Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Poetry-making and feminist spirituality
That life is similar to poetry-making or "autopoesis" is a metaphor I was so jubilant to hear yesterday. I attended a short lecture on "living in wholeness" where my collegue Luchie was the speaker. Yes! I was affirming her that really life is like making meanings through poetry: short, meaningful, full of metaphors and yet it carries you at a point of ecstasy after reading the whole verse. Emily Dickinson puts it in a more succinct form: "life is so startling that there's no room or minute left to think about it (something to that effect)". I was thinking in what way did Luchie incorporate feminism and spirituality in her talk. She never mentioned those concepts but these two concepts overwhelmed the whole presentation (in my own interpretation, of course). She was defining the "self" as a living organism capable of forming, dissipating and transforming itself. More than anything else, I was struck with the concept of a very strong agency or self but in the end this agency "chose" to dissipate and be one with the the others (social). Perhaps, that sounds contradictory to the eastern perspective and the western perspective would nod to it. Yes, Luchie's framework is a meeting between east and west. She however does not name it feminism and spirituality in its specifity. But from my own vantage point, I believe that making a strong agential self is what feminism is all about. The woman is capable of creating herself: know her own oppressed situation and rise from it. Maybe, that was something 'western', very individualist point of view but is it also liberating. What was 'eastern' about the framework was the concept of 'dissipating structures'. The Muslims believe in it when they say "believers must surrender to Allah". The Buddhists also believe in it when they say 'life is making a no-mind at all'. The Christians also harp about it when they say we must sacrifice for the sake of the common good. Ah, that is plain and simple spirituality: the merging into the uiversal mind/self or what is termed "turiya". Lastly, as a counselor I may say it is containing all these contradictions in life and dissipating what is not "constructive" for oneself then creating a consciousness that was not significant in creating the problem (so as Einstein suggested) in the first place which is a key to healing. That 'new consciousness' I believe is what I would like to claim as 'feminist spirituality'.