Good afternoon, everyone. Kevin raised a question during the webinar about the off stage men in the story of ON THE DOORSTEP OF THE CASTLE. This is a really important point. While the story centers on the lives of the two women, the masculine principle is significant in many ways. On the one hand, the old-fashioned image of the dominant, oppressive masculine is symbolized by the Inquisition and the Pope, who both wanted to dominate the feminine principle, inhibit the spread of new ideas, and assert the hegemony of power. And yet, there are other masculine voices that inspire connection, exploration, passionate love, devotion, and ultimately champion the triumph of Teresa and Alma in the end. I wonder if, extrapolating from Kevin's reading of the Yang Feminine, as the emerging feminine energy of the 21st century, there is a Yin Masculine?

How would you see this played out in the following characters:

1. Copernicus

2. Eli

3. Geronimo Gracian

4. King Philip

I know today, I would certainly see Pope Francis as an example of the Yin Masculine. I know men in my own life who embody this, including my husband and Kevin Filocamo!

What do you see?

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  • Greetings everyone! I wrote the following during the week but did not get it posted before going away for a few days.


    In reviewing Kevin’s writing on yin and yang masculine and feminine I am reminded of a talk by Richard Tarnas where he suggested that psyche is more complex than Jung’s masculine sun and feminine moon, and proposed we all have masculine sun and moon and feminine sun and moon within us. 

    I imagine Teresa is struggling here with bringing forth her yang feminine(?) Alma tells Teresa she conjures the devil in her mind. Teresa responds with, “It is you be-devil me. This secret you hold over me . . . Be Gone! Take your Devil with you!” Teresa continues to struggle after Alma leaves. There are layers of power in this devil – the power of Alma’s knowing of Teresa’s background, as well as the power of the church. This is power over Teresa.

    Alma returns and suggests Teresa ask St. Francis for guidance but there is only silence. Teresa must find her inner strength, her inner power. After Alma asks the question, Teresa brings out her power within. She shames the devil for scaring a poor woman and then is it her feminine sun that emerges along with the rising sun(?), “today as the sun rises, we will open the doors to our new home.” According to Tarnas, the solar represents the heroic soul, our “individual essence.”  The moon represents “who we are before we think about who we are.”  The moon is “embodiment, our ground of being, soul, the psychosomatic matrix out of which the solar star self emerges.”  Teresa re-finds and embodies her ground of being before the solar self emerges (seen in her ability to shame the devil and in opening the door). Here does Teresa unite the branches of power and love like in Alma’s later vision? And brings out the power she has together with Alma.

    Eli speaks of the feminine Shekinah and Philip speaks of the feminine Sophia. Marian Woodman writes of Christ as feminine. For me masculine and feminine and male and female get confused. I remember what Lionel Corbett said in a lecture at Pacifica of the masculine and feminine - that we need to get beyond the gender focus in depth psychology.  And in working with a transference dialogue (described in Romanyshyn, 2007) a figure agreed: “I, the bird of beyond time, have something important to say.  Look beyond male and female.  See the essence of the thing.  We are all masculine and feminine.  Go deeper.” 

     Yet, it is helpful to think of yang feminine and yin masculine.

    • Thank you for these reflections, Lyn. I am grateful for the added references which help to capture the nuances of the masculine and feminine, which are so deeply needed.

      Do you have a reference for the Tarnas quotes?

    • Hi Kevin,

      Quotes were from a lecture at Sonoma State - not aware of any published sources.

    • Oh Lyn, I couldn't agree more with you and Lionell Corbett, that gender is only a surface manifestation of our identity. In the wide and deep realm of the soul, there thrives a complexity of masculine and feminine archetypes that compliment and challenges and change each other. Certainly in the play, these energies/archetypes play out in both Alma and Teresa, as you chronicled for us, Lyn. As we become more and more conscious, we are able to see and feel the subtle movements of our Yang feminine (I feel this must be related to Athena), and our Yang masculine (who comes out when we feel threatened, and lash out) -- and ALL the host of other inner characters. As we grow, we learn to strive to embrace them all, and we approach wholeness, which I feel is not an absolute, but a process, unfolding in miraculous ways, if we keep our ears and eyes attuned to the divine within us all. Thank you!

  •  Hi all,  

     I've been away for the past 10 days or so, and have been  blissfully away from the internet. I return to this  wonderful inquiry, and am reflecting on the question of the Yin Masculine in relation to the Yang Feminine (and the Yang  Masculine) and to the times we find ourselves in.  

