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SEMINAR 10
Rebalancing the Masculine and the Feminine
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"The Sleeping Beauty, the Prince and the Dragon"

An Exploration of the Soul

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Seminar 2 The Origins of the Concept of Soul click here
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Seminar 3 The Myth of the Fall click here
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Seminar 4   Myths, Fairy Tales and Dreams  click here
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Seminar 4   Animals in Dreams 
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Seminar 5  The Roots of Depression click here
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Seminar 6 The Care of the Child click here
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Seminar 8 The Brain and the Neuro-psycho-immune System  click here  
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Seminar 9 The Dragon: Integrating the Archaic Psyche and the Shadow click here
Seminar 10
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Seminar 10 Rebalancing the Masculine and the Feminine this page
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Seminar 11 Base Metal into Gold: The Process of the Soul's Transformation click here
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Seminar 12 Individual Soul, Cosmic Soul and Spirit
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Seminar 12 The Wisdom Texts
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Seminar 10

REBALANCING THE MASCULINE AND THE FEMININE

copyright©Anne Baring

Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome - The Coronation of the Virgin

 

When the moon shines as bright as the sun, the Messiah will come.
                 Saying of the Baal Shem Tov - an Hasidic teacher

Woman is faced with an immense cultural task; perhaps it will be the dawn of a new era.
                 C.G. Jung, Civilisation in Transition (Collected Works, vol. 10)

In our time when such threatening forces of cleavage are at work, splitting peoples, individuals and atoms, it is doubly necessary that those which unite and hold together should become effective: for life is founded on the harmonious interplay of masculine and feminine forces, within the individual human being as well as without. Bringing these opposites into union is one of the most important tasks of present-day psychotherapy.      Emma Jung, Animus and Anima, 1955

An epochal shift is taking place in the contemporary psyche, a reconciliation between the two great polarities, a union of opposites: a sacred marriage between the long-dominant but now alienated masculine and the long-suppressed but now ascending feminine...Our time is struggling to bring forth something fundamentally new in human history: We seem to be witnessing, suffering, the birth labour of a new reality, a new form of human existence, a "child" that would be the fruit of this great archetypal marriage.      Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind 1991


As these quotations show, we are living today in a crucially important time - a time of choice when stupendous discoveries are enlarging our vision of the universe, shattering old concepts about nature, God and ourselves. The fragile organism of life on our planet and the survival of our species are threatened as never before by technologies driven by a materialistic ethos of the conquest and control of nature, technologies which are applied with an utter disregard of the perils of our interference with the complex web of relationships upon which the life of our planet depends. The choice before us is between clinging to an outworn and unbalanced ethos of control and domination and maturing beyond it towards a more responsible and sensitive capacity for relationship with each other and with our environment. If we are unable to develop this empathic, feminine capacity to relate, we will surely destroy ourselves. Every one of us is involved at the deepest level with this process of transformation which, in essence, can be described as the rehabilitation of the feminine principle: nature, soul, matter and woman. As Riane Eisler pointed out over a decade ago in her book, The Chalice and the Blade, consciousness in the culture as a whole needs to move from the "dominator" model of society wherein we seek to control, manipulate and use life for our own advantage, to a "partnership" model which recognises and respects the indissoluble relationship that exists between ourselves and all creation.
           The advent of this profound cultural transformation has been announced in this century by the breakdown of many structures: cultural, philosophical, religious, marital, moral, artistic, political, social and economic. All these suggest that humanity is undergoing a difficult rite of passage, a "dark night of the soul" prior to the birth of a new consciousness.
           
We seem to be living in the midst of an evolutionary awakening of global proportions which in essence is coming from the rising of the soul of the world - an activation of the feminine principle expressed as the law of relationship and love. What we do or fail to do at this time will not only affect the course of our personal lives but collectively will affect the third millennium and the future of our species as well as the life of the planet. The recovery of the feminine principle asks for a reorientation of consciousness - a receptivity not only to the events occurring in the external world but opening a dialogue with the invisible inner world - becoming receptive to the voice of the soul. The activation of the feminine principle is helping us to become more balanced by articulating values which respect and serve life and are grounded in compassion, relatedness and empathy. It is helping us to relate to the deep source of our psychic life and to draw up the living waters from these depths.

