Gender Relations
Gender relations is an extremely complex topic. It includes romance, desire, physical and emotional intimacy, and so on. However, what I am speaking about here is none of these. What I want to focus on is the relationship between adult men and adult women in public life – at work, in social gatherings and all other forms of transactional encounters.

It is sad, but true, that men have been dominating and deprecating women in public life for more than three millennia. This is still the case in nations that embrace the worldviews of State Awareness, Nation Awareness and Wealth Awareness.

Women are treated like servants, slaves and sexual objects in the worldview of State Awareness. In the worldview of Nation Awareness, they are ‘tolerated’ but not encouraged to contribute. They are only revered if they are a successful warrior (Joan of Arc), a successful monarch (Queen Elizabeth I) or can beat men at their own games. In the worldview of Wealth Awareness, women are only considered useful if they contribute to the economy, but their work is not valued as highly as mens.

In People Awareness, women got an equal voice, equal opportunities and equal status to men in public life – equality is still a work in progress in business life. So, what’s next? What will happen to gender relations in the worldview of Humanity Awareness?

In the worldview of Humanity Awareness, women and men are no longer collaborators, they are partners. They each acknowledge the others’ respective strengths and use them in appropriate circumstances. They are open and honest with each other, particularly about their feelings. They learn how to engage in challenging conversations that require emotional fearlessness; something neither men nor women are good at for different reasons.

Both men and women work on their weaknesses. In this regard the two sexes have much to teach each other, particularly in the domain of evolutionary intelligence. Men tend to be good at dealing with threats through power and strength – overcoming attack or opposition and regaining stability through force; not necessarily physical force, but through manipulation, debate and a determination to win at all costs. Let’s call this the way of Yang.

Women tend to deal with threats through bonding and cooperation – overcoming threats and regaining stability through dialogue and discussion by finding win–win scenarios. Let’s call this the way of Yin.

It is important to recognize that both the Yin and Yang approaches can be valid depending on the situation. In the worldview of Humanity Awareness, both men and women learn to balance their Yin and Yang energies; sometimes more Yin, sometimes more Yang, but always appropriate for the circumstance.

Thus, the key to gender relations in the worldview of Humanity Awareness is not external equality (that is, what we learned in People Awareness), but internal equality – each gender becoming whole through the integration of female energies of Yin in the male, and the integration of male energies of Yang in the female.

Let me begin with a quote from Kahil Gibran, a favourite philosopher of mine, which aligns with the essence of the cosmology of the worldview of Humanity Awareness:

‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.’[1]

There is no doubt in my mind that you are wonderfully privileged if you have a child. The soul of your child has chosen you as its steward to help it to learn how to master being in a material awareness and fully express its purpose. Your stewardship begins the moment your child is conceived; it continues until your child is ready to take responsibility for its life as an independent adult. When this time arrives, you must let go.

‘You must give them your love but not your thoughts, for they will have their own thoughts. … You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you.’[2]

You may have much to teach your child, but never forget for a moment that your child may have much to teach you. Just like you, your child is a soul. You are equal in this regard. You share the same origins and at the deepest level of being you share the same universal values, but you do not share the same gifts and talents. In this regard, every soul is unique. Every soul has its own form of self-expression. Your job is to nurture and support your child’s self-expression, just as it was your parents’ job to nurture and support yours.

That is your primary role as a parent – to give your child’s soul the opportunity to express its unique character: not to fashion it; not to mould it or make it into a replica of you, but to give it the space to grow and flourish in a fear-free environment so your child may become all it can become. You must also teach your child how to connect with other children and contribute to the well-being of their peer group.

Always treat your child as an equal. You may bring your experience and learning to the relationship but allow your child to make its own informed choices: allow it to learn the repercussions and responsibilities involved in decision-making. If you can do this, you will be setting your child up to make responsible choices later in life. Your job is to assure your offspring’s survival, safety and security during its infant, childhood and teenage years, so that it grows up without a self-critical voice and without subconscious fears.

Once your child has left home, your job as a parent is not finished. You must become their trusted advisor – someone your child can turn to when they get embroiled in the vicissitudes of life. The soul of your child has its own destiny: you must allow and support it in its unfolding. In this regard it is important that you are aware of the seven stages of psychological development – the journey the soul goes through in its attempt to find fulfilment in our three-dimensional material plane of awareness.

Although the search for well-being is a lifelong task, it begins as soon as you are conceived. Therefore, the initial onus for our well-being falls on our primary caregivers. The Flourish Project [3] recognizes this fact and provides models and tools to help caregivers to both attend to the vital importance of their own well-being and to ensure that the earliest years of children’s lives establish the conditions for later flourishing.

The Environment
In Wealth Awareness we depleted the Earth’s resources in search of profits. In People Awareness we began to correct our ways: although our main concern was correcting inequality, we started to recognize the adverse impacts we were having on our environment and began to focus on environmental sustainability. This led to the creation of the Green Parties.

The first Green Parties were created in the 1970s. There are now Green Parties in more than 90 countries. The Global Greens Charter lists six guiding principles: ecological wisdom, social justice, participatory democracy, nonviolence, sustainability and respect for diversity. In the worldview of People Awareness, we began to focus on recycling and reducing carbon emissions.

In Humanity Awareness we will go much further. We will design our businesses and our homes to harness natural energy, minimize energy consumption and generate zero waste. We will replace all plastics with biodegradable alternatives; we will eliminate the use of pesticides; we will go beyond sustainability to focus on ecological resilience; we will attempt to repair the damage we did to our environment in the worldview of Wealth Awareness; and we will begin to recognize that the Earth has much to teach us, such as the importance of nurturing diversity and the interdependence of all living systems. In Humanity Awareness we will learn to steward the Earth and conserve its natural resources. We will make sure all our plans take account of the needs of future generations.

We will all spend more time in nature, particularly with our children; we will rely on nature to nurture our souls; and we will not let economic gain get in the way of preserving and enhancing our natural environment. The quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat will be our top priority. There will be no food products that are not organic. In addition to focusing on our own health, we will start to focus on the health of all living creatures and the planet itself.

[1]  Kahil Gibran, The Prophet (London: Pan Books) 1991, p. 22.
[2]  Ibid., p. 22 and 25.
[3] See my forthcoming book, Parenting the Soul of Your Child.
[4] www.flourishproject.net