Do you have fear in your heart at the thought of being betrayed by someone you trust or love, does it conjure up feelings of deep hurt, humiliation or even anger and rage? Consider that how you perceive betrayal will characterise the way that you will one day betray another unless you are willing to face your own Judas heart.
The story of Jesus and his twelve disciples is distinct: Judas sells Jesus out to the High Priests and the Romans effectively sending him to a very painful crucifixion and death. My invitation is to entertain this story as a perspective of our collective human condition. Why would Judas do this if not for his perception that Jesus had somehow sold him or his cause out. He must have believed or felt that he was the one being betrayed and that his actions were righteous. This was a pre-meditated act that he probably played out over and over in his mind particularly each night as he watched Jesus sleeping. You can picture him restlessly lying there consumed by resentful voices in his head drowning out empathy and love in his heart. The details of his justification be they political or personal are not relevant here, only that his planned betrayal must have felt undeniably justified.
Judas cannot be dismissed merely as an evil or greedy man; he was after all one of the twelve chosen men to walk at Jesus’s side as he spread his gospel of love. Yet Judas’s true attributes, his intention, his contribution and his greatness will always be over shadowed by this one regretful act that effectively scattered this tribe and movement into the winds. The name Judas is forever vilified and associated with betrayal, it is the name that conjures images of the snake in the grass or of a werewolf allowed into the sheeps pen.
But who is this Judas? Is he some lone figure in biblical history who hanged himself in deep regret for what he did or is he actually an aspect within each of us? It is that part of each of us that harbours a deep wound of unresolved betrayal feeding our insecurity, doubt and jealousy. It is that aspect that will one day will compel us to sabotage and destroy our very own relationships, family or community and create someone we love as our enemy.
With a modern psychological understanding of how and why people do what they do we understand that it is most likely that Judas had an unresolved ‘father wound’ from childhood that he then had projected on to Jesus. He had an expectation of what he wanted from Jesus; possibly his version of love, acknowledgement or agreement and similarly he also had an unconscious fear of feeling betrayed again. This aspect or ‘wound’ had him turn on the man he most claimed to love and who he committed his life to following.
How else do we attempt to understand how Judas would be willing to betray a human being who in our understanding is the very embodiment of love, compassion and kindness. Judas is you, Judas is me, Judas is the part of each of us that kills off and sabotages our own love because our deepest fear and insecurity of betrayal and rejection. This is the same aspect that killed Gandhi, John Lennon and Martin Luther King Junior.
All you have to do is look at marriages and the resulting divorces to see this very dynamic unfold. We walk into our marriages with the Judas wound already hidden in our hearts, it lurks behind the mask of our seemingly unconditional love and veneer of romance waiting for it’s cue and then it erupts in the sheer destructive ugliness that we often see in divorce and separation. It is always experienced as justified at the time but the damage done in those moments resonates for years if not decades.
And for Jesus the man, what was it like to have someone in his family, in his tribe knowing that this person will betray him, be the cause of a very painful and humiliating death and ultimately end their entire movement? With Jesus’s wisdom and insight he would surely have known what Judas’s heart carried from the moment he met him. And yet even at their last supper together he does not reject or withdraw his love from Judas even after acknowledging what will happen. Jesus perceived Judas’s impending betrayal with utter compassion for this is what it is to have a sacred heart.
What do we take away from such a story? Do we simply vilify and deny Judas or are we willing to recognise him in our own hearts and minds?
Consider again that how you perceive betrayal and it’s threat will characterise the way that you will one day betray. This is how you will hurt the ones you once claimed to loved if you have not done so already.
Would you be willing to examine your thoughts and your actions to look at the narrative of betrayal that you hold on to? Would you be willing to embrace the Judas within you with the same compassion, kindness and understanding as Christ? Would you be willing to keep doing the work of forgiving your own past wounds so that the perception of your current reality no longer occurs as fearful or threatening in any way. Would you be willing to humble yourself to walk this path or will you continue to deny your Judas heart and pretend it is not there? This is a life time of work not a weekend workshop or a few Vision Quests.
You do not have to be a Christian or even a believer in any way to appreciate the depth of this teaching. And it does not mean you need to knowingly put yourself in any position of potential harm; by all means take mindful actions to secure your safety and wellbeing. It means that sometimes people close to you will invariably seem to ‘betray’ or hurt you because of their own movie of reality and with empathy you can forgive them. Understand that they are not present to the distortion of their own perception nor the impact of their actions and as the book says: ‘Forgive them for they do not know what they do’… and love them anyway. This is how we dissolve this Judas aspect in our hearts. It is then that we shall know what Love truly is, to feel it’s miraculous power in our lives and how it transforms the world. The greatest lesson we will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Easy to talk about, harder to do. There is pain for me as I share this as I am facing my own Judas heart but I believe with all I know and feel that this is how we create the world we say we really want.
