“In Their Image” We Were Made: The Gender of Our True Nature

Yosi Amram
22 min readSep 15, 2022

By Yosi Amram PhD

“There is something in the world that the Bible regards as a symbol of God — not a temple or a tree, not a statue or a star. The one symbol of God is human, every human…Human life is holy, holier even than the scrolls of the Torah. Reverence for God is shown in our reverence for humans.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Image courtesy of moderndaymystic.com

What do we mean when we say that humans were created “in God’s image”? The line is one of the most commonly referenced from the Bible, yet there is little knowledge of its full context in Genesis. As I detailed in my previous piece (“Our Original Sin: Modern Psycho-Spiritual Lessons from Adam and Eve on Shame, Gender, and Sex”), I set out on a journey to investigate those early passages in the Bible myself, drawing from my knowledge of psychology, my studies of Eastern spiritual traditions, and Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism (as well as my personal experience growing up in a Jewish household with an observant grandfather). Similar to the story of Adam and Eve’s original sin, the story of God creating the first human from the earth has been warped by our society’s gender stereotypes, distanced in our common consciousness from what is actually depicted in the text. The Bible’s insights have been overlooked, mistranslated, or misconstrued, particularly as they pertain to how we should envision God and the subsequent implications that creates for us as God’s creations. As I discovered through a close reading of the creation story, there is a wealth of wisdom waiting for us there, especially while parsing the early descriptions of God and what it means to be made in “their” image.

  1. GOD IS A NON-GENDERED SINGULAR UNITY CONTAINING THE PLURALITY OF ALL GENDERS AND BEYOND
  2. ONENESS=LOVE, ONE LOVE=GOD
  3. THE FIRST HUMAN CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
  4. ONCE UNITED, NOW DIVIDED
  5. TO LOVE IS TO KNOW
  6. THE SPARKS THAT FLY: UNITING YIN AND YANG POLARITIES DURING SEX
  7. YOU, TOO, ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

1. GOD IS A NON-GENDERED SINGULAR UNITY CONTAINING THE PLURALITY OF ALL GENDERS AND BEYOND

The quotation commonly referenced about humans being made in God’s image is from Genesis 1:26, which describes God saying, “Let us make a human in our image after our likeness.” Through misunderstandings of the text, this use of the plural “our” has been replaced with the singular “His” when the passage is mentioned colloquially in our society. The statement, “We are made in His image,” or others like it echo around synagogues, churches, and mosques, solidifying the idea that 1. God is a singular male and 2. The first human, made in God’s image, is also therefore a singular male (and that the female form was created later on). I would posit that neither conclusion is supported by the text. The first aspect to consider is God’s use of a plural possessive pronoun in this passage, and why the word used to describe God, “Elohim,” is also plural (for “El,” a singular God). Why, if God is a singular being (as most of us and our culture have portrayed God), would they not say “in my image”?

There are two classical explanations for this: 1. “Our” refers to God and the ministering angels — the most common Jewish interpretation; or 2. “Our” refers to the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — a Christian view that sees the Father and Son as masculine and the Holy Spirit as feminine. But, in this essay, I would like to offer a third possibility whereby “Our” refers to the many aspects, sides, or parts of God, who is a singular entity containing all the pluralities of our world, including all genders. Indeed, this phrase about creating a human “in our image” is uttered on the sixth day of creation, when gendered beings (animals, the heavens, and the earth, etc.) have already been created and therefore exist within the infinity of God. God is speaking here as the royal “we” on behalf of the entirety of their created kingdom (a view shared by some ancient rabbis like Nachmanides and Ibn Ezra), which includes the multiplicity of genders.

You may find one or more of these interpretations compelling, but as further evidence supporting the third, the very next sentence in Genesis 1:27 reads, “So God created the human in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” While this passage does use masculine pronouns to refer to God and the first human, it also states that the first human is somehow both “male and female” (Keep in mind, there has only been one human created at this point; more on this later). This would mean that the human’s creator, God, in whose image they are made, has masculine and feminine aspects as well.

God has many names and is referred to in a wide variety of different tenses and genders throughout the Bible. I believe that this is because, like the universe, like Reality, and as an Infinite Being, God is at once a singularity, a unity (as it says in the Bible, there is only One), and a plurality embodying and encompassing all — the feminine, masculine, and everything else. We can see examples of this across the entirety of the text of the Old Testament, most notably in the meaning of what is considered to be God’s most powerful name. In the first of the ten utterances (often mistranslated as “commandments,” which only contributes to the misperception of God as vengeful and angry) God says, “I am YHVH, your Elohim (God.)” “YHVH,” a singular word, is known as the Tetragrammaton. YHVH is translated as “Lord” and sometimes referred to as “Yahweh.” It is spelled with the Hebrew letters “yud, hey, vav, hey,” shortened to YHVH. It is the ineffable name, an unpronounceable Hebrew word that contains all permutations of the verb meaning “to be.” It represents all that is, was, and will be.

As it says in Deuteronomy 4:39, “Know this day and take it to heart that YHVH is God (Elohim): in the heavens above and on the earth below there is nothing else.” This means that there is nothing that is devoid of God — nothing devoid of YHVH and nothing devoid of Elohim. Consistent with most theological understandings of God as a boundless Infinite Being, God is both immanent and transcendent — all-pervasive and ever-present. This would mean that our very existence brings with it innate dignity and sacredness, as all of us human beings live within the one and only true ultimate Being. And since we are all a part of God, God loves each and every one of us, just as we ourselves could never not love our own body parts. No matter what disease we may experience, what ailments may afflict our individual organs, or what infections may need to be purged from our systems, we still care about each part of us, simply longing for it to work harmoniously with the greater whole.

Furthermore, the name YHVH includes both the masculine (the heavens and the masculine letters “yud” and “vav”) and feminine (the earth and the feminine letter “hey” twice) in its very spelling. Thus, YHVH represents a cosmic union of the masculine and feminine.¹ ² This would also help to explain why there are so many references to God as a feminine entity throughout the Bible. There are a multitude of passages throughout the text that describe God as a mother, or even as distinctly female, too often glossed over in most studies. But God isn’t just female either. God embodies the full spectrum of gender, transcending “either/or.” To provide another example, in Genesis 17:1, God introduces themself to Abraham, saying “I am El-Shaddai.” This is now translated as “I am God-Almighty,” but “El-Shaddai” literally means “God of my Breast” in Hebrew. It is a distinctly feminine and nurturing image, yet somewhere along the way its meaning was usurped to conjure an image of omnipotent, exacting power.

God in the above passage is inviting Abraham to walk in God’s ways, promising Abraham that he will be blessed with wholeness if he does so. For, when we walk in God’s ways, pursuing and embodying justice, compassion, and love, we are supported, fed, and made whole by life as we would be by a compassionate and loving divine mother. Incidentally, the Hebrew word for compassion “rachamim” shares a root with “rechem,” meaning “womb.” God refers to themself as a woman and mother again in Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” And there is a similar comparison in Isaiah 66:13, “Like one whom his mother comforts, so shall I comfort you.”

Furthermore, we can see yet an even more striking example of this feminine face of God in Numbers 11:15, when Moses is appealing to God’s compassion and mercy. He pleads for God to forgive the Hebrew people, using the Hebrew word “at,” which is the second person singular feminine form for “you.”

The Bible frequently refers to God as a mother and a variety of other feminine images,³ yet all of that is ignored to solidify the idea that there’s a vengeful, bearded white man in the sky. Unfortunately, some of our religions have resorted to fear as a motivator, which ironically has turned many believers away from the wisdom and beauty of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic spiritual traditions, and even some of their teachings. To quote 1 John 4:10, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Our human concept of gender does not and cannot apply to the mystery and totality of God, and God could never be put into the box of any one single gender. Yet God can embody and express themself in various forms that, through our lens of gender, can appear as masculine (Elohim), feminine (Shaddai), uniting the masculine and feminine (YHVH), any other gender, or no gender. As God is infinite and boundless, nothing can be excluded from God, and therefore no gender can either.

Also noteworthy is how God phrases their name when asked for it by Moses. Moses requests God’s name in Exodus 3:13, in case the Israelites inquire about it after he tells them he was sent by God to liberate them. Curiously, he does not ask God about how or when the liberation will happen, or any such question most people would subsequently posit. The reason Moses asks for God’s name in particular is that he is asking for God’s essence, as, in the Bible, names point to one’s essence. In response, God reveals their name as “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh,” meaning “I will be what I will be.” Presenting another example of a mistranslation from the original Hebrew text, this has been worded as “I am that I am” in English. What is God revealing in these lines that the common translation might overlook? God is indicating that they are always in a dynamic state of becoming and unfolding, as are all of us. It is therefore fitting to call God a “Being,” as the word is also a verb, depicting God as ever-becoming and ever-evolving. Furthermore, as stated earlier, God’s other name, YHVH, contains all tenses — past, present, and future — of the verb, “to be.” Rabbi David Cooper acknowledges this idea in the very title of his book, “God Is a Verb.”⁴ And Buddhism recognizes a similar concept through the idea of impermanence, that reality is in a constant state of change. But God, Reality, and life are not just “changing,” they are constantly revealing more and more of their infinite possibilities through greater diversity, beauty, and complexity (our human brain is the most complex structure in the universe, as just one example). Such ever-increasing complexity evolving through life’s infinite intelligence can, of course, be revealed in terms of gender. And certainly, neither Being nor Becoming have a single gender associated with them.

When we think of God as “Being,” just another proper noun, we might start to make them into a simple object in our minds: a someone or a something we look for, yet is impossible to find. This is why the Bible expressly forbids creating any images that represent God. God is not an object to be perceived in our field of awareness; God is no-thing. Rather, God, as infinite consciousness and the source from which consciousness arises, is the ultimate subject — the one true Self — who creates and sustains all existence within themself, as the dreamer does for the characters in their dream. The people in our dreams have no existence separate from us, just as we have no existence separate from God. They cannot perceive their creator, the dreamer, directly just as we cannot perceive ours.

To summarize, God is not the angry, white man we have made them out to be. God exists beyond the comprehension of our finite minds. As Job 11:7 rhetorically asks, “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of Shaddai?” The answer to this question follows in Job 36:26, “God is great beyond our knowledge.”

2. ONENESS=LOVE, ONE LOVE=GOD

Some might be familiar with Gematria (mystical Jewish/Hebrew numerology), in which each letter (Aleph, Bet, etc.) and therefore each Hebrew word has a number associated with it, and words of the same value can reveal hidden connections in meaning. The value of the word “YHVH” in numerology is 26, and it’s the sum of two words “yehad” (which means “one”) and “ahava” (which means “love”), each of which has the numerical value of 13. This highlights the link between oneness and love, for when we experience love, our boundaries dissolve and we become one with whom we love. And since the two words’ sums add up to 26 (YHVH’s value), God as YHVH is therefore the one love of which we are all made. It is a shame to me that, with a message as strong, inclusive, and all-encompassing as this one, most interpretations of the Bible are so unfortunately limited by such binary gendered language, referring to God, even to YHVH, as simply male. Not even capitalizing “He” to refer to God does an adequate job of portraying YHVH’s infinite depth, majesty, and mystery.

