The Nonduality of Male and Female Elements 17 v1
Rudolph Bauer,Ph.D. Author, Skip Ellis, LCSW Editor
Donald Winnicott, one of the pioneers of object-relations psychotherapy, was the master of transitional awareness, the inner openness of awareness. Winnicott wrote an amazing paper on the split-off male and female elements to be found within both men and women. This split results in difficulties both in relationships and intrapsychically. When the “missing” element is experienced as not in oneself it is experienced as not me and is looked for in another since it seemingly can only be found there and not in oneself.
Winnicott discovered that the capacity to hold transitional space, that psychic space between the overly imaginary and overly concrete, allowed for the integration of these split-off elements in both men and women. Without transitional space, the integration may not take place since there is no medium, no psychic space to support the integration.
In the phenomenology of awareness, as one becomes aware of one’s own awareness, they can begin to experience the qualities of the field awareness, such qualities as:
Oneness of compassion
These qualities of the vast field of knowingness can become the basis and support for the integration of the split-off masculine and feminine elements. The field of awareness and its qualities allow the integration to be deeply possible, pre-reflectively possible, and pre-conceptually possible. The integration of mind and body into the awareness field, the embodiment of the awareness field, and the intensity of the field of radiance brings forth the vajra vase body, also known as the body of light. This luminous flesh becomes the instrument and container for the oneness of the male and female elements.
As one learns to hold the awareness of awareness, to enter the field of awareness, and to become the open luminosity of the field of awareness, the integration of male and female elements becomes possible. The integration is part of the naturalistic unfolding of becoming the field. The union of the split off masculine and feminine elements can take place so that a non-dual awareness of the masculine and feminine elements within one’s own being takes place. The holding of the non-duality of the masculine and feminine elements transforms the mind and the body so that the oneness of the elements is experienced within one’s body. The previous experience of the lack of oneness of the elements that so often leads to looking for the “missing” element in the other is dissolved. It is no longer sought in the other.
This oneness of the masculine and feminine elements takes place as one both holds awareness and as one becomes the field of awareness. It takes place as the kayas or dimensions of the field manifest. The oneness reveals itself within the kayas, within nirmanakaya ourselves, within sambhogakaya as the archetypical energies, and within dharmakaya, the great openness, no such duality exists.
To say this in another way, the union of the masculine and feminine elements within one’s self-awareness is both personal and archetypical, both personal and cosmic. Oneness is possible. The oneness that is beyond male and female genders is experienced. The veil of opposites dissolves between genders, thus unbinding otherness both culturally and personally.
Awareness as direct perception gnosis is the anima experience- psyche. In the mythology of Dzogchen, the love between Yeshe Togel and Padmashambhava is a theophanic manifestation and experience (appearance of the divine) as both cosmic and personal love. Through love and Eros divinity appears and becomes presence. Thus, the practice of the inner heart essence is the path of love, the theophanic path of non-dual oneness, of luminous, translucent flesh.
The Dzogchen mythic image that organizes much of tantric consciousness is that of Samatahbadra and Samantabhadri that signifies the oneness of the masculine and feminine within each person. One is both gnosis and skillful means; one is both completely active and completely receptive; one lets go and one acts through agency; one is both father and mother; one is both knowledge through mediated mind and knowledge through translucidity i.e. Gnosis.
The quality of spaciousness creates a place for the manifestation of the anima (feminine) and the animistic life. Spaciousness creates a place to experience the anima mundi, the world as psyche. The dakini is the anima expression of primordial awareness; the experience of the dharmakaya, primordial awareness as vast open source; the experience of the sambhogakaya, primordial awareness as light, energy, vortexes, and the experience of the nirmanakaya, primordial awareness as flesh, human beings, the earth, and the earth as dakini (mother earth).
The path of awareness and enlightenment is anima, gnosis, and direct perception. It is the path of pure love itself, divinity itself. However, the patriarchal institutions that are intended to deliver this experience and show the way on the path often destroy that which they are meant to reveal. The institutions can destroy the anima mystic view. This can be seen over and over again and is actually part of the unhappy story both in Tibetan Buddhism and in every religious tradition.
One of the great benefits and effects of extension and radiant resonance is that within transmission, the experience of blending, the non-dual oneness of the masculine and feminine is communicated beyond words and letters. It is a transmission that does not belong to any one tradition and is the very nature of human awareness, the Buddha field.
To be in resonance with an individual who has balance in the area of masculine and feminine energies, who can hold the non-dual oneness of the masculine and feminine elements, allows one to feel that experience in their own body. This resonant experience can organize the balance within one’s self and become the seed or model for integration of the masculine and feminine energies with in one’s body and one’s awareness.
Truly realized individuals have this balance and it can be felt and experienced as the invisible becomes visible as one holds and becomes the field of awareness. It can be felt not through sight but rather through direct perception. The fedeli d’amore, the amazing group or secret society that crossed the boundaries of both Sufism and medieval Christianity, were the servants of love and knew this very well. They knew that humanness and the mysterious conjuncio was the path to non-dual oneness; the path of embodiment of the masculine and feminine elements; the path of dissolving dissociation. The most basic dissociation or split is between the mind and awareness, the second is between masculine and feminine, and the third and most unhappy is between divinity and the divinity of appearance.
Guru yoga is not a psychological function of being obedient or taking orders from an “enlightened master” like a soldier taking orders from a general in a military operation. Guru yoga is essential to Dzogchen. It is the capacity to extend light, to recognize the guru within. As Swami Muktananda would say it is experiencing “God dwells within you as you and see God in everyone”. Guru seva is serving the self radiance of divinity in your life and in your karma.
The practice of the inner heart essence is the path of love, the Theophanic path of nondual oneness, of luminous flesh, the translucidity of flesh.