Tuesday, March 01, 2011


We all start out as females in the womb, at least that's what they say.  I don't know how a clump of cells can be deemed to be female.  I know it's about chromosomes but still, can you be a female before you even have a body?  Gender is a simple and specific thing, it's about genitals.  Genitals are either female or male. They determine reproductive function.   The rest of the body parts are not particularly female or male although hormones do make females more female and males more male; but you don't have female cells and male cells.  They're just cells.

A developing fetus isn't anything but cells for a while, and then it begins to grow.  Within a few weeks a body begins to take shape and then it develops its gender.  It's a bit of a stretch as I see it, pragmatist that I am, to say we all start out as females.  It sounds like dumbed down pop science that misses the point and sensationalizes it. I think we all start out as humans.  We all start out with everything in common, our humanity.

It takes us a long time to get here from the womb.  Nine months of gestation.  In 266 days our bones and organs have to develop, and our skin and eyes and fingers and toes and brains.  After we've got all of our parts we're still not even close to being fully developed but we have to leave the womb because we're just too big to stay there any longer.  Unlike other mammals, on the day we are born we're still not all the way here yet.  We'll have a long way to go before we can even stand on our own two feet. 

I don't think it's untrue to say that for a lot of people, even after we can stand on our own two feet and long after we've reached puberty, some people never really grow up.  From my own observations it seems that some people never get here at all.  They're here but they're not here.  They exist but they're not conscious of that fact beyond the most rudimentary sense of it.  Their basic personality developed along with their physical body and about the time the body got done growing up, so did the mind.  Anything that gets in after that will likely be the result of a life changing experience because from their perspective, they're all grown up.  They're done.  They know all they need to know and they go off and do life and never look back.    Their identities were constructed from external bits and pieces like a birds nest, from stuff that is easily picked up from their immediate environment.  A few strands of floss, a few sticks of straw,  a nice bit of fluff or two, tamped down at the bottom, build up the walls, and plaster it with a collection of labels.  This is who we are. We all do this.

But it's not who we are, it's just who we think we are.  In my way of looking at it, we're not really here until we realize that our constructed identities are just that, constructed.  I think once we blow off the resistance we get upon realizing that, and if we are willing to go against the grain and trust ourselves instead of submitting to the overwhelming pressure to conform, and we choose to take our walk on an uncharted path, a place where nobody's gone before, when we set aside the birds nest and choose to discover who we really are, that's when we get here.  That's what I mean when I say that a lot of people don't seem to ever get here.   Wherever "here" is.

Of course the truth is that we are all here whether we realize it or not.  You don't have to know that gravity exists to be living in it.  You don't need to know what's happening on those billions and billions of stars out there or the billions of worlds around them to find yourself in the universe, or find the universe in yourself.  The workings of the totality of all that is will go on whether they are comprehended or not and let's face it, we cannot comprehend the totality of all that is.  There will always be infinitely more that we don't know than we do know.  So who we really are is more a measurement of awareness. We are  each a unique, singular combination of everything we know plus everything we don't know.  What we don't know shapes us as much as what we do know.  In that sense, the totality of all that is, must already be a part of us. 

What is our identity but a stage of knowing?  Identity can be finite and static if we think it is or want it to be, but it doesn't have to be.  I can't accept that I am finished with mine.  I don't want to be the same person tomorrow that I am today, and I already know I won't be.  Who I really am, I finally understand, is someone who will never be done with this process.  I love that. 

I still have a bird's nest, as we all do, because it is necessary for us to be able to see each other.   For some the bird's nest is all there is, but for others it is only the beginning.  It is a portal that goes to a much bigger place, a fascinating place, a completely unique place. It is the door to everything.  Have you had the experience of striking up a conversation with someone, birds nest to birds nest, only to find that theirs is a portal too?  And when they open that door just a little bit, they let you get a glimpse of so much more inside them than you'd ever know was there unless and until they felt safe enough to let you come in for a while.  When I can talk with people from my portal to theirs, these are the best conversations in the world.  Communicating at that level is fantastic.  To me, that is what it means to be real.  

There is so much pressure on everyone to build their little bird nest and live their whole life in it and never think beyond it.  To wonder if there's more is not received warmly.  I think most people can hear the messages urging us from within to ask ourselves if what we see makes sense. There will come a moment, whether it is conscious or not, when we will choose to either follow our own heart or to conform.  I think a good many people choose to conform and are aware they are doing it, and they will live out their lives knowing they are not being true to themselves.  It's usually because the money is good or it's easier to not make any waves. It does make waves when we break free and do life our own way, in fact it separates us from everyone else.  That separation is so hard for some that they will abandon themselves for the benefits that conformity brings.

