God and/or Goddess?
Just a few weeks ago, I was touring ancient holy sites. I visited Jerusalem, of course, the place where the three major western religions converge. It makes you think about God to visit Israel. I can’t say that I really felt the presence of God. But perhaps that is because it is hard for me to feel God while in the proximity of security equipment and armed guards.
Perhaps God enjoys all the fighting and hatred, but that would presume he is a man. What would the Goddess think about such craziness over a piece of land and a bunch of beliefs that don’t make logical sense anyway? She’d probably say something like, “Those people could use a little good, old fashioned common sense. Men think too much and can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees. The answer is always right in front of their nose; if it was a snake it would bite them.” At least that is what my mother would say.
Ancient Theatre Comes Alive
Then I visited Athens. As I stared at the magical Theatre of Dionysus, I wondered what the actors on that stage might have felt as they performed their comedies and tragedies. They say that the ancient theatre experience was cathartic, even evoking states of ecstasy at times. It was also an educational experience since books and television didn’t exist.
Upon my return home, I relived my Theatre of Dionysus moment combined with my tour of the Holy Land when I attended a performance of “The Second Coming,” written and performed by Sherry Glaser. “The Second Coming,” embraces the ancient theatre experience and more. As the poster says, “It is a comedy of Biblical proportions.” I can’t wait to tell you all about her incredible performance. But first, a little background on religion and the lost goddess.
The Courage to Express
Anyone who creates or writes fights the temptation to hold back or tone-down their expression or enthusiasm in order to make it safe, especially when their creative expression challenges the status quo. We are all painfully aware that we live in a world where people think their judgments of others are true. I find it strange that in this day and age, someone can call themselves religious and at the same time label someone who behaves or thinks outside the norm as wrong or bad. Needless to say, this often inhibits people from truly expressing their ideas and feelings.
It begs the question, how do you know if your perspective of life is right? Well I’ve thought long and hard about that. Maybe there is no global right, and why should there be? There are millions of different beliefs and perspectives. But isn’t that cool? The only thing that gets in the way is when someone thinks that everyone should think his or her way. That is not cool.
We seem to be driven to attempt to get everyone thinking alike, and I suspect that is because at one point we did. We used to all think in a way that was loving and kind yet embraced the other person’s uniqueness. Some say that was the truth and wisdom of the goddess. Like a mother, the goddess loves all her children. She can’t imagine choosing a favorite.
Religions present a right way to think, usually a patriarchal view that elevates those who fit in and diminishes those who don’t. They clearly choose favorites. Rules and laws may be somewhat effective in civilization. But those laws are unnecessary when the feminine rules. The feminine keeps things in check by gently nudging her children into their best behavior. Her love and nurturing are a far more effective system of ruling than the male crime-and-punishment model.
The Ancient Goddess
The goddess of the ancient world spoke in emotion, and she let the god or leader know when he moved away from his truth and love. Some cultures showed the goddess as the lioness since she was clearly not afraid to roar when things were not fair or someone hurt one of her children. Eventually, it became clear to power-hungry rulers that you must put the feminine to sleep (a nice way of saying shut her up) so you can pull one over on the masses.
In my field, I find it rare when someone has the balls to tell it like it is. People skirt around the issue of the lost Goddess as if they will offend God if they give Eve a backbone. Few people realize that legends tell of Adam having a first wife, Lilith. She wouldn’t submit to Adam’s dominance, and she is still paying for that decision. While we fear stating the obvious, and we continue to allow the Adam and Eve status quo to continue, some people are challenging this idea and resurrecting not only the lost goddess for women but for men as well. A man without his feminine side is handicapped. He is boring, inauthentic, and uncreative. He looks for it desperately in a woman only to smash it out of her when she expresses it.
The Second Coming
Just when you think that everyone has lost his or her nerve to nudge people out of their tiny, little boxes and we are all doomed to lives of superficial stupor, Sherry Glaser brings to life the goddess in her one-woman show, “The Second Coming.” Sherry gently awakens the feminine goddess in her audience. She miraculously transforms on stage into the mother that we have been missing for so long. She tells us the words we long to hear, “I love you.”