The First Signs of this Transformation There were certain events which precipitated the beginning of this radical transformation of our values. In 1945, one of these was the shocking revelation of human barbarism in the discovery of Auschwitz. The other was the splitting of the atom and the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These events separated the past from the future and made it clear that, as Einstein commented, we had to change our mode of thinking or continue blindly on a course that would lead to catastrophe. Then we were made aware of the threat to the planet from another angle. The biologist Rachel Carson was the first to sound the alarm in 1962 with her book Silent Spring. She drew attention to the interdependence of the human, animal and plant orders of life and the danger of contaminating air, soil and ocean with the dangerous chemicals that were at that time being used widely and indiscriminately to control insects. She challenged the scientific myth of the control of nature, born, she said, of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy when it was supposed that nature existed for the convenience of man. "It is our alarming misfortune," she wrote, "that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth." The furious anger she aroused showed both the abyss of human ignorance about the interrelated systems of life on the planet and also the power of the entrenched attitudes which resisted any change.
            Then, in 1969, with the miraculous view of the planet seen from the moon, we were given a new view of ourselves. For many, this was a deeply moving and awesome experience which awakened a new sense of relationship with the planet and a longing to overcome the political rivalries that endangered it. Books began to appear written from a totally different perspective - in 1972 Barbara Ward's Only One Earth: The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet; in 1975 Schumacher's Small is Beautiful. In 1972 Donella and Dennis Meadows' Limits to Growth addressed the threat to the earth from over-population. In the early 80's Fritjof Capra's books The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point set the agenda for a transformation of our attitude to the earth and to nature, grounding this in the science of quantum physics which revealed life to be an indissoluble web of relationships and the observer an inseparable part of what was observed.
            In the 80's we became aware of the threat of a Nuclear Winter which could throw humanity back to the beginning of evolution, contaminating soil and water with the residue of nuclear bombs far more powerful than those used on Hiroshima. We began to fear the future and to query the arms race. People began to think in planetary terms, rather than in national or tribal ones, understanding that we had to transcend old habits, old patterns of behavior if we were to survive as a species. Disillusionment with political and religious leaders was part of this awakening together with the realization that each individual carries a responsibility for challenging the dominant ethos of the culture - a responsibility highlighted by Jung's prophetic words: "the world hangs on a single thread and that thread is the psyche of man." In 1982 Jonathan Schell's book The Fate of the Earth graphically explored the moral issues of continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
            These books and many others made it clear that the fate of the human species was inseparably bound up with the life of the earth, echoing the perception of certain native peoples that all life is one: whatever is done to the earth, is done to ourselves. James Lovelock's book on the inter-relationshhip of all the earth's systems, recognising that the Earth is an organism and naming the biosphere Gaia after the Greek goddess of Earth, recovered the ancient image of the Earth as Goddess for a modern world. The Green Movement grew from the recognition of the threat to the biosphere by the industrial and chemical pollution of air, water and soil. Conferences on the environment began to be held from 1972. Friends of the Earth was founded in 1971. Fifty years have seen the foundations laid for a transformation of our relationship with the planet and the emergence of many groups of individuals who are focussed on protecting it from the effects of human ignorance and greed. Men and women working together form a new collective entity, no longer tribal in character, which is held together by shared values and a shared commitment to implementing them. In this new world-wide collaboration on behalf of life, the foundations have been laid for the development of a contemporary image of both women and men as sacred custodians of the Earth - sacred because we are participants in a universe that is increasingly recognised as sacred.
            Woman's age-old instinct to nurture and sustain life, man's instinct to protect and defend it are expanding to embrace the life of the earth. A planet which has taken three and a half billion years to evolve an organ of consciousness through which life could come to know itself, may be under threat; our survival as a species is uncertain. Before too long, we may not be able to alter the course of events we have unwittingly set in motion. Yet, in response to the urgency of this situation we are recovering the ancient feeling of relationship with a sacred earth and a sacred cosmos. We are responding to the instinct which is urging us to become custodians of life, drawing us closer together in community to act on behalf of nature, on behalf of ourselves, on behalf of the Earth before it is too late.
            In these seminars we have explored the reasons for the loss of the feminine principle and the myths which describe its loss. I have tried to explain how we have evolved from a participatory relationship with life where there was no independent sense of self and individuality because the life of the individual was subsumed into the life of the tribe. We then moved into a phase of separation when we gradually lost our sense of participation in the life of the Earth and the Cosmos but developed a strong sense of self and individuality. During the phase of separation our instincts and feelings became increasingly cut off from our mind and intellect, so that a deep split came into being between the conscious and the unconscious aspects of our soul. I will recap briefly the effects of this phase.

The Effects of the phase of separation:
1. Our inherited concept of God or Spirit is transcendent rather than both transcendent and immanent. The god-head includes no feminine dimension. The Christian Trinity was defined in wholly male imagery. Neither Judaism, Christianity nor Islam include the feminine archetype in their image of God.

2. With the loss of the feminine image of spirit, the concept of soul as an invisible, connecting reality was lost. As a result nature and matter were progressively desacralised. Earth was no longer Goddess and Mother.

3. The Myth of the Fall and the doctrine of Original Sin had a huge impact on the Western psyche. Woman, the body and sexuality were effectively demonised and became the target of every kind of negative projection. Woman was identified with Eve who brought sin, suffering and death into the world.

4. The philosophy of scientific reductionism which now dominates our culture (not science per se) was the end-result of this 4000 year historical process of the loss of the feminine value. Scientific reductionists regard the human mind as primary and matter as subject to man, to be used and manipulated as he chooses. Nature and Earth are no longer sacred as they once were. Matter is dead, insentient.

I think at this point it would be helpful to define the main images and qualities associated with the masculine and the feminine principles.

The Feminine Principle is the archetypal pattern of:
Relationship
Connection
Containment
Participation
Attraction

Concepts associated with the Feminine:
The soul (both personal and universal)
The non-rational or trans-rational (I prefer the latter)
The unconscious
Being (as contrasted with Doing)

Primary images that have been associated with the Feminine:
moon, sea, water, earth, nature, body, matter
the heart (seat of feeling),
the right hemisphere of brain
the rose and the lily, the dove, the circle or sphere, the labyrinth and meander

Innate faculties associated with the Feminine:
instinct, intuition,
emotion, feeling, empathy
the capacity to imagine

Highest attributes associated with the Feminine: the Values of the Heart
Justice, Wisdom, Compassion, Love
the capacity to nurture, protect, cherish
The capacity to love

The Masculine Principle is the archetypal pattern of:
Consciousness, self-consciousness
Reason, rationality, logic
Focused orientation towards a goal
Structure and Order
Doing (as contrasted with Being)

Primary Images that have been associated with the Masculine:
spirit, mind, intellect,
left hemisphere of brain
the hero, the quest (in mythology)
the sun, the sky, the eagle, the straight line, the square

Innate faculties associated with the Masculine:
Thinking: linear, logical, analytical
the ability to focus on a goal
the ability to bring ideas into manifestation, to ground them
the ability to exercise control; self-control

Highest attributes associated with the Masculine: the Qualities of the Mind
Justice, Insight, Discrimination (making the correct choice)
The desire and the capacity to protect

The marriage between the masculine and feminine principles
Now we are entering a new phase of a consciously lived participatory relationship with each other and with the life of the planet - a phase that can be imagined as a marriage at every level: a marriage between spirit and nature; mind, soul and body; thinking, feeling and sensory experience. This marriage can best be illustrated by a the diagram below which shows how we need to reconnect the masculine and feminine aspects of our being by creating a relationship with the feminine - with soul, with body, with the life of the planet.

