by Diana Cooper
Many years ago I travelled in Australia, where I explored the Aborigine culture and wisdom. I now believe they hold the keys to the future of the planet and that it is time to balance the lessons they can teach us with the knowledge of our own left-brain, logical, masculine dominated civilisation so that the peoples of Earth can move forward in co-operation.
The Aboriginal culture is feminine orientated, which results in a compassionate, caring, inclusive society. Their social life is structured so that everyone is cared for and has his or her own designated place in the community, each person is valued and honoured. Everyone feels safe and belonging. The downside, as with a nanny state, is inertia.
Indigenous cultures, which are right-brain dominant, individually and collectively are much more psychic than we are. I witnessed several times a group of Aborigines rising simultaneously, without speaking a word, and move in the same direction. Such telepathy is uncanny to watch. In this respect, they demonstrate the group consciousness of birds, who act as one.
The Aborigines have developed their right brain, which enables them to remain in touch with spiritual values and their intuition. Such a feminine based, right-brain society naturally creates people who are contemplative, mystic and relaxed. Because they are attuned to the spiritual worlds they have a vision beyond self, which results in a continuous culture in which everyone co-operates for the highest good of the community as a whole. In the West, we can learn from this by offering the opportunity for self-expression, while holding a vision of the best for the world.
The Need for Integration
Western society is masculine dominated. We promote left-brain learning, in which logic and reason take precedence over wisdom, creativity and spiritual connection. In such civilizations, the heart and head are inevitably separated, so that people are split from their intuition and their feelings. Where people have shut down their capacity to feel, they can be very cruel as we demonstrate in our virtual genocide of the indigenous peoples whose lands we covet. Another consequence of the schism between heart and head and the resulting disconnection from spirit is the formation of religions with a focus on fear, limitation and exclusivity rather than a spiritual perspective. Again this is why so much inappropriate savagery and brainwashing is meted out in the name of structured religions, where decisions are based on expedience rather than love.
Balancing the Left and Right Brain
A left-brain society tends to be hierarchical, divided into cliques and motivated by self-interest. Because its leaders are operating from the rational, logical, ego-centred self, its people sense the limitations of the decisions made on their behalf and inevitably strive to overturn or replace governments, knowing they do not serve the highest good. Throughout history, masculine dominant leaderships have resulted in a power struggle, conflict, repression and efforts to control others so that society becomes fractured. Just look at Brexit! There is a constant striving for more without the stabilizing effect of wise and honoured feminine energy. Devalued women are angry, so mothers and wives try subtly to disempower their sons and husbands, leaving them either confused and depressed or authoritarian and cold. The advantage of a busy, striving, left-brain society is that the world moves forward as technology, science, and mathematics progress. Stress, however, is endemic.
A balanced society in which right brain and left brain qualities are equally developed and honoured would result in a super race, ordered, structured and fair, yet wise, creative, humane and inclusive.
The Gift of Children
Traditional Aboriginal culture is child-centred. They regard their offspring as their future, so they honour, love and include them in all things. Babies are considered to be a gift from the Great Spirit and everyone has a duty of care.
In a patriarchal society, it is considered a right rather than a responsibility to have a child, so children are often considered to be possessions. Their feelings are devalued. I have often heard adults say, ‘Don’t cry. Be a man.’ or ‘It didn’t hurt,’ when manifestly a small human being is in pain. Both of these statements, which cause emotions to be suppressed, dishonour a child’s reality. Western society is structured so that our children can be looked after by au pairs, nurseries or boarding schools, while mothers work to earn enough to support them, or satisfy material desires or pursue career goals. This is unthinkable in a feminine orientated culture, where a woman is supported and her wisdom revered.
It is part of the human condition to desire immortality. In cultures where material goods are not important, it is considered a collective responsibility to pass on the traditions to future generations. Stories are passed on orally and through dance so that the spirit and essence of the teaching is transferred. Furthermore, storytelling is a social activity and brings families and peoples together.
In a materialistic society, adults accumulate in order to pass on wealth to their children.
Bringing the Shadow Side to the Surface
The practice of storytelling and dance has another hidden advantage. The collective shadow of the group is acted and demonstrated. Behaviour and activities that are frowned on in their society, such as self -aggrandizement, lust or violence, are acknowledged and played out. The participants have an opportunity to experience that which is normally forbidden. In bringing it to the surface it loses its energy charge.
In Western society, our shadow side is suppressed. It emerges as drug addiction, violence or mental and physical illness.
I recently heard about a school where they were allowing children to wear a mask and act out their frustrations. They found it helped discipline and lowered the number of angry incidents.
An initiation is a test, traditionally involving the shedding of blood, which is a rite of passage to a higher level of consciousness. Most traditional cultures, including the Aborigines, put boys through strict and often dangerous initiations, into manhood. When the boy has passed the final challenge, the name of God is revealed to him. Initiation inculcates discipline and enables a youth to feel comfortable in his manhood. When men no longer have to prove themselves they become non-aggressive males, protectors of the weak.
Women, on the other hand, are considered to have natural initiations during menstruation, childbirth and menopause. Their entry to womanhood at the onset of menstruation is honoured by a ceremony. Girls feel proud and joyous to be a woman and behave accordingly. Childbirth initiates women to motherhood. When the blood stops flowing at menopause, their inner wisdom is recognized and they become wise women. In our culture, wise women were known as crones or hags but this term of reverence became an expression of ridicule or insult in the dark ages. Interestingly, in Aborigine society, a man may undertake a deeper women’s initiation only when he has passed all the male initiations.
In non-initiatory societies, where children are overprotected, they become disillusioned, dependent, confused and aimless. Girls call their menstruation the curse. Because their womanhood is not honoured, they become angry young women. In our culture, we are seeing violent and addicted young women.
The Need for Role Models
Uninitiated boys are dangerous for they have nowhere to channel their aggression and no strong male role model to follow. It takes a man to initiate a man. This applies to the animal kingdom too. In Africa, where young bull elephants were separated from the influence of their parents, they ganged up and committed unheard-of atrocities on young, defenceless animals. This stopped when an adult male elephant was put in charge.
It is time for Western society to respect and honour the stages of womanhood. We must also provide some sort of initiation for boys, to inculcate discipline and more importantly to enable them to reclaim their manhood. Strong, male role models are needed. It is one of the steps to peace in the world.
Mother Earth Owns Us
Finally, all ancient cultures felt a reverence for the natural world. They honoured plants, trees, animals and the oneness of all. As one Aborigine elder said to me, ‘We don’t own Mother Earth. She owns us.’
It is only when there is no reverence that people feel separate and try to change the natural world. This is the root of cloning, fracking, dangerous pesticides, deforestation and genetic modification.
Earth and the people on it have a symbiotic relationship and when we recognize and respect this we can pass on a wonderful heritage to future generations.
Based on The Codes of Power