In His Own Image
Genesis 1:27 – So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Medical science confirms the biblical narrative of Creation in the sense that the brain and body of male and female fetuses undergo the same chemical engineering – the same genderless processes. For both male and female embryos, as ‘in his own image’, the template is the same for roughly the first eight weeks.
About This Mind-Meander: Within the context of this particular mind-meander, karma is understood to be the pre-selected blend of the new being’s actions in previous states of existence that are intended to be amended in this lifetime.
Inherited karma sets up this new ‘persona’ with the set of tailored ‘tools’ best suited to enable him or her to amend through self-reflection what needs to be modified in through this new cycle for the greater good of self and the greater good of all.
Knowing that we are all born for a very specific reason, there is one essential point to keep in mind: the ‘editable’ karmic blueprint of the physical and mental potential for each fetus.
Amazing Two Weeks: Within the first fifteen days of conception, pre-ordained blends of chemicals that vary widely regarding the type, blend and dosage of myriad chemicals begin to shape the embryos’ DNA which, in the fullness of time, forms brains and bones as well as defines genders. Thus, some genes get switched on while others get switched off, and others are intentionally ‘overlooked’ altogether.
The equally highly variable dosage of testosterone and oestrogen eventually pre-disposes all fetuses in regards to the expression of their gender and sexual orientation on the continuum – and how they will find themselves karmically tested to best deal with their preferences – but that challenge kicks in later, much later.
Not Much Choice Already Then: Beyond that, varied and lengthy seasonal patterns, as well as recurring sounds from the outside world, also affect the development of the fetuses – as does the eating, drinking and emotional patterns of the mothers along with their responses to ambient physical and emotional environments.
This synergy creates the template for the fetuses’ ultimate physical appearance, short or long-term health status and baseline personality as toddlers who, by karmic intention, will more often than not grow up to be adults.
From the moment of birth, the mix of chemicals further hardwires the brain to seek pleasure, any pleasure and to avoid pain, any pain – including, in adulthood, the pain incurred by self-reflection and self-restraint.
The experiences of our early years topped by ideas passed on to us as children as a part of the process of our upbringing will go on ‘solidifying’ the neural structure of the brain’s reward system and, in lockstep, so will the always encroaching and forever conditioning societal mores.
This unique and brilliant engineering is done ‘in our name’. Its sum, one moment at a time, creates a predisposition for karmic realities to come – tests and challenges by any other names – the very stuff that the grown-up ‘fetuses’ we eventually become need to accept as the par-for-the-course of our emotional growth.
Nothing more and nothing less.
As any wishful card players, Male and Female alike, in our day-to-day as babies, toddlers, teenagers, adults and well into our old age, we must deal with the hand that has been given to us for there is no other – at least, not in this lifetime.
Years will go by and, regardless of our age and our assumed degree of maturity, on any given day, at any given moment, our primary impulse will always be to follow the line of least resistance in pursuit of elusive gratification.
This mindset travels the same well-trodden pathway which has, from aeons back, rendered utterly elusive the contentment we are karmically programmed to seek, are intended and completely able to attain – in spite of, at times, odds that appear star-crossed.
Again in this, Female and Male, we are equal.
Reality check #1: We allow our emotions to colour our thoughts and therefore our physical and emotional landscapes.
Regardless of our age, gender and sexual fluidity, race, and social status, we allow them to dictate the next chain of decisions, the next chain of events that will play out in the reality of upcoming moments.
Though so many of our dramas seem similar to those of a multitude of others’, from start to finish, it pays to remember that we have always had an active hand in shaping the choreography of each our highs and lows.
Even our in-between moments are the partial results of the often mechanical aspects of our decision-making processes and predilection for the avoidance of pain and humbling self-reflection. Even our inactions contribute parts of the tale of our lives.
Reality check #2: Whether our decisions turn out to be for the greater good of all and of self – or not – they always trigger ripples that metaphorically swirl, not just at our feet or way over our heads. They flood our loved ones in different ways. Invisible to us, some of these ripples also somehow impact on various others – even on some who are strangers to us.
Reality check #3: We each breathe within the balance sheet of our cumulative circumstances. We continue to do so until the moment Soul suspends our breath. That happens in the nanosecond she permanently stops ‘breathing’ us because our time on Earth, in this incarnation, has reached its karmic end. One cycle ends – another begins.
To Breathe or Be Breathed: As an aside, the notion of ‘being breathed’ can sound odd within the lexicon of a language that has evolved using the verb To breathe in the active voice: I breathe (as in I eat and I love). But, technically, the passive voice, I am breathed, (as in I am fed, and I am loved) is the correct one.
Truly, if there is one action over which we, humans, have no more control than any other mammals, it is the ‘reflex’ action of the breath flowing in through our nostrils. At least, for as long as are intended to remain alive, even if only from within the deep dimness of a coma.
