Feminine Face of God Smiles on Unity
God as a woman can help us unify the people of all faiths. According to the testimony of hundreds of women, there does exist a feminine side to spirituality and it has something important to offer. So reports Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, who, with the support of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, spent five years interviewing women for their book The Feminine Face of God (Bantam).
The women interviewed--all recognized for their spiritual contributions to their community of peers--agreed that receptivity was the key and is the first step toward touching ones divine nature. Having naturally "permeable boundaries" favors women in receiving that direct inner knowing which connects with the sacred. Likewise, the ability to repeatedly feel deeply and then let go is conducive to experiencing new, more encompassing possibilities.
Spiritual growth, of course, embodies the dark as well as the light. There is often great testing involved as old patterns are stripped away. During this trust period, of being vulnerable and committing to the unknown, the feminine quality of waiting is essential. The feminine willingness to accept the entire journey--including the pain, disruption, and mystery--is an important element leading to wholeness.
Oneness with all of nature, these women agree, is at the heart of feminine spirituality. Sitting quietly in a forest or by running water, for example, can help encourage the bond between the immanent and the transcendent God. Feeling the earths energy rise up through ones feet into the rest of the body is a way to connect with the spiritual. In fact, the body itself could be considered an "antenna for God."
Though solitude is necessary in coming to know the sacred, so too is relationship. Feminine spirituality advocates a balance between focusing on personal and on others needs. Ideally, one receives adequate spiritual nourishment and then consciously chooses to share it in everyday life. Spiritually mature people weave enduring and beautiful webs of relationships based upon caring and mutual respect. By thus "walking in the world with oneness," the femininely inspired spiritual person helps to create a universal family.
It is obvious that the world is in a fragile condition. The exploitative actions of human beings have severely compromised the earths ability to support life. Feminine spirituality, with its emphasis on openness to deeper possibilities and on the interconnectedness of all life, is clearly needed now.
(Digest by Marcia Nolle, Atlantic University.)