Male and Female Androgyny
By Dr. Lee Warren, B.A., D.D. (c) 1999 PLIM REPORT, Vol. 8 #3
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One of the most baffling phenomena concerning human gender disorders is androgyny, which is defined as being physically male and female in one. An androgyne is also referred to as a hermaphrodite. Many have mistakenly confused androgyny with bisexuality, which is a psychological condition.
Only in rare cases are humans born with both male and female sexes. Estimates reveal that approximately 1% of the population is born with these traits.
Many cultures view androgyny in a mythical sense when one of their offspring is born with this affliction, as something both to be obtained and dreaded. For example, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica Macropedia, the Dogon African tribe has a myth of creation, which they believe that androgyny is a sign of perfection (Vol. 5, p. 240).
The Greeks concept of the hermaphrodite and how the sexes were created and separated is described in Plato's writing "Symposium." In it, the character Aristophanes describes two humans joined as one, which Zeus decides to split in half. Each of these beings was globular in shape, with rounded back and sides, four arms and four legs, and two faces, both the same, on a cylindrical neck, and one head, with one face on side and one the other, and four ears, and two lots of privates, and all the other parts to match [see the website http://parallel.park.uga.edu/~mkozusko/634/hermo.html].
It should also be noted that many cultures' gods were androgynous. For example, the Hindu god Shiva is often depicted as half man and woman. In addition, both male and female hormones are found in both sexes.
What is the intent of this article?
This article will explain the origin and purpose of androgyny in accordance to the purpose, pattern and plan of Elohim who is male and female within Himself. Modern science has been unable to explain why this phenomenon exists. It will also show that androgyny symbolizes a spiritual principle that is three-fold and reflected on three levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual.
Most important is that all humans are androgynous with respect to our souls and there is a psychological component of androgyny that we all have to develop if we are to grow on a spiritual level.
In short, Adam with Eve in him is the model for us all, for our soul is the woman that is giving birth to the man-child Yahshua. Finally, this article will explain how various cultures have dealt with androgyny.
What are societal norms regarding gender?Throughout most cultures the dominant view of gender is either male or female not both. This is the interpretation, especially in the western cultures according to Judeo-Christian tradition, which is "the arbiter of "natural" behavior of humans (p. 1)."
Now any possibility of human gender other than male or female in this mindset is considered abnormal. Thus, the birth of androgyny in these cultures was abnormal. A child that has both sexes faced many problems. Growing and development is the first problem. But the greater problem is facing and living in a society which has its own set of values and norms, where everyone is either male or female.
In most cultures this represents a great psychological shock to the parents of the child. In past western cultures, especially Europe, these children were usually given up to the Church.
We will see later in this article that in some cultures androgyny are seen as bad omens and the children are usually killed. This occurs where societies are superstitious.
The irony of this situation is the profound ignorance that mankind, especially Christians who are supposed to have some knowledge of the scriptures, has of this phenomenon. The rejection of the androgyny shows that they have no understanding. Had the Christians understood Adam with Eve in him (Gn. 1:27), then they would treat androgyny with love and explain their purpose for being created.
Can science explain androgyny?
Science cannot explain why humans are born with both sexes. But science can explain what causes androgyny in terms of some abnormality in the male and female sex chromosomes. Many people believe that androgynes are freaks of nature.
But there are no errors made in Elohim's creation. In fact, how can the creature with his very limited understanding of the creation say the workings of His Creator are flawed. Neither science nor man will ever understand this phenomenon because they reject the existence of Spirit and the principles within the Bible. Physical androgyny is a reflection of spiritual androgyny (Rom. 1:19-20) or as the ancient saying called the "Law of Correspondence" goes "as above so below."
An age-old question that men have always pondered is: was the chicken before the egg? Likewise, one may ask the question: which of the sexes came first? Many believe it was man. The truth concerning the matter is that Adam was created with both sexes, male and female, for the woman was taken out of Adam (Gn. 2:22-23).
Was Adam made in the image of Elohim, androgyny?
What must not be forgotten was that Adam was created in the image or reflection of Elohim (Gn. 1:27)the Creator. This means that the human body manifests many of the spiritual attributes of Elohim's spiritual body.
