The Masculine and Feminine Part 2- Gender Peace
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
If gender peace is something that we must achieve by ending the gender wars then sit back, buy a big bag of popcorn and settle in to watch hell freeze over and the stars burn out. We are as incapable of ending warfare between the genders as we are of ending wars on the planet. We are selling guns faster than we are able to limit their use and we are as far from truly addressing the underlying dynamics in the gender debate as we are in the political. We love war even while we profess to hate it. Its dramatic and passionate. Much of our sex is really a battle. And we get to stay in the excitement of duality and polarity. In the hope of union and the agony of separation. This passionate dance is how we know we ‘exist’. There will never be peace between the genders, between the races, between humans and the earth and any other relationship unless we desire it and find it at the core of our own hearts. We do not create peace. It already is. We must actively do something to move away from it into the excitement of duality. The seeking for it and trying to create it around us is often the last resort of the ego to keep existing. We really, really want to rest in peace. But only after we are dead.
So let’s drill down a little into some of the popular zeitgeist.
"The masculine patriarchy has dominated the world in business and politics and built an economic/politic/oil based, military defended boys club that controls everything and represses our more feminine impulses for love, creativity and connectedness. What we need is a restoration of feminine values in the world. "
It certainly is the case that those in male bodies have been preferenced in society over a few thousand years and those in female bodies more marginalised not to mention indigenous races and many other minorities.The various movements to embrace diversity, become multicultural, honour all genders and forms of sexual orientation etc are healthy and productive of a more integrated world. The downside is that when we focus on this domain of society, - - business and politics - we can simply reinforce the power structures by petitioning them to change and bestow more of ‘their’ power on the marginalised. When we focus on the differences in structure and fight for equality ( important as this is ) we can miss the domain where union and equality already exist. In the realm of the soul, the god and goddess are ‘powers' - they cannot be diminished or repressed. They will be what they are and they will find their own way to express. When a river is dammed, the water does not go away it simply redirects itself or builds up. This is such an important point. The goddess herself is not a damsel in distress. She is not marginalised and cannot be restored. That would place her under the dominion of human free will and choice and that is simply egoistic and anthropocentric. We exclude her at our own diminishment not hers.
Even in the immature world of masculine and feminine gender politics, she is not the weaker sex, waiting passively for emancipation. From the perspective of wholeness the masculine and feminine are inherently equal. If one is expressing itself more fully in one domain then the other will be operating somewhere else. So what has the immature feminine been up to while the immature masculine has been dominating civil society? The idea that she has gone away denies her very real presence in other spheres of our lives. For example, the worlds of interiority, the worlds of relationship, sexuality, intimacy, the unconscious and the entertainment industries.
Let’s look at the negative side of the two obvious areas of immature masculine and feminine dominion. Quite obviously there are also many examples of mature expressions but they are not yet in the majority.
Business and Politics - the domain of the immature masculine
- the focus on progress at the expense of wholeness
- the focus on the bottom line at the expense of relationship and the ecosystem
- the self absorbed greed and indulgence of superficial desire
- collusion with brotherhood ,vested interest and special interest lobbying
- competition with brotherhood to continually ‘prove’ worth through achievement and defend relationship ‘assets’ - often including ‘their' women.
- chauvinism and active shaming of vulnerability and failure as weakness
- demanding the feminine conform to masculine ideals in their domain
- fostering environments of fear to perpetuate control
- blocking of effective technology and other solutions good for the planet if they interfere with profits.
Relationships and Intimacy - the domain of the immature feminine
- focus on gaining and keeping relationship as if it was a goal in itself.
- focus on connection at the expense of autonomy and sovereignty
- emotional sentimentality, irrationality and insecurity that requires constant attention and affirmation
- collusion with sisterhood, vested interest and generating a web of inclusion/exclusion
- competition with sisters and defence of relationship ‘assets’ - often’ their' men
- self absorbed consumerism and focus on superficial desires
- demand the masculine conform in sexual and emotional expression to the unwritten rules of the feminine ideal.
- using sexual and emotional manipulation to perpetuate control
- blocking all other relationships that they experience as threatening
- focus on relationships as work and trying to endlessly improve them or earn love instead of relaxing into what already exists.
