Venus & Mars

Women are from Venus, men are from Mars.

For some reason I am fascinated by the Wachowski’s Sense8 series. In this series we see a blurring and in some cases reversal of the stereotypical roles that men and women play in our society. We also see a group of people linked together telepathically in much the same way we are with our friends and family, only much more so in real time. It seems  to me to be a vision of what the Wachowskis see as an ideal in human evolution. It is a new mythos, spawned in part from our collective societal obsession with the  science fiction themes that mirror our fears, whether the genre be mutant heroes, zombie hordes, devastating apocalypse, robot intelligence, or alien invasion. The future is unclear, and only a fraction of our creative forces are being harnessed to present a positive vision. Darkness is in vogue. Sense8 is a less of a didactic diatribe on the polarization of good vs. evil and more of a speculative exploration of the future’s possibilities and the ambiguous nature of relationship and love.

In the LGBT community we see a blurring of these gender divisions right now. We see folks finding their actual inner identity beyond what options have been provided as roles for them to play in the past. To become exactly who you are should be a primary goal in life, should it not? Within the LGBT community there are many that are shirking our common social conventions to undergo whatever changes they wish to make to the creation that they were guided into being as children. And with that they experience tremendous fulfillment. Society in general frowns upon radical self-acceptance as it doesn’t seem to contribute to the greater good of the masses. Nor does the hammer of authority like the nail sticking up out of the wood. But “seem” is the key word here. If we can accept and nurture our own souls, we can do so for others as well. We become self-actualized, as much as I dislike that term. If we can’t accept ourselves, we fall back into playing the roles offered to us by the old mythos. Venus & Mars, Virgin & Whore, Hero & Villain. These dichotomies don’t help us evolve. The ages of purity are past, I think, and we all now know that the world is a big messy place, with almost every role in existence being subjective according to circumstance.

But as Jung says, if we deny some conflict we have about our inner selves and don’t face it head on and embrace it, embody it, transform it, rearrange it, or in some way take real control it, somehow we manage to manifest our inner conflict out into the world.  Or in Buddhist terms, dissatisfaction is the origin of suffering, and suffering nurtures suffering. What person feels satisfaction at playing a role that doesn’t fit them?

Unlike many living things, we have this enormously complex brain computer. Each of us has a whole universe inside that thing.  We can see into the future and look back into the past, we can see through eachother’s eyes and walk in eachother’s shoes. We can choose empathy over self-interest. If we all shared in eachother’s lives intimately, like the group in Sense8, how could we not band together to achieve our common well-being? If you understood and felt the suffering that I have, and I understood and felt the suffering that you have, how could we fail to be kind to one another? If we shared our feelings of happiness, giving becomes automatic and taking makes no sense.

But meanwhile, without sci-fi telepathic connections, we can make do with simple meditative and yogic practices. We can be conscious of who we truly are and manifest that goodness out into the world, instead of spending time waging silent war inside ourselves.  Easier said then done, I know. Stress makes it very hard to keep calm and carry on.