The Male-Female Duality of the Cosmos

Varad Patankar
6 min readFeb 18, 2022

“God has to become two, only then the game, the play, is possible. He (God) felt very lonely. He longed for the other, that’s why he became two. He became man and woman, cow and bull, and so on and so forth. The whole existence is sexual. By ‘sexual’ I mean dual.”

- Lu Dongbin, The Secret of the Golden Flower

Hindu Tantra, Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, and most eastern scriptures suggest that within each man lies a woman and within each woman, a man. By man & woman, they don’t mean the biological concepts but rather the spiritual dimensions. Mostly, one aspect is dominant, that’s why a man has the female deep within the unconscious. A woman has the feminine part predominant, and the male part is in the unconscious. But both are always present together. Existence cannot be without polarities. There are multiple words for such polarities- Man / Woman, Yin / Yang, Positive/Negative, Shiva/ Shakti, Purusha/ Prakriti, Eros /Logos, etc.

Characteristics of The Male/ Yang/Animus

  1. Distracted/ Restless
  2. Active/ Dynamic
  3. Outward
  4. Rational/ Methodical/ Predictable
  5. Aggressive
  6. Lifelike
  7. Consciousness
  8. Sun Oriented

Characteristics ofThe Female/ Yin/Anima

  1. Inward
  2. Passive/ Stagnant/ Heavy/ Deathlike
  3. Mysterious/ Unpredictable
  4. Non-Aggressive
  5. Intuitive
  6. Tranquil/ Restful
  7. The substance of Consciousness (not consciousness itself, but its foundation, the house of consciousness)
  8. Moon Oriented

If the words — man & woman- offend you, you might call them X & Y too. But the difference between man and woman is evident right from childhood. The boy baby is very restless, trying to grab this, grab that, trying to reach somewhere; he is a nuisance. And the girl baby is never a nuisance; she sits silently hugging her doll in a state of tremendous restfulness. The principle of rest is woman, and the principle of restlessness is man, hence the tranquility of woman and the constant feverish state of man. But to grow, one needs the restless principle, because growth means change.

For the process of Individuation or Self-realization, one needs to integrate the unconscious aspects- the parts of ourselves that we have refused to confront. One has to be exactly in the middle, neither male nor female, what Hindus call Ardhanarishvara (the half-male & half-female form of Lord Shiva). One might wonder why it is necessary to lie in the middle.

For transcendence, one has to be like the perfect disciple. The perfect disciple needs to absorb wisdom with tranquility. These are traits of the feminine mind. Intelligence and clarity are part of the male mind. These two things are needed together. If you are not intelligent you will not be able to understand what the Master is imparting to you. And if you are not feminine, you will not be able to absorb it. You have to be utterly intelligent to see the point. And you have to be utterly absorptive to keep it in you, so that it becomes part of you.

Manifestations of this Duality in Eastern vs Western Society

“Women are the best disciples in the world. Man finds it difficult in becoming a disciple. Even if he becomes, he becomes a disciple reluctantly. He resists, he fights, he doubts, he tries to somehow escape. If he cannot, then helplessly he relaxes — but helplessly. The greatest disciples have been women, and the proportion has always remained the same. If there are five disciples one will be a man, four will be women; that has been the proportion. It was so with Mahavir, it was so with Buddha, it is so with me. Man thinks women are starry-eyed &, suggestible, easily hypnotized. In a way he is right, and, in a way, he is wrong too. If the woman comes to the snake, she will be converted by the snake. If the woman comes to a Buddha she will be converted by a Buddha. It all depends on whom she comes to. If a man listens to the snake, he will not be converted. But if he comes to listen to Buddha, he will not be converted there, either. Now he has missed his salvation.”

- Master Osho

In the age of the internet, the distinctions between the east and west are narrowing rapidly. But before the digital age, the west leaned too much towards the male aspect. No wonder most of the seafaring explorers who discovered new geographies were from the west. Productivity & constant activity was placed on a pedestal. The western culture was dominated by the masculine “Extrovert Ideal”- gregarious people who didn’t mind the spotlight. Only recently has the power of the “feminine” introvert been coming into the limelight. Productivity is no longer seen as a golden ideal and passive inactivity is being touted as important for creativity and mental wellbeing.

Osho’s Reflections on Feminism

The East on the other hand was too feminine. Passive & fatalistic, it fell a victim to the colonizing westerners. “Nothing has to be done. Simply wait. What can one do? It is God’s will’. This is the feminine mind. This explains why India & China, two nations that contributed about 50 % of the world GDP in the 17 thcentury struggled against the invading armies from the west and lost steam. In my article on “ Why did the Scientific Revolution evade India?” I have tried to explain the same phenomenon, but more rationally without invoking any esoteric concepts.

In light of the above concepts, one must ponder the phenomenon of modern Feminism. Rather than me, an amateur, philosophizing over it, I will resort to painting Master Osho’s commentary on it. Osho was fearless & blunt, and his words might offend a few of you. If they do, you can do two things- ignore his words or meditate on his words and go inwards & try to understand why they offend you. Perhaps there is a tinge of truth in his words.

I have not said that — that all women are soft, feminine, and loving. Neither are all men aggressive, violent, ambitious, hard. Because deep down in you, the consciousness is neither. The anima and the animus, the male and the female exist in your body chemistry. You can be a man physically, but deep inside you may have chosen the feminine part. A woman may be a woman physically but she may have chosen the masculine part, then the body remains feminine, but the woman will become masculine. And it is not a choice that you make once and forever, you can change it every moment. Even Adolf Hitler was very soft to his wife and his dog.

Woman is equal to man, but she is not the SAME as man, and she should not be. She should follow her own nature; she should listen to her own soul. She has a different vibe, she has a different function to fulfil in the world, a different destiny. If she follows man and imitates, she is lost. And the more she is lost, the more she will become uprooted from her being. The more she becomes false, plastic, synthetic, the more desperate she will be. That’s why the Liberal women are very angry, constantly in a rage. The rage is that they are feeling frustrated. They are not as they want to be; they cannot be — it is against nature; there is no need either.”

T he women connected to the Women’s Liberation movement are dropping their feminineness; they are becoming as aggressive as man. They are trying to compete with all kinds of foolishness that man has. They want to have all those foolishness themselves, too — they cannot be left behind. There is a great competition. They think they have to do all the things that man has been doing. They think it is because of these things that man has become important. The logic is fallacious. They will only become imitation men, they will lose their own soul, and they will always remain second-hand. In the world of men, to compete with men, they will remain secondary. They will never be primary. That is not the way to compete. If you become like a man, you will never be as competent as a man — how can you be? His male principle is behind him. You will become ugly, you will become rough, you will lose all softness. That’s why the liberal movement has been one of the most disastrous things that has happened to women. And the reason is not that their ideology is wrong, its implementation is wrong.

Some of you might find this piece of writing difficult to swallow. All I can say is contemplate over these words using both- your masculine & feminine minds!

Originally published at http://meditationsofavoyager.wordpress.com on February 18, 2022.

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Varad Patankar

Chemical Engineer from UDCT Mumbai, presently pursuing an MBA from the Indian School of Business.