The Kingdom was in chaos. People rushed here and there. Everyone was talking and no one was listening. Buildings were taller, travel was faster, women were more beautiful, men were stronger. Children grew up quickly, but no one grew old. Everything was bigger and more, but there was trouble in the Kingdom. And the Queen was missing.
Such a Time is this.
It seems we have it all. And when we want more, we get that too. Quickly. Life moves at double-time in our high-tech, high-stakes society. Happenings from all corners of the planet are brought before us with record speed. The feats are dazzling. The abundance is great. Yet all this speed, all this power, is taking an enormous toll.
In our urgency for bigger and better, for more and more, we are running on empty. Impatience and restlessness push us on and on, but we’ve lost tract of where we want to go. Our collective nervous system is out of whack, and every one of us is feeling the strain.
There is no room for the marginalized, the messy, the imperfect, in our media-driven desire for perfection. The old, the weak, the vulnerable disappear along with all that’s unacceptable in ourselves. Exceptionalism is the standard and we rarely feel we measure up.
We lose ourselves, and we lose each other, in endless pursuits of self-improvement. We fix and tweak every personal flaw, real or imagined, but the feelings of deficiency never seem to ease. We are a people who look good but feel bad – a society where men and women, young and old, reach towards one another, but genuine intimacy rarely happens.
In a world that demands life at double time, speed and addictions numb us to our own experience. It becomes almost impossible to settle into our bodies or stay connected with our hearts, let alone connect with one another or the earth where we live.
Jungian scholar Robert Johnson comments on our collective predicament: When the consciousness in a society becomes too masculine, too rational and too one-sided, there is a discontent and a sense of meaninglessness and moodiness that simmers under the surface.
Our culture is endangered, not because it is masculine, but because it is too masculine. We have thrust ourselves skyward – too far and too high- without giving thought to the earth, the ground on which we depend, the foundation on which our structures rest.
The earth represents the feminine, the cycles of birth and death, the rhythms of the body and the seasons, the interdependence of all living things, and of our human capacity to care. There was a time when women played a central role in shaping the life of the community, a time when feminine values were regarded as sacred. We must now find our way in an impersonal, secularized world, a world that seeks material fixes for ailments of the heart and spirit.
Carol flinders speaks of the malaise that can result when the feminine principle is left out; for the mind that has no category for the sacred, let alone the ‘sacred feminine” everything looks about the same.
Many of us know what she means. There are those times when we run around for days on end, gettting lots done – so productive, so efficienct. Then one morning we wake up and everything has gone flat. Nothing sounds good; the rich, delicious quality of life is gone – and we’re not even having our period.
Without a feminine holding to anchor and sustain us, we inevitably run out of steam. We grow older and can no longer uphold the expectations we have for ourselves and that others have for us. What’s more, we no longer feel like trying. It ‘s the first real pause in our fast-paced lives and, if we recognize its importance, we can change the course of life ahead.
The aging process, as difficult as it may be, is our last, best opportunity to set things right – to catch our breath and call into question a system of beliefs that leaves out essential parts of our humanity. For our own sake, and for the sake of our children, we must find the Queen and bring her back into the equation.
The chaos in the Kingdom resides inside as well as outside of us. If we work through the confusion in our own minds and hearts, if we come to understand our true feminine nature, we can change the collective landscape – one woman at a time.