            As part of this marriage, a new poetic language is needed that would nurture in us a perception of life that is holistic, animistic and lunar in essence, a language of the Imagination. This would enable us to rediscover our participatory relation to nature in an entirely new way, a conscious, yet empathic way. Imagination applied in this sense brings all parts of the soul into relationship with each other, connecting instinct, emotion, feeling, intuition and thinking and the capacity for ensouled action.
            As we lost touch with the deepest roots of the soul, the great themes of mythology and literature directed us towards reconnection with it: Odysseus's long journey home to Penelope, Dante's journey into the underworld and his reunion with Beatrice, the Quest for the Holy Grail - these great creations of the human imagination gave us the feminine image of the soul as matrix, guide and goal. Now, at the end of this millennium and the dawn of a new one we see the feminine principle rising to meet the masculine one. We see the male principle coming to encounter the feminine one and a marriage slowly taking place. At the same time, we see a huge disruption in the social order as old social patterns, old institutions built on the myths of separation and alienation increasingly disintegrate. We also see the rise of fundamentalism which is an attempt to perpetuate the control system of the old order and a desperate grasping at certainty and, therefore, security.
            The influence of the feminine principle is responsible for the growing participation of women in our culture, in the growth of the ecological movement, in the interest in the so-called non-rational, in many new approaches to healing both psyche and body, in the mounting concern for the victims of the catastrophes created by our addiction to weaponry and war. Together, these different channels of influence are inviting new perspectives on life, new ways of living that bring together body, soul, mind and spirit. They draw all of us together in closer relationship with each, to work together towards the goal of rescuing this planet and the lives of future generations from our unconscious habits of behaviour.
            The crisis of our times is not only an ecological crisis but a soul crisis. The answers we seek will not come from the limited consciousness which still rules the culture but from a deeper perception born of the union of heart and head, bringing the revelation that all life is sacred. The feminine aspect of spirit is re-entering human consciousness in response to the need for psychic balance, deeper insight, wholeness, to help us recover a perspective on life that has been increasingly lost until we have come to live without it, recognizing nothing greater than the human mind. It is a dangerous time but it is also an immense opportunity for evolutionary advance, if only we can understand what is happening and why.

In most ancient cultures, there has been an image of the profound relationship and interdependence of the masculine and feminine principles. In China, there was the image of the Dao as a complementary union of Yin and Yang; in Tibet, the fusion of the two aspects of the creative life force, imagined as a god and goddess; in India, the image of the union of Shiva and Shakti; in the ancient teaching of Kabbalah there is the concept (but no image) of the union of the Holy One and His Shekinah; in our own Christian culture, there is the image of the Coronation of the Virgin enshrined in the magnificent paintings and sculptures that adorn our cathedrals. The earliest of these is the beautiful mosaic in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome (above). All these images reflect an intuitive awareness of the indissoluble relationship of the two primary aspects of life in the dimension of cosmic soul we know so little about, in our own human relationships and within our own psyche.
           Jung's life work was focussed on raising the neglected feminine aspect of life to parity with the masculine so that they were in balance, both within the psyche and within the culture. In a late book on alchemy, he wrote: "Life wants to create new forms, and therefore, when a dogma loses its vitality, it must perforce activate the archetype that has always helped man to express the mystery of the soul." (CW 14, par. 488).
           Jung realised that in the papal bulls of 1950 and 1954 something tremendously important was happening in the collective psyche: The longing of the Catholic people, beginning a thousand years earlier, to have an image of the divine mother - a Queen of Heaven - in the god-head, was being answered. In 1950 in response to countless petitions, the Virgin Mary was finally decreed to be "Assumed into Heaven, Body and Soul". In 1954 she was named Queen of Heaven, so restoring to her the cosmic dimension the image of the Goddess had once held in the great civilisations of the Bronze Age. (The recent petition (August 1997) to have the Virgin Mary declared co-redemptrix with Christ is part of the same psychic impulse seeking the rehabilitation of the feminine principle).
           Jung interpreted the raising of the body and soul of the Virgin Mary to heaven to reflect the awakening of the feminine principle in human consciousness which would have far-reaching effects as the implications of this event were assimilated into society. Archetypally speaking, the reunion of matter with spirit was being prepared. Knowing the mythological and cultural history which had witnessed the long repression and neglect of the feminine principle, he saw the Papal Bulls as a symptom of its rehabilitation. The second Bull anticipated a new image of the sacred marriage, that ancient ritual which once celebrated the union of heaven and earth.
            The impulse for transformation implicit in the desire to replace the old belief system which, during the phase of separation divided nature from spirit, with a new understanding which reunites them, restores the feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit — "She who was set up from everlasting, from the beginning…whose counsels are profounder than the great deep." The image of Sophia or Divine Wisdom, now recognised by many women as becoming increasingly active in our culture, is bringing us into balance, guiding the mind home to its root in the soul, awakening the deeper imagination of the heart, the creative ground of our being. Through the concept of cosmic soul as the great web of life, one could say that a growing impulse in the collective soul of humanity is teaching us to trust and protect life, to work with Wisdom as with a divine presence, opening our understanding to the knowledge that we are not something intrinsically separate from the universe but participants in its very being.
            The recovery of the feminine principle has been like the excavation of a precious treasure. A new image of spirit as the totality of all that is has begun to restore nature, human nature, matter and the body to the realm of the sacred. It is giving woman a voice and a value and a sacred image of herself. Above all, it is recovering for us the lost image of soul and is reconnecting us to our instincts and liberating our creative imagination. It is effecting a profound alchemy beneath the surface of our culture. Women and men are both participating in a process of transformation which is bringing into being a new cultural focus, one whose emphasis is no longer on power and control but on relationship, participation and a greater awareness of the connection between of all systems of life. The phrase "the conquest of nature" is being replaced by the recovery of the awareness that humanity and nature participate in a deeper and still unexplored cosmic reality which embraces them both. Ecological awareness is becoming a priority for the whole world. Men as well as women are beginning to respond to the immense challenge of defining and living a new and responsible role in relation to our planetary home.

