Posted by Loren (18.104.22.168) on November 08, 2002 at 11:27:45:
In Reply to: Concept of Gender posted by anon on November 04, 2002 at 14:35:33:
Wow! What a great topic! I would love to read something from the writings about this, if you do find something, please share it here.
One possible answer(wild speculation on my part)is that the determeination of our gender at conception is not random, but decreed by God. In other words, maybe God with His foreknowledge determines our sex at conception, based on what would have the more significant and beneficial effect on the individual soul in it's life.
As you suggested, gender does effect the experiences we have in our lives, and there are many real and significant differences between man and woman, as well as similarities. But there is no doubt in my mind, that what I have learned and experienced in life, would be radically different were I born a woman.
We do know from the writings, that gender is only a physical reality and not a spiritual one:
"In Selections from the Writings of ÎAbduâl-Baha (Haifa: Baha'i World Centre, 1982), pp. 79-80, the Master affirms that both women and men are created in the image of God. He states:
...in the sight of Baha, women are accounted the same as men, and God hath created all humankind in His own image, and after His own likeness. That is, men and women alike are the revealers of His names and attributes, and from the spiritual viewpoint there is no difference between them. Whosoever draweth nearer to God, that one is the most favoured, whether man or woman....
Further, in one of His Tablets, ÎAbduâl-Baha indicates that ăthe spirit and the world of the spiritä are neither male nor female:
Know thou that the distinction between male and female is an exigency of the physical world and hath no connection with the spirit; for the spirit and the world of the spirit are sanctified above such exigencies, and wholly beyond the reach of such changes as befall the physical body in the contingent world. (From a Tablet, recently translated from the Arabic)"
-Letters of The Universal House of Justice, 1992 Feb 23, Ancient Goddess Religions
So when we die, we are neither man nor woman in the sense that we were in this life. However, in death, does a soul that lived as a woman, have some unique qualities, that a soul that lived as a man would not have or vice versa? Or would the process of gender actually have an equalizing effect. In other words, would two potentially very different souls at conception, through the unique processes of living as different sexes, in the end have more similarities because of the contrasting experiences of a gendered life?
The only thing of which I am certain, is that under a loving and merciful Providence, it is the best thing for me that I am a man, and the best thing for you that you are a woman.
I will continue to look for an answer to this in the writings. If you find one, will you please post it here?
this topic is closed - post at bahai-library.com/forum