the infinity of my heart, in this world

i came into this from the wilderness. i have no formal academic background, but i’ve read a little and i think a lot. since i was a very young person i’ve been reading to find information that i can apply to my existential difficulties in real life.

i’ve come to learn that these existential difficulties arise because the “real world” is not the only world in which i live, it isn’t even the “realest”. what is bothering my soul is that i know a me that is so much more than the one that this social Human environment allows me to be… i feel a truth inside and all around, a truth that is denied by the “real world”. a truth that i have never been able to completely deny, ironically, making me live a “lie” in the “real world” as i spent 59 years suppressing my own sexuality and personality.

i have a personal stake in decoupling my male sex from the Man identity that makes the Human male into a patriarchal criminal sociopath (see ‘not divided, different’), to the best of my ability.

which i’m learning, means that i’d be better off going even further than that. what i’m beginning to understand, thanks to many but particularly Andrea Dworkin and John Stoltenberg, is that the problem is not simply identification as one of the two polar opposite sex/genders, but to locate and anchor the meaning of “me” in identifications based on sex/gender at all.

in an essay by John Stoltenberg on his and Cristan Williams‘ wonderful site The Conversation Project called ‘Pt. 2,The Sex/Gender Binary: Essentialism’, Stoltenberg refers to a quote by Andrea Dworkin that opens up the possibility for us to live in a society in which sex, gender and division itself no longer keep us boxed into polar opposites. a way out of endless rounds of argument over “nature vs. nurture” and “biological vs. social” poles that will keep us stuck in circular conflict forever in this deluded social world we’ve made so far.

a possibility to live free lives full of truth, not oppressed lives imprisoned in an unethical, brutal, phony, divided patriarchal reality.

our bodies, nature, the cosmos… this is the stage onto which we Human Beings project our “understanding” of “things”.  the result being a Social Reality that forgets that its roots remain infinite in nature while asserting itself and its dualistic, life or death finite point of view as being the “real world”.

what we are without the overlay of our conceptual “reality” is so polymorphous, so full of potential, so varied, so integrated… it is a reality inconceivable to a mind that limits itself to seeing only the practical, the conventional, the hierarchical, the patriarchal. and it is forbidden to us too.

this beckoning realm of ecstasy, of imagination, of intellect and emotion is a realm considered to be utterly dangerous and prohibited for Men and Women (except specialized “professionals”) to be involved with.  it is under tight control in our society.  we guard against being too aware or influenced by it in our individual psyches, inside our dreams, between each other, in our loving, in our hearts. it is a realm where the parameters of our hierarchically divided “universe” are dissolved into infinity. i call this the realm of truth. for some of us, as we proceed through our lives, we are unable to ignore the realm of truth and conform with “reality”.

i’ve known this forever, but never have i been as clear about how to express that or to apply the knowledge very usefully. i’ve been a pirate, making raids into the true world where i’m the “me” i know i am and avoiding as much of the real world as possible while still being ultimately trapped in it. constantly yanked back to “reality” where i have been a “Man” a “Heterosexual”,  a “white person”,  an “American”…  all phony, all hung onto me as if i was a beast of burden, which in fact in the real, patriarchal Social World, i am.

Andrea Dworkin said in 1975 (The Root Cause, Chapter 9 of Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics):

“I have made this distinction between truth and reality in order to enable me to say something very simple: that while the system of gender polarity is real, it is not true. It is not true that there are two sexes which are discrete and opposite, which are polar, which unite naturally and self-evidently into a harmonious whole. It is not true that the male embodies both positive and neutral human qualities and potentialities in contrast to the female who is female, according to Aristotle and all of male culture, “by virtue of a certain lack of qualities.” And once we do not accept the notion that men are positive and women are negative, we are essentially rejecting the notion that there are men and women at all. In other words, the system based on this polar model of existence is absolutely real; but the model itself is not true. We are living imprisoned inside a pernicious delusion, a delusion on which all reality as we know it is predicated.”

i feel the reality of myself so deeply that i refuse to be nailed into a coffin called “Man”.  or “Woman” either for that matter. a Human society free from being chained to the basic precepts that underlay patriarchy — division, hierarchy, polarity, duality — will be a society of Human Beings, not of Men and Women. not of males and females, assuming Genders for the purpose of identification, who look constantly to measure each other based on forms of and configuration of organs and glands, who bind social behaviors and appearances strictly to these configurations and forms. the meanings we assign to these things will be fundamentally altered. we can simply be Human Beings, creative, cooperative, loving and still as always, striving to be higher and higher… and free.


