We’re growing up, we men and women, just like the planet we call home is maturing. So where are we going with all this? How exactly are we evolving? If we reach womanhood or manhood, what does that ultimately look like? In recent decades, for women, it has meant that she is coming into her own. During this phase in history, she is stepping out from under her confinement.
Back at the dawn of history, our state of development was pretty darned primitive. Distrust of anything beyond our own little selves was rampant. We didn’t trust nature or animals, the weather, the gods, our fate or other tribes. We looked at anything that seemed strange or foreign with a side eye. Needless to say, distrust of the opposite sex was through the roof.
Man was wired to distrust woman, and she returned the compliment. Each seemed justified in their distrust because, heck, the other started it. Since man was physically stronger than woman—and that was, like, the sole expression of early humans—man assumed a general swagger of superiority over all who were weaker, which of course included all the little ladies.
In early times for humanity, mutual distrust along with man’s physical domination were overtly acted out. As the millennia have rolled forward, these traits and attitudes have become stuck, albeit to a lessening degree, and remain lodged in our consciousness. Today, they are overshadowed by a smidge more maturity and are not acted out in the same way. But in a dark corner of our minds, there remains more that needs exposure to the light. Change is in the air.
Looking back, we did what we so often do: held onto an attitude long after it was useful. Man held onto the macho-man superiority long after physical strength was a prime benefit. Because it turns out, there are other things to value that apply to both sexes equally. But nonetheless, the whole man-is-superior-and-woman-is-inferior notion persisted, for men and women alike. Then we justified this assumption by taking the woman-are-intellectually-and-morally-weaker low road.
To whatever degree man didn’t deal with his own feelings of inferiority, he assumed a position of arrogance and superiority over all that were weaker. In short, he needed slaves to shore up his sense of his own value. This included animals, people overcome in war, and of course, women. For their part, women assumed a position of dependency, mentally and emotionally. They participated in becoming enslaved, no matter how much smoke screen was thrown up in an effort to put all the blame on the men’s shoulders.
For man, there was a perpetual fear of those who were physically stronger. The greater the fear, the stronger the urge to subjugate the weak. Such compensation still roams wild in our consciousness. And women aren’t free and clear of it either. We all have attitudes like this running around inside us.
So why has this carried on, with women denied their birthright of equality for so long? It can’t only be that women are victims of men’s egotistical desires to possess them like an object. No, she must be playing a role here. Flashlight, please.
In our work of self-discovery, we find places in ourselves where we don’t want to take on self-responsibility. We want a stronger authority figure to take care of us. This isn’t just a girl-thing—men have this attitude too. But in the old days, women made themselves victims by actively denying self-responsibility. She followed the path of least resistance so she would be taken care of. She wanted someone to make decisions for her, to take the blame for her mistakes, to battle the hardships of life on her behalf. She set herself up to enjoy the pseudo-comfort of subjugation.
So how has this turned out? Extremely disappointing. All misconceptions eventually go south. And yet, women hung in there for a long time, trying to make this strategy work. All the time, blaming men for the way they kept her down.
The women’s movement then contained a lot of truth. But like any good dualistic approach, it’s only a half-truth. The truth: women possess all the same faculties as men. These include intelligence, resourcefulness, creativity, psychic strength and productive self-expression. To claim otherwise makes no sense at all. Yet men have continued to play this game as a way to avoid feelings of inferiority and weakness. This is what underpins men needing to feel superior to women.
The woman, by the same token, must see how she has contributed to her own enslavement. Where there is smoke, there is fire. So wherever there is a lot of rebellion and blaming of men, there lies a desire to not be the captain of one’s own ship. Such a woman doesn’t want to govern her own life, she wants to lean on someone else. On one side of the teeter-totter are her unfair and unrealizable demands; on the other are resentments, blame of male authority, and a desire to keep playing the victim game. In a similar way, the man must look at his fears, his guilts and his weaknesses, otherwise he will remain engaged in playing power games in one form or another. Then he’ll resent the woman for being a burden and exploiting him.
