What is the historical context of power structures and their creation?
“I don’t believe…I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it – I don’t need to believe it.” – Carl Gustav Jung
All human structures are formed to manage resources better and express a purpose. Power structures and shifts in power structures are often influenced by the desire to accumulate resources and use energy to survive and thrive better. Resources are raw materials, talents, “manpower,” and money. The management of these resources is to further an aim, to manifest a particular purpose. Money or the accumulated form of value and exchange to survive and thrive is a predominant motivation for the increase of power.
It may be said that all great changes throughout history are informed by the purpose of acquiring more money and/or sex, two very distinct resources.
Throughout Western history, power has manifested through leadership, the power to act and go forth in a particular direction, often for the purpose of amassing more resources, with the desire to influence usually by domination, or rarely, partnership.
In Riane Eisler’s scholarly research in The Chalice & The Blade, she explains these two very different forms of applied influence or leadership.
Cover of book: The Chalice & The Blade
Most of us remember from high school that Western history is considered to have begun in the Fertile Crescent, and it was here, Eisler notes, a Dominance model developed. Half of society (male or female) rules and controls the other. In the Fertile Crescent, there was a focus on stock breeding and herding over horticulture. Herding cultures emphasized control over animals and all resources over large land expanses. The control necessary to accomplish the purpose of herding then was extended to amassing the resources of all. Most prevalently, societies based on Dominance models were violent and power centers were formed around males. The need to learn how to protect became paramount for survival. Although men are natural protectors, they need to be guided in partnership to find a way to protect humanity and the spirit of women, not just their possessions.
Eisler points to the fall of Crete, ca. 2000 B.C.E. as the end of a thousand-year prehistory Partnership model where men and women abide in tandem, sharing leadership and decision making roles to best suit their needs. This fall, resulting from natural disasters and the invasion of Northern herders, changed the partnership model into a dominance model. “Everywhere society was now becoming male dominant, hierarchic, and warlike.” Within these dominance structures, with an all consuming passion, males positioned themselves as superior and women were deemed subservient and considered property. Women were a resource to be controlled out of fear of the unknown, not a spiritual presence and a worth to be honored.
Degrading the female gender by not honoring spirit, along with the abuse of women and their human rights, is the beginning of the fall of humanity. The evolving consciousness of women, their identity and maturity is the answer to humanity’s fulfillment and peace.
How does understanding and embracing a new consciousness of women’s identity help to understand the differences between the sexes? By understanding who we are as women, our worth and purpose, we can better honor ourselves, respect the value of men, create more peaceful unions, and become more effective spiritual leaders guiding and healing humanity.
So who guides power structures in the world? Of individual countries? Of communities? Of any group of people, corporate or social? How are these structures informed? How do women and men attain power and exercise it? For what purpose? What do power structures say about the heart, the ability to connect humanity, the ability to represent humanity?
If we were to have a long range vision for power structures, what would that vision be? What is your commitment to it?
No matter how social, political and economic foundations are built and intended, whether how best to survive or thrive, these foundations must be critiqued with the long range vision of expressing humanity and how best to further the fulfillment of all. As a world society, the functioning of all humanity is crucial to our survival. Through the welfare of our relationships, we can all thrive and move closer to becoming fulfilled globally through a purposeful humanity.
All power structures use resources in order to provide for interests and influence. Resources are forms of energy which can be called upon readily to further supply, support or aid in intention whether for intangible service or in concrete physical form. Energy is the source. There are fundamentally two types of energy: feminine and masculine. Feminine energy is both spiritual and emotional in nature. Masculine energy is both mental and physical in nature. Feminine and masculine energy, as you recall, are principles of life.
Principles of Life
All power structures are guided in their influence through the principles of life and through leadership. Leadership can be manifested through an inherent calling, talent, knowledge, experience, vision, and financial support, or by force of sheer desire and will. No matter how leadership comes about, its purpose is to create change or maintain the status quo either to benefit the few or many, depending upon the impact of the influence. Power structures are not innately bad or good. They simply create the means and ability for movement toward achieving a desired outcome.
When power structures are not measured or limited by relationship or social ideals, it operates only to ever expand. Yet, when power structures are governed by a body of humanitarian principles honoring, valuing and respecting gender differences and partnership, power expansion can be guided by harmony and fulfillment.
How can women create, measure and influence power structures?
This is a question of women’s leadership and one of vision. Power is the expressed ability to manifest a vision of leadership. How do women want to manifest their power of vision? Is it by following the masculine model of development through the physical manifestation of value by accomplishment or is there another vision yet unseen which is our domain? Is it by joining together the commonality of being women for a collective spiritual purpose or is it by maintaining separate identities as women with a sense of self-importance over other women? The ability of women to guide individually or collectively masculine energy toward a higher calling requires a knowledge of and commitment to spiritual guidance for the purpose of a micro or macro vision of the mutual fulfillment of humanity.
Do women want to have a vision for organizing relationship either on a personal or global level? If women are spirit and want to be honored, should women not have the responsibility for healing and guiding relationships toward a common vision for the betterment of humanity?
If the definition of spiritual leadership is the quality of being and the vision that forms the basis for guiding the integrity of relationships to a healthier and optimum expression of compassion, worth, value, and respect for the purpose of more peaceful and joyful partnerships of affinity, do you have a commitment to spiritual leadership?
Share Resources and Power
How would you most like a power structure to benefit you? (check 3 ways)
I would like increased:
Understanding of structures and systems of governance
Capacity for change
Sense of belonging
Well-Being/Health (emotional, physical, mental, social, and spiritual)
Knowledge to survive and thrive
Problem solving abilities
Opportunities for personal and social growth
Strength in numbers
Appreciation of simplicity
We all need to feel supported in our lives and power structures help to give us that support. Currently, you feel you would like more support in terms of
(List 3 ways). Right now, what steps can you take in your life to gain more knowledge about or support in these areas?
Do you have a commitment to spiritual leadership? (yes/no)
Is your commitment to shifting the energy from to ? (yes/no)
How relevant is it to you to make a commitment to “being the change you want to see in the world” by participating in a collective voice establishing a new foundation for gender equity and health? (check 1)
- It is not relevant
- It is relevant, but it will not make a difference
- It is relevant, but there is not enough time
- It is relevant but unclear how to proceed
- It is very relevant to be the change
- It is not relevant (Do you want it to be relevant or have an effect in your life?)
- It is relevant, but it will not make a difference (Are you discouraged by a lack of meaning in your life?)
- It is relevant, but there is not enough time (Would you like to identify what you would like to do?)
- It is relevant but unclear how to proceed (Would you like to ask in the Forum for suggestions of how to proceed?)
- It is very relevant to be the change (How are you the change?)