These two expressions continually reinforce each other in a mutual codependence and polarity - the ‘economically and politically successful’ masculine chasing an unrealistic ideal of the feminine - and the 'beautiful sexy caring ' feminine chasing an unsustainable ideal of the masculine. Both expressions have much more in common than the endless dance between them. Both are immature, uninitiated, counter productive and in hidden battle for control and dominion so they don’t have to face their immaturity and their core abandonment and inadequacy wounding.
It is obvious that no matter how many women are elected to business boards or parliaments, the feminine is still excluded. Women can develop clarity, get results, and efficiently run nations in the current paradigm but that doesn’t mean ‘she' is welcome. The very rules of the game do not allow the feminine to bring her womb wisdom, her irrational intuition and her deep passion for the whole to the table. Her wild blood is not welcome in the corridors of power. Less obvious is no matter how many men learn tantric sexual techniques, emotional expression, cooking and child care - the masculine balls, risk taking, commitment to truth, freedom and autonomy is challenging to relationships controlled by the immature feminine. His wild seed is unwelcome in the suburbs, the primary schools, hospitals and community centres.
The immaturity in the expression of masculine and feminine lies in their lack of integration in each gender. If a man is repressing his own feminine nature ( as our society encourages him to do ) he will eventually try to control it in his partner, family, civilisation and on the earth. If a woman is denying her own masculine nature ( as our society encourages her to do ) she will try to control it in her partner, family, culture and planet. And both will believe it is in the best interests of the whole to do so and that it makes them more of a man or woman. The war is inside. Ironically we are more likely to die at our own hand than by a terrorist or in a war but it is much easier to have the enemy safely outside even if it results in domestic violence, endless wars and despoliation of the biosphere. Equality must be realised as inherently true at the core of each human soul. We are not men or women but souls who are in male or female ( or inter-sex ) bodies and able to preference either polarity as well as to integrate them and get beyond them.
In the male ‘hierarchy' the bottom of the heap is the masculine in a woman or even more so in a ‘underprivileged’ black indigenous woman. He doesn’t get a vote in the brotherhood because it’s more comfortable for him to be invisible - repressed out of existence. In the female ‘circle’ the most excluded and unconsidered is the feminine in a man and particularly a 'successful ‘ white caucasian man. She doesn’t get the compassion of the sisterhood because its more comfortable to believe she doesn’t exist - repressed out of existence.
Only there is no repressing these ‘powers’ - we can simply put them in the shadow - our subconscious or if we really try, the unconscious. Then we project them out on partners, whole cultures, the planet itself. It is easy to see this projection at work in the area of sexuality. The conventional wisdom in our mutually repressed society is that men are driven by their sexuality and lack emotional sensitivity. However a conversation with any aware female sex worker who holds space for a man’s authentic eros will reveal that men are often really seeking intimacy, emotional connection and non judgement. They want the freedom to express sexually and emotionally in ways that are not welcome in their relationships. Women are often considered sexually demure and lacking in aggressive drives but a conversation with a any male stripper invited to a hen’s party will tell you just how raunchy, sexually assertive and objectifying a group of women in the grip off their repressed masculine can be.
In the realm of the psyche, a major evolution in the twentieth century was the development of depth psychology, psychoanalysis and the individuation process that coincided with the upheavals of the world wars and also the increased freedom from stereotyped gender roles. Jung and others developed processes to help men contact and eventually integrate their ‘anima’ and women their ‘animus’. Before the inner marriage - the alchemical conjunctio -could take place there was the need for development and disidentification from these inner eruptions of the contra sexual selves.
This process is going on now all over the planet particularly in affluent western societies where it has come out of the therapy room and into culture. The anima is appearing in the realms of masculine as intuitive leadership programmes abound and the animus is appearing in the realms of relationship and sexuality as a new spirit of freedom and exploration has emerged. The split between private life and public life is coming under increasing pressure and as the walls break down inside individuals they out picture in society. As society undergoes change this feeds back more permission for authentic self expression in the individual. The shadows are emerging into the light and we are being asked collectively to consummate the marriage of these dualities and take our soul initiation.
Normally at the threshold of this experience in the individual journey there is a major crisis as the old patterns exert themselves in a final struggle to maintain dominion. My read is that we are in that stage now but the deep battle is over. I say this because the collective consciousness has grown aware enough to see these patterns as the two dimensional stereotypes, even caricatures that they are. Remnants but remnants that still have the control of many of the world’s systems and are potentially dangerous. But my sense is that it has become a game or a play that not even the stalwarts truly believe in - in the way that earlier upwellings from the collective shadow have. They are going through the motions while at the same time preparing exit strategies, transferring wealth into cryptocurrencies, negotiating deals with the last of their power and so on. We are dis-identifying from them and will soon integrate these parts of our immature human psyche.
