Thursday, April 20, 2023

Gender Dysphoria, Why Now?

I remember my first experience of someone surgically changing her gender. I was about thirty-three years old, and most of the people now opting for the actual medical procedure were not yet born. A couple undergoing the change had originally been two females. This occurred in a psychology class, and while we all admired their courage and determination to go through the grueling surgeries and hormonal treatments, it was still very rare, and I’ll admit that it seemed odd to me that these two who had started as a same sex couple would decide to be a heterosexual couple at such great cost. I realize now that I thought they were either undecided about who they were, or else wanted to have a unique and special impact as a couple. The wow! Effect.

   Standing Deer’s exit from this 3-D world has given me uninterrupted access to YouTube, and I’ve had time to catch up on some of the looming social issues.   I’ve been watching psychologists, educators, and the subjects themselves discussing the increase in medical sex change procedures among young people. Many of them are in their early teens when a sense of identity and one’s place in the world are still developing. Of course, that is also a time of life when we are willing to make deep and often courageous dives into ideas and actions far beyond the safety of social constructs accepted in childhood. It is a time of questioning normalcy and exploring one’s new body and mind. In line with the questioning, is a tendency to make decisions that feel brave and right at a time of very limited experience yet can reframe the rest of one’s life.  However, I was troubled by the ease with which professionals can approve something as permanently life changing as a sex-reassignment and are even required to legally support such a decision made by an adolescent. Making permanent decisions about changing something as core as one’s gender identity during such a tumultuous stage of personal development in the setting of a world in tumult seems overloaded with personal risk.

There is a growing discontent among many young people with their assigned gender at birth, given the many flaws in our socially assigned roles. Perhaps this is an indication that a critical time has arrived to sort out the natural values attached to gender roles, and what is socially worn out and won’t work for the world that is coming. Nevertheless, we can never be free of all nature’s assignments as long as we live within this physical vibration.  Science has imbued us moderns with a goal of unlimited freedom to choose one’s role in life, including one’s physical role.  These two, in my opinion, often wrongly coupled issues seem to be approaching a dangerously confused entanglement. It is even becoming a legal issue. I’ll propose that freedoms exist to enhance the creative progress of the universe. Yet, how do we determine progress, or the differences between progress and dissolution? When are the base rules of existence in the universe being disregarded? Is nature even allowed a voice? Or is the hubris of scientific materialism and the belief that we humans are the ultimate authority in the universe a done deal.

Gender is one of the primal dualities of life, and nature doesn’t function without duality.  However, it is being regarded increasingly as a matter of personal choice, rather than a choice made for us by Mother Nature. This impresses me as very dangerous, because nature has an intelligent wisdom based on a complete ecosystem developed over eons of time and tested with infinitely more rigor than human scientists, sociologists, and psychotherapists could produce in the short timespan and limited experience of their existence, not to mention philosophical arrogance.

Duality is perhaps the first basic feature of existence on this dimension, and it involves every aspect of life and even the source of life. The interface of opposites is literally the engine of creation. It seems to me that much of society and even sociology and psychology is confusing individual experience and an artificial social construct with innate reality.  Duality is not only a reproductive mode of nature, that involves all of life from the simplest to the most complex but is truly cosmic. There are simple life forms that carry within themselves both male and female reproductive functions, but they are still operating within a dual system.  

Of course, Gender Dysphoria, the dissatisfaction with one’s gender of birth, and identity with the opposite gender is not the denial of duality, but the belief that nature has misassigned which side of the sexual distinction one was born into because an individual experiences social identity and physical body as inverted. Some individuals even believe that they were wrongly reborn into a gender that was attached to them as a karmic malalignment, with a body they were wrongly assigned.  I just don’t believe in mistaken births or rebirths. If you came back in a gender you don’t want, it’s because there is something you need to understand or explore for your completion as a person and a cell in the body of Gaia. However, after many centuries of gender inequality, and rigid roles based not on nature’s values but on distortions of culture and religion. It is not surprising that in this time of re-examination and doubt, many feel that something essential is yearning to come out. They are right, but where can the young (and not so young) find reliable guidance? Can the problem be solved surgically on the body when it arises from a soul’s desire to understand and heal the painful rift between the sexes?