Those who are willing to go it alone are only claiming their rightful place in the universe, taking up their space and time and understanding it is their space and time to take up. For whatever reason, that outer world of trivial pursuits, of appearances and herd think does not like people who won't forfeit what really has meaning in order to get in line, place your nose firmly into the bum of the animal in front of you, and walk wherever they walk for the rest of your life.  Those who refuse to believe that that is all there is and that is all we need will not be understood by those who do believe those things.  In fact those who do believe that's all there is often feel threatened by people who take off their own shackles and walk free.  It scares them.  But I can't think of anything more scary than never really existing in the one time and place that I know for sure I will be here.


  1. Thank you for this post! Indeed my best moments with other humans were those where we open ourselves unconditionally to the other person and she does the same. However I'm afraid it's becoming more difficult for me to find people who are able to do this.

  2. Bruno,

    Go watch this. It's really good.



  3. What a fantastic post Ang,
    I was touching on this kind of thought today with a friend in an email i was writting.
    If we could only just do this, the world would be a better place for it.
    Thank you for your words.
    Cheers A13

  4. I understand and wish to continue,

    I'm glad it resonated. It seems this concept might be in the air.
    How wonderful. I hope it stays in the air. Thanks for letting me know.


  5. HI Ang,
    Since this post resonated with me so much, could i please get your permission to load it in full onto my blog, with all credit and links back to you of course.
    i just got so much out of it and it expresses what i would love to articulate with the people that read my blog.
    please let me know if this is OK.
    I've also added you to my blog list if that is ok too.
    Many Regards.

  6. I understand and wish to continue,

    Absolutely. The internet is for sharing stuff, so help yourself.
    I appreciate you asking.


  7. There's something else I find interesting in the idea that we all start out as females. It is a an example of how ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. It is also possible that the mother might be able to exert some influence on the gender expression of the child.

    Creationists sometimes throw out sex as proof that we couldn't possibly have evolved and must have been created. The question is something like "what came first, the male or the female?" and is intended to stump the heretic into believing in God.

    But evolutionary biology shows that the female came first and parthenogenesis is a viable reproductive strategy (at least in the short-term) for many species.

  8. Jerry6:36 AM

    I wonder what would happen if a story like this was ever published on the front page of a major newspaper? I wonder what should happen when we realize it would never be allowed?

    You've done a public service with this one, Ang. Good work.

  9. Oroboros,

    That is interesting to think about. It's a whole different layer to explore.

    It may be the mother who exerts influence over the sex of the child but I've also read that it could be determined by the father's contribution. I guess it's safe to say that we don't really know how it works, we just know that it works.

    I've heard what the creationists say and I've heard what the evolutionists say and I've heard about the theories of space people seeding the planet. I've heard a lot of stuff that people believe. It's interesting to hear all the different ideas but I keep coming back to this. We don't know and maybe we will never know. Does it matter as much as the fact that we're here and we have a lot to do regardless? It's a good mystery to have, we don't need to nail everything down, I don't know why they try so hard to turn the exquisite into the mundane. If anyone could prove their theory then that would end the discussion and we'd all adjust our thinking as required. Dominant theories aren't proof and much that goes on in the scientific professions seems to me to be more like religion than science. Discussions on this topic are like watching Family Feud. Folks on both sides would do well to show a little humility since, objectively speaking, no side has much more to show than feeling quite sure of themselves.

    I think it makes perfect sense that the female would come first but I don't know how much coming first could matter or what being first would imply. Which ever popped into being first wouldn't get far without the second being right behind.

    IMHO, the value of being "first" is strangely over rated.

    Thanks for your 2 cents.


  10. Hi Jerry,

    That's an interesting idea to ponder. What would happen if stuff like that did make it to the front page of the NYT or was the main discussion on the biggest a.m. talk show? I usually can extrapolate or amuse myself with some guessing, but I'm drawing a blank. I have no frame of reference for seeing non-religious philosophy being discussed in the corporate media. I think maybe it's too dangerous to bring up. It might make people think critically. You know that would send the control freaks into conniption fits. Big time. It gets too close to the curtain. But it's an interesting idea and I'd sure like to see it happen.

    I don't think I did much of a public service here Jerry but if it gave anybody something good, I could not be happier.

    Thank you.