Women & Men: Ending We & They, Us & Them

What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance?” ~ American poet, Theodore Roethke 

I ended my last post saying I would tell you the how of becoming a counterbalancing force to misogyny. Whew! Was I silly in making that promise! We all know what human decency asks of us. Yet more is needed to genuinely act decently, particularly when daily pressures are typhoon- and tsunami-like.

The online Oxford English dictionary defines misogyny as “the hatred of girls and women”. Seemingly there is a corollary: misandry. Misandry is defined as “the hatred of men by women”. The thing is, words are neither the thing nor the process named. The hell with words: the reality is, we (all of us) behave, at times, in inexcusably non-loving and diminishing ways. The norm in the cultures of the world is one of unjustifiable cruelty to women; and one which denies women, one-half the world’s population, their standing and voice. Our cultures also emasculate men. Aware or not, each of us contributes to this. Aware or not, we are deeply at odds with these normalized circumstances.

There is a little known reality that Life cannot hate Life. We cannot and do not hate girls and women, nor boys and men! Rather, we hate, if we do, certain events and circumstances, and the things people do, or not do. To believe we hate another person or ourselves is a profound misunderstanding and misapprehension of who and what we are.

We confuse actions with identity. We are NOT what we do! Whatever it is that we are is entirely distinct from our thoughts and actions. Distinct too from the things that have happened to us. Our actions and our qualities of character reveal ONLY two things: 1) the degree to which we have healed, grown, developed, and evolved; and 2) whether we have directly experienced the non-physical and non-psychological merging with the Human-Mystery-Membrane. (Humanity’s point of nexus with the Central Organizing Force of the Cosmos. It is the prerequisite for Enlightenment, if there is such a thing. More on this in a later post.)

The dictionary defines objectify as “to degrade to the status of an object…a material thing that can be seen or touched”. We have normalized the objectification of ourselves and others. A primary consequence? A loss of intimacy with self, others and Life.

I repeat: We are not our physical bodies! We are not our personalities! Not our psychologies. Nor our minds, thoughts or actions; nor our imaginations. Knowing this conceptually is insufficient. When we genuinely do the disciplined work of learning to love we foster the possibilities for directly experiencing our non-objectified selves, and the non-personalized, non-relational Awareness. 

One of the ostensible benefits of objectifying ourselves and others is that we can blame others with impunity. Intimacy is such an impediment to blame and objectification. Where can love come in? Oh, its belongs to those with beautiful or handsome features. Perfect bodies. Those with politically and spiritually correct language and behavior…or does it? Are these examples of objectification?

Privately, we silently fear or judge ourselves to be priggish pricks or scolding shrews. We judge others too. We declare others the bigger bastard or bitch: It can’t be about us, right? We constantly feel disbelief in seeing the actions of those bastards, those bitches, yet, whew! at least we’re not that bad. Admit it or not, this is the most pervasive drama on the human screen.

Even the least developed, evolved, or in our contemporary vernacular — least spiritually aware — of us have acknowledged that a global shift has occurred. Some journalists call it The Shift. In addition to the global difficulties we all know about, there is another less obvious change trumping all others: a mandate for becoming personally responsible for the experiences, events and circumstances of our lives, all of them. This is done by managing our inner personal and spiritual ecologies. (I will write more on this in other posts.)

I regret that many New Age people have diminished and misdirected us from what is genuine and substantive. Nonetheless some New Age soothsayers have been giving us the heads-up on the personal responsibility thing for years. Now the drill is to attend to our inner personal and spiritual ecology with a relaxed rigor and self-discipline. Consider this: The earth’s evolution via tectonic shifts are but hiccups compared to the leap possible for us and future generations — if we take on all that personal responsibility entails. And yes, we also have the choice of ending life as we know it on the planet.

As for becoming counterbalancing forces, remember that diminishing girls and boys, women and men is at odds with the nobility of our souls, if we have souls. I will drill down into specific and necessary actions in upcoming posts. Even though we do not know the how of all these things, each of us possesses sufficient capacities to be increasingly gracious, compassionate and kindhearted with ourselves and others.