However, I’m concerned there is great potential danger in choosing one’s gender with the ego, which is so vulnerable to seductive cultural trends and historic impositions. Part of our modern hubris is the notion that the ability to do something technically is the same as clearance to do whatever one’s ego chooses, and intellect can accomplish.  Both sexes have been misused socially. Both male and female are of natural design, but within a healthy and creative duality there must be balance and equal value. I believe our current confusion is the result of ages of inequality and crippling gender assignments. There are many values and abilities from both sexes that are repressed or exploited to accommodate artificial cultural beliefs that go against nature.  A sex change may be more unusual, but not necessarily more unnatural than some of our more common impositions on the natural world. As I write this, I’m being reminded that to even speak of nature as a thing, is to behave as if it’s outside my skin.

Our modern world is culturally destitute regarding natural symmetry, and I personally believe this is the source of many current problems including climate change, constant war, exploitation of natural resources, the mechanization of creativity and human interaction, and the rule of an artificial value such as money over all natural entities.   There is a powerful flow of creative energy back and forth between opposites, Thus, positive, and negative functions act throughout the cosmos. However, when they become chronically and systemically unequal, they begin breaking up the encompassing structure.  Our perception is tilting at a dangerous angle and gender confusion is just one of many symptoms of a world put out of kilter by disrespect for the existence of cosmic laws. Ego is a tool and was never meant to be a master.


The Second Coming

By William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)


W. B. Yeats wrote The Second Coming in 1919, after WWI.  I see our present world view smack in the center of the world he is describing.  The past is never gone in a timeless dimension.  The Lion and the Lamb are always among us, with us, are us. The best and the worst are always ours to choose.  But belief in our own invented truth brought culture after culture down, throughout history and prehistory.

 Our political entities are becoming so polarized that neither will go anywhere near the truth. What are conservatives conserving and what are liberals setting free? Neither shutting out changes and progress nor removing all social and natural forms is functional. Unless there is respectful dialogue in a sincere search for the best compromise, there is only endless blaming. If we care to have effective dialogue, we each must respect the Cosmic intelligence that brought us into being and respect the duality that charges the universe.  To ignore the basis of creation is to invite the bull of chaos into this earth house to rearrange the cosmic furniture. Is this the only way we will respect our source. Must we take down the house of Gaia. There are many stories from past cultures about such a hard restart. This is our school; will we pass this test?

 Freedom and progress must come from a source above our mortal perspective, or we have a crumbling stone on which to build our home. “Things fall apart.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


 My head is reeling from the onslaught of YouTube conspiracy theories. There seems to be no tail or top to the speculations, but a great deal of creative thinking. So, I started reflecting on the dangers involved in creating or subscribing to a version of the world and one’s place in it, while trying to sort out reality from so many competing “truths” surging like a sea over the internet. Of course, our culture, age, political leaning, and even unconscious fears and biases, influence our vulnerability to a particular theory. Each story advertises astonishing, newly revelations.  These stories are fervently embraced with conviction that each one is the real deal. It reminds me of childhood when forbidden and scandalous secrets were a thrilling high that also gave the informer a notch up in social status.  Most children love Halloween and scary stories. Adulthood just makes the stories scarier. Adults also like to show off their scary stories to friends, relatives, and companions in the great work of correcting wrong thinkers with secret knowledge. Who doesn’t want to be in advance of misinformation.

We have religious fundamentalists, atheists, politicos, the latest news sources, and conspiracy theorists all competing to come up with the best scary story and it must contain a stunning revelation of who is really to blame and who will be gifted by believers with the wow prize. It must give the believers in the know a satisfying buzz of self-righteousness, or it’s worthless. Once you know the secret, your sense of importance and social status will soar as a member of the informed elite.  Of course, much of humanity doesn’t claim membership in any particular group of knowers, but if they are connected to media (and who isn’t) they may still want to ignore the buzz. ignorance is either bliss or laziness, at least for a while, and then it feels vulnerable and dangerously out of the loop.  But what can we do about the awful possibilities. Many moderns live without religion but don’t care enough to be atheists. Yet they keep the God slot open as a potential resource in serious trouble just in case God is real and still taking calls from the confused and desperate.

The viral pandemic of fear, suspicion, and accusation, one finds with a casual check in on YouTube is a virtual tsunami of suspicion, and paranoid responses.  Perhaps the devil is busy running the government, (or, at least the other political party).  Big Pharma, the media, the World Economic Forum, the health system, police, the pandemic, the internet, the Secret Government, China, Russia, and more rich guys and scientists than I can recall also make popular suspects.  These are just a few of the enemy. It is progressively more competitive as everyone believes their right to exist is under attack by malevolent secret forces. Some are exotic such as aliens from other star systems who have taken control of the military. It used to be the Illuminati, but they seem to have fallen in popularity.  But what if the enemy is hidden in plain sight, and the words alien, conspiracy, and secret just add a sparkle of glamour. Wow, what did I say? I just remembered that the word, “glamour”, originally meant the hypnotic spell of a magician which causes the subject to see whatever the magician wishes he or she to see.  Seems like a perfect description of our current environment to me.

