Thursday, December 3, 2009

Needing a Return to the Feminine

From the Tao Te Ching:

Know the male,
yet keep to the female:
receive the world in your arms.
If you receive the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you will be like a little child.

"Our one-sided fixation on mechanized progress is the result of our civilization's ingrained habit of prioritizing the "rightness" of masculine rationality, seeking to dominate nature, over the "leftness" of feminine intuition, preferring to surrender to it. Edinger writes: "Everything 'feminine' (earth, nature, body, matter) underwent a profound depreciation with the onset of our aeon.... The fact is that the 'depreciation of the feminine' is one of the ways by which the Western psyche has evolved; and we can only assume that it was necessary for the required sequence of events." The "depreciation of the feminine" includes, not only women, but the intuitive and shamanic forms of thought denigrated by our rigidly masculine rationality, as well as nature itself, which is treated as the soulless object of the scientist's alienated gaze. This domineering attitude continues to underlie--and belie-- our mechanistic progress." -- Daniel Pinchbeck, p114 of 2012


Anonymous said...

Mapping nature/earth/body onto the left/feminine and rationality/domination onto the right/masculine is commonplace but not very accurate. We all have considerable range in our behaviors and gender roles, and there is no perfect combination of either feminine or masculine traits. They exist as conventions and at some point lose their ability to inform but rather obscure.

Jeff said...

Agreed. However, I do think having a single term (masc/fem) that is able to meaningfully encapsulate a world view is useful in this context-- but ultimately, words are words, and they'll never perfectly describe anything (in fact, thinking they can is a 'masculine' way of thinking).