When I was watching the opening scene in the new film Wonder Woman this weekend in the theater, I nearly busted out laughing, not because the scene was intended to be funny, but because the scenario and its characters seemed so utterly absurd and ostentatious that I started thinking: This is too ridiculous. But before my diaphragm could kick in and start spasming, I had a split-second remembrance that—Wait, this is a super-hero movie. It's supposed to be absurd and ostentatious. So the awkward laugh didn't manifest, and I began to settle into what I was beholding on screen.
On the screen were a bevy of scantily clad women dressed in golden warrior outfits, engaging in combat exercises with swords, shields, and other medieval weapons, and they were doing all of their maneuvers on a lush, tropical island, with verdant green fields, an azure sky, and stone cliffs that yielded spectacular views of the ocean. A paradise inhabited by bad-ass females. No men whatsoever.
In the story, the warriors are the Amazons, a special cadre of women chosen by the Greek gods to be protectors of the Earth. Diana the Princess (Wonder Woman) is the daughter of Zeus and possesses super-normal powers that come to be of great use when she assists a British solider who is on a mission of espionage against the German Nazis in World War II.
In another recent blog, I wrote about the film Logan, in which Wolverine's daughter wreaks havoc upon her enemies with fierce claws and primal screams. In Wonder Woman, the aesthetic is quite different. Whereas the girl in Logan is rough and dirty, the Amazons of Wonder Woman are pristine and flawless. Yes, they are highly skilled with their violence, but they never seem to get a scratch or bruise that might blemish their rosy complexions and toned physiques. In fact, I can't recall a single shot in the whole movie in which Diana the Princess suffers any kind of visible injuries. She is knocked down plenty of times, but the surface of her skin remains totally invulnerable and consistently stunning. She has the looks of an elite fashion model, coupled with the skills of a supreme martial artist and swordswoman.
The editorial choice of the filmmakers to keep Wonder Woman so glamorous and dazzling (despite her male comrades looking incredibly tarnished and maimed) is an artistic statement about the sanctity of feminine beauty. Is that editorial choice also a kind of superficial Hollywood gimmick to provide eye candy for the audience? Of course. But there is more depth to the piece than that. Like Logan, this performance is yet another indication of the rise of the divine feminine. Yes, it's highly mythological and, in a way, wholly unrealistic, but nevertheless, the cinematic art reflects an incorporation of the goddess spirit into our cultural ishta. The horrors of war and the corruption of greedy industrialism cannot defile nor touch the purity of this essence.
In the Tantra book, Yogani has written:
"Everyone knows that the woman is superior to the man in the sex act, and in other things as well. Nature has built her to be biologically superior in sexual relations. The survival of the human race depends on it. She will have the semen no matter what. She does not even have to try. Her beauty calls the semen from the man on sight. Her curves, her lips, her eyes, all call the semen out."
So, to run with the theme of feminine superiority, and to take Yogani's words well beyond sex, I believe that the survival of the human race depends on elevating the beauty of the divine feminine to its highest level. If money is at the top, that won't work. If brute force is portrayed as the determining factor of evolution, that will also fail. Survival, and more importantly, a life worthy of survival, require us to direct our energy and devotional actions towards the care and cultivation of the divine feminine in all aspects of living.
In AYP, we call it ecstatic conductivity. We have plenty of tools to bring ecstasy into our being, and the liberty of self-directed practice grants us free range to create our own real-life mythology, however glamorous or subtle that may be.
The higher power is in us.