A Thought Adventure

Monday, May 8, 2017


But beyond these causes, I see the ultimate source of sexism in our misinterpretation of human nature at the time in our evolution when we developed consciousness. 

·         My journey back in time and across the earth in search of the origin of sexism has tracked it down to a universal and literally stone-age-old misinterpretation of human nature. It dates from and lived in a matriarchal social order. Because we didn’t grasp that male and female,  represented by mind and instinct, make up the two halves of the psyche (and therefore are two sides of the same thing), we fatally upset the balance between them. This imbalance manifests first /was first implemented/fostered by the goddess religion‘s downplaying of men’s role as fathers. It then continued to be upheld by the patriarchal social order’s subsequent devaluation/oppression of women.
 Snared in a straitjacket of sin and guilt we learned--and have never since unlearned--that the only thing entitling us to live a decent (if never happy) life is going through, in one form or another, the ordeals of sacrifice, suffering and death. 
 As a result, the purpose of having a conscious mind/implications of consciousness/ never became clear to us and 
A major reason why we haven’t managed to build a more equitable society is, I suggest, that both sexes apply an equally distorted view of the other. Patriarchy’s sexism, or overt discrimination against women, has all the time been counterbalanced by a reversed sexism, or covert discrimination against men. Because the psyche is made up equally of a male and a female part/principle, men and women exercise as much power in society. What happens if society prevents one sex from wielding its power openly, is simply that it takes its power underground where it works on sabotaging society’s professed goals. Patriarchy reduced woman to the role of wife and mother and forced her to lead, on the surface, a dull, voiceless and plantlike existence. Women’s power, which could only be exercised through sex and motherhood, therefore developed in the dark, where values antagonistic to the patriarchal ones could freely proliferate. It is the unchallenged exercise of this hidden female power that provides men with an ongoing incentive to wield coercive power over women, and this is how the vicious circle of strife between the sexes keeps going. /shouldn’t this sum-up come earlier? At start of Part III?/
*Although the feminist movement has alerted us to the wrongs done to women and started to correct them, we have so far ignored the wrongs done to men. But if our goal is an equal society, we must look both sets of gender-biased attitudes squarely in the eye and promptly admit that we all harbor them (though we have largely repressed and rationalized them)--for only then do we have a chance to uproot them. Modern psychology tells us we have to face our hidden emotions and re-experience them before we can establish healthy relations with ourselves and others. But this we must also do collectively. Society is like an individual who has never worked out his relationship with his parents: it is still beholden to its ancestors, i.e. to the values inherited from them, including its outlook on man. Collectively we take on guilt for the trauma we once suffered, and, not knowing any other way to get rid of it, we transfer our guilt to someone or something in our present life that has nothing to do with our original trauma./I’ve said this before/ (continues on p. 161)

*If we learn to see ourselves, or parts of ourselves, as evil we start hating it and since what we hate is a part of ourselves, we become destructive. We can’t eliminate aggression and anger, but we can learn to see them differently. We must be friends with our aggression, it is a resource to tap into, to protect human growth, a will to communicate. Be happy for your anger. Let it out, understand it and canalize it, because it is only when you rationalize it away that it will make you sadistic./
our robust resources for battle and putting up, because it, which prevents us from direct and rousing contact with each other. Battle is what we need because there is no other way towards full status as human beings but to put up a fight against the many obstacles that exist (the belief we have to be forced against our will, reason, our whole arsenal of thought, will, feeling being one of the worst) and eliminate them. Confrontation on all levels as a principle of life, mutual exchange, as the hotbed/breeding ground/soil in which the human tree can grow and ripen. Man as man’s rejoicing, his wellspring and creation.

I think it is about time we realized that there is nothing holy or larger than thou about any religion or philosophy; they are all products of the human mind and more or less fallible. The reason we let them stand above us is that they have always been upheld by worldly authorities whose vast physical powers have scared us into silence. Yet now when we are so much freer, so much more able to live with uncertainty and when nothing stops us from putting our trust in ourselves, we are still lost. Judging from the catastrophic increase in physical, psychosomatic and mental problems in the modern “godless” world, we seem to lack the appropriate strength to make it without authorities and feel neither safe nor capable enough on our own.
One of the reasons, I suggest, is that we simply don’t know who we are. So busy have we been following orders that we have never done our first duty, which is exploring ourselves, learning to respect what our strongest drives are and to carefully develop them. It is inside us that our motivations can be found and it is them we should follow, not ideologies, philosophies or any norms that are imposed on us from the outside, and which claim to be unchangeable.
For if love, as I believe, is part of the instinct for self-preservation, we have a bottomless need for love—and as much for giving it as for receiving it--in a sense, we are destined to love each other. It is only when we can’t love ourselves that we can’t love each other, and when we can’t satisfy this crucial double need that we redirect its uncanny power towards destroying the very things we do love: ourselves, each other, nature.
For us love is, I suggest, an inborn pattern preparing us to act and react in a “species-specific” way.
Most important of all, let’s not forget that we choose our life. /Regardless of the culture we live in and how we were brought up, as adults we are responsible for how much of it we embrace and allow to influence us and how much of it we discard and find substitutes for. By all means, let’s not/ So that we don’t /get to the point when we/ say at the end of our life (as the man did in Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych), “What if my whole life has been wrong?” But rather, with Henry David Thoreau, “If you advance confidently in the direction . . . uncommon knowledge.”/something is missing here/

/Or, as French writer Gustave Flaubert wrote in a letter to his friend and colleague George Sand, “Spend! Be profligate! All great souls, that’s to say all good ones, expend all their energies regardless of the cost. You must suffer and enjoy, laugh, cry, love and work, in other words you must let every fiber of your being thrill with life. That’s the meaning of being human, I think. . .”/ or else quote DHL/
I suggest modern society as a whole has /indeed/ reached a crisis, tottering as we are on the brink of self-annihilation as a species—whether through nuclear, chemical and biological holocausts or through environmental catastrophes such as the pollution of air, water, soil and climate.