The Tao of Da Vinci Code — Can Eastern Philosophy Contribute to the Da Vinci Code Controversy?

[Recently published in Qi Journal – Winter/2006] Part 1 of 2

The recent uproar over The Da Vinci Code book, and now movie, has digressed into a tedious argument about historical factual details. However, one thing that is indisputable is that the book touched something in millions of readers across the planet. Perhaps the magic spark that excited readers to tell others about the book, eventually making it a global best seller, was not the facts or fiction of the book, but rather the metaphoric truth it exposed.

That truth was about the male and female aspects of consciousness, or what ancient Chinese philosophers would refer to as the yin and the yang. The male, or yang aspects of consciousness are the seen world, the linear and active, constructive and analytical world. The female or yin being the unseen and non-linear, the receptive, the contemplative, and the intuitive aspect of consciousness and reality. The essence of the Da Vinci Code was about feminine energy being removed from global consciousness in history. Whether there was a conspiracy to do so is irrelevant . . . it happened. But, how could that possibly affect us today?

Chinese philosophers millennia ago, began to realize the duality of reality, just as modern physics now understands that there are positive and negative polarities at the very root of all existence, and it is the dance of these polarities that enables creation to continually destruct and be reborn into endless possibilities of creation. This means that within each being’s atoms there are both positive and negative polarities that harmonize in a dynamic balance of life, just as there are feminine and masculine aspects to the consciousness of each human being. Just as in nature, when we find harmony within our consciousness for both these polarities, that is when we are functioning and evolving at our highest levels.

The Da Vinci Code was a poem if you will, a metaphoric message bringing up the reality that beginning with the decision not to employ the gospel of Mary Magdalene in the Bible, and the persistent false rumors diminishing her as a prostitute rather than the apostle she was, had a domino effect. Perhaps setting into motion a consciousness that later enabled the murder of tens of thousands of outspoken women branded as “witches” through the dark ages, and the current renunciation of women to the priesthood. These dominos of the basic renunciation of the feminine or yin power in society has had an effect on the consciousness of humanity over these many centuries. These facts and their result are undeniable.

What real impact has this had on society? In a world of plenty billions often go hungry, while millions actually die of starvation and abject poverty annually. Estimates are that a mere $20 billion dollars a year could end starvation in the world. A mere pittance when compared to the world’s nearly one trillion dollars in annual arms & military expenditures, as noted by the prestigious Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPIRI), for 2003. Yang energy solves problems by striking out, aggressive efforts to control and bend reality to certain ends.

However, feminine or yin energy has a contemplative side that can offer us an opportunity to open to multiple views and myriad options, weighing not in a linear fashion how to most immediately control resources, but a more communal approach that may take more time, but rather can result in more sustainable long term solutions to family and global problems. The nesting aspects of women are an example of this. They yearn on some deep level to keep a household in order, not because they enjoy the tedious tasks required to do so, but because on some unseen level there is a knowing that that order will nurture those who inhabit that dwelling. Before suggesting this is a sexist observation, be honest and compare the households of young bachelors and those of young women. If you are honest, although there are always exceptions to the norms, you’ll have to admit that the “young men’s bachelor pads” are more often less appealing to live in, and to “eat” in.

Most would agree that global warming and other environmental challenges equate to the world’s house being in an increasing state of “disorder.” The world knows that it is unbalanced with male or yang energy at this time. Perhaps this was necessary for the world to develop and expand and connect. I’m not judging one energy to be better than another, all are necessary. However, the universe is designed for balance. And it appears now that the world is in dire need of becoming more conscious of its yin/feminine energy. Ideas like energy conservation are yin/feminine concepts, just as exploring and drilling more and more holes for oil are obvious yang/male concepts.

The popularity of The Da Vinci Code, may show an awareness of our need to value the feminine energy of us all at this critical time in human history. So, how do we do that? How do we emerge from centuries of dismissing and repressing feminine or yin energy, in a way and at a speed that can help us through the challenges of our modern times? Ancient mind/body sciences like transcendental meditation, yoga, tai chi and chi kung, may be a huge part of a global healing, by providing a vehicle to expand the power of the feminine, yin, “contemplative” energy throughout humanity at a time when the world needs it desperately.

In Tai Chi, for example, emerging research reports that Tai Chi can help balance hormonal levels in aging men and women (lowering men’s high estrogen levels, while raising women’s low estrogen levels). These results show us a physical shadow of the internal balancing Tai Chi has on people.

There is a powerful yin or feminine aspect that Tai Chi offers, perhaps more than any other known exercise. This is the unseen, the receptive, the intuitive nature of Tai Chi. When one is not doing Tai Chi as a martial arts Kata (series of fighting forms), but rather losing oneself in the flow of motion, breath, and physical release . . . that is when the mind, heart, and body are immersed in the yin or feminine aspects of Tai Chi.

This is not a utilitarian aspect of Tai Chi. It is not being done to “defend,” or “to strike,” or even to “heal oneself” with the motions. For utilitarian usage of Tai Chi immediately puts the mind and body into a Yang or Masculine modality where form and outcome are utmost and control is needed to exact the “desired outcome.” The yin or feminine energy seeks no result, but rather opens to the pleasure of what is, as it unfolds from within the opening petals of consciousness and experience coming together without any destination or intention, or judgment, or analysis of right and wrong, correct or incorrect.