I am a scientist - an Analytical Chemist. As a graduate student, I was taught to consider experimental design, to question data acquisition and processing techniques, and to evaluate whether the results match the question posed in the experiment in the first place.
Scientists are not supposed to be spiritual. How do I know? A scientist told me.
Instead, scientists are supposed to be impartial and objective, and do away with hogwash like magic and divination. We deal in truth, not feelings. Many scientists dismiss the unexplainable as flukes or delusion. But I go on record that magic does happen - that events in the apparent world are caused by something, and that something may not be measurable.
I am a rare breed: a scientist unblinded by devotion to the cult of science. A scientist capable of asking "Why?" and not receiving an answer - at least today. I recall the word "magic" used to be applied to things we call "science" today. Just because we don't know the answer doesn't mean there isn't one.
For almost a decade, I've practiced meditation and some form of spirituality, including what might be called a magical path. All was well...until I began to transition gender. Suddenly, the tools that worked previously seemed blunted. My ability to tap into streams I found effortless before felt slow and ponderous.
What happened? I changed my relationship to the Universe. And after meditating on the problem and running it past others, I believe I know why.
The anti-LGBTQ rhetoric
Before I discuss magic, I need to discuss the origin of the changes I experienced in the past year. The origin is the current anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and its firm entrenchment in our society, which rots our minds and social environments.
The rhetoric is the simple conclusion - drawn from empirical observation - that many humans who possess a penis will act like men within their social environment, and many humans who possess a vagina will act like women within their social environment.
The conclusion ignores human free will as well as the effects of social environment on an individual and the species as a whole. This rhetoric is summed up succinctly as "sex is identical to gender."
I began my spiritual practice presenting as a man. My relationship with the Universe was decidedly masculine - not an unwarranted assumption. I presented as a man, and I interacted with my social environment as a man. My relationship with the Universe was characterized by mobilizing energy in a masculine fashion.
Even if I did not believe sex is identical to gender then, I did allow that equation to affect my life. I was pretending - playacting at being a man - with all the attendant magical and energetic ramifications within my social environment and my life. I knew I was not just a man, but I accepted that anti-LGBTQ rhetoric as completely as any anti-LGBTQ proponent.
Of dual nature
At the beginning of 2022, my spiritual path led me to an eye-opening conclusion. I won't give all the details, but suffice it to say a powerful woman explained the special nature of being transgender, which is to be able to mobilize energy in both masculine and feminine fashions.
This came as a surprise - I had played into the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that identity follows physical structure. If I have the structure of a male, I must exist as a man.
Every fiber of my being rebelled against the hypothesis of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric - as the saying goes, I'm living proof. But I am also very poor at doing anything half-way. If I act, it will be with 100% of my best effort.
The idea that I could and should operate halfway - part masculine, part feminine - rubbed me the wrong way. It didn't feel right, and even being told directly my utility to the Universe stems from acting in a dual nature, I couldn't accept it as truth.
I began gender transition with the concept of dual nature in mind - that I will be better for my family, better for myself, and better for the Universe if I embrace my transgender and use it. I must live the dual nature life.
The thing is, while I knew I was supposed to be of a dual nature, that was not my underlying axiom. Instead, I continued to believe - subconsciously, at least - that my physical structure should define my identity, and with it, my relationship to the Universe.
I began transition; I began presenting as a woman. My social environment began responding to me as a woman, including being ignored in conversation, getting mansplained, having doors opened for me, and being called "ma'am." It was wonderful and frustrating.
But as I changed, I turned the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric around. If I possessed the identity of a woman, and identity equals biology, then I must also be female. My social relationships pointed to being female, and I bought into it. That is, up to one conversation where I very suddenly felt like a man again - and worse than a man...a male.
A year of delusion?
I have spent more than a year explaining the difference between male / female and man / woman. Male and female are species-level, abstract concepts loosely related to physical structure and genetics. Man and woman are individual-level, concrete implementations strongly linked to personal expression in context of socio-environmental factors.
It is possible - as some have surmised - that I exhibit intersex characteristics. The facility with which I took to hormone therapy indicates I might. But the truth is: I will never produce ova. And - scientifically speaking - production of ova defines a female of the species.
But gamete production is a very slim part of identity, which spans the physical, mental, psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual. Identity includes gender - the individual expression of sex characteristics within the context of social environment.
One does not have to produce sperm - that is, to meet the scientific definition of male - to be a man. Likewise, one does not have to produce ova - that is, to meet the scientific definition of female - to be a woman.
In fact, I will go as far as to assert gamete production is not even a leg up to gender - humans who produce ova are not "more woman" than humans who act as women, but do not produce ova. Intersex characteristics do not make humans more man or woman than humans without them.
The physical and genetic structures that result in production of ova are metaphysically given - we do not choose them if they manifest. We do choose to express our identity in accordance with the person we know we are.
I did not delude myself. I made a mistake Western society continues to perpetuate.
Perpetuating the fallacy
Learning I might be male destroyed my ability to see myself as a woman - temporarily, at least. It was so devastating to my state of mind, I decided to end my life - twice. Obviously, I got pulled back (twice), but it required a sense of integration I discarded long ago. One I dismissed because of the lingering understanding pounded into Western society as the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that physical structure defines identity.
I let go the knowledge I could be exactly who I am inside because I was given genetics and physical structure I did not choose outside. I would have to be one or the other; there is no in-between.
And so I found myself suddenly cast adrift in my mind and in my spiritual practice. I wanted to interact with the Universe only as a woman. I was finished interacting with the Universe as a man.
Into the future
But I am dual nature. I was metaphysically given a physical structure of a male, and I own the identity of a woman. I cannot interact with the Universe in only a feminine way any more than I could have interacted with the Universe in only a masculine way.
That is the special nature of transgender. That is our power, as it were. That is our ability to affect the Universe differently than those who can mobilize energy in only one fashion.
I am not a man, nor will I ever be accepted universally as a woman. I am not male, but I can never be female. I do not write this with rancor. I write this as my gift. I write it as my gift to the Universe as well. I must re-evaluate my spiritual path - my interaction magically with the Universe - to use my gift appropriately.
I may develop to do things others would struggle to accomplish. I must embrace this gift - masculine as well as feminine - because there is no other method for me to be in harmony with my identity and my Universe.
This isn’t starting over. This is feeling out the pathways I shut down when I believed I could only be a man. It will be exciting to learn to use my full range of expression and sensitivity.
It’s time to get back to the Great Work.