Both immature souls are looking for advantage without having to pay the price. The man wants the power but without the price of taking care of a parasite. The woman wants the free ride but resents the loss of her autonomy. Both are playing the same game; neither sees their own part in it.
Dropping deeper, things switch around a bit. The man shrinks from adult responsibilities and envies the woman’s cushy position. His solution: focus harder on the power game. The woman hides her zest for power, aggression and strength, both in healthy and distorted ways. She envies men for what they have. But she historically has covered this up. As this has emerged in more recent decades, it has often gotten confused with genuine selfhood.
How do we find our way out of this confusion? How can man and woman be equal, without being weak? How can women become fulfilled emotionally while being autonomous in the world? We need to wade through the weeds of duality to sort this out.
Any time we avoid seeing the whole picture, it won’t be possible to find the right balance. Although growth through evolution involves the swinging of a pendulum from one extreme to its opposite, the more insight we have into both halves, the better equipped we are to land on unitive truth and avoid the rough patches of excess.
In the duality of this situation, the man will feel superior and believe that the woman is inferior. He will exploit and also feel exploited by her. Such a relationship is never going to end well. The woman will sign up for being unfairly exploited by the physically stronger man, and will then turn around and blame him for making her a victim. Both are pointing fingers and fail to see the fingers pointing back at themselves. They are indeed fairly similar, complementing each other in a distorted way.
For an individual to be healthy, both the feminine and masculine principles must be represented, even though they may show up differently. But the differences, which combine to make up one complete whole, aren’t qualitative; there should be no judgment that one is in some way better than the other.
Let’s paint a picture of what the new woman looks like, and how this shows up in her relationships with men. First, she is completely responsible for herself. So she is free. She stands on her own two feet in all ways: materially, intellectually and emotionally. She isn’t waiting for happiness to come flowing into her from a man. She opens her heart to love and her mind to her own inner truth. She knows that surrendering to her feelings of love for a man makes her stronger.
Such a self-developed woman feels no conflict between loving a partner and being productive, creative and a contributing member of society. In fact, she knows that real love is not possible if she plays the role of slave in order to avoid self-responsibility. She knows that having a career won’t make her less of a woman.
To be in such a strong and autonomous state requires effort. She is going to have to earn it by shouldering the weight of reality. She can’t do this in a spirit of hate, rebellion, competition or defiance. She won’t get where she wants to be by imitating the worst distortions of manhood. It can only be done by way of truth and love. She needs to activate and engage her Higher Self.
Whenever she has the misconception that something is too hard, which causes her to deny something real, the difficulties must first be accepted. Then they’ll prove to not be that difficult after all. Self-responsibility seems tough, but it isn’t so bad once we get over the apparent hardships. Acceptance then amounts to taking an honest approach to life.
We may like to believe in the fairy tale that femininity will blossom when a woman becomes a servant to a man, but in actuality, a woman must be free and independent, in the best sense of the word, for love to flower. In such a climate of true equality, there will be no fear, no defenses and no blame. The woman will not be secretly wanting a superior father figure whose authority has been shifted onto a mate. Such an implicit desire is a wet blanket for the heat of passion. It creates resentment and fear of the very authority she was hoping to exploit.
This means that fulfillment rests on a true state of equality. The minute someone feels superior over the other, the heart-gate slams shut. Respect evaporates. And the moment one feels inferior to the other, fear and envy and resentment will bar the door to love.
The new woman is neither slave nor competitor. So she can love and her love will only enhance her creative self-expression. Then her creative contribution to life will expand her capacity for loving. And the wheel goes round and round.
The new man won’t be shopping for a weaker mate. He’ll meet his own weakness squarely, facing it and regaining his real strength. He’ll see how his weakness comes from guilt and the way he rejects himself whenever he denies the best in himself. He doesn’t need anyone to slave over; he can feel good by activating his own integrity.
He’s not threatened by an equal. He doesn’t need to be with someone who is inferior to convince himself of his own acceptability—which never worked anyways. He’ll face his weaknesses and gain so much more strength. He’ll value a relationship with a woman who is truly his equal—who is as creative, morally strong and as intelligent as he is. When he stops needing to play the master, he will be able to open his heart and experience a fulfillment that was flat-out impossible before.
