Friday, April 1, 2016

True creativity requires a union of opposites

I've been reading Richard Rohr's new book, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, and this morning I came across a very simple and obvious statement that really struck me.  "When the "way of the dynamo" [masculine energy] trumps eros or ethos [feminine energy] ... we end up being neither feminine or masculine, but merely neutered and neutral, which means we are unable to be generative and pass on real life."

Of course!  The most creative act we know is birth, and it requires the coming together of masculine and feminine. Think of the beauty of a sunrise and sunset: it happens when dark and light come together in perfect union. Think of the flower -- soft, delicate, rooted, quiet -- and the bee -- always in motion, fierce, sharp, and noisy -- and yet each needs the other to reproduce: the flower needs the bee to transport her pollen; the bee needs her honey to feed its young.

Which made me think that -- and yes, this is a bit of a digression -- our efforts to produce gender equality might be failing because they are based on a competitive premise (women deserve the same treatment, opportunities and salaries) rather than a generative premise (a blending of opposites results in more creativity; is more likely to usher in a new reality).

But mostly I think that as long as we continue to vilify our our opposites -- not just male against female, but black against white, Republican against Democrat, conservative against liberal -- we will continue to neutralize our efforts to create a better world; will continue drifting in a muddy and discouraging morass of sameness and defeat any opportunities for growth.

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