It is also worth noting that the two names “Elohim” and “YHVH” are associated with different qualities or aspects of the many faces of God. Elohim is the name of God used in the Bible whenever God punishes those who don’t follow the “law.” Elohim features a disciplining quality that is often associated with the masculine father and the quality of justice. Elohim sets the “laws of nature,” which result in dire consequences when broken. Interestingly, the Gematria for Elohim is 86, the same as for the Hebrew word which means “nature.” God’s other name, YHVH, represents unified love from which the universe is born, both planting and nurturing the seed within the womb of creation. The name is always used in connection with God’s compassion, forgiveness, and mercy — qualities that are most often associated with the feminine. And, contrary to the notion of an angry God, “YHVH” appears over twice as often as “Elohim,” approximately 6800 occurrences versus 2600, in the Hebrew Bible.

But in keeping with the tenets of good parenting, as divine beings and children of God we need both qualities in our lives: justice and discipline (Elohim) and compassionate mercy (YHVH). Indeed, there can be no real compassion nor love without justice, and vice versa. Compassion without justice is too soft. Without the structure to support it and hold it in place, compassion depletes over time. Meanwhile, justice without compassion is dry, rigid, and brittle. As individuals, as a society, and as a world, we need both. Like how a bird relies on both of its wings, we can’t fly, can’t survive, and can’t thrive without each.

Furthermore, while we may view Elohim and YHVH as different aspects of God, we can reflect once again on the first utterance (as discussed above) which states, “I am the YHVH, your Elohim,” and is usually translated as “I am the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:2), clarifying that both seemingly distinct faces belong to the One Being. The Bible reminds us of this lesson that YHVH is Elohim in Deuteronomy 4:35 and 4:39, and once again in the famous Hebrew prayer, “Hear, oh Israel, YHVH, our Elohim, YHVH is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

3. THE FIRST HUMAN CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE

So, what would all of this complexity mean for the first human God creates? Another common misconception of the Bible is that the text is referring to Adam, the named, individual male from the Garden of Eden, when it describes God making the original human. But, the passage actually reads, “Let us make ‘adam’ in our image after our likeness.” The Hebrew word “adam” can mean both “human” (or “earthling,” as it shares a root with “adamah” meaning “earth”) and the individual masculine name — Adam. As I’ve previously argued, this first usage of the word in Genesis 1:26 is in fact indicating the former and not the latter (For more on this topic, read my previous essay, “Our Original Sin: Modern Psycho-Spiritual Lessons from Adam and Eve on Shame, Gender, and Sex”). The original human isn’t the individual named “Adam” we know from the Garden of Eden. It is simply an “adam,” a yet-to-be-named human who isn’t male or female. (This distinction between proper and general nouns is clear through the grammar utilized in the passage.)

Though it might come as a surprise, the text would show that the first human God creates in the Bible is unnamed, plural in nature, and nonbinary, containing all genders within them. Genesis 1:27 reiterates this, reading, “Male and female he created them,” despite there only being one human made at this stage. Not only is this original human being referred to as a plural entity in this line (whereas the later Adam is singular), but they are also portrayed as being both male and female. Furthermore, this language noting God’s first human as a nonbinary “they” is repeated in Genesis 5:2 as well.

In Genesis 2:18, the story we might all be more familiar with, God recognizes that it is not good for this primordial nonbinary human “them” to be alone. It is then in Genesis 2:21–22 that, by splitting the original human in half, two genders are formed: male and female, Adam and Eve.

Most, when asked, would say that in the Bible, Adam comes first, and that Eve is created from his rib. But, according to the literal text, Eve and Adam are created when Eve is pulled out of the nonbinary human’s “tselay,” which is indeed Hebrew for the word “rib,” but also the word for “side” or “half.” Even after the original human is split into Adam and Eve, Adam, as a man, still retains feminine characteristics, reminders of where he came from. To offer just one example, as mentioned above, his name is derived from the Hebrew word for “earth” (adamah) which is clearly feminine in Hebrew as well as in our modern understanding of earth as it is represented by Mother Earth. As one might imagine, the consequences for this misunderstanding are great, but so is the potential to reinterpret it and find its true message.

