Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rising and Falling on the Axis of Eve

Eroticism, sensuality, and love, when they do not converge in the same person, are nothing more, in isolation, than a disease, a vice, and foolishness. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

Anything that can go right can go wrong, and love is obviously no exception. It's not as simple as the discernment of truth from error or illusion. For most of us, if we find out that something we think we know is wrong, we make an adjustment. We reject the falsehood and move on.

But love isn't so black and white. We can love the "wrong things," and yet, find it difficult if not impossible to let go of them, even when we know full well they're not good for us.

Then again, perhaps this isn't so different from truth after all, since people also "fall in love" with all sorts of theories and doctrines and ideologies for reasons other than their truth value. President Obama, for example, has seen his entire beloved worldview crumble before his eyes. But has he actually seen it?

Yes and no. As we've discussed in the past, Truth doesn't require a thinker, since it is true regardless of whether or not anyone recognizes or believes it. The world still revolves around the sun, even if everyone thinks the sun revolves around the earth. Perception is not reality. But accurate perception comes close, at least on its own plane.

Conversely, the Lie not only requires a thinker, but requires some prior recognition of the truth (otherwise there would be no need to lie). For example, the lie that the Libyan terror attack was the result of a You Tube video required the prior recognition that it wasn't. When simple truth starts to get so convoluted, you can generally tell that you're actually dealing with lies and liars.

Thomas Sowell mentions this in this new collection I'm reading. He says that he wants the book to "reduce the likelihood that readers will misunderstand what I have said on many controversial issues over the years."

Of note, when you misunderstand someone, you can't actually disagree with them, which is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to talk to a liberal. Almost everything they disagree with may be traced to a misunderstanding, either willful (i.e., a "dis-understanding") or unconscious. Bullshitters think everyone else is one.

Sowell points out that, ironically, "One reason for some misunderstandings is that my approach and my goals have been too plain and straightforward for those people who are looking for hidden agendas or other complex motives."

In other words, liberals unconsciously assume that we are as devious and agenda-driven as they are. For example, they are obsessed with race, or greed, or homosexuality, so they assume we must be.

But let's get back to Love. There is much in the world that is lovely. I mean, right? The beauty is infinite. But just as with knowledge, we must take care to love the right things in the right way.

Women, for example. Who doesn't love 'em? Most men will tell you -- even in the teeth of a restraining order -- that the female body is the most unsurpassably beautiful form in all of creation. Here I am reminded of another aphorism:

The laws of biology alone do not have fingers delicate enough to fashion the beauty of a face. Female beauty evokes a kind of ache, or longing, in men, that easily shades into transcendence. I mean, here it is, in this world, and yet, how could it be?

Another truenbeautiful aphorism: From an aesthetic experience one returns as from a sighting of numinous footprints.

And for men, woman is the quintessential aesthetic experience, whether or not they (women or men, for that matter) wish to believe it. It is as easy for a man to worship a woman -- or women more generally -- as it is to worship a god.

Which is, of course, where the trouble arises. It brings to mind a crack by the unorthodox Orthodox Boris Mouravieff, about how Adam and Eve fall for "the mirage of temporal goods": "Adam turned away from his real 'I' and identified with his personality," or what we call (•). Then "the beauty of the daughters of man did the rest."

And still does. Woman is, writes Perry, "the veil of universal illusion, both seducing and dispersing, for the same veil that refracts the Light also veils it. Thus woman, in spite of herself, can pull man away from the Spirit and therefore needs man's strength to reconvert her energy heavenward."

Dennis Prager has often spoken of how men and women face very different battles with themselves in this world. But our society focuses exclusively on those impulses men must master, e.g., the impulses to dominate, rape, and generally do violence. But I am not aware of any comparable attempts to tutor and channel female nature.

As a result, pathological femininity gets a free hand to do as it pleases, and if you say anything about it, well, you're a misogynist! Which is so far from the truth that one hardly knows where to begin.

For one thing, it is specifically because we love women that we want what is best for them, and by extension, us, since man's nature will generally only rise to the level demanded by women. If women make no demands, men are only too happy to oblige, so long as they are ensured sexual access.

Yes, it's true: "depending on his degree of virile self-domination," a man "can be dissipated" by female beauty (Perry). Which means dispersed, spread thin, and deprived of his true vector and purpose. And a man without a transcendent purpose isn't much of one, is he? And besides, Sex does not solve even sexual problems (Don Colacho).

While looking for that quote by Mouravieff, I also found some relevant thoughts in Volume 1. He says that "the role of a woman, on the ascent to Redemption, must be comparable to the part played by woman in the Fall." Makes sense, no?

Recall that Eve inspired Adam, so to speak, to turn away from his higher source: "Having conceived in her fertile and artistic imagination the notion of Illusion, the woman, after tasting its fruits, offered them to her husband" -- which you might say is what gets the whole nightmare of history underway.

Reversal of this tide requires a man to "go in search of the being without whom he is not real."

I am lucky enough to have met and married the person without whom I am not real (we are speaking here of the human-human plane, not divine-human per se). I had this distinct sense of reality, of "ontological heft," as it were, on our first date -- which is not to say that many kinks and mind parasites didn't have to be worked out between then and now, so no idealization please! -- and it is interesting to see Mouravieff so accurately describe such a peculiar phenomenon:

"Without clearly being conscious of it, the polar beings know each other, and this knowledge, as ancient as they are themselves, is expressed by the voice of subconsciousness. This creates an atmosphere of absolute confidence and sincerity from the moment they meet....

"Polar beings do not lie to each other. They do not need to lie, for inwardly both are one single being, from the depths of which the real 'I' issues his call and gives his assent. After this, that absolute, spontaneous sincerity constitutes the basis of their relations, and this in turn will give these two beings the otherwise inconceivable feeling of freedom in unity, which ends the impression of servitude and isolation under which we ordinarily live."

(There's quite a bit of occultish stuff in those Mouravieff books, but also some things it's hard to find elsewhere -- like MOTT, only much more so.)

This rambling post is over for now, but there's a whole lot more to this business of male-female relations. To be continued...

16 Comments:

Blogger Cond0011 said...

" He says that "the role of a woman, on the ascent to Redemption, must be comparable to the part played by woman in the Fall." Makes sense, no? "

Whoa... yea.

" It is as easy for a man to worship a woman -- or women more generally -- as it is to worship a god. "

Yes. This is such a convoluted trap for a young man. They 'see' a woman, fall in 'love' and want to go out with her. We do the asking, they do the accetping (maybe). Right?

Thats how it goes, right?

Not exactly.

The women do the choosing. The men do the asking.

But that doesn't make sense! How can this be? Its also very unfair!

Well... I'm sure as why to it is this way, but from the perspective of the woman its a terrible curse - because they really can't ask the man - not directly, at least and so may pine away for the one they realy want.

otoh, the man will need to calm his hormones down just a weee bit and actually... listen to the women. For once in his young life.

Imagine that. :-\

"Without clearly being conscious of it, the polar beings know each other, and this knowledge, as ancient as they are themselves, is expressed by the voice of subconsciousness."

Absolutely. The Depth of Love that you could experience in a healthy relationship is probably the reason why people keep going into the institution of marriage - regardless of all the obvious and spectacular failures that are out there. Like moths to a flame.

You just gotta do it. If it was just about sex, then the vast majority of men would go the prostitute direction.

" After this, that absolute, spontaneous sincerity constitutes the basis of their relations, and this in turn will give these two beings the otherwise inconceivable feeling of freedom in unity, ..."

A vow between man and woman in the presence of god.

10/25/2012 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It is as easy for a man to worship a woman -- or women more generally -- as it is to worship a god.

Easier, at least in my experience. The goddess is dangerous.

Thank God for the Virgin Mary. She's all right.

10/25/2012 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very good point. She is certainly to Eve what Jesus is to Adam.

10/25/2012 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Bob,
I am so touched by what you said in your post about our relationship and found the whole post very clear and meaningful.

The quote about absolute confidence and sincerity and the polar beings knowing each other is completely accurate. I have never, ever had that feeling with anyone else but you, and certainly not when first getting together, like what we experienced on our first date eating fried chicken by the pool in the middle of the night.

That feeling was reminiscent of a dream I had had within six months of our first date. It was so vivid and real and I've never had another dream like that. I was with someone in the dream I didn't actually know in my day to day life, and I had that same feeling about him. When I woke up, I was so lonely and missed him and wanted to find him again. It was just an unbearably beautiful (and real) feeling in the dream, and unbearably sad to lose it when I woke up. I just don't have those kinds of dreams...never before, never since. Later I felt it foreshadowed our relationship as well as my relationship with Sri Aurobindo and later Jesus (not to lump you all in one group ;)

So those quotes and your comment are very real to me. More real than reality, even -- like how God is for me.

Leslie (aka Mrs. G)

ps-I also want to repeat what you said... that between there and here has been a long and winding/bumpy road. I don't see how any good relationship isn't.
In the book, "A Severe Mercy", the couple wanted to keep alive the feeling of being everything to each other and never letting anything even slightly get between them, etc. C.S. Lewis (a good friend of the author and his wife) explained in a letter (that was part of the book) that all love dies, but couples who have been together a long time and are very happy and in love, have had their love die and then reborn. In other words, the goal isn't to preserve the first "falling in love" feeling. That can't last. But you can fall in love again and have your love reborn, I think is how he described it.

From my personal experience, if I don't need God in my marriage, I won't be open to His Grace which transforms human love into something on a level I could never get to, and it resolves problems I couldn't do on my own/with therapy, etc. But I wouldn't have experienced His Grace if I hadn't turned to Him out of sheer desperation and need and faith.

10/25/2012 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/25/2012 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"I am so touched by what you said in your post about our relationship and found the whole post very clear and meaningful."

This post invoked Mrs. G!

Hello Leslie. :)

"But you can fall in love again and have your love reborn, I think is how he described it."

That beautiful vision that comes from loves first blush. That can be so beautiful. So perfect. I'm sure you know that there's not enough time in the day to be perfect, and those day to day imperfections probably intruded upon that beautiful vision until it was ... gone. But the important thing is that you both chose to love each anyway. Thats Gods Love for us too: despite our imperfections, he loves us anyway (which makes it an even better love than the love of first blush). Especially since it is grounded in the realities that make up our clockwork world.

How lucky that you too must be!

Life is too short for a Love like that.May you both live long and blessed lives!

10/25/2012 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mmmmm, fried chicken....

10/25/2012 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Bob, you are very fortunate. And the post by Mrs. G affirms this. I have gratitude that the both of you exist in such a beautiful union.

10/25/2012 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

And maybe it's been my problem that I never tried the fried chicken move on the first date.

10/25/2012 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Pretty weird that Leslie has the dream about that guy, then just four years later the Kings trade for Wayne Gretzky. Coincidence? I don't think so.

10/25/2012 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Not even the munchies would induce me to eat chicken.

... but couples who have been together a long time and are very happy and in love, have had their love die and then reborn ...

That's true, and true of anything that involves humans. To call upon Lewis again -- from Screwtape, I think -- he talks about the "law of undulation" -- or was that a Shakira video? Anyway, we tend to be seasonal.

10/25/2012 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

When I first read the post, I was thinking I'd ask how Mrs. G was doing. Judging by her lightful comment, I'll guess she's feeling at least somewhat better :)

I mentioned recently that the posts come alive somewhere between the front page and the comment box. Today it came alive between the two of you. Thanks for letting us see it.

10/25/2012 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Dang! Now I got a hankerin' for fried chicken!

10/25/2012 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thankfully, Patti makes a mean fried chicken.

Of course, getting her to fry chicken at this time of day will prove to be quite a challenge.

Thanks for the post n' comment Bob and Mrs. G.! :^)

10/25/2012 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

I still feel like the luckiest guy in the world that my wife loves me. She has the prettiest smile I've ever seen and her laugh lifts me in a way that no other can. I sometimes wonder why she said yes. It must be because she trusts the love she sees in me. I'm very blessed to have found my other half.

10/25/2012 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"like what we experienced on our first date
eating fried chicken by the pool
in the middle of the night."

If that's not haiku
Give or take a syllable
I don't know what is

Beautiful too is how you "dreamed" your union "in the middle of the night". I think sometimes that this world and the other forget their places. Or maybe they just can't help themselves.

10/27/2012 06:06:00 PM  

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