The Changing Relationship between Men and Women
Looking back into the past, the twelfth century was the time when the idea of romantic love first appeared in Europe. The courtly love sung by the troubadours changed the attitude of men towards women and the negative stereotype of woman that had prevailed throughout Christian culture from the third century AD. The troubadours sang of a love for woman that celebrated her for her beauty, compassion, intelligence and learning. She became the inspiration of courtly good manners and of knightly deeds in the service of finer values than generally prevailed at that time. The Courts of Love established by two outstanding women in France, Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter, Marie de France, had a huge cultural influence. In the same century the story of Héloise and Abelard, although tragic in its outcome for both, established a new pattern of relationship between man and woman — one of a partnership built on an identity of talents and interests.
            In the Grail legends knights were presented as men who had gone in search of the highest symbol of the feminine value and who served and protected woman, protected the vulnerable, and rescued those endangered by the predatory instincts of men. But this new impulse could not be strongly established in society as a whole in the face of the general brutality of that time (of which the Crusades were a prime example) although it entered literature, poetry and art. In our time, romantic love is considered the main reason for entering marriage. But the high divorce rate and the number of women bringing up children alone shows that there is great tension between men and women that is not being resolved.
            One of its most important expressions of the new impulse is the Feminist Movement. It seems that the values this movement is struggling to articulate are values that are in the inchoate early stages of becoming the new ruling values. They do not yet seem to be strongly supported by political and religious institutions (although lip-service is paid to them) but world events are moving them rapidly towards a more coherent expression. Men are still everywhere in charge of institutions and the old masculine values still predominate but these values are retreating, like the slow shrinking of glaciers at the end of an ice-age. The "fit" between the old image of woman and modern women isn't a good one and both men and women are working to adjust it in the present turmoil of their relationships. Many men, sensitive to the fact that things have to change, are developing greater insight, sensitivity and understanding and are helping and encouraging women to play a more active and articulate role in the world. But, at the same time, tribal custom, male prejudice and religious belief still block the access of millions of women to their true potential.

Balancing the Masculine and the Feminine When the masculine and the feminine polarities are in balance at every level, there is fluidity, relationship, a flow of energy, complementarity, wholeness. This fluidity and balance is perhaps best illustrated by the Daoist image of the relationship and complementarity of Yin and Yang. Can we, in the broadest terms, define the feminine as a containing pattern of energy: receptive, connecting, containing, holding things in relationship to each other; and the masculine as an expanding pattern of energy: seeking extension and expansion towards what is beyond? More specifically, can we see the feminine reflecting the instinctual matrix and the feeling values of consciousness; and the masculine reflecting the questing, goal-defining, ordering, structuring, discriminating qualities of consciousness, generally associated with mind or intellect? For millennia women have lived closer to the first pattern; men to the second. But now, there is a deep impulse to balance and marry these archetypal patterns of energy within ourselves and therefore within our culture. There is an urgent need to temper the present over-emphasis on the masculine value in each one of us - women as well as men - with a conscious effort to recover and integrate the feminine one.
            Referring back to the previous seminar 9 on the dragon and the shadow, at the deepest archetypal level, the shadow includes everything relating to unrecognised dimensions of consciousness that act on and through us in ways we do not acknowledge or understand. If we persist in denying ourselves access to these deeper dimensions of consciousness, the human spirit becomes contracted, impoverished, and driven by the unconscious instinct that is unable to evolve in the direction it wishes to. The imagination then becomes life-destroying instead of life-promoting (as in the demonic nature of our weapons of mass destruction and the brutality and violence portrayed on television and in films and videos).
            Secondly, there is the also the shadow aspect of a civilisation to be considered - a shadow created by collective attitudes and beliefs formed through millennia which may have encouraged certain aspects of our nature to flourish and others to be repressed or denied. To take one example: western civilisation has put enormous emphasis on the development of mind and the technology required to ensure the control of nature and higher material standards of living. The more feminine qualities of the capacity to relate to others, respect for the environment and acknowledgment of the deep mysteries of life have not been emphasised and developed to the same extent. Because of this one-sided emphasis, the Western psyche is not fully developed, balanced and integrated although it often assumes a missionary attitude in relation to the rest of the world.. Intellect and practical skills (technology) have been developed to a very high degree. But intuition and feeling have not been developed and these two functions are asking for our attention now.            
            Women's lives have been radically transformed through the active part they played during the Second World War, through access to higher education and through contraception which has enabled them to have fewer children and therefore more energy and time available for other interests. The rebellion of modern woman against the millennia-old customs of patriarchal culture expressed in the feminist movement (with roots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) has also liberated many women from a confined and diminished life. They are entering a wide range of professions which did not exist 50 years ago. This represents an enormous expansion of their creative gifts and a great enrichment of the culture. But there are two big problems. First, women still find it enormously difficult to value themselves. Secondly, because of this distrust of themselves, they are drawn to copy the male ethos and male behaviour as they enter the world outside the home, particularly as education is the same for both genders.
            Because of the long emphasis on the inferiority and guilt of women, the irrelevance of their thoughts and feelings, and the insistence that their only role was to be a mother, and to serve their husband and the community, motherhood became identified with a state of servitude, tedium and worthlessness. Today many women reject the image of themselves as "only a housewife" because of the negative image associated with being a woman and a mother in the past. I recently met a German woman, mother of five children (two of them handicapped) who said that she felt inferior and inadequate when she was with professional women. She felt she had nothing of value to say or to contribute and no-one was interested in her views. So many mothers echo her words - usually with the phrase "I am only a mother (or housewife)." I told her I was writing a book for women like herself whose deep devotion to and care of the life they have brought into being is the most profound contribution, the highest spiritual value it is possible to express. Did she ever, I asked her, love and praise herself, did she ever say "I am of value to life, to my children and husband, to the community because of the love and care I give to those I love? Did she ever pause to think of her physical or emotional needs, give herself an hour's rest, praise herself for all she did? No, she said, she had not thought of doing any of those things.
            There is a danger that in seeking power and equality with men in order for her voice and her gifts to be recognised, woman may unconsciously reject the very foundation which gives her, through her millennial experience as custodian of life, something of supreme importance to say. I think the word custodian is appropriate here because woman has a deeply imprinted instinct to care for the life she has brought into being until it is strong enough to care for itself. Women care more for people than for theories, for relationships than for ideas. In all communities, as far as I am aware, women look after the young and the old. In some they plant and gather the crops which provide food; in all they prepare the food to nourish their families. Their primary concern even when they themselves are faced with starvation or death, is for the survival and well-being of their children. They hold the community together, integrating the life of the old and infirm with the life of the young through the network of caring relationships they bring into being. They are of enormous help and support to each other. Women are beginning to become aware that if the environment is threatened the health and lives of their children will be endangered. Education has given a voice to a few women but there is an immense task to be addressed in enabling many millions of others to play a more active and articulate role in the life of society (as the Argentinian and Russian Mothers are doing). Above all there is a need for women to value their role as women and as mothers if the catastrophic social and psychic effects of their long devaluation and subservience (often carried unconsciously by themselves as well as by society) are to be reversed and if the transmission of this diminished view of women to new generations of sons and daughters is to be brought to an end.
            For thousands of years man's role has been defined as warrior and protector of the community and his life was primarily focussed on achieving a position of power and dominance in the world and in extending his role as hunter into the role of provider and protector of his family. Now, with woman leaving the home and entering the arena of the world, often in competition with him, the older pattern is giving way to a different role for both - as companion and partner of the other - often sharing the domestic care of their children and the responsibilities of earning enough money to provide for their family's needs. Although accompanied by much turmoil and stress, woman's perception of man and man's perception of woman is changing and with it, a stereotyped and outgrown pattern of relationship which had diminished women and cut men off from their feelings. There are three deeply ingrained concepts that women still encounter as they grow up in this culture:

