The power of the feminine – From individual to society and back again.
This article concerns the relation between society and the idea that the release of the feminine in the individual will have large consequences in society, and why the focus on this process both in the individual, and in the collective is particularly important in our time. Therefore I will start by focusing upon the way the connection between the individual and society could be viewed, and explain why it makes sense to talk of a collective consciousness.
Individual and society
There is much talk about the need for a green transition at this time. There are big issues at stake, and for many it seems like we live in a time when there is a fundamental and comprehensive change of epoch in time. When we think change of epoch, we often have difficulty thinking about the role of the individual. We find it difficult to connect the individual and society as a whole, and we forget that the individual in fact constitutes a kind of microcosm of society. Sometimes we even assume, almost without thinking about it, that society forms a kind of regularity that exists outside ourselves. We forget that it is the individuals in the group who create society. It is when we are actively integrated within the status quo of the social systems, that we also take part in the creation of what is present in the here and now; also at functional and structural levels. When we feed the systems with our presence and activity, we are also co-creating them. This goes for situations where we participate in the acceptance of social status quo. But it also concerns situations, and perhaps especially so, where we become the point of departure of a grand shift, which we know deeply within ourselves that is happening. In the last situation, we enter the role of creators at a more conscious level. If we make ourselves aware that this is what we truly are.
The reason it can be difficult to connect the relationship between individual and society more directly, is most probably rooted in the fact that there is never a 1: 1 linear relationship between individual and society. To understand individual and society simultaneously will seem too complex to many. But it is necessary to be able to understand how the development of the individual can be also largely reflected at societal levels. The trans-individual social level of consciousness is what we can call collective consciousness. It has typically been too difficult to conceptualize, because the paradigm that we live in tells us that everything is separate, and that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of brain activity, where individuals are ‘black boxes’ to each other. Consciousness is separate and enclosed within each individual. This paradigm, furthermore, has never incorporated the impact of quantum mechanics on philosophy, and come to a natural understanding that the world consists of both physical mass, and of energetic and wave based qualities.
Many of us sense energies, but lack a language for it. When we need to understand a concept such as collective consciousness, we must connect to the understanding of energy for it to make sense. We cannot use the point of departure of information science, where we might understand society and social relations as swarms of separated individuals, who are linked together through arbitrary algorithms and chaos theoretical principles, forming social systems from more or less random principles. The old religious-philosophical directions like Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism all pointed towards principles of energy and to the fact that energy is linked to consciousness. There is a potential for transcendence in this way of viewing the world, which means that we can talk about both individual consciousness, and collective consciousness based on non-computational principles. Actually, what connects individuals, then, is rather principles of synchronicity and resonance that are less random than the principles of information science. To understand this, we need to move out of the current academic paradigm.
Marriage and relationships
Collective consciousness is reflected in the individual, and when the individual changes through processes of evolvement, and as, over time, a critical mass is formed at new levels of consciousness, mutations will happen in society. Therefore, it matters if people evolve individually, and through developmental relationships. Marriage has historically formed a key institution in society. This also applies to the welfare state, which in its beginning relied heavily on the idea of the nuclear family. What happens in the relationship has far-reaching consequences for society. Therefore, the ideas of what a relationship really centers on, and further ideas on what love between two people must consist of, is crucial for the way society is formed at multiple levels. Social authorities take an interest in how sex and gender are understood. The expectations and roles of gender become tools of power. Therefore, there are also political and commercial interests involved in the ideas we have of relationships between men and women.
We have all grown up with certain ideas about men and women, about love, and about what true relationships should contain. These ideas that lie within the social language games matter greatly to the choices we make, to what we imagine and what we expect in life. And this, again, builds on ideas that have been handed down from our parents, but also from the culture and the stories we absorb through adolescence and adulthood. Ideas constitute cultural forms of thought (memes), and we assimilate them and use them as navigation tools, whether we are conscious of it or not. Language philosopher and logician Ludwig Von Wittgenstein talked about language games and that these are always already formed when we enter life at the cultural scene. Therefore, it is not simply so that we talk and think in language games. We are also ‘talked’ and ‘thought’ through these language games because we are not their authors. And because they also always could have been otherwise. Therefore, the maintenance of status quo lies in the language and thought forms that we subscribe to and withhold by sharing them at a regular basis. At the same time, however, language games also form a space for possible change. We can change our behavior and we can change the manifestations that we bring into life, if we adjust expectations, ideas and ways of thought to suit the needs of a changing world.
The roles of females and males
It seems obvious that the roles men and women play, both for themselves and in the relationship with each other is changing drastically in our time. We have, in the past thousands of years, lived in predominantly patriarchal societies. It is possible that many men today struggle with feminized male roles as a backlog from the 1960’ies. It is possible that many men feel attacked on home ground by their woman, who seems needy and complaining, and that many men experience to not have the right tools to deal with it. All this is part of the culture of today. But that does not change the fact that society has been predominantly patriarchal, and has placed masculine values in the foreground of the feminine values at very overall levels. There is, in the North, evidently happening a shift in this balance. And we view symptoms (feminization of the man and the masculinization of women) of the commencement of such a change. But that does not mean that society has transformed to a feminine form yet. Or even that we necessarily would like this to happen at all. Basically, a balance between masculine and feminine would probably be most preferable.
Precisely because we are so far in the Nordic countries to provide social space for the feminine, the suppression must be found at the subtler levels, if we want to spot the places where the feminine is still largely suppressed. And that which is not expressed at social and cultural levels, in the language games that surround us, can be difficult to grasp. This is very much the case with the feminine force. To be more specific, it means that society’s language games do not provide a proper language for the sensations and feelings of a woman connected to brute feminine force, and thus it becomes difficult for this to take form in her consciousness. Even if she feels its existence clearly. The woman’s power exists fully at its own premises. It belongs to the feminine aspect which we can characterize with qualities such as wisdom, depth, process, sensual presence and empathy. Intellectually it is more about introspection, understanding and interpretation than on measurement, statistics and result. Furthermore, the woman also carries a life-giving primordial force that aims for the creation of children in her physical body.
