One of the traits of the Sacred Masculine I most appreciate is the capacity to take risks in the quest for adventure. If we think of the beyondness or transcendence aspect of the cosmos as a masculine quality, and if we imagine that the process of evolution is an adventure that has occurred under the influence of a transcendent God (the "Omega Point") who stands like a magnet in the infinite future, luring the whole process forward under the attractive power of love, we see that masculine risk has been a major aspect of life's evolution. Scientists tell us there were at least five major Extinction Events in geologic history:
1. The Ordovician-Silurian extinction, which occurred about 439 million years ago due to a drop in sea levels as glaciers formed, followed by rising sea levels as glaciers melted. 70% of all species went extinct.
2. The Late Devonian extinction, which took place sometime around 364 million years ago. To this day its cause is unknown. However, global cooling is the likely culprit. 70% of all species went extinct.
3. The Permian-Triassic extinction, which happened about 251 million years ago and was Earth's worst mass extinction. Many scientists believe a comet or asteroid impact led to this extinction. Others think that volcanic eruption, and related loss of oxygen in the seas were its cause. Still other scientists suspect that the impact of the comet or asteroid triggered the volcanism. 96% of all marine species and 70% of land species went extinct.
4. The End Triassic extinction, which took place roughly 199 million to 214 million years ago. This was most likely caused by massive floods of lava erupting from the central Atlantic magmatic province triggering the breakup of Pangaea and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The volcanism may have led to deadly global warming. 75% of all species went extinct.
5. The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, which occurred about 65 million years ago and is thought to have been aggravated, if not caused, by impacts of a several-mile-wide asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater now hidden on the Yucatan Peninsula and beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Here, 75% of all species became extinct.
The risk involved in initiating a relationship, setting out on an independent career, developing new ideas, or exploring a new landscape are all additional examples of the masculine risk-taking quality that inhabits all of us, both men and women. How could we ever feel bad when we seem to fail, especially in the light of Earth's five great Extinction Events?
Photo: Waves of ice on The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, January 18, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.