The alchemy of the male and female in Awakening
How the classic male and female responses to emotions play out in Awakening.
The story so far:
- Men often feel that emotions are overplayed, they feel less affected by them and may even sense that they are unreal.
- The woman's view of this is that men are not in touch with their emotions and push down, deny them. And then they erupt at some later stage, in seemingly unrelated and often over-reactive ways.
- Meanwhile, women may feel that emotions are very real, and that they have a healthy connection with them which allows them to move through rather than fester. The release of emotion is freeing, there's a burst of energy from it that is undeniable.
- The man's view of this that women are over-emotional, driven by their emotions instead of driving them. That they suffer unnecessarily.
Of course, I'm generalizing, but maybe it sounds a little bit familiar? The two sides have their supporting stories. The male that emotions are some useless by-product of life that is basically unreal, and therefore feels justified in the attitude of denial. The female that emotions are true and to ignore them is to live a life that is stunted, unidimensional and fundamentally, unhealthy. Each senses the story of the other and feels it is illusory or at least exaggerated. In other words, each senses that they have the truer grasp on reality. Each is identified with their own version, and locked into a story of separation from the other.
Yet both have some truth and some value. The sense that emotions are unreal is a healthy perspective of space. The sense that emotions are real is a healthy perspective of acceptance. Yet, both are dysfunctional in the normal state of consciousness, the state of living a life through the filter of the mind - me and my story. In this state, the healthy perspectives of both sides become polarized through identification with the viewpoint itself into unhealthy entrenchedness, causing rejection of the other perspective. So, men become unable to accept that they are emotional beings too, and women are unable to gain a sense of space at all from their emotions.
As the degree of consciousness rises, meaning as there is more awareness of subtlety and more of available intelligence is being used, the polarization diminishes, the man begins to get in touch with his emotions and the woman begins to feel less and less a slave to hers.
With the full onset of Awakening, and even after fully waking up from the story of me, conscious awareness of a whole internal world is becoming very magnified. Consciousness becomes aware of itself, and intimately aware of anything that rises within that. In becoming aware of itself there's a possibility for awareness of great space, and in becoming aware of what arises within consciousness, there's a possibility for seeing the movement of emotions at a fundamental level, and even sensing their powering energy.
As a result of this increased sensitivity there's a tendency to feel everything very deeply, and this can seem like a backward step. The male is suddenly bombarded with emotions he maybe hasn't fallen victim to since childhood, and the female may feel even more at the mercy of her's. This is due to the immense amount of new ability to give attention to what is happening internally.
The challenge for the male is to get in touch with this new world without losing his sense of perspective that it is transitory and not to be taken too seriously, that it will pass. By accepting the truth of what is happening inside, he stops allowing the festering of emotion to continue and he also gains in consciousness from allowing the emotions to free themselves. In keeping his perspective that it is unreal, he is preventing the trap of getting lost, identified with the emotions. He is in some way new to this world, it is suddenly much easier for him to fall prey to the classic female situation of victim to the emotions.
The challenge for the female is to get familiar with that new spaciousness too. Now she can see the movement of the energy which powers the emotions and understand how they feed from that and each other. She doesn't need to get lost in believing stories that arise with the emotions, so doesn't become identified with them, and instead homes in on the underlying stories that used to keep her stuck in the same place like a broken record. She becomes able to claim the freedoms from both the release of emotion and the awareness of their illusion.
In Awakening, the male and the female become closer to each other. The male wakes up within the female and the female within the male, and each moves towards the other recognizing themselves in the other. They essentially merge so that both perspectives become one. So each enjoys the benefits of the other and also faces the same challenges. The challenge for the male becomes the challenge of the male aspect, not the male identity, and so also is a challenge for the female and vice versa. This is the alchemical unity of the sexes promised, in some traditions such as tantra. Both are freed from their entrenched positions and both benefit from the new sensitivity to move beyond them into greater and greater unfoldings of life.
As internally, the male and female aspects come together, externally relationships between males and females become easier too. The other is now understood and valued, and even doesn't feel like the other anymore but another sensing a similar experience with equal intelligence and finer sensitivities to learn from.