And in the realm of relationships and sexuality the towers are also falling. The mini queendoms of consumer suburbia are giving way to eco villages, simplicity and shared resources. Young people are refusing gender stereotypes, and exploring beyond polarity - even LBGT labels. Tantra, open relationships,polyamory and group intimacy are popular explorations for men and women. Women are claiming their right to their autonomous sexual drives and men are welcoming their own hearts and discovering what power there is in vulnerability. For many the conversation has developed well beyond the old gender battles into much finer distinctions about identity, gender, sexual orientation, power and spirit. But for the majority, still operating in traditional heterosexual dyads caught between the new world and the old here is advice on the essentialized core patterns that lie at the bottom of the codependent enmeshment and the pain that exists behind the closed doors of so many relationships.
Don’t try to be the man she can absolutely trust and rely on to be there no matter what. Don’t buy into the demand for you to ‘be present’ for her when it its at the expense of being present with your own feminine. Her need for this often stems from a core wound of insecurity around relationship - usually with father or other first male figure. You did not cause this wound and it is not your responsibility to heal it. A woman’s body comes out of a woman and so a man is shamanically ‘other’ and in almost all cases this first connection is deficient in some way - emotionally, sexually, spiritually, physically. A core relating wound lies here and it can never be healed by you becoming what she longed for and never received. You will never be enough. The healing can only happen when she is conscious of the wound, moves through the intense feelings underneath it and has a stable sense of identity and a presence that can be responsible to being there for herself. Then you can offer to hold space for her healing and even provide experiences of what she didn’t have to reset her system. But this role is a gift and not an identity so you identify with it at your peril.
Don’t try to be the feminine influence that he can rely on to support his insecure identity and bolster his masculine so that he can fulfil his purpose in the world. Don’t buy into the demand for you to trust, believe and support him at the expense of being there for your own masculine. His need for this comes from a core wound of insecurity around identity. A man’s body also comes from a woman and this often causes an ambivalence in relationship to the feminine and an identity crisis. He comes from her and yet he is a man so how does he move away from her into the world of men. This requires an initiation from older men who are comfortable in their bodies and most modern fathers have not had this themselves. So the man wants nourishment and support from the feminine but also rejects it at the same time because he feels he should be able to stand alone. This is behind an inadequacy of identity as well as homophobic tendencies and the attempt to become more of a man by repressing his own feminine. You did not cause this wound and you are not responsible for healing it. You will never be enough. The healing can only happen when he experiences the core inadequacy and insecurity feelings underneath the wound - often triggered by a failure of some kind. You can hold space and support him in this process but it is not your job to be the feminine that he needs to form a relationship with on the inside. Your support is a gift and not an identity - you identify with it at your peril.
It is so tempting to try to do this work for each other and these patterns almost inevitably form part of the shamanic projection process that underlies the attraction between you in the first place. We feel each other’s unspoken pain and want to alleviate it. We all carry some version of these core wounds on both sides of any polarity regardless of our gender. Releasing them allows forgiveness of any deficiencies in our actual parenting, develops healthy inner parents, forms a joyful and secure connection to the energy of our divine parents - and begins the process of inner marriage between the healthy masculine and feminine energies that make up all creation. Then we can stand alone, together.
The doorways to gender initiation tend to go like this:
The immature masculine tries to prove himself in the world by being strong and in charge and achieving. He thinks this will take away the core feeling of inadequacy. it doesn’t. Infact it makes it worse if he succeeds in his endeavours for that success does not change his inner world and now the hope that it will is gone. Sooner or later he will fail in some significant area and if he goes into the wound and through it he will discover that he was never in charge and his value, freedom and power are inherent and do not need to be earned.
