The Female Form of Cognition

written by
Dr. phil. Gabriele Maria Sigg

Artwork by

Benju Pan

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Table of Contents

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The female and male principles function differently.

Today, in Western culture, the knowledge of feminine cognition has largely been lost. The content below seeks to describe the feminine knowledge for the masculine consciousness, so that its qualities can be recognized and appreciated again.

Ultimately, however, this should not lead to a renewed exaltation of the female principle as in the matriarchy, but rather it is necessary for today’s society to bring the luminous sides of the female as well as the male principle into harmony. In this way, we all become seers or visionaries.

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Female cognition does not run linear, it runs parallel.

Foreword


The basic feminine principle is feeling. It is therefore important to read this text, as well as the other texts and ideally all texts, with your feelings. This is my recommendation; you will be amazed what you can sense through a text, about the truthfulness of the text or the integrity of the person. For my part, I have always proceeded in this way. At first, I unconsciously read books or articles with feeling, because I thought that was normal, until I found out that it was probably is not. Personally, that’s why I can’t read some books because they are too negative. That doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking. It is a matter of integrating thinking into the intuitive emotional life.


Female knowledge is fundamentally unplanned, unstructured and uncontrollable. It is even described as irrational. In a society that strongly values male standards, these aspects are easily seen as having negative connotations.

Following C.G. Jung, I start from the basic assumption that male and female principles have light and shadow sides; in another article I have dedicated myself to the “female shadow.” In this paper, the positive elements of the female principle will be presented, which, however, can only become fully effective when the male and female shadow sides have been overcome and transformed.

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Therefore I write of a “theoretical experiment,” since theory is something to be assigned to the male principle, the female principle acts directly and immediately in the moment and out of experience. I call it an experiment because the female principle cannot be captured as a theoretical concept. Writing means putting something into a form which can be assigned to the masculine principle, language has to be structured in order to be understood. In this respect, it can only be an experiment, since the female communication structure would not be understood in text form—at least from the current level of consciousness of mankind. However, I hope to make the female principle more acceptable through this experiment and find an approximation to it, (i.e. to show the quality and beauty of the female principle as well as to take away the fear of it—of the loss of control) from the people who are stuck in the male consciousness) and today these are men as well as women. More precisely, I want to take the fear of men away and encourage women to reclaim their feminine power and beauty.


This article alternates between the female seer perspective, the male external perspective and the integrated seer perspective. In some places the we-form is used in this article, this happened unconsciously intuitively at first and I wanted to change it again, as it does not correspond to the usual usage. However, I realized that it felt disjointed. I realized that the feminine principle represents a we-feeling and the connection, the masculine principle stands for the ego and the separation or also the discernment. We need both. I have therefore decided to decide by feeling whether I write “we” or “I.”

Social Starting Point

The present society is strongly characterized by the male consciousness, that is: logic, straightforwardness, rationality, assertiveness, determination, independence, etc. are in the foreground. Women living in this society are also dominated by this consciousness.

It is a logical development in so far as in traditional society the woman was responsible for the inner space of the house and with it the mental and emotional inner life as a whole. The man had to defend and protect the world of this house and the inner space (i.e. to assert himself in the outer world of the market or politics)–for this a trained and intellectual way of thinking was necessary.

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In this time, schools were accessible to men only, so that the things, which a man had to know, were trained here, in particular the cognitive abilities were included here. When women won their right to education, they were released into a social field that educated and cultivated masculine aspects. Of course, there were subjects like home economics, which were supposed to prepare the woman for her future role as a good wife, but it is not what is necessarily associated with the feminine principle. It is about the way we learn something, through logical factual repetition in the form of a doctrine or through a playful intuitive approach that is not generally the same, but differs from individual to individual. In this respect, the acquisition of cognitive knowledge and schooling has contributed to a push back of female knowledge as well.


Feminism, which once was concerned with gaining more rights and freedoms for women, has strongly influenced the male consciousness. My thesis is that women today negate the female consciousness the most and declare it to be inferior. They do this insofar as, in order to see themselves as valuable, they adopt masculine attributes and consider only such attributes worthy of recognition. With the rapid development and expansion of gender studies, it has not been possible to adequately remunerate professions in which mainly women work. Far more than the well-known wage gap between men and women in the economy, I find it appalling to see that the classic women’s professions, which involve caring, worrying, educating, in short, emotional components, are valued less than traditionally male professions. Calculating, arguing and managing are thus rated as more important.

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As a result, feminists often call for women to be given a more prominent role in the traditionally male professions. There is nothing wrong with this if someone recognizes this as their vocation out of inner freedom, but in my opinion this sounds more like re-education than an increase in freedom and self-determination.


