Question from A.P.:
On pg. 154 of 'To Live Within', Sri Anirvan says the following:
"A woman can reach this awakening state through "natural intelligence," that is, through her essence, whereas a man can reach it only through voluntary sacrifice and personal discipline. there is no other way for him."
How is this to be interpreted? Is it simply due to the nature of the feminine/masculine essences that they benefit more from one work more than the other?
"There is no other way for him" ... why?
Women and men are fundamentally different. A woman's essence is closely aligned with her emotions. A man's isn't. This is a natural condition; and in some ways it makes man the weaker of the pair.
If we study Eckhart, we will understand (intellectually, at least) that the essential nature of God is fecund. When we have a practical encounter with a higher energy as a formative quality within Being (if it is a real and durable one) we will understand that it is also essentially fecund—that is, generative, creative, nurturing and forever giving birth (again, Eckhart's eternal movement into birth of the divine—a Leitmotif of his sermons.) For example:
When the spark of intellect is taken barely in God, then the 'husband' is alive. Then the birth takes place, then the Son is born. This birth does not take place once a year or once a month or once a day, but all the time, that is, above time in the expanse where there is no here or now, nor nature nor thought.
—The Complete Mystical Works, Sermon 31, p. 188
Women, since they are the naturally created receivers of the materially manifested fecundity of God, are directly aligned with this creative principle in a way that is forever barred to men. This is why women are emotional adepts. Men are aligned not with the creative intelligence of the universe, but the structural intelligence. These two intelligences are fundamentally different.
The creative intelligence is more intuitively able to find God because of its emotional nature. God is Love; and because this is a feeling quality, a woman is naturally inclined to it. Men, whose structural intelligence is related to wisdom (the next-highest quality) have to complete an emotional octave which is already in a definitive sense already present in women. I say definitive, because it is what defines them.)
In this men and women balance one another, because women are always inclined to be more loving than men; and men are inclined to be more wise than women. This never takes away one from the other, because they are meant to be in relationship and find balance, and women are actually superior to men, because Love forever trumps Wisdom. Nonetheless, we see an unwise love can be nearly as destructive as an unloving wisdom. Structural order is as essential as love; it just comes second (it is the chicken, not the egg.)
In today's world, we are dominated by unloving wisdom, which is, in a nutshell, what technology consists of. You may love your cell phone; but it will never love you.
Because of their essential and very physical separation from the eternally fecund, eternally emotive (and inherently loving) root of being, men must suffer much more in order to discover their true inner Being. Voluntary and intentional sacrifice is needed, because wisdom without love is essentially willful, that is, it follows its own counsel. Discipline and sacrifice are necessary in order to change this; in other words, a man must much more go against what he is in order to develop a connection to God, because his inherent condition is one of opposition to God—holy denying—whereas a woman plays the role of holy affirming.
The child (the generative result of union between man and woman) is always the reconciling function in this duality; hence the Christ. Inevitably, Mary was the receiver of the Christ Child, not Joseph; and not by biology alone.