Elohim's spiritual body is both male and female in principle, then Adam's body must be created to reflect this. Basically, Elohim's spiritual body is made-up of nine attributes such as Intelligence, Wisdom, Knowledge, Love, Beauty, Justice, Foundation, Power, and Strength. In fact, each of these spiritual attributes is both male and female.
What this means is that all spiritual attributes have both a female and male counterpart. For example, Intelligence and Wisdom have a gender. Solomon makes this point when he assigns the female gender to Wisdom. He writes in the Proverb: "Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice (Pro. 8:1)?"
The male side of Intelligence and Wisdom is logic and critical thinking, while the feminine side is more intuitive and caring. Both are necessary for the creative process to work. There is no domination of one over the other, for they both are equal or exist as King and Queen. Clearly, this is a model of perfection or androgyny and it is the balance of the male and female principle in one.
Why were the sexes separated?
Now the sexes were separated so that mankind might understand the operation of the principles and characteristics that the Creator Elohim, who is spirit, possesses (Jn. 4:24). Without the physical counterpart of the male and female principles, there is no way to understand the invisible spiritual operation and its creative process of conception. From these opposites, males and females, always comes a new creature. Many of the ancient secret schools and Greeks understood the importance of opposites.
It only has been in the last 200 years that a philosophy has brought out the importance of these opposites in any creative process. The German philosopher Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) developed a philosophy called Hegelianism. The philosophy of Hegel states that every existent idea or fact belongs to an all-embracing mind in which each idea or situation (thesis) evokes its opposite (antithesis) and these two result in a unified whole (synthesis), which in turn becomes a new thesis. (see "Conspiracy: Fact or Fiction?" in the Vol. 8, #2 issue of the "PLIM REPORT").
How do cultures deal with the birth of androgyny?
In some cultures androgyny were killed due to superstition about them. In June Singer's book Androgyny The Opposites Within she quoted Mircea Eliade who pointed out the plight of the androgyny " if the child showed at birth any signs of hermaphroditism, it was killed by it own parents. In other words, the actual, anatomical hermaphrodite was considered an aberration of Nature or a sign that the gods' anger and consequently destroyed out of hand (p.14)" In these cultures the androgyny did not have to undergo the scorn and ostracizing of society, for they were killed. This also shows the culture's lack of understanding and ignorance.
How did Israel treat androgyny?
There were no laws in the Law of Moses that dealt with the issue of androgyny. In all probability, though, there had to be some born among the Israelites. The androgyny's problem in Israel was that they would not be able to reproduce offspring.
This in all likelihood would prevent them from marriage. It was very important to Israel, especially males, to have a seed in Israel. Even if he died before he had a child, it was his brother's duty to take his wife and produce a son in his brother name (Deu. 25:5-6).
Exactly how Israel dealt with the androgyny can be seen in a similar situation with how they handled eunuchs. Moses wrote: "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Yahweh (Deu. 23:1; see Isa. 56:3-5)." Since eunuchs were banned from the congregation of Yahweh, then so the androgyny would also have been forbidden entry into the congregation of Yahweh. It is no doubt that they served other functions in Israel, as the eunuchs did (Est. 2:3, 14; Acts 8:27).
What is the recorded history of androgyny?
There are many instances documented in history that reveal the plight of androgyny. F. Gonzales-Crussi in his book Three Forms of Sudden Death wrote a chapter on "Sexual Undiffereniation" where he discusses the predicament of Marguerite Malaure, an adrogyne, who was raised as a girl. She was born in 1655 in France. Her parents gave her up to the Roman Catholic Church to raise and educate as an orphan. She was placed in the service of a very important woman as a maid. Unfortunately, Marguerite fell ill and was transported semi-conscious to the hospital in the town of Toulouse.
The doctor was shocked to find out that Marguerite was really not a female since she had both sex organs. She had lived 31 years as a female. Now the doctors after examining her, thought that she was more male oriented. The civil authorities demanded that she not dress as a woman, but appear as a male. The town folks in their ignorance and superstition constantly insulted and humiliated her as she walked down the street.
