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Re: [The Existential Society] Womans enlightenment

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  • helen steen
    Thanks Samara I ll look into that Helen Samara Mindel wrote: Helen- Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but try this:
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 16, 2004
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      Thanks Samara

      I'll look into that

      Helen

      Samara Mindel <smindel@...> wrote:

      Helen-

      Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but try this: Gilligan, Carol. [(1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.]

      -Samara






      helen steen wrote:


      Hello Dennis,

      One of the reasons often proposed to explain the difficulties women encounter in this area is our objectivity or rather our lack of it and it may well be a valid point but if one can try to overlook this (which I will) then what other factors could hinder our enlightenment?

      One thing I began to suspect, when I explored behind the scenes, was that where Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and even Sartre were concerned they probably were not in fact addressing me (in their philosophical works) or any other women for that matter. Nietzsche for example said 'Woman has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness, and immodesty lies concealed in woman'

      Whether I am right about this or not is irrelevant because the doubt is disconcerting. Anyway below are some questions I found in Towards the Spiritual Liberation of Women on the web...



      Seen in the context of enlightenment can absolute truth really be identified with a particular gender? Isn't enlightenment a perspective that is nondual and that is therefore beyond all limits or identity�even sexual identity? If so, what role does gender play in spirituality? Can one gender really have, in this arena, an advantage over the other?



      This case below was put by the women-centered psychological theory�s which include Nancy Chodorow's �Reproduction of Mothering�, about which I will say more later.
      �Although women do not enjoy the same social and economic freedoms as men do and women�s lives may not necessarily always run smoothly, they are raised to be selves-in-community, thus potentially live more fulfilling lives than men. Men on the other hand are invariably raised to be autonomous, contained selves sometimes becoming alienated and unhappy�.


      Due to 5,000 years of patriarchal religion women find themselves within a society where male sexuality is venerated while female sexuality is denigrated, however despite this fact and their socioeconomic disadvantages they succeed in fulfilling their innate genetic function of reproduction and nurturing.



      Does the �Reproduction of Mothering� Theory perhaps illustrates the inadequacy of traditional male-centered psychology's idea of the self? Could it, for example, expose the flawed intellectual rigidity of Sartre�s analysis?



      His analysis was from the view point of individual freedom, �beginning with the assumption that relations with others are based on objectification and that through our objectification of others and ourselves, either the body reigns as flesh, in which case domination or submission follow or consciousness puts its body and that of others at a distance and freedoms are preserved�.



      Sartre in effect concluded that women could only achieve fulfillment through the vehicle of their mate and Simone de Beauvoir only slightly expanded his theory with her idea �erotic generosity�. Whereby a woman, �who thinks she has little freedom to relinquish, will give herself entirely to a man in the faith that he, through his projects, his freedom, will justify her existence�.



      Both seemingly missing the point and taking no account of women�s fulfillment through reproduction and nurturing. Unfortunately, they both highly influenced the course of the feminist movement that followed.



      Nancy Chodorow's �Reproduction of Mothering� Theory �rests on child�s relationship with the mother and the role she plays in the child�s development of the �self� and provides the basis which women-centered psychologists have used to discuss the origins of gender-identity differences between men and women. Her theory also rests on the social fact that women have been the primary caretakers of children and sees the construction of an individual, gendered self as the result of social context�.



      Could this theory in conjunction with the study of individuals and species through evolutionary psychology help span the boundary between science and spirituality (or moral philosophy) thereby provide a key for women to enlightenment?



      I'm intersted to hear your thoughts



      Helen



      PS

      I assume overlap here between the terms self-fulfillment, self-actualization and spiritual awakening and enlightenment�


      neurom9999 wrote:
      Helen,

      I'd very much like to hear your thoughts about women's enlightenment,
      and the difficulties thereof.