1. the idea that man is likely to be right and woman wrong on any issue where the masculine voice has prevailed for centuries - that is on anything to do with religion, politics, economics, medicine, science and war. Woman's voice in wartime is simply irrelevant (see the Iraq war).
2. the idea that man is rational and not swayed by his emotions and that woman is irrational, subject to her fluctuating and unstable emotions.
3. the idea that man's power of reasoning is superior to woman's.
4. the idea that woman is a danger to society if not kept under male control (Afghanistan and elsewhere)

Because of these deeply entrenched cultural beliefs, it is very difficult for woman not to give the supreme value to the masculine principle. With her emergence into a male society, educated and equipped to earn her living and to compete with men, woman may lose the receptive, relating, feeling values that she has for so long carried for the culture without full recognition and appreciation. Woman carries the image of soul and feeling values; and man the image of mind and the capacity for action in the world. For centuries, man has projected his soul onto woman and unconsciously looked to her as the carrier of his feeling values. For centuries he has been inspired by her both personally and archetypally (as by the Virgin Mary, for example), to create the most sublime works of art - poetry, literature, painting, architecture, music. At the same time, under the powerful influence of patriarchal religion, he has attempted to control, repress, denigrate and exploit woman. For centuries women have born the double burden of being regarded as inferior to men and being unable to develop their gifts in a public arena beyond the home. Now, because of contraception and higher standards of living, patterns of relationship between men and women fixed for millennia are changing.
            This change is deeply threatening to men because it asks that they learn now relate to their soul and discover the neglected feeling values within themselves. Since women and these feeling values have been looked upon as inferior, this is extremely difficult. Many men simply cannot form this new relationship with something that unconsciously they regard as beneath them. At the same time, with deep unease, they realise that woman is no longer the person she has been for centuries. She is no longer passive, receptive, obedient, empathic, placating and adaptive to man's needs and demands and content to stay in the home. The home for many men is no longer a sanctuary; woman's life is no longer fully centred in it and this is deeply disorienting and disturbing for them. They may simply see woman as an object for the gratification of their sexual desires and as their rival in a competitive world. (Pornography reflects the unconscious view of women that has been established since Greek times or earlier - that she exists to serve the sexual gratification of man).
            This change is also deeply threatening to women but for different reasons. For centuries she has looked to men to carry for her the masculine and intellectual qualities latent in her own nature. Even though individual men have deeply loved and valued her both as companion and the inspiration of their work, cultural beliefs have for centuries instilled in her the idea that what she is and does is inferior to and less important than what man is and does, so it is extremely difficult to change this deeply rooted belief, support her feelings and find the confidence to express her ideas and her feelings in new areas. If woman unconsciously copies the ethos (because she does not value herself) that rules the culture and adapts herself to male goals and the male ethos of achieving power, dominance and control, she may reject the precious feeling values she holds for the culture as well as for herself and her children, rather than carrying them into the world and expressing them in that new arena. It takes a great effort of consciousness to become aware of those values and to articulate and support them in the face of their subtle denigration . And it takes even more of an effort to challenge the negative ideas passed on to her for centuries past about the inferiority, sinfulness, uncreativeness, unreliability of her nature.

