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share this story 55 32 13 38 Get Living Alerts Sign Up Submit this story digg reddit stumble What is it to be a woman in the fullest sense? *** It's been just over a year since the feminist theologian, Mary Daly, died. People felt many things about Mary Daly and what she taught, wrote and espoused. In reading about her and her life, I found that feelings ranged from celebration to vilification. I hadn't heard of Ms. Daly until just a year before she passed away. For anyone who has read the scholarly works of the feminist movement, Mary Daly is a staple. However, even though I reached womanhood in the '70s, and even though I personally witnessed the way the feminists of the second wave were vilified, something that still haunts me to this day is the fact that I didn't really read feminist scholarly works. When I first read some of what Daly wrote, albeit the tamer bits, I was blown away by the ideas she brought to the table. "Ever since childhood, I have been honing my skills for living the life of a Radical Feminist Pirate and cultivating the Courage to Sin," she wrote in the opening of "Sin Big," her New Yorker piece. "The word 'sin' is derived from the Indo-European root 'es-,' meaning 'to be.' When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a woman trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, 'to be' in the fullest sense is 'to sin.'"
" less "seen. and pretty much everything else you could think of. She was willing to go toe to toe with the deeply held principles of patriarchy. She pushed the limits of what it means to be a feminist. When you become conscious and aware of the results of your inaccuracy. her manner." I wonder. not intellectually. She arguably did more to stretch what is possible to think in contemporary feminist theology than any other. where the arrow fell when it missed the target was referred to as evil. where did this come from? Where did I learn this? *** Adyashanti. are already sinners simply by being. I have to admit. this derivation of sin would have been about the time of Jesus. "She was an audaciously creative spirit. to see it so bluntly equated as woman=sin. Sin is when you are operating from inaccurate information and thus a perceptual mis-take. the comments created a stream of back and forth banter that.. that many of my 54 years here on this Earth have been filled with an underlying." heck. bold statement: "For a woman . felt sickeningly true. "do another take." Upon researching this. Many found her to be just as oppressive as those she was confronting. her philosophy. deadly serious writer. that to fully be this female human being that I am is "to sin. I have found a very wide spectrum of opinion about Daly. a teacher of awakening. her life. you have the option to reconsider what you have learned and do as they do in Hollywood. controversy still surrounds Mary Daly. Some part of me believes this. as women. solely because I am a woman. so to speak." At the end of Vernon's post. the idea that we women are responsible for sin.. When the archer shot at the target and missed the scorekeeper yelled the Aramaic word for sin: it meant that you were off the mark. I know I have minimized myself in order to not feel this. To see it in this raw form. in itself. though. she was way too out there in her feminist radical philosophy. then we mitigate our sinning potential. the terms for "sin" and "evil" were archery terms. the fall from grace. meaning we learn how "to be" in the "not-fullest" sense." then I would feel less. It then follows that if we do something to minimize our fullness. when I am really honest with myself. an awkwardly witty. this is the whole Eve complex. 'to be' in the fullest sense is 'to sin. Even after her death. which in his words means "to miss the mark. *** But back to my question: what is it to be a woman in the fullest sense? As I consider the ramifications of Daly's statement. She set the parameters. does this point to the most basic premise that we. take another shot. She was confrontational. the structure that espouses and enforces domination as a way of life. The concept of sin was to be positive mental feedback. Mark Vernon of The Guardian wrote. just "less. speaks of the word sin and its meaning.That is a bold. So." By the way. If I could somehow be less "womanly. nauseating sense of something being wrong with me. but somewhere in my psyche. . For many. by existing? Basically. But. and the still-verymuch-present gender upheaval that exists in the world. and she pushed them hard. I discovered this: In the Aramaic Language and culture that Jesus taught in. was telling of the spectrum of opinion on feminism. by breathing. We minimize how much of a sinner we are.'" Mary Daly was one courageous woman. meaning I wouldn't have to "feel" being a woman.
I found this definition of the word sin. repeatedly. but the stories about our core worth? Stories we began to tell ourselves about our nature as girls. We learn to make meaning within the culture we swim. raped and abused. then a woman. I see it reflected in the media. one that comes from more recent times: Definition of SIN 1 a : an offense against religious or moral law b : an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible [it's a sin to waste food] c : an often serious shortcoming : fault 2 a : transgression of the law of God b : a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God Origin of SIN Middle English sinne. much has changed.Diving further into the etymology of the word. in most of the world it is believed. granted. est is -. It's a deep and dark . It is my experience. that my womanhood is somehow bad.more at IS First Known Use: before 12th century This is the etymology that Mary Daly referred to. We swim in the cultural sea. Intellectually this just doesn't make sense. within this worldview of male supremacy. We are taught with words. in quasi-pornographic programming showing women being beaten and tortured. and as time progressed. but what do we believe. and we swim in our own internalized pool of it. as women? What about the feeling of being a girl. or covertly. to simply being a woman. akin to Old High German sunta sin and probably to Latin sont-. we can toss this whole thing out if we don't believe in this strictest sense of what it means "to sin. until recently. and in the experience of many of the women I have worked with. in this culture. sons guilty. I see it reflected daily in the myriad ways women are objectified. Things have changed greatly in how women perceive the idea of sin and sinning. *** Now. and we are taught through behavior. from Old English synn. We are taught through culture. in a culture that is based on domination? I know that. While intellectually I knew this wasn't so. somewhere in the recesses of my psyche lay hidden beliefs and fears that this body is sinful. somewhere down in the shadow? What about our emotional beliefs? What about our deepest conditioning? What about the stories we made up as young girls? Not so much the stories about what we could grow up to be or do. that women are the lesser gender. either overtly. I have lived my life with the unshakable sense that there is something less valuable about me. that we swim in this notion that to be a woman in the fullest sense is to sin. forward to where the patriarchy as world paradigm has become firmly entrenched. It is here. Or have they? Perhaps on the surface of life. that sin has moved from missing the mark to simply being human. simply because I was born in a female body. to sell everything from hamburgers to beer to cars to razors. a derivation of the root that means "to be." If we move forward in time." Or can we? We learn to make meaning through what we are taught.
Or. I'm a lover of logic. the womb of truth. the mantra is different at different times for different women. the big pool becomes a little clearer and cleaner. But when we do clean our own pool. far from the light of the God I know. It beguiles us with the promise that if we give ourselves away. the truth will be revealed. familiar arms of "I will safe. I'm even greater lover of the Mystery. "To be asexual is to be safe and loved and wanted". I had to feel it. which is the religion of the entire planet.. This Mother holds us all in her womb. 'to be' in the fullest sense is 'to sin.' when she is trapped in patriarchy.. really simple at its core. I had to see the equation woman=sin. "To be youthful. when she's not trapped in patriarchy? Ah. I have read it and re-read it. If we hold conditioned beliefs that are unconscious. *** I know this. Sometimes. Or simply." Of course. it can be so hard to step back far enough to see the obvious. this oh-so-young part of my psyche cried out with very familiar mantra: "To be small and silent and agreeable is to be safe and loved and wanted. And it's the only pool one can change. sexy and beautiful as hell so that every man will want me is to be safe and loved and wanted". compulsive. We carry this pool around inside us. I know it is only the stories I tell myself. even when I know on so many levels that this simply isn't true. In believing this lie. As I sat in the Mystery with Mary's wisdom. It seduces us with its promise of safety. Writing this post has been like a long labor. which is the Mother of logic.pool that lies in the shadow.' when she is trapped in patriarchy. I had to open my heart to the part of me that believes this seductive lie. shadow thoughts that keep the inner-patriarchy in place.. It is seductive. For a woman .. far from the light of Spirit. when the stories are woven into the fabric of the culture. As you can see. I've written and re-written until I could wind my way around to something I already knew but needed to see in a simpler form. This Mother is the heart of existence. I can settle down into the sickeningly comfortable. That's the kicker. And." Here was the part that keeps me believing. for it feeds the negative. But. into the belief systems that keep the patriarchy in place. woman ≠ sin. Or. we swim in our own little pool of perceived sin. we will be wanted. I had to sit with it. "To be silent is to be safe. for anything true is really. And. This pool is the only pool that really matters. it looks like: • • • • "To be like a man is be safe and loved and wanted". For a woman ." *** . If we're willing to hang out here. *** Sitting with Mary Daly's statement. far from the light of the Goddess. 'to be' in the fullest sense is 'to sin.
