Ego vs. Eco - Male vs. Female - Eagle Shaman
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Ego vs. Eco – Male vs. Female

Ego vs. Eco
Ego vs. Eco

image: EGO – Burning Man 2012 by Bexx Brown-Spinelli Attribution-ShareAlike License

Something that indigenous peoples from around the world have understood for a long time is the delicate interconnectedness of all things. Aided by their spiritual practices some cultures have even come to regard earth as a sentient organism; an organism in which humans, animals and plants are merely cells serving a larger purpose. Unfortunately, it appears that some of the cells have forgotten their place in the world…

“[…]we are losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest daily, and significantly degrading another 80,000 acres every day on top of that. Along with this loss and degradation, we are losing some 135 plant, animal and insect species every day—or some 50,000 species a year—as the forests fall.”Scientific American

“Researchers estimate that 5.4 million people died from 1955 to 2002 as a result of wars in 13 countries.”ABC News

“Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.”DoSomething.org

What the above quotes expose are the marks of a consciousness that is overly concerned with the self; or ego. Especially in Western cultures, things like competition, achievements and attainment of wealth are deemed far more important than consideration for others and the environment as a whole. Ironically, if this stays the same, it will be ego’s very measures of “success” that are going to bring us to our knees.

Ego – Male – Left Brain

If one looks up the word “ego” in a dictionary, one is left with the following definition:

“Ego, in psychoanalytic theory, that portion of the human personality which is experienced as the “self” or “I” and is in contact with the external world through perception. It is said to be the part that remembers, evaluates, plans, and in other ways is responsive to and acts in the surrounding physical and social world […]” – Encyclopedia Britannica

Going by this definition, one can already see what ego’s main problem is: the distinction between self and the “external world”. Since ego regards itself as being separate, it believes that it is faced with a vast number of random forces that threaten destroy it any minute. In order to cope with this outlook, ego came up with a strategy: domination. Domination of humans, domination of animals and domination of nature. As long as it can prevail, ego does not seem care how this is achieved. Its main tactics for doing so are thought and assertiveness; qualities that are often described as being “male” or “left-brain”.

Interestingly, especially Western societies seem to cherish these male characteristics. In fact, it is no secret that the Western school system strongly encourages competition and getting ahead through reason. Once school is over, this ethic is then naturally carried over into the work place, where it creates brilliant advancements; often at the expense of nature and the less dominant cultures.

Eco – Female – Right Brain

So what about female qualities then? Shamanic traditions from around the globe have long recognized that Earth – the Mother – or Pachamama is an integral part of reality. What these cultures understand is that life’s feminine aspect is a crucial component in counterbalancing the assertive ways of the male. Rather than seeing things as being separate, the feminine sees things as wholes. It realizes that we as humans are only part of a larger system that is both fragile and interdependent.

Logically, the female’s main strategy for interacting with the world is cooperation. It does so by employing compassion and intuition; characteristics that are often associated with the right hemisphere of the brain.

Unfortunately, in today’s Western societies female qualities are not really encouraged anymore. In fact, many regard them as weak and irrational. If the female way was like the male, it would naturally demand recognition. However, with its focus being on cooperation, it has allowed itself to be suppressed.

The Verdict

And so it appears that the verdict is in. The reason why our planet is on the brink of destruction is men. Men are greedy, men are selfish and above all men are aggressive. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for men, poverty, wars and environmental destruction would probably not even exist. Since it cannot be denied is that most of our business leaders, politicians and soldiers are men, it can also not be denied that the destructive actions of them have an especially strong impact on the world.

However, isn’t it also true that these destructive men were mothered by women and often had wives and daughters around in their homes? If this was so, then how come that these women couldn’t have done anything to prevent their husbands and fathers from reeking such havoc? Even, if women claim that the reason for this is their oppression, I still don’t believe that this abdicates them from responsibility.

Moreover, the sad truth of the matter is that so called “toxic masculinity” is not exclusive to the male gender. In fact, in our times of 3rd wave feminism it appears that young Western women are encouraged to “out-man” men in the workplace, at home and in the legal system. Combining this with a hateful narrative of men being selfish and violent patriarchs who are out to control women and we can see why there is so much discordance within our societies now.

Something that needs to be understood is that the problem we are facing was created by us together. This being the case, each single one of us needs to take responsibility for what is and more importantly for what isn’t working; pointing fingers and playing the blame-game won’t help.

Re-Balancing Male and Female

Surprisingly, the cure for our problem is simple. If male thought and assertiveness can be employed in the spirit of female compassion and intuition, then I believe that the human race has a glorious future ahead of itself. If not, then the impending disaster that our planet is faced with will be impossible to avert.

Luckily for us, the re-balancing of the male and the female is almost inevitable. Since the pain of disharmony will just perpetually get bigger, sooner or later we will be forced to learn that our actions are not without consequences. Even if the various crises that were mentioned at the start of this article seem far away, they will most certainly come back to haunt us in the end.

Do you agree? Please comment below.

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