If I may, a man, in part, a poet, whole, in a matricentral culture born and bred; all women – mothers, sisters, Magdalens, muses, goddesses – in response to the constraint that you appear to feel – culturally induced and encouraged, most likely – unable to react to abuse as instinctually, as expeditiously as required, given the circumstances – dare you prepare in advance a defence to intrusive intent of groping men?
For the bullying to cease, a lesson must be taught and learned. Every lesson of worth that I have learned in my life has been taught to me by a woman. Desiring anything of value from a man – unsolicited – I have won it in battle.
Were I there, a stranger, observing, a man, in part, a poet, whole, without expectation or invitation, I would arise to your defence. Acquiescence is acceptance. Anyone who witnesses abuse, and refuses to act, is twice the coward. The first crime, any feeling but loathing in the witness itself; the second, even a fraction of a second of hesitation in rushing to the aid of the abused.
Words may be a weapon, too, of course, but not as effective as the sting, the burn of the sudden smite of unexpected force – not shield, but sword. The men who abuse assume the tacit approval of other men, the accustomed consent of women. Make a stand. Act, first, yourself, in self-defence, then shame the others for their pusillanimity. To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes. May others be aroused from the torpidity of indifference, of complaisance, of ignorance. There should be zero tolerance for abuse of any kind.
Men can truly love only one other, despite however many dalliances. Women are not so limited, so constrained; they can spread their love around. Perhaps that is why patricentral religions tolerate but one male god; while matricentral spirituality – Pagan, or pre-Abrahamic, pre-Christian – allows any number of goddesses and demigoddesses. Prior to the advent of patricentral worship, matricentral worship was widespread, if not universal. Mary, relegated to a cult figure by many ill-informed, misguided Americans, was rather, is rather, a re-embodiment, a reincarnation, of that age-old archetype and worship of the Mother goddess.
If it is not broken, do not fix it. If you cannot fix it, do not break it. Patriarchal religion has shattered the benignity, the harmony of earlier matricentral spiritualities. The church has bastardised Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant. American fundamentalist evangelicals have adulterated it again into a camouflaged version of fascism. The Communist Party wasted Communism. Democrats and Republicans in the United States have made a mockery of democracy. The United Nations, and globalisation, in general, is but a parody of unification. The European Union serves only the socio-economic interests of those already at socio-economic advantage; to hell with the smaller woman and man. The Jews, and their god of war, inspire the same in their neighbours. And philosophers rave on about how to fix it all.
The difference between religion and spirituality is simple. Instead of the self-glorifying temples and churches of religion, spirituality offers communion with the divine within the mind and heart alone. In place of the dogma of religion there are the precepts of spirituality. Replacing the hard-edged wounding reins of religious ideology, spirituality meditates upon that force, or power, outside of and greater than oneself, owing to its universality and eternality, through intellectual contemplation and cultivation of the mystical.
The mind is a pathological liar that insists either that things are better than they really are, or worse than they really are. Emotions are the contrivances of the mind falsely devised to embellish the lies, to intensify, to deepen, to heighten, to extend the delusion. The emotion predominant in the fallacies of the mind is fear, the response to an imagined threat, the most fundamental implement of tyranny in the subjugation of the masses. Witness the virulent emergence of paticentral religion.
Pagan is merely pre-Christian. Only amongst Christians does it have a censorious, condemnatory, derogatory meaning. There may be born-again Christians, but born-again pagans? Why borrow an appellation from the religion that has sought for centuries to deny and to destroy the validity of all pagan spirituality? Is that not tantamount to the small family-owned organic farm buying genetically modified seed and toxic chemical fertiliser from government subsidised industrial agriculture, then decrying the pollution of its fields?
Many great minds and hearts have endeavoured to fix all that their antecedents broke. It is surely broken. Can it be fixed, though, through philosophy, through the mind at all? I would argue, no, it cannot. When in dread, delusion, doubt, all the sacred wisdom of all the ages will but confound. Once undaunted, receptive, enlightened, one word alone disentangles everything – Belief. Belief, not as in the moralistic adherence to any creed, doctrine, dogma, or religion; but as in the conviction of the truth of anything.
Man is a time only, when himself his flesh and spirit are, created and creator, suicidal resurrection; and in every time a wildness and a wiseness, worse than he is, and better—his comedies all vice, his tragedies all horror of vice, his truth a desperation of extremes.
It is unlikely that the divine in any guise, by any name, would have such fragile conceit as to be in any way offended by those who disbelieve. But just because one is offended, does not mean that one is right.