This is probably the most appropriate, most perfect subject we could ever examine on YourTango — a site so deeply devoted to sexuality and male-female relationships. Besides that, it's one of the most crucial and fundamental subjects to almost everyone on planet Earth. Most of us spend a lot of our time thinking about this in one way or another, and we realize that men and women generally have very different tendencies, different priorities, perceptions, ways of thinking, etc.
We try to understand each other, so that our male-female relationships will be more successful. But our understanding seems to be very lacking — and I think I know why. It seems to me that, in modern society, the nature of male and female is portrayed and seen as exactly the opposite of what it really is. If we accept that portrayal, no wonder we're confused!
I would like to present here, as briefly and simply as I can, my basic view of reality — and how male and female fit into it — and then ask for comments from readers.
Yin and Yang / Earth and Heaven
There's a very ancient understanding of the way in which everything in our world comes into being and functions. Everything is seen to be created and affected by the interaction of two fundamental forces. Since a very long time ago these forces have been called Yin and Yang, or Earth and Heaven. We stand here between the two — Earth below us and Heaven above — and both affect everything about us.
Earth is known as Great Yin — being an energy of great contraction, density, inwardness, magnetism, gathering and holding. Heaven is known as Great Yang — being an energy of great expansion, lightness, outwardness, electricity, radiating and releasing.
Everything is greatly influenced by these two forces; in fact, we can say that everything is made up of these two forces. We can call them Heaven and Earth, or spiritual and material, or wave and particle forces. Everything is composed of these two forces; and the ratio of the two and how they interact in a particular thing determine the nature of that thing. For example, a pumpkin is more expansive than a carrot root (or, the carrot root is more contractive than the pumpkin). We can say that the pumpkin shows more "heavenly" influences, and the carrot root shows more "earthly" influences.
We can, of course, make use of this concept to understand the nature of male and female, also. Understanding men and women in relation to these fundamental energies is not nearly as simple as understanding pumpkins and carrots ... but it's a worthwhile endeavor.
For starters, we need to realize that no one is completely male or completely female. Each of us is a fantastically complex mixture of the two energies, on all levels — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In fact, we've all probably observed that some men seem more feminine than masculine, and some women seem more masculine than feminine. But, in general, we can identify certain things as characteristic of maleness and others as characteristic of femaleness.