Life experiences however, and the intellectual expression of them, will be greatly polarised by the body in which one has made their journey, thereby appearing to make a sexually polarised difference.
More subtle than the intellect is the intuition, a faculty which again has no sexual difference. Through intuition one can "know" things which cross the sexual boundaries. Here a woman can "understand" experiences normally held within the male realm, and visa versa: a man of high intuition can know what it is like for a woman to experience childbirth. Perhaps these abilities arise from past life knowledge in different bodies or perhaps they come from perceptions acquired in this life through dedicated meditation and such like. But they do exist and they give validity to the belief that beyond our animal make up we all have access to knowledge and experience beyond our gender.
Beyond the mind in all its manifestations, exists another level of being which only the religious or the spiritual seekers acknowledge as valid. That is the soul, the spiritual being, the higher self, what is called in Sanscrit the "atma". This is the point where science and religion agree to disagree, where the biological and psychological sciences (appear to) stand in opposition to spiritual sciences like yoga. Here there can be no convincing one nor the other. Rather than it coming down to a matter of beliefs, meditators say that such states of being can in fact be validated though meditation. More than just a subjective experience, adepts clearly state that the soul can be known as an objective reality, just as empirical as the results of the open eyed sciences! The soul is of course far beyond such dualities as gender. According to the philosophy of re-incarnation (which I will not be going into in any depth at all in this book) the soul chooses a gender in which it can learn its lessons and carry out its purposes on this earth. Therefore, at that level of existence, it is ourselves who have chosen our gender. It is therefore up to us as to how we live our life in that gender role and how we make the most of our own sexuality, remembering all the while that we are not really the body but only a traveller in that body.
Such ancient ideas make perfect sense when judged against the modern movements in anti-discrimination and equal opportunity we see emerging today. Through the breakdown of the old-fashioned, stereotypical, sexual mores, people are now more free to express themselves in a range of sexualities. We now have: women becoming more so-called masculine; men becoming more
so-called feminine; gays and lesbians broadening the perimeters of the previous ruling heterosexual society; and transsexuals who have even removed the boundaries of what makes a man a man, and a woman a woman! Obviously and interestingly, people are becoming less and less constrained by the simplistic models of physical sexuality and are exercising a much greater flexibility of their own sexual personality. Rather than a fixed state of psycho-emotional sexuality defined by their genitals, people are wilfully altering their sexual states of feeling and thinking.
Now I happen to think this is quite a profound change. Were it not possible - it could not be done! It indicates to me that Western society is in fact becoming more tantric. It indicates to me that as a society evolves, it will (unwittingly for most, but certainly consciously for some) move towards a system of evolution which is the most natural and beneficial. This is exactly the case which was predicted by a number of yogic / tantric masters several decades ago. During the hippie days when more open sex and drug use, revolution against previous repressive eras, greater individualism and all the peace, love and good vibes were making their way into popular culture, it was the influences of Eastern spiritual systems like tantra which were leading the way. Several well respected swamis at that time made statements that tantra (and yoga) was the way of the future for the West. They were right! Since that time, the basic tenets of tantric spirituality have certainly increased in understanding and influence in the West.
From the perspective of yoga and tantra, the battle of the sexes is nonsense, and has always been so. This whole issue is just a modern Western mindset which belongs in the bin with all the other popular adversarial systems like war, politics, litigation and of course - football. The Eastern philosophies do not embrace such concepts. Their perspective is that real resolution of any conflict can never be gained through battle and the triumph of any one element over another, but must be brought about by integration and union of opposing forces. This does not mean to suggest assimilation or merger of the parties to any point of individual disintegration, but rather, a relationship which allows diversity within the oneness. Out of such a union arises a third and even more potent entity.
This phrase - diversity within oneness - is identical to the concept of multiculturalism, where people of different races, religions and cultures are allowed, supported and even encouraged to maintain their cultural roots within a broader social and national framework.