This interview between The Wise editor Hasan Sonsuz Çeliktaş and The Wise writers Burak Eldem and Cem Şen discuss the current situation of feminine energy and if women embody the power to rescue our world from its impending problems.
Women are more interested in spiritual, mystic and alternative history research more than men, aren’t they? Why are most of our readers women? Or, before answering these questions, let me ask another one: Do you agree with me, do women read more than men?
Yes, women seem more interested in these subjects. I have two theories: First, the spiritual world requires submission and intuitive perception and women carry these abilities more than men due to their nature, and second, today’s spirituality is based more on the “Yin” aspects. That means part of the “Yang” teachings are lacking. This is not common in the West. As a result, spirituality seems to appeal to women more. Yang subjects, like martial arts, seem to fit men; whereas, Yin subjects, such as meditation, look feminine. Of course, there are some women and men who have an interest in these subjects; however, women seem more interested in spirituality. My theories can be discussed.
Let me try to give a plain and more common answer. Yes, the majority of my readers are also women. I cannot give you an accurate rate, but I assume that more than 60 percent of my readers are women. This is not because they have interest in a certain subject, certain disciplines and tastes, but a result of a common tendency. I believe that women are more analytical, easily focused and willing to delve deeply into the subjects they feel an interest in.
Of course, I can’t claim that this is globally valid, but the current situation leaves this impression. This picture also fits the key components of my own worldview. Women initiated the residential civilization; women invented agriculture, and women established the temple system. Today, the rules of society under the hegemony of men blunted some of the qualities of women; however, women still carry these basic features and their genetic characteristics.
Cem, you mentioned that spirituality consists of Yin energies which appeal to women, and things like martial arts carry Yang energies and resonates more for men. Could you explain these more deeply? Could diving too much into Yin energies harm masculinity?
We can classify all teachings under two basic groups—the Yin and the Yang. Yin studies are softer and relaxing and require submission and belief; whereas, Yang studies are more dynamic, more brutal and more revitalizing. Spiritual studies include Yin energies more; they are introverted and require facing up to the inner world, feelings, fears and weaknesses. To be honest, men may be hesitant to get in touch with their inner world and fears just because they were taught so, and they’re men! On the other hand, women don’t fear crying and do not perceive inner awareness as a weakness; they feel more comfortable looking inward than men.
Regarding the harm of spirituality to masculinity, I can only say that if Yang studies do not encompass Yin, they can lead to machismo; yet on the other hand, Yin studies without Yang may have the opposite effect. I do not mean it in terms of sexuality. For example, if a person stays awake at night, their sexual energy could be lower. The sexual energies of people who live in Northern climates can also be lower. This is because the outer energy affects the inner. I do not prefer to use this knowledge in terms of sexuality, but they are interlinked. It’s inevitable that spiritual development is also related with sexual energy. To reach a certain spiritual development, sexual energy should be used correctly.
Let’s discuss feminine energy in terms of socio-cultural and spiritual perspective, but also link all these with the transformation period we currently live in on earth. Burak, you mentioned that although we are living in a world where men rule, women are actually the creators of all change. So, will women lead the creation of the “new world order”? Will this transformation period be the time for the re-awakening of women? In this context, do you think that trying to suppress women of a country which is at the intersection point of three continents has a symbolic meaning in terms of conservatism?
Let’s start from a simple point. First of all, this is a matter of existentialism, or for a better explanation, a matter of genetic character. Even before the emergence of civilization, women always were prone to be “resident” and “hostess” and a man’s role was more active, changeable and dynamic. Women give birth to children, raise them and prepare them for a social life. Women are the overseers of the house. These womanly characteristics naturally created a sharing role. Women’s roles were to make long-term plans and create ideas and solve general issues, while a man’s role was more practical and short-term. I am talking about 6,000 years ago.
Now let’s have a look at the spiritual perception of that time. Mother Earth is fertile, a protector and defender and she can also be perceived as a Cosmic Mother. Quite evident is the weight of women in long-term planning for social structure and the process of transforming the society. Temples, which were built to Mother Earth, were the first spiritual and intellectual places where knowledge was systemized, protected and developed. Modern researchers and experts object to the term “matriarchal” for this period because they perceive this term as a counter-argument to today’s “patriarchal” system. Instead of “matriarchal,” they prefer to use the terms “matrifocal” or “mother-centric.” Here, one sex is not more dominant than the other; on the contrary, we see complete equality and role sharing. However, at a certain period of time, violence and brute force obtained the power, and the system reversed so we have still experienced this for the past 5,000 years. During this period, women were suppressed; they were prevented from contributing to society’s basic functions, and with the emergence of a class society, the first step was to suppress women.
