We are excited to be expanding and deepening TrueSelf in the direction of supporting in creating more meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
In our last 2 posts, we introduced a model of Multidimensional Consciousness: Line Up. Clean Up. Wake Up. Grow Up. Show Up. Blow Up.
To date, TrueSelf has been focused on building a comprehensive site around the personality typology of the Enneagram — which falls along the ‘Line Up’ dimension within the Multidimensional Model of Consciousness.
When we surveyed our community, two areas many people shared interest in learning more about were 1. Relationships; and 2. Meaning, Purpose and Spiritual Growth.
In this post, I will be introducing a new critical and potent framework for understanding and catalyzing those dimensions of human experience. Situating this new framework within the larger TrueSelf Model of Multidimensional Consciousness is a process and exposition we will be regularly undertaking as we introduce new Frameworks and Models of Consciousness in this next chapter of TrueSelf.
It is within this context that I introduce the topic for today’s blog post: Masculine and Feminine Polarity.
Fun quick side story: the digital painting above, titled ‘Union’ by artist Android Jones is one of the most famous modern images on the Masculine and Feminine. The image was started as a live painting at the wedding of Bryan Franklin and Jennifer Russell who are both friends of mine. Further, it was one of my dear friends, Tara Divina who spent quite a lot of effort convincing and enrolling Android Jones to come to their wedding to create this art piece as her wedding gift to her close friends. It turned out to be Android’s most popular piece ever.
The Hermetic Laws of Existence
According to many spiritual traditions, Gendered Polarity is a fundamental quality of the Universe itself. Hermetic Philosophy has a well known set of 7 principles that describe the nature of reality. Its 7th principle states, “Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles.
Colton Swabb, who wrote the above linked article on Hermetic Philosophy writes, “This principle embodies the fact that both the masculine and feminine exist in all things. Not just in sex, but in the creative nature of all things, on all planes. In harmony with the principle of Correspondence, this means that the masculine and feminine exist not only in the physical plane, but also the mental, and the spiritual as well. The principle of Gender plays a role in all things generation, creation, and regeneration — nothing can come into being without the use of this principle.”
Gender is a hot topic these days both in many universities and throughout Culture, where it is hip to explore gender as a social construct. But according to many Integral Philosophers and Developmental Psychologists, analyzing the world through the lens of something being a ‘Cultural Construct’ is a feature of Post-Modernism — which is a particular Level of Consciousness that makes many meaningful contributions to Society and Philosophy but also gets a lot wrong — and the nature of gender and polarity is one of the things that the Post-Modern Worldview and Narrative has screwed up the most.
The Post-Modern fallacious understanding of the nature of Gender and Masculine/Feminine Polarity has led to a myriad of problems throughout society since its advent in Culture in the 1970’s and its rise to more dominant social prominence within the last decade or so. Two areas where these problems surface most acutely are seen in dysfunctional, unfulfilling romantic relationships and in confusion about who one truly is, including the nature of their life purpose and the energetic tones they would find most fulfilling in their lifestyle.
This series of posts on Masculine and Feminine polarity will explore:
How and why our relationships between men and women have so many problems,
Orient gender and Masculine and Feminine energies within the TrueSelf Multidimensional Map of Consciousness
Describe the pathway forward towards healthier relationships between the Masculine and Feminine out pictured in Man-Woman relating as well as in our own internal Masculine and Feminine energies.
Post-Modernism is a level of consciousness that can be identified by many qualities and features. Here are some things that occur at this level of consciousness so you can better map your life experiences to the abstract idea of a level of consciousness: Liberalism, Feminism, Environmentalism, Equality, Social Justice, Self-Awareness, Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation, and Empathy.
A few more technical/structural considerations to understand before we get into the heart of this post.
When we are discussing levels of Consciousness we are exploring the Grow Up dimension within the TrueSelf Model of Multidimensional Consciousness. It’s important to understand that every level of consciousness has healthy and unhealthy expressions, individually and collectively, as well as things, paradoxes or anomalies that can only be resolved by progressing to the next level of consciousness. There is a natural progression to Levels of Consciousness, where each level has a fundamental rightness, is incomplete in some critical way and in many ways emerges as a reaction to solve certain problems from the previous level of consciousness. If you would like to go deeper into how Levels of Consciousness work and the foundations of Integral Theory we recommend this primer by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens.
When we use the words Masculine and Feminine it is critical to understand that this is not equivalent to Man and Women. Masculine and Feminine are best understood as Archetypal Energies that dwell inside of and transcend human beings. Every human being has a Masculine and Feminine channel. Men are generally more Masculine and Women are generally more Feminine but it is all rather fluid; Additionally, Masculine/Feminine energy is not a binary categorization of a 1 or 0 but rather exists along a spectrum.
Much of today’s current understanding of Masculine and Feminine Archetypes traces its roots back to the work of famous Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung. Jung proposed that every man possessed an inner feminine Archetype known as the Anima and every woman possessed an inner masculine Archetype known as the Animus. In his paradigm, an individual’s relationship to their respective Inner Masculine or Inner Feminine governed much of their relationship to the opposite sex, manifested heavily in a person’s dream live and determined how much of their creative life force was ultimately expressed.
Most people are familiar with the Yin/Yang symbol. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Masculine energy is known as Yang energy and Feminine energy is known as Yin Energy. It is also noteworthy that the dots in Yin/Yang symbol are demonstrative of how the Feminine exists within the Masculine and how the Masculine exists within the Feminine, which is essentially pointing to the same structure as Jung’s Archetypal Constructions of the Anima and Animus (Inner Feminine & Masculine).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine they also look at the left side of the body as Feminine and the right side of the body as more Masculine. One way this shows up energetically is the left side tends to be more receptive while the right side tends to be more exertive. A great and easy energy practice you can try right now is to tune into your body with your palms open and outstretched and see if you can sense the energetic difference between the left and right side of your body.
Masculine/Feminine Energetics are fundamental building blocks of an Archetypal Lens and Language that transcend the human experience. One of the most illuminative expressions of Masculine/Feminine energetics is the contrast or polarity of Structure and Flow. Where structure is quality of the Masculine and Flow is a quality of the Feminine. In nature you can see this expressed as the Masculine being the banks of the river and the Feminine being the flow of water between those banks.
Masculine and Feminine energetics have even deeper roots in Physics and Chemistry through their intimate relationship with Electromagnetism. Through this lens the Masculine is Electricity and the Feminine is Magnetism. We can see this in our human experience and colloquial language in how we talk about attraction — when we attracted to someone we feel a *magnetic* pull...the word attraction itself has its roots in Electromagnetism. Masculine Men tend to assert their will on the world with Electricity and Voltage whereas Feminine Women tend to Magnetize opportunity to them with their enchanting beauty and allure. Our genitalia represent this same structure with the phallus being outwardly assertive, protruding organ and the vagina, an open, receptive organ.
One of the reasons these patterns of Masculine/Feminine energy exhibit themselves at many different layers or dimensions of reality including Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Sociology is because of the first Hermetic Principle: As Above So Below. This Hermetic Principle describes the fractal nature of reality where many patterns in existence repeat themselves with similar, shape and structure at different dimensions and levels of reality.
In our next post, we integrate the Masculine and Feminine Polarity Framework articulated here with the 9 Enneagram Types.