I read a compelling article recently that said if we want to successfully avert climate collapse and our potential extinction, we must primarily deal with the root of rampant over population and not just our pollution impact and land use footprint.
I think we all essentially know this, however this subject essentially remains the elephant in the room of climate change conversations. Everyone, climate activists and political campaigners included, seem to be avoiding this subject for fear of the very unpopular implication that it might require us to consider legislating restrictions on the right to procreate. Imagine having to apply to your government when you want to have children or imagine having ‘illegal’ pregnancies forcefully terminated by population police; people would be up in arms and there would be riots. Our right to procreate as humans is precious and fundamental to us above all other rights, yet this is what is literally choking our mother planet, we are mindlessly breeding like a parasitic infestation and we can't even take care of the population we already have. How do we transform this knowing that our very survival and the quality of our existence on this planet is at stake?
What this article proposes as a solution, however, is something completely different to the common thinking. It outlines that if we truly want to reverse the trend of population we must focus our efforts on empowering and educating woman globally.
Research worldwide shows that when woman are educated and culturally, politicly and economically empowered they are naturally less inclined to have as many children. This makes complete sense as woman are by nature more sensitive to the order and harmony of their environment as well as the needs and future of their children. We then realise that this out of balance, this epidemic of over population is fundamentally a symptom of patriarchy. Men have dominated the decision making with regards to woman’s reproduction for centuries under the guise of survival and protecting lineage, race and culture of family, tribes and nations. The old adage ‘keep her pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen’ is exactly how we got to a world population of 7.7 billion people. Over population has everything to do with the striving of men’s desire for 'more', more land, more wealth, more power, more status and of course more children.
We simply do not need more people on this planet in fact we need to reduce. With mechanised technology we no longer need the quantitive labour force to manufacture or build, we do not need large ranks soldiers to protect our boundaries, medicine is improving lifespan and reducing the impact of disease. One by one we have removed the usual population and lifespan regulators. Our new value system of aspiration needs to be about the shared quality and depth of our living experience not the quantitive value of having. To do this we need to return to the most effective population regulator of all: a woman’s choice.
In this context gender equality and woman’s liberation takes on a whole new significance for it is now actually about saving our planet. With that sense of urgency in mind it should fundamentally change the way we perceive and approach woman’s liberation. In this context governments worldwide should be mandated to provide quality and compulsory education for girls, woman should be preferred for major career opportunities and daughters should even be getting the lions share of their family inheritances. Is that really such an unrealistic possibility to embrace given what we are facing?
Should we rather not do what it takes to restore a natural environment for individual self regulation and self governance. It's either this or we get to the point where dictator styles governments will be justified to declare a state of emergency on a woman’s reproductive rights. That will take us back to the stone age of patriarchy and the oppression of the feminine.
When we empower and educate woman as a priority, the future of humanity will undoubtedly stand a better chance. We don’t ultimately stand to lose, it will be like learning to write with your other hand and shifting dominance over to the other side of the brain; it ultimately serves the same body, its just learning a different way of being.
The time of the masculine principle dominating this planet is over, as men in power we have done all the competing, fighting and expanding that our planet can possibly tolerate; patriarchy has truly had its day. I believe our job as men in this new age is to clean up the global mess we have created; to start with ourselves and then extend that transformation and healing to all. We need to be willing to resign our majority stake in decision making positions of politics, economics and religion and focus our expertise and energy on on nature conservation and restoration, sustainable technology and present child rearing. We also need to do a lot more singing and dancing to learn to get out of our heads and into our bodies to connect once again to mother nature and to understand how we can serve her instead of serving our own egos. This not as radical as we may think, many men are doing it already, this is what the emerging sacred masculine of the new earth will look like. Right now now we just need to get over our fear of losing our privilege and dominance; it can be done.
The German nation is a great example, it went from being a Nazi dictatorship in the last century hell bent on taking over the world to one of the most prosperous humanitarian nations in the world; it took less than two decades.
Men of all nations, races and cultures can likewise transform the character of masculinity to become more ecologically connected, emotionally sensitive, nurturing warriors of our planet and woman can deal with the lions share of decision making and finances. I am not even kidding or being ironic, I believe its actually the best chance we have of restoring wellbeing to our civilisation. With woman around the world being liberated and holding the majority of decision making positions not only will this naturally resolve over population but also change the context of political and economic policies particularly affecting pollution, land use and the need for wars.
The well known prophecy that the “meek shall inherit the earth”, is mostly likely pointing to phenomena that the feminine shall inherit the earth... and they should.
The priority of climate change activism efforts should be a woman's liberation.
What do you think?