Waking the Global Heart- Humanity’s Rite of Passage
from the Love of Power to the Power of Love
By Anodea Judith
340 pages, www.wakingtheglobalheart.com
Reviewed June 27, 2006 by Carol Brouillet, www.communitycurrency.org
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”This book couldn’t appear at a more timely moment, when the population in this country is just beginning to wake up to some very harsh political realities and is hungry for hope and solutions.
Anodea Judith presents a beautiful map of “who we are, where we have been, and where we are going” from the point of view of an enlightened therapist who has placed Western civilization on the couch. The book is a rich tapestry, drawing from the insights of many who have plunged into the task of separating reality from myth, understanding the impact of myth upon ever-evolving human communities, understanding how the collective society mirrors the development of the individual soul, and understanding where humanity’s soul experienced severe trauma and its development was arrested.
Anodea is a gifted storyteller and has an affinity for untangling threads, strings, wire, and twine--those found in the “everything drawer in the kitchen” and those found in the human psyche--from the dislodgement of the revered Earth Mother and the rise of the demanding God Father to the emergence of the Dynamic Mother giving birth to our future.
The book has beautiful illustrations and charts. The charts remind me of the charts I have used over the years to plot the growth of our children and nieces and nephews. They are complex, overlap, and are a bit messy; it takes effort to make sense of them, but they are the perfect supplement to a rich, detailed narrative, helping you to follow the complexities of the whole story.
Anodea also uses the chakra system to explain the evolution of human consciousness and how humanity leapfrogged over the development of the critical, central, heart chakra, which is why we are in the crisis that we are in today. She writes,
“We are becoming aware of a glaring truth: At the heart of the power paradigm, there simply is no heart.”For over five thousand years humanity has been operating under a dominator paradigm, a command and control system, with Daddy at the wheel. From a more distant perspective, this places humanity squarely in the adolescent phase, discovering its strength and physical power, experiencing the dangers and mysteries of initiation into the era of adulthood and responsibility. In some cultures, initiation ceremonies sometimes resulted in physical death--in others the symbolic death of innocence--as one moved from the protection of the family, tribe, or society to assume the mantle of responsibility for contributing to the family, the tribe, and society’s well-being.
In order for children and all living things to grow and mature, they must integrate what they learn at each stage of development. Generally, this also means recognizing a healthy balance. Anodea presents a beautiful chart that lists the positive and negative attributes of the Static Feminine, Dynamic Masculine, Static Masculine, and Dynamic Feminine. Here are the top two attributes under each heading:
Positive:--------------------------Negative:When one characteristic is extreme and harmful, it is easy to forget that there is some virtue within it. You can have an urge to “throw out the baby with the bath water.” But by gently presenting the contributions of each era, the therapist Anodea makes it easier for the reader to grasp our history and our situation, how to integrate the information and at this critical time to help adolescent humanity through a painful initiation into adulthood. She writes:
“The masculine values, at their best, brought us the heroic impulse. In earlier times, heroism was the ability to succeed in conquest and domination. Today heroism is defined in terms of dying for your country, denying your fear, holding to an ideal in spite of obstacles. We now need a new definition of heroism, and a new task for the Hero. We need a heroism brave enough to face its shadow, a heroism that can expose corruption, halt pollution, and fight oppression. We need a heroism with the courage to stand up, speak out, and tell the truth.I wholeheartedly agree with Anodea about this. For some time I have been saying that it is time for humanity to grow up, face its fears, overcome denial, and take responsibility for determining our collective future, and I appreciate how well Anodea expresses the same idea. Her charts mirror those that my mentor, Bill Moyer (author of Doing Democracy- The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements), passed on to many of us, before his untimely death. Since October 2001, I have been holding a weekly “Listening Project” in downtown Palo Alto, inspired by a Colombian woman’s story about her listening project in Colombia to counter the violence in her country. I have been trying to communicate truths suppressed in the mainstream press and to empower people to take action. The most useful resources that I have distributed have been copies of the charts from Bill’s work--mapping out how social movements work, how to move from a dominator culture to a peaceful culture, how civilizations grow up. People always want to know “What can I do?”
“It is time for us all to be heroes. Each of us plays a part in outgrowing and overthrowing the power paradigm whose organizing principle is ultimately based on force. It is incumbent on each of us to play a role. We can no longer wait for an outside power to do it for us. The new order cannot emanate from a single source, but must reflect the multiplicity of the many variables that make up our world, and remain flexible while we weather the changes.”
Anodea’s book provides an answer to that question, and I am planning to add it to the display of books that I have available at my table each Wednesday. She presents the big picture as well as the simple, practical steps that anyone can take to move the culture off the suicidal path that the illegitimate leaders are marching us down, towards a different, hopeful path that will help awaken the global heart. It is a time for personal, social and global enlightenment. We are all beginners amidst beginners--co-hearts, as Anodea calls us--recognizing and respecting the divine in all of us as we fall in love with Earth and hearken to that voice that recognizes that there is a deeper meaning and purpose to our lives.