If we believe this wave of suppression is prone to reversal and demand a future where women will be more free and productive, then we should agree that this sad part of past history should be repaired and change should take place to maintain a system with no class distinction and where individuals are free to use their abilities and efforts to find their place in society. In short, the freedom of women will be absolute evidence and a society without classes will no longer be considered a “utopia.” This makes us nearer to an historical transformation; however, we cannot forecast how long this will take.
Here is a brief answer to your question. The land of Anatolia stands as the place where the first seeds of civilization were sowed and also the homeland of the Mother Goddess concept and the mother-centric social structure. Today, thousands of years later, it is both irritating and ironic that women are still suppressed socially, politically, economically, psychologically, and of course, sexually. We need to clarify one thing however: Freedom will not be given to women as a gift for showing their magnanimity. Women will achieve this freedom by themselves; they will develop and claim freedom as their own.
During this process we will, of course, see apparent approaches from some people saying “With my free will, I give up my freedom and I want to chain myself to the rules of androcracy.” However, I believe that the trend is to support women and it is women who have the key to transformation.
Cem, Burak’s sentence was impressive: “this sad part of past history should be repaired and change should take place to maintain a system…” Could we relate this repair with the spirituality we live? By turning to our inner world and discovering ourselves, could we reveal our feminine energy and trigger a revolution for healing ourselves?
First of all, we need to evaluate the approaches towards spirituality all over the world; however, this is not easy. Spirituality in Turkey is not the same in China or the U.S.A. Throughout history, spirituality has been mainly based on the structure of the tribe and the land in which it was born. All monotheist religions and Shamanic methods all differ with the location of birth and their experiences in that place. This brings up a question: Do I only need teachings of my homeland, where I live, and not need the others?
A totally different issue exists about feminine or masculine spirituality. I admit that in ancient times spirituality was feminine-based. For instance, in the Altai region, if the Shaman man did not have a dress, he would wear a woman’s dress for the ritual. Of course, this reflects the nature of Altai teaching. Shamanism creates a connection with spirits (good or evil); so, it can be classified as a Yin teaching. But it is not experienced in the same way in other cultures. Shamanism in China is different that Shamanism in America in terms of their methods.
There is something I need to emphasize in this context. Some people think that spirituality disappeared in the modern era, and now we are trying to rediscover it with some new trends and hope to make the world a better place. I disagree, however; the spiritual trend has never disappeared. Spirituality is an integrated component of the hardware of life. Spirituality is a “default” component for the human. Humans always need to believe in something and find answers to their bigger questions; this is normal. That’s why, instead of thinking that something has been and we should find it, we must see the new realities and ask ourselves what we can do with these realities.
I do not know if women or men will start this transformation; however, the Goddess cult and the feminine energy has been popular since the 90s and many people discuss how to awaken this energy. Goddess or the feminine energy is not something specifically related to women. We all have this energy and it defines some certain understanding. This energy relates to protecting, caring, feeding and forgiveness. I think it is wise to say that this energy will repair the damage caused to the world. Of course, sympathy, forgiveness and being protective are valuable features; however, thinking this energy will protect us from the damage of an asteroid with a 50km diameter seems to be an unlikely approach. If there is a possibility of destruction, we do not know how it will happen or where it will come.
Unfortunately, we know nothing. We can only point to our current problems and give some advice for solutions. We may argue if this is enough or not. The reason is hidden in the expertise we receive in time. The secret lies here. Without expertise, we cannot analyze any situation. Unfortunately, we evaluate time towards the past, not the future. That is; we argue from analogy. We say, “If this happened, then this can happen” in light of our past experiences. However, this is not the way time or reality works.
Today, we can see the contributions of Hellenistic Civilization to Rome, Rome leading to Byzantine and the effect of Byzantine on Europe and the Ottoman Empire; however, during the Roman Empire, we did not know it would create Byzantine. We did not know the Seljuk Empire would lead to Ottoman. What we could know is that everything living dies, every creature disappears and everything that rises falls. These are certain facts. While the fall of one thing is perceived as bad, it is always a new beginning of another. The end of the Seljuk Empire was a lucky beginning for the Ottoman Empire.
