Sunday, July 08, 2007

How gender has been conceptualized in different spiritual traditions

Gender, sexuality, and spirituality:
I’m passionately interested in looking at how human conceptions of gender, sex and sexuality have evolved since the dawn of humanity, both in our spiritual traditions and in our scientific research. Ken Wilber, Joyce McCarl Nielsen, Riane Eisler, and many others, have done some excellent work in this regard already, but I want to approach it specifically from the point of view of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s idea of Supramentalisation: the integration and transcendence of all dualities on all planes of Reality, right down to the physical and most mundane plane.
Moreover I want to concentrate on how gender has been conceptualized in different spiritual traditions. The typical conception is that women are the embodiment of the feminine principle of creation whereas men are the embodiment of the masculine principle, but as the Mother stated clearly, and as my own research is indicating, no spiritual tradition has ever really been that clear-cut. Moreover, what is meant by the terms “masculine” and “feminine” is often different in different traditions (for instance, in Sri Aurobindo’s mythos, the “feminine” principle refers to the active principle, the executrix, not a passive or inactive principle), and additionally, the archetypal notions of the masculine and feminine as cosmic principles mean very different things as compared to the watered-down patriarchal gender stereotypes we see in many cultures today. So there is a lot of unpacking that needs to be done here, and once again, I’d like to see if an annotated bibliography can be put up on the Internet about this. Posted by ned on July 8, 2007. Filed under Notes and Speculations. the stumbling mystic God shall grow up . . . while the wise men talk and sleep.

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