P1 When you look back in history, you can see that the entire species did what so many individuals do: it retained an attitude long after it remained useful. Man retained his superiority long after physical prowess ceased to be the prime value. Woman later assumed a mental and emotional position of dependency, thus actively choosing enslavement, no matter how much she tried to put the blame exclusively on man.
P2 By the same token, man feared those who were physically stronger than he. And the more he feared them, the greater his urge became to subjugate weaker people. However, in the old relationships between man and woman, the woman victimized herself by acting out a denial of self-responsibility; she acted out taking the line of least resistance so she could be taken care of. She wanted an authority figure to make decisions for her, take the blame for her mistakes, and battle with the hardships of life. She wanted to indulge in the pseudo-comfort of subjugation.
I would venture to say that the stronger the rebellion and the blaming of the opposite sex, the stronger must also be, within the soul of that individual woman, the desire not to govern her own life, not to be responsible, but to lean on someone else. To the degree she makes unfair and unrealizable demands, she must resent and blame male authority and play the victim game. Similarly, to the degree man does not face his fears, guilts, and weaknesses, he will play a power game in one form or another and then resent the woman for exploiting him and overburdening him.
The immature soul of both wants the advantage without paying the price: man wants the superior position but resents the price of taking care of a parasite. Woman wants the advantage of being taken care of, of not standing on her own two feet, but resents the price of losing her autonomy. On a still deeper level of consciousness, one finds the opposite of the manifest behavior.
The man also shrinks from the responsibility of adulthood and envies the woman her socially sanctioned position. He compensates for this by overemphasizing the power game. The woman hides the part in her where she, too, wants aggression, power, strength—not only in the real, but also in the distorted sense. Although in the course of evolution the pendulum must swing from one extreme to its exact opposite, deeper insight into the unitive truth can help one to avoid excess.
Both the feminine and the masculine principles must be represented in the healthy individual. They may not be expressed in exactly the same way in man as in woman, since the differences make a complementary whole. But the differences are not qualitative; they must never lead to a judgment that one is better or more developed than the other. The new woman is completely self-responsible and therefore free. She stands on her own two feet, not only materially, but also intellectually, mentally, and emotionally.
By that I mean specifically that she knows that no man can give her happiness and flowing feelings unless she herself produces them through loving and through integrity, through opening her heart to loving and her mind to her own inner truth. The new woman knows that loving a man and surrendering to her feelings for the man enhances her strength. Self-responsibility seems difficult, but is not once the apparent hardships are accepted, because such acceptance amounts to an honest approach to life. You know perfectly well from your Pathwork that what you secretly wanted from a superior father authority you have shifted onto a mate.
P4 The moment one feels superior to the other, one’s respect is lowered and the feelings close. The moment one feels inferior to the other, resentment, fear, envy become inescapable, and that, too, closes the heart. The man in the New Age will no longer need a weaker mate in order to deny his own weakness. He meets his own weakness, faces it and thereby gains his real strength. He realizes that his weakness always comes from guilt, and his self-rejection is always a denial of the integrity of his Higher Self in one form or another.
The man is then not threatened by an equal. Where this (new age relationship) does not yet exist, the mere fact that you can point out the fallacies, misconceptions distorted expectations, illusory aims and negative feelings within you and can recognize your stake in maintaining an inner warfare, will give you an entirely different stand toward yourself and the other. The distrust that still exists between the sexes is a residue of ancient times, when anything foreign and different was feared, rejected, and conquered by force.
P5 In a deep corner of your hearts, hate and fear, resentments and distrust of the opposite sex still prevail. Even more important, the will to maintain this state, the intention to perpetuate and hide these feelings, prevent the flowering of the hearts and minds of both sexes. Temporarily, the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme.
The woman has become militant, thereby often forgetting her heart and her love for the man and rejecting love and man has left his positive aggression behind and has expressed a weakness he would never have let himself expose in previous eras. All these pendulum swings have a purpose: to find the true centered state.
P6 The woman represents the active principle just as much as the man. And the man represents the receptive principle as much as the woman. If he expresses only the masculine principle, he becomes a bully, a tyrant, an exaggeration, a falsehood. A woman who expresses only the receptive principle is truly an infant who leans on others, who negates her autonomy.
You may have noticed a pattern on this path, in which an individual must first resolve career problems in order to resolve partnership problems. When relationships are formed to act out dependency, parasitism, exploitation of the other, and/or the need to dominate and enslave, then, for a while, these individuals have to fend for themselves until a certain minimal autonomy and independence is established. Once this creative channel is established, a new freedom can release previously trapped energies, and people can begin to relate to the opposite sex in an entirely new way.
—The Pathwork® Guide