Balance of the Masculine and Feminine
The happiest people and relationships occur when there is a balance between the feminine and masculine. Each has advantages and disadvantes. And when you get them to work together in harmony, the results are specatular. Therefore, the goal for any person is to balance the two by giving equal weight to both.
Both are powerful, yet different in their powers
I first came across the concept of Partnership in The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler. Archeologists had uncovered 8 to 10 thousand year old agricultural settlements in Macedonia and Turkey. There, they discovered that ancient peoples gave equal attention to both natures. In their places of worship, masculine and feminine deities were present. Eisler used the term Partnership Paradigm to describe these balanced cultures. Overall, the men and women were partners in their lives and survival.
These ancient sites also had evidence of being conquered by what Eisler called Dominator societies. Those cultures only focused on their masculine powers. In those early Dominator societies, archeologists see the beginnings of top-down societies with central citadels, male rulers, and a prevalence of male gods.
According to Eisler, we are still living in a Dominator society. Her hope is to move us towards a Partnership society by empowering and honoring the feminine powers in both women and men.
We live in a Control Paradigm
Although Riane Eisler uses the term Dominator Paradigm to describe our modern day society, I prefer the more subtle term Control Paradigm. From my experience, many people, men and women, exhibit behaviors that demonstrate their desire to control other people. Dominate does mean to exercise control over another person, but with more of an absolute rule rather than unseen manipulation that often occurs with control. Control is pervasive in our modern culture, prompting my term Control Paradigm to describe it.
There is no room for control in partnership
What does this have to do with Partnership? Everything. The concept of control implies the taking or giving of power from one person to the other. Thus an imbalance of power occurs between the masculine and feminine occurs. This imbalance causes Partnership to cease or never gain a foothold. This is why an essential requirement in any Partnership, no matter how big or small, is to give up control. In fact, according to Joe Caruso, author of The Power of Losing Control, the more control we give up, the more power we have to create the life we want.
It works like this. When we seek to control, we are telling ourselves that someone or something outside of us has the power to change us in some way. Therefore, we have to take away or diminish their power in order to get what we want. This itself takes power. Therefore, by seeking control, we are really losing power in the long run.
Release control over others to get to synergy
On the other hand, when two people work together in harmony on a goal, both experience an increase in power. This is due to synergy. Synergy is an old term meaning ‘to work together.’ It implies that when two parts come together, their output is greater than their sum. For instance, as Buckminster Fuller explained, iron alone is strong. Add carbon to iron and the result is steel, which is much more stronger than iron and carbon alone. The same happens when people come together. To put it bluntly, Partnership is a synergistic relationship.
Partnership is synergy between the masculine and feminine, in yourself and between each other
The agricultural settlements that Eisler exemplifies lasted for thousands of years. The synergy of the masculine and feminine in those cultures created long-term stability. For ourselves, in the same way, we can create synergy in our relationships. As Joe Caruso states, “When we try to control things out of fear, we might lose out on living in the process,” (pg. 18). Or as Riane Eisler explains, “It is a ‘win-win’ rather than a ‘win-lose’ view of power, a means of advancing one’s own development without at the same time having to limit the development of others,” (pg. 193).
Two easy steps to balance the masculine and the feminine
Sarah and I invite you to create synergy in your own life as we do in ours. There are many things you can do, but there are two that are most effective. First, honor the nurturing, supportive, giving, connecting, creative and open part of yourself and your partner. Second, honor the planning, focused, get in-get out, bottom-line, efficient part of yourself and your partner. Both have advantages and disadvantes. Each are needed and powerful. Use all of these qualities to create an amazing relationship with yourself and each other.
Thank you for reading!
Chris Enni – Partnership and Love
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