Today’s people look very anxious in this respect. If something ends, let it end. The endings are inevitable parts of our lives. Let it end and leave a space for a new one.
Dear Burak, you said women have the key to transformation. I think this has to be emphasized and explained in detail. How will women achieve this transformation? Must they revolt or is there another way? And what’s the position of men then? Or let’s say, what’s the position of men who read this interview, think about these subjects, and then try to understand themselves?
First of all, let me make a correction. I did not mean let’s find what we have lost in the past. Every era has its own dynamics. To see how we came here, we need to look at the past and confirm the breaking points. I agree we should not be afraid of the endings because the whole cosmos is based on endings and beginnings or death and rebirth. However, we should see what is ending and feel what is about to begin.
Let me come back to your question. Carrying the key of transformation does not mean that women should revolt and start a war with men. First of all, women should perceive their existence and potential, and what abilities they have, they should use throughout life. They have this ability genetically. The critical point we see is that modern life tries to actively pull women into a producing cycle. This is not to give women their freedom and independence, but an effort to strengthen the immunity of the system.
Under an image of the “successful and independent woman,” there is a woman who became like a man, who adapted to the man’s world and its rules. This is not shortening the path to freedom and equality, but builds a barrier instead. Women today undertake some roles to gain power in a modern life; however, these roles do not suit their natural characteristics.
Women should be aware of their own existence; instead of playing by men’s rules, they should perceive themselves as the actresses of a new world with equal roles. In this way, men’s perception about women then becomes more important. Even modern and prudent men think women should be bestowed freedom. A woman is neither a castle to conquer nor a harbor to shelter. We have to find out how to be real “partners” in the most natural way.
Women who respect themselves and do not surrender to men or to men’s rules, and men who respect themselves and do not try to conquer or to dominate women, can build a healthy society. By achieving this, we can experience “real love” with all its simplicity and reality. And of course, we will then enjoy sexuality, not based on “reproduction” and “tyranny in bed,” but an enthusiastic, exciting and sharing one. Spirituality becomes important at that point. As much as we realize our differences and how we complete ourselves, we will learn how to make better love.
The path on which women and men walk together is determined by the existing conditions. If the new generation can handle this positive shift, a healthy transformation can be achieved. However, nothing works as ideal as it should. This transformation can lead to different directions and different trends. We can conclude that this coming era will take shape as much as women and men know themselves and if they achieve walking together.
The prevailing motto of the sixties was “Make love, not war!” So, what can be the motto of today’s generation? “Make love but it should be satisfactory”? I would like to mention sexuality and the sexual communication between women and men.
First of all, I will touch on some points that Burak mentioned. There are some intellectuals who can sense what will happen in the future, and Burak is certainly one of them, no kidding. However, neither Burak nor the others have sanction over anyone, and they do not have a plan to do so. Why? Their mission is to point out problems not to give solutions. I don’t mean this as criticism. This is what they should actually do. If someone comes out with a plan to rescue the world, I would never believe him; and furthermore, I would think that this person could be dangerous. However, I trust in Daniel Quinn’s intuitions about the future. His writings reached millions of readers, but did they create any change? Yes, but very limited.
We do not know if this limited affect can reach a large and meaningful result in the long term. Perceiving the problem and getting ready for it globally qualifies as near utopia. The future is only known by some groups who have the power to determine the world order or these groups react very quickly and manipulate the development. These do not block Burak from sensing what is going on, and of course, he will also write about these happenings. Unfortunately, his affect will be very limited. Perhaps a small number of people can benefit from what he says.
Conversely, this is not what I argue; I object seeing this as a problem of women. We mentioned the suppression of women, who without power, forgot their roles, and became like men. Is it only me who hear complaints as “Where are all these men?” and “There is no man like a real man!” Or do I have too many women friends? While women started acting like men, men also began to be more like women! The people whose roles are limited within the social structure are still living in a patriarchal society, that’s true! However, the decision-makers are not only men. Women forgot their roles, but men have as well. I can make an assumption about where this will lead, but I do not know about its truth or not.
First of all, we know the female population is decreasing. This seems to be a natural way of controlling reproduction. The sperm count of men is also decreasing. Women began to adopt men’s attitudes and men did the opposite. In the near future, the woman will go to work and men will take care of the children at home. We will see more examples of this and won’t find this strange. I don’t know if it is good or bad. I only feel that we are moving to a future where the two genders will meet in the middle.
