings will regress to where we don’t want to be.
We are in agreement here: what is needed is the end of the Patriarchy. To me that means not just in our money system, but in our consciousness.