What are Masculinity and Femininity?

M&FReversedThis particular one of Osho’s teachings was sent to me years ago by one of his sannyasins:

Masculinity can have two directions, just as feminineness can have two directions. The masculine mind can be aggressive, violent, and destructive — that is only one of the possibilities. Men have tried that, and humanity has suffered much from it. And when men try this negative aspect of masculinity, women naturally start moving into their negative feminineness, just to keep together with men. Otherwise the rift will be too great, unbridgeable.

But there is a positive aspect too. Nothing can be only negative; every negativity has a positive aspect too. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and every night is followed by a dawn.

Positive masculinity is initiative, creativity, adventure. These are the same qualities, but moving on a different plane. The negative masculine mind becomes destructive; the positive masculine mind becomes creative. Destructiveness and creativeness are not two things, but two aspects of one energy. The same energy can become aggression and the same energy can become initiative.

When aggression is initiative it has a beauty of its own. When violence becomes adventure, when violence becomes exploration, exploration of the new, of the unknown, it is tremendously beneficial.

And so is the case with the feminine. Inactivity is negative, receptivity is positive. They both look alike, they look very similar. You will need very penetrating eyes to see the difference between the inactive and the receptive. The receptive is a welcome, it is an awaiting, it has a prayer in it. Receptivity is a host, receptivity is a womb. Inactivity is simply dullness, death, and hopelessness. There is nothing to wait for, nothing to expect, nothing is ever going to happen. It is falling into lethargy; it is falling into a kind of indifference. And indifference and lethargy are poisons.

But the same thing that becomes indifference can become detachment, and then it has a totally different flavour. Indifference looks like detachment, but it is not; indifference is simply no interest. Detachment is not absence of interest — detachment is absolute interest, tremendous interest, but still with the capacity of non-clinging. Enjoy the moment while it is there and when the moment starts disappearing, as everything is bound to disappear, let it go. That is detachment.

Lethargy is a negative state. One is like a lump of mud just lying there — no possibility of growth, no exuberance, no flowering. But the same energy can become a pool, a great pool of energy — not going anywhere, not doing anything, but the energy accumulating and accumulating and accumulating.

A man, to be really masculine, has to be adventurous, has to be creative, and has to be able to take as many initiatives in life as possible. The woman, to be really a woman, has to be a pool of energy behind the man, so the adventure can have as much energy as possible. Energy will be needed so that the adventure can have some inspiration, so that the adventure can have some poetry, so that the adventurous soul can relax in the woman and be replenished with life, rejuvenated.

Man and woman both together, moving positively, are one whole. And the real couple — and there are very few real couples — is one in which each has joined with the other in a positive way. Ninety-nine percent of couples are joined together in a negative way. That’s why there is so much misery in the world.

I repeat it again: the man has to be masculine and the woman has to be feminine, but in a positive way. Then to be together is a meditation; then to be together is really a great adventure. Then to be together brings new surprises every day. Then life is a dance between these two polarities, and they help each other, they nourish each other.

When both are together they are complementary. Neither the man nor the woman is higher, they are equal. Together they make a whole, and together they can create a holiness which is not possible for either separately.

That’s why Jesus or Buddha look a little less rich than Krishna, and the reason is that they are alone. Krishna is more total. Hence, in India, he is thought to be the perfect avatar,

And one thing more. If it was only a case of an outer meeting of man and woman, it would not have been so important. It is also a case of a meeting deep down in the being of each man and woman, because each man is a woman inside too, and each woman is a man inside too. The outer meeting and merging with the other is really a lesson, an experiment, to prepare for the inner meeting.

Each man is born out of a man and a woman. Half of you comes from your father and half of you comes from your mother. You are a meeting of polar opposites.

Modern psychology, particularly the Jungian school of psychology, accepts this, is based on this, that man is bisexual and so is woman. If your conscious mind is that of a man, then your unconscious will be that of a woman, and vice versa.

But to manage the inner meeting is difficult in the beginning, because the inner is invisible. First you have to learn the lesson with the visible. Meet with the outer woman; meet with the outer man, so that you can have a few experiences of what this meeting is all about. Then, slowly, slowly, you can search within and find the same polarity there.

The day your inner man and woman meet, you are enlightened. That day is a day of great celebration, not only for you but for the whole existence. One person has arrived back again. Out of millions and millions, one person has arrived.

It is said that when Buddha became enlightened, flowers showered from the sky. These are not historical facts, they are poetic expressions, but of tremendous significance. The whole existence must have danced, must have sung, must have showered millions of flowers — because it is a rare phenomenon. A groping soul suddenly has become integrated; a fragmentary soul has become crystallized. One man has become God: it has to be celebrated. It is a blessing to the whole existence.

But the first lesson has to be learned outside, remember. Unless you have known the woman on the outer plane, in all her richness, in all her sweetness and bitterness; unless you have known the man on the outside, in all his beauty and in all his ugliness, you will not be able to move into the inner dimension. You will not be able to allow the yin and yang, Shiva and Shakti, to meet inside.

And that meeting is of utter importance, of ultimate importance, because only with that meeting do you become a god/goddess — never before it.