A dream I had many years ago is still vividly before my eyes. At that time, Trump was in power in the US. In my dream he was making angry and macho statements. Rivers were filled with poison and flowed into the sea, destroying life wherever they passed, forests were ablaze, factories spewed toxic fumes into the air. I was facing an apocalyptic landscape. A voice said to me: “The world needs to make peace with female energy again.” Masculine and feminine energy had to come into balance and find harmony again. Now I realize how true that is.
According to Sufism, existence is based on opposites. Everything that exists has an opposite, and this is how things manifest themselves. For example, without heat, it would not be possible to understand cold; it is the absence of heat that makes cold exist. Likewise, it would not be possible to understand darkness without light and evil without good. All these seemingly negative parties don’t exist on their own; they exist with each other like darkness emerges in the absence of light. This makes their existence relative.
Such an understanding of the universe has been studied in depth in Hinduism, Taoism, ancient philosophy, Sufism and many other beliefs and systems of thought. The ancient teachings have recognized the bipolar nature of this existence and have given a lot of thought to it and have come up with various explanations that have parallels.
When we say bipolar, the first thing that comes to mind is two completely separate and completely opposite things. But anyone who thinks about it soon realizes that these two completely opposite things are actually complementary. Both need each other to exist, and without one, the other cannot be recognized. Ironically, darkness needs light to exist. The divine order in the universe is based on the perfect balance and equality of these opposites. One of these two poles never dominates the other, there is always a balance. If one is decreasing in one place, it must be increasing in another. Just like good and evil. The Sufi view of the unity of opposites is similar to other Eastern philosophies such as Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Especially in Taoism, the unity of the two opposite concepts known as Yin and Yang is important in terms of maintaining the cyclical structure and balance of the universe. In Hinduism, Shiva is associated with the destruction and re-creation of the universe, while Vishnu is associated with the preservation and maintenance of the universe. However, it should be noted that the powers of these gods are not only destructive or only creative. In Hinduism, creation and destruction are interconnected and are considered to be part of the cycle of the universe. Therefore, Shiva’s destructive power is necessary for the preparation of the next creation, and Vishnu’s protective power provides the balance necessary for the maintenance of the universe. I think we can liken it to the relationship of a married couple who are different from each other but complementary, “one beyond the other”.
Our world has entered a period of transition, as we all feel in our bones. It is a dying to the old life and a birth to a new life. On the one hand, human beings cling to their old life and do not want to give it up, but the changing world forces them to do so. It can be likened to someone dying, or conversely to the pains of childbirth. Even though the baby does not want to leave its life where it is happy, where all its needs are met and where it is the center of its little universe and be born into this world, the birth contractions force it to do so. It is pushed out of its accustomed place whether it wants to or not. Neither death nor birth comes without pain; this is the strange sensation that we feel now, that pervades every moment of life.
Creation and destruction are the work of the masculine energy we call “cemâl” in Sufism. Jalal refers to God’s power, will and authority. Jamal can be expressed as beauty, as God’s mercy and compassion towards us. God is conceived as the complete and perfect One who embodies both feminine and masculine characteristics.
At the root of the existential crisis we are experiencing today lies the mobilization of this feminine and masculine energy to find balance again. After several centuries in which we embraced positivism, in which we put reason, science and utility above all else, in which we thought we were masters of this world, not part of it, we are witnessing the world rebalancing itself. It is a universal law, the feminine and the masculine, the divine and the celestial, the Yin and the Yang must always be in balance. The reason why we see this transition as a crisis is that we still want to cling to the old, we don’t want to give up our old habits, our acceptance and our mistakes.
Let’s take a look at where the male-dominated and masculine energy-dominated order we have established in these last few centuries has brought us. How many of us today are satisfied with the state of humanity as a whole? As the most obvious representatives of masculine energy, let’s do some soul-searching and ask ourselves why are all the personal development courses and programs filled with women? Why is it always women who want to look within, who try to discover their essence, who ponder on love and compassion? Except for an exceptional few of us, we are distant from anything that has to do with inner journeying. In my opinion, this is not because men are not interested in these issues, but because they don’t know how to do it, they are confused because of the labels that are attached to them.
As a representative of our species, I know that there are reasons such as societal pressure, our friends making fun of us, the fear of not being seen as “male” enough. However, pretending to be someone we are not, hiding our emotions, not being able to openly share what is going on inside only benefits psychotherapists and pharmaceutical companies that produce anti-depressants, but it does not make us “more manly”. Turning our backs on one aspect of our existence only makes the life we live more sterile, and even if we don’t realize it, we are internally trying to find the balance between masculine and feminine. Every moment we resist this increases our dissatisfaction and anger a little more, and sooner or later it reflects its distress in our relationships and in our lives.
Especially after my 40s, when the inevitable trials of life started to pile on top of each other, I witnessed some changes in some of my male friends. It’s as if at this age, the celal in us – just like the meat beaten by a butcher – is gradually softened by the blows we take from life, and the presence of the cemal, which we always miss but cannot admit, increases in us, the two mix together and find the balance, even if only a little bit. I have witnessed how much the lives of my friends who have been able to make this transformation have been enriched. With the acceptance of the feminine energy, what is missing in us becomes complete, a burden is lifted from our backs. The depth, quality and flavor of our conversations with each other are increasing. Taking off that mask we always wear, being able to get rid of the tiring role we play from time to time, being able to express our feelings is something that liberates us tremendously.
As men, we need to be able to go beyond the areas where we are allowed by society to show our selves, and through this law of resonance, it will spread all around us, ring by ring. Let’s not wait to be alone, or for a sentimental song, or for a slap in the face from life, to connect with our heart, with our beauty, with the feminine energy that is part of us. We can do it at any time, the world needs it, we need it even more.