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6 thoughts on “the infinity of my heart, in this world

  1. Interesting read. Just my two cents here. I think the main point where it all went wrong was moving away from egalitarian society, though there was some precedent for that at the time.

    This article puts forth the theory that our historical egalitarian society was a stable society without stratification. It then goes on to say (copying in case you can’t view the article without an account):

    “How, then, did we arrive in the age of institutionalised inequality? That has been debated for centuries. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau reasoned in 1754 that inequality was rooted in the introduction of private property. In the mid-19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels focused on capitalism and its relation to class struggle. By the late 19th century, social Darwinists claimed that a society split along class lines reflected the natural order of things – as British philosopher Herbert Spencer put it, “the survival of the fittest”. (Even into the 1980s there were some anthropologists who held this to be true – arguing that dictators’ success was purely Darwinian, providing estimates of the large numbers of offspring sired by the rulers of various despotic societies as support.)

    Birth of hierarchy
    But by the mid-20th century a new theory began to dominate. Anthropologists including Julian Steward, Leslie White and Robert Carneiro offered slightly different versions of the following story: population growth meant we needed more food, so we turned to agriculture, which led to surplus and the need for managers and specialised roles, which in turn led to corresponding social classes. Meanwhile, we began to use up natural resources and needed to venture ever further afield to seek them out. This expansion bred conflict and conquest, with the conquered becoming the underclass.

    “The very wealthy extend the ruler by which we measure our success”

    More recent explanations have expanded on these ideas. One line of reasoning suggests that self-aggrandising individuals who lived in lands of plenty ascended the social ranks by exploiting their surplus – first through feasts or gift-giving, and later by outright dominance. At the group level, argue anthropologists Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd, improved coordination and division of labour allowed more complex societies to outcompete the simpler, more equal societies. From a mechanistic perspective, others argued that once inequality took hold – as when uneven resource-distribution benefited one family more than others – it simply became ever more entrenched. The advent of agriculture and trade resulted in private property, inheritance, and larger trade networks, which perpetuated and compounded economic advantages.

    It is not hard to imagine how stratification could arise, or that self-aggrandisers would succeed from time to time. But none of these theories quite explain how those aiming to dominate would have overcome egalitarian norms of nearby communities, or why the earliest hierarchical societies would stop enforcing these norms in the first place. Many theories about the spread of stratified society begin with the idea that inequality is somehow a beneficial cultural trait that imparts efficiencies, motivates innovation and increases the likelihood of survival. But what if the opposite were true?

    In a demographic simulation that Omkar Deshpande, Marcus Feldman and I conducted at Stanford University, California, we found that, rather than imparting advantages to the group, unequal access to resources is inherently destabilising and greatly raises the chance of group extinction in stable environments. This was true whether we modelled inequality as a multi-tiered class society, or as what economists call a Pareto wealth distribution (see “Inequality: The physics of our finances“) – in which, as with the 1 per cent, the rich get the lion’s share.

    Counterintuitively, the fact that inequality was so destabilising caused these societies to spread by creating an incentive to migrate in search of further resources. The rules in our simulation did not allow for migration to already-occupied locations, but it was clear that this would have happened in the real world, leading to conquests of the more stable egalitarian societies – exactly what we see as we look back in history.

    In other words, inequality did not spread from group to group because it is an inherently better system for survival, but because it creates demographic instability, which drives migration and conflict and leads to the cultural – or physical – extinction of egalitarian societies. Indeed, in our future research we aim to explore the very real possibility that natural selection itself operates differently under regimes of equality and inequality. Egalitarian societies may have fostered selection on a group level for cooperation, altruism and low fertility (which leads to a more stable population), while inequality might exacerbate selection on an individual level for high fertility, competition, aggression, social climbing and other selfish traits.

    So what can we learn from all this? Although dominance hierarchies may have had their origins in ancient primate social behaviour, we human primates are not stuck with an evolutionarily determined, survival-of-the-fittest social structure. We cannot assume that because inequality exists, it is somehow beneficial. Equality – or inequality – is a cultural choice.”

    Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22071-inequality-why-egalitarian-societies-died-out/

    Now, that doesn’t mention sex or gender at all, but there most certainly is a link:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/14/early-men-women-equal-scientists

    Personally I’ve always been fascinated by egalitarian societies. Something just resonates with me about them which I can’t really put into words. However, these articles just confirm to me that our society is broken. I firmly believe that such movements as suffragism and its offshoot feminism, and even hippie counterculture among others are movements which stem from wanting to redress the balance of stratified society. Perhaps on a psychological level transgenderism is something along these lines too, but that’s mere speculation on my part and I’m by no means a psychologist.

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    • fantastic Fabienne!!! thank you so much…

      i’m not really accustomed to reading many comments on my stuff, and this one was so informative! and you haven’t chosen to approach me as if you thought i needed to be told “how it really is…” thank you!

      with regard to the emergence of Hierarchical social systems in Human Beings, surprisingly (to me) the research base your article summarizes echoes the source material i’ve been drawing on which i would say consists primarily of six books:

        The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy
        by Murray Bookchin 1982;
        Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
        by Silvia Federici 2004
        Myths of Male Dominance: Collected Articles on Women Cross-Culturally
        by Eleanor Burke Leacock 1982 (Haymarket Edition, 2008)
        Stone Age Economics
        by Marshall Sahlins 1974
        The Western Illusion of Human Nature: With Reflections on the Long History of Hierarchy, Equality and the Sublimation of Anarchy in the West, and Comparative Notes on Other Conceptions of the Human Condition
        by Marshall Sahlins 2008
        The Creation of Patriarchy
        by Gerda Lerner 1986

      all of the above describe the organic development (not contrived, not “premeditated”) in Human Society away from the previous iteration in which Humans indeed lived in egalitarian societies characterized by the prevalence of social organizing principles based on mutuality, reciprocity, integration of the individual with the Whole. these societies were tied by necessity to the rhythms of nature and their technics were oriented toward subsistence.

      Bookchin’s magnum opus (‘The Ecology of Freedom’) tied together many loose ends for me and i’m glad that i read it after the others… in that one book i’ve found what i think is the most plausible and probably actual account of how Humans have traversed from that earlier “idyllic” Egalitarian social model to our more “advanced” yet intensely alienated Modern society.

      the Egalitarian, according to Bookchin, pertained to a social arrangement that had to go because the context in which it arose contradicted the inclination of and development of the Human capacity toward increasing self-reflection and intellectual/technical/social development. there was no possibility for what our society takes as a given: the freedom from necessity to spend time on allowing our brains to develop increasingly abstract and conceptual ways of dealing with the natural world. in a kind of push-me, pull-you fashion (a dialectic i guess you could say) the simultaneous emergence of technologies that allowed for the storage of surplus (ceramics, woven containers, etc.); the experimentation and resulting ability to domesticate plant species; the lengthening time of child nurturing that became necessary to socialize the children and the resulting increase in transmission of learned behaviors that became possible due to the above… factors mitigated toward fundamental changes in the very worldview at the heart of the early Human’s social model…

      Bookchin surmises that the original hierarchy was Gerontocracy, which grew out of the same set of possibilities… older folks wanted to survive after their ability to “pull their own weight” was over; the capacity of the Band to do so was increasing but there was no precedent in natural necessity that provided any guide on how or what that would mean…

      Bookchin postulates that older folks invented forms of social justification that began a process of developing further social imperatives that were new in Human (or any other) society, social imperatives that were based on concepts and asserted (and actually delivered) community benefits arising from these social imperatives.

      benefits such as imparting “wisdom” to younger generations and the supposed ability of elders to communicate with, mediate and influence the workings of the natural world. there followed the emergence of a “proto-class” of Shamans which developed into an entrenched social caste of Clerics; there emerged as well increasingly large numbers of males skilled in the use of techniques that kill and dismember who, formerly happily integrated into egalitarian life as marginal suppliers of food (hunting) to the community, became less and less useful in the old way (due to increasing sophistication of plant husbandry and surplus storage technology) and more and more useful to both of the previous “new groups”, the Elderly and the Priests, as Guards or Raiders, defenders and plunderers.

      all three of the new groups were the nexus for individuals with less stable functions in the newly equipped society i.e., the males. the females, were of course already quite productively engaged in developing the community’s technologies and reproducing the next generations and as the stratification began, were perhaps not as susceptible to the nascent threat of Domination that lurked in the emergence of these hierarchical social realities among us.

      but of course, and as is well described in the other books i cite, hierarchical concepts became the basis for organizing Human societies and then became the template that we have voraciously applied to the entire cosmos.

