Chapter 1 – The Yin Yang Complex
The start of the journey
I remember the first time that it really struck me that the entire world is made up of these masculine (Yang) and feminine (Yin) energies. I was sitting in first year in school at my first French class. The teacher was going over the fact that all nouns – people, places and things were either masculine, feminine or neutral. I was fascinated by this. How could a teapot be feminine? How could a knife be masculine? Only having spoken English to this point I was amazed that all these items could be described in this manner. The most interesting point for me was when the teacher asked for the class to guess whether an item was masculine or feminine. Amazingly most of the class guessed right even though they had never spoken the language before! Looking back now I understand that on some level we already knew that everything had either a masculine or feminine energy – it was just that our young minds had never considered this possibility. Or maybe closer to the truth, our society did not view the world in these terms. Yet somewhere inside us we instinctively knew the answers. Of course for centuries many languages all over the world have described their worlds in terms of masculine or feminine vocabulary. Most languages make reference with the definite article or the ending of a word to identify the gender of the word. One ancient language Alamblak, a tongue spoken in Papua New Guinea, has a fascinating way to categorise male or female energies. Anything that is long, tall and narrow is considered masculine. So snakes, spears, tall trees, roads, rivers and knifes, whereas all those things that are round, squat, containing and expansive are considered feminine. For example pots, bushes, houses, turtles and so on. Since the English language does not obviously make reference to nouns in this way, it may give us a clue as to why the awareness of masculine and feminine energy is so low. Or maybe it is so obvious and so close to us, that in the modern world we have completely overlooked the fact that everything has masculine and feminine energies including most importantly, ourselves.
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