      ----Dennis




      --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
      wrote:
      > Hello Bob,
      >
      > Please could you explain the following... see I'm not sure that I
      understand what you are saying.
      >
      > 'And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
      > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
      is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations'.
      >
      > Do you mean.... that the expectation of 'the enlightened one' that
      others can achieve 'self-abandonment and God-realization' is too
      high?... for some reason....and therefore their encouragement often
      fails? Is that it?
      >
      > I have to get back to you soon about women's enlightenment and the
      difficulties thereof...I have been working on this and have some
      thoughts that I'd like perhaps to share/discuss with you...
      >
      > In a nut shell
      > ...menkind's not to blame otherwise we're done for...
      > but there's more
      >
      > Helen
      >
      >
      > new_trail_blazer wrote:
      >
      > Hello again Neil,
      >
      > I think the aloneness that comes with transformation or rebirth
      > serves to encourage the enlightened one onward to earnestly encourage
      > or push others also onward themselves to self-abandonment and God-
      > reaslization. And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
      > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
      > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations.
      > And I would add that any attempt at typical organization has no place
      > here either, since most often the age old monkey business enters and
      > corrupts with the second man in, so to speak.
      >
      > What I find interesting in Fox's story is the following:
      >
      > "I saw professors, priests, and people were whole and at ease in that
      > condition which was my misery, and they loved that which I would have
      > been rid of. But the Lord did stay my desires upon himself, and my
      > care was cast upon him alone."
      >
      > Seeing here not only the contrast between the many de-sensitized
      > or hard-hearted souls and the few sensitive or far more finely-formed
      > ones, but also the fact that only the Lord will steer us perfectly
      > straight, and nearly all people will lead us astray, and often very
      > far astray. And especially priests, ministers, counsellors,
      > therapists, and the drug-dealing 'shrinks'.
      >
      > Regarding Schopenhauer, I feel far more fortunate having a good
      > wife for a companion, rather than a poodle.
      >
      > And old Vivekananda sure had his fill of that which was all
      > around him when he mahasamadhi-ed himself 'home' at an early age.
      >
      > "I have seen life and it is all self-life is for self, love is
      > for self, everything is for self. I look back and scarcely find any
      > action I have done for self-so I am content." (Vivekananda) I've had
      > this quote framed and hanging up on a wall for many years, along with
      > another favorite one of his as follows: "This sort of nervous body is
      > just an instrument to play great music at times, and at times to moan
      > in darkness."
      >
      > Take no wooden nickels,
      >
      > Bob M.
      >
      > P.S. The book 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James is
      > here on the net in its entirety. Seek and ye shall find!
      >
      > ****************************************************
      >
      > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, "right2neil"
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Thanks very much Bob for taking the time and effort in tracking
      > down
      > > this marvelous piece. Walt Whitman's comment: "It is not far, it
      > > is within reach. Perhaps you have been on the path to inner
      > newness
      > > since you were born and did not know it." comes to mind.
      > >
      > > And sheds light on Schopenhauer's: "A man can be himself only so
      > > long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not
      > > freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
      > > Restraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom
      > > there is no riddance, and in proportion to the greatness of a man's
      > > individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices which
      > > all contact with other demands.
      > >
      > > as well as Vivekananda's: It is only when everything, even love,
      > > fails, that, with a flash, man finds out vain, how dream-like is
      > > this world. Then he catches a glimpse � of the beyond. It is only
      > > by giving up this world that the other comes; never through holding
      > > on to this one.
      > >
      > > Thanks again
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
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    • neurom9999
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 17, 2004
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        <<That we are bound to the earth does not mean that we cannot grow; on
        the contrary it is the sine qua non of growth. No noble, well-grown
        tree ever disowned its dark root, for it grows not only upwards but
        downwards as well.>>

        --------Carl Jung



        Hi, Helen,

        Books written by feminists have not occupied a very high position on
        my reading list throughout my life. I feel I can very well understand
        how you could come to doubt whether the works of some male
        existentialists (and other male writers) are, in fact, addressing you,
        and other women. I possess similar doubts about whether the works of
        many feminists are addressing me, and other men.

        When Susan Brownmiller asserts, in *Against Our Will*, that rape is
        not a crime committed by a minority of disturbed males but rather
        "nothing more or less than a conscious process by which *all* men keep
        *all* women in a state of fear;" when the leading feminist
        publication, Ms Magazine, foments a rampant hysteria regarding incest
        and Satanic ritual abuse via the instrument of "recovered memory
        therapy;" when I encounter drivel such as the pronouncements that
        "every act of sexual intercourse is rape;" when Susan McClary
        describes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a rape fantasy, and pronounces
        most classical music as bad because of its "phallic violence" and
        "pelvic pounding;" when Robin Morgan writes, in *The Demon Lover: On
        the Sexuality of Terrorism*, that men "dwell in a state of political
        savagery," and that only women are peaceful—I begin to see that a
        salient goal of many feminists is to erect and attack a fungible
        abstraction: "the male," and that the individual characteristics of
        any actual man have no relevance in their reality tunnel.

        If feminist writings have been addressed to me, then most of them have
        sorely missed their mark. Nevertheless, I have been a faithful reader
        of some women writers, and, in many cases, consider their works to be
        definitive.

