Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Frankly even the term "feminism" seems divisive to me

I agree completely with your assessment of David Deida. I'm not interested in his work, but am just reading him as part of my own research. I fail to see what Deida's writings have to do with transcendence or spiritual enlightenment, which is all about transcending roles and dualities, not reinforcing them. Every genuine spiritual teacher tells us that the soul has no sex, race, nationality, etc. etc. The soul encompasses both the masculine and the feminine principle and thus each individual always has both aspects, unless they repress one of them (Jung's anima/animus concept comes to mind here).
I myself am a student of the Indian philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo Ghose and the French occultist-mystic Mirra Alfassa -- read their writings for some common sense teachings on gender, i.e. that instead of trying to be a "real man" or a "real woman", we should just focus on being individuals and unique instruments of the Divine. As a woman, I am amazed at times when I see women buying into this "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" nonsense.
I'm very comfortable with masculine and feminine sides of my nature, dominant and submissive, aggressive and passive, grasping and ungrasping, strong and weak, etc. So playing one over the other with such fervor and consistency that it becomes a lifestyle or something just seems like monotony, and it totally kills real spontaneity. It may satisfy impulses and roles, but real spontaneity (the intuitive, non-reactive kind) is about resonance and compatibility, and just has nothing to do with such planned out forms like traditional gender roles or BDSM.
I think that apart from Jungian notions of the "opposites within", Transactional Analysis also has a lot to offer on this subject. People projecting one part of themselves onto others because it either feels like a taboo thing for you to indulge in it yourself, or because it's taboo for you to identify purely as its opposite while letting the other person play a role you are tired of.
As far as gender goes, we need to not be in denial of the masculine/feminine duality that exists in this divided universe, while also not resigning ourselves to it and considering it eternal or final. Frankly even the term "feminism" seems divisive to me. It implies that this is some reality that is necessarily separate from masculinism. It doesn't point out integrations, it points out an alternative to masculinism that is merely an opposite. Half the time it's just a disguise for women acknowledging their masculine half and then glorifying it, even while complaining about it in men. It's terribly disjointed.
Gender issues are peppered with that kind of dualism, because people feel overly concerned about identifying with a particular gender, or overly concerned with NOT identifying with a particular gender, etc. Either way, people look at gender as a limiting, oppressive force rather than something they will naturally identify with one moment and not the next. People give it power by emphasizing either its presence or absence, it's power or lack of power. Because either way, they're still talking about it like a stark reality. What we really need to do is to find the center within where all these oppositions and dualities are alchemically transmuted. *That's* transcendence, and David Deida does not discuss this at all.
Deida's teachings pertain to what Sri Aurobindo calls the "vital being" -- the seat of desire, the will to power, the desire to possess and be possessed. Now some people may need that sort of thing, and I never interfere with people's lives or tell them what to do. But really this has nothing to do with soul-level resonance, harmony and love, or with transcendence. The truth is that nobody can complete anybody. Marriage merely helps us recognize the wholeness that is already there within -- it does not and cannot "create" wholeness.
The soul that can learn to live totally alone with itself will meet God, and that is the route to true intimacy -- when you can see everyone else within the Divine and relate to them on that level. As long as we keep building up vitalistic attachments, trying to possess others and be possessed by them -- which is all that Deida's sexology is about, I'm afraid -- we'll never truly become enlightened. ned links related to "My Own Private Patriarchy - David Deida" David Deida

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