The Importance of Equality to Attaining Our Infinite Potential
I was brought up in a fundamentalist Christian church in Texas. I was taught God is angry, vengeful, and male.
The women in my life trained me to bow to the wishes of men. I was instructed to lose at sports on purpose so boys could feel good about themselves. I was regularly treated disrespectfully by the males in my life.
Although illogical to what can be considered Godly and loving, both genders worked in negative and abusive harmony to deliberately fashion me into a second-class citizen. Yet, it was never spiritually comfortable for me to adopt a “less than” mentality. Feelings of unworthiness, inequality, and shame do not ever align with the values necessary to create healthy self-esteem. It took many years to undo the subtle and overt programming of who I am supposed to be as a woman.
I no longer resent men or dislike being female and I no longer allow myself to be treated as “less-than” by anyone. As I surround myself with men and women who value an equal division of labor and evenly balanced responsibilities in the home, I witness the tremendous difference it makes to the esteem of both girls and boys who have fathers and mothers who are equally emotionally present with child-rearing. Confident, peaceful and responsible children develop as a result of parents who foster equality.
Therefore, I question why we, as a global society, persist in not appreciating, honoring, and supporting one another as equals. I believe a major factor is the continued widespread religious labeling of supreme consciousness as male.
The ongoing disdain for women and belittlement of the values commonly associated with the feminine, have a long history in many of the world religions that were founded by men in times when women had no power. In his book Sex, Time and Power, author Leonard Shlain observes:
“The history of Christianity, Islam and Taoism darkly demonstrates that the religions that flowed from the teachings of Jesus, Muhammad and Lao Tzu have been most unkind to women. In every case, after the death of the founder, men with harsh patriarchal leanings seized the reins of power and revised whatever gentle counsel the originators of these traditions may have had to impart about women.”
One indication the supreme consciousness was placed into male form by male authors and translators of the Christian Bible is found in the meaning of the word Jesus used originally to address the Divine in the Lord’s Prayer. According to the monk Michael Green, “When Jesus lived he spoke Aramaic, an archaic language that frames matters of the Spirit more softly, and perhaps more appropriately, than the truncated Latin, German or English translations of the gospel that are now so much a part of our heritage. Biblical scholars inform us now that when the Son of Mary addressed the mystery of Godhead, the actual word Jesus used is ABWOOM, a term that has always been rendered for us as Our Father, but would be more properly understood as Our Mother-Father-All-in-All.”
Jesus was not the first or last enlightened messenger careful about placing supreme consciousness into a particular form. The following verses from the Upanishads, a collection of sacred Hindu texts addressing the relationship between our human and spiritual being, were written centuries before the birth of Jesus.
. . . That which makes the tongue speak but which cannot be spoken by the tongue—that alone is God, not what people worship.
That which makes the mind think but which cannot be thought by the mind—that alone is God, not what people worship.
That which makes the eye see but which cannot be seen by the eye—that alone is God, not what people worship.
That which makes the ear hear but which cannot be heard by the ear—that alone is God, not what people worship.
Those who realize that God cannot be known, truly know; those who claim that they know, know nothing.
The ignorant think that God can be grasped by the mind; the wise know It beyond knowledge. . . .
Labels separate, elevate, ostracize, and judge. Human ego is quick to box something into its limited interpretation by placing a specific identity upon it. As soon as a label is placed on something or someone, our egocentric arrogance latches on to it. Labels limits us from being open to see any other possibility, even if the label perpetuates the abuse of power over others with discrimination, domination, suffering, and pain.
Regardless what we have been taught to believe, it makes sense to soul if a supreme awareness initiated the events resulting in the creation of everything, then a part of Divine consciousness must reside in all human beings and in all life. Therefore, by design, the original creative consciousness bestowed a spark of itself equally in both men and women.
Judaism teaches every person (Jewish and non-Jewish) was created b’tzelem Elohim, which is Hebrew for “in God’s image.” For this reason, every person is equally important and has an infinite potential to do good in the world. Something Jesus, a Jew, knew and honored.
You and I are the answer to ending genderism and sexism. We stop allowing ancient controlling systems of religious beliefs to dictate what is timely and true for a society that has advanced light-years from then to now. We get on the same page to collectively teach all children how to respect and honor one another as equals because the creator’s plan for human beings was never misogyny and patriarchy.
I agree with author Sharon Smith as she wisely stated in her article, Engels and the Origin of Women’s Oppression. “The solution is for us to make certain we raise a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power; a generation of women who have never known what it is to give themselves to a man from any other considerations than real love or to refuse to give themselves to their lover from fear of the economic consequences. When these people are in the world, they will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual–and that will be the end of it.”
To move our universal heart-enlightenment forward we focus on the fundamental premise of all world religions, “Treat others as we want to be treated.” This Divine desire for human beings, to view ourselves as equal children of GOD, will go far in helping us create a world of peace.