4. ONCE UNITED, NOW DIVIDED

The narrative of Adam, a distinctly formed male, being the first human and of Eve emerging from just his “rib,” is one that has deeply set into our common consciousness. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding and other ones like it have resulted in women being treated as lesser, producing anger and mistrust among the genders and spurring our gender wars. And it has eroded the ancient yet tangible idea that, no matter your gender, we are all equal parts of the same whole. And all are made the image of the Divine.

Yes, at first glance, the stories of the Bible would seem to stand against this interplay and equal exchange between the sexes. The very first verse of Genesis is the story of a differentiation. God creates the sky (“shamayim” in Hebrew, meaning both “sky” and “heaven”) and the earth, representing the masculine and the feminine respectively. (Indeed, in many belief systems and native traditions, humans have depicted the creation of the world as the result of the union between “Father Sky” and “Mother Earth.”) But after this differentiation, it is the subsequent combination of the masculine and feminine that gives rise to all creation and to all of life. Interestingly, it parallels our modern understanding of life’s evolution from non-gendered, non-sexual organisms towards sexual reproduction resulting in greater complexity and diversity as well.⁵

We see examples of this perspective, that all creation and all life comes into being through the interplay of the masculine and feminine, reflected in many other cultures across history and continents. Chinese medicine, for instance, understands all humans — men, women, or otherwise — to contain yin and yang energies within us, regardless of our sex or gender. Our health and wellbeing require their integration and harmonization. In a similar vein, Jungian psychology involves the development of both the feminine and masculine in a process of individuation, the goal being to reach a state of wholeness referred to as a “hieros gamos” — a sacred inner marriage — which entails spiritual realization of Self (another articulation of enlightenment).

In the Taoist tradition and Chinese philosophy from which the concepts of the feminine yin and masculine yang originate, the two energies are usually depicted as the yin-yang symbol, where each contains some of the other. Furthermore, yin and yang are understood as complementary, interconnected, and interdependent throughout the natural world — it is through the combination of yin and yang that all of reality is created. Similarly, according to the Hindu, Yoga, and Kashmir Shaivism traditions, the entire universe is the expression of the union of Shiva, the formless masculine principle, and Shakti, the feminine principle as it manifests through and as all formed energy and matter.

Given the infinite, creative intelligence of God, it is no surprise that our world is full of different expressions of gender — indeed created in the image of God. In fact, the Mishna and the Talmud (ancient Rabbinic Jewish texts offering interpretations of scripture) identify six genders in total, including four genders that go beyond the binary of male and female. Each of those four nonbinary genders are referenced hundreds and hundreds of times.⁶ They are:

· Zachar: Male

· Nekevah: Female

· Androgynous: A person who has both male and female sexual characteristics

· Tumtum: Someone whose sexual characteristics are indeterminate or obscured

· Ay’lonit: A person who is identified as “female” at birth but develops “male” characteristics at puberty

· Saris: A person who is identified as “male” at birth but develops “female” at puberty and/or is lacking a penis

The above perspectives on the nuances of gender are just the beginning. People from across the LGBTQIA spectrum have been recognized and honored by many of the world’s cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions.⁷

A fan favorite from Plato’s Symposium, to offer one more example from Greek mythology, is the story Aristophanes shares, about how the very first humans have four arms, four legs, two faces, and both sets of sexual organs. Zeus, to humble them, uses his lightning bolt to split them in two, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves. Across the world, and across centuries, we can see examples of how we humans were split from one another.

So, how do we put ourselves back together?

5. TO LOVE IS TO KNOW

To return to Genesis, once Adam and Eve are split from the original human, then what? As I parsed in my previous essay, they eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and become self-conscious, seeking to cover their sexual organs in shame and hide from God. There is a sudden realization that occurs as they view each other: an understanding of how they are different from one another — what the other has that they have not. Because they are man and woman, Adam realizes he doesn’t have a womb, and Eve realizes she is without a penis. I’ve argued that this moment of internalizing perceived differences — this “othering” — is in fact a fitting allegory for how we modern humans view each other and ourselves, creating a cycle of shame and violence that can only be broken by empathy, self-acceptance, and joyous reunion with each other.

