The Divine cosmic dance between Shiva (masculine force) and Shakti ( the femanine force) is ever present. Our work is to balance these energies within, if we are to find harmony with the outer world.
The Divive Cosmic Dance
As spiritual seekers, we often hear the phrase ‘as above, so below’ but what can this mystical equation do for us? Tantra teaches that understanding such phenomenon is the key to harmonious interpersonal relationships which provides purpose to our existence.
Mother Earth Has The Answer
It is by no coincidence that we mention ‘mother earth’ when it comes to environmental awareness, or that we describe ‘the spirit of man’ when delving beyond the human mind. The Tantric tradition suggests these gender roles represent the polarities of the universe and everything in it. The masculine represents Shiva, the essence of transformation, from which everything is born. His feminine counterpart, Shakti represents substance. When the two unite, the spark of life is ignited. These delicate balance between positive and negative polarities is a dance which occurs in everything we witness. The Chinese call them Yin and Yang and, if you need hard evidence, scientists label them Protons and Electrons.
The Dance Of Polarities
Every cell in your body is bound with a positive charge surrounded by negative counterparts. The nucleus remains centred whilst the parts revolve around it – much like the interaction between the Sun and Moon. When polarities harmonise there is a symbiotic flow, but when the formula is broken balance gets disturbed. This can be best observed when attempting to join the positive ends of two magnets, here an energetic resistance can be felt and cannot be avoided. Humans carry similar polarities in the cells of our bodies and, much like the magnetic field described, they too can meet resistance. Cellular resistance comes from disharmony of the elements, which make up the bodies form. Cellular impact is also the result of an unsettled mind that carries blame, hatred and guilt towards oneself or others.
The Demand For Equality
Seeking continual harmony with others becomes what is known in Yoga terms as ‘the game of life’. Here we piece together the physical (Maya) and conscious (Leela) parts of ourself in relation to others. Such a game is very rewarding for those that dare to play, but it comes not without challenge.
Because of the so called progressive shift in modern relationships, particularly men have become disorientated by societies demand for equality. The Buddha’s teachings speak of the ‘The Four Immeasurable Qualities’ (loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity) but in today’s society equanimity is often misunderstood by both sexes. Equanimity is not a subject of gender but a mental approach towards others. The gender polarity of masculine and feminine will always remain, but seeing ourselves as equal, outside of social and cultural conditioning is often not the case. Without equanimity, thoughts of insecurity often occur in both men and women. Thoughts of being not ‘good enough’ or worse still ‘better than’ is the travesty of the modern world. However, when it comes to masculine and feminine polarities, underneath the mask of romantic pretence, there is much confusion brewing. More than ever men are taking feminine roles, in an attempt to harmonise relationships, yet as a result women are becoming increasingly frustrated by men ‘not being man enough’.
What Can Be Done?
By harmonising the positive and negative aspects of the chakras students of Yoga develop harmony within their individual being (Jivatman) which is none gender specific. This in turn brings a greater connection with their counterparts and, on a universal level, with the source of all creation (Brahma Atman).
On a practical day to day level, the male role, Shiva must take the reins and ride into the winds of change, because matter (Shakti) cannot be reformed without essence (Shiva). Such a hero is known as Vira, a spiritual warrior, one who is more than merely an animal (Apashu) and moving towards becoming a realised one (Divia).
The Vira’s role is to remain steadfast and gallant as he yields the challenges thrown his way. He is strong like a rock, yet remains supple like water in the way he deals with others. Here, his counterpart Shakti feels protected and nourished by his efforts; yet feels she need neither control nor sway his path. In return, with great integrity, the Vira will honour her in both love making and in life. As the two harmonise, the seat of the heart chakra (Anahata) opens and the divine qualities (Purusha and Prakriti) unite. It is here Tantric Yoga spontaneously arises.
Time For Change
Esoteric texts suggest that we are in the age of kali Yuga. This age predicts men will seek quantity and not equality. It is an age where wisdom is seen as madness and is superseded by the attainment of material wealth. ‘During this time humans will eat the food of the Shudras (lower casts) and sickness will be the result of this’. It is also said, man will be at odds with his neighbours and struggle to find harmony with loved ones. Today’s medical and marriage statistics perhaps bring evidence to such outlandish views.
Therefore, the Yogis path is to manoeuvre through modern times with both feet connected to the earth (Shakti) and yet remain ever optimistic that Prakasha (the un-manifested light of Shiva) will bring solace as reward. The masculine must remain ever present, cultivating strength and agility, whilst allowing the divine feminine the freedom to manifest her desires. Such ideas may be frowned upon as new aged nonsense, but our inner strength must outweigh outside distractions, if we are to find eternal peace.
What is clear, is the more advanced society gets, the less connected to ourselves, our environment, and those within it we become. As a result, our greatest challenge is to sustain the role of playful awareness whilst remaining true to our natural gender roles. The Sanskrit phrase, Neti Neti, meaning not this and not that, describes the delicate balance of momentary awareness, where we remain true to our own reality.
Bruce Lee put it like this
‘The void is that which stands in the middle of this and that. There is nothing which excludes or opposes it. It is a living void because all forms come out of it and whoever realises this is filled with life and power and the love of all things.’