So what shall we do about it? Or what can we do? I know some sexual energy exercises. I mean, I can survive. Ok, I am just kidding, I do not know where this will lead. Even if I know a few steps to take, I do not know how to prevent this from happening. If I have the power to change it, I’m not sure if this must be stopped or not. This will not be a “make love, not war” era like the sixties.
Moreover, for sexual intercourse, two bodies should create masculine and feminine energies in the right amount. These two opposite energies create a kind of tension and this tension creates a sexual excitement which starts intercourse. But, how shall this happen if women have become more Yang and men have become more Yin? I think it will not be easy. Perhaps the motto of the new generation will be “Don’t make love, don’t make war.”
As we all know, there are two main reasons for nearly everything in the world—money and sex. So, if there is less sexuality and less war, there will be nothing left for humans to do. What can the human do? Perhaps a new type can emerge, for example, a spiritual human. In Latin, it can be something like Homo Spiritus. When we take out sex from the equation, the energy goes directly to the spiritual channels. With the decrease in sexual activity, enlightenment can be achieved. As much as women become more dominant and more successful in the business world, they begin to turn away from sex and prefer more passive and feminine men. That means the roles shift partially, not totally perhaps.
So, if these two energies can meet somewhere in the middle, I think our sexual life will be affected and maybe this will be good in a way. Perhaps, the world population decreases, who knows? We do not know if something will be good or bad in the end.
So Burak, what will you say now?
Well, to be honest, I am disappointed with Cem’s words. When he said he had some counter arguments, I thought he was going to give an answer including some Taoist sexuality concepts. But he did not inform us about these techniques, and furthermore, he blamed men saying that they became “soft and sort of metro sexual.” I do not want to say anything from now on.
All the kidding aside, let me make one single comment: Whatever the social affects, changes and non-biologic factors, DNA and hormones do not change, and men will not stop working even if they look after babies at home. Also, this cannot be a general attitude everywhere, only for the urban area perhaps. In the rural areas of Turkey, men still have the power because we know that in our society, we still face honor killing.
This interview has been very serious. Let’s relax a little. You know Cem writes about Tao love-making techniques. Cem, do these subjects affect people by discovering their sexuality? I mean do we really need such techniques to stimulate sexual energy? Or can we stimulate kundalini with classic methods?
First, let me have fun with Burak. This became very funny. Burak, of course, DNA is powerful but if you inject a great amount of estrogen to men, they change. If you like, you can drink two liters of soy milk everyday. We can talk about these later, Burak; you know this is my field of expertise. By the way, men consume too much milk. In sausages, biscuits and even in bread, there is too much soy and soy is a Yin food. And too much Yin can change the hormonal structure. Even our genes are too strong; the conditions we live in, our nutrition preferences, our approach to life, friends we spend time with and even how we breathe all affect our sexual structure and mental condition.
Now, let me answer your question my dear The Wise Editor. It is true that if applied accurately, some spiritual activities can increase sexual joy. There are many methods. Tao techniques are the most famous ones. If we really succeed to understand a Taoist approach, our sexual lives will be livelier, the joy we get will reach a peak, and in parallel, our health will get better.
There are many methods for increasing the sexual energy of men and women and also the joy of the sexual intercourse. There are really too efficient but separate methods for men and women. Additionally, nutrition is a crucial factor. For example, meat is highly Yang and consuming too much meat can increase the sexual energy of men. But this is not enough. If it were enough, the sperm count of men who consume a lot meat would be higher. The third factor is the state of mind and this is where we need meditation.
The fourth factor is breathing. We may even say that breathing is the only thing that increases sexual energy. Of course, increasing sexual energy does not guarantee a better sexual life. The quality of sexual life is based on the state of mind, the conditions of the body, and even on the day’s climate.
By the way, there are some attitudes that can destroy our sexual life. For example, greediness and too much expectation destroy the quality of sexuality. I mean, more does not mean better. Sometimes, less can be better. A moderate sexual energy is best. I personally try to be cautious when teaching some methods to my students. For example, there are some breathing techniques that can stimulate men more than Viagra and stimulate women more than getting aphrodisiacs. Furthermore, these exercises do not consume the energy of the individual after the activity. I think this has been a very long answer, so let me summarize: Yes, with these teachings we can increase our sexual energy and have a high quality sexual life.
I would like to thank you all. We will also be having many more of these conversations in coming issues of The Wise.