      in only 10,000 years, our species has so utterly altered the physical base of our existence with these concepts that we are in danger of killing everything that lives here and in the meantime, have created a world of trauma, a world of alienated miserable sufferers, a world of delusion and suicidal destruction.

      along with all the bells and whistles. which of course appear to be benefits to the relatively few members of the castes that freely enjoy their use, who are preeminently and intractably established in our world as being exclusively, by “natural right”… males (and peripherally, anyone that serves their dominant class interests).

      i assert that “males” in the above process have become their socially-imagined selves, they have become “Men”. in fact, the emergence of hierarchy has distorted our vision and created for us the hell of ranked and divided existence. so it is that we have come to be so captive to defining ourselves and each other according to criteria based on reproductive capacity and physical configuration.

      as dominance took hold with males becoming the Men who asserted this new social reality, they enjoyed freedom from the necessities of being limited by nature (improved shelter, climate control, access to varied materials due to the development of surplus into commodity and concomitant development of trade) allowed them more and more “leisure time” in which to refine their conceptual/technological ability to further dominate. as the research that you cite says, this self-aggrandizing behavior spread “naturally” among larger and larger groups as the old techniques used for hunting were transformed conceptually into Violence and Coercion in service of the new Social goals of establishing and protecting Privilege… and harm was inflicted first over each other, newly “objectified” and divided, and then to the whole cosmos. all for the accumulation of power and privilege in the hands of a Few, and we have arrived… at today…

      i follow Bookchin’s assessment that the development of hierarchy wasn’t a conspiracy, it was an organic result of increasing development among our species of mental and physical traits evolution has gifted us with. that process is continuing. but my sense is that this model has run its course. we are at a point, i believe, of Planetary transition. our species has created an existential crisis which will require us to transition from the “modern” to a new form of social organization the contours of which we are unable to see from our current position.

      it’s as if we are the “cave-people” and the writing is on the wall, but we don’t know what writing is yet.

      part of that evolution is i feel, the reintegration of the Human psyche, which has become bifurcated with delusional fetishization of conceptual identities which serve as structural pillars of our hierarchically divided society. we are being suffocated by our current model and idea of divided classes of Humans called Men and Women, derived from a previous recognition of difference based on “biological sex”… which is arguably tied to the emergence of hierarchy also, in that the importance of emphasizing this difference develops as a result of the development of a concept of “property”…

      control of reproductive capacity was early recognized as being the crux of development and growth of a hierarchical social system that allowed for a minority to accumulate the surplus at a greater rate than the producers of the surplus. the ability to create new generations of productive persons became a commodity. control of this “natural (exploitable) resource” necessitated the careful identification of who in the society had those capabilities and their subjugation to the will of those who sought to enjoy the value of their production. the spectral differences between the sexes were then obfuscated and stratified, with “grey areas” disappearing as solid lines were drawn between Humans based on their value as reified reproductive “units”. the power to defend the autonomy of those who possess that quality was overwhelmed with the newly ascendant facts of violence and terror among us… the “weak” were abstracted from the Whole, to be dominated by “the strong” and… on and on…

      back to the relevance to me, experiencing “gender dysphoria” and “transgender” feelings… i think you can see that i tie the whole thing together. i see the solution to my existential difficulty in this society (ALL modern society, not just “Western” society) as being an epiphenomenon of the process i allude to above… a process of ongoing Human evolution in sync with and always integrated with infinity… we are not “apart” from “nature” although at this stage in our intellectual development our society is. what we are all experiencing is how it feels to be part of evolution. those of us who have the greatest difficulty “fitting in” are to me, simply those who are least able to fake a reconciliation between an obsolete form of social adaptation and an infinite nature. i may be “male” but that is only a term that has meaning in the context of hierarchical social organization… what i feel myself to be is simply… Human.

      i have more to say about what that means to me… i think Humans, and all life, are essentially “female” organisms… this transformation from an easy, un-self-conscious loving acknowledgement of our natural biological differences into sharp and stark division between male and female became important and occurred really only in order to allow for the creation of property… which was itself required in order to facilitate the accumulation of the community surplus by a violent, dominating privileged few.

      all life is reproductive and participates in some way to that process… i identify with my essence as a being that has a role to play in reproduction, but have no interest in “owning” any of that reproductive output… i’m a part of it, and it’s a part of me. my responsibility to and relation to Life is the same whether i am “male” or “female”. i see my genitals (“male”) as forms of the same morphology that “females” exhibit. i am a form of female.

