Since I work for a TV show called Global Spirit I was recently at the filming of the show on Oneness with Deepak Chopra and Riane Eisler. As could be expected, they both had very interesting things to say...but what was most compelling to me was a clear distinction in their positions that became obvious.
Riane Eisler is a gallant, intelligent, warrior for humanity. She is fierce and powerful with an intellect that is really stunning. She has presented to the UN on gender equality, written many books on cultural transformation and speaks around the world on the power of true partnership and related topics.
Deepak Chopra, most of you know, has a very strong mind as well. He can present complex ideas on physics, the total health of a being and dialog with mainstream scientists about consciousness.
What they have in common is that they are both extremely brave. They swim up stream and present ideas that go against mainstream thought in mammoth ways. They get a lot of criticism because they are asking us to change our current thinking, our current lifestyle. And we are definitely afraid to do that.
But in watching their conversation it became clear to me that they approached the world differently. I would even say that they approached their lives from opposite perspectives. One seemed to come from a place of inner activism and the other was more of an outer activist. What do I mean by this? One communicated that change needs to start inside and the other thought that you should really focus on changing the world outside. It was almost like they could not have a conversation because of perspectives and manner were so different.
Who was who? Well, that was very surprising to me.
The inner to me has always been a feminine principle, the deep relationship to silence, to the hidden self, that place of receptivity that leads to internal guidance. The masculine principle is that which is external, directive, linear and intellectually based. It is my opinion that men and women embody both characteristics that are stereotypically masculine and feminine. To be a mature human being is to have these characteristics in balance. To be able to act from a place of nurturance when appropriate and to be able to act from a place of focus, intensity or aggression when appropriate-- they can even all happen at once!
My opinion has probably become clear now. During this show I saw Deepak holding the feminine perspective of creating a deep relationship with the inner (feminine) so that could inform and guide any outer work that needed to happen or more importantly, the inner work shifting the outer in some miraculous way...(in my experience it DOES happen) but the inner was his primary focus. Riane was holding more of a masculine position (external) saying that we must change the institutions of the culture in order to have lasting change in the world.
I was truly amazed by this. I have rarely witnessed this distinction so clearly presented and can come close to saying I have never seen the feminine perspective been held by a man and the masculine perspective held by a woman.
I know what I am saying is controversial -- yes, I know. I expect to get a little heat from you all, but I would encourage you to watch these clips and or tune into the show and tell me what you think. Am I right?
I need to also say that I am certain that Riane Eisler has a relationship to the inner (or she could not see the cultural patterns that she so aptly describes) and I know Deepak Chopra has a relationship to the outer because of his work in the world, but if you watch them you might see that in this circumstance they are almost polarized.
And I wonder why it is so? Do you think Riane has had to adopt a primary masculine way to be heard by masculine institutions? To get respect? And maybe since Deepak grew up in a culture that had a deep relationship with the feminine (yes, I know India's record on women's rights is deplorable, but I am talking about the feminine principle which they do value and celebrate) that he is able to articulate and live this more easily?
In any case, I believe that both need to happen: inner and outer transformation. Does one come first? Do they happen together? What is the first step?
I can see in myself the complete human condition. I have been unjust, I have been terrified, rageful, spiteful and full of grief (and I am kind, warm and giving too!) and I feel I am a microcosm of the whole. We are ONE and there is no separation from me and you and the inner and outer. AND since the only REAL control I have in the world is to change myself or how I think and behave (ever try to change your partner?) I believe that to start changing the whole I have to start inside.
See what you think.
If you want to ask Riane any questions you can chat live with her this Thursday, May 13th at 11PM Eastern/8PM Pacific and watch the full show on Oneness you can go to www.linktv.org/globalspirit
Before I go, I also need to say that I deeply respect them both and the work they are doing in the world. I want to thank them for their bravery and tenacity.