header pic header text

Volume III - The Art of Personality

Part II - Rasa Shastra - The Science of Life's Creative Forces

Chapter II

In Sanskrit woman is called Ardhangi, the half-body; half of that complete body constituted of male and female. Throughout creation each element attracts to itself its like; as Sadi says, 'Each element returns in time to the single goal of that element.'

This law may be more clearly observed in the attraction that exists between the sexes, and is indeed, the chief reason of the attraction between these two halves, which are derived from each other. Each sex is made of the element of the opposite sex, the female born of the seed of the male, and the male molded in the womb of the female.

The harmony that exists between persons of the same sex is also accounted for by this similarity. As each element attracts to itself its own element, so male harmonizes with male, and female with female. A man feels in his own sphere when he is with his men friends, talking and chatting freely, without conventions, formalities, or restraint. So a maiden is harmonious with maidens, and a matron among matrons. But greater harmony and more naturalness are found between individuals of opposite sexes; and the reason for this lies in their contrast. Though of the same element they are counterbalancing aspects of it; and each sex clearly perceives that one provides the other with what the other lacks. Each draws out something in the other than would otherwise be lost, and makes alive some part of the other that would otherwise lie as dead. Each sex draws from the other thoughtfulness and consideration, the thinking nature. It is through this contrast that the loving nature in man or woman is awakened, so that the heart, which was a grave of love, becomes a fertile soil, where any seedling of affection will flourish, and bear flower and fruit.

The one may draw from the other who is different a spiritual quality, a moral quality, a talent, a merit, a virtue that had lain enclosed in a shell, as the pearl lies in the depth of the sea, to become valuable only when brought up and used. These are properties of the spirit which are in its depth, awaiting a lifting hand, and which are brought to the surface only through help coming from one of the opposite sex.

The sexes are dependent upon each other; but of the two, the male is more dependent upon the female than she is upon him. Her position in the scheme of nature is a more responsible one; and the greater the responsibility of a being, the greater is the dependence of others upon that being. An infant, whether boy or girl, is entirely dependent on the mother from the time that the seed is conceived, to the moment of its breathing the air of the earth. 'The arms of the mother are the cradle of heaven,' it is said, and from infancy to youth the whole attraction of the boy is towards the mother. The cases where this is not so are exceptions, where there is a departure from the normal state of being.

It is the mother who keeps harmony between the father and child, and between the brothers and sisters. In poverty she has the care of the money; in sickness the burden falls upon her. She is the center of the pain of the house. It is her part to keep the family in friendship with the outside world, in sympathy with neighbors; to welcome strangers, and to receive visitors with a smile. Muhammad says, 'heaven lies at the feet of the mother.' Upon her constancy and endurance depends the unity of the home, which is the unit of the State.

Sometimes we see perfection of human form or personality; and then we seem to see in one individual something of the attributes of both sexes. A man called handsome always represents some trait of the refinement of the feminine; and in the same way a man's beautiful personality has a touch of the gentleness of the female nature. Nor can a woman's beauty of character be complete without some of that dignity which is masculine.

checked 18-Oct-2005