- Someone elsewhere queried my use of the word feminine.in my essay on
Internal Alchemy Here was my reponse.
The word feminine is in some ways outdated in how I see Taoism and
its internal arts. For we try to reconcile and balance the opposites
eg masculine and feminine. In the moves while we stretch forward
with one hand we push back with the other or as we stretch up with
the head we also sink into the feet. "Up down same time" Master Moy
would so often say.
I have now discovered that energy can spread up the spine at exactly
the same time as energy goes down. In this way in a happily Taoist
image all gets rounded and the practice becomes less linear and more
circular or spirally.
I read a narrow discussion elsewhere on cultural identity, which
like gender identity can lead to a narrowing of the focus. I
interjected: "Some years ago I read an interesting fact viz, It
posed a question; "What are the chances that today you will breathe
in a molecule that Julius Caesar once breathed out?"
The answer was a surprising 98%.
On this basis one can say the same for molecules of any Indian
Saint or any of those who brought glory to the Indian
culture or vice versa anyone who brought disrepute to any culture.
It makes one query exactly how deep is one's cultural identity
doesn't it? Or perhaps how valid is it in getting to REALLY know
We learn in Tai Chi that the move is Yin outside Yang inside. So I
teach my students that while soft on the outside to feel a body of
light inside that is a spirit warrior and very resolute. Even that
is not the complete picture for while you are giving you are
receiving and while you receiving you are giving. Yin or Yang it is
It is a good way to try to live.
On my website under topics you will find an article extolling the
virtues of Japanese Tea.
Chinese, Japanese, so what if these were often martial art rivals.
There is too much that separates us so let's focus on what unifies
the good we all have inside.
- If I may on another site these questions came up and the post is
relevant here too.
Thank you for your questions Eryu.
As a woman yes your exeriences are most likely very different from
mine.I would hope that as the world balances its energies more of
the feminine will get expressed socially. This will happen as our
masculine dominated societies embrace their feminine.
You write,"As for the gender thing, I have some reservations about
that. It is one thing to explore androgyny (or whatever you may wish
to call it)in a spiritual, psychological or internal sense but quite
another to extrapolate that into the external or social arena."
My encouragement to balance the feminine and masculine has nothing
to do with
bi sexualism. Just to get that out of the way. Nevertheless
sexually, if we are honest, there is a scale from extreme male to
extreme woman and most of us are somewhere along that range.
I have long wondered whether some people's uncertain sexual identity
came from past lives of being now a man then a woman and perhaps
eventually getting a little mixed up. I think you can balance the
maculine and feminine and yet express your sexuality according to
your "equipment" if you understand my meaning.
I am thinking of a post on sensuality and sensuality as a stepping
stone to spirituality.
However as you become balanced inside you will express that balance
in your behaviour, in all your behaviour.
I know about injustices to women, and female rage at men. My first
wife subcribed to Ms magazine. This is in in the early 70's. Every
month it came I got my dose from her of just being a man in a man's
world. I read Kate Millet and Germaine Greer and had my eyes opened.
You write ;"As there are still quite marked inequalities in the
world, our respective experiences are likely to be quite diverse. It
seems important to recognise those differences and not merely to
I would be interested to hear your experience and your wisdom on this
Wisdom? Thank you. You are too polite.
My partner now is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Moreover
she got her undergraduate degree in Aviation Engineering studying
with the French Airforce as that was the only place to study this in
France. I think there were three female students in the whole
College. So I know from her what it must be like to be female in a
male dominated world.
I am basically a househusband. I do all the shopping.of the cooking.
I often make sure she has a lunch to take to work. I buy the
Christmas and Birthday presents, and send the cards. I take the
children to the doctor and check their lunches. I chainsaw the wood
and split it. I organise the garbage. I fold her camisoles and
panties after a wash. She comes home to a hot dinner. This morning I
unblocked the toilet. Her students know me as the wonderful husband
of Genevieve Dumas!
In my School, which on one, hand is a martial art school I read
poetry (Emily Dickinson, Rilke, Rumi, Pablo Neruda etc) to my
students. I often cry openly when I am moved. I also teach them how
to dispose of an opponent with a blow. Life is a wholeness, and
needs to be embraced wholely. I hug men and women there. I once wore
an ear ring and made them myself out of found bird feathers. I no
longer have a pony tail (what a relief to have done that and the ear
ring thing and got it out of the way). I come out of soppy films
blowing my nose.
The balanced person has a wider range of responses than the
imbalanced. A macho man can only respond (react) in a macho way, and
vice versa for an excessively feminine woman. There are few things
so laughable and tragic or difficult to deal with than a man or a
woman who are so stuck in a one dimensional role.
Thirty years ago I had a model friend who always dressed strikingly
and then complained when men noticed her.She once took her shirt off
(bare breasted) while we sat next to lake and got furious when a
motor boat made rapid turn for the guys to take another look. I
asked her what she had expected. I had no trouble swimming nude with
her or being perturbed by her taking a good look! Generally
speaking, balanced behaiour should evoke balanced responses but, of
course, we are not yet living in an ideal world. Nor does Genevieve
think I am ideal either. But I try!
Does this answer your question? What about you? What are your
experiences and what wisdom do you have to share?