Adam and Eve, longing to return to this state of wholeness and bridge the gap between them, have intercourse. Genesis 4 recounts this, saying, “And Adam knew Eve,” (The biblical word “knowing” referring to the intimate knowledge of sex). This, of course, highlights the connection between love and knowledge. To love others, we need to become curious about them, revealing their subjective interiority, coming to know it intimately with our mind, heart, and body. Otherwise, without properly seeing and understanding the other for who they are, it is only our projected images that we love. The same is true for our ability to love ourselves as well. It is with this intimate knowledge, with mind, heart, body and soul that Adam “knows” Eve. It is then that Eve, from the Hebrew “Haw-wah,” meaning the “mother of all living,” conceives of all future human life.

6. THE SPARKS THAT FLY: UNITING YIN AND YANG POLARITIES DURING SEX

As has been discussed, the violence between the sexes can be traced to the feelings of fear and isolation that come with perceiving the differences between us. Starting with Adam and Eve’s sudden awareness of their bodies in the Garden of Eden, we humans have always been unable to ignore what makes us different from others. And, too often, our instinct is then to either hide in shame or to disparage them, hoping against hopes that it is not us who is deficient or lacking, the odd one out.

One solution for these feelings of deficiency, as Adam and Eve discover in the Bible, is to come together, expressing curiosity and wonder about the “other.” Sex helps us enjoy our diversity as we seek to create a harmonious union with each “other.” During sex, the assertive and exploratory masculine (yang) can enter communion with the open, receptive, and nurturing feminine (yin). In fact, it is the polarity between these two energies that generates the electric charge of erotic passion, between people of any gender. And despite what some might believe, you don’t have to be in a stereotypical heterosexual relationship to experience the energy between yin and yang at play with one another — to enjoy the give and take between you and another, alternating in your roles as you please. And, of course, those who happen to be in heterosexual relationships aren’t restricted in their gender either: it is extremely common for straight men to surrender to their partners during sex, opening themselves up and allowing their yin to come forward as the woman embraces her yang.

And all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender expression, can contain both the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves and bring them together in sacred inner-union — hieros gamos, as mentioned earlier. And it is by doing so that we can become closest to embodying humans as we were first made by God, closest to the nonbinary primordial “adam,” made in God’s image, expressing both the masculine and feminine, noted by God as “very good” in Genesis 1:31.

7. YOU, TOO, ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

It is an intriguing coincidence to me that today’s nonbinary-identifying people have in large part chosen the pronoun “they” for themselves. They might be surprised to learn that there exists a biblical precedent for doing so, examples of nonbinary gender and creative yin-yang exchanges for God and humans alike. As I stated earlier, all of us contain yin and yang, feminine and masculine, regardless of our gender identity. I see it as analogous to how we are all born with two hands. Some of us right-handed, some left-handed, and some are born, or develop the capacity to become, ambidextrous. We need both hands, yin and yang, to function well. Furthermore, not only are we made in God’s image, but God is also ever present within and throughout all of us, regardless of our gender, as discussed above. While this speaks to our divinity, it also speaks to our responsibility: to ourselves, to other humans, and to our world acting in accordance with our divine image.

To return to the primordial first human, they are placed in the Garden of Eden and commanded to “work and to guard it” (Genesis 2:15). Yes, the Bible acknowledges humanity’s dominion over the earth (as is often cited by those looking to take advantage of the earth’s gifts). However, it’s clear that we as humans have been entrusted with the earth as its guardians and caretakers. In fact, later, in Leviticus 25:4, we are instructed that “In the seventh year, there shall be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land,” so that it may rest and regenerate. This directive also stands in complete opposition to the idea that our dominion would mean that we are meant to exploit our Mother Earth. (To me, the notion that we could and should help ourselves to the gifts of nature with little regard for our environmental impact goes hand-in-hand with the devaluation of the feminine occurring in our culture; the two phenomena have influenced and reinforced each other.)