      my “sex” has no meaning in isolation from “the other sex”. in fact, the concept of “sex” is only useful if one needs to assign ownership to the offspring of a pair of reproducing Humans. stripped of this conceptual “necessity”, Humans are much more diverse in practice than what viewing them through the lens of “sex” can hope to describe.

      this is the edge of where my thinking has led me.

      i’m getting more and more preoccupied with thinking that it’s time for me to move past wrapping my head around these abstract conceptual ruminations, and begin to deal more with how i am behaving in the “real world”… do i still behave “like a Man”?. what do i need to do to stop? how does my adoption of “female” traits and affectation help or hinder reaching that goal?

      so i may be a bit different from other Transgender people in that my concern is less with “how to become a Woman” than it is with “how to stop being any sex or gender at all”, because what i REALLY want is…

      to enjoy myself, to enjoy myself as an entity integrated with all the other living entities… to dance, to sing, to express love. which i think can only happen when i am free.

      free from the conceptual delusions of dead-end hierarchical Human social development which i have come to think is utterly tangled up with our mistaking the map for the territory, identifying with our genital and reproductive differences and not with our essential biological integration.

      i’ll probably have to come back in another lifetime to get there, but that is a completely other discussion 🙂

      ❤ birdy

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  2. I’m an ethnomusicologist. The simplest definition I can give for this is an anthropologist looking at a given culture from a musical point of view. So let me therefore expand upon my comment and react to yours by talking about things in my field in the forms of African pygmy or forest people and Khoisan music.

    “The most striking features of Pygmy music include the often wordless yodelling that results in disjunct melodies, usually with descending contours (ex. 1), and densely textured multi-part singing. The texture is built up from continuously varied repetition of a short cyclical pattern, with different voices entering informally and filling out the texture with parallel melodies, variations and ostinati. Pentatonic or sub-pentatonic forms are most common and harmonies are mainly based on 4ths and 5ths, with an occasional parallel 2nd. In many other styles of African music there is often a clear division of the melody between a leader and a chorus; however, in Pygmy singing this division is usually absent or obscured by the high degree of overlap between parts, by the passing around of central melodic figures from one person to another, and by a considerable freedom to improvise solo within the metrical and harmonic constraints of the pattern. Some observers see in this improvised yet structured song style a model for democratic, non-hierarchical social values. This has coincided with a tendency in both scholarly and popular literature to romanticize forest peoples and their musics, often described within ‘Eden-like’ narratives.”
    Cooke, Peter and Michelle Kisliuk. “Pygmy music.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

    The penultimate sentence in this quote is of interest here as the music does indeed reflect the society; in this case everyone has the freedom to express themselves and thereby influence the politics of the village. Since I assume you may not be familiar with how this sounds, here’s a youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOrBlAK9MZw

    Another quote:

    The music of the Khoisan-speaking people of southern Africa, a semi-nomadic people with a tradition of hunting and gathering. They were historically referred to as ‘Bushmen’, a name that many still prefer. To avoid negative connotations associated with this term, the Nama name ‘San’ has also been used, though this is now considered by some to be even more derogatory. The primary social unit of the people is a band usually consisting of between 20 and 50 members related either by blood or by marriage. They have no leaders or formal legal institutions, and their mode of social organization is among the most simple and egalitarian known.
    The most common musical instrument used by the Bushmen is the (goma g!oma) or (nao n!ao) mouth-resonated musical bow, which is usually a hunting bow: the string is stopped by the left hand while the right hand strikes the string with a small stick. Another instrument, the mbira (see LAMELLOPHONE), is gaining popularity, having been adopted by the Bushmen from Bantu-speaking neighbours.
    The heart of Bushman music, however, is singing. The vocal music is usually polyphonic and polyrhythmic, characterized by a kind of yodelling and using a high tonal centre, and the voices are supported by complex hand-clapping, sometimes supplemented by one or two drums. The songs, sung by choirs of women and girls, accompany dances performed mainly by men and are given titles such as The Giraffe, The Elephant, The Kudu etc. These dances are at the core of Khoisan religious life and are frequently used for trance therapy.
    Hewitt, Roger L. “Bushman music.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.

    Here’s a clip of some of their music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4niOEwwHihM It should be obvious fairly quickly that this works on a similar principle as the forest people’s music with a lot of self-expression. Even though the quote mentions mainly men dancing this video also shows that dancing is perfectly acceptable for women too. Then this next video is basically a short documentary on a modern day version of the move from egalitarianism to inequality as experienced by the Khoisan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfUHQ2kCg1U Similar concepts pop up which I’ve touched on in my previous comment, namely power structure, as exemplified here by government exerting influence over indigenous culture by something as seemingly simple as borders, hence designation of property and stratification of rights according to a central body.

