A culture where status, rights, and opportunity aren’t granted equally to all citizens cannot say that it values equality. In the absence of equality, selective supremacy exists granting some citizens more privileged than others. Supremacy and privilege are hallmarks of cultures dominated by yang energies. The aggressive, every man for himself, hierarchy-loving focus of these cultures is very yang. These days, we label cultures like this “patriarchies” because they are male-dominated. Yang cultures hold as sacred the belief that the ends justify the means, winning always matters, and the use of force to solve problems is acceptable.
The end result of embracing these concepts is a civilization that glorifies personal and financial success, places individual rights over the good of the collective, and engages in violent activities and wars. This inevitably creates a class-based culture that, by definition, is not a culture of equality.
Equality, on the other hand, sits in the energy of yin, which is the balancing energy to yang. Yin is the receptive, greater good-embracing, equality-loving focus that epitomizes the more agrarian cultures that stick together to survive. Cultures that live by yin principles hold as sacred the belief that the way we do things matters, we are all in this together, and kindness builds bridges that matter.
A culture that embraces these concepts could be called a matriarchy. It would be a civilization that values diversity, places the greater good over individual rights, and engages in peace. I say “would be” because there isn’t a pure matriarchal culture anywhere on Earth at this time. And really, we don’t need pure matriarchies. What we need now are cultures with a balance of yin and yang energies to bring us the best of both, including equality for all.
A quick look at America these days tells us that we do not have a culture of equality here. We want to, our guiding documents say that we should have equality, but it’s not happening. Instead, we have a yang-dominated culture that pays lip service to yin principles. The good news is that the fix is straightforward: When there’s too much yang, the way to balance it is to add more yin. And that’s starting to happen. As I said in my last post (The Women’s Marches: Witness the Power of Yin), the marches and rising up of millions of people is the beginning of bringing in more yin energy. But there is more we must do right away, and it is crucial.
To reclaim balance in our yang cultures, we need to address fear. Many of our leaders use fear to govern. Fear of lack, fear of the other, fear of reprisal, fear of failure, fear of violence, etc. And this is insidious because fear weakens yin; it takes it to a place of extreme withdrawal that makes hope, trust, and action almost impossible. We must not let fear take us there. We must embrace hope, we must step into trust, and we must act on the belief that each individual matters. The balancing power of yin is the strength of people standing together. We need to do this, but let’s be truthful; it isn’t going to be easy. Fear is one of yang’s most potent tools. As Machiavelli said in The Prince, when one is going to rule, it is far better to be feared than loved.
But we can do it! We can begin by monitoring our own levels of fear and, when necessary, reassure ourselves and others. We can refuse to listen to those who would govern by fear. We can stay in a place of compassion instead of fear. We can continue standing together and helping each other by refusing to be affected by fear tactics. And when we do this, we will act together for a common good, which is the strength of yin.
If we refuse to be diminished by fear, we will become a balancing force for our country, and our world. And from this balance, this greater inclusion of yin, we will help birth an age of equality for all.
The time is now. Are you in?