It started again this morning. The familiar metallic thud of empty hazelnut shells falling onto the porch roof. Every year the squirrels pluck the green clusters from the bushes weeks before they come ripe, and break the outer husk, eating the nuts inside, then dropping the shell onto the ground or onto my porch roof. I’ve tried various methods of stopping them, or at least slowing them down; predator dummies; live traps and relocation, air rifle; electric wires; but despite all this, I have not harvested any hazelnuts the previous three years….not a single one.
This year I have a new plan….let them have them and not worry about it. It does not matter. They are just like me….wanting to satisfy their desires and have enough to eat. They have their own family to feed. And anyway, I can go to the Co-op and for $30 I can have as many hazelnuts as I can use in a year’s time, at a lot less trouble. In their case they do not have that choice. My backyard is their only option.
I was thinking about all this while picking red raspberries and dropping them into a stainless steel bowl. How satisfying they will be with pancakes, maple syrup and coffee. Then I wondered if this is how it all ends. One minute I am going about my affairs picking raspberries and making plans for pancakes. The next minute I am laying on the ground, the berries scattered, my arms and face oozing droplets of blood where the briars pricked my flesh when I fell. How many days will I lay there hidden amongst the chest high brambles, until my dog gives my hiding spot away with her moaning, or by the neighbor’s kid asking his father what that bad smell is? By that point it will not matter. I will be at peace, and aware (maybe) that in the end, nothing of importance ever really mattered.
Once upon a time, perhaps never, perhaps always, there was a man and a woman. No one knows from whence they came, or their age, or anything else about them, but we know that they loved each other very much. We know they were committed to each other and there was a lot of love. That is all we know.
As a man and a woman often do, they got married and soon, they moved into the deep wilderness and built a cabin in the woods. They had no neighbors for many miles around, and they were completely alone with one another. As time went by, the woman gave birth to a baby girl. The baby girl was healthy and sound in most every way, except that she was born with only one leg. As time went by, she grew into a loving and respectful child, reasonably happy in every regard, and she hardly seemed to notice her handicap. She willingly applied herself to the mundane work of the homestead, and was ever helpful without complaint. Every day seemed like a fresh beginning, and her greatest strength was her awareness of the need of every hour; how she could be helpful, and to this end was she ever engaged. Because of her persistent nature, she was given the name Patience.
Before too many years had passed by, another child was born, also a girl, and from the moment of her birth, she was cheerful and radiant as the Sun. She grew quickly and gracefully, content to play around her mother’s work table, or dance to a melody of her own making, singing all the while. She gladly did whatever was asked of her, most often bringing joy to the ordinary chores of the home. However, she so loved to play so much, she often had to be called in from her dreams. Because of her joyful nature, she was given the name Hope.
The third and last child born was a boy, and different from the other two. His birth was difficult for the mother, and he seemed to be constantly in pain, ever dissatisfied. As a baby, he greedily took the nipple, but when he had taken his fill he pushed away, and made a face as if it were foul vinegar. These traits never left him, and he grew into a curious and eager, yet unhappy child. This child was given the name Nada, which in Spanish, means “nothing”.
It so happened that the parents had to go on a long journey, and they left Patience in charge of the home, because at this time, she was quite adept at keeping order. A few days after they had departed, and Patience was cleaning up after breakfast, Nada climbed to nearly the top of the large Sycamore tree in the yard. This was something he had been forbidden to do, but there was a crow’s nest that he thought might have eggs, and he wanted to take them. He had shimmied out on a limb, trying to get the nest, when he had looked down and become frightened, and had frozen in terror. Hope, who was playing underneath the tree, heard him crying, and had climbed up the tree to bring him down. Gently coaxing him, and offering her favorite toy, a wooden doll that Papa had carved, as a reward if he would come down, she pleaded with him, but it was no use; he could not move. Then Hope straddled the limb herself, and began inching her way towards him, asking him to extend her hand. Whether she was careless, or frightened, or Nada’s pull was too hard, whatever the reason, Hope lost her seat and fell to the ground where her beautiful soul soon flitted away.
When Patience had finished cleaning the kitchen, and satisfied that the next meal was planned out, and brought up from the larder, she decided to go outside for a few minutes in the beautiful sunshine, and to investigate why her brother and sister were so scarce around the cabin. As she went through the doorway her little heart turned to stone as she saw the contorted position of her dear sister twisted on the ground. She hobbled to her, but there was nothing to be done. Hearing Nada’s mournful cry she looked up and saw him. Between tears and screams, Nada explained the best he could what had happened. Patience was deathly afraid, because she knew that Nada would have to save himself, because she could not tempt the same fate as Hope. Coaxing him the best she knew how, she she eventually wrung her hands in despair, and set herself to the task at hand; preparing dinner. When dinner was ready, and there were two places set at the table, she once again went out to Nada, trying her best to get him down from the tree, but all her efforts failed. Later, sometime in the night, she heard his final scream and the breaking of branches. She lit a candle, and again through the door she discovered what she had most feared. Nada had joined Hope in the life to come. Hacking out a shallow grave, Patience lay the bodies beside each other in the ground, and covered them up with dirt, stone and leaves. She fashioned a crude cross out of sycamore branches, and placed it at the head of the grave.
Her days passed in silence and grief; tending the garden, waiting for the arrival of her parents, so to share the unhappy news. Weeks turned to months and the parents never returned. The wood supply for the winter was low, and Patience grieved herself into skin and bones sickness. Though she cleaned the house, and prepared food, she could hardly partake, and one day after finishing her journal entry, she laid down her pencil, walked outside in the light snow, laid across the grave of her siblings and took her last breath.
It was by chance that I, a trapper looking for skins, came across her crumbling cabin in the woods, found the skeletal remains of Patience, read her journal, and in turn, relate their story to you. I buried the remains of Patience next to her siblings, and it is my surmise that the parents met an unexpected fate, and the three children were all that was left of them in the world. Being a practical fellow, and not given to sentiment, I would say that Patience lacked the will to get her brother out of the tree; Nada lacked the courage to face his own fears; and Hope simply lacked common sense. I choose to believe that they all found their fulfillment and satisfaction in Heaven.
My singing bowl is made of brass, a combination of zinc and copper. Copper is the metal used to carry electrical currents in our homes and cars and clocks. The timing of my clock is kept by a quartz crystal. Quartz is also found in rocks and is used in bio-dynamic preparations. I have some larger quartz crystals of different colors which some say have healing powers. Color is, among other things, a result of the interaction of light with particular combinations of matter. Purple silk is dyed with olives. Blue silk is dyed with a plant named indigo. Yellow silk is dyed with clover blossoms. Red silk is dyed with cochineal, the ground up dead bodies of a female scale insect. An iguana also has scales, and eats insects. A particular insect lays its eggs only in goldenrod plants, and eventually, a gall is formed to house the larvae. There is a particular bird that preys on these larvae during the winter. In the spring, if the larvae has not been eaten, it forms a new insect that will mature and lay eggs in a goldenrod and another gall will be formed. There is also a gall which is a fungus that parasites itself primarily on oak trees by invading the sap. Maple sugar is refined by boiling the sap of the maple tree. Trees are cut down to make houses, boxes and paper. We write our thoughts on paper and combine matter and mind. We create concepts of how our world operates and write this on paper along with diagrams that explain our thoughts. The diagram that I would draw of a honeycomb, from which came the wax for my candle, is reflective of the pattern on a snake skin, and also on an ear of corn. The struggling of the tops of the goldenrod or of a lettuce are reflective of the struggles of an antler, which came from a deer that ate the corn. The patterns in the wood are reflective of the patterns in the feather. Many feathers placed together gave the owl which had wings the ability to fly up to the hole in a tree for a home. The tree died because of the attack by insects. Before the tree died, it dropped seeds which gave life to a new tree. The seed is fertilized from humus formed by the decaying tree. Part of the tree was not decomposed, and over time it formed rock again. Rocks are eventually eroded smooth by wind and water. Water carries particles of eroded rock which fertilize the soil. A conch also lives in the water, and inside the shell you can see how it grows in a perfect geometrical pattern that can be expressed as a mathematical formula. A sand dollar lives in the water as well. In the center of a sand dollar is a star shape and surrounding the star is a flower or a human shape or what? In our search for freedom it is fuel for our imagination. Look at the roots of a flower that was trapped in a pot. Look at how the roots circled the pot trying to find freedom from its prescribed environment. Goethe said that architecture is frozen music. Music and words are sounds in the air. The music resembles the air that flows under it. The laws of sounds repeat themselves in the colors. The colors are carried through the air by light. The light resembles the heat which travels through the air and the water as it wears away the stone in the river. Everything longs for completion, and in completion is freedom. Each element of nature has its purpose yet no element stands alone, and there is no end that is not at the same time a means for a new purpose. Each of these elements is related somehow to our own personal attributes and struggles. The deepest mysteries of life are related to, and in fact would not exist without the simplest and smallest element of matter, yet any one of these elements if examined in relation to the web of life in which it exists could explain the deepest mysteries of life. The essence of moral law spirals out from the seed into the stem, into the flower, into the fragrance, into the atmosphere, into the bird song, into our awareness, our thoughts, and the universal mind. A seed is a star is a seed is a star is a seed is a star. The unity contains the diversity, and the diversity falls back into the unity. The unity is observed in nature, the unity pervades our thoughts, and an action is the perfection of a thought. Any singular action that is reflective of the unity is likewise reflective of all other truthful actions and brings us joy, wisdom, a standard of excellence, and knowledge of the infinite which lives within us. Nature is a discipline of understanding in spiritual truths. As above, so below. Nature is one subservient aspect of Sacred, and as such, is always sacredly lawful in its manifestation. Sacred is the totality of creation, including but not limited to the vehicles, laws, objects of and ultimate destination of, awareness. Sacred laws of awareness are inclusive of the ignorance regarding the sacred lawfulness of nature, although the removal of ignorance is the ultimate end of the sacred laws.
My spiritual framework is mindfulness. In terms of compassion, mindfulness involves bringing into my awareness my own needs as well as the needs of the “other” in the context of Divinity. Typically, our “needs” boil down to the relief of suffering. My spiritual framework is becoming mindful of the root causes of suffering and eliminating them through letting go of attachment.
I have been involved for many years with Hinduism. I do not consider myself a Hindu, but I am attracted to the complexity of the deities. The deities are very approachable, as they are imbued with human-like qualities. There is one Hindu image that to me represents the gist of compassion. It is an image of Kali. In this image, she is standing over Shiva with her tongue sticking out.
Here is one story behind the image. Vishnu, the sustainer aspect of the Hindu trinity, had created Kali to destroy a group of demons that were terrorizing the earth. Kali traditionally has been the described as the destroyer of ego. She was doing a great job, as testified by the symbolic skulls and forearms that she wears as jewelry. But then in the heat of battle, something came over her. She herself became captivated by her power, and lost control. She was destroying everything in sight. At this point, many things could have happened. Vishnu could have zapped her with his third eye and stopped her rampage, but this did not happen. Instead, Shiva (an aspect of the “destroyer” of the Hindu trinity, and Kali’s male counterpart) laid down along her path in a submissive way. When Kali came to him, she recognized her “other half” and was awakened to her state of being. Her tongue is sticking out in astonishment that she had become so lost. Shiva, instead of using power to fight power, used love, with the recognition that underneath egotistical exploits there is a river of love that is our core foundation from which we are able to source awakening. In effect, he offered himself as a sacrifice, and allowed her to maintain her freedom. Does this story sound familiar? It should, it is the Hindu equivalent of Christ on the cross, and represents the ultimate compassionate act; to offer up one’s life for the salvation of another.
If we were alive in a strictly material world where the only rule is survival of the fittest, and there are only separate individuals, compassion would be an illness to be avoided. Compassion makes “sense” only insofar as there is a recognition that we share a spiritual commonality that bonds us together. If we are “one”, then your suffering becomes my own, and mine is yours; there is only suffering, and the aspect of my awareness that sees myself in you, wants to relieve the suffering, because I know how much it hurts. At the same time, I recognize your separateness, and honor that as well. I do not believe there is a spiritual “purpose” of compassion. To suggest that compassion has “purpose” is to imply that compassion is something less than Divine itself; a feeling implanted by Divine into our framework. Instead of saying that compassion is a purpose, I would suggest that compassion is recognition of Divine itself, as it walks and breathes along with us in this physical incarnation. Compassion is an acknowledgement by our divided nature, of that which would bring us back together.
“So easy to be in relationship……… so hard to relate”- Stephen Levine
…..When I was in college my hands had an inward “knowing” and I met with success as a sculptor. Most everything that I made came easily to completion, and I reaped praise from my peers, but because success came so easy, it was not challenging, and I eventually lost interest. I did not want to be an artist…I wanted to find “Truth”. I turned to painting because although it was more difficult to find success, when it did come, it was very sweet. To this day I can fuss over one small canvas for years before it seems complete, but even then, when it is “finished”, I wonder if I should hang it on the wall or set it on fire. There is a soul quality that I seek to express in my painting that is illusive, marginally definable, and is more about the process than the end result. The lure of finding union with my creative soulmate is exciting and interesting, and generally, more than anything else, it feels like my life’s calling; not to be an artist, but to merge with “mystery” through as many mediums as possible. My paintings are not necessarily beautiful…but that is not the goal.
…..Attempting to merge with “mystery” while using paint on a canvas is one thing. The canvas is always good natured, reflects back with perfection whatever I dish out, and is always agreeable to whatever I want to do. Attempting to merge with mystery in the context of other beings, whether they be a partner, a co-worker, a parent, etc., ; the yoga of relationship, is another thing altogether. Ram Dass calls this the most difficult of all yogas. He says that in context of relationship, we make one of two choices; The first is, “I’ll pretend that you are who you think you are, if you’ll pretend that I am who I think I am”, or, (2) you see your relationship as a yogic path. He says the first way is okay, as long as both people know that this is what they are doing. In my case, as often than not, I have not seen until it was too late that the person I thought I was (that seemed so important at the time), was actually a being scared of trusting the mystery, scared of losing power, and afraid of looking any deeper into who I actually was; a negation in practice of what my words expounded as truth. I could not always bring my mental construct (All One) into the place where rocks are hard and water is wet.
…. Stephen Levine, another relationship guru says that “relationship gives us the opportunity to open our heart in hell”. Experiencing difficulty in relationship, we are not required to keep our heart open, but we have the opportunity to do so. Relationship will bring to the forefront, any aspect of our being where we lack integrity (think childhood traumas). If there is a separation between our mind and our heart, that space will be the source of our grief, as well as the door through which grace may enter, IF we give it the “opportunity” by keeping our heart open in that hell. “Easier said than done”, you might say, and I would be the first to agree. It is definitely not easy, but really, what is the alternative? Continue in the unsuccessful, hurtful and sometimes violent patterns to which we have become accustomed? When the going gets rough, blame the “other”, jump ship and hope for something less challenging to come along? It has been my experience that a lesson is repeated until it is learned. I can pretend that you and I are “who we think we are” long enough to let the tension pass, but a steady gruel of pretension is just not so very interesting, and will probably yield the same frustrating results.
….. “Yoga” can be roughly defined as “union with Spirit” (or love, truth, God(dess), etc., as you wish). The idea is that beyond the confines of our material experience, and supporting our unfoldment in a benevolent manner, is a living energy connecting all of existence that we can align ourselves with (or not). The aim of different yogic practices is to bring the individual consciousness (yours and mine) into harmony with this energy. From a practical point of view, this unionizing creates a more peaceful existence for everyone. It does seem to follow that if I am a peaceful person, your encounters with me are going to feel better, and yield more positive results. Extrapolate that out to include everyone, and you get the idea. Peace begins with me. I can really only be responsible for my own thoughts and actions, and to be responsible, I have to be clear about who I am, what is important to me, what my intention in life is, and how “you” (the other) merge with all of that. If I am clear about what I need for my own unfoldment, and hold this in a vision of intention, it becomes much easier to discern what to do or say in any given situation. If there is conflict, I am less threatened by your words or actions that are contrary to mine, as I am able to set limits as to what is acceptable or not, understanding that you as well have sole responsibility to arrive at your own sense of self with your own particular needs and intentions. When I am clear, I can be a better friend to you, and vice-versa. During encounters it is my responsibility to hold respect for what I need, and to respect your needs as well. If we are unable to find common ground, our paths may indeed diverge, but if they do, it will be clear why, and we will hopefully part on friendly terms without the extent of anger, frustration, shame and blame that is often associated with people parting ways. It may also be the case that our relationship will be purified by the fire of conflict, and we will come to see the “other” as our teacher who has come to bring us our next lesson, painful as it may be. We can choose to leave our heart open in that hell, or not. This is all very idealistic, and we live in a world of realities, as “relative” as they may be, but these are aspirations….guiding stars to aspire to; something to lead us forward in hopeful positivity.
….. We all unfold at our own pace, and in our own way. Our mate or boss or parent who seems to be causing us grief is probably not intentionally trying to do so. We can not be responsible for someone else, but we can be responsible for how we act and what we say, and we can be responsible for coming to an understanding about what we need, and for taking action to bring that into our life. By living with mindful intention, we can serve as a positive example to others we encounter or live with. Stephen Levine says “It is never about someone else”. If we are blaming someone else, we need to look a little deeper into our own existence, and take responsibility. If someone (even Nature) has been unkind to us, we cannot change that, but we can move forward with clear intention regarding what we need in order to live a fruitful and satisfying life. That is the yoga of relationship, and our relationship with others ultimately boils down to being a reflection of our relationship with our own self. Go for it.
The bad news is that as far as our body goes, all of us are on (in) a ship that is sailing out on a (metaphorical) sea; to sink. The name of the ship is “WHAT IS”. There is no Captain. There are no lifeboats. No one is going to save us. We have been born into a body, and before too long, our body is going to die. Between the cradle and the grave, suffering happens, but that is not error. Suffering is not a mistake. Suffering is part of what IS. Part of the grand design. The 1st Buddhist Noble Truth. We cannot eliminate suffering, but we can reduce its negative impact. What we may choose to believe happens at the point of our death (and following) to some aspect of us OTHER than our body (which will rot) is up to us, but it is never more than our choice of what we believe and/or live (Faith-Mind) because no one knows except God (if you choose to believe there is a God) but if there isn’t a God or a God equivalent, the one who dies with the most toys, wins. We currently inhabit a living body, and one day, our body will die. That’s it.
Life 101. I don’t believe anyone really knows more than that. Maybe you choose to believe what I choose to believe, and maybe you believe something different, but about MY life and awareness, my personal beliefs (take it or leave it) are that no one knows any more than that, and if they tell you they do, they are lying to you, and quite possibly (probably) to themselves as well. (Watch out, because they probably want something). (The next logical question is why am I writing this?…what is it that I want from you?) (I have no idea, so watch out…forewarned is forearmed). Anyway, about your own life, no one knows more than you, that’s what I think. That’s scary, isn’t it? (to be the only one that “knows” about our life). Often it is the case that we want so much for someone else to captain out boat, our life…someone that “knows” who can tell us what to do…how to live, a god or a lover or a President or a religion…….but no one knows more about our life than each of us individually, and until we realize that in our own awareness, and know that to be true in our pissing and dreaming and speaking and doing, we will not have freedom in living, and what others say will carry too much weight. In relationships (political, business, romantic, etc.) we typically need or want other people to be a certain “way” to justify our existence, to give us a sense of purpose or meaning or predictability; to feel less alone; we will pick and choose the “ways” and people we listen to and take direction from, but it is all diversion, all to some extent, missing the mark. We want this or that, but what is it that we need? There is no one more or less holy than anyone else. No more or less holy people, no more or less holy books; (They are all m/l the same from some relative perspective) just you and whatever awareness reigns in your awareness at this time and place. We can find diversion in a talent or hobby, or a job or an addiction or being a parent or a child or a professional someone and all this will evolve, but we will move from one identity to another filling up time until our time is spent and if not inquired into, when our boat sinks we will wonder where our life went, and for what purpose, (where is the meaning) but my thought is that this body/mind experience is not who we ultimately are, and that is part of the good news.. So fast, our life goes from birth to death, all the while we struggle for understanding, direction, and control. We listen to the ones that “know”, the ones that speak out the loudest, the ones who got into print, but typically we might never take control of our own life by giving it over to our Self, (The No-thing), by allowing the presence of Emptiness (God, etc.) to enter into our awareness. Many of us have moved away from religion (and perhaps rightfully so) but in doing so I think maybe we threw out the baby with the bath water. We typically never listen to our own heart, our own still small voice inner guide, our baby, and trust that. We typically just do what it takes to get by. In that way we become cannon fodder for the materialism machine. The egocentric ghost that fuels addictive and thoughtless words and behavior. Can we get quiet for one minute and really listen to what is HERE? (There is NO THING here, and it calls to us) If we do listen, we might feel some relief with what we find. (or don’t find) We might find our Big Self by losing our egocentric self.
We might enable some control by giving it up. We might find that our Self is not really who we typically think we are. We might find that our Self is the same Self (the same non-self) that is in our child or our neighbor or our enemy, or the dragon in our dreams, or the tree or bird.; even a stone. (This is what Quantum Physics is leaning towards, anyway) We might find that we (all of us) are the same, (all non-selves) with the same questions and the same longings and the same fears and the same delusions and the same needs. We might find that basically, I am you and you are me. We might find that life is not so bad after all. (being a non-self, that is) We might find that maybe God does exist as a reality. (just not the reality we have in mind) (not as a personality, anyway).
We might find that while our boat is headed out to sea to sink….there is no water, and the important essence of who we are is not going to die, because it was never born…..it has always been, and always will be. How could it go anyplace? It is everything….and no thing in particular. That is the good news. We might find that underneath all the weird carnival phoniness of our material world, there is love (or Spirit, or Cosmic Energy, or Oneness, etc.) and that there is only ONE thing that is absolutely real, and that is our essence, and we share it with everything. We might find that we/you/me/etc. are an aspect of THAT. (as are all phenomena). You are THAT. I am THAT. THAT is who we really are. Our profound reality. The only absolute Truth. (Love is what is there when there is no thing) No thing is Everything Everything is nothing.
What is, is, and thinking about THAT is avoiding THAT in the same way that you cannot see your own face, and a knife cannot cut itself. (oh god, that spinning mind) Thou art That, and That is enough All things are real (in a relative sense)
No thing is real (in an absolute sense) Only THAT is real, and That is Truth (with a capital T) You and I are mirrors of Truth, and we can allow awareness of That.; Lenses that are able to project the light of Love that enlivens us. (How foggy and scratched our lens is, and how clearly and accurately we project that light is another story for another time) Become aware that We are One Everything is broken, and all is well; All things suffer, and all is well; Oh God……All is One. It’s our choice…..and our work. what is your alternative? Peace, friend,
The time has come for me to be at home. (That’s what I say, but who is this “I”?) “I” does not know how he got here, or why he is where he is, where he needs to go (or not go) but this is not where I is supposed to be, is it? Or is it to be? “I” has no idea where I came from, or where I’s home is, but I is ready to be here now now. The only alternative to this is that I is a crazy person. OK. My choice is made. 1)- To allow myself to be vulnerable by opening to the mystery is an invitation for others to make that allowance for themselves. Unless we all go, none of us go. Ego is cool, but Emptiness movement and presence is way cooler. Let’s GO!!! 1)- To open to the mystery, acknowledging the suffering, without allowing the related feelings to carry me gravitationally to the material place of despair….Let’s GO!!!!~ 1)-To remember that everyone is struggling, and no one knows. Suffering is turned away from as the burden is too much to carry. There is fear that looking at the suffering and the unknown will take us down. It is safer to hide in amusement, glitter or addiction. No Hiding, okay? 1)- hold your power. Share your openness only with those who have given up control of their own. The rising and setting sun traveling on the silent river reflects “remember your gift”, and not give away your power to the machine of forgetfulness. The fire burns and does not ask forgiveness. Let’s GO!!~!~ 1)- I do not need to be wedded to loss. I want something to come towards me that is not addictive, too expensive, cancerous or will betray me. Not material, I guess. It comes now, Let’s GO!!!!! 1)- I do not know why love tarries, but listen, the snow has angel wings. 1)-just because nice guys finish last does not mean that I should not be a nice guy. 1)-pray to be spared from the answer people. 1)-let’s all moan and whine a little while we wait. okay?
I have been interested in the concept of Androgyny for many years. Androgyny is a term that infers that masculine and feminine tendencies are m/l balanced in a living being, rather than one of them being more predominate. I have long been aware that my nature did not match up very well with my gender ( I am male), and I have explored and wondered about the whys and wherefores of how this could be, and what it might mean. While poking around on the internet, I came across an Androgyny “test” that would supposedly inform me as to where I fit on the androgyny scale, and I took it. While the result was not so surprising (I scored way more feminine that masculine or androgynous), it was more interesting (as well as a relief) to me when I looked at how the test was set up, and the parameters that were used.
Some of the MASCULINE traits were:
Has leadership abilities
Willing to take risks
Some of the FEMININE traits were:
Sensitive to others
The idea was that you ranked yourself to each of the qualities above, then added up your score which indicated you were either more masculine or feminine, or somewhat balanced (Androgynous). While looking at the traits, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the masculine traits were related more to EGO function (which tends to be more self centered) and the feminine traits were more related to EMOTIONS (or “heart”) which typically are more inclusive of others.
Considering my personality and interests in Non-Duality, this make sense to me that I would score more feminine, as in non-dual thinking/living, my identity is not so much attached to a personal egocentric perspective, as it is a perspective where the center is more “out there” and includes other people, the earth, and all things. While I do have masculine traits, they are overshadowed by feminine traits. That’s just the way it is.
Stereotypically speaking, the masculine traits tend to be associated with the male gender, and the feminine traits with the female gender. Again stereotypically speaking, it is why I have thought many times my life may have been a bit easier if I had been born female, seeing as how my personality is more feminine in nature. While it may have been easier socially (and in relationships) , I don’t think it would have been better, as while having an awareness that is somewhat outside the norm has caused suffering in ways, it has also allowed me to explore paradigms where this confluence of UN-stereotypical traits makes some sense. Had I been born a male with an abundance of masculine traits, societal life may have been easier, but I imagine there is also a strong likelihood that I could have plundered the earth and other people, in much the same way that a person born female with an abundance of feminine qualities could potentially be ineffective and unprogressive. Balance is a good thing….we can make use of all of the qualities, masculine or feminine, at different times in our lives, and for me, it has been helpful to understand my tendencies, and in doing so, being able to see and understand what I needed to work on to become more healthy and effective in my life. In my case, it looked like a loosening of attachment to my personal ego, and making a greater allowance for matters of the heart. For someone else, it may look like just the opposite. We are all learning, and that is good, as I have heard it said…”Life is the school, Love is the lesson”. Don’t you think that the bottom line for most of us is that we simply want to feel good……share love with other people and the earth….feel a bit of respect, trust, and appreciation? I can’t think of anything better. Can you?