Seeing the best in life's challenges

Yin, Yang, War and Peace

on March 29, 2012

I have a theory I’m working on in my head that may explain some of the disturbing things we are seeing around us lately.  If you’re interested, think along with me here, I promise I’ll get to the point eventually!

First I have to write about the idea of balancing masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves and of our communities. This is a huge topic, one that I really feel that I need to do a lot more research on, but I guess I have to start somewhere.

We’re probably all familiar with the terms yin and yang.  The symbol is really interesting, because each side has a little circle of the other –  meaning that the yin side still includes some yang, and the yang still includes some yin.

Before I say more, here’s a summary of what yin and yang traits would be.  Remember, you don’t have to be a man to have masculine traits, and you don’t have to be a woman to have the feminine!  (And if you believe that all of us have incarnated as both men and women, it might be easier to remember that we each incorporate all of these traits, or energies, just in different amounts.)

Feminine Masculine
Yin Yang
Loving Living
Soft Hard
Intuitive Logical
Magnetic Electric
Curves Lines
Feeling Doing

I am NOT an expert on this topic – please do your own research if you want to understand more.  It’s a huge topic.  But this theme keeps coming up for me, and being aware of the idea has made me look at what is going on in the world differently.  (And as I’ve said before, I think of all of these ideas as metaphors, not literal explanations.  It’s the mental exercise that helps you understand, it’s not The Answer.)

(I am adding this comment later:  If you read my previous post Encouraging People you will see that I was thinking this way a long time ago….the parallel is that when you look at Paul and Barnabas in the Bible, they represent the masculine and feminine approaches.  But anyway…)

The first time I really paid attention to this was when I read The Book of Destiny by Carlos Barrios (2009).  This is a book about the Maya, written at the request of the Mayan Elders.  The book makes it clear that the Maya have not been predicting “doomsday” at Winter Solstice 2012.  Rather, they say that we are entering The Fifth Sun.

“The famous date of December 21, 2012, is the start of a new cycle called Job Ajaw, or the Fifth Sun.  This new era will be ushered in by the solar meridian crossing the galactic equator and the earth aligning with the center of the galaxy.  At sunrise on December 21, 2012, for the first time in 26,000 years, the sun will rise to intersect with the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. “  ( p. 116.)

According to the book, the First Sun was governed by feminine energy, or matriarchy, and was a formation period.  The Second Sun was governed by masculine energy, or patriarchy, and was a period of economic and intellectual development.  The Third Sun was governed by feminine energy and was a period of development of the mind and spirit.  The Fourth Sun, which is the period we are finishing, has been governed by masculine energy and has been a period of incredible scientific and technological development, however, we have worshiped reason and materialism, and failed to respect our environment.

The Fifth Sun will be balanced, governed by both masculine and feminine energy.  The Maya say it will be a time when the two sides will support one another, and the qualities in one will elevate the qualities in the other.  It is an era where peace and harmony will become possible.

So the main theme of what we are moving into, then, is balance.  We can think about this principle in terms of an individual person, a relationship between two people, a family, a community, a society, and the world.  And it is important to think of it as a process, it won’t happen overnight.  In fact, think about how the world has changed in the last 50 years.  I don’t think it’s hard to see that this process has already started.

As in any attempt to balance, many times the pendulum swings too far when adjustments are made, and it takes time for balance to settle in.  I think about some of the women I worked with, older than me, who took on strong masculine traits to be successful in business in the 1980s.  They acted more like men, rather than strong women.  There was nothing wrong with this, it was just part of the process.  We have to experiment to figure out how this new balance is going to work.

There’s lots more to talk about with this subject, but let me get to the theory I’m working on…

The world has changed, is changing, and some men are handling their own transition easier than others.  Men now share household chores, child-rearing responsibilities, many are comfortable sharing feelings and being compassionate.  It is now permissible in our society for men to incorporate a more balanced approach to life.  Women have become more independent, and moved toward the middle in their own way.   Relationships now are more about partnership and working together, rather than about a man being in charge and a woman subservient.  Again, it’s a process.

I am aware of more than a few people who describe having an onslaught of unexplainable, intense feelings.  You think you are going crazy, and it feels very out of control.  Each situation seems to be unique (I have my very own), and each person processes this and understands it in their own context.  Some face this head-on, some suppress it, some blame it on others, there are many variations of the story.  Many times this occurs in the context of changes in relationships.  But this is not a unique occurrence.  At the core is an experience that seemingly everything has changed.  It can be disconcerting, terrifying and baffling.

For those who are more weighted toward the masculine (which is going to be more likely men), who have been most comfortable in the era we are leaving, this transition and this kind of experience is going to be harder and very uncomfortable.  Some have been raised in families, or faith communities, or work in jobs where it has been less acceptable to incorporate these changes.  They cannot avoid the onslaught of this new energy, yet they have no frame of reference or skill set to help them to assimilate feminine energy.  The old way of doing things just doesn’t work anymore.  They are losing the battle.

In a crisis, a primarily masculine person will try to gain control, to stabilize the situation, to DO SOMETHING to get things back on track, back to the proven way of how things used to work.  The problem is, the world today will no longer allow or support the old paradigm, and these attempts just won’t work, no matter how hard one tries.  A primarily feminine person will try to understand, will focus on feelings, but since we are talking about assimilating feminine energy, this will naturally be an easier process for the feminine.  We women have all lived with the old, masculine way, and we are more likely to see the benefit in moving toward greater balance.

