Find Your Inner "Goddess" & Inner "God"
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The idea of men having an inner Goddess? Women having an inner God? Sounds strange, right? Maybe in our society, where we think of ourselves as one individual person, hemmed in by the labels of male and female, our nationality, religion or culture. But not all societies think this way.
Take the Winti culture of Suriname, South America, for example.
In the English language, we have three words to refer to ourselves - 'me', 'myself' and 'I' - but they all have a very similar meaning. They don't carry different qualities or roles within us.
But in the Winti culture, they have many different ways of referring to themselves, that reflect the ways they think about life. Embedded in their understanding is a more spiritual approach that sees our identities as intertwined with the spiritual world.
Any person, a man or woman, is comprised of:
Their male self
Their female self
Their spirit or spirits
Their spiritual father
Their spiritual mother
That's a lot of selves for one person!
But if we explore each of them, we can see how thinking of ourselves in all these different ways can do wonders for our self-development and personal growth.
For a man, their male self is their normal, everyday self, the same 'I', 'me' and 'myself' that we find in the English language. For the woman, that is their female self.
The "Male" and "Female"
When we hear female self in reference to a man, we might think of when people talk about 'his feminine side', but it is a little more complex than that. To the Winti, a female self in a man is like a separate entity that lives within him but isn't expressed in his physical body. It's as if every person has both male and female spiritual entities, but one is dominant, and this is the one that is expressed by what gender we physically are. Recognizing both sexes within us spiritually allows us to feel at one with all of humanity and accelerate our spiritual development. Different qualities and attributes are associated with each gender, and our self-actualization requires that we find all of them within us.
When Winti people refer to their soul in everyday conversation, they do so to let other people know how deeply they feel about something. For example, if a man's friends invited him out for the night and he said 'I don't want to,' they might try to persuade him and change his mind. But if he said, 'my soul doesn't want to,' it means that his feeling is deeper than a whim. His soul might be telling him not to go because something bad might happen, or just because it isn't the right thing for his wellbeing right now. Using the word 'soul' helps the Winti to differentiate temporary, want-based feelings from important need-based feelings and intuition.
What Is "Spirit"?
If we use the word 'spirit' we usually refer to something outside of us, such as ghosts or even the Holy Spirit. But Winti people see people and spirits as part of the same interconnecting network, able to become each other and influence each other. Their perception is that our behavior can be influenced by these spirits. For example, if someone has an anger problem that they just can't shake, they might say, 'I have asked my spirits not to get so angry'. This means they have acknowledged the problem is outside their remit of power and are asking higher powers for assistance in making positive changes in their lives.
The 'Spiritual Father' is similar to the idea of 'Heavenly Father' except is thought of in a more personal way. In the same way that everyone has their own biological father, everyone has their own spiritual father, each with a different character. Winti people seek advice from their own spiritual father, and try to please him with their actions.
The 'Spiritual Mother' is like the female counterpart of God, the Goddess. Again, everyone has their own individual spiritual mother, who offers them unconditional love, wisdom and assistance.
Depending on the person, the spiritual mother and father embody different spiritual qualities. The individual will try to please their spiritual parents by embodying these qualities, too, and molding themselves in the image of their spiritual parents. These entities are the 'God' and 'Goddess' closest to the person, who they can have a personal relationship with. We can use their power directly in our lives by becoming close to them and taking on their spiritual attributes.
Even if we don't believe these are separate entities, they can be seen as psychological functions and different aspects of our own psyche. By tapping into parts of our inner selves that we never knew existed, we can find new exciting opportunities for personal growth.
- Iman Mohiki