Last time I said the Androgyne archetype is emerging into our awareness and influencing things like gender stereotypes, the sexual double standard, clothing and hairstyles. I noted that it’s responsible for our fascination with angels and space aliens and concluded by asking my readers for other examples of how this archetype is manifesting in today’s world. Bette responded, “…while I found your post on androgyny informative and intriguing, I’m coming up empty on this one — except aren’t children before puberty rather androgynous?” As I began my reply to her I soon realized there was more I wanted to say about this topic.
Yes, children before puberty are in the so called “latent” period during which they are essentially androgynous, both physically and mentally. Then the hormones kick in. Different hormone levels do different things to different kids, but what is common to all is that as their bodies mature they begin to consciously explore identity issues. Whether they realize it or not, the basic questions adolescents everywhere struggle to answer are things like, “Who am I beneath the accommodations I’ve made to gain the approval of my group?” and “Do I have the courage to pursue interests and behaviors that are important to me but frowned on by my elders?”
It’s easy to see how physical changes influence the way we think and feel. But it can be difficult to recognize the historical evolution of the human psyche, and harder still to accept the changes this is making in our world. What I was looking for after the last post were more correlations between the constellation of the Androgyne archetype and healthy societal change.
I remember when the majority of whites in the south thought it was okay for blacks to sit in the back of the bus. When I observed this at the age of seven and asked my parents about it, the response of these good and intelligent people was that this was just the way things were. I’m ashamed to report that like most everyone else, I soon stopped wondering and questioning.
These social inequities went unchallenged for a long time in America because most people assumed like I did that either those in charge must have good reasons, or there was nothing we could do about it. Of course there were no good reasons for segregation and there were many things we could have done about it, but it took us a long time to see the cancer that was destroying the health of our nation and even longer to overcome our lethargy enough to so something about it.
The civil rights movement came about in the 1950’s and 60’s because the Androgyne archetype, which presses us to integrate our inner opposites, is closing the gap between races. A historic bridge had already been built between the genders in 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote. At that time only a few women were able to receive legal education because courts were reluctant to admit them and employment opportunities were very limited; but by 1991, 43% of students starting law school were women. A more current example is the elimination of legal discrimination against consensual same-gender sex.
The activation of the Androgyne archetype is a hopeful sign for our species. Can you think of other examples that indicate we may be growing up and coming together at last?
Ego and God-Image: Part VI
[T]he most important relationship of childhood, the relation to the mother, will be compensated by the mother archetype as soon as detachment from the childhood
It is quite clear that the current Global Revolution against the status quo in the Social Contract is exactly such an example. For the best part of a century we all accepted the bank’s right to collect money against our mortgage debt, for example, but when banks collapsed the global financial system through their illegal behavior, and now are proceeding to cram down our society by conspiring with real estate brokers, appraisers and other banks to reduce real estate prices at our expense, we have the right to fight back. The social inequity of 1% of our population controlling 50% of our nation’s wealth has gotten bad enough that the Occupy Movement will ultimately expand the consciousness of the American people so that we will all see what must be done to re-write the Social Contract in a different way across a very broad spectrum of issues.
A perfect example. As I understand the Social Contract, it’s about cooperation between and within all the institutions of society, including business and the economic system that runs it, so that we work together for the betterment of all. The extreme gap between the wealthy and impoverished is no longer tolerable to an evolving psyche that is compelled to promote more cooperation and balance between opposites. With you, I look forward to a time when enough of us will understand the reasons for the current imbalance to be able to implement healthy changes. I know you are working hard to make this happen. Thank you for your efforts.
What I see as a good sign that I am growing up is when I am willing to withdraw both negative and positive projections I have cast on others. It seems the only way to human maturity for me has been through a journey into the heart of my own darkness through grief, sorrow, acceptance of my broken humanity, and forgiveness for wounds inflicted upon me, and for the pain I have caused myself and thus others. Through this very graced process I have been more able to surface with greater compassion for myself and others and live with more conscious connection with the gift of life present within me and before me in others and in nature. I name this connection the “Rainbow Bridge.” As I take personal responsibility for my collective and personal sin/shenpa and it’s destructiveness I land on the humble soil in the center of my broken heart where new life is springing from the wellspring of life that resides under the depths of my human suffering.
I can say that visiting the sorrow and grief in my heart over the years, and particularly these past 4 years, has given me this perspective from the center of my own broken-open heart where soul soil has been cultivated and freed energies planted in conscious ways in the unfolding saga of my life. I pray I stay open and become ever more resilient, flexible, resourceful and compassionate with my own human feelings and needs and evolving process as foundation for the Rainbow Bridge extended to all other life.
Keep the well open and keep well. I look forward to meeting you on the “Bridge” when we connect again soon. Julie of MorningStar
Your bridge metaphor is ideal. As you know, it was also the main metaphor in my first book, “The Bridge to Wholeness.” And you’ve gotten to the bottom of both the problem and the solution with your example of withdrawing the projections we cast onto others and healing the unconnected places in our own psyches. Until we can allow the Androgyne archetype to do its healing work in us, we will be unable to make any lasting changes in the outer world no matter how well-intentioned we may be, no matter how hard we may try.
The image of planting your freed energies in your broken-open heart is so lovely. The fruits of compassion are the ultimate healers. Thank you for the healing you have brought about through your work at MorningStar.
Ah, yes, your book Bridge To Wholeness surely served as fertilizer in my soul’s soil for that seed of wholeness to be given the strength and humility to cross the RainBow Bridge in myself! I’m so glad you have stayed faithful to your calling. Your blog and responses to my comments have enlivened and encouraged this “voice” in the wilderness. Continued blessing on showing the way. Julie