The Paradox of Masculine and Feminine Sexuality as a Precursor to Consciousness
Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.”(Gen 1:26-28)
The first paradox this passage poses is the question of the one and the many aspects of God (Clarke, 2001). This issue arises when a singular God refers to itself in the plural form. The use of the plural, “us” and “our” poses a paradox that suggests dual aspects of God exist within the singular concept of a Christian monotheistic deity. The construct of God is referred to as “us” in this passage, while man, the singular concept of Adam is referred to as “them.” The paradox of this passage is obvious, which ultimately shows somewhat of a mystery that must be pondered.
The one and many aspects of God that is “us” and “our” is formed into the “likeness” of “them” that represents “man” in its plural essence. While Christianity was able to navigate many polytheistic religions during its early formation, the dual aspect of God is apparent in this passage and “man,” who is created in the “likeness” of God also exists in a dually masculine and feminine construct.
“In the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” This passage has both psychological and biological ramifications. Genetically, a person is assigned their sex the moment conception occurs. Sexual assignment is dependent on the chromosomal sequences the spermatozoa embeds into the ovum at the moment of conception. Biologically, creation is dependent on the dualistic construct of two genetic sequences uniting in molecular matter that creates new consciousness. The biological foundation for one’s personal psychology underlies these initial creative events that cause new life to take form, which in turn assures to survival of the species. From a psychobiological perspective, it appears that consciousness is an adaptive force that yearns to take part in the same creative force present in the book of Genesis, which may prompt the likeness we have to the creative force that underlies our personal and collective ontology.
A second paradox occurs in the passage states when it states that “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” God creates “man” in “his” image. I quote the use of “man” and “his” from this passage not to disregard feminist philosophy, but to draw attention to the paradox that occurs when a God that is originally “us” becomes a God that is masculine, yet represents both masculine and feminine traits.
Perhaps, the God that is “us” in the preceding sentence indicates the relational dynamics that occur between male and female as they take part in the creative force that ultimately creates new consciousness. On the other hand, perhaps a God that is “us” represents the paradoxical split the psyche incurs as it accounts for its existence as being a sexually assigned microcosmic entity in a primarily neutral macrocosm that dwarfs individual egoism. The neutrality of God that is “us” is beyond the sexual assignment of a creation that is “them” (humanity). It simply transcends the level of paradoxical consciousness that assigns a polarized category to any level of conscious, forming an ideal whole out of the collective parts. In Taoism, this idea is present in the Yin and Yang, a mirroring symbol that shows the divine unity that exists through the creative interaction that occurs between masculine and feminine energy as it aspires towards its opposite, yet inclusive end.
Humanity is initially introduced as a monistic form of consciousness, from which the image of man and woman are inseparable from the creator, but also dually present as a split manifestation of the consciousness that underlies their creation. By labeling God “he,” a paradox occurs that separates humanity from the unitary nature of God that represents both “us” and the monotheistic construct apparent in the Judeo-Christian religion. However, because we fall from grace and assume a consciousness that categorizes its existence as separate from the creator, we ultimately deny God’s presence within the individual consciousness that is created in the image of its creator.
In this passage, God looses the characteristics of omnipotence when assigned the particular human characteristic of a human identification. Our all too human capacity to categorize is a remnant of consciousness bestowed upon us from the fall, which will be explored in a further article in this series. The concept of God cannot be categorized, because it is inclusive of “us” and “them,” yet remains singularly present unto itself. The concept of God transcends the capacity consciousness has to categorize. By assigning a sexual category to the nature of a God that is “us,” humanity denies not only one-half of the equation needed for creation, but also the gender-neutral perspective of a God that represents humanity in its wholeness.
The process of mending the dichotomy that separates woman and man from God’s creative force becomes the very path that humanity must traverse to realize integral states of consciousness that exists in the divine light of a God that transcends paradoxical awareness. However, the prototypical man and woman of this passage have yet to become aware of their true essence and have yet realize their destiny inside of creation. Prototypical man and woman in this passage are only representations of a consciousness that created their nature; life has yet to touch their soul, and they have yet to attain knowledge of the sexual forces that drive their ability to take part in God’s creative plan.
I will explore these constructs further in the next article.
Clarke, W. N. (2001). The one and the many: A contemporary thomistic metaphysics. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.