    In your comment you make a few really good statements, but don’t explicitly connect them, e.g. the move from hunters to guards or raiders implies a move from food provider to protector and plunderer. Since these jobs became highly prized in a more aggressive world of competing communities the social status of the ones providing these services, mainly men rose in accordance. The usefulness of women was designated to roles within the community and therefore the ones being protected. This seems to me an important mindset change still present today. Bring in male posturing and avoidance of outwardly showing weakness and we’re pretty much talking about modern men and the stratification within them of alpha, beta, etc.

    You then make a statement of believing that fundamentally humans, and all other life are female organisms. This statement has had me scratching my head as I’m not quite sure how you mean that one, so I’d be interested in a further explanation if possible. For me, male and female refer purely to the biological sex of an individual, necessary for reproduction, however that doesn’t mean that one is less or more than the othr or that they should dictate where one’s strengths and weaknesses lie. For me the true value of a human being is their aptitudes and realisation of those within society. Unfortunately class and gender prevent people from attaining the realisation of their aptitudes, i.e. working class families won’t be able to afford university fees without encurring debts and often suffer from the stereotype threat of not being academically capable, therefore not even seeing it as a worthwhile option to attempt and depriving their offspring of the chance for proving themselves.

    I’m not your avaerage transgender person either, however I acknowledge that societal pressure is pushing me to put myself more into the female corner as this is the nearest socially established gender nucleus of the binary model for my particular identity. Asking for just one gender is wrong, as I personally believe our gender identities are more fluid, with various levels and ranges of fluidity than anything fixed. I’m a person with a male biology and a split persona which is outwardly mostly genderless and inwardly mostly female. The female identity often overpowers the genderless side due to it being more socially relatable, yet I can’t really express the female side fully either due to social expectations of biology matching gender identity, so it’s a catch22.

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  3. lovely! this is so rewarding… i really appreciate your links and the knowledge… i happen to have been very strongly influenced at the age of 5 when i was taken to see Babatunde Olatunje (Yoruba drum master) and his Troupe perform at my Dad’s Union (District 65) in NYC in 1962… African drums have always made me feel so… connected. and the non-hierarchical form of these peoples’ music appeals to me so much! i was always an outcast with the drum circles, at least the ones that fancy themselves to be “trained” and “traditional”… they are that, but my intent has always been to make the rhythm fit the moment… i believe that traditions were established this way… once upon a time, no one had a tradition and they tuned in and found the beat that sang what needed to be sung and over time some of these became repeated because they “worked” and then… ossification sets in… and those who are responding to the actual moment NOW can be heard to be “playing wrong”… as Herbie Hancock once said, “there are no wrong notes, just unexpected ones…” don’t misunderstand me… there IS horrible drumming… but if one is listening and open, one can and will drum something unique that fits and pleases…

    i can wholly relate to your statements about how one finds oneself unable to find a “definition” that satisfies a society demanding us to “pick” or “do something we can understand” and at the same time really expresses what we are, what we KNOW we are, without even being given a language that supports that knowledge.

    anyhow Fabiènne, to answer your question about sex differentiation and my assertion that we’re all “females” at the root… as best as i can…

    the confusion i create with my statements about how “i think Humans, and all life, are essentially “female” organisms…” is understandable for sure… here’s what you need to see it. i hope anyway! there is always the possibility that what i mean is just plain silly…

    before sex, all living organisms possessed the capacity to reproduce. nothing was “born” that couldn’t itself reproduce. in time, this gave way in a process that Lyn Margulis described as “symbiogenesis” in which varied and distinct life forms actually combined and created completely new forms in which the previously separate organisms now all took a part in an organization that assigned specialized functions for each previously independent life form… the new form was like a community… we Humans are still formed this way, with over half of the cells in our bodies actually not being Human. we are a community of highly symbiotic and interdependent organisms. what “i” am is actually and will always be a “we”.

    this is the same kind of paradox that i’m using to describe what i think about male and female. yes, i am “me”, an “individual”, a “male”… but at the same time i am “we”… a complex community of interdependent distinctly different organisms, most of whom have no idea that they are “me”, the same way i don’t generally go around feeling like a glob of bacteria.

