By Cathy Eck
Traveling in the Feminine Role
I’m back home reflecting on my nearly three months in Ecuador. When most people travel, they either go as tourists, which means they see the sites and stay in places that are sanitized from reality; or, they go in a service, ministry, or business capacity. Tourist and service are both masculine roles. In masculine roles, we have choices and power (even influence) over others and our situation. In traditional feminine roles, we have little or no influence. We must observe and let go of whatever comes at us. Traveling in the feminine role is useful for freeing the darkest parts of our mind — especially our inner slavery. It’s an inner, rather than outer, adventure.
In a country like Ecuador, everyone shares the same point of view. They practice the same religion, and their culture has been molded into one common perspective. They have no reason to question their perspective. You’re either an insider or an outsider.
I accepted my feminine role as an outsider. No one there even knew what I did. I wasn’t trying to change minds; I was simply trying to free my own mind. We tend to blindly accept beliefs when we’re in the feminine role because of our training as young children. By willingly taking on a feminine role, we can see, discriminate, and let go of the automatic mental programs that accepted the beliefs of others without discriminating first.
When I got home, this quote by Ezra Pound was on my Facebook wall. “A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.” Powerful quote!
Physically everyone in Ecuador was free; yet mentally, no one was free. We can’t see mental chains; most people train themselves to no longer feel them. They don’t notice the smallness of their prison cell because others have the same cell. They label their chains a fact of life — the truth.
When acceptance lacks the desire for change, it’s not acceptance; it’s apathy. Apathy keeps us stuck in slavery; apathy places hope in a savior.
I grew up in a town with conformity of beliefs, much like Ecuador. It was filled with apathy masking as acceptance. Things usually came easier to me because my desires didn’t have to travel through a huge labyrinth of beliefs. Then I married one of the insiders; over time, his cultural and religious beliefs infected my mind. Everything became more difficult for me as his beliefs took root in my mind. I kept weeding — attempting to remove his beliefs. I just couldn’t find the causal root. There was something in my mind that caused me to blindly believe him over and over again. I looked everywhere for someone that could erase his beliefs — kissed a lot of frogs that weren’t princes during that time in my life. I was stuck in slavery, looking for someone to rescue me. No one did because they were slaves too. Their techniques could provide relief from the effects; but they couldn’t eliminate the beliefs — the cause.
When I discovered letting go of beliefs, I was overjoyed. I could now free my husband from his mental slavery too. But he was looking for a physical savior. My truth sounded crazy; he thought his beliefs were the truth. “What, my problems aren’t real? You think I created my problems? You think my beliefs aren’t true?” he said again and again. Over time, problems tend to have payoffs. People bond around problems. To expose their illusion feels unloving. His family believed they were given a burden by God to carry together; and I was unwilling to share that burden so I was bad and unloving.
I hated their judgment of me. I wasn’t bad or unloving; I was trying to free them. I constantly tried to defend myself. But proving their beliefs wrong meant holding on to their beliefs. My freedom required letting go of their beliefs, not proving them wrong. Right-wrong, win-lose, good-evil all keep us stuck in mental slavery. Only by realizing that a belief is powerless and false, and letting it go, do we achieve real freedom. We don’t have to correct beliefs; we only have to stop fueling them. Let them go. Without fuel, they die a natural death.
Ecuador tested me to stay free of beliefs that were very familiar. Even with beliefs as thick as mud, I usually managed to let go. Whenever I fell for a belief, I could feel my emotions closing in on me; I’d immediately go to work on my own mind. I didn’t try to defend myself. I didn’t try to prove them wrong. I simply took responsibility for my error and dug myself back out of the mental quicksand. This time, I didn’t become a slave in their illusion. I passed my own initiation test.
I observed the causal patterns within my mind that caused me to believe others in the past. In almost every case, I didn’t want to be judged, I tried to defend myself, or I didn’t want to follow their rules. In order to prove them wrong, I needed to accept their belief as real. Now I was at war — the inner battle of good and evil that never ends. The more I tried to fight their belief in my mind, the more real it became. I was keeping myself enslaved in their world. Only I could free myself.
Freedom is about knowing your OWN mind so well that others can’t tarnish it. Freedom is about discriminating with such mastery that no one can trap us in their illusion. Freedom is being our True Self anywhere and anytime. Escaping the illusion requires thinking from true and false and micromanaging our own mind while allowing others to think whatever they want. The other’s perspective was real for me only because I believed them. They didn’t enslave me: I enslaved myself. Therefore, I could also FREE myself and so can everyone else.