     I first want to clarify that, at least according to Genia  Haddon, who wrote the book that I referenced during the  call, titled "Uniting Sex, Self and Spirit", that each  movement of the Masculine and Feminine are needed. The Yin  and the Yang of the Masculine and Feminine are needed. The  problems occur when one dominates the others. We are  currently living the results of the violent domination of  the Yang Masculine, so it can be hard to imagine the good  that the Yang Masculine can offer. Here is what I suggest:  The Yang Masculine helps us to get things done in the "out  there" world! At its best, the Yang Masculine acts out of a  sense of serving the Whole, which the Yang Feminine can  offer us a sense of. (And possibly the Yin Feminine, though  there is a danger of being swallowed up by the  undifferentiated energy which the Yin Feminine embodies.  According to Haddon, the Yang Masculine emerged so that we  could experience differentiation from the   undifferentiated Yin Feminine, a move that was necessary  for our evolution of consciousness/awareness.)    

    Haddon does not say much about the Yin Masculine. She says  that it may be too soon for us to know exactly what the Yin  Masculine will be like, culturally speaking, as we are just  now entering the era of the Yang Feminine.

    I will speak to  this from personal experience, and see if this approaches  what may be an expression of Yin Masculine:    Growing up, I did not fit the expectations of how a man was  supposed to act and how he was supposed to relate. I did not  do well in sports, and was not attracted to the rough ways  that boys interacted with each other. I was more interested  in books, in art, in performance -- acting and singing, in  cake decorating, and in coversations that the girls were  having. For a while, I remember wondering if I should have  been a girl, as I seemed more comfortable with girls than  with boys.    As I matured, I realized that the issue was not that I wanted  to be a girl, but that I did not fit into the limited  expression that boys are generally allowed in our culture,  at least at that time. I felt "in between" the gender binary  expression of male and female. This experience made me feel  alien to my peers -- an outsider, not fitting into either  gender, and experiencing violence from both boys and girls for  not fitting the norm.    

    What helped me get through these years may have  been an instinctual "tending" to a deep and tender inner  truth which whispered guidance and encouragement to me --  some part of me that asked me to pay close and deep  attention to what was unfolding deep inside me, to a truth  that I could not make sense of or articulate. Somehow,  through grace and/or some inner wisdom, I was connected to  this inner knowing, which asked me to pay attention to the  inner experience even as I did my best to navigate the outer  challenges.

    Perhaps this is one thing that the Yin Masculine  can offer, whatever our genders: a tending to the depths of  each of our inner experiences from a place of wholeness and  connection which the Yang Feminine offers. From this deep tending to the rhythms and cycles of the Whole, the Yin Masculine can know when it is time to sow seeds for new growth, when it is time to harvest, and what is needed to tend the "crop" as it grows.  

     In a way, I see Alma as embodying listening and responding  to this guidance from within. Broadly speaking, while Teresa  sought answers outside herself via the structures of the  church, Alma seemed to be guided to a more introspective searching. It was  Alma who introduced Teresa to Shekinah, the Feminine  expression of the Divine. In saying this, I do not mean to  diminish Teresa's journey or her own process of deepening.  I'm just saying that Teresa's experiences of deepening  seemed to originate initially from outside herself -- the physical ecstasies and terrors she was experiencing she perceived as outside of herself (remember when Alma encouraged Teresa to face down her fears, which Teresa perceived as the Devil?) -- whereas Alma's  journey seemed to be a more internal one, until she found a  way to express outwardly where her inner journey was taking  her, through movement of the body/dance.

    In terms of the masculine presences via mention in the play, I am particularly drawn to King Philip, who so beautifully embodies the response of the Masculine to what emerges in the present. King Philip is so connected to his inner self that he can recognize a kindred spirit in Alma and relate to her from this place -- a particularly powerful moment in the play because the King (which is often a very Masculine Yang expression) relates with respect and vulnerability to a "mere" girl, over whom he can at any moment wield great power. His willingness to be vulnerable with Alma is truly awe-inspiring, as I felt it was for Alma.  

    I welcome any thoughts, questions, discussions regarding these just-emerging thoughts.

    • Ah, Kevin, this is quite marvelous, and I thank you deeply for your personal sharing. Many of us, no doubt, felt out of sorts with the role-bound prescriptions of the day. I grew up in Texas, where girls were supposed to be cute and perky, and I was a nerd with thick glasses and my nose in a book. I do think some of this is shifting. My granddaughter is 12, and excited to see the Malala movie. We watched Ghandi last night, and she brought in many perspectives and questions on the role of women in India, and everywhere in the world, even in her own schoolyard. I do understand why the author of the book Kevin referenced is reluctant to expound too much on the Yin Masculine, as the world first needs to welcome the Yang Feminine before we know what that looks like. i suspect the Yin Masculine will welcome the participation of men in the arts, and applaud expression of character and soul, in all realms of masculine and feminine existence. I also agree with Kevin's perceptions about Alma as the carrier of the inner growth of the feminine. During rehearsals I always told Lindsey, "This is Alma's play, you know." Thank you Kevin, and everyone, for your wonderful thoughts and participation!! I am sad to leave the book club, and wish you all great soulful journey, in all that you pursue!! Love, Elizabeth

