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A “New” Cosmology

December 8, 2010

women's bodies encode what humankind needs to knowI recently wrote a short essay that feels like both the culmination of the work I’ve been doing for decades and the call to my next adventure. The essay’s title is “A New Cosmology: Women’s Bodies Encode What Humankind Needs To Know.”

In fact, this way of understanding and being in the world is both modern and ancient, tracing back to our ancestors. Even the astronomical evidence I mention encompasses ancient icons of the sacred that our ancestors crafted, connecting measurements of space and time to the shapes and rhythms implicit in women’s bodies.

I’ve submitted this essay to the Loved Bodies, Big Ideas competition, which poses the question: What is one bold action that could make the world truly value the diversity of women and girls’ bodies?

The prize: An invitation to present the paper and lead a breakout session at an international summit on Preserving the Female Body, taking place in New York City on March 18-19. Fun!

The text of the essay follows. I’d love to receive your comments … and your good thoughts, envisioning my paper being selected for presentation at the summit!

A New Cosmology:
Women’s Bodies Encode What Humankind Needs To Know

If we want our culture to value the diversity of women’s bodies, we need to change our cosmology. We need to alter the words and images we use to explain how the world began, how it works, its purpose.

Our cosmology is the biggest idea we humans have, shaping every institution of culture. These days, our cosmology and culture deny the world-birthing power and world-serving wisdom implicit in women’s bodies, whatever our race, age, shape, or size may be.

We need a new story. Forget the Big Bang. The world begins with the Great Mystery unfurling herself into Time:

Sparked by her desire to learn, play, and grow, Woman created the world, and the world was Woman.

From the substance of her body, Woman gave birth to stars, planets, moons, suns.

With the heat of her fire, Woman set the Earth into motion, giving birth to day and the year of time.

With the coolness of her waters, Woman set the Moon into motion, giving birth to night and the month of time.

Stirring fire and water into the substance of her body, Woman gave breath to creatures of the land, sea, and sky. Encompassing all-that-is within her limitless love, she placed a portion of herself into each of her creatures, into every particle of creation.

True to her original impulse, she keeps provoking her creatures to learn, play, grow. As they expand their love for themselves and each other, she loves even more lavishly. As they perceive their own and each other’s true beauty, she knows herself even more deeply. Balance and harmony flourish.

The world’s origin: ever-expanding love. Its operating principle: differentiation and integration. Its purpose: evolution of consciousness. The prize: a just and sustainable human society, also joy.

The story is more than myth. Beyond the scope of this essay to describe in full, astronomical evidence indicates that women’s bodies code the way the world works. Our volumes and curves, our rhythms and cycles, replicate the structure and function of the universe. Beginning with the correspondence between menstrual and lunar cycles, continuing to planetary orbits and beyond, we embody the mathematical relationships implicit in universal principles of time and space.

As women exult in the diversity of our bodies, we reveal creation’s original impulse: unconditional love. As our culture celebrates our bodies’ diversity, we can fully and freely enact the wisdom our bodies encode. We generate a just and sustainable human society. We lead the world into life-affirming balance and harmony.

Here’s the bold, big-multiplier idea: Establish a cosmology that understands the world — and humankind’s hope for survival — through the curves, shapes, and rhythms of women’s bodies. Express this cosmology through images of the feminine as a sacred state and sacred way of being. Integrate this cosmology and imagery into every cultural institution — including architecture, education, the economy. For every obelisk, a labyrinth. For every missile, a village well. For every gun, a community garden.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 10:59 am

    “The world’s origin: ever-expanding love. Its operating principle: differentiation and integration. Its purpose: evolution of consciousness. The prize: a just and sustainable human society, also joy.” Beautiful!

    I want to know more about how women’s bodies code the way the world works. (I am currently reading The Women’s Belly Book — is it in there?)

    I know that some people will find “Woman created the world” offensive. I am wondering if there is a different way of saying it that honors the feminine model while honoring the masculine. A way that honors oneness and integration.

    Sending my best wishes for the selection of your presentation at the summit!


  2. January 14, 2011 12:41 am

    Wonderful to hear from you, and glad to know this essay touches you.

    “Women’s bodies code the way the world works”: That’s in The Woman’s Belly Book by way of the ancient icons of the Sacred Feminine that the belly-energizing gestures animate. I and many others have looked at such ancient icons and said, in one way or another, “Our ancestors understood the world in the shape of a woman’s body.”

    Call that intuition, or deep knowing. I’m on the track of the science that verifies that intuition. I’ll keep you posted on what I find.

    I’ve used “Being” instead of “Woman” at times in the effort to avoid offending. There’s a sense of the Sacred Feminine, the Birth-Giver, the One that ushers two and more into being, that’s beyond gender. Our culture lacks good words for this Supreme Unknown; we’re not on familiar terms with it. Other cultures have better words for the Great Mystery. The Chinese, I believe, use the term “WuJi,” for example.

    Thanks so much for your good wishes regarding presenting my essay at the body image summit in New York. I’m psyched! The judges’ selections will be known by February 1.


  3. February 3, 2011 4:25 am

    Thanks Lisa. I’m recommending your book all over the place. :)

    I love “birth giver.”


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