so that we all might live in true gender respect and harmony. and I was. and where all men and boys might discover the beauty of their feminine side. the only thing that is real is what is here. relish and celebrate the fullness of what it is to be female. It means to do the work it will take to come to know myself through . but I do know that you have added to the conversation. From my own experience. It has no power. cultural conditioning and gender differences. We don't live in the time of Jesus. a story. a shadow that only harms women. *** This post has been the most difficult I have written. learn our story of illusion at a young. In reality. *** In considering Mary Daly's life. young age. all women and men. the paradigm of patriarchy. To me. You angered a great many. We. We live in the patriarchy. a conversation of possibility where all women and girls might one day know. we can focus on truth -. I can break it. down deep in the cultural shadow. I am no longer trapped in patriarchy. Thank you. oneself in the fullest sense.our truth as women. I can feel the dark richness of the feminine. This place within the depths of my body and my heart is the place where I am the fullest in every sense. This is so different than the darkness of the shadow. I can choose to no longer hold this agreement. The patriarchy is an illusion. simply by their nature. You stirred things up. Much of what I've done has allowed my mind to once again trust my heart and my body. for your fierceness and your courage. It does not exist. You shined not just a light but a high beam on the shadow of this culture. You were controversial. This truth is free to question. Somewhere I agreed to the story. albeit a powerful one because so many minds have agreed to uphold it. Who knows how history will hold you and your ideas. from parents who also were taught these seductive lies. you blew the conversation wide open. I know that this is the place from which my own internal power flows forth. And. as being sinful. This truth stands alone from academic philosophy and theology. now. When I drop down into this sensuous female body I exist in. You certainly weren't perfect. and instead choose to live from what I know to be true through my own experience. having the courage to sin does not mean to spew anger and hate at those that hold power. It felt as if I were giving birth to something so much larger than my own understanding. when sin meant to miss the mark. the dark loveliness.I have done a ton of work to disengage from this cultural story and familial story. Here. This truth is to know. thereby granting it power. Mary. It is the place where I feel wholly holy female. in this wholly holy female place. children and everything that is living. and as I see through the conditioned beliefs I hold. and to be. men. I have been giving birth to the raw courage to sin by being a woman in all my fullness in this paradigm we swim in. You didn't ever shy away from stating your beliefs wholeheartedly. where women are seen. while also coming to know the healthy masculine side.
There is nothing written on it.experience. that we can know the simple elegance that we are. It means to be fully female.html?ref=fb&src=sp .huffingtonpost. simply as we are. in this emptiness. the birth and death. not by way of what I have been told I am. that we can know our divine inheritance. my worth. the dance of light here in the world of matter.twitter. *** Look out your eyes onto the world. It is here. in this emptiness. Follow Julie Daley on Twitter: www. we are safe. It is here. It means to step into this power. not as story or image but as the coming and going. and to give my wholehearted support to other women and men who are willing to stand. by design. There is no etymology. As it turns out. I hope to help crack apart the tightly held beliefs about the prevailing structure we hold so tightly to. but by sharing this knowing. divinely female.com/juliedaley Source: http://www. It is here. embodying the life principle that. It is here. It is empty of all that we attempt to make of it. it is only my own knowing. It means being that which we are. my own courage I can birth. to stand and speak. to disentangle one's being from the powerful structures that keep us believing in our own powerlessness. and the world itself and my relationship to it. to embody the divine feminine. created us to bring life into life. There are no words.com/julie-daley/the-courage-to-sin-marydaly_b_807922. loved and holy whole. and it is here in this emptiness that the mind can rest. speak and step into their own personal power. in this emptiness. that we can know the goddess. It means to question what I have made up about myself.
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