Yesterday I received the following response to my recent blog, Inviting the Men to Join Us. First of all I want to thank Shakur for offering these insights. They could not be more perfectly timed. Please read Shakur’s insights below, followed by my response.
Lauri, I really appreciate the call for men and women to join together and create the world that we wish to live in and the work you are doing to help more femininity blossom in our world. As a man who has been deeply involved in spiritual pursuits over the last decade and someone who tends to appreciate feminine traits more than most men I have met, I also appreciate the acknowledgement that the systems we have been living in affect both men and women.
However, I struggle with the dichotomy you seem to be creating, which I think many others do as well, in defining some traits and behaviors as holy or divine and therefore others as unholy and toxic. I think the frequency with which we, especially those involved in spiritual community, divide while calling people together is counterproductive. From what I can see in doing so we are just changing the divide from men vs women to holy people vs unholy people. And from what I have seen there are many traits and behaviors that some would label as unholy / toxic masculinity that others would consider holy. When a man (or a woman for that matter) seeks to preserve their culture, defend their family, believes that competition leads to excellence and is desirable, I often see those in spiritual communities or in progressive communities denounce and judge them. And I believe that act of judgement is counterproductive as it tends to generate anger and shame on both sides, and as I said just changes the dividing line instead of diminishing it.
I believe that if we want more peace we are going to need to accept that there are many views of what is holy, that as Jesus said we will be surprised to see who is sitting at his table, and we will need to be ok with disagreeing about those things and allow each other the ability to choose different ways of living. I say this trusting that we can be one and yet be many, while understanding it doesn’t mean it will be easy. I say this in the belief that accepting these differences will allow those of us who do wish to create the union of masculine and feminine, and that share a similar viewpoint about what that would look like, can focus our energies on coming together and creating that which we wish to see in the world without being distracted by the effort to coerce anyone else into living the way we want to. And honestly, I think if we did that and created places where what you describe as the divine feminine and masculine come together and support one another that many people who would not have thought they would want that will come to see the beauty in it.
I hesitate to post this because I am concerned it will come across as combative and my views on this won’t be popular, but I offer them in the hope that we can have some dialogue about it and have the chance to broaden my way of thinking as well.
Shakur, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your thoughts and concerns. You are absolutely right on every point. I don’t find your sharing combative in the least. Instead, I find it compelling. There are a million thoughts I have in regards to your sharing, and I think the bottom line is that our language is failing us. Even in writing my most recent posts on what I am calling the “Holy Masculine,” I found myself struggling to find appropriate words. There are no words in my native tongue that truly describe what I am feeling in my heart and in my soul – a longing for union – where as a species we can come together in celebration of what is holy and sacred and unique and magnificent in each of us while also celebrating the things within us that make us human – insecurities, fears, unhealed wounds, illness, disease, etc. And yes, what one person considers holy another might judge as profane. And yet, I believe we are being called into an even greater expression of our humanness where we might begin to move beyond judgment toward loving compassion. And yet, our language has no words for this. Instead we are stuck with the inherent dualism of the English language where everything is either/or, black or white/ right or wrong/ male or female/ etc. etc. etc.
Shakur, the phoenix I see rising out of your beautiful words is the idea that as we move through this evolution in consciousness, we need to move beyond the words we use to separate – male/female, masculine/feminine, holy/unholy, and find something new. What is beautiful about this is that as the English language is inherently dualistic and there are few words for the fluid movement within unity, we will have to work together to find/create a new language. Shakur, perhaps this is part of your calling….to help us find a new language that more closely describes a humanity that is one in celebrating diversity and where we are all empowered to find our own unique expression of our personhood. My sense is that this will be an ongoing conversation as we find our way and our place in this new world we are creating. Shakur, thank you for the amazing gifts and insights you bring to this co-creation!!!!