The Effects of Imbalance
Where there is no relationship and balance between the masculine and feminine principles (as defined above) within either man or woman, the masculine principle becomes pathologically exaggerated, inflated; the feminine pathologically diminished, inarticulate, ineffective. The symptoms of a pathological masculine are rigidity, dogmatic inflexibility, omnipotence, and an obsession with or addiction to power and control (fundamentalism and the current expansion of military and political power). There will be a clear definition of goals but no receptivity to ideas and values which conflict with these goals. The horizon of the human imagination will be restricted by an overt or subtle censorship. We can see this pathology reflected today in the ruthless values which govern the media, politics, and the technological drive of the modern world. (America at the present time is a prime example of this pathology).
            We can see the predatory impulse to acquire or to conquer new territory in the drive for miltary and political pre-eminence, in the desire for global control of world markets, in the ideology of perpetual growth, in new technologies such as the genetic modification of food. We see exaggerated competitiveness — the drive to go further, grow faster, achieve more, acquire more, elevated to the status of a cult. There is contempt for the feeling values grounded in the experience of relationship with others and with the environment. There is a predatory and compulsive sexuality in both men and women who increasingly lose the capacity for empathic relationship with and respect for each other. There is continuous expansion in a linear sense but no expansion in depth, in insight. The pressure of things to do and acquire constantly accelerates. If men and women are not aware of the huge pressure to conform to this ethos, they may easily fall prey to it since there are very few role models to embody less strident values.
            The result? exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and illness which afflict more and more people. There is no time or place for human relationships. People come to assess others in terms of how powerful, successful, famous or useful they are. They do not see them in their humanness, their vulnerability, their need. When the feeling values are given no recognition, there is no time for relationships. Men and women and, above all, children, become the victims of this harsh, competitive, uncaring ethos which has resulted in a third of marriages ending in divorce and in 100,000 children under 16 (in the UK) leaving home because home has become unendurable. (see also the utter disregard for the suffering of civilians in war and the casual treatment of wounded and traumatised veterans of war). Women, in their desire to be accepted in a world ruled by men, and because the feminine value has no clear definition or recognition in our culture, may be drawn to copy a pathological image of the masculine which itself incorporates a deep fear of the feminine. So today there is the risk of a double rejection of the feminine, by men and by women.
            Jung repeatedly drew attention to the fact that the fate of the earth hangs on the individual - on the capacity of women and men to relate to their soul, to become aware of and to value that part of themselves they know least - their deepest feelings and instincts which are the root and fulcrum of their creative imagination. This instinctual dimension of ourselves, so split off from consciousness, so little explored and understood, is the matrix of our creative life, and is immeasurably older and sometimes wiser than the more recently developed aspect of ourselves we call rational mind. Becoming aware of this instinctual dimension of ourselves and the immense field of relationships and experience it embraces constitutes an evolutionary advance for, until we learn how to relate to it, how to integrate the values it carries with the more familiar focus of intellect, we remain emotionally immature, the prey of unconscious drives and complexes. The imagination and the psychic freedom as well as the creativity of a whole culture may be crippled when there is so little knowledge of and conscious relationship with the dimension of feeling and instinct.

The Masculine Qualities in Woman and the Feminine Qualities in Man.
Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman, not the image of this or that woman but a definite feminine image…The same is true of woman: she too has her inborn image of man. Jung

There are 3 primary influences we need to become aware of:

1. The influence on the relationships between men and women of collective male and female experience (including mammalian experience).
2. The inherited or culturally imposed concepts that modern men and women hold about each other. See the media for stereotypes and how it tries to maintain these stereotypes. "All men are like this; all women are like that." Women in particular tend to be too unconscious of and conforming to these stereotyped roles.
3. Parental influence.

           Woman carries deep within her instinctual genetic formation not only the memory of all the experience of being female on this planet but also an image of man formed from all female experience of man through the ages. Every man carries within his instinctual genetic formation the memory of all male experience but also an image of woman formed from all male experience of woman. These images are the archetypes of collective experience going back millions of years and they form the lens through which men and women unconsciously and instinctively relate to the opposite sex. Superimposed on this foundation is the influence of the personal mother and father which shapes the image of woman for man and of man for woman. Equally, the experience of the mother contributes to the formation of the image of the feminine for the daughter; likewise, the experience of the father forms the image of the masculine for the son. So it is important to ask oneself what this experience was like and how it has formed or influenced one. What was the quality of the parental image of man and woman and the parents' relationship to each other — was it a negative or positive image, life-enhancing or life-destroying? What are the feelings associated with mother and father — trust and love or distrust and fear?
            Jung suggested that women need now to integrate masculine qualities with their feminine being so that they would not "remain caught in an antiquated, purely instinctual femininity, lost and alone in the world of men." (CW 10 Essay on Women in Europe) And also that men need to venture into the deeper territory of the psyche if they are to meet women halfway. This difficult process of integrating the contra-sexual pattern in both men and women is gradually bringing into being a deeper sensitivity to the other and a deeper capacity for relationship at many levels. It is also bringing into being a quality of insight which has recently been defined as "emotional intelligence" - a new skill in inter-personal relationships, in understanding, responding to and managing emotions more effectively which has great potential for improving many aspects of our lives, not least the lives of our children.
            One of Jung's ideas that is difficult to understand is that man encounters woman as something altogether 'other' than himself, yet he meets in her the projected image of the feminine aspect of his own nature that he has no awareness of and no relationship with. He seeks relationship through woman with that aspect of his nature that he is not consciously aware of and needs to develop within himself. It is the same with woman who meets in man the projected image of the masculine aspect of her nature that she is not aware of and not fully in touch with. She seeks experience of this unknown masculine element in her nature through relationship with a man and will adapt her life to his until she discovers her own life goals and the means to achieve them. The question for both men and women to ask themselves is:

1. What unconscious image of the feminine or of masculine (negative or positive) do I hold and how could I bring this into greater consciousness in myself?
2. What influences and experiences, both personal and collective have formed this image: parental, religious, society, media etc? and is it a true and complete one? Often one finds that men and women project onto the opposite sex what is most undeveloped, inferior and unconscious in themselves. (Princess Diana was a receptacle of many projections, both positive and negative, from both men and women. They are very revealing of the psyche of the people from whom they came).

           Generally speaking, it seems that men are now being asked to become more sensitive and receptive and women to become more assertive, discriminating and self-nurturing (as opposed to nurturing others) about the way they live their lives. These, at present, may be unconscious potentials still to be developed within both men and women, particularly younger men and women. Becoming more aware of this situation can help us to develop those characteristics that, as part of a cultural stereotype, were previously projected onto the opposite sex. So the need is not so much to change "them" but to see what can be changed within ourselves. This amounts to another aspect of becoming aware of the hidden potential in the unknown aspect of our nature.
            Assertiveness does not mean aggression. The Feminist movement, attacking patriarchy as the cause of woman's suffering, is sometimes taken over by the latent anger buried in the collective shadow of women and fails to see that men also have been deeply injured by the diminished image of the feminine and that the situation we face today is problematical for both sexes. Women often act through an inferior, stridently aggressive masculinity that they deplore and attack in men, just as men can act through an inferior, manipulative femininity that they fear and despise in women. The more a woman is cut off from her instinctive roots and from her feeling values, the more she may be taken over by the archaic power drive within her nature. The more a man is cut off from his feeling values, the more rigid, dogmatic and controlling he becomes and the more determined to attack and eliminate an opponent.
            An American psychotherapist and writer called Helen Luke comments on this situation:

As we look back on the extremely rapid emergence of woman in this century into the masculine world of thought and action, it is not surprising that she has fallen into increased contempt for her own values…Its effects have been devastating not only on woman herself but also on the men around her. For the unconscious masculinity in a woman when it has taken possession of her femininity, has a terrifying power, charged as it is with the numinosity of the instinct and most men, when faced with this power in their women, either retreat into an inferior passive femininity, seeking to propitiate this power, or else to react with brutal aggressive masculinity. Small wonder that such women, having lost their true roots in their feminine nature, are constantly beset by the anxious feeling of being useless, however outwardly successful.

A Different Definition of Creativity
The culture today generally seems to draw a distinction between the creativity of work that is intellectual or artistic and the uncreativeness and tedium of physical and empathic work that revolves around looking after children, cooking, cleaning and generally attending to the mundane activities involved in looking after a home. This distinction is a relic of our matter-despising past and needs to be rooted out of the psyche and flung onto the scrap-heap of obsolete ideas. Unfortunately, it is a deeply held conviction in many women who are intellectually gifted and who use the intellect as a means of getting away from all the physical things they look down on because, unconsciously, they associate them with the devalued role of woman in the past — possibly with the down-trodden and subservient life of their mothers. Intellectual women may sometimes find it difficult to develop cooking skills, and may not pay attention to and care for the body. Those who make the choice to stay at home to look after their children may feel diminished in a culture which is now insisting that women go out to work and are sometimes secretly envious of their high-achieving sisters and therefore subversive of their own potential.           
           Many women are forced for financial reasons and against their instinct to put their children into day-nurseries and this creates conflict and guilt. Others are relieved to delegate the care of their children to others and to focus on their careers.
           We need a new definition of creativity. Creativity is not only doing, succeeding, reaching for goals. Creativity is also receptivity, responding to ideas and to other people with warmth and encouragement as well as to one's own intuitions and ideas. True creativity develops precisely from the despised instinct. If this is blocked by a rejection of everything instinctual, the woman in question will run the risk of being cut off from her roots. She may have success in the world of the intellect, but she may have great difficulty with her relationships. As Helen Luke comments:

A woman is born to be essentially and wholly a woman and the more deeply and consciously she is able to know and relate to the creative power within her, (rather than being driven by it) the more surely she will realise this truth. One of the most frightening characteristics of our present age is the urge to destroy difference, to reduce everything to a horrible sameness in the cause of "equality." Woman's deep creative power can never come to fruition if she is caught in an unconscious imitation of man."

Patterns to be aware of:
1. The unconscious antagonism of men towards women comes from a deep fear of them, possibly because woman is what is totally unknown, totally "other" but also perhaps because men are born into the world from women's bodies and are dependent on their mothers during their childhood and adolescence. Going further back, women were identified with nature at the time of the split between spirit and nature and this identification has lingered in some cultures. Men believe (because of their programming) that woman, like nature, has to be controlled by man. Men, particularly artistically creative men (writers, painters, musicians) have a deep and often unconscious emotional dependence on woman for her love and support and also for her dealing with the practical details of daily life. In such men there may be a very powerful dependency on woman being "mother" to them, even supporting them financially. This dependency, however, may be unconsciously resented by the dependent man and there may be a compensating tendency to disparage and criticise a woman to counteract it. (this is particularly true of men who have lost their mothers in childhood or who have had critical, destructive or very controlling mothers or have been abandoned by them due to death or separation).

2. It is absolutely essential for the sake of her children that a woman does not allow her partner to criticise and humiliate her in front of other people, but particularly her children. This not only gives them a distorted view of how men treat women but programmes their unconscious to repeat the same pattern with their own partners later on. Equally, it is important for a woman to try to become aware of where she may be subtly diminishing, nagging or undermining her partner as well as where he is doing this to her. Try to listen to what each partner is saying. Write it down or tape record it. Then play it back and listen to it, both the words and the tone of voice, not in a recriminating way of “there, you see what I mean,” but bringing humour into the situation, really listening to what one person is saying about the other. Then asking “do I really do this/sound like this? Do you mind?” or saying “It really hurts me when you say that, I feel humiliated, wounded by your attitude and your words.”

3. Balancing "Being" and "Doing." It is important to see where one is living an unbalanced life with the emphasis on constant activity, overwork, particularly if one is an extravert or, alternatively, the tendency to pay too much attention to responding to the physical or emotional needs of others (often out of guilt and the unconscious need for praise). Women are expert at exploiting this guilt in other women. The pressure for women to pack two lives into one (working professionally as well as managing home and children) is tremendous and must be resisted and, where possible, balanced. Feelings or symptoms of stress, exhaustion, resentment and anger need to be taken into account and an attempt made to slow down and balance one's life, living one phase of life at a time. If this is not done, physical health or a fulfilling relationship with partner and children may break down. If something in you says "This doesn't feel right or this feels wrong," (often the body's feeling of exhaustion) stop!

4. Setting boundaries for oneself and for the family - boundaries to pushing oneself beyond the limit. Women who have a poorly established sense of self-worth tend to let other people invade their boundaries in all kinds of ways, usually through playing on their unconscious guilt. Become aware of where you are being bullied or pushed into giving and looking after others all the time. Without boundaries, woman can easily fall into the role of the martyr or victim.