I was also raised in this society, in which all educational systems taught primarily male principles:. First and foremost, analytical thinking and abstract reasoning were in the foreground, everything had to be determined by the human mind, feelings and emotions were excluded. Whether it was a blessing or a curse, I cannot say exactly, but I had been equipped with a well-functioning analytical-thinking intellect, so that I mastered these systems easily and successfully. This enabled me to devote my free time to my inner emotional life. There was a place in the big garden of my childhood where I withdrew to every possible minute to listen to my inner teacher, who gradually trained my emotional world and brought emotional injuries into healing, so that similar to my educated brain, which I was able to train through the social institutions, my heart and stomach brain developed. Thus, I recognized that feelings do not entail confused random logic, but rather coherent “thinking processes”, better described as synchronizations.

Today, scientific findings show that we have a kind of brain in the heart and in the stomach, whose information processing capacity exceeds that of the classical brain by far. For women who live more in of the feminine principle, however, the school and education system is often problematic because it only promotes intellectual abilities. Thus, these women can easily perceive themselves as incapable, because their abilities are neither recognized nor promoted. The so-called emancipation of women in Western countries today has led to the adaptation of the feminine principle to the masculine habitus in particular.

The Female Structure As an Unstructured Structure


Female cognition does not run linear, it runs parallel, thinks of five aspects at the same time, jumps between topics—all things that are considered wrong and unprofessional in our society. But this can only be devalued by a mind that just cannot do this and is not capable of following this way of gaining knowledge. The linear logical reasoning and argumentation certainly has its justification, but it is only one side of the coin. My concern is to complement the male principle with the female principle in society.


Not many women in western societies are able to conduct research in a feminine way today. I have a friend who can do this and where I observe the pattern that such discussions of problems follow, because the feminine principle is by no means unstructured, as is often portrayed, but has an inherent logic that works by means of feeling. I once observed and analyzed our communication structure and would like to present it below.

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When I talk to this friend, all the topics currently in the air always emerge at the beginning. That can be anywhere from three to five. During the conversation we add to these topics, from the point of view of the male principle: wildly mixed up. But it’s not wild, it’s guided by feeling and at some point the moment comes when everything that needs to be spoken about has been said and we find ourselves in a space of wholeness with the feeling that everything has been discussed at the moment. This kind of communication structure is impossible for most men (and many women today) to comprehend. Back when I wasn’t so aware of it, I used to talk to friends or other people like this – they would almost go insane and start judging me and telling me how to communicate “properly.” This female communication structure, however, by its “logic” enables a much deeper view of different problem scenarios, because it does not concentrate on one point and explore it in detail, but rather focuses on the references in their entirety.


The female approach takes place via feelings, it is more a sensing and feeling, which is not objectively measurable, but one can intuitively feel it. Here it is important to be able to distinguish between the emotional ego-feeling and the feeling of the soul. There is often linguistic confusion here, because emotions and feelings are often used synonymously. We also say we feel emotions and we feel feelings. However, there is a big difference between the two. The ego structure stores our individual psychological aspects as well as the collective historical conditioning that we feel individually. However, an ego-feeling and a soul-feeling each feel different, that is, I can only learn to distinguish them by feeling. The soul feeling is guided by truth, freedom, love, gratitude, joy. It vibrates subtly and unobtrusively, while emotions are usually dramatic and loud.

Feminine Approach to the World


I start from the basic assumption that men and women are polarized differently and need to form the other pole.6


Men are more mind-oriented, women emotionally oriented. While in the traditional society, this polarity is by society, today it is our task to ensure that each gender forms the other pole and to harmonize the masculine and feminine principle with each other.

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Understanding this is important insofar as the emphasis on qualities must not be confused with a backward-looking approach to traditional role concepts. The problem is that today women as well as men are supposed to train only the mind, the feeling and thus the feminine are often devalued as a whole. There are openings here like the call for the so-called “soft skills” or the appreciation for emotional intelligence, but it seems to me that the basic tenor is still strongly on the male principle. This does not happen as a conscious act. What I am describing here are the collective unconscious mechanisms that have developed through collective experience. It is also problematic in that while people have lofty ideals in their minds, their emotional development stops at the level of a narcissistic toddler or teenager.8


This truncation of emotional life is outwardly exemplified by the growth of the cult of hair and body hair. Hair, on the head as on the body, is our subtle antennae. They are extended to ward off viruses, bacteria, etc., but also to sense whether people or situations are good for us.


