In many spiritual circles, it is unpopular to explore the feminine face of awakening. Certainly, from a nondual perspective, it’s convenient to completely avoid any dialogue that refers to the role of the feminine in spirituality. And so there’s a tendency, in some of the more philosophical or intellect-based spiritual teachings, for language to be neutral or conceptual, and this can lead to a certain dryness.
On the other hand, in more earth-based spiritual teachings, the pendulum swings the other way, and there is a passionate expression of the feminine as the goddess archetype, with the emphasis on the sensual and the emotional dimension of life. When this impassioned feminine arises as a reaction to the traditional spiritual emphasis on transcendence and detachment, there can be a forgetting of the necessity to be rooted in stillness before moving into the world with her myriad manifestations.
If the inner transformation has not happened, then ego continues to play itself out, and, in some goddess-based circles, this leads to a kind of feminism that excludes and divides itself against the deep silent core of consciousness. This subtle inner division ends up as a distortion of the true sacred feminine if it is not attended to consciously.
Is Awakening Beyond Gender?
Awakeness itself is genderless. The luminous truth shines equally brightly in all beings. And certainly, as has been my own experience, the superficial expression of masculine and feminine traits often recedes into the background and may even dissolve when one awakens to that which is beyond gender. When identity is no longer derived from physical and psychological form, the upholding of many gender-based behaviors becomes obsolete. This does not mean you become sexless, neutral, or bland. On the contrary, you become more whole and balanced.
Although awakeness is singular and without gender, there’s also a naïveté in trying to deny the mystery of duality as it dances through form. The Tao of life undeniably expresses itself as the polarity of masculine-feminine. Without this, there would be no creation. But these polarities are so much more than any inherited idea we have of what this looks like. They are more than role-defined responses or any historical image handed down to us by religion, culture, or tradition. In awakening, you not only transcend all gender-based stereotypes, you also become a conduit for the dance of masculine and feminine energies to play out their fullness through you. Once again, this is the beautiful and crazy paradox of awake reality!
The invitation here is to listen beyond the convention of words to the source from which all words arise. It is here, in the silence of being, that the real essence of what we call masculine and feminine can be heard. The true nature of both the masculine and the feminine is essential to the existence of life. Even the big bang is an expression of the marriage of masculine-feminine polarities. Consider the possibility that before existence was born, there was an endless and timeless emptiness.
The Marriage of Masculine and Feminine
And out of this deep dimension of empty beingness arose a singular moment. We could call this the moment of conception or “the impulse to become,” where the totality of creation spilled out through time and space and even now is continuing to proliferate in all its multiplicity. The penetrative quality of beingness, which we could also call presence, is the essence of all manifestations. It is the masculine “seed of life.” The proliferating quality of becomingness, which we could also call radiance (as in radiating out to include everything), is what we see as the organic expression of all life forms. It is the feminine “birth of life.”
In nature, the expression of masculine and feminine remain untainted by any mental or emotional interpretations. There is a purity to a rose, a caterpillar, an oak tree, or a kitten. Each of these is fully present as itself and radiant with the fullness of life. In nature, there is no ego, just the simplicity of existence.
In humanity, the masculine and feminine have become tainted by egoic identification with the surface form, and so we end up with all sorts of notions and dogmatic beliefs about what it means to be a man or a woman. Most often there’s an emphasis on the emotional and intellectual differences between men and women, and this leads to the battle of the sexes that we see exaggerated and glamorized in the media and in the entertainment industry. Even the exploration of the more sacred aspects of the masculine and the feminine is distorted by socially, culturally, and personally colored beliefs.
A Universal Awakening
The new spiritual frequency arising today may have the look and feel of a feminine vibration, but it actually has nothing to do with gender; rather, it is about something much more universal. It is actually a frequency and expression that can come through a female or a male body, or through any life form.
While the feminine capacity to give birth to something new, including the innate impulse to co-create, collaborate, and nurture, is more easily expressed in women due to their biological ability to give birth to a new life, it’s also an impulse that is latent in each of us, regardless of gender. Today, this frequency is available to both women and men as a psychological birthing that is happening on a personal and planetary level.
We are giving birth to a new consciousness that wholeheartedly embraces the transient yet undeniable reality of the human experience within the infinite ocean of awakeness. It’s a love affair between earth and heaven that has the potential to give birth to a radically new world in which each of us is, metaphorically, both the “mother” and the “child.”
As the mother, each one of us is called to embody an inner steadfastness in the face of the unknown, an unflappable groundedness in the midst of chaos, an unconditional acceptance of the movement of life that includes birth, death, and everything in between, and an unshakable faith in the sacredness of life in all its expressions. As the child, each one of us is called to embody a soft-bellied innocence, a fresh-eyed perspective rooted in present-moment awareness, a vibrant embrace of the unfolding nature of present-moment experience, and an unstoppable vision of humanity’s infinite potential.
Whether you are a mother, a father, a man, or a woman, young or old, you embody the archetypes of both “mother” and “child.” We could also call these the qualities of being and becoming … and they are alive in you right now, in this very moment. As you come to recognize this aliveness within, you will discover a power that can move mountains and create universes.
This has been an extract from Embodied Enlightenment: Living Your Awakening In Every Moment by Reveal Press, an imprint of New Harbinger Publications and used with permission of the author.