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  • Pamela Sahara Dyson

Pamela Dyson Unpublished Interview Archives, Part 2: Women and the Heroine's Journey

A lot of people try to defend YB by saying, “Oh my God, he exalted women!” and “He put women in high positions!” Well if you try examining that topic, there's some big stuff in there. Number one, he had a real love-hate relationship with his mother. Number two, he used to say, when asked why he only had women on his staff, “The male ego cannot tolerate another male ego.” And when you think about it. Guess what? A bunch of women, each of whom is completely in love with him, is going to be very easy to manipulate. They can be jerked from one end of the universe to the other, and that's what it was.[1]

He used to call India “Mother India.” I felt like India itself was representative of the feminine to him, and he was always trying to prove himself to India. One of his most common stories about his mother was when she came one time to his workplace (when he was a customs officer) and she didn't like some decision that he was making, some ruling or some judgment. He said that she walked into his office and she knocked him upside the head and knocked off his turban. He always told that story. It was a key story about him and his mother. And he always made the point that knocking the turban off of a Sikh was the most insulting thing anyone could do. I would venture to say that he didn't like his mother. In fact, I would guess that he probably hated his mother and resented her power over him. He made it sound like he exalted the feminine, but underneath it he was abusing women, exerting power over women and keeping them subservient

I write at the end of Premka, in the Acknowledgments, about Rebecca Walker, who led a week-long writing seminar that I attended. Her very important feedback to me at the end of that week was that my challenge was going to be to keep my story as ‘my’ story. She was cautioning me to not let the story get lost in the need to explain YB or to track the history of the growth of 3HO. I did not yet have the answer to "How could my story be important enough?" At that time, I didn't really know how to make it my story. I began to notice that every time I wrote as though I had to give historical background, trying to explain something too much, I would lose the flow and inspiration. So I just stuck with sharing those meaningful (crucial) events.

Tara Brach, who is a major therapist and meditation teacher, was once a 3HO teacher. We've connected a few times over the decades, so I also reached out to her. As publication approached, I sent my writing to her, and her feedback was also very important. She said, “This is a universal story that you're telling – the myth of the heroine’s journey.” I've always loved the archetypal perspective. In my therapy, in my exploration of astrology, in my love of childhood fairytales, I’ve always liked to get to that archetypal place of understanding. When I got that feedback from Tara Brach, it was a validation that the story was shaping itself and moving in an arc, that it was archetypal and universal and therefore valuable on a broader scale.


[1] YB = Yogi Bhajan. Interview with Pamela Saharah Dyson, February 12, 2020

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