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The Elemental Dimension of Gender

The Elemental Dimension of Gender

“If you give yourself some time off from your office, family, friends, social media, phones, and computers, you will realize the need to transcend your present limitations.”


On this Spot, Sadhguru addresses the subject of gender, piercing through social, cultural, or biological definitions to reveal its deeper, elemental expressions. He also throws light on the question if gender is an absolute constant within us, on the level of the five elements, or if there is a possibility to go beyond it. He says, “If you give yourself some time off from your office, family, friends, social media, phones, and computers, you will realize the need to transcend your present limitations.”

I always used to say there are only two places where your gender should matter – bathrooms and bedrooms, nowhere else. But now even which bathroom to go to has become a subject of debate. This brings up the question how deep-rooted gender actually is in the human system. While biological expressions are apparent, does it also reflect on the level of the five elements within the body? Generally, there is a difference in tendencies between men and women on the elemental level, though this need not apply to every individual. The female is leaning more towards water, while the male is leaning more towards earth. This gives a female a certain level of flexibility, both in body and mind. Leaning towards earth gives a male a sense of firmness, assertion, rigidity, and strength of manifestation.

By nature, women generally tend more towards intuitiveness, whereas men tend more towards reasoning. Again, this need not hold true for everyone, but the general tendency is that a woman wants to experience life – a man wants to understand life. This big difference in approach exists because in one, the water element is dominant, whereas in the other, the earth element is dominant. The remaining elements play differently in each individual. Whether you are a man or a woman, you can train yourself to become competent of what the other gender is generally more competent of, in the mental space. Essentially, the disposition of the basic elements in men and women is the way it is to fulfill basic functions of being male or female. These functions can be argued about today because with our cities, homes, and workplaces, we have created an artificial world of our own where gender differences are leveled out. But if you lived in the wild, these dispositions were natural requirements. And above all, we need to consider that fundamentally, we exist because a woman who we call our mother bore us. This means generating the next generation is a function of the female body. Because of that, the female body is made in a certain way. For this reproductive purpose, water is a very important element.

Up to a certain age, the elemental composition of the male and the female system is engineered in such a way that both are complementary to each other. Later in life, the elements in the male and the female body reorganize themselves independently. However, people are unfortunately conditioned to believe that they have to maintain certain social arrangements, particularly when it comes to marriage and family, all their life – otherwise this judgmental and stigmatizing society labels them as copouts. Because of this, and because of habit, and emotional and psychological insecurity, people continue their relationship with the opposite sex beyond that point. The rapport between the elemental tendencies of the female and the male systems, i.e. one leaning towards water and the other towards earth, is only temporary. How quickly you go beyond gender-based tendencies also depends on how much akash you develop within yourself. If you want to transcend your present limitations, enhance your perception beyond the five senses and the physical dimension, and explore the mystical nature of existence, increasing the proportion of akash within your system is vital. Now the question is how to enhance your akash. First of all, physical creation does not manifest just by mixing the five elements of earth, water, air, fire, and akash (ether). Before physical creation happened, there was only emptiness or shoonya. From shoonya arose the first element, akash. All the other elements are consequences of akash.

Enhancing akash does not mean creating empty space in your head. Enhancing akash means moving towards your original nature, both spiritually and physiologically. If your tendency goes towards akash, the spiritual longing overrides all other needs. When akash is the dominant element in your system, physical aspects become less important. This does not mean neglecting physicality but transcending it. Transcendence means to rise above present limitations. People generally define themselves based on their racial, religious, national, or gender identifications, or personality traits. Essentially, you define yourself through your limitations, or the boundaries that you have set for yourself. Increasing the proportion of akash and turning spiritual means defining yourself through boundlessness. And boundlessness does not have a definition.

Once your perception rises beyond the physical nature, there is no male or female. There is just a human form that can be made competent in many different ways. Competence is not just in terms action but also perception. You can increase your competence not only as a person but as a life. You can become more alive. Every human being is capable of knowing life in a larger dimension. The aspiration to transcend is latently present in everyone. If you give yourself some time off from your office, family, friends, social media, phones, and computers, you will realize the need to transcend your present limitations. This does not require any teaching or goading. Every human being will know the limitations of their existence if they give themselves the needed time. Once you become conscious of your own boundaries, the longing to go Beyond is a natural outcome.

Love & Grace,


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