I am fascinated by evolution and evolutionary tendencies and the way everything, when we look deeply enough at it, seems to go through an evolutionary process.
This article explores a possible way of looking at the evolutionary tendencies in relationship between the masculine and the feminine.
In this piece of writing I use “man” and “woman” often, but I’m talking more about the masculine and the feminine which are merely particular polarised expressions of energy in this dualistic universe. I could have even written it all as “yang” and “yin” or any other opposite-based language. The point isn’t about man and woman, the point is about how these two energies, the energy of autonomy and agency (masculine) relate with that of communion and connection (feminine) in a fundamental way as expressed through human relationships.
So let us start with conventional masculine and feminine.
This is the “normal” relationship that we see in the western world. A woman who wants to connect with a man and talk about her feelings, and a man who doesn’t know what the hell she’s going on about and why won’t she leave him alone to drink beer, watch TV, hang out with his mates and have sex when he wants it.
Look at beer ads—they show this trend well. He goes to work and does all the man stuff. She stays at home and does all the woman stuff. She doesn’t understand why he can’t just open up and share his inner world and he doesn’t understand why that stuff matters so much to her and why she has to be such a nag.
They love each other in a kind of “I guess it’s better than being alone” kind of way and relationships at this stage can vary from kind of alright, yet bland, without much depth to the connection, to lots of arguments and suppressed resentment, to downright abusive.
The feminine here is oriented toward communion (connection) while the masculine is oriented toward autonomy and independence. She (the feminine essence in this dynamic) wishes all the time that they could somehow feel closer and she tries so hard to do everything for him so he will see her and love her, even though she may be completely unaware that it’s this desire moving her. While he (the more masculine person) just wants to be left alone to get on with stuff and not have to do this weird feeling and communicating thing, and besides he pretty much lives his life to provide for her (and the kids if they have any)—isn’t that enough? It’s a delicate dance between this drive toward communion and agency and, at this stage, entirely unconscious.
Then we move toward a more post-conventional masculine and feminine.
Here, something remarkable occurs. The poles flip! To solve the issues and concerns of the previous stage, both the masculine and the feminine begin, mostly still unconsciously, to investigate each other’s worlds. Men open up to feelings and needs and start doing emotional work and learning how to express themselves. They begin to experience real neediness and a yearning to connect and bond.
Women, on the other hand, begin to assert themselves through the discovery of boundaries, independence and autonomy. Women might become powerhouses and entrepreneurs and most will embark on a journey to find a kind of independence in providing for themselves and become a lot stronger at saying no to men.
Men can become distracted, lose a lot of drive, become way more emotional, may begin experimenting more with drugs, meditation, yoga, or spiritual practices yet feel less aligned with a life purpose and tend to float around a lot more.
This flip in polarity isn’t a bad thing and through this journey so much insight and growth occurs. It is a fundamental, important and necessary step on the journey, yet for most it still does not provide anywhere near the kind of depth of romance, passion and love that I think most crave.
At this stage, woman, threatened by masculine power, subtly begins to cut off the masculine’s balls and try them on for herself. Man, with some shame and guilt about his power, gives his own balls away to experience what it’s like without them. The core wounding that the masculine has given to the feminine and that the feminine has given to the masculine becomes loud in its desire to be healed. Essentially, by reversing the poles, that is what we are beginning to do at an individual level.
Man feels threatened and shunned by woman’s power here (the reflection of which is his own insecurity about his masculine power), and woman feels disgusted by man’s neediness (the reflection of which is her own insecurity about her irrevocable desire for profound communion).
They still don’t really understand each other, yet they are getting much closer. At least they are beginning to speak each other’s languages, although they might not realise this is what is actually happening.
As all of this stuff begins to be resolved and integrated as we move toward post post-conventional, or integrative, consciousness.
The polarities now return to their original positions in man and woman. What is amazing and wonderful here, though, is that now they understand each other so much more fully. Conscious awareness of the way the polarities of masculine and feminine dance is alive and active in both man and woman. We begin to recognise that we are both and neither, and that we have a preference that just feels better to inhabit.
Man reclaims his power, drive, focus and intense sense of purpose, yet now with a genuine sensitivity and emotional maturity. He begins to feel as if life is the most gorgeous woman that exists and wants nothing more than to ravish her into openness. Any woman in his life is simply an expression of the divine being that is existence, and he treats her with the same care, love, respect that he does his life and serves her again and again with stillness and penetrative presence that has her naturally unfolding and opening in blissful radiance. He experiences endless joy in her own joy and opening.
Woman, now with a strong sense of boundaries and independence, knowing that she is entirely capable of taking care of herself and thriving in a complex world, relaxes and surrenders to the harmonious flow of love that pulses through every aspect of her being. She opens to the magic of life and the mystery of the universe and they dance through her in unimaginable and effortless ways. She naturally begins to truly love and understand man and empowers him in her own empowered surrendering. She realises that his greatest joy is her own radiance and so she allows herself to glow more and more in his presence until she floods him with a wonder and awe that brings him to his knees in ecstasies of gratitude.
In this repolarisation, man and woman can now meet each other with conscious awareness and move back into passionate interaction between their energies, knowing that each are capable of both roles. As man relaxes out of neediness and is driven by something greater than himself, following this impulse with focus and passion, woman feels secure in her space and is able to allow her longing and yearning to once again guide her soul.
He shows up in the moment, present, attentive and embodied yet needing nothing from her. In not being needed she is able to soften to his touch. He experiences pleasure in her opening and her desire to open to him, and she experiences pleasure in her own opening and his desire to open her.
All the other stuff relaxes and flows between them. Distinctions such as who is leading and who is following blurs and becomes increasingly irrelevant as a new unit of being-ness awakens—one that is the dance between their two souls.
There is always a dance between polarities from the atomic level up to the universal level.
An element is able to exist due to its relationship between negatively charged electrons (communion) and positively charged protons (autonomy). That element contains both the electrons and the protons within it and that element is contained within infinitely more complex arrangements of compounds up to cells up to organs up to organisms and so on.
This is what relationship has the potential to become. A new being. One in which the electron and the proton are literally able to be on the other side of the world from each other and yet still function as a powerfully creative force (thank you internet) a being that embodies ever more evolved arrangements of polarity.
A single being containing both a masculine and a feminine that is then encompassed by a larger “being” containing a polarised masculine (person) and a polarised feminine (person).
What might that be like? To birth a new being, that is you, contains both you and your deepest lover within it, yet is bigger than either of you. How powerful, magnetic, magical and cosmic could this be? It’s something I am certainly curious to discover. Shall we dream this possibility into existence together by allowing it to be possible first in our minds and hearts?
Wherever we are in this process, we are always evolving, always growing, always situated within ever-expanding contexts of awareness.
Author: Damien Bohler
Editor: Catherine Monkman