“The Seat of Realisation is within and the seeker cannot find it as an object outside him. That seat is bliss and is the core of all beings. Hence it is called the Heart. The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise it.”
– Sri Ramana Maharshi
Often when we do not feel whole we turn expectantly toward others, particularly our partner, for the qualities ‘missing’ in ourselves, in the hope of gaining some completeness. As a result, our relationships can become contaminated by insecurity, possessiveness and immaturity, as our search for fulfilment is directed to an outer feminine or outer masculine (the “other half”).
In fact, a lot of the problems in relationships can be traced to this feeling of not being whole and complete. If necessary, Tantrics can spend a lot of time alone without feeling lonely, as compared to someone who may feel unbearable lonely if separated from their partner or their desired lover for even one day! The difference lies in the integration of a myriad of internal qualities of masculine and feminine that we each have available to us in order to feel wholeness.
As long as masculine and feminine energies remain fragmented and unbalanced in yourself, you will become desperate to find and keep a partner, or desperate to push them away when they reflect what is missing within you. By integrating the missing pieces of these two energies, you will cultivate relationships that reflect the love, ease and unity that exist within your own Being and end the relationships that don’t.
In this blog, I will outline the different levels of Masculine and Feminine that live within you and give you principles for deepening your inner union so that you can have a real and deep relationship to Self.
*Note: Although most of us arrive in either male or female bodies, inside us, we have both masculine and feminine energies. So, when I refer to the masculine and feminine I’m referring to this and not the gender of men and women.
Neuroscientists have now proven that up to 95% of our daily actions are run by the unconscious. An example is when we find ourselves behaving in relationships the way our parents did, despite the fact that we promised ourselves we would never do so. There are two types of unconscious beliefs; collective (the group identity you were born into) and the personal (experiences you couldn’t fully process in your nervous system that remain alive). For example, if your mother didn’t bond with you or unconditionally accept you as an infant, you will subconsciously always be both searching for deep bonding and unconditional acceptance – and often, because this is what your unconscious belief is – you will manifest the opposite such as finding yourself attracted to unavailable partners. We consciously want opposite to our unconscious belief.
The Unconscious Masculine is selfish driven, focused on survival and on getting what he wants. He regards the superiority of his own position as paramount to his survival, therefore he will compare and compete.
The Unconscious Feminine plays the victim, is emotionally reactive, disembodied, and presents as weak and powerless. She regards whether she is loved, valued and accepted by others as of paramount position for her survival.
Skilful action, One-pointed Focus, Rock
Tibetan Tantra refers to the Masculine Principle as Skillful Action or Skillful Means. This is the essential quality of the Conscious Masculine. From being moved by unconscious drives, his existence becomes one of cultivating skills and developing mastery. A good example is a heterosexual man who starts to notice that the woman he is sexual with is not actually experiencing pleasure during the act of lovemaking. This evokes in him the desire to become a good lover, and so he begins to acquire the skills. With Skillful Means also comes the Conscious Masculine quality of One-pointed Focus. He sets his target to his goal and moves in this direction without distraction. Therefore the movement of the Conscious Masculine often has a quality of efficiency, systematic accomplishment and structure. The Conscious Masculine is solid and unmoving, steady as a rock.
Embodied, Open, Heart-Centered Wisdom, Creative Sexuality, Unconditional Love, Patience
When the feminine develops the freedom of conscious choice, she becomes an embodiment of what in Tibetan Tantra is known as the Wisdom Principle: The profound knowing that comes from the depth of the heart. The Wisdom Principle is accessed by the feminine, paradoxically, through releasing the control of the mind/ thinking and learning to attune through the body. The Conscious Feminine becomes increasingly more embodied, able and willing to feel the dimensions of existence. She sacrifices her known reality to discover who she really is and, as such, lives in a permanent state of receptivity, and not knowing – which is why she is often depicted as entering a dark forest to meet there the Dark Goddess; her inner Wisdom Principle.
Limitations of the Conscious Masculine and Feminine
We are seeing the limitations of the Conscious Masculine and Feminine clearly in our time. In our technology-driven world, the Masculine has become over-skilled, over-specialised, too driven by achievement and too individualised. Oftentimes the demonstration of skill becomes of such primary value that we lose sight of its purpose. An example of that would be a super-skilled lover who has supreme control and no intimate connection with the beloved. We have become driven, competitive and hierarchical in a way that is not life-affirming. The Feminine in our society has become totally absorbed in her ability to create the experience she wants. Whether emotionally or physically, we now have the means to create comfort on every level and our culture has become extremely attached to personal comfort as a value.
Evolution beyond the personal
Our essential nature is divine, eternal and unchanging, like the depths of the ocean that remains unaltered by the movement of waves on the surface. We are unlikely to reach this evolution until we have fully exhausted our interest in pursuing unconscious motivations (such as survival or pleasing the tribe) or conscious agendas (such as achievement, accomplishment and satisfaction). Moving into our Divine nature involves a shift in consciousness from focusing on self-improvement to knowing ourselves as Awareness and Love. Our attention becomes focused on awakening from the dream of identification with the story of our lives and realising the non-dual nature of the Self.
Stillness/Empty Mind, Beyond Time & Space, Witnessing Consciousness. From mind to pure awareness.
Pure Awareness is sometimes referred to as the ground of being. When we go deep with the process of self-inquiry that was introduced as a Principle of the Masculine and we keep asking the question of Ramana Maharshi – Who am I? – we discover that we are not our bodies, our personalities, our stories, aspirations, our possessions, our accomplishments. A gradual stripping of identifications happens until we finally come to stand naked and know ourselves as none of this: We are the space within which every form arises, and yet that space itself has no form. To enter into it is to enter into pure Awareness or Blackness without any content. This is, of course, scary for our familiar sense of Self that wants to hold on to an idea of itself – but the Divine Masculine keeps plumbing the depths and is not inhibited by fear. It takes courage to meditate. This inquiry is likely to take us further and further away from collective conditioning as the cultivation of Awareness is not something that is much valued in our world – and yet, one could ask: Is there anything more valuable?
Feeling the Body of Life, Unconditional/ Expansive Love, Everything. From personal love to love as a force.
The Divine Feminine is also Pure Sexuality or Creativity. Pure sexuality on the level I am referring to here is the pulse that animates all of existence. In fact, sexuality permeates and creates all things animate and inanimate. In Sanskrit, this vast Creative/ Sexual Principle is called Shakti. Creativity and sexuality are two twin expressions of Shakti, and ultimately they are the same. Shakti also means power. The Deep Feminine is the power that creates or manifests all of life. She is the Mother of all of creation, often depicted as a many-armed goddess. With some of her arms she is creating abundance, and with others she is slaying demons – illusions – that threaten her children. She is the fierce Mother of all. What is this creativity an expression of? It is the manifestation of Pure Consciousness downloading through the Masculine Principle. From vast stillness and presence, new life emerges.
To discover the Divine Feminine in ourselves is as simple as starting to notice the creative power of every slightest gesture we make. It is also to keep our hearts open no matter what – the Divine Feminine is she who lives and loves with an open broken heart.
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Ultimately, every soul’s journey is towards cultivating both of these energies within our own Being, so that we can claim back our essential wholeness. Wholeness depends on conscious feminine and conscious masculine both coming into their full respective power and it starts with recognising where they are not in full power, and choosing to take action towards shifting that. The beauty of this work is when we dive in to cultivate one energy; the other naturally rises to meet the conscious and divine energy in the other.