Excerpt About Gender Identity
Experiences of physical and emotional pleasure and pain greatly influence the formation of the concepts of self and world, and either attachment to or avoidance of certain concepts renders our mental world rigid and closed. An example of this is the concept of sex or gender: We learn in the course of growing up that we “are” a girl or a boy. The notion that one is a girl or a boy is always fraught with various value judgments, ideas of what male and female or masculine and feminine mean, and related beliefs about oneself and others, which may be very far from objective. So even though there are objective differences in the noetic form of female and the noetic form of male, the concept of male or female will for any given person be deeply subjective; it will be a personal concept, involving all kinds of judgments, reactions, opinions, prejudices, and associations. These reactions and associations then limit our capacity to see clearly even what we are personally believing at any given moment about reality, and tend to make the rigidness of our reified concepts even greater. In turn, as we have seen, this rigidness and opacity about ourselves and the world separates us further from the truth of who we are, and thus is the source of our suffering and alienation.