Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Merging The Sacred Feminine and Masculine

No other recent work of fiction has caused such controversy as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. One of the underlying currents of the book was a focus on the sacred feminine. If nothing else, this book has brought thought and discussion about this important topic.

Carl Jung wrote about the anima and the animus. The anima is the hidden feminine aspect within men. The animus is the hidden masculine within women. Many modern Jungian scholars believe that we all have the anima and animus despite our physical gender.

One of Jung's most important ideas was integration. We need to recognize and integrate the parts of us we repress to become whole physically, mentally and spiritually. We need to get in touch with those parts of us that society tells us we should hide. For men, this sometimes means getting in touch with our feminine side. Traditionally, men and women in all societies fall under enormous pressure to conform to ideals for their biological gender.

What are the repercussions of failure to integrate? My favorite quote by Jung is - "that which we resist persists." The shadow parts of us are there, and we can push them down with all our conscious and unconscious might. However, it's like trying to push a beach-ball under water - it will pop up somewhere, and usually not where we expect.

One extreme example of this is gay bashing. Studies have shown that most homophobes actually become significantly aroused when viewing scenes of homosexual love. The bashers are actually projecting the feelings they are trying so hard to repress onto others, and then acting out violently.

Men who try to fully repress their feminine side become mysogynistic. Those who victimize others have the greatest sense of inferiority. Racism is about fear and inferiority.

Spiritual wholeness starts by recognizing and welcoming your feelings. This doesn't mean we act out on every feeling. I may want to run the driver off the road who is driving too slow, but I know that would be a bad idea. Instead I should recognize that I am feeling angry and simply allow the anger to be there.

In Hale Dwoskin's book The Sedona Method (which I highly recommend), he says that one of the ways of releasing unwanted emotions are simply to welcome them. When you stop resisting, they stop persisting. And you become free.

From a metaphysical standpoint, integration is allowing. Allowing things to be as they are without pushing against them or trying to control them. It's paradoxical, but the more you try to control things, the less in control you will be. Allow your feminine and your masculine.