Illustration Credit: Lana Dalberg by Brett Affrunti
A writer, activist, and lay theologian, Lana Dalberg is the author of Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine. She spoke with Rabbi Rami Shapiro about how the language of a male God shapes society; the insight women can bring to the spiritual experience; and the importance of emptying ourselves.In your most recent book, Birthing God, you say humanity desperately needs to hear women’s spiritual experiences. How does the spiritual experience of women differ from that of men?The experience of Spirit in a body that gestates and nurtures life, or has the capacity to do so, merits exploration. Women, in addition to birthing, seek to meet their infants’ needs long before the infants can verbalize them. Women have honed this ability and are adept at connection. Their perspective is helpful in understanding the Divine Spirit who births and sustains all of life.What was your own experience in this regard?Even though I was raised with male images of God, my meditation experiences led me to the Divine Mother.This was not an intellectual connection but an awakening through heart and Spirit in which I saw a t …
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.
He has this to say about religion: "To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence."
To comment on this installment of One For the Road or submit a question, email the editors. Questions may be edited for length and clarity; all are published anonymously.