Anodea notes the work of Martin Buber, who wrote extensively about “I-Thou” relationships in the 1930’s. Basically, it is all about truthful, honest, authentic communication, which can only occur between two or more subjects, not objects. This means that one must know oneself and recognize the deeper connection that we share with the Universe and others; it means having an enlightened ability to listen and speak from the heart.
Anodea describes the baby steps that each of us can take to open our hearts, as we develop gratitude, generosity, empathy, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness within ourselves. She recognizes the emerging trends that are on our side--freedom, compassion, ecological sustainability, service, creativity, relatedness, and transcendence.
Pain and fear are the most common barriers that prevent people from developing their capacity to love and be loved. Not surprisingly, fear and pain are the tools used by empires, tyrants, and oppressors to maintain their control over people. Empowering people and dismantling harmful, oppressive institutions is one of our most important tasks.
“World peace is the most essential outer realization of our time,” she writes.She draws from two good friends of mine--Norie Huddle, author of Butterfly, and Elisabet Sahtouris, evolutionary biologist--both of whom use the story of the butterfly to explain the myth of our time--humanity’s transformation from the caterpillar, devouring resources, through chrysalis and the development of those first imaginal cells (attacked by the immune system until their clustering begins to draw energy and nourishment to the new form), and the birth of the butterfly. Collectively we will go through dramatic changes and the loss of forms that no longer serve people or the planet. We will adopt new forms that enable us to survive and thrive, as long as we do not destroy the garden planet that is our birthplace and has cocooned us for so long.
A friend of mine sent me an invitation to the “Waking the Global Heart” book release party and I couldn’t resist going. I went through a “spiritual awakening” in my twenties. In my thirties, I went through a “political awakening,” which happened to coincide with motherhood. I couldn’t help but feel that the “New Agers” needed to get politically grounded, that the hard-core political activists needed some “spiritual enlightenment,” and that the most effective activists had integrated their political awareness with their spirituality--like the Bioneers, whose conferences I attended “religiously” until the demands of the 9/11 Truth Movement, which I nurtured, became too demanding. Last year I tried to merge the “Truth Movement” with the “Peace and Justice Movement,” and this year I have been even more busy, running as a Green Party Congressional candidate on an Impeachment, Truth, Peace, and Ecological Wisdom platform.
“The heart is the integrator that brings us together at a time when we seem to be falling apart. The heart is the center of the tapestry; the core value; the new organizing principle.
“The power of love is the sustainable value, the value that makes things last. We take care of what we love, we protect it and serve it. What we love enlivens us, renews us, gives us strength and inspiration.”
Last week I was so busy with events three days in a row, that I decided to take the weekend off from major 9/11 Truth and Green Party activities to simply be with my family, catch up on housework, rest, and go to Anodea’s “Book Party,” just for the “fun of it.” As I was cleaning my house, and preparing organic fava beans, I was suddenly struck with an inspiration to create a “Conception Dollar.” Over the past few years I have published over 6,000,000 “Deception Dollars,” to draw people’s attention to websites exposing the major political deceptions of our times. But I have realized for some time that people are even hungrier for solutions, and Anodea’s book seemed like just the right one to put on a new dollar bill to strengthen the emerging peaceful paradigm. I e-mailed Anodea the night before the book party with my idea.
On Sunday, June 25, 2006, a friend and I went to a party in Petaluma where Anodea gave a presentation. It was great fun and I loved meeting her and her husband, seeing some old friends, and meeting lots of new people. She gave a brilliant presentation (despite some technical difficulties) using power point, music, and video that conveyed the gist of the book. (She even enunciates the key essential points at the end of each chapter, in case you want to skim over some parts or you need to ace a quiz some teacher tosses your way on this book).
Waking the Global Heart is beautiful, engaging, and easy to read and comprehend. A book like this can have a profound impact on society if enough people are exposed to it. The challenging part is drawing it to the attention of “the student” or “preparing the student” so that she or he will want to read the book. I wish my husband or kids would read it, for example, but they may still be “resistant” to the message and need more time before these ideas can germinate.
I read the whole book in one day, familiar with most of the concepts but enticed by wanting to know exactly where she was going, and finding it very hard to put down. Now I am more inspired than ever to work on the “Conception Dollar,” which I think will make my Congressional campaign even more fun and educational for those who choose to join me. It is a Herculean task to transform the political system from one that serves a powerful elite at tremendous cost to all people and the planet to one that serves people and planet for the benefit of all life--but it is a task that is worthy of our most creative effort. I am inspired by this great gift, this wonderful book, which I hope will be read widely and will facilitate the “Great Turning” that is taking place.
[She will also be speaking in Berkeley at Black Oak Books, 1491 Shattuck Ave (at Vine) on Friday, July 7, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.- with Leonard Shlain, Dawson Church, and Allan Hardman.]
Return to- Articles by Carol Brouillet