Are we really fighting for the survival of the world and our way of life, or are we split between our personal image of a Golden Idol, and its evil opposition. Who is this Golden Idol?  We give him (usually him) our precious hopes, beliefs, and all that we value. He has godlike powers. Oh yes! I almost forgot; he is a working image of God. Well, how about that! We create God in our own image and likeness and give him (usually him), our most precious powers. Then we hope he will return them if we grovel at his gilded feet, forgetting that we made him in our own image and likeness. Here we mimick the Biblical creation story; “God created man in the image of himself in the image of God he created him, (sound familiar?) male and female he created them.” (Genesis: 1:26. The Jerusalem Bible).   But just before that statement, we get: “God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all wild beasts, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good”.  (It seems there is some confusion here between God single and Gods, plural.  I’m no bible scholar, but it looks like we have two different concepts of who is really in charge, here.  The scholars may have sorted it out, but the rest of us aren’t sure what we are dealing with.  Are both of those Gods on the same page, even if there are too many of them. Seems like the Israelites weren’t too sure who was in charge either. Was there a war in heaven that thinned out the God population? Were we conquered by high-tech aliens whom we assumed were gods. How much did it change the political environment? When did the Hebrews update their concept of who is in charge of the big picture. Then again, maybe we were a little outpost that was finally given its own ruler. Obviously, on the world stage this hasn’t been settled and religion is still a popular topic of war. Or maybe the Galactic Federation is giving us more time to sort it out on our own, even though we seem to be getting more confused.  

Then a Big voice says, I’m using you humans to move around in this material sphere, that I’ve congealed from my will.  Because you are a thought-being, and that is your limitation, you must have duality.  Duality is the first stage of creation.  If it wasn’t so, you and I wouldn’t be having this back and forth.  Even no-thing is duality, “no and thing”. I’m sorry that my creation seems self-destructive, (is that an oxymoron?) but it’s not as bad as you think, living in time, as you do.  I’m sorry that no, overtakes thing, in your history, and you start fighting with each other over issues that hearken back to the same desires.  It’s just that you become totally identified with one side or the other and haven’t learned to work with cosmic motion. Surely you know that you can’t even take a step without going from balance to imbalance to balance. That’s life!  An example of creative motion for you bipeds is to not get stuck permanently on either left foot or right foot.

Mother Earth Dreaming the World

You are made by the momentum of first cause into duality, as you must be. Duality is the first stage of creation. You must have duality, or your Sun wouldn’t shine—literally, it would just be void on void.  So, here we are at the beginning of another round.  Where do you start the beginning of a circle. The ancients used the image of Uroboros, that snake swallowing its tail, beyond for, and beyond ever.  Hey, I just thought of something. The circle isn’t dual, but describing it is. Now I think we’ve gone as far as we can go with language. In fact, I keep running into language limits that evaporate into absurdity.  I’m just making the point that everything exists because we experience it against some backdrop.

Next, I ask, does everything really have to be the opposite of something?  Can’t there be good and good? Sure, that would just be good and another good, but they wouldn’t be contrast. In other words, they wouldn’t give us something to define good against. Two words, but not duality.  What about the word God? Isn’t God supposed to be first cause, and that isn’t dual.  Right, the word God originated from good, and God isn’t dual.  Are you sure of that?  Have you read the Old Testament? I’m joking now, sort of.  You can see that to describe anything, there must be a contrasting backdrop, in your mind if nowhere else, or you have imperceptibility.  However, God is love, and love is the glue that causes opposites to find each other and work together.  A more complex version of duality, hopefully a notch higher, but you can see right away that higher suggests lower, even if it isn’t mentioned when defining the difference between a scene and its background.  On the other side is the logic that the parts are necessarily related to a whole and that isn’t dual. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be parts. This is beginning to feel like a maze, and I’m getting a headache.

Next, I’m being assured, that I’m only confused because I’m thinking in a motionless way. So, it’s our choice that starts the movement leading to interaction. The two returns to one, again and again.   Wars separate, and yet they bond members of a warring group to each other, which might be one of the cruder motives for war. Not in the best way, but it indicates that it’s not possible to exist without bonding. Now, I’m coming back to the snake that bites its tail, or is it more like a dog chasing its tail? All these conspiracy theories may be dividing the world into admittedly paranoid groups attempting to identify a proper enemy, and the enemies may have a lot of “glamour” attached, yet they are also bringing people together and that provides a sense of belonging and value in a world that treats living beings as pawns in a game in which most of us are not given much value.  Unfortunately, we are deflected from the real source of our complaints for the sake of someone else’s benefit. We become afraid of what we are in the habit of fearing.  You might say the devil is a savvy psychologist.

