by Jo Campbell
If we do have intuition, where did we get it? Survival truly had to be the reason for the development of the supersensitivity which became in a few individuals even prescience or telekinesis. The pressure of oppression had to bring a response in one direction or another. Women sought a refuge, a resource of the spirit. In some beaten-down ones it became total submersion in religion.
A few even found this a route to power. But some - and in the many to a lesser, individual degree -- the spirit soared. Pragmatically, through the centuries, the woman has had to sense when a man's mood portended beatings for her and the children. Woman has had to know when her intelligence threatened the dominance of the priests, dooming her to the witches' fire.
Those things which we know as if by tribal memory are still with us in suburban vestiges. There is good from that old talent, and we learn of it in unlikely ways, even today. I have just completed my portion of a book about dogs. The chapter assigned to me was about valorous dogs who saved lives. Not only were females well- represented among the valorous, but it became ever more evident as I worked that canine valor often depends on sheer telepathy between an animal and a human -- almost invariably a woman.
I shared this observation with one of the dog folk who was helping me with supplies of anecdotes, and she agreed from a breadth of experience far exceeding my own. Another woman wrote of a psychic experience involving a dog which she said she seldom tells for fear of being carted bodily away. Here's a mild, sane example for the puzzled.
It's a lovely day, and the typical suburban family is preparing for a picnic. The family's collie, Lady, repeatedly crawls under the picnic- laden car, darting back each time the bemused teenagers try to remove her from between the wheels so they can leave.
Finally, the mother of the unaware young, wife of the unheeding male, scans the clear blue skies and says, "Lady does not want us to go." Then, going into the house, she turns on the radio and hears the tornado warnings j ust in time for the family to batten down before the twister strikes. Reads like "Outer Limits" doesn't it? That's because it's one of the more credible tales. Others -- wilder -- are no less real.
Meanwhile, women have striven a long way from the Middle Ages and the witch burnings -- I think. Too often, Lady and her human sister talk only to one another, and women hide their "crazy" experiences within themselves for fear of others' laughter.
But the pressure is not so great today, is it? Today, women face ridicule and misdemeanor charges, not burnings or pressings to death. As war "stimulates" scientific research, did those bad, old days cause our senses to grow? Will easier times allow them to lag?
No matter how much we wish for easier lives, we must not permit it. When -- or, more likely, IF -- oppression is slowly eased from our psyches, we must keep our priceless sensitivity. We must never lose this extra contact. It must grow with the movement itself. We must learn how to expand it and use it.
As history moves, we women must be the ones to call the jungle to our side. We must be ones who talk to porpoises and sing with whales. Why? Because we and they are the wild creatures which man feels he must dominate, use -- or kill, if not bodily, then in spirit. And since we do not want to learn that game, we must conquer -- that is, survive -- by other means, by means of thought, by the spirit which we have proved is indomitable.
How proved? By our existence. If we were not unconquerable, even the weakest among us, we would not be here at all except in breeding pens. We achieve life, we give it in myriad ways -- by the wrench of birth or by the surging mutual mode of the spirit.
We need to know and to understand the value of this spirit-mode, to believe in its power in order to shore up the wavering, to encourage the faltering, to make unbreachable this fortress of the self. Send out our minds across the waves, over cities, woods, mountains. Other minds are listening. We are true friends to all, and we need all our friends -- furred and finned, on all fours and upright. Who knows in what burrow we may need to hide? Or what leviathan, in turn, may seek our aid?
We are full of doubts, but there are little things to reassure us. They happen every day. Think. I drew a logo for our caucus monthly, saw it chosen and was so delighted until I found another's name on the credit line. Ho t, I pored through my notes and sketches. Then I felt my back hair rise as my identical design turned up - unmailed.
Coincidence? That is what some would say who fear its meaning, just as they always sneer at "women's intuition." But I believe in something more. I believe there is no end to what we can do if we retain the ancient gift of our oppression. How? If we but choose one thought and bend it to an end. What? An end? No. A beginning. Think.
Jo Campbell, is an environmental and human right reporter, serving as editor for Ecotopics . She has worked as a freelance reporter for many prominant news media as well as won prestigious awards for her writing.