Nature: Middle English (denoting the physical power of a person): from Old French, from Latin natura ‘birth, nature, quality,’ from nat- ‘born,’ from the verb nasci
Might there not be something to the idea that “women will have rights as long as men see fit to allow for those rights, all the while calculating the benefits from those rights given?” Or, rephrased in a way that archetypal psychology might rather imagine it, that “the feminine will be valued when the active forces of masculinity can transcend the seeming dualism of these notions and see the unified dynamic in which a syzygy is at work (or play) in all human existence as it is by nature ensouled?”
And is it not true, at root, that the abortion debate, like so many other disagreements in social (re)arrangements, political and personal, are dependent upon the power of technology to slowly remove the constraints, which for thousands of years infantilized us, but also left us without a sense of moral culpability? For a moral perspective is only possible where there is enough reflection to perceive oneself as a separate being from that of the tribe. Culpability then, is one of the distinctive marks of an individual as it ascribes agency and the power of choice that “I” alone can make.
Over time, it is identity which shapes and increases the ability to separate ourselves from nature, as moral creatures, in which an increasingly conscious disdain for nature’s brutality moves us beyond our former acceptance of the conditions of the natural world, urging us towards a future condition that transcends the natural state of things, beginning with reimagining the world as it is, into the world as it should, or could be. It is the increase in awareness of power and its steady transference from nature’s gods, to a transcendent God, and eventually onto man, that allow us to finally consider ourselves as co-creators.
As co-creators, through the newfound power that the imaginal realm reveals, the separation from natural conditions is increasingly enhanced through the ongoing distinctions uncovered between the physical and something beyond. This separation is the initiator of choice.
Choice suggests options; an urge to improve our lot, reducing our suffering, and through the discovery and use of technology creates the modern sense of self. A self that is separated, set apart, mission oriented, and driven towards the goal of progress, no longer willing to accept nature’s conditions and constraints as the fate of humanity. We are, finally, self-made and free at last.
Prior to these changes in psyche, there’s less of an ability to reflect on our identity, our place in time and the story of history. We moderns now readily pride ourselves as the agents of decision and the agents of power that define a very modern identity. But the more power is perceived to be ours, the heavier the price tag of conscience, whether inflated or repressed, increasingly we find ourselves weighed down by an overwhelming sense of responsibility and guilt that accompanies witnessing the consequences of our choices and actions.
Can we even say then, that psyche is nature, or rather might it also be a seductive lover that promises power and release from nature, but provides neither? And, is the dynamic between psyche and nature yet another syzygy whose unseen goal we cannot know? Is psyche the x factor in man that drives us to transform nature, through an enhanced imaginative vision that sees not how we are, but how we should be?
Perhaps then, before we get too attached to the idea that a force called the patriarchy; a masculine power dominating anything that dares to get in its way; the primary blame for all of the ills of the world, that we might at least entertain a certain irony here: that it has indeed taken a masculine force to activate our two-fold nature that rejects the herd, providing the agency necessary to assert ourselves as individuals. This may best describe the conditions in which a syzygy of symmetry is necessary to instill in us a capacity for reflection required to mimic and borrow nature’s power and whimsy.
Can this slow transformation over time, allowing us to reach this critical threshold in which debates about abortion, gender roles, equality, race, abuse, and all that sensitizes our passion for compassion be the table setter for the next stage? Might we be on the verge of igniting a holy fire that may eventually burn to ashes the imbalance of yin to yang we may at last be ready and willing to discard? I pray we not get lost in the emotional mire of debate at the expense of seeing a much bigger picture. These questions, concerns and debates want something from us.
As well, the identification of masculine with male, feminine with female, may tempt us to literalize the archetypal powers, confusing them with real persons, missing an opportunity to recognize the unseen forces operating in the background. Powers that we pretend to understand are what make up the dynamic of the syzygy. We could see both the masculine and feminine at work on us within a syzygy. What might be much needed in our current cultural, global crisis, is a deeper recognition of the dynamics between the active masculine and the passive feminine, both of which are vital aspects of any relationship.
A binding of the two, in which we fail to recognize the ways in which they are interrelated, promotes a literal view over an imaginal one. Without an awareness of the two-fold nature we lose the multi-dimensional nature of psyche and the notion of Anima Mundi, a world soul in which we all participate in and influence through our actions and inactions.
Choice is a big idea, and yet, dare we look deeply down the well of that idea to consider all of its implications, beyond the seeming choices we think we have at the moment, and get at the overarching drive that may very well mask our motivations, and miss, or avoid, the consideration and reflection of furthering the images of the goal?
As I’ve always said I prefer your lips red
Not what the good Lord made
But what he intended” Roger Waters
7 thoughts on “Beyond Nature”
Another thing that I have not mentioned, for quite some years I had a Gnostic church near my home, and assisted to their ceremonies, and weekly talks, and listened weekly during their service to the Gospel of Thomas 114: 22
(1) Jesus saw infants being suckled.
(2) He said to his disciples: “These little ones being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.”
(3) They said to him: “Then will we enter the kingdom as little ones?”
(4) Jesus said to them: “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside and the above like the below —
(5) that is, to make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female will not be female —
(6) and when you make eyes instead of an eye and a hand instead of a hand and a foot instead of a foot, an image instead of an image, (7) then you will enter [the kingdom].”
Pretty close to what Simon the Magus said as well:
“When you make the two parts of every division into one true whole, and when you make the inner part of the vessel like the outer and the outer like the inner (for each defines the other), and the upper life like the lower life, and when you cease to observe the distinction of sexuality, when you make an infant’s eyes in place of your eye, an infant’s hand in place of your hand, an infant’s foot in place of your foot, an image of these infants in place of an image of yourself, then you will enter the kingdom.”
– Simon Magus
Figure you may like those words Debra. 🙂
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outstanding. this very subject has ended up creating a writer’s block for me these weeks since i need s p a c e to put into words what you have said so well here and my schedule is just too crammed – frustrating!
i’d like to focus on the individual’s relationship to self in working through this statement: ‘What might be much needed in our current cultural, global crisis, is a deeper recognition of the dynamics between the active masculine and the passive feminine, both of which are vital aspects of any relationship.’ it is as clear as the nose on a face that we all are yin and yang to varying degrees along the spectrum, even up to and beyond culturally permitable extremes. being in ‘love’ and ‘at peace’ with our Self and other Selves, each with our own vital recipe mix of bell and bowl would surely wipe out a great deal of experiential crisis.
thank you for sharing your syzygy 😉
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Thanks for your kind words of support. I’ve felt a compulsion to write, but my usual process feels unusually cloudy and full of ambiguity. Some intense star weather, eh? You could weigh in on that, or post a link to your site here!
You are asking a lot of great questions, Debra. Since individuation is an opus contra naturam, the alchemical art perfects nature, transforms it, infuses it with consciousness. The art unfolds thanks to the participation of both masculine and feminine energies. But in our human manifest reality we always swing between extremes, never reaching the desired coniunctio. It can be sensed that patriarchy is on the retreat, though not so soon. Perhaps after redressing the wrongs, a new quality will be born – a new equilibrium of the feminine and the masculine based on the understanding that they are both “vital aspects” (as you say) of one underlying reality (unis mundus)? One can dream at least.
I don’t have any more answers at this point but I find the topic very intriguing.
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Agreed, Monika. It feels as if we’re driving through a rainy, foggy night with occasional breaks in the storm, just enough to get small glimpses of insight.
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Thought-provoking–going beneath the outer layers of current issues. You ask your reader to make space for reflection, not just reaction.
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Thanks, Amber. That is exactly what I wish for myself as well.