Friday, August 19, 2011

Masculine and Feminine

I remember Lewis's description of the eldila; they were not merely male nor female, but masculine and feminine. It is now fashionable to denigrate and deride Lewis's Space Trilogy as naïve and simplistic, moralising and overly Christian. But some of his insights remain; one has only to read Ransom's translation of Weston's speech to the Malacandrans to realise how profoundly our world has affected our values.

We are not just man and woman, but masculine and feminine. All that we are is all that is human, and yet what we think of as human is less that what we were, are, and can be. This is what I think when I look at my fellow humans with my grandfathers' eyes, with my grandmothers' eyes. I see now with deeper and deeper sight as my eyes see less and less. I was taught to look for the good and the real in everyone else, as well as in myself.

And there it is: men can be more than merely men; women more than merely women. We can be many things, and some of those things do not necessarily fit the world's own simple conceptions of man and woman. What were our Adam-father and Eve-mother like in Eden, before they fell into knowledge of good and evil? For a while, they ruled all creation, and named all living things.

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