  • OCT 29/15   More MASCULINE in the CASTLE: 

    Eli is the fictional cousin of the fictional character of Alma de Leon created by our brilliant 21st c playwright, author of this book and leader of our book club - Elizaberh.  Contained within the Biographical and Imaginal Origins of the Play, plus the back cover of her book, “On the Doorstep of the Castle.” Elizabeth states, “Alma [hence, her cousin, Eli – perhaps not?], were inspired by the 20c Jewish philosopher, Edith Stein, and this is where I am stopped…for Elizabeth states she was “so moved” by Stein’s story, she began...which becomes… the new, true mystery and story as our author, playwright shines through…and I need more time here…and so, I leave Eli for now…for the emerging gender beauties birthed by Elizabeth [as evidenced in this work] that have a depth of their own we have yet to behold… And then, Elizabeth shares that Stein “chanced to read Teresa’s autobiography… experienced a profound spiritual awakening… that led her to become a Camelite nun”…And then, Elizabeth reveals some of her truth…”asks herself, What if these two were to meet?” as she crafts [weaves] unbelievable, awe-inspiring and incredibly blessed pose of Jewish ancestry…”true to her time and place in history” ...And I ask…Who’s time and place are we into…just this moment...and I am taken away in the majesty of it all…beside myself once again…and can say no more…back to this place of no words...just is…but I do believe there is a song, "Eli's Coming....Peace + Love Linda

    • Dear Linda, thank you, once again for your insights and reflections. I recently found a beautiful book at the Carmelite Monestary near my house,AN  EDITH STEIN DAYBOOK: TO LIVE AT THE HAND OF THE LORD. I read the entry for October 25: "Serving love assists all creation to approach fullfillment. But that is the role given to the Holy Spirit. Thus we can see in the spirit of God,poured out over all creatures, the archetype of feminine being." --I was so moved by this. I know you live in a remote area, Linda, but I think you could find this book either on the Carmelite website, or Amazon. I have been reading the daily entries each evening, and meditating on them. Edith had such depth and wisdom. And, so do you as you ask the poignant question, "Who's time and place are we into just now, in this moment?" Surely our own sacred time, and to be in communication with each other, what a gift. 

  • OCT 27, 2015 The MASCULINE in the CASTLE:

    St. Theresa comes from a time of steady-state piety and regarding the first man, Copernicus…

    What a brilliant mind [mathematical/astrology genius]…thought she found, “with great huger for something I can believe in whole-heartedly.  I am ‘awed by the new revelations of Copernicus.  The earth beneath our feet moves, ever turning toward the sun.  It may be that soon, mankind can use our minds to explain the vast reaches of the “out there.”…But what of the “in here?”  I am plagued by an aridity of soul, I attempt to pray.  I think, “What for?  Who’s listening?”

    Wow!  Here we are 5 centuries later and within our small book club group…we are “in here” and listening to her…for/with all of our soul states - sakes!  We are taking the time…and before I get into this brief bit of time-travel amongst all of us…I need to review…God’s time:

    And in here, right now, let us weave and shift across these sands of time…as delivered to us….

    A Goggle of search of Copernicus reveals some common threads noteworthy regarding the Inquisition and subsequent heresy scandals, specific to St. Theresa and the balls [earthly; manly] set in motion [no pun intended]:

    “In Roman Catholic circles, German Jesuit Nicolaus Serarius was one of the first to write against Copernicus' theory as heretical, citing the Joshua passage, in a work published in 1609–1610, and again in a book in 1612.  In March 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be "corrected", on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was "false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture".[95] The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with scripture.[citation needed]On the orders of Pope Paul V, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine gave Galileo prior notice that the decree was about to be issued, and warned him that he could not "hold or defend" the Copernican doctrine.[i] The corrections to De revolutionibus, which omitted or altered nine sentences, were issued four years later, in 1620.[96]  In 1633 Galileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for "following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture",[97] and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

    It is clear, she is young and unknowing and struggled for 2 decades with prayer…the Potters hand is upon her and she knows not what to do with all of it.  I can relate…I’m elderly and still blown away, taken away by all of it!

    This is all I say right now…home renovations are calling…till next time…I hope someone else sends forth their words…in here, now…Peace + Love Linda

  • Good afternoon Elizabeth - Wow and yes, let us wonder deeply and I can hardly wait to hear from Kevin and his thoughts about the 21st century man...then, I remember ELO singing this song [way back when] and low and behold, someone in the now has paid homage to the Jeff Lynne for this song, his work....

    Like you, Elizabeth I see many beautiful men [Yin Masculine] out there in the world, and fortunate me, in my private space...Peace + Love Linda

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