Welcome to another visit to the land of balanced masculine and feminine. Please find the re-embedded table once again:
All of these traits exist within everyone. Historically one side of the balance identified more with one gender than the other, such as men as masculine and women as feminine. In America though, we experience an interesting dichotomy.
What we see are masculine women and feminine men. Imagine that fifty years ago the pendulum shifted. Masculine souls grew in feminine hosts and vice versa. We see Rosie Riveter and a variety of what some people called “empowered” women.
Yet the force that goes and gets and secures is a masculine force, while the one that waits and receives is feminine. Neither belongs to male or female exclusively. Feminine power expresses completely different than masculine. At the boundary cases, the masculine aggressively goes and gets while the feminine waits and receives.
Pregnancy and intercourse best illustrate this relationship. The sperm initiates and fertilizes, while the ovum awaits and creates. In esoteric wisdom, the masculine is the initiator and conceptualizer, while the feminine is the creator and manifestor. Only together can something enter the physical world. Imagine the idea guy who never accomplishes anything, or the procrastinator who only mulls everything. Most of us can remember marriages like this. Some end in divorce, others flounder.
In leadership, the feminine, whether expressed by a men or women manifests through relationships. When I exercise feminine leadership I manage the team through building the space. I might invite several key players to a meeting without assigning roles. Then through encouraging discussion and balancing the space, the group develops in a way that feels less coerced.
When I lead from the masculine side of my personality I am more directive versus supportive. I set a clear and directed agenda with checklists and assessments for each of the members. Then I might assign positions and structure. Naturally a balance usually occurs when the leader sets an agenda, then Socratically asks questions which allow the members to find their natural places.
Most ancient cultures have a form of this wisdom. But like the caste system which I will discuss elsewhere, it became codified instead of choice. Women were forced to fulfill certain roles, and men too! That is correct, not all men want to be in a position of directive power, just as not all women want to use supportive power. Imagine a masculine Queen Isabella or a feminine Prince Louis.
Cultures each use this energy differently. When leading international teams, you see different emphases on supportive and directive leadership which parallel the distribution of masculine and feminine in the given culture. Japan, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Germany, and the USA score higher on the masculine dimension as compared to Thailand, Norway, Sweden, and East African nations, which rate higher on the feminine. (Duarte and Snyder, 2006)
In the modern world we unite the two forces. Countries will form alliances and confederations which balance the cultures. India and the United States promise to be a marriage made in heaven. The former scores higher on the feminine while the latter on the masculine. Together these two English speaking powerhouses will help to lead the world.
This is the divine marriage of which many masters speak of in esoteric wisdom. The esoteric marriage male and female within and without. The polarities seem extremely divided in the world right now. An impassable chasm seems to groan between man and woman. They look across a distance that spans the entire circumference of the globe.
We are nearly as far apart as is possible on this planet. Yet visualize this gaping maw between the fundamentalists, directive, and the progressives, supportive. Imagine this space dividing “the sexes.” Marriages dissolve or do not even occur in the advanced industrialized nations.
But the planet is a circle. All we have to do is lay down our weapons and turn around. If two people have an 8000 mile trench between them on planet Earth, they are really standing back to back! Turn around and hug! Yet before we can unite, the world will actually divide a little bit more.
Like the pendulum at 5 degrees, it is easier to go over the top than to push 165 degrees to the bottom of the rotation. Visualize this action. The universe pushes the pendulum over the top, and gravity brings carries it back down into balance at 180 degrees. As elegant as this may sound in text, on the ground it will be quite rough.
How it appears in the present is that polarities become further divided. The American two-party system illustrates this cleavage quite well. Expect the Democrats and Republicans to grow further apart. Imagine that the Democrats win the 2008 election only to inherit this economic debacle in the making.
Because of the demographics and leadership styles, the
USA experiences a depression. A third party arises which balances both forms of leadership. This is an example of how a Yin/Yang balanced may be reached. Another way is with a Democratic congress and a Republican president.
This example parallels a household. The masculine leads the external face of the house and sets the policy agenda, while the feminine on the other hand, implements management within. Feminine domestic, masculine international. One acquires resources, the other manages them, neither exclusively the province of man nor woman.
Humanity evolves to balance internally externally. One tool we can use to help us balance ourselves and our relationships is to chart our own blend on the tables of masculine and feminine. We can look at how we fight within our own souls and see how that affects our families. Or, we can look at how the forces conflict in our households and compare them to our own imbalances.
The relationship between masculine and feminine is a dance. Ancient spiritual masters talk about avoiding hatred. This admonition specifically deals with self-loathing that poisons all. It is okay to wrestle with your counterpart and maybe even to dance in battle. But to hate our opponents brings hatred of the same aspects within ourselves.
Look at fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. Both believe that women should be kept covered and at home, subordinate to their men. In their expressions they have more in common with each other than with the more moderate expressions of their faiths. These fundamentalists show overbalanced masculine aspects of their religions, while the progressives exemplify the feminine aspects. Only together do we have peace.
Hating another illustrates externalization of an aspect or ourselves. Here is where love thy neighbor truly comes in. I love my enemy even if I must fight him, I honor his training, his commitment, and his courage. Even though we may battle, when the day is done he is buried with honor and returned to his family with speed.
Like a household, you cannot hate your spouse ever. Several relationships I have had vacillated between love and hate. These inherently unstable obsessions never lasted. Now I use more balance in all of my relationships. I respect those I am involved with knowing that we all have different blends of traits within.
The world moves in this direction even if we cannot see it. We prepare ourselves by balancing internally. As you balance within, the world seems to balance without, either through your affect on those around you or the change in your perspective. It does not matter which. What does matter is that we reduce the hatred of self within so that it manifests without.
Duarte and Snyder (2006). Mastering Virtual Teams. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco