Feminist Searcher: one who traverses and surveys dangerous terrain, seeking the Knowledge buried and continually re-covered by the re-searchers of the State of Reversal.
Self-Realizing is Actualizing One’s Deepest Potentiality
Women’s Revolution & Liberation in Exodus Community
“…..Because of this constant moving center, the space of the women’s revolution can be called an exodus community……the moving center which is the energy source of the new sisterhood as exodus community is the promise in our Selves. It is the promise in our foremothers whose herstory we are beginning to discover, and in our sisters whose voices have been stolen from them. Our journey is the fruit of this promise- a journey into individualization and participation, leaving behind the false self and sexist society. Since one cannot physically leave the planet, however (and extraterrestrial space trips as programmed by the prevailing society will be super-sexist, with the accommodation of space stewardesses, perhaps), our mode of departure has to be appropriate to the situation. We can depart mentally to some extent by refusing to be blinded by society’s myths. We can depart physically and socially to a degree also, but simple withdrawal will not change the wider situation. The adequate exodus requires communication, community, and creation. The truly moving space will not be merely unorthodox or reformist, but will be on its way beyond unorthodoxy as well as orthodoxy, discovering and bringing forth the really new.” (Mary Daly)
Recommended Reading: Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly pg. 343-346
In the State of Possession, the victim of psychic and physical invaders becomes autoallergic, re-acting against the body’s own tissues, the spirit’s own process. Pathologically re-acting against her own endogenous powers of resistance to invasion, she sides with her invaders, her possessors. Her false self possesses her genuine Self.
Her false self blends with the Possessor who sedates his beloved prey . She turns against her sisters who, themselves invaded and carried into the State of Possession, turn against her Self and against their Selves. The divided ones, the self-Selves, shelve or sell their Selves. They become ever-hardening shells of their Selves, suffocating their own process. They become iron masks, choking their own becoming, hiding their own know-ing, substituting deception for know-ing.
So deep is the disease of autoallergy induced in women by the sedative seduction of the little Sir Sirens of Siredom, that women try to kill not only their Selves but their sister Selves even in the name of Sisterhood. Under the appearance of bonding there is binding. The mothers bind the feet and minds of daughters.
The daughter is turned against the mother, the pseudosister is the re-sister of her Sister, standing against her. As her re-sister she is a reversed imitation, a mirror image, her “life-like” reproduction. She covers and re-covers the Sister until she can no longer find her Self, having forgotten to search for her Self. Trapped into re-searching she finds only the re-sister.
In order truly to search for the Sister it is necessary to see the dis-membered Sister within, the Sister Self, and to remember her, coming into touch with the original intuition of integrity . Once mindful of the Sister, the Self need no longer resist her, her mind is full of her. She IS her. She is her Self. Re-membering is the remedy . The reign of healing is within the Self, within the Selves seen by the Self and seeing the Self. The remedy is not to turn back but to become in a healing environment, the Self, and to become the healing environment. In this space the Self is not religious, not tied back by old ligatures, old allegiances. She pledges allegiance to no flag, no cross. She sees through the lies of alleged allies. She re-veres no one, for she is free-ing her Self from fears.
This space, the Self’s holy environment, is the opposite of the re-covery rooms of the unnatural physicians of soul and body. It is dis-covery room. In our dis-covery room our Selves dis-cover room, re-versing the refrains that have framed our know-ing into “knowledge.” No need here to stay in the hearses the false physicians have made of our bodies, our minds, when they made us re-hearse each reversed truth, boxing them into coffins of deception, our false selves. No need to repeat the refrains of the rituals that restrain our Selves, that strain our Selves.
Breaking out of the rituals means refusing the role of penitent/patient, rejecting the virile virus of anti-biotic religion and medicine. No longer comatose, the Self refuses to be a “candidate” for such sacraments as confirmation or cosmetic surgery . She accepts neither the slaps in the face which are religiously and ritually administered to “confirm” the self as “soldier of Christ,” nor the slashes in the face surgically administered to confirm the self in the medically mutilating rituals of femininity. The dis-covered Self refuses the white robes of these initiations into the rank of the living dead.