    so back to the emergence of sex.

    before sex, all life forms were reproductive. this is what i call “the Matrix” and it is neither female nor male, but semantically, since reproductive capability is what we identify with female, i say that it is essentially female (since that word does actually contain both)…

    our species (and all the other Eukaryotes) developed a way to exist in the world as two forms of the same “original”, with one retaining the capability to produce eggs (and self-fertilize as well in many species including many vertebrates. the offspring are actually clones and all are female) and the other form being specialized in producing genetic material that, when combined with the genetic material in a fertile egg, will mix and blend to grow a unique new individual. this new reproductive method produces a range of genetic combinations that allow for greater diversity, faster and more extreme variation/mutation… and also ensures that roughly half of the offspring, being male, will not be able to themselves reproduce…

    so what i’m saying is unintuitive in that i say that i am male, not able to reproduce by myself and so i am distinctly identifiable… but paradoxically, the form “male” is itself inseparable from the “matrix” that i am derived from.

    the issue of whether this makes me “less than” a female doesn’t come up for me… i am what i am, all the way… not a “defective female”… but neither am i something alien or unlike a female, in fact, at the stage of our development before the Y chromosome kicks in, all of us share the exact same “genital tubercle” which develops into our female and male genitalia. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genital_tubercle#/media/File:Gray1119.png]

    what i’m asking you to understand may require you to stop thinking from an “anchored” point of view and take a leap back into your “infinite” self… where we are all, males and females, actually functioning as specialized parts of a larger organism… the Human Species… this is what lives, what we call “ourselves” is actually illusory… just the same as the fact of our physical bodies not being “100% Human” means that “i” am not simply “i”, “i” am “we”… in that same sense, males and females are not divided, just different… at a “higher” level our “division” is nothing more than an elegant and very psychedelic way for a living organism to dance though time and space as it pretends to dip in and out of existence, appearing to itself as being living and dying distinct “individuals”… but really are all part of the same… infinite… eternal cosmos.

    the importance of this to me is that it frees me from having to identify with a narrow concept of myself, one that serves to divide me from the Whole… and this is the entrance to the whole social/political/cultural aspect of our existential troubles…

    if i believe and hold on to the idea that males and females are separate, unlike one another, not the same etc… i assert a “truth” that fails to address all of the reality i describe above… what does it mean that life used to reproduce asexually, then it developed a way to split itself into two sexes and recombine DNA… and that the two sexes are both derived from the same structural model at the root? does it mean that once upon an (apparently to our “mainstream” way of thinking, irrelevant) time, we were “the same” but now we have no relation to that state of our development… now we are “males”, divided, apart, “opposite”? that seems wrong, to me anyway…

    so i state this, clumsily, as being a reality in which i am a “form of female”.

    it certainly isn’t the other way around, since before sex, nothing that lived could have survived without the capability to reproduce. that is still true. males would die out in one generation if there were no females right? to me this means that something larger than what can be described from the “individual” point of view is what’s happening.

    this also explains to me why i feel like i’m not a “Man”. why should i feel like i’m a “Man”? if i listen to my heart, my essence… i feel a Human Being… one that is integrated and essentially a cooperative, specialized member of a community that includes various forms… i feel my breasts… i lactated and let my daughter suckle when i was 22… i feel the nerve at the end of my penis and i realize that this is the same nerve that females have on their clitoris… the forms are really identical, just the scale is altered… so much of me is so similar to female that i have stopped being able to feel myself as being anything more than “different”; that way you might be tall and i might be short, but we understand that we are the same, both Human. our differences have functions that give us wildly different basis for experiencing ourselves and the world, but that’s the whole point, to increase diversity, to multiply the points of view and expand the possibilities for learning, to bring all that back “home” to our genes and perhaps, pass it on…

    in infinity, “we” are all… together. Whole.

