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phi & gender equality...


This page gives a brief background to Phi and why it’s so unique and important, particularly on the issue of gender equality. Jump to the summary if you're in a hurry.


This explanation can be separated into four simple sections:


  • Yin-Yang: everything has an opposite

  • 50/50 is not a good balance of energies

  • Nature uses a bit more Yin than Yang

  • In summary...


Firstly, this BBC4 four minute video gives a clear and simple background to the wonders of Phi.  The Phi Guy's website offers a very well researched, in depth look at Phi, with a fantastic ‘do it yourself’ section - so you can make up your own mind about whether Phi is to be seen throughout Nature, and life.

Yin-Yang: everything has an opposite


Everything in our universe needs a counterpart to exist; you can’t have hot without cold, dark without light, female (Yin) without male (Yang).   As the Wikipedia explains:  


In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also, yin-yang or yin yang) describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world”   


Phi appears throughout life; in plants, animals, humans and more, but for the purposes of the Phi Assembly, the relevance of Phi, is in relation to Nature's ‘imbalance’ of Yin and Yang energies.

By Klem [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
50/50 is not a good balance of energies


Nature’s creative process does not balance Yin and Yang in the ratio of 50/50.  Actually 50/50 can be considered a stalemate, a state of inaction.   Nobel prize winner and eminent biologist Ilya Prigogine once stated that all natural movement arises out of a state of imbalance, of non-equilibrium.


To Quote scientist Callum Coats in his remarkable book Living Energies, “Non-equilibrium is a prerequisite for movement and evolution in all its forms…


A good example of this ‘natural imbalance’ is a pine cone, with 8 (Yin) spirals in one direction complemented by 5 (Yang) spirals in the other direction.  Where the female and male spirials meet, is a seed of course - creation waiting to happen, and the ratio of 8 and 5 is Phi; 1.6 or roughly 60/40, in favour of the Yin/Female energy.  This ‘natural imbalance’ is found throughout Nature.

(c) Callum Coats

Nature uses a bit more Yin than Yang


A very relevant influence of Phi for the Phi Assembly is its application in human behaviour.  Aristotle's philosophy of the Golden Mean is about finding the best balance between the opposite extremes of human behaviour.  


The Buddhist ‘Middle Way’ is also about the right balance of human behaviour - and it’s not the stalemate zone of 50/50 between the extremes, it’s tipped in favour of one extreme in the ratio of 1 to 1.618 which is Phi.


For example, think of a guardian caring for their baby, she/he could be extremely selfish or extremely selfless.  If she/he is extremely selfish the child will suffer, if she/he is extremely selfless, they will suffer and not be able to care for the baby as well as they could.  The most effective, productive, creative, life-supporting balance, is if the guardian is mostly selfless (mostly a Yin trait) but also has a lesser but significant element of selfishness so that she looks after herself as well (mostly a Yang trait), i.e. 60/40 in favour of Yin. i.e. Phi.

In summary...


Rebecca Shambaugh is an internationally recognised leadership expert, author, keynote speaker and President of SHAMBAUGH, a global leadership development organisation.  In an article in the Huffington Post, she succinctly sums up the complementary differences between women and men:


"Gender intelligence relates to the considerable differences in how men and women operate in the workplace -- how they think, lead, communicate, act, react, problem solve, make decisions, negotiate and work together.  Men tend to be more competitive, evidence based, results oriented and present focused.  Women, on the other hand, tend to be more collaborative, intuitive, empathetic and future focused. Certainly, both men and women can and do possess the traits of both genders, but each gender is geared toward natural tendencies."


The global situation is clear evidence of male “competitive, evidence based, results oriented and present focused” thinking.  Whilst the male element is crucial for a ‘natural imbalance’, had the management of our world been tipped in the favour of female “collaborative, intuitive, empathetic and future focused” thinking, our world, would be a very different place.  



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