Male and Female Nature
By "nature" I mean the inherent characteristics of male and female; the most basic, fundamental tendencies of each. Physically, of course, we distinguish male and female by the sexual organs. Male organs grow outward, female organs grow inward. Sexually, the form and function of the male organs are more expansive and releasing, while the female organs are more contractive, grabbing, holding, nurturing. These organs and these characteristics are present before our birth, and they constitute our basic nature.
We could say, then, that the nature of what we call "male" is more yang, more open, more heavenly, more spiritual ... and the nature of what we call "female" is more yin, more dense, more earthly, more material.
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Is that a surprising statement? Were you thinking it's just the opposite? The common stereotype is that men are beefy blockheads, right? They're the ones who are dense and earthly! Women are the heavenly ones, dainty creatures of sweetness and light....
Yes — that's exactly my point! Somewhere along the way, our expectations of males and females got switched ... and now we can't understand why our male-female relationships are so difficult and confusing.
A long time ago, it was much easier to see the nature of male and female — because males were super-masculine and females were super-feminine. Men and women even referred to each other as "my other half." (In fact, they were doing that as recently as my childhood!) But the course of history is taking us to a point of completeness in ourselves — where men and women will no longer need each other for completion. In other words, the trend is for all of us to be more evenly balanced between male and female characteristics.
What has happened, it seems to me, is that we have confused our basic male and female natures with our balancing mechanisms. We observe that men eat more hunks of meat, for instance, and women eat more salads — and we conclude that men are therefore more dense and physical, and women are lighter and more ethereal. Or we notice that men are less talkative than women. BUT, here's what people don't understand: Men are eating those hunks of meat precisely because the nature of men is more ethereal...! They eat the meat (which is earthy and contractive) in order to balance their natural lightness and expansiveness! And the women eat the salads (which are light and expansive) in order to balance their natural earthiness and density. Then the contractive energy of the meat makes the men less talkative, and the expansive energy of the salad makes the women more talkative.
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We are all constantly seeking balance. Every creature that is more expansive by nature will inevitably be drawn to contractive things, in order to make balance; and every creature that is more contractive by nature will be drawn to expansive things, for the same reason. What has happened in modern times is that we've mistaken the balancing mechanisms of male and female for the true nature.