The greatest love story in the world

Sylvie had lost a lot of blood while giving birth to her son at home. She was sped to hospital, and didn’t quite manage to understand what the rush was about. She felt strange, and when her husband Andrew sat near the bed clutching her hand, she began to feel detached. She clearly saw her own body lying on the bed looking very ill. Then her husband called nurses and a doctor was brought. Sylvie had died. It appeared to her that she was standing above the bed looking down on the scene. In this way she witnessed the frantic attempt to resuscitate her. At the same time she detected a delightful sense of something, somewhere, calling her away. It was so urgent she began to allow herself to follow the urge. Then she noticed her husband. In her new found liberty she could easily see into him and perceive his alarm. He felt alone and lost with a child and a new born baby to rear and his wife dead. She saw him as young and fragile without her, and decided she wouldn’t leave. At that point she identified with her body again and started breathing. It was a long climb back to health.

Sylvie doesn’t claim to be a heroine. She is just the woman who lives next door. But the woman next door defeated death itself for her man and children.

Kim, on hearing this story said “That is exactly what a lot of women are angry about – that a woman has such a strong urge to give herself so completely to someone else.”

The love story of womanhood began a long time ago. Perhaps it originated on a warm mud bank millions of years back when a female creature began a new way of caring. The fragile eggs, usually extruded from her body and left vulnerable and unprotected in the earth, were held onto. Out of her caring drive, that ancient female created a warm mud bank within herself, and gradually learned to nurture the growing life with the resources of her own body. That incredible event is visible today in the shape and functions of a healthy woman. Each woman pays a price in terms of her pelvic shape, her internal organs, and personal experience, for carrying the mud bank within.

Another chapter in this story concerns the change the earliest of humanoid females made from seasonal mating to becoming fertile throughout the year. Did this come about because it was a survival advantage? Was it triggered by our ancestors moving through different climates? Because bonding is such an important part of present day mating, it is reasonable to believe that particular bonding between a male and female may have played a part in the change.

Jane Goodall, in her study of chimpanzees, noticed that although the females had close relationships with males only while on heat – oestrus – occasionally they continued a special and caring relationship with a male beyond oestrus. This special bonding may have been the move toward longer openess to partnering a mate.

My body is the picture of my love

That a woman has enormous influence over her body through her feelings is obvious. Eileen, who although married for twelve years had never fallen in love, left her husband and fell in love with Martin. She says, “Within a month of beginning our relationship, despite attempts at birth control, I became pregnant. My breasts swelled and my period was missed. During the following month the symptoms gradually disappeared. My breasts became normal and I had a natural period. Out of this I realised that because I loved Martin I deeply wanted his baby, and this desire, that I certainly had not previously admitted to myself, had produced all the physical signs of pregnancy.”

Could this level of passionate involvement with her man, have led early women to extend their oestrus, and finally transcend it altogether? Whatever the details are in this magnificent love story, the change occurred. As it did so it brought with it possibilities that are the foundations of humanness. Life-long mating is shared by other animals, notably some species of birds, but the ability to transcend the environment and the seasons, which conditions mating and birth in animals, gave human beings the capacity to have a new relationship with the world and each other. The herbivores for instance, whose every drive, instinctive as it is, locks them into particular activities at given times of year, have little space to develop any sense of separateness, any feeling of personal identity or will.

The new birth

Although few of us may give these issues much thought – we probably take them for granted – for early humans living in very rigourous circumstances, they must have been felt very deeply. So much so our ancestors have left hints in some of the greatest of ancient allegories. Very ancient peoples had no written language. They tended to express their vision of life in such things as religious rituals or great symbolic stories. One of these stories, literally written upon the stars, may be directly about the drama of woman transcending the environment. It is the story of the Zodiac, showing as it does the herbivores in the signs which fall in the usual periods of birth for them – early in the year. It depicts a woman – Virgo – fertile in the middle of the year, and the later signs as human qualities emerging from animal bodies. One of our great symbols, Christmas, portrays a virgin – Virgo, the woman fertile out of season – bearing a child in the midst of winter. What a miracle that first child born out of season must have been, the first of a new sort of human being. Facing an environment or season which was different to anything their instinctive drives prepared them for, they would have to develop different ways of surviving, and thus different types of mental attitude – the different Zodiacal types.

When Sylvie defeated the call of death to be with her husband, she was expressing the power women have garnered from millions of years of experience. In that period of time they have reorganised their body more radically than males have done. They have more fully entered into the self giving relationship with another person, whether that is their child or man. Although those skills are not placed high in our society, psychologically and biologically, they are extremely important. They confer intuitive empathy with the life processes in the body, enabling the woman to work more fully with the functions of growth and the self regulating activities of her being. There is also the ability to deal with people at a more human feeling level.

Of course, any power we have brings with it the negative as well as the positive. The enormous biological energy that moves through a woman’s urge to procreate, can be directed to illness as well as health. A woman I know who became ill and whose hair fell out when her dog died, had most likely connected her parental urge to the dog – and figuratively her child had died at the dog’s death. The powerful negative turn in her feelings adversely influenced her body. Understanding thes powerful forces can help to direct them in positive and creative ways.

The dangerous power of love

This wonderful or dangerous power of a woman’s love is often not acknowledged by women themselves. And in living a life that does not see, does not sense – that fails to take hold of the source of their own potency – women lose self understanding and the valour to create wonder with the living flower of themselves.

The spirit in women that transformed their body; that gave birth to a new sort of human being, that has the power of sickness or health, that led them through millions of years of a story of love, is wonderful. When a woman forgets this greatest of love stories, she forgets her own personal wonder. She may lose the sense of her power, of her ability to live something of beauty and importance. In bathing joyfully in the great river of her drives, stretching as the river does into the most ancient past, and creating the matrix of the future as it flows, a woman can shape things. Her most fundamental power is to be a part of fashioning all living beings. But she need not shape a child with this great drive unless she chooses. However, she ignores the river’s urge to shape something at her peril. If the river of her creativity is not consciously directed it will flow into all the dark folds of her fears, bitterness and fantasies and give them life. It may move into the sites of tension in her body and enhance the negative, causing cancer.

We need the power of women

Today we need the power of women to create a new world. Not the power which builds houses or makes airplanes. That is more a male form of creating and ultimately less important if we consider life as the most wondrous, the most unlikely, the most challenging of all things existing on our world and in the universe. What is needed is the ability to empathise with the very forces of life and the living process in our world – to touch it, to direct and heal it as it writhes under the impact of human activity. We need the power that can nurture things which grow, that through love turns the very direction of living process in a new path. We need the power of woman!


-sumit 2012-09-12 13:49:47


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