Let’s start with her physique. She undoes the damage that Hollywood and modeling has inflicted on women by dressing her full goddess-style bosom in a form-fitting body suit. In other words, she walks her talk. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful she looks in that body suit and how naturally she gives us all permission to love our own bodies. There is a part where she dances as a real goddess would, and I never wanted it to end. She moved like a serpent rising from the ground, which is no doubt why the patriarchs had to make the serpent the bad girl. Until Adam and Eve, the serpent was glorified in its swooning, upward state. Sherry reminds us of exactly what that goddess energy looked like before it was cast to the ground in submission.
We’ve replaced the beauty of the feminine voluptuous body with Barbie. Why? It is said that the fashion industry realized that when women are full-figured, people look at the women and don’t look at the clothes. Put an emaciated body in a dress and you suddenly notice the dress. Thank you Sherry for reminding us that it is not only okay to have curves, it is beautiful. Isn’t it about time that we start noticing the one wearing the dress instead of the dress?
If that were all Sherry accomplished, it would be enough. But she takes a concept and weaves it into a story that is funny and engaging. She creates a beautiful tapestry of ancient truth about the lost goddess along with modern humor, and the finished product is something that is unique and memorable. It will be a long time before I stop thinking about and talking about Sherry’s one-woman show.
Men Don’t Give Birth
Sherry reminds us that birth is a feminine act. In the ancient traditions the male essence was love, and the feminine essence was wisdom. Without the womb and wisdom of the feminine, nothing could be created. Woman is shorthand for “man with a womb or womb man.” Proverbs 8:1 reminds us of the necessity of the feminine; it refers to wisdom as “her.”
“Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?”
Asherah and Friends
One of my favorite parts was where Sherry, as the Goddess, picks up the Bible and speaks about God as her husband. She lets him know that he wrote a huge book and didn’t have the consideration to mention her. Now some may say that is blaspheme, but that is because they don’t know about Asherah. Legends speak of Asherah, the lost goddess of Yahweh. Other traditions acknowledge the goddess as Sophia. In fact, the very word philosophy comes from the love of wisdom or love of Sophia.
Look at any golden age and you will find goddess images everywhere. She has many names; and she represents not only wisdom, but also nurturing, fertility, and beauty. Recently, perhaps the oldest goddess image was found in Turkey. This was found in Gobekli Tepe, a site that is estimated to be 14,000 years old.
Gobekli Tepe is estimated to be 14,000 years old. It displays exceptional engineering talent and artistic ability that doesn’t fit into the caveman image we have of ancient people.
Eventually, the goddess became dark — her name and existence became mythology; and she now sported the titles of bitch, whore, or nag. Emotions became something to hide, especially if you were a man. Creativity became subservient to intellect and logic. We’ve paid a heavy price for allowing the goddess to sleep. Sherry shows us the goddess going to sleep for thousands of years. She was exhausted from all that creation; and she was probably sick and tired of fighting with her domineering god.
The wise, creative goddess has been sleeping way too long. And it is only with courageous people like Sherry who entertain and enlighten us with their gifts that we will remember who we really are and where we came from. In a place and time where few people have the courage to be true to their heart and to express the lost stories of life on planet earth, Sherry Glaser is a true oasis in the desert. When one of us steps out and expresses our wisdom and creativity, it gives others permission to do the same.
Anyone Can Enjoy This Show
Now all this being said, you can still enjoy this show even if you are the most dogmatic, patriarchal, fire-breathing believer in male-domination on the planet. You just have to have a good sense of humor. And if you don’t have a sense of humor, get one!
Sherry will be performing her one-woman show until mid-December 2011 in Los Angeles. Then she is heading to the Big Apple, off-Broadway, to perform for the New York City crowd. The name of the play may be changed back to its original name, “Oh My Goddess.” Maybe if we are lucky, Sherry will put this on DVD so those who can’t see her live can enjoy it too. And those like me, who admire her chutzpa, can watch it again and again. You can find more about her performances at https://www.sherryglaser.net. And last let me thank Gail Feldman and Rick Shaw for their fantastic contribution in directing and producing this show. Your balls or should I say, willingness to go out of the box with Sherry, gave this life.