We live in a world of duality. Duality means simply that if something is this, then it cannot be that. If it is not this, then it must be the other—the opposite. If it’s not up, it must be down; if not in, then it’s out; if you’re not right, then you must be wrong; it’s either black or it’s white. Things in our world tend to be polarized. The world of polarity sets up competition, jealousy, social strata, classism, racism and all the other isms of the world. It can be tribal—you’re one of us or you’re not. That approach is divisive, not inclusive and is a “male” or “masculine”principle. Male principle is active while female principle is passive. The human being has characteristics of both principles yet one is suppressed in favor of the other. Nature expresses both until humans mess with the balance. And the imbalance is reflected in the approach to nature and culture. Duality is an out-of-balance state.
In human affairs the male has traditionally been identified with leadership: the provider and protector. And women have been associated with mothering and keeping home and hearth. At one time, women couldn’t vote, work outside the home, go to public places unescorted, be leaders, politicians or own property. Women’s rights are relatively new on the scene. Equality for women began in earnest less than a half century ago with the “Women’s Movement.” In some places in the world, women are still oppressed.
Men have been in charge of the world, made the decisions, lead the armies, formed the government, governed the people. The masculine principle has governed human and world affairs for a long time. Women thought to be the weaker sex, were considered incapable of competent decision making or leadership. Women were excluded from real leadership roles.
Not so long ago, girls didn’t play with toy guns and boys didn’t have dolls. It was desirable to be macho, aggressive, warlike and superior—very masculine ways of being. And women were to be soft, feminine, perfumed and quiet. Not so long ago women and children were considered chattel and treated as possessions. Some cultures still treat genders unequally.
Gender bias plays out in the cultural world as a lack of balance. The acts of negotiation, reconciliation, cooperation, collaboration and diplomacy are feminine approaches to problems. The masculine way is mostly authoritarian, dictatorial war-like, to take by force, to invade or thrust into, to coerce. The imbalance that allowed the masculine to be considered the superior way and indeed the only way in some cultures has had a devastating effect on our planet. War has been the primary way of settling differences on Earth. The symbols and instruments of war are masculine—guns, bombs, tanks, gunships, stealth fighters and bombers, bullets, and rockets. How is it that these symbols of war are all phallic shapes? They mimic the male sexual organ in erection. The masculine is considered invasive while the feminine is receptive. Both sexes have inner traits of the opposite sex– the anima for males and animus for females.
God is depicted as male. In fact the Christian Trinity is an all male club. “Male” systems are mostly authoritarian, hierarchical and patriarchal. The way of the masculine is violence, power and materialism. The male principle is largely responsible for the eco-disaster of pollution, global warming and overuse of scarce resources. Masculine without the balance of the feminine destroys equilibrium in a culture, in nature and on a world. Devaluing the feminine has had a devastating effect on Western culture. A society based in hierarchy rules from the top with power and exploits the masses. The feminine principle values family, children, home and environment, compassion, unity, inclusion, sacred circle. When the feminine is devalued, true intimacy and vitality are not possible.
The masculine and feminine principle operates not only culturally but spiritually and throughout the Universe. The Universe is a blend of both energies. Light is masculine while darkness is feminine; the moon is feminine while the sun is masculine. The Universe is a beautiful blending of the Yin (feminine principle) and Yang (masculine principle.) In flux and in balance, the play of light and darkness, of opposites blending and energies mingling is what makes creation work well.
There is a resurgence of the Divine Feminine on the planet, an impulse toward balance, a movement toward harmony. The planet is being viewed no longer as real estate, a male or masculine view. Earth is beginning to be seen as a system, an interdependent web, a living being called Gaia, the feminine goddess. This concept of wholeness and balance is a more healthy and balanced approach to planetary affairs. The arising of Divine Feminine energies on the planet is bringing back an interest in education, nurturing children and improving the quality of life. There is an impulse toward embracing life and beauty, nurturing and growing things—including people.
Machismo fears being seen as feminine so rarely were males depicted as sensitive, nurturing and gentle. Avoiding the “girly man” image was once an almost phobic pasttime for men. Some are still phobic about being identified with anything “feminine.” Toughness is prized in maleness. If one cannot be ” kind with self, it becomes harder to be kind to a planet, its ecosystem or its peoples. Bill Cosby was one of the first males to embrace a different kind of father figure and head of family. More and more men are finding a way to allow their feminine side expression. They are more yin and yang balanced because there is more cultural permission to be balanced with an integrated anima, Carl Jung’s name for the inner feminine.
When you look at the work of Michael Jackson, you find many references to the Divine Feminine. In his “Bad” era he examines and dissects male aggression and its effect. He places fighting for the sake of posturing and machismo under a microscope. “The whole world has to answer right now just to tell you once again… who’s bad.” It is a parallel archetypal reference to the whole world being held hostage by the masculine.
In “Beat It” he highlights opposing gang members and how “funky” fighting is and how aggression because of “differences” and disputes leads them down a dangerous dead end road. He asks them to reconcile within themselves, to walk away, to leave because “no one wants to be defeated.” If you don’t fight, there is no defeat.
In “Black or White” Michael says it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be this or that- one or the other. Identifying with an either-or mentality or racism which is a masculine principle of exclusion won’t work if you want to “be my baby” or “my brother.” Michael says “I’m not going to spend my life being a color.” The concept of oneness, equality, racial indifference, inclusion, family, brotherhood, ‘we not me’, nurturing children, remembrance, and respect for all life is the Divine Feminine Principle in action and it is found throughout Michael’s work.
In “Remember the Time” music video, Michael not only looks at a time when the feminine had more power– ancient Egypt, he chose the oldest and most enduring culture on Earth for the setting of this film. Egypt is rich in spiritual myth, mystery and mysticism– all feminine principles. It is said “man fears time but time fears the pyramids.” Michael conveys and completely embodies the Divine Feminine in his costuming, appearance, and dance. The bird at the Pharaoh’s head which caused a bit of humor and concern for Eddie Murphy, is the symbol for Mother Maat, the Divine Feminine Mother Goddess of Egypt.
Michael was not afraid of being both masculine and feminine in his lyrics, his voice, dance and his films. He identified strongly with darkness and the moon—both Divine Feminine principles. Michael Jackson, through his body of work was doing his part to bring the masculine and feminine energies back to a world that had lost the balance. Michael was a great teacher, and a master of subliminal and not so subliminal suggestion.
He taught about the Divine Feminine, embodied it in his work, voice and self. Michael was not afraid to cry or express emotion. He promoted non-violence, the way of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and other great leaders. The message is– it’s OK to be a sensitive male; it’s OK to feel; it’s OK to cry. Many men didn’t understand how women found Michael’s attraction so magnetic and seductive. Threatened by Michael’s attractiveness to females and his bold sensuality/sensitivity, they declared he must be gay! Michael was not gay and he kept his sexuality and intimate life private, as it should be. I suspect the reason so many females around the world were so attracted to Michael was because he expressed his feminine side through his sensitivity and work while expressing his sensual male side with with leather and buckles and dance moves. Michael masterfully was both at the same time: an embodiment of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine– the adept spiritual warrior in action.