Men today usually wear a short haircut. For women, long hair is acceptable, but it should be shaped with various shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, hair gels, etc. to the “right” shape. And very important: the “right” hair color by means of the “right” chemicals. Women should also remove all their body hair, as it is considered unsightly. Even man is so conditioned that he feels disgust. In particular, all hair in the intimate area should be removed. No pubic hair, however, one has no pubic hair only as a child, which almost equals an infantilization or an adaptation of the body to the emotional underdevelopment. Since women have been forced by the market to carry out this complete body hair removal, it has also been considered beautiful and well-groomed for men to shave their armpits, pubic hair and chest hair or to remove them in another way until they too are “hairless beautiful.”


This example may sound to one or the other as “pulled by the hair,” he may feel disgust at the body hair. I myself also needed time to understand that the fine hairs on our body serve their purpose very well and our sensitivity can be reduced by these interventions as well. It is very interesting to follow one’s disgust and to feel deep inside oneself if the disgust is a true feeling or if it is socially and culturally shaped. I am convinced that there is genuine disgust, for example, when someone behaves inhumanely. In the same way, however, there are ideologically induced emotions of disgust.


However, the suppression of the feminine principle through the removal of hair finds expression not only in secular but also in spiritual traditions. Buddhist monks, for example, must shave off their hair, which is often justified by the fact that they have to curb their pride. This seems questionable to me, because a man with long hair would also have to lose his pride, as it does not correspond to the male fashion.


Therefore the question arises whether femininity was not also suppressed by it? This assumption is obvious, because the general Lotus Sitz aims to suppress the lower female chakras (emotions) and to direct the focus on the upper male chakras (intellect). Consequently, especially the masculine mental spiritual qualities were promoted.

Female Sciences


One can divide even the different scientific disciplines into female and male. In general, the natural sciences such as physics and chemistry work according to the male principle. Humanities like philosophy or sociology work according to the female principle. Due to the predominance of the male principle and the accompanying compulsion for measurability and objectifiability. The sciences working according to the female principle had to begin to meet these requirements and threw their true power and strength, similar to women in general, overboard.

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They started to work by means of quantitative methods. In philosophy, this led to an elevation of analytic philosophy with special attention to logic, while the continental European tradition based on Socrates and Plato were marginalized.9+10

In sociology, this led to empiricism, so that today sociology and statistics or empirical social research are almost synonymous. In psychology, too, the “soul” is measured by empirical findings. However, both disciplines draw their true power and cognitive strength from their qualitative-receptive mode of cognition, one could also call it in the words of Viktor Schauberger the “train principle”. Observing and perceiving, taking in and receiving are the characteristics that distinguish good qualitative epistemological work, also called hermeneutics. The (masculine) intellect, embedded at best in feeling, then knows how to interpret and render the observations appropriately, as well as to make connections and associations, and to put them into an appropriate form. The quality of the findings and interpretations is strongly related to the emotional healing of the researcher. Only when he is healed emotionally can he put things in order objectively; otherwise, there is a great danger of reacting emotionally to certain results.11


There is hope, however, because the emerging quantum physics shows how vague and fluid the real world is, what is empirically measurable is only 5 % 12, everything else is of a spiritual nature and approaching this spirit adequately requires an integrated feminine approach.

Female Spirituality


In spirituality, too, there are differences between female and male spiritual world views, whereby both always see themselves as “the true spirituality.”


Female spirituality is similar to non-duality, as found for example in Advaita Vedanta. It understands itself as a single consciousness that sees everyone as equal without any hierarchy. It is an indiscriminate and impersonal state that sees itself as connected to the collective we-ness. No distinction is made between a self and an ego, or a right and a wrong ego, as the Vedic bhakti tradition does. There remains a state of oneness that rejects all separation. The highest virtue of femininity is mercy.

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One can almost say that the strong emergence of feminine spirituality in recent years is related to the patriarchy that dominated before it, and here it represents an antithesis to the judgmental God as prevalent in the Abrahamic religions. Justice and with it discernment are its highest virtues, which can also entail guilt and punishment. A divine creator, guilt and punishment characterize masculine spirituality, which is often frowned upon today.


In my opinion, however, the exaggeration of female understanding and empathy leads to a new one-sidedness, because we need both the female power of empathic understanding and empathy and the male power of discernment and the righteous primordial part. In the spiritual scene, dividing and separating is often interpreted as negative and connecting as positive. Here the difference between understanding and comprehension is confused.


To want to understand something means first of all to want to understand an action, but this does not mean to have understanding of it. However, this is often not distinguished and the demand is to have understanding for everything. Understanding is the basic prerequisite to then either show mercy or do justice, this happens out of a guided feeling, it has no ego-vengeance and is not a logical thought process. Parents who truly love their child will not “punish” them in order to torment them, but out of an understanding that they need the “punishment” in order to grow. In this respect, in traditional society, the mother stood for mercy and understanding, the father for justice and discernment. Mother and father needed each other in order not to slip into one or the other one-sidedness. Mercy and justice can only develop into a true strength in the interplay of feminine and masculine power, which today is to be developed as an integrated ability to see within oneself.