Feminine and masculine qualities
If we are moving into a dedicated personal development towards finding our authenticity as women, we also find that the raw creative primordial force extends far beyond the creation of children. When we see the feminine as being and presence, it may seem stagnant and void. This is where it is often dismantled in a society whose main values is about action and visible results in the here and now. But here we must, in order to really understand how the feminine and the masculine work as qualities in people and in society, introduce yet another distinction: we must speak of the feminine and the masculine as human energetic qualities, and not just in regard to gendered people. So we understand that all individuals carry both qualities, but live out one pole rather than the other. Both men and women have both qualities in them, but through their biology they have a primary experience through one sex and one set of gendered qualities, rather than the other.
The higher balance between masculine and feminine can potentially come into presence if a person has integrated his or her polar opposite, and has a deep empathic understanding and awareness of the opposite pole within himself. With this understanding, we can move further into the topic of female force. This is necessary, because it is primarily the female force that has been suppressed in society, and therefore it is in lack of articulation. We have some fairly stereotypical perceptions of the feminine and the masculine as gender qualities. There has been much written about this in connection with topics such as sexuality and relationships. But we have not to a large extent articulated the connection between the subtly repressed feminine force and the society we live in today. Where the feminine should not only be considered against consumer culture’s agendas, or as a more or less inadequate variant of the masculine. But where we experience and look into the feminine as a force and quality in itself that exists outside of culture as a natural and energetic phenomenon. Today, there is clearly a growing demand from women to want to find their particular access to the feminine force. Who want to get to know themselves and to become more authentically embodied.
The female force
Many women are tired of the masculinized woman. It is this version, we have often seen when women tried to enter the higher ranks of society, and to assert themselves and gain more power. Women simply have been forced to integrate the masculine as a behavioral form, because society is predominantly masculine. On the other hand, as women seek to find their female identity, a typical path is to adapt to products of the consumer culture industry. Buying garments, make-up, creams, shoes, bags, watching Hollywood movies and music videos become ways in which women extinguish themselves from men, and find identity. This, however, is a very superficial kind of identity. By letting consumer culture define the feminine, we fall into the trap of being steered by the interests of big companies, whose only interest is their own profit, and that rarely supports authentic identity building. Rather, it becomes a mechanism that constantly feeds into the feelings that many women carry today of being generally deficient. Females that feel deficient are good consumers. But they are not women that thrive as viable human beings.
Thus, it goes without saying that the true female power cannot be found at the marketplace in the consumer world. In fact, female force must be found rather deeply within the flesh and spirit that we carry. I mentioned Wittgenstein’s language games above. The intellectual understanding is obviously important. Language is closely tied to thoughts, and thoughts are of vital importance for our forming of ourselves, and as a basis for action. When it comes to meeting and integrating the feminine force in itself, however, this applies just as much to the force to be found deep in our flesh and in the energies of our physical structure, as part of something that our bodies provide to us more or less directly from nature, but that our culture has taught us not to listen to. The feminine force is given life through our flesh, and all our intellectual and spiritual experiences must be anchored here, and connected to a sensual presence, to become a real experience. In academia, there has been talk about phenomenology and embodied phenomenology. It is very interesting how this philosophy has pointed to the importance of the body as a part of awareness and consciousness as a pre-linguistic and pre-scientific experience mode. In academia, we can learn about this on a mental level. But first of all, phenomenology does not integrate quantum philosophy. And secondly, by no means does this intellectual experience ensure the phenomenological experience in ourselves. We can never guarantee a deep bodily anchoring of what we learn on a mental level, if we do not work directly with the body as well. This forms the number one Achilles heel of the modern academic institution. For is knowledge real knowledge, if it is not physically anchored?
The body is a crucial place to start
The first place, therefore, we must seek the female force is in the depth of the body. It will be an inner journey, but a very physical journey demanding complete presence. It is about becoming increasingly aware of the connection between body and mind. And it concerns making contact with all the subtle places in the body, where there are blockages that hinder the natural flow of our true energy reside. We must discover, how trauma has created muscle tension, stiff joints, or perhaps malfunctioning internal organs, because we have stopped our life flow by not being true to ourselves, not letting the true energies float through us. It’s about releasing the tensions that are deeply rooted in our body and participate in shaping our posture, the way we move our limbs, our facial mimick. And we need to find the connections between the thoughts we have and the way they add to our tensions. This inner, but very physical, journey is crucial to the level of vitality that will be available to us, and for our ability to live ourselves out in general.
Therefore, the release of the raw female power forms a piece of body work. Fortunately, there are a number of tools to take into use, as we move into this field. Some of them are Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, intuitive dance (Movement Medicine Dance), meditation, breath work, massage, etc. But first and foremost it is about the individual woman choosing the journey into the depth of the body, the soul and the mind. And dares to face the fact that there is no release without dedicated bodywork. The mind cannot resolve all of our problems, and cannot release the feminine force within us without the full integration of the body. To choose this path, and to be aware of all the places in everyday life and in the personal space of thought where we experience that the female energetic flow is hindered in following its natural flow. Ultimately, the release of the basic feminine is about creating a natural and personal expression, and to get this expression to live organically. This means that we no longer hold our female power back in social situations, but express it actively, respectfully and lovingly. Society may, in its current form, seem to have difficulty containing too many empowered individuals at one time. On the other hand, empowered individuals are those who are able to create new communities. So, what will you choose?
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