5. Finding ways to recognise anger and grief and releasing it. The tension between men and women and the fact that today there is no (spiritual) horizon beyond the partner relationship to focus on, means that both men and women project all sorts of emotional needs on each other and carry a powerful "head of steam" of both expectation and disappointment. Rather than expecting one's partner to meet all one's emotional needs, see where these can be met by responding to them oneself and by defining exactly what these are. Become aware of your own programming in not formulating and responding to your needs. Try to develop greater self-sufficiency and sense of self-worth instead of dependency.

6. Notice the language of power and the patterns of manipulation that both sexes use to manoevre themselves into a superior position, either in the family or in business situations. Observe the bitchiness, ruthlessness, sexual predatoriness and envy reflected in many women's magazines. Often a woman who struggles to get to the top may do so not out of love of what she is doing but solely in order to gain a sense of self-worth through the exercise of power. Beneath the superficial persona is deep insecurity and an inability to make relationships.

7. Try to gain insight into the goal-seeking, driving power of instinct which may override feeling values. (Jung called this driving power the animus because it reflects the culturally imprinted male ethos). Beware of the tendency to blame yourself continually for not living up to an imagined ideal (often culturally imposed) of achievement or behaviour. Ask what is right for you personally. Typical patterns of self-blame are the belief that whatever you are doing is not enough or that you have done something wrong. Many women feel they are neither appreciated nor even noticed. Typical phrases are: I must do more; I should make more effort; I am a failure (compared to an imagined ideal), I must become this, that or the other; try harder; not be so self-indulgent. "Should" and "must" are words to beware of. See how this driving inner voice will allow no relaxation when it gets a grip on you; how it banishes self-esteem; devours your spontaneous pleasure in life; saps your energy and interferes with your creative work. Try to catch the often semi-conscious dialogue that is going on and write down what it says as often as possible.
            Sometimes this drive is associated with the desire to prove that you are the equal of man; sometimes it is the pressure of family or collective expectations; sometimes it is the result of a deep psychic or physical injury in childhood. (Dreams will show suffering or wounded animals). A parent imprinted with this unbalanced drive might say, like John McEnroe's mother: "I have never been one to accept second best; even if Johnnie got 95% in some test or other, I wanted to know what happened to the missing 5%. I think I pushed him harder than his father." It is hardly surprising that Johnnie cannot relate easily to women and grows up with a raging drive to succeed and an uncontrollable temper!
           The story of Beauty and the Beast can be understood as a marvellous allegory of the transformation in a woman of the unconscious power of instinct (as beast) into prince and bridegroom. Any woman who dreams of losing her ring or her handbag (symbol of the feminine) can ask herself where she is losing touch with or betraying her feeling values or where they have been injured by someone else's remarks or attitude. Look at the immense treasures the beast guards and bestows once a empathic relationship with the instinct has been established.
           
Helen Luke writes:

The instinct of the feminine is precisely to use nothing, but simply to give and receive. This is the nature of the earth - to receive the seed and to nourish the roots - to foster growth in the dark so that it may reach up to the light…How are women to recover their reverence for and their joy in this great archetype of which the symbols have always been the earth, the moon, the dark, and the ocean, mother of all? If we can recover in ourselves the hidden beauty of this receptive devotion; if we can learn how to be still without inaction, how to further life without willed purpose, how to serve without demanding prestige, and how to nourish without domination; then we shall be women again out of whose earth the light may shine.
           
           There is a saying which goes: "When the moon shall shine as bright as the sun, the Messiah will come." Woman through her struggle to understand herself and to articulate the highest values of the feminine principle, could begin to make the moon shine so that it can balance the sun-brightness of our present consciousness. In recognising her depression, her suffering, her longing to outgrow the subservience and powerlessness of her past experience, in articulating and supporting her deepest values, she may accomplish something truly heroic and extraordinary for life, something that humanity in centuries to come will recognise and cherish.
            Each woman's awakening to her value is part of the emergence into consciousness of these feminine values. It is as if a tremendous birth is taking place in the collective psyche of women; as if they are giving birth to awareness of a new role in society. This birth is something that is being asked of them by the evolutionary dynamic working within women all over the world. It is experienced by women as something deeply perplexing and difficult as well as something spiritual and numinous to which they have to respond with their whole being. As woman gives birth to herself, to awareness of her value, so the feminine values will emerge fully into the consciousness of humanity which for so long has suffered from their suppression and neglect. Woman through her struggle to express the quintessence of her being is helping to make the moon shine as brightly as the sun. Each woman who gives birth to herself, each man who nourishes the feminine values in himself and gives expression to them in his life, contributes to the diminishment of human suffering and the growth of human consciousness. Men and women can act mid-wives to each other in this birth, giving each other help and support and encouragement.
            For this reason, nothing is of such importance as woman's rescue of herself. This is something that is very difficult for her to accept because the whole impulsion of her nature in the past has been to respond to the needs of others. The fact that she herself is in greatest need of her own help, support and understanding is the very first step in polishing the moon. It will only shine as bright as the sun when woman has become Orpheus to her own Eurydice and has rescued herself from the "powers of the underworld" which symbolise her unconsciousness of her value. As she recovers her own true values, so she will rescue man from his thralldom to values that are endangering the world and help him to implement the changes that are essential to our survival. Rilke described (in 1903) the emergence of a new kind of woman, one who functions in the world and who is in touch with the deepest reaches of her soul:

The girl and the woman in their new, individual unfolding will be only transient imitators of bad or good masculine behaviour, and repeators of masculine professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions it will be seen that women have passed through the exhuberance and vicissitudes of those (often ridiculous) disguises, only in order to purify their most essential being from the distorting influence of the other sex…This humanity of woman, brought forth in pains and degradations, will come to light when she has shed the conventions of mere femininity in the alterations of her outward station, and the man who today do not feel it coming will be surprised and struck by it. One day the girl will be here and the woman whose name will not longer signify merely the opposite of masculinity, but something in itself, something which makes us think of no complement or limitation, but only of life and existence; – the feminine human being.

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