So let’s talk about some of the crazy things we see happening.

Did you know that in 2009 and 2010, more US soldiers killed themselves than died in combat?

Masculine energy is more compatible with war, control and power.  A world with a balance of masculine and feminine energy will no longer support the culture of war.

Could it be, then, that as the balance of energy shifts, the men (and women) who are overseas at war will be affected?  As more feminine energy builds, and increases feelings, compassion, intuition and softness, how will individuals adjust and react to the situations of war?  Could this be why soldiers snap?  They may be overwhelmed by this energy, and they have no way to deal with it.  They may see no way out.  In a culture (the military) that is so masculine, how does one deal with the shift?

It’s not only showing up in the military.  I see the bizarre attacks on birth control and women’s health care as desperate attempts to retain control, to cling to “the way it was”.  It seems some men want us to return to the dark ages.

What I am saying, is that given what is going on in the world, this behavior is understandable.  I am choosing to interpret it with compassion.  How terrifying it must be to see the world changing before your eyes, to see everything you were ever taught or “knew” crumbling.  In this kind of situation, anyone would scramble to hold on to something well-known and “proven”.  I could be totally off-base on this, but step back and watch Rick Santorum, and tell me you can come up with a better explanation for his behavior.  (And UPDATE August 2012:  How about Rep. Todd Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape”?  Think about his statements and his perspective in the context of what I am saying.)

We’re all in a huge tug-of-war over this.  Making those who are having difficulty with the transition “wrong” isn’t going to help the process along.  Having compassion, some patience, and a sense of humor about their struggles, is probably a better way to help ease their transition.  Being aware that certain segments of the population may have a tougher transition will probably help us to anticipate where resistance will surface, which might help us avoid or at least understand some of the crazy behaviors.

NOTE:  It is my personal opinion that, despite the fact I think we should  be compassionate and have a sense of humor, I DON”T think we should be electing obviously unbalanced individuals to be our leaders.  Just sayin’.

Let’s all hang in there.  We’re all in this together.  Which makes me think of Ben Lee:

10 responses to “Yin, Yang, War and Peace

  1. tyler ebling says:

    Yin and Yang are polar opposites, they are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. They are complementary forces, the unseen and the seen, each distinct but necessary to the other. Yin implies Yang. Just as light and shadow, in and out, birth and death, being and non being, etc.. One cannot exist independently without the other, they are identical differences, not separate. Unlike the western dualistic mindset, Yin and Yang are a complimentary oneness. The greatest illusion is the illusion of separation, separation creates the possibility for conflict.

  2. Leonardo says:

    Hi there. I’m from Colombia, how are you?

    People states answers, explanations from thoughts of what they see, but at same time people “states” that there is nothing more, nothing beyond: False, pressumtions, suppositions.
    What they want to satisfy? = why? = for what? = since when?
    People don’t ask for reason/cause/motive.
    People don’t know about the people they are talking about.

    Happy people ain’t ill ⇔ integral being(iff)(whole,universal,integrated) = ain’t get ill = were not ill = were fine = are fine = not only them-family-society-world.
    Corrupt guy ⇔ how is HIS family? It’s different to ours, we don’t know it.

    When did corruption, killing, capitalism start?. Animals-chimpanzee are and were no corrupts.
    First difference is diet.
    after that,
    Cause of corruption = Comunity=social=familiar problem that was not resolved.
    I guess history tells some similar things (repeated-happened again throughout history)

    yin yang = astrology, I mean the theory, not the very bored long thing in internet, horoscopes.
    5 elements=yin yang : Chinese, but, -I like- western astrology.

    Blood type O = “zero”: The oldest, mamuts, hunting-gathering. Leadering, optimism, force, instinct. Iodine-thyroid gland – nor-adrenaline – muscles. Agressive inmune system and untolerating digestive system = difficult to adaptation.

    A: No mamuts:extinction. Europe (Asia). Agriculture. Vegetables. Hard work, colaboration, armonic structurated -NOT INDIVIDUAL- life:City. Calm, relax, rest. Good to adapt everywhere. I suppouse you are from USA where 40% are A. Africa, Latinamerica: 9#% are O, 100% before colonization.

    B: From Ural mounts – Asia. New climates. Asimilators nomads with cities xD = Equilibrium body mind = creativity (: half calm half muscles). Most of jew people.

    AB: !. Marylin Monroe, John F Kennedy, Mike Jaeger, Jesus(his grandparents, unlikely), 10% korean and japanese people, …

    • jlcmom says:

      Hi! I lived in Cartagena for 3 months in 1978 🙂 but yes I am in the USA. Thank you for so much to think about! My blood type is B

      There are SO many pieces of the puzzle of life, I like looking at them and thinking about it and sharing. Thank you for replying!

  3. soso says:

    nice work

  4. […] how I frame this issue.  As I’ve written about before, both women and men have yin and yang characteristics.  I like how Lee Carroll refers to these two […]

  5. […] the best in life's challenges « Yin, Yang, War and Peace Apr […]

  6. Reblogged this on Enlighten My Senses ™ and commented:
    Words of Wisdom from others : )

  7. Love, Love,Love it….Great! I reposted on my blog, I personally struggle with the male side of myself, I am a doer as youspoke of, I really have to watch it or I become really unbalanced and then get angry. Have a great day : )

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