Sunday, March 8, 2015

Systemic Approach to Understanding the Feminine

On this day when the world celebrates "Women's day", why not reflect on the inseparable and integral nature of the feminine as the inner and outer polar opposite indispensable to human existence. This article brings out the role of a holistic understanding of the evolutionary process and the contribution of Jungian Depth psychology in enhancing our current understanding of the role of the feminine through a systemic approach.

The global thinking and general awareness of humanity has shifted to a perceptive 'layer of consciousness' wherein the need to reposition the role of the feminine in contemporary society has become a much needed and debated topic.

Human evolution, as we understand today, cannot be fully explained even by the tenets of 'Neo-Darwinism' which is the "modern synthesis" of Darwinian evolution through natural selection with Mendelian genetics, which combines the mutative physical evolution with added attributes through modification of characteristics inherited.
In his 'Tanner Lectures' on 'Human Value', Stephen J Gould Evolutionary Biologist, gave a lecture on "Challenges to Neo- Darwinism and Their Meaning for a Revised View of Human Consciousness". In this lecture he pointed out that;

"Four controlling biases of Western thought — progressivism, determinism, gradualism, and adaptationism — have combined to construct a view of human evolution congenial to our hopes and expectations. Since we evolved late and, by our consciousness, now seem well in control (for better or for worse), the four biases embody a view that we rule by right because evolution moves gradually and predictably toward progress, always working for the best. These four biases have long stood as the greatest impediments to a general understanding and appreciation of the Darwinian vision, with its explicit denial of inherent progress and optimality in the products of evolution.............. In this Darwinian climate, we may still view the evolution of human consciousness as the predictable end of a long history of increasing mentality."

The " inherent progress and optimality" of humanity is derived by human consciousness in an evolutionary process, driven by the imprint of Cosmic consciousness, towards the "Omega Point" as expounded by the great French Anthropologist and Theologian, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Punctuated equilibrium, which is a long period of no evolutionary activity, and unexplained sudden expansion of cranial capacity in Homo Sapiens, in the history of evolution of Homo Sapiens also leaves much to be desired in explaining human evolution purely from a Neo-Darwinian perspective.
As some of the ancient cultures, like Mayans, were able to comprehend that planetary evolution is driven by a higher level of consciousness at the Galactic or cosmic level.

Current levels of comprehension of Homo Sapiens as to the nature of one's individual role in creation and the more important relational dimension of our species with all other elements of the planet as a mutually inclusive network of life empowering force, has resulted in increasing number of thinkers, academicians, spiritual leaders and discerning individuals to move towards an integral and systemic mind set. A number of studies in the evolution of human consciousness has revealed this tendency of emergence as the next stage of evolution of human consciousness which is termed as "Integral  consciousness".

Now when we trace the history of our own species, our male-female relation has undergone a major shift from the time 200,000 years ago to the current times. The feminine was valued and venerated as the Divine Mother and as primary deity due to humanity's great dependence on survival. The fertility of the species was of primal importance and fertility was associated with the feminine. The link to the Divine Feminine was lost from the time when the monotheistic religions were established with Yahweh, God the Father and Allah became the all male presiding deities. Further damage was done with the radical rational mindset following the Age of Enlightenment.

However, in the recent past, an increasing awareness of the egalitarian relation that needs to be instilled between the male and the female has dawned on an increasing section of society due to social, cultural and spiritual factors which have been modulated by a shift in human consciousness. Though this awareness is in a nascent stage, the sign of its impact are very encouraging. The media while on one hand portrays the feminine and its attributes as a marketable commodity, has also helped in sensitizing our awareness to the cultural and ego driven atrocities and violence against women.

First of all the very realization within our conscious awareness that something is not right prepares the ground for a consciousness shift. This shift in the human consciousness is further aided when questions regarding the very nature of creation and its reality are increasingly probed at our current level of knowledge.

The age of reason which gave the creative impulse to the emergence of Newtonian classical physics gave way to Quantum physics in the integral age that emerged in the twentieth century.
Our scientific understanding of the microcosm has radically shifted to invoke the deeper link between the observer consciousness and the resulting objective reality. Hence the perception of the feminine is an indelible projection of the male psyche. The Jungian concept of the sexual polarity, inner and outer, which symbolizes all the dynamic opposites of the psyche, is the primary modality of achieving wholeness. Sexuality in its symbolic dimension has a spiritual function; it is the means and signification of reunion with oneself, one's neighbour, and the Divine as the source of one's life.

Let me conclude with what we know from Jung's understanding of the feminine:
"The feminine is your soul-image and will lead your conscious ego safely into the unconscious and safely out again. When Theseus needed to penetrate the labyrinth in Crete in order to slay the monstrous Minotaur, the fair Ariadne, with her thread, enabled him to go in and find his way out again. If we follow Jung and translate this story into psychological terms, the labyrinth is a symbol of the unconscious, the monster is the frightening and threatening aspect of whatever in our unconscious has been neglected and has therefore 'gone wild'; the slaying of the monster means 'taming' that wild, unruly force and bringing it under conscious control. The 'slaying' can be accomplished, however, only by love (Ariadne - the feminine) - only by accepting the neglected thing, honouring it and welcoming it into our unconscious."

Let us be ever thankful for this wonderful creation in our life journey and venerate Divine feminine within and without.

Love to you all

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