In order to reach the state of seeing, the soul has to free itself from the multi-layered individual-psychological as well as collective-historical superimpositions. This is usually a long, sometimes painful and not necessarily easy process, which can also last for several incarnations. As we feel our emotions, they seem to be our true nature and in some processes it can seem as if we are dying. It is a death of the ego, a slow peeling away of our different masks.


Feminine seeing is possible precisely because of the unstructured, non-linear and multi-dimensional approach of feeling. So it is by no means “women’s gossip” as it is portrayed in the general (male) perception, although it can become such a when it takes place in the ego structure. In seeing there is no wanting, no manipulations and no evaluations.


In the state of seeing, one sees things as they are. However, there may well be judgements, anger or other emotional reactions from people who do not want to accept what they see.


One cannot now conclude that the feminine principle and the realization of seeing would be a positive quality per se. Like every quality, it has to be brought into the right relationship and cultivated, which requires a purified ego (which requires a purified ego. Seeing can certainly cause harm if the ego parts are not processed, healed and brought into a healthy integration. Otherwise the ability to see can be misused for intrigue and manipulation.13


The same applies to today’s highly praised ability of “emotional intelligence,” which is very close to the ability to see, even if it seems to me to be a partial aspect. Emotional intelligence like cognitive intelligence are not positive, they are neutral abilities, which can be used depending on the emotional maturity and integrity towards the positive as well as negative.


The female principle therefore needs the discernment of the male principle in order to distinguish one’s own ego parts and shadow sides from the seer power. Especially for people in healing professions this is of particular importance, otherwise mental injuries can occur during the healing by the healer himself.

Beyond Matriarchy and Patriarchy: The Vision of a Society Based on the Feminine and Masculine Principle


Although in this article the female principle and its beauty as well as meaning is in focus, this is to be seen as a supplement of the male principle and not to replace one one-sidedness by another. There is nothing wrong with thinking, we have only developed a society in which the head, detached from feelings and emotions, has developed an excessive ego self which does more harm than good to us and to everyone else. The basic principle of our true soul self is feeling, which we are allowed to find our way back to. This can be a painful and difficult path, because we cannot reach this state just by thinking that we are in feeling.

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For this we have to resolve and transform our own collective as well as individual traumas, this is mostly only possible by means of feeling the pain, piece by piece, one after the other. In this way we develop a unity of thinking and feeling, a thinking integrated into the feeling. This can be done at the beginning by means of psychological therapies, which touch childhood, can be tried. However, some of our patterns are a result of collective conditioning that have been made our own. They need another form of treatment or sometimes they are external pathological structures that we cannot heal at all. Later, when some issues and problems have not been resolved, we may also have to deal with past lives. Each path is individual and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here, too, our feelings will guide us. Thinking may then take its role as a servant again, as it can stand by us critically at one point or another.


Women probably have a natural disposition to see, but this form of seeing is still strongly overlaid by emotional shadows, so that in traditional society it would need correction by the right hand of the man. The male principle also stands for the ability of abstraction, to see oneself from an objective point of view and thus be able to perceive his shadow sides.


Thus, a man who has integrated his feminine as well as masculine parts can certainly also become a seer today.


Since the female principle has been strongly buried in the last millennia, this principle needs to be somewhat overemphasized first. For me, however, it is of importance to bring the masculine and feminine principle into a healthy balance within oneself and then in society as well. For this we must learn to think, feel and act with two variables. Through the clearing of our emotional blockages we increasingly come into our soul feeling, which is everywhere and always full of happiness, filled with love, gratitude and peace—bliss. Such a society recognizes the positive valences of both principles.


The structure and form-giving power of the male principle, as the life-giving power of the living feeling:


Both principles are ultimately inherent in women as well as in men. Unlike in traditional society, women and men today can develop both principles within themselves and combine them into a meaningful unity. The mixed ratio of female and male principle is an individual soul parameter and not an external social norm. Women and men are then respected as equally different beings with their individual female and male qualities. In this way, we all ultimately become seers of the Truth and Beauty of life, beyond unconscious shades.

The Awesome Folks Behind this Article
Dr. phil. Gabriele Maria Sigg

Writer | Contributor

Benju Pan

Artist

Benju Pan grew up in Neverland and never left Neverland. You might see him around in your dreams and imagination. And you’ll feel his presence when you listen to your heart.

Thank you for reading this article to the end and giving us so much of your precious attention.

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