Defensive Perspectives

The feminine quality is suspect in the West because it suggests that the observer changes what is observed by how they observe it. This is because the West wants to believe in the simplicity of the observable, structured masculine and tries to avoid the reality of chaos. The West wants to believe in an objective and measurable reality. This is why, in the West, there is a need for control and a fixation on outer power structures. Scientists, through Chaos Theory, now recognize there is more subjectivity in everything we experience. In the East, individuals pay so much more attention to subtle energies and hidden power structures. The East sees the objective, outer reality as Maya, bluster and a fixation on outer appearances because it is obvious that the inner quality is different than the outer quality. This creates a more subjective viewpoint. With this openness comes a greater capacity to embrace the unknown.

This is why we say the feminine is primarily focused on interactions, whereas the masculine is more focused on objects. In the West, we tend to believe that the Universe is a mechanical thing that is working out its purpose, as we randomly interact with it. This is, from Ken Wilber’s perspective, an exterior point of view. In the East, the perspective is internal, where we create the experience of the Universe from our source. Ironically, the West believes this perspective is inherently egotistic, yet the East believes that there is no self. Our Defenses mirror these patterns on a personal level. An internal point of view can suddenly alter the external by how it is perceived. All defensive distortions are imbalances in three different dimensions between the perception and what is perceived.

The undeveloped masculine seeks territory. We ‘grow up’ by realizing that there are limits to external power, which allows us to evolve from physical to intellectual and then to passion as part of testing and expanding our boundaries. Our pursuit of answers becomes an acceptance of the wisdom of the current status quo as we evolve. Masculine individuals often overestimate the power of declaring needs, although in a masculine society (such as the United States) it is the norm. The main indicator of the undeveloped masculine is the motive of Arrogance. The undeveloped feminine seeks the safety of possessions, which is why the main indicator is the motive of Greed. We complement this self-centered focus by recognizing what is going on around us. We wake others up in the process of quietly asserting ourselves in various key locations that engender socialization and discussion. As we promote our insights into the underlying purposes and value of what needs to occur, we discover our Power. The more we are able to engage others, the more they learn not to ignore us, for we have greater influence then they imagine. The feminine works from passion to the intellect to the physical. Feminine individuals are often underestimated because they are not as concerned with external agreement.

The undeveloped masculine initially works on Autonomy lessons before considering the value of Intimacy. For the undeveloped feminine, the reverse is true. Intimacy is the first lesson engaged, and then as mothers, we seek to make our children more Autonomous. This is another way that demonstrates the mirror-image qualities between masculine and feminine development. Autonomy, in its personal development phase, is always about independence, which means that it needs to grow up and confront its transpersonal nature where interdependence rules. The more we are Autonomous, the more we mature and build our Self Esteem, which is actually a resume of what we have accomplished. With personal Intimacy, we learn to nurture ourselves. With transpersonal Intimacy, we learn to nurture others as a way to build our own Self Respect. Self Respect is an indication that we are able to share our spaciousness and get into Creative Flow with others without difficulty.

The most important message is that we all have both masculine and feminine sides, and everyone, on some level, will learn these lessons eventually. The sad circumstances of our upbringing are that we tend to think of our gender identity as the source of our masculine and feminine expression. This means that we personalize the problems we have expressing ourselves, and are therefore, sucked into gender identity warfare.

One example of this is the Stanford Rape Case where a male student, Brock Turner, raped an unconscious female student and was punished with only six months in jail, which could be even less with good behavior. When the defendant’s father wrote a letter to the judge that stated, “…His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life….” it revealed how he was minimizing the violation that was done by his son. This also reveals how he, along with his son, objectified women. The woman he attacked and raped wrote a statement of her account that highlights the impact and cost this event has had on her life. The contrast between these different points of view shows how patriarchal the system is and how it mistreats and does not take the feminine into account. When this statement was read on NPR, many individuals started to reconsider the real horror of what this woman went through. These different gender identity perspectives are part of a larger, cultural framework where women are not honored as equal citizens. It is also a more gender-based perspective because people have been reducing it to male or female differences, which further diminishes its natural impact.

As long as we continue to codify our assumptions on a gender identity level in order to simplify and support our own personal assumptions, it will only get worse. For instance, because we cannot confront the African-American issue of slavery in the United States, we still have problems with racism. Recently, this has shown up as antagonism and violence in encounters with the police. The Black Lives Matter movement is an organization committed to revealing how we minimize certain differences and use those differences to make others non-human. This allows us to ignore their needs, or at best, placate them. The answer is to express ourselves and not keep buying into the complacency of believing that we cannot do anything about these problems. Unconsciously, or even consciously, we are objectifying these patterns in the ways we engage others. Otherwise, without remediating this, we are all doomed to repeating our mistakes.

This leads to generalizations about how men or how women are always some way we do or do not like. What does this gain us? Why can’t we recognize that we are all masculine and feminine, and applying these stereotypes rather than distancing ourselves from the people we want to relate to? Instead, let us consider that our Primary, Secondary and Mental Body expressions all give different emphases in terms of our masculine and feminine complexion. We tend to fight this acceptance of our greater self by getting over–identified with the masculine and feminine position of our Defenses and the false notion that we cannot reconcile and find the easy, middle-path.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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