I am a bit puzzled, happy and annoyed by this popular movement around bringing forth the feminine within spiritual circles.
Happy because I feel it’s very important to say yes to what has been repressed.
Puzzled because I feel it turns over from patriarchy to matriarchy and I can’t see what difference that would really make. Flipping over from one identification to another. So far I have not yet found that other side where the grass is greener than where I stand.
Annoyed because … well, to be honest I don’t know why I find this movement somewhat provocative …
The mind has a peculiar habit to split up the wholeness of life into two opposites. This goes for everything, male and female included. I feel it’s a trap though to put female and male in an either/or perspective. Ok, it’s how the mind works but nevertheless contra productive. It always seeks to divide wholeness into opposites then identifying with one part and rejecting the other. It is equally not helpful to state that there are no sexes and that male and female are cultural constructions. It is indeed true in the end but not because you state that as an intellectual idea. Male and female are deep running programs in the human psyche and culture. For instance, if you are someone with a male physical body and consider your self straight, imagine your self putting on very female sexy clothes and walk the streets among people or imaging your self having sex with another man. It is easy to say that there is no gender but usually you will encounter strong inner and outer resistance if you are breaking the conditionings. If you are truly interested in no gender, you have to be prepared to take that to its uttermost consequence. Otherwise it’s just fancy academic philosophies.
My experience is that the first step is to see and admit that I have actually divided existence into male and female. I could of course come up with a whole bunch of outside causes to this but at the bottom line I have to take responsibility for that split by saying yes to and receive both the male and female side of existence back into the dance of wholeness again. This is nothing new. It’s a symbolic thematic that can be seen in many mystic traditions. The alchemical work that ends in “the Sacred Marriage” between the King and Queen which gives birth to the “the Alchemical Hermaphrodite”, also called “the Divine Child”. In more traditional Christianity, the immaculate conception between the holy spirit and virgin Mary which gives birth to the Jesus child. In Hinduism we have the divine hermaphrodite, Ardhanarishwara, which is the union of opposites, Shiva (consciousness, male energy) and Shakti (life, female energy).
If you ask me I would say that it is the collapse of the imaginary split between the absolute and relative, oneness and relations, non-duality and duality, the ocean and the wave, male and female. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Why keep on fighting around that?
“When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.”
– Gospel of Thomas, 22
In the end there is absolutely nothing esoteric and mystical around all this. The student asked the zen master; “What is zen?”. The zen master slammed his stick in the floor shouting “This is zen!”
But who wanna listen to that?