The dis-covered Self washes her hands/mind of the anti-septic anti-Self, the internalized Possessor. She washes as she re-members her dis-membered Self. At first her handwashing/mindwashing may seem itself to be a ritual. If so, it is the right rite, the suitable ceremony of the one who has been named “unclean.” She dispossesses her Self of the “purifiers” who muddy her mind, who try to master her mind.
She re-calls Virginia Woolf’s warnings against “adultery of the brain.” Recalling also that the verb adulterate means “to falsify by admixture of baser ingredients,” the Dis-possessing Self cleanses her thinking/feeling/dreaming of the base ingredients that were assimilated through coerced adultery. This cleansing/depolluting of the Self by the Self is essential to Gyn/Ecology
It isn’t enough for women who can see the State of Possession merely to “escape.” The problem is not merely one of escape from the religious, technological, and medical Mafia. So long as we are only escaping, we are re-acting. The etymology of the term escape is enlightening. According to Merriam-Webster, it is derived from the Latin ex, meaning out, and cappa, meaning head-covering, cloak. Thus, as the word literally says, we are slipping out from our head-coverings or cloaks (ex-caping). In other words, as long as we are just escaping, we are simply unveiling ourselves. Indeed, this is necessary for the Journey. It names the important process of women throwing off such alienating ideological “ hoods” as “womanhood.” Yet so long as the Voyager is only or primarily escaping, re-acting, she is still haunted by the messages of the agents who spook in the Passive Voice.
When women unwind our veils, our winding sheets, our attention is at first fixed upon the unwinding. The task which next becomes visible, before us and around us, is the task of seeing/sensing/Self-moving in the directions which our dis-covering senses open out to us. This Self-conscious, Self-directed movement is springing free. As we do this we enspirit our Selves, freeing the life force that has been frozen, reified, fetishized.
It names the process of confronting and transcending the State of Possession. We are possessed to the degree that spirit is condensed by the fetishizing of matter, contained by matter. The process of the Self enspiriting the Self is Dispossession. The enspiriting Self is not anti-matter but pro-matter, freeing matter from its restricted/restricting role of vessel/container, unfreezing matter so that it can flow with spirit, fly with spirit. Enspiriting is breathing, be-ing.
The Self enspirits the Self and others by encouraging, by expanding her own courage, hope, determination, vigor. To enspirit is to be an expressive active verb, an Active Voice uttering the Self utterly, in a movement/Journey that spirals outward, inward. In this Active Voicing, the Self Spooks the spookers. She affirms the becoming Self who is always Other. She dis-covers and creates the Otherworld.
To the degree that the Female Self has been possessed by the spirit of patriarchy, she has been slowly expiring. She has become dispirited, that is, depressed, downcast, lacking independent vigor and forcefulness. As she becomes dispossessed, enspirited, she moves out of range of the passive voices and begins to hear her own Active Voice, speaking her Self in successive acts of creation. As she creates her Self she creates new space: semantic, cognitive, symbolic, phy sical spaces. She moves into these spaces and finds room to breathe, to breathe forth further space.
On a practical, tactical level women are using new words and transforming/re-calling meanings of old words. Hags are doing this verbally and with clothing and body language. Hags dress comfortably, expressing our individuality and our responses to particular occasions, such as Halloween, Winter Solstice. Our clothing is useful for guerrilla tactics in situations of confrontation. Spinsters feel comfortable with our natural look, and thus do not require the cosmeticized “natural look.” Women journeying learn to forget false body language and re-call the Self confident styles of walking/standing/sitting/gesturing which express be-ing.
Furious women learning Karate and various forms of Self-defense often experience a deconditioning process, an escaping from the invisible bindings of femininity , and an enspiriting sense of power, control, and awareness of the immediate environment. Such awareness of environment makes it possible to deflect both physical and semantic danger, to unspook the implicit messages coming from all sides. Thus Journeyers are developing ways of moving into different cognitive space, even when we are caught in male-controlled physical space. We are finding way s of “breaking set”—of focusing upon different patterns of meaning than those explicitly expressed and accepted by the cognitive majority . Thus, when we find ourselves physically confined in oppressive set-ups, we can concentrate upon implicit patterns in styles of communication, such as clothing, postures, gestures, eye-contact, speech intonation, choice of vocabulary, use of “humor,” facial expressions, and—perhaps most importantly—silences.
Such pattern discovery, or positive paranoia, functions also to dis-spell the power of prevailing myths and symbols, a power which depends partly upon their hiddenness. This is not to say that patriarchal myths are not overt and blatant, but that their connections with our experience are masked. The connections are hidden from us so long as we accept the “acceptable” foreground patterns foisted upon us. When we break the patterns imposed upon our own thinking/imaging/acting/perceiving/speaking, we see and hear, that is, perceive gynaesthetically, the “plot” of the acts performed in patriarchal settings. This new perception allows us further freedom; we move further from the maze. As we Amaze, we are amazed. The spell of the underlying lies/symbols/myths is broken. We see their feeble derivative character and we recognize the omnipresent pattern of reversal. They are dis-credited.
This myth-breaking positive paranoia helps us move further into Hagocentric psychic space. De-tached from the mystifying myths, we move deeper into the Labyrinth. Depending less and less upon male approval, recognizing that such approval is more often than not a reward for weakness, we approve of our Selves. We prove our Selves. Such Self-approval attracts, and attracting Hags bond. Out of this strong Self-centering bonding can come the physical spaces of which we dream. These will be unlike the earlier attempts to make women’s spaces, which have reflected the unsureness of women in earlier stages of the Journey . For these attempts have often failed because the spectres of patriarchal presence have not been exorcized. Indeed, the physical absence of males often has added to their spookiness, when women have not recognized and rejected “the pig in the head.”
There is still bonding out of weakness—pseudobonding—when women are afraid to be alone. Rather than being empowering, places which reflect pseudobonding become disabling. They can cloak the processions of spooking in a way analogous to cloaking by timid “reformist” language which stops short of speaking in the Active Voice. Thus, “Women’s Centers” which have not moved beyond very mild measures, such as “vocational counseling” which ignores all responsibility for criticizing the professions themselves, can be compared to linguistic reforms which do not imply radical analysis (for example, the use of the pronoun she to refer to the christian god within the context of christian religious services).
In contrast to such timid constructs, the new physical spaces—like the new semantic/cognitive/symbolic spaces—will be dis-covered/created further out/in the Otherworld Journey. The Hags who find and make them will have reached further beyond the boundaries of the Possessed State. They will have learned ways of Spooking the spookers. They will have learned Positive Spooking. They will come together because they are enspiriting, because they know how to be/travel Alone. These seasoned Spinsters will no longer be seeking the solace of domestication. They will be at home on the road.
Amazons who are breathing forth further space are looking with the Inner Eye (misnamed/reversed by the fearful as the Evil Eye). We are listening with the Inner Ear. Those who have continued the Journey know that the Basic Tactic is to keep moving. A moving target who moves fast enough becomes less and less visible to those who would target her, as she becomes more visionary, more visible to her Self. Hags know that the appropriate tactics present themselves to our consciousness when we are deeply conscious of the Journey. We know that there is not one tactic for each specific situation. At one time and place “outspokenness” may be more useful; at another time and place, camouflage. At all times, we are speaking our Selves, hearing and following the call of our undomesticated, wild be-ing.
Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly pg. 343-346
Are you ready to Take Heart & Reclaim Female Courage?