The codependence is that often the support structures ( and the partner/children around him ) do not want to let him ‘fail’ for that failure is also threatening to their sense of security. We see this playing out now in the world. It is quite obvious that the political and business spheres are NOT in charge, are incapable of controlling the environmental, economic and social challenges that face us collectively. And yet they try to shore up their fragile power base by marketing the idea that they are all that stops us from falling into complete chaos. "Without the war machines we would all be overrun. Without the corrupt banking systems there would be economic chaos. Without vested interest political lobbying democracy would fail. This is the way it is, the system we have, not perfect but the only thing stopping us from chaos and ruin. “
The classic situation was the government bailing out the banks at the expense of the guy in the street. Soon it will be the insurance companies as the climate and the earth itself deepen their unease. Everyone is complicit when we buy the pap story that our vote ‘counts’ and that this is the way of exercising our ‘power’ in the system in the hope that there will be some new version of a wounded little boy/girl dressed up as someone who will take responsibility for all our problems and solve them. The system and the type of thinking that runs it has already failed, like a man who has been working too long at a job he hates, neglecting his soul, becoming more and more controlling to mask his fear until even his family have had enough and break free in spite of the economic risk.
The immature feminine tries to get love through relationship and connection. She thinks this will take away the core feeling of insecurity and sense of being unloved, it doesn’t. In fact it makes it worse if she succeeds in getting the relationship she wants and surrounding herself with people who depend on her - for now the hope that it will heal the inner wound is gone. Sooner or later the relationship will end ( perhaps through death ) or her reliance on it will, and the core wound will surface. If she goes through it she will discover that love is who she essentially is and she was always worthy of being loved and did not need to earn it in some way.
The codependence is that the support structures around her ( often the partner/ children ) have grown dependent on her behaviours and her attention now to her own purpose are threatening to their sense of security. One of the ways that we see this playing out in the world is that we have created a smothering culture of ‘care’, political correctness and emotional control in the realms of relationship and community. We have enabled a kind of global victimhood in the immature feminine’s attempt to prove its value by emotional indulgence and the encouragement of dependence. Our healthcare and education systems are stifling people’s independence and fostering reliance on our very limited human concepts while ignoring the inner wisdom and knowing of the soul and body alike.
We huddle away from nature in vast ugly cities - trying to avoid those 'germs and diseases' and often die like sheep in sterile white concrete buildings under fluorescent lights. We keep animals in horrendous conditions so we can pick up a desaniitised, bloodless, shrink-wrapped breast of chicken in the supermarket and not have to face even the idea of death. It becomes a virtual crime to go into the bush alone without telling someone or not swim between the flags because of all the cost and concern you will create for others who might have to rescue you. A classic case was the courageous young girl who wanted to sail round the world - and did - despite court cases wanting to remove her from her father’s custody and attempts to stop her ‘crazy irresponsible scheme’. Many young people would rather rebel or in extreme cases, commit suicide than be caught up in a zombie life of meaningless job, relationship, mortgage, tv, alcohol, depression and then death.
Our unwillingness to face the death and aloneness inside of ourselves ( which would open us to our unique wild life and true community ) means that we attempt to squash any hint of it in the world and others around us and then market this as love and care. Relationships and sexuality are also largely mummified which has created a huge shadowy underworld of repression and hypocrisy. The system and the type of thinking and emotional patterns that control it has already failed like a woman who has been taking care of her children too long at the expense of her own need for risk, passion and adventure so she smothers it in those around her until they break free inspite of the risk of being alone.
If we are controlled by the ‘patriarchy' in our civil life we are controlled by the ‘matriarchy' in our relationships and communities. These two codependent dualities are never operating independently from each other but like the right leg and left leg, one may only seem to be in front at a time. Indeed one of the signatures of maturity is just this binocular vision that can see that if there is control in one area it will always be balanced by a corresponding control in another.
Fortunately our world is not solely made up of those expressing these immature qualities and beliefs inspite of the fact that our culture is largely under their dominion. More and more individuals and groups of individuals have done the work to get beyond these dualities, and bring them into loving, mutually reinforcing relationship in the centre of their own psyche. This is the work of soul initiation.
The hope of our civilisation is not in the never ending struggle between left and right politics that goes on endlessly in our countries, our families and inside each human heart. It rests with those who have had the privilege that the long sweep of evolution has given them and the courage they have found in the core of themselves, to reject the battle with its endless drama. It requires a tremendous trust that love and freedom are inherent and will be found and revealed at the centre if we can let go of all our illusions about what they are or should be. It requires a willingness to be on our knees before the mystery, to hold steady in the emotional storms, to face our mortality, to integrate our shadows, to pray for revelation and to take courageous action when it emerges from that still silent centre at the core of all turnings. There where the masculine and feminine are ever in divine, ecstatic union. There in the true heart of gender peace.