The Ladder Vs. the Wheel - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 07-01-2002, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to share a thought and see where you all stand.
It is my belief that religion/spirituality and society fall into one of two categories: the Ladder and the Wheel.
The Ladder is the ideology of the patriarchal way of life. Think phallus; think erect; think logic; think power. Think of the rungs of a ladder. At the bottom, Hell, sin, bad, evil, powerlessness. At the top, Heaven, purity, ultimate power. There are only two ways: up or down, and one's life is spent trying to climb up the rungs of this ladder.
The Wheel is the matriarchal way of life. Think of a circle; round, soft, full... like a woman's breasts, swollen belly, the cycles of the seasons.... the Wheel shows us that there is no up and down, no top, no bottom, just a never-ending passage of One, through lightness, into darkness, back into Light again, where all things, all thoughts, all reasoning, all "good", all "bad", all ideas and beliefs coexist together in one sphere, feeding off and into one another and each other... the Divine Dichotomy, so to speak.
Where do your beliefs about life and spirituality fall? The phallus of the fatherly ladder or the circle of the motherly wheel?
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#2 of 13 Old 07-01-2002, 05:07 PM
 
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Interesting question.

I have to say that my beleifs fall not into either example you gave. I think it is much more than an either or. For me it is more like a spiral on a horizonal. While a spiral does go round in cycles, each time we return to the cycle it has moved on, is somewhat different and yet the same. Still there is an insperarable link between story and time. The story of faith and the cycles of time. Also in the spiral the patriarch and the matriarch are merged into complimentary and egaully valued aspects. As to
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all "good", all "bad" coexist together in one sphere
if you are saying what I think you are saying -- not possible, becasue that would be to deny that there are absolutes -- and to quote a joke "I am absolutely convinced that there ARE absolutes even if I don't absolutely know all of them yet".
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#3 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 12:27 AM
 
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I guess I don't go with either. While I believe in Heaven and Hell I don't find it a climb or struggle to get to "the top" I choose to be at "the top" , by asking jesus to take me there by his grace, i am there. No climbing on my part. More of a hoist up. And just because I fall doesn't mean I am any less of the top. For instance if you fell of the ladder you would land at the bottom or at least further down. Again with the hoisting. I slip and fall he catches me and puts my feet back where they belong.

The wheel thing doesn't apply to me really because we are doing more than going around in circles. While we go in and out of cycles we aren't just going around in circles. At least I'm not.

Anyway, this probably wasn't what you were looking for/ asking but just my $ .02 on the topic.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#4 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 12:43 AM
 
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I love your topic! And I love the way you explained it. Sign me up for the wheel group, lol. I don't do ladders, I got lost for awhile on the ladder but jumped off and found my true self as I was meant to be, living my life in the wheel. I am so much happier now.
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#5 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 03:24 AM
 
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I like your analogy, but I find it too black and white for my taste. I see God as having the attributes of both a father and a mother. Interesting enough, He discribes himself that way also. (i.e. caring for us as a mother hen does her chicks. Nurturing us as a mother her child at the breast. Our loving father who provides, clothes and feeds us. etc.)
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#6 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 08:19 AM
 
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I agree with reverendmother. It is a spiral, both cyclical and linear. Seasons come and go each year, in that way it os cyclical, yet each year we learn and grow, experiencing those same seasons in a new way, and in that way linear- a progression.
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#7 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 09:37 AM
 
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I'm a circle-girl
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#8 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lilyka, I think you may have misunderstood my post. Generally, when a society lives within a more patriarchal system and the Heaven-Hell ideology, it carries over into the way we do business, the way we live our lives, etc. Think of corporations -- cutthroat, have to climb to get to the top, aggressiveness, power, greed, and emotional and "feminine" qualities are often looked down upon and scoffed at -- that is what I mean by "climbing the ladder". Oftentimes, the patriarchal way of living is intertwined with patriarchal religious systems, and everything we do is a conscious struggle to "climb up" at the expense of other people, and our planet. I'm not saying that Western religion is the cause, or that you are in any way like that, it's just that throughout history "The Ladder" has encompassed the attributes of the patriarchal way of life.
Reverendmother -- yes, yes! Maybe I should have said "spiral", but I think the circle (which is round, like the spiral) gives a better analogy of the matriarchal theme - round, full, etc. And it is possible for infinite numbers of circles to come around and overlap, producing infinite possibilities on many levels, depending upon our personal choices and the choices made - both conciously and subconsciously - by our planet as a whole...
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#9 of 13 Old 07-02-2002, 01:53 PM
 
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Ahhh, but you see I don't see the "patriarchal system" as being those things which you discribed (nor the matriarcal system for that matter.) And if I had to choose between patriarchy and matriarchy I would choose patriarchy. But only in it's ideal state. The only "power" is God -- the rest is supose to be complimentary to each other -- neither is better than the other.

I'm not sure I am being clear and with the upcoming 4th I better put my brain on "rest mode" for awhile. See you all after the holiday
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#10 of 13 Old 07-03-2002, 02:47 PM
 
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Wheel.
In our pagan rituals we often talk about the wheel of life turning, the seasons, the way women move through stages of maiden-mother-crone.
There are so many other examples, and I'm not feeling that articulate right now (sleep deprived, colicky ds). I just wanted to chime in because I liked the way you worded the contrast between ladder/wheel...
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#11 of 13 Old 07-04-2002, 03:36 PM
 
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Wheel here, too. Buddhism uses the image of the wheel to describe the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. If you ask a Buddhist how the world came into being, they will tell you that it simply has always existed, cycling from one epoch into another. I don't think that we as a human race or history is "progressing" in the sense that we are building towards something different from what we are now, which puts me at odds with both Christian and New Age beliefs, I suppose. Technology progresses, but human nature stays the same. We may be building towards the destruction of our world, but even that is not an end, just the beginning of a new cycle, a new epoch.

I also don't have a problem with candiland's notion of the "divine dichotomy" of good and bad. I don't understand that to mean they are one and the same, simply that they spring from the same source, which is our nature. But I do understand that if you believe in an all-good God then the concept wouldn't work for you. For me, I read "Damien" by Herman Hesse which deals with this concept and felt like I had come home.
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#12 of 13 Old 07-04-2002, 04:00 PM
 
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reverend mother, I am curious what your vision of patriarchy in the ideal state is <smile>
I do not believe there is a right/wrong answer, I just am curious

I do not like being an either / or girl
- for a long time, and still, the ladder vs wheel controversy has brought me challenge from within, I sometimes meditate only to be disturbed by figures from the ladder side, and ultimately they are in my mind- telling me to stop -sometimes figures from the goddess laugh at me and deny that which is attrubuted to the "ladder side" and that saddens me to0
to see seperate sides all the time, <sigh>
I thrive best where the two are both together- perhaps the ladder is on wheels and it is all a part of the whole- complimentary?
I dont know

I dont think there is a right / wrong, which is a paradox in itself because to say "I dont think" means I believe it is inaccurate(wrong) so <shrug shoulder>
I who know nothing am shutting up
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#13 of 13 Old 07-07-2002, 05:53 PM
 
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Iam Pagan born (frankly I think all Pgans are born for the most part, jsut takes some longer to find their way to the path) and Christian raised - by a minister even. I think of life as a circle......

"...WIth no beginning, and never ending..." as one of the Pagan circle chants says...

We are a circle, within a circle, with no begining and never ending
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