Approaching Mystery

Mystery is a bridgeApproaching Mystery

Approaching Mystery

In his book Climate: Soul of the Earth, anthroposophist Dennis Klocek discusses the differences in attitude of Cain and Abel in approaching the Mystery. This is what we Jungians would call masculine and feminine ways of approaching the unknown or the Other.
In the masculine way, or Cain’s “path of power,” mystery is approached as a problem to be solved, analyzed and dissected, quantified and measured. Cain was a farmer, and this attitude was reflected in his taming the powers of the earth to grow food. Much of conventional agriculture operates solely on this principle, now even expanding into the propagation of genetically modified plants, which appears to be wreaking havoc with the health of our planet and of our bodies.

In the feminine way, or Abel’s “wisdom of my god” approach, mystery is to open to and to be in relationship with. The extreme, of course, is a kind of non questioning dogmatism. We definitely witness this in our politics where wisdom is purported to be received from some divine source, somehow bypassing humanity’s need to develop an ethical approach to the Other, human or not-human.

In the masculine mode, the aim is to gain mastery and dominance; in the feminine mode, the issue is reception of wisdom.

Of course, in the story of Cain and Abel, we know who won out! Cain killed his brother Abel, and we left the hunter-gatherer stage for a more stable system of agriculture. Both Kocek and C. G. Jung discuss the importance of a marriage of these two approaches, not a killing off of one or the other. Both advocate a balance.

In farming or gardening we are offered the opportunity to work on this balance, which is really a new consciousness, one that at once honors the advances of the intellect over the last two or three hundred years as well as the Mystery of the Present, the aliveness of the natural world and its right to exist and be heard regardless of our needs.

Please let me know what have you learned from engaging the mystery of your own garden? What have you learned about life, balance, the world of spirit?