As noted earlier alongside the insights of Gematria, the Hebrew word “hatevah” (nature) adds up to 86. The sum of “Elohim” is also 86.⁸ In this way, we can understand nature as an expression of divine law and life’s divine creativity. We must guard, tend, and preserve nature, and our Mother Earth, as they and all of us earthlings are made of “adamah” (earth), all expressions of the divine.⁹ God’s presence pervades the earth, further elaborated in (Isaiah 6:3), “The whole earth is full of God’s glory.” Every blade of grass and every bird participates in expressing and singing praise for the diverse beauty of creation. And so can we, if we open our hearts to see the magnificence of life’s creative intelligence and all the ways it can manifest. This isn’t surprising, as for many of us, immersing ourselves in nature is one of the most readily available ways to connect with the spirit of life.

And yes, as humans “in the image and likeness of God,” we have power over the earth and other living creatures, but we also have moral limits to the use of that power. Having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we are aware of our decisions and free to choose between kindness, compassion, and love or aggression, violence, and war. It is up to us to develop a moral compass, a discerning conscience that can guide our choices (for more on this see my post, “From Reality to Morality: Spirituality and the Role of Our Superego.”) It is up to us to develop both our yin and yang energies, actualizing them in harmony. It is up to us to heal and elevate the world and each other, embodying God’s one love, of which we are all already a part—for men, women, and everyone else. And, since we have no one image of God to celebrate, we must, when thinking of God, picture our fellow humans. That is what it means to be made in God’s image—regardless of each of our wonderful, unique gender-full expression, we are each a unique facet, a unique face, of God.

Click here for the next chapter, “From Reality to Morality: Spirituality and the Role of Our Superego.”

Go to truemasculinity.org for more on shame and masculinity, and go to engendering-love.org to learn more about the upcoming free online summit on healing ourselves through conversations about gender.

References:

(1) The Secret Sex Life of Hebrew Letters by Mark Sameth (2017). Forward, available at: https://forward.com/community/382354/the-secret-sex-life-of-hebrew-letters/

(2) What the Early Church Thought about Gods Gender by David Wheeler-Reed (2018). Available at: https://theconversation.com/what-the-early-church-thought-about-gods-gender-100077

(3) Imagining a Feminine God: Gendered Imagery in the Bible by Abigail Dolan (2018). Priscilla Papers, 32(3)

(4) God Is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism by Rabbi David Cooper (1998). New York: NY, Riverhead Books

(5) Sexual Paradox: Complementarity, Reproductive Conflict and Human Emergence by Chris King and Christine Fielder (2006). Research Triangle, NC: Lulu.com.

(6) Terms for Gender Diversity in Classical Jewish Texts by Rabbi Elliot Kukla (2006). Retrieved 4th of July, 2022 from http://www.transtorah.org/PDFs/Classical_Jewish_Terms_for_Gender_Diversity.pdf

(7) Transgender and the Transpersonal: An Introduction and a Call for Research by Scott Buckler (2019). Transpersonal Psychology Review, 21(1): 40–46

(8) God and Nature by Rabbi Rami Shapiro (2014). Available at: https:// www.patheos.com/blogs/rabbiramishapiro/2014/02/god-and-nature/

(9) The Ecological Imperative by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (2019). Available at: https:// www.rabbisacks.org/covenant-conversation/shoftim/the-ecological-imperative/

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Yosi Amram

Psychologist, Leadership Coach | Spiritual Intelligence Free Assessments (intelligensi.com), Gender & Relationships (trueMasculinity.org & Engendering-Love.org)