    ❤ birdy

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  4. OK, you’re talking about the basic blueprint of a human life before developing into either female or male. And I do understand your statement from that point of view, even though this physical state is merely a scientific truth rather than a truth that is actively experience by all human beings. Just to clarify I’m sticking to humans only as I don’t have enough knowledge on other non-mammalian species to conclusively say they work on the same principles; they may work on a hermaphroditic or intersex blueprint. Consequently our development is based on the same nerves, organs, bones, muscles, etc, however the influence of hormones dictates how the bodies are defined, both in utero and during puberty for the primary and secondary sex characteristics respectively. The only exception I can think off, and one that is actually close to my own heart, where this female blueprint does show up for men during their lives is gynecomastia or the enlargement of the ariola complex and mammary glands into female breasts. For most this is a transitory phase within puberty when oestrogen is more active than testosterone or in their later years when testosterone levels start dropping. Some, like myself will develop female breasts around puberty, but they won’t decrease in size over time and most, due to social stigma will undergo surgery to reduce breast size to a “normal” male chest. I myself have chosen to live with mine as it’s part of who I am and spending thousands on a surgery which is merely to “improve” appearance is, to me personally not worth the expense, even if I’m a 34D. Plus since I call myself Fabiènne having developed breast during puberty is just natural, right? I actually don’t get many comments about having breasts as due to my height a D cup is actually not as huge as one would suppose; just 4 inches of difference in circumference between underbust and overbust measurements (FYI to really present as female with more accurate proportions I should have at least cup F to match my long body).

    I suppose the knowledge that you, and I and every other human being out there was based on a female blueprint would intellectually negate the sexes and put us all on the same level, but unfortunately the distinctions of penises and vaginas is socially engrained to the point that it can’t be escaped that easily. The binary model is enforced everywhere and they’re the common categories for clothing, hygiene products, and even cars. Personally speaking something like skirts, traditionally worn by men in a lot of cultures make far more sense than trousers, but nope, they’re a female garments, a skirt for men is well, a kilt, to name the one that most people in the west are familiar with. the funny thing about the kilt is that most people consider men who wear them as highly masculine, thereby causing somewhat of a contradiction. But I digress. Because this distinction is being so heavily enforced the male role as provider, protector and competitor for resources is highly distorted, which is why domestic violence is peaking (it’s no longer directed towards a survival threat, so it inverted itself) and why we see so much public posturing going on between the UK and Europe, US and North Korea, Spain and Catalonia, etc. etc. Even biological females in high positions are posturing nowadays. It’s all going overboard and it’s worrying, because one of the worst case scenario outcomes to this that I can see is nuclear war, which will reduce population numbers so drastically that we’ll have to go back to something close to egalitarianism, because money is worthless and we can’t fend for ourselves in order to survive, so back to trading goods for goods, and relying on aptitudes to get the best people in positions they do best. Don’t mean to say this as a doom and gloom future prediction, but realistically it’s not that much of a remote chance anymore. We’re slowly but surely hammering close our own species coffin.

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  5. hey thanks Fabiènne…

    here’s a couple of reflections…

      “…this physical state is merely a scientific truth rather than a truth that is actively experience by all human beings.”

    alas, for me this awareness of the abyss between how i have been “defined” by school, family, society and how i actually feel is visceral and may actually be one of the deepest disturbances i’ve had over the course of my whole life… it is evident in writing of mine from an early age… as was the origin of my crossdressing… to find information that could make sense of this existential crisis has been a life-long endeavor, and i think finally i’m getting close to being able to at least articulate the situation i find myself in… attempting to live with both the finite and infinite aspects of myself.

      “…the influence of hormones dictates how the bodies are defined…”

    i agree of course… and would point out something perhaps hidden in plain view: defining ourselves is exactly what we are doing. the act of defining is to rank the significance of attributes in a hierarchical manner. it is a value-laden act, an act that is subject to evaluation on ethical grounds. it is not “neutral”.

    the evolutionary insight i am excited about is that if you look critically at exactly why we use sex to define our bodies, you see that it is not just arbitrary and certainly not absolute… the use of sex to divide ourselves creates the conditions in which one sex can dominate the other.

    if instead, we chose to simply “be” and not concern ourselves with “defining”, we would have the conditions to create a very different society. Sex would not “disappear”, what would happen is that Humanity would reappear.

      “…unfortunately the distinctions of penises and vaginas is socially ingrained to the point that it can’t be escaped that easily. The binary model is enforced everywhere and they’re the common categories for clothing, hygiene products, and even cars.”

    this question vexes me… given that i am struggling to conceive of a society and my own identity without enthroning sex or gender as “defining” attributes of myself and others… what does it mean that i express joy and happily conform to the conventions of “beauty” that are embedded so thoroughly in male supremacist sex/gender dimoprphism? if i don’t want to be defined according to my sex/gender, why does it matter to me how i look? what is hidden inside my “taste” and my expression of dress and presentation? am i full of crap? …somehow, (i cringe) i think the answer is obvious.

    i still have a lot to do.

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