What before operated as vicious circles will now move in benign circles that build love. With nothing to fear, both the self-actualizing man and woman will be able open their channels of feelings and feel a sense of gratitude toward each other. Two equals, helping each other grow. This is what is possible in this new way of being in relationship.
The point is not that two perfect people have come together. Au contraire. Both people in such a partnership still have work to do. But if we can recognize our own stake in maintaining inner warfare, we will be able to ferret out the fallacies and find an entirely new stance with ourselves and therefore with each other.
The big difference is our willingness to look within for the reasons behind any lack of fulfillment, before looking at the other. Then mutual negative interactions can be worked on together. We won’t jump to self-righteous blame, which only widens the gap between the self and truth.
Autonomy is a process that is ever-evolving and, over time, dissolves distrust. We all have some of this distrusting residue in us from ancient times. But we no longer need to conquer anything foreign that we fear and reject. Differences will no longer inspire fear. In fact, once we learn to trust the universe, we’ll find that differences possess a certain attraction.
When we reach this point that we no longer fear differences but are attracted to them, we become fully self-actualized. Blocks of untruth will melt like ice cubes in the sun. We can then realize our highest potentials. We can use our fear and denial of whatever is different as a gauge of our intention to stay stuck in untruth—and suffer.
Presently, people at all stages of development are walking around among us. We may embrace some of the highest forms of consciousness ourselves. But then, at deeper levels, our emotional reactions may belie another truth: we’ve got more work to do. It does no good to stand on the platform of what’s working and postulate good ideas. We need to also see where we deviate from truth. That, folks, is the only way to safeguard against imbalance. It’s the disharmony within that creates havoc in our outside worlds.
There is of course one key to everything, and that key is love. Love mends fences. It unifies and without it no truth could ever be gained. Also equally true: love can’t be won without truth. Before we can know the truth of our loving nature, we must also know the truth of our non-loving ways. We must find the small crevices in our hearts where we hate the opposite sex. It’s in there, a holdover from days gone by.
There’s also a corresponding will to hang onto our resentments that won’t go away by ignoring them. We can’t relax and love until we stop defending against this truth. The woman will use the victim game; the man will use the blame and superiority game. To attempt a loving relationship while these old attitudes fester is a futile waste of time.
Sure, the pendulum is going to swing to the other side, with the woman becoming militant, forgetting her heart and rejecting love. In a countermove, the man will pitch over his aggression for an expression of weakness that he never would have exposed in prior eras. Let the pendulum swing; this motion has a purpose. It’s needed for finding the true centered state.
But don’t get stuck on the side of either extreme. Man needs to find a new strength, leaving behind bravado and a false superiority. He can then expand the real power in himself. When he’s no longer the superior member of the team, he can afford to relate at heart-level. He will also be able to meet her, mind-to-mind.
Notice, for such a movement to happen, career problems must be resolved before two people can hope to tackle relationship problems. Otherwise relationships can be used to act out dependency and exploitation of each other. Then the distorted drive for dominance and enslavement will surface. So for a while, people may need to learn to fend for themselves until a certain level of autonomy has been established. Once this creative track is laid down, a couple can ride to a new freedom in which they relate in an entirely new way.
To reach this level of relating, we’re going to need to meet our Lower Self face-to-face. We’re going to need to find the inner corners where we don’t want to forgive. We don’t want to hear the truth, but rather preserve the cases we have built that help us go on hating. We’ve got to let go of hate towards the opposite sex. We have to pray for the ability to be able to do this. We ask God to help us love, forgive and understand so that we can see where hate, fear and distrust still live in us. They are there exactly as they are in our mate, but showing up differently.
This isn’t a mental exercise. Two people must find the balance organically. This can happen when they have released each other from the bondage of hate, distrust and blame. We can pronounce this intention daily in our meditations, inviting God’s grace to go to work within our consciousness. Then love will lead to truth, in the same way that truth leads us to love. Then two people will aid one another, love one another and respect one another. They will create bliss and a new world for each to live in. This is how life should and could be.
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