She left the town of Toulouse and went to Bordeaux where she again was found out arrested. The court demanded that she change her name to a male one and wear men's clothes. If she did not conform, she was whipped. She became destitute since she worked as a maid and because of her circumstances she was disbarred from this profession.
Being harassed by the town's people, she went to Paris looking for two renowned surgeons where she thought of having surgery to remedy this situation. But she got a hearing before the King and he assigned a commission to look into this matter. After considering all the evidence, the commission ruled that she was woman. Marguerite's life was a pure hell due to the ignorance and superstitious of the masses, the church, and medical doctors. Hers has been the typical dilemma of androgyny.
What is the purpose and spiritual significance of androgyny?Many cultures throughout mankind's history understood androgyny in two forms-physical and mythical. They saw the physical androgyny and took it as a bad omen from the gods, but they also realized that the mythic androgyny was an ideal model that man should strive to attain. Mircea Eliade in her book Mephistophele and the Androgynes, which June Singer quoted in her book Androgyny: The Opposites Within, states: " the hermaphrodite represented in antiquity an ideal condition which men endeavored to achieved by spiritual means of imitative rites, " (p.13-14)."
This ancient view was also confirmed in the European Renaissance, according to the web-site entitled "Hermaphrodites: Gender Transgression, or Gender Transcendence?" It stated the following: "As these images might suggest, the Renaissance hermaphrodite was by no means necessarily clinically androgynous. Androgyny, apparently, was as much a figurative phenomenon as it was a literal or physical condition; it was the union -- either perverse or divine -- of the two sexes (http://parallel.park.uga.edu/~mkozusko/634/hermo.html)."
In reality, androgynes or hermaphrodites are three-fold by the pattern, which consists of physical androgyny, psychological androgyny, and spiritual androgyny. Now much of this article addressed physical androgyny. The reader must keep in mind that physical androgyny is just a physical reflection of this spiritual principle.
Many today are addressing psychological androgyny in their quest to integrate themselves as a whole. This is the result of both sexes, male and female, realizing that they each have psychological characteristics of the opposite sex that are not fully developed because society has defined the roles of women and men and the characteristics that each must manifest. For example, as June Singer points out in her book, if you ask a group of people to list some characteristics of females and males, many would give the following list of attributes.
June Singer explains the implications of psychological androgyny as follows. "The androgyny approaches the problem by seeing that true change begins primarily within the psychic structure of the individual. those of the androgyny are mainly intrapsychic. The androgyny consciously accepts the interplay of the masculine and feminine aspects of the individual psyche. One is the complement of the other, in the same sense that the active, probing sperm is the complement of the waiting, yielding ovum. In conception, the two principles are combined; in the individual, the active and receptive natures coexist throughout the span of life (p. 15).". It is quite apparent that for males or females to mature they have to develop the attributes of the opposite sex. For example, men are beginning to see the advantage of the feminine intuitiveness and want to develop this attribute. Women also see the advantage of male logic and strive to develop this. Thus, we all have become androgynous psychologically.
Is being one with Yahweh true androgyny?
Finally, most people being devoid of spiritual understanding perceive male and female in a literal sense. This prevents them from seeing the spiritual reality of androgyny. It is the spiritual component of androgyny that we all must achieve in order to have eternal life. Everyone knows that it takes the male and female principle in order to birth life.
The male principle of the psyche (soul) is the Holy Spirit, who is Yahshua the Messiah. Now the Yahshua the Messiah prayed a prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where He asked the Heavenly Father Yahweh to make his disciples ONE as He and the Father are ONE (Jn. 17:20-23). Since our soul is feminine with respect to the Holy Spirit then when we become ONE with the spirit, we are a spiritual androgyny. The Messiah told the Pharisees that in the resurrection or in the spirit there is no giving in marriage, as it is in the earthy realm, for the souls are the same as angels (Mt. 22:30). Meaning that angels are androgynous. John saw this union revealed symbolically as the woman clothed in the Sun (Son-The True Male-Rev. 12:20). It is hoped that this article shed some light on this subject.
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