Now how did the devil get into this conversation? Well, he comes in the image and likeness of whomever we fear. But he certainly is a clever shape shifter. Unlike God, he is created in someone else’s image and likeness. However, there is a kind of love/fear relationship with humans. He’s an idol made of fool’s gold, but he has a pretty good shine, and isn’t a good image enough for success?  He (usually he) knows a lot about how to make it in our world. More importantly, he also made a world in his own image and likeness, and he’s a good salesman. We humans secretly admire him. He has a lot of sway, and he seems more approachable than that “Golden Idol”, bad boys are sexy!

This is getting confusing. Don’t we worship the Golden Idol so that he (usually he) will protect us from the evil one--that one made of fool’s gold and charisma? Now I’m beginning to suspect both of shape shifting. It’s getting harder to tell them apart. Twin brothers, you say. Of course. They are both made after the image and likeness of you humans.  Hey! How did you get into this conversation, and who are you anyway, and how do you know? You say you were there when they were born to Mother Earth and Father Sky?  Thanks for reminding me that brothers often fight a lot. What side are you on? I need to know. How can I know what side to take in this family feud. We humans are being treated like pawns in a chess game, and we need help.

Stop that! You just turned into a whole army of clones. He, she, it, I can’t tell what you are, your gender, or even your species. Are you aliens from another star system?  What! You aren’t anybody, just an image of me in a kaleidoscope and all you did was give it a turn. You’re trying to make a point, aren’t you? You aren’t anybody and you just emphasized the difference between any and body. Now I’m more confused. You’re giving me no-thing to hang onto. No-thing to see in a mirror. No-thing in here, and no-thing out there. Without here, there disappears too.  Oh, please God, what am I saying? This is total madness.  Now I’m afraid there isn’t anything real, not even you. What are you? I know you are playing tricks on me, but how could you do that if you aren’t real?

Now what!  I can feel it coming on. You’re about to tell me no-thing is all there is and creation, including me, is all about making things up. You say: “well, everything has to start somewhere, and you see the problem is that no-thing starts from no-where. It’s called, you say, in our very inadequate language, the ineffable.

So, I am the source of no-thing, and I’m talking to you which makes us two now and then many, many, many, etc. You say I am part of you, and thus also, every-thing.  That’s really making my little data processor smoke.  Now, this is getting crazy, like that symbol of a snake biting its tail forever, Ouroboros, I think it’s called. An ancient symbol that makes me dizzy. Oh, oh, I just noticed that someone else entered this highly confusing conversation a while ago. This one talks up a few more abstract levels and is even more confusing.

This one says, “I can scatter into particles of light and be a reflection within you and inside any one of my sensational designs. I unveil the sparks you are made of. I’m using you, to move around in this material that I’ve congealed, although that’s also an illusion. You see, I’m showing you that duality is the only way you can notice yourself, or anything else. That’s right, no duality, no you.

 Okay, you made me up, but that means that I’m part of you. Of course, how could it be otherwise, I am the cause of all. You reflect me, because I made you, (I’m still making you) but you have a small data processor, and I don’t think we can get much further before you overheat.  Maybe in a few of your generations, you will be upgraded, but will that really make any difference with the ineffable. But I’ll tell you that I AM everything and can disperse into particles of light and form, and I made you able to see them so that I could see bits of myself reflected in you.  However, I can’t be confined by the limited perceptive ability of one of my creations.

Now I’m wondering, could bewilderment be part of the grand creative process.  Is chaos like turning the Kaleidoscope for a new design perhaps? Next, I sense a presence from behind the veil of light. Maybe the mind tricks are genuine signs that an update is required. But how could you suggest that if you aren’t real?  Of course! I can feel it coming, now you’re going to tell me creation including me, is exactly about making things up. I can hear you thinking: Everything has to start somewhere, and you see, the magic is it all comes from no-where.  That is your potential as one of the light rays in my holographic creation. For that purpose, I put all that is and will be into time.

Now I I’m beginning to understand. I joked about too many gods earlier, but it appears that creation involves a duality. There is the Source and his partner, the mysterious darkness (always she) from where every-thing must come. Please don’t be afraid of the dark, or of mystery and the great unknown. Its all we have, and its everything.

To be continued when I get smarter.