As many of you know I have written a great deal on the need for balance within us and within our societies. Many psychologists and philosophers also subscribe to the idea that we are all developing psychosocially toward wholeness i.e. to be a fully individuated human being one needs to deal with their inner and outer opposites by learning to integrate them. For those individuals and those societies who ignore or actively suppress part of themselves an imbalance occurs that affects negatively all relationships and retards the growth process.
There are probably an infinite number of aspects reflected in the human personality but I’m choosing to focus on what I see is probably the most destructive to the concept of wholeness, not only to the individual, but to all societies as well.
Each of us was born with dual gender personality aspects. In each of us is a feminine and masculine set of traits that affect virtually everything we do, think, and feel or at the least how we express our doing-ness, thoughts, and feelings. Simply put, these are the feminine and masculine traits.
For example, a feminine trait might be intuitiveness, compassion, accepting, sharing, surrendering, and patient. The masculine traits might include assertiveness, decisiveness, strength, powerful, forceful, focused, and independent.
A male or society that has denied to any degree the feminine aspect tends to be oppressive, overpowering, aggressive, un-nurturing, loses touch with their emotions, uncompassionate, and concrete in thought. The female or society that ignores its masculine nature tends to compromise their integrity, independence, self-confidence, focus, and freedom.
Of course, all of us with varying degrees share these traits, it’s only when a person or society allows one or the other trait to dominate its cultural, or political, or personal ethic and activity that an imbalance is created and out of that imbalance certain levels of dysfunctionality begin to grow.
Over time many cultural traditions have denied full and equal spiritual and social equality to females. And these oppressions aren’t restricted to females either, because most societies also define what it is to be male and that definition almost always excludes the feminine aspects as the feminine definition usually excludes the male. Most of these differentiations and definitions have not only been codified in religions but in local and national politics and legal systems as well.
Essentially by separating the masculine from the feminine not only have we fragmented and compromised our ability to positively impact our relationships and society, we have also severely limited our ability to live life to its fullest.
By separating themselves from the positive feminine1 males have handicapped themselves emotionally, spiritually, and politically. Females who don’t claim their positive masculine traits contribute to their oppression as well. It is one thing to be accepting, patient, and gentle but it’s quite another to become a doormat and a second-class human being. A man without his feminine becomes spiritually rigid in thought and experience and has great difficulty understanding where and when emotions affect behavior. Probably the most destructive aspect of sexism other than the denial of fully half of what we are and what we’re capable of is the loss for both the male and female of their vast spiritual potential.
We also have an inborn creativity, but our oppressive nature has seriously compromised and debilitated this God given gift. It is this creativity that defines our experience of life. It’s what inspires and motivates us.
Ask yourself why we have done this to ourselves? Is it fear, fear of what, loss, self-control, survivability? Or is it the fear of death, the death of what, a belief, control, self-image, and/or status?
In our dreams the archetypes, inbred images, of our masculine and feminine natures show up as our opposite gender, females for the male and males for the female. Pay attention to them, what they’re doing, saying, or feeling, If you know them or know of them, what about their personality or behavior reflects something desired or rejected in your own life, or way of being?
Dream people often bring symbolic messages to aide the dreamer with personal growth issues as well as solutions to vexing problems and it is the opposite gender people who more often than not have the most important information to give.
In our dreams both waking and sleeping the Phoenix bird is often symbolic of the feminine aspect as the dragon can be a representative of the masculine. Note closely their relationship and what each may be trying to tell you. It is the feminine that is and needs to rise from the ashes created by the fire spitting dragons of the world. It is the dragon who needs to withhold his fire so as to be open to his other aspect.
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. –Albert Einstein
1 We all have both positive and negative aspects of either gender in us as well e.g. the negative female might be passive but without the masculine assertive trait it might then become passive aggressive, or overly manipulative.
The negative male can show up when the individual or society dismisses the value of the emotional, or compassionate and thus becomes dispassionate and overly aggressive.
The negative gender aspect is always there but only comes forward when denying equal validity and expression for either trait disrupts the gender balance in either the individual or society.
Readers may also be interested in the following link: