The mind is an amazing thing.  We use it to make meaning out of our experiences and then extrapolate from that meaning an understanding of things beyond our experience.  We imagine what could be possible and then set ourselves to discover if that is true, making more meaning, understanding the world just a bit more, and so on and so on.  Entire fields of study and existence are based on this capability:  theology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology…  It’s an amazing and sometimes miraculous capability we take for granted, for the most part.  But its by no means infallible and can lead us down paths that get us into difficult situations.

One that I see quite a bit is the notion that the entire Universe is formed around the symbols of male and female.  This is very prevalent in theology and mythology and also shows up in most other realms where concepts are developed beyond the scope of our experience.  Holy fathers and mothers are created to help us understand and explain the mechanisms of the world around us, gods and goddesses personify aspects our personalities, and all used as a means to understand, to create meaning out of our world where we can’t find it any other way.  And that’s a valid means of exploring the truth of things, but it is also very limiting and can be destructive if carried too far.  For one, even on this planet there are thousands of examples of life forms that do not exist in this duality of male and female.  They don’t reproduce through sexuality in this form and their existence is not predicated on it.  In fact, if we look at everything we know that exists in the Universe (and I’m sure we are woefully ignorant of most of it) very few things live in a sexualized duality that is defined as male and female.  So using our experience of life and extrapolating from it what the rest of the world is like, how it formed, how it exists using that notion of duality and sexuality as the means for creation actually gets in our way of understanding how things actually work.  Because, while it’s not impossible, it’s highly unlikely that the world started because a female existence met a male existence and the rubbed their naughty bits (where did they come from) together or they merged in some existential bliss and the universe came into being.  Too anthropomorphic and too simplistic.  And for me, it really takes the majesty and grandeur and awe out of the whole process.

Similarly, putting so much weight and meaning on being masculine and feminine, which is seemingly just a thought or a concept or a means of talking about things, actually forms and changes the symbols and therefore affects those of us who exemplify them.  The notion that the supreme being of all things is male gives weight and power to all things male.  It changes that role giving it rules and responsibilities which it wouldn’t otherwise have.  And then men are required to live up to it, challenge it, disregard it, fight against it, or succumb to it.  And as men are not a category but a set of unique individuals, each will do some or all of these things throughout their lifetime, none of which is actually necessary as the essence of being male isn’t the thought or concept we place upon it.  Defining masculine as being opposite of  feminine, making arbitrary choices concerning defining characteristics between the two, prevents the masculine form from expressing those things which are natural to it.  If to be creative and nurturing is feminine, then being masculine cannot contain those things, so we are taught.  Therefore a man who is creative and nurturing must be expressing his feminine aspects.  He cannot be expressing those aspects of his masculinity, because those things are not masculine.  Therefore expressing them makes him less of a man than he might otherwise be.

Such dualities, definitions, and symbols limit us.  As much as they have built a structure by which we can understand and make meaning of our world, they also do violence to it by keeping us from a deeper understanding of the truth.  The power in the Divine Masculine, I believe, is now in saying ‘no’ to the old paradigm of what it is to be a man.  For if the old dualities are stripped away, then perhaps we can learn what it is to be masculine, creative, nurturing, strong, and in the end, powerful, without taking anything away from the Divine Feminine.