Monday, May 09, 2005

The Feminine

Tonight, my guest and I talked about how one of the problems with Corporate Culture is that it is too masculine. But it occurred to me as we visited that, in fact, corporations would probably always be male dominated, because it is an inherently imperial structure.

The female aspect of capitalism is more likely to be the Cooperation.

Whether Capitalism knows it or not, it will have to become an integrated personality in order to survive and to be healthy. Consider this from Richard Tarnas

THE GREAT CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME
The Reunion of the Masculine and Feminine Principles
From the Epilogue, The Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas

The crisis of modern man is an essentially masculine crisis, and I believe that its resolution is already now occurring in the tremendous emergence of the feminine in our culture: visible not only in the rise of feminism, the growing empowerment of women, and the widespread opening up to feminine values by both men and women, and not only in the rapid burgeoning of women's scholarship and gender-sensitive perspectives in virtually every intellectual discipline, but also in the increasing sense of unity with the planet and all forms of nature on it.

It is visible in the increasing awareness of ecology and the growing reaction against political and corporate policies supporting the domination and exploitation of the environment, in the growing embrace of the human community, in the accelerating collapse of long-standing political and ideological barriers separating the world's peoples, and in the deepening recognition of the value and necessity of partnership, pluralism, and the interplay of many perspectives.

It is visible also in the widespread urge to reconnect with the body, the emotions, the unconscious, the imagination and intuition, in the new concern with the mystery of childbirth and the dignity of the maternal, in the growing recognition of an immanent intelligence in nature, in the broad popularity of the Gaia hypothesis.

It can be seen in the increasing appreciation of indigenous and archaic cultural perspectives such as the Native American, African, and ancient European, in the new awareness of feminine perspectives of the divine, in the archaeological recovery of the Goddess tradition and the contemporary re-emergence of Goddess worship, in the rise of Sophianic Judaeo-Christian theology and the papal declaration of the Assumptio Mariae, and in the widely noted spontaneous upsurge of feminine archetypal phenomena in individual dreams and psychotherapy.

And it is evident as well in the great wave of interest in the mythological perspective, in esoteric disciplines, in Eastern mysticism, in shamanism, in archetypal and transpersonal psychology, in hermeneutics and other non-objectivist epistemologies, in scientific theories of the holonomic universe, morphogenetic fields, dissipative structures, chaos theory, systems theory, the ecology of mind, the participatory universe - the list could go on and on.

As Jung prophesied, an epochal shift is taking place in the contemporary psyche, a reconciliation between the two great polarities, a union of opposites: a hieros gamos (sacred marriage) between the long-dominant but now alienated masculine and the long-suppressed but now ascending feminine.

The driving impulse of the West's masculine consciousness has been its dialectical quest not only to realize itself, to forge its own autonomy, but also, finally, to recover its connection with the whole, to come to terms with the great feminine principle in life: to differentiate itself from but then rediscover and reunite with the feminine, with the mystery of life, of nature, of soul.

But to achieve this reintegration of the repressed feminine, the masculine must undergo a sacrifice, an ego death. The Western mind must be willing to open itself to a reality the nature of which could shatter its most established beliefs about itself and about the world. This is where the real act of heroism is going to be.

This is the great challenge, yet I believe it is one the Western mind has been slowly preparing itself to meet for its entire existence.

Today we are experiencing something that looks very much like the death of modern man, indeed that looks very much like the death of Western man. Perhaps the end of "man" himself is at hand. But man is not a goal. Man is something that must be overcome - and fulfilled, in the embrace of the feminine.

Somebody needs to tell Russ Limbaugh about this.

He may not know.


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6 Comments:

Blogger hopstarr said...

Enough with the 'us and them'.
Sub-dividing men and women, there are masculine men, feminine men, feminine women and masculine women...just to add to the complexity of the situation....

An overlooked aspect of 'older cultures' (including American N-D-Ns)that was instrumental to their success was a very clear division of labor. While the roles fell into the gender division, they were job descriptions that were critical to the community and survival; equally divided by practical application into equally important roles to achive interdependence rather than into superior/subservient co-dependent roles.

When Columbus got here, the average work week was 15-20 hours...leaving plenty of time to devote to education, spirituality and the arts...there were no bankers, lawyers, insurance salesmen or taxes...and the whiteman thought he could improve on that?

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is not us and them, this is very much the yin and yang of all creation. very nice. thanks

10:21 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

yes, clearly, we are speaking of the aspects of creation here, but Hopstarr makes a very good point, especially about the work week.

Thanks hopstarr.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so funny. thanks for the deep grasp and the chuckle

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that an imperial corporation needs the female aspect. men should run coops, women should run corporations. right?

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I like the sort of spiritual aspect of this much, being an evangelical Christian. I think one important point remains from this article though- that many people remain egocentric, and this is largely the problem in any system. Although I dare say men (of which, incidentally, I am one) tend to be more egocentric than women, and I suppose there might be much to be gained in not repressing females and the feminine, it will not get rid of the problem- in a way, we are all self-seeking. The Bible is quite clear that all have sinned- which at its root is this self-seeking i have mentioned. That is why I cannot see any system or ideals quite working perfectly- there will too often be the tendency, although it might be or appear more latent than others, or in certain settings (there is always the need and desire in human nature for some limited form of co-operation). The way out is the death of ego- but it will not come by human effort, but by accepting the saving grace of Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross (and it is interesting that Jesus was a man, but was not acting in His own intersts, but ours), to remove the power of the sinful nature, and the work of the Holy Spirit of God in us, enabling us to do so. This is something we each need to choose.

5:11 AM  

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