Men and Women in groups
Embracing the Mystery
It's rather unusual to have as many men as women in groups that meet for spiritual or personal development work. I have even heard it said that men may be less spiritual than women, which seems both absurd and counter intuitive to me I take this as evidence that the expression of our 'New Age' ideal of humanity is lop-sided and gives insufficient honour to male energies. Interestingly, however, 7Words seems to be bucking the trend in this regard, but this means that we need to be even more conscious of the challenges gender differences present us with.
There are huge issues at play when men and women gather - and it's impossible to dismiss them, no matter what the stated agenda might be. Clearly historically there has been a need to restore balance, and the suffragette movement and feminism that punctuated the last century have done something to bring light to the issues. Yet profound misunderstandings still go so deep that we would be forgiven for thinking that they are incapable of resolution, that, perhaps, the genders will never understand each other.
Should this be a cause for sorrow? That we can never find harmony and rapport between the sexes, that 'happily ever after' is a fairy story, that 'east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet'? I would suggest not. Of course, for the sentimental it is disappointing - but we are not they, we are seekers. A seeker rejoices in conflict.
Does this sound a strange and controversial statement? Please let me explain. It is only through conflict that certain qualities develop that are requirements for spiritual progress: qualities such as ethics, truth, authenticity, heroism, justice, empowerment and wisdom. The time-honoured teaching is that a seeker will journey abroad where they will meet danger and be out of harmony with their circumstances - the Christian pilgrim, Moslems on their hajj and the Hindu sannyasin are examples. Through these adventures, one finds how to bring light to the darkness - because it is a survival requirement. Thus the light grows bright!
Women and men have significantly different agendas in most situations. They also may use the same words to mean different things - for example 'I love you'(?). So with the possibility of no common language, and radically different world-views, communication is challenging. It is not very likely that we will be able to connect with each other at a level of rapport where two basic but different goals can even be harmonised - let alone merged into a single intention.
It's difficult, undoubtedly, but this process forces us to learn how to throw off the habits of looking for parental nurturing, in order to function alone emotionally and intellectually without the need to be agreed with or supported. This promotes spiritual freedom. Life on earth, with mixed gender groups at home and at work, is an advanced course in patience, wisdom and compassion. And whether we remember or not, it's what we signed up for!
In some exceptional cases, a man and a woman who are both rather awakened might be able to celebrate their differences as a spiritual practice and achieve a sense of deep communion, even sexual union, as a momentary state of the highest empathy. Yet this is truly extraordinary. So don't worry too much if you find the other gender incomprehensive and outrageously frustrating, let them find their way to do whatever they need to do in order to deal with you - and in turn try to learn what you can from the severely encrypted messages they are sending out. Be assured of one thing however - you are without doubt misunderstanding their motives, their position and their feelings. It's OK. It's meant to be like that for this early stage of humanity's evolutionary development. We live in the mystery; that's how it is, embrace it.
Comments (1) Leave a comment
Debi TurnerYI (Oct. 10, 2011)
I have never heard of 7 Words. Apparently that's been my loss. This was so beautifully worded and such truths. Thank you for sharing.