Each of the many bodily functions that keep us healthy is performed ‘for us’ – including the natural healing of our skin and flesh. Our bodies have been designed to accept each function passively. We fret and seek all manner of medical support when, for reasons beyond our understanding, these so-called bodily functions fail us.
In each of these aspects too, we, Female and Male, have been created equal.
Body Beautiful: Michael Angelo’s statue, David, is beautifully executed. Yes, it represents the enduring expression of a beautiful young male body which, incidentally, is said to be that of a young King David, King of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
But then, Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo is presumably an equally well-executed and faithful replica of Aphrodite of Milo’s beautiful body.
In Mediocrity We Are Equal: Of course, most men, even more so now than then, do not have a body that rivals David’s.
Not many male bodies are forged through the strenuous exercise of military training, the hardship of ongoing battles through famine and wars waged on foot. They are not shaped either by gruelling work done in the fields and villages – year in, year out – through the summer and the winter months, hefting heavy beams, tools, caged animals and so on.
Equally, most women do not have a body that, left to its own device, rivals that of Aphrodite.
Bottom line: when it comes to owning the vastly varying degrees of body aesthetics, Male and Female, we are all equal in our mediocrity.
Serious Questions: So, then, why is it that to this day we still collectively behave as if we truly accepted that Man’s spirit and body are to be emulated?
Why are Woman’s spirit and body [however sexualised] are forever demeaned as imperfect, incomplete, tainted and irrevocably flawed – not ‘in’ the image of God?
Why, then, when born energetically equal and equally pre-loaded with amendable karmic blueprints that overlap regarding character strengths/weaknesses and purpose, are we not be able to cultivate our vital energies equally and together – for the greater good of self and of others?
Binah Yeteirah: The Jewish Talmud tells us that Woman was created with ‘binah yeteirah‘, a profound awareness and insight. Made wise from that essence or energy, Woman has always been intended [and able] to understand intuitively and act correctly from the inside-out – should she wish to do so.
There was perhaps a time in history when Woman’s wisdom was the source of genuine respect, not just for a few said to be blessed with ‘the Gift’, but for all.
However, whether we peer back into the long distant past or observe daily moments in real time, it appears that Man and Woman have allowed ‘progress’ [from one generation to the next] to erode the respect for the ‘binah yeteirah‘ granted to Woman as her edge in the balance of power.
Till Death Do Us Part: Woman’s unadulterated natural energy is one of deep intuition and understanding. Its end point is her ability to Nurture. She is intended to invest this authentic energy into the well-being of her children. Equally, she is to care for the well-being of her loved ones, of her community and of the planet which sustains her with its sun rays, its air, water, crops, flora, insects, fellow animals and fellow humans.
Woman’s insight and her understanding are meant to be assisted [or vice versa] by Man’s inherent ability to respond from the brave and kind heart-energy from which he is intended to Protect by his children, his loved ones, his colleagues and all elements relevant to his environment.
To nurture and protect, to hold and cherish, till death takes us away from this earth, almost as the old marriage vows used to be phrased, is our combined duty – our joint karmic duty.
A Throwback From The Eighties: As an aside, joyless but brilliant, The Handmaid’s Tale, set in a near-future dark, dystopic society in which women are depersonalised and robbed of all autonomy, has just reached the end of its first season. The start-up premise set up by Margaret Atwood more than 30 years ago is easy to accept. Chemicals from any number of sources have rendered the majority of women unable to bring forth new life.
The minority of women lucky enough to still be fertile are rounded up and deprived of all agency. Once ruthlessly captured by men in black combat gear, fingers poised on the trigger of their assault weapons, these women are indoctrinated by kapo-styled female guards.
They have no other option than to accept subjugation and produce healthy children for the ruling intelligentsia – or die trying if they don’t die trying to escape.
Would You Watch It? Yet, it is hard to imagine that men’s reproductive systems would not be equally affected. Understandably, it would be a brave crew of creative minds who, even today, might dare imagine a ‘credible’ and gripping alternative plot.
A country in which men would, en masse, be debased, broken and controlled to the point of having to impregnate in the most perfunctory, mechanical of manners the infertile wives of men of the intelligentsia under the resentful, vigilant eye of their husbands – while fearing for their lives.
Can this be even envisaged?
Fiction Fits In: Here is how fiction fits in with this current mind-meander.
If it is true that our energies go where our thoughts go, fiction notwithstanding, a very chaotic and painful entropic devolution is, most likely, the unavoidable outcome for us as a civilisation.
If our cultural and social default patterns continue to push the next couple of generations to drift, as ours has pushed along by ideologies that have neither worked well for the greater good of the self nor for the greater good of all] they, too, will generate energies that are counter-productive.
The global community will, then, adopt the practices of a callous, amoral, dysfunctional ethos.
No crystal ball needed.
© 2016 Carole Claude Saint-Clair