        On first take, I could very well conclude that Nietzsche's
        generalization about women applies most especially to himself:
        *Nietzsche has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry,
        superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty
        licentiousness, and immodesty lies concealed in Nietzsche.*
        Projection exists.

        Nietzsche expresses a generalization—but it sounds personal and
        reactionary to me. I would want to know the antecedent
        events/experiences that occasioned such a genius to make such a
        hostile remark. It sounds like something I might say, after spending
        half an hour with Patricia Ireland.

        Some observant man once concluded: Most of the problems in the world
        can be traced to the inability of a man to sit still in a chair.

        It is an established fact that men of great wealth have historically
        tended to want to band together with other men of great wealth—in
        order to control the course of events in the world. But, for some
        strange reason, society has assumed that great wealth equals great
        intelligence. Money makes the world go round, but the members of
        these men's clubs are not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer.

        I admit that all facets of society—religious, social, economic—have
        been invariably patriarchal in established form, and that much effort
        has been expended by some men to systematically hold women down. But
        I don't see where establishment/academic feminism, with its tools of
        misanthropy, political correctness, collectivism, and conformity has
        done much to improve the quality of existence for individuals of
        either gender. The abuse of wealth and power has kept most men in
        chains, along with women.

        Neurologists have concluded that men and women differ in the "wiring"
        of brain and nervous system. Cognitive psychologists have concluded
        that most men tend to objectify, and that most women tend to project.
        Shown a photograph or illustration of a man and woman in an intimate
        encounter, a woman will tend to project herself into the female
        depicted, whereas a man will tend to block out the male in the picture
        entirely, and fantasize about the woman depicted as "doing tricks for
        him."

        In actual existence, gender does not seem to be an either/or category.
        For both men and women, the evidence seems to indicate that there is
        a spectrum, a range of gender. Many studies have dealt with the
        borderline conditions.

        A biology professor once informed me, matter-of-factly, that the
        screen actress, Mae West, possessed a "male" brain, and that that was
        the reason she knew exactly what to say and do, in her unique way, in
        order to excite the erotic imagination of a man.

        As I've stated on a previous occasion, I came to Existentialism
        through the back door, as it were—intrigued by the cogent associations
        and root similarities I perceived during my study of Gnosticism. I'm
        not a member of the wealthy elite, and I'm not very interested in
        politics—sexual politics, or other. I feel I can plainly see that all
        or most gains in human freedom have come from the disenfranchised, the
        counter-culture, the artists and writers who are constantly engaged in
        a struggle with the establishment, and hampered by the fact that most
        of humanity is, as Bob M. might say, asleep.

        Some of what attracted me to Existentialism was its focus on
        authenticity, its tolerance for subjective commitments, its respect
        for individuality, and its extreme reluctance to assign a dogmatic
        essence to human beings—as if the nature of existence were completely
        comprehended.

        Many academic critics have concluded that the Nineteenth Century was
        "silly." I don't find the following silly:

        <<There shall be poets! When woman's unmeasured bondage shall be
        broken, when she shall live for and through herself, man--hitherto
        detestable--having let her go, she, too, will be poet! Woman will find
        the unknown! Will her ideational worlds be different from ours? She
        will come upon strange, unfathomable, repellent, delightful things; we
        shall take them, we shall comprehend them.>>


        ----Arthur Rimbaud




        Rimbaud also stated: <<I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am
        there.>>

        I accept the basic premises of the theory of evolution, and therefore
        I accept that both men and women possess the legacy of a reptilian
        brain—a vessel of dark, raw, almost unspeakable impulses. But thought
        and impulse is not action. For me, the first step on the path of
        enlightenment is withdrawing one's projections. Perhaps the Homo
        Superior will not be burdened with having to exercise conscience,
        will, and self-control.

        I believe that the path of enlightenment for both men and women lies
        in an authentic and intimate union of a man and a woman. I believe
        that women tend to be psychologically more stable, and that they are
        better adapted for existence. I believe that men tend to be
        psychologically more fragile—more prone to veer outward in tenuous,
        eccentric attempts to conquer the unknown—and, perhaps, end up
        stranded out on a limb.

        I am certain of very few things, but of this I am sure:

        Encountering my Barbara was the best thing that ever happened to me.
        I never felt the need to insist she support my projects in order to
        justify her existence. We never had the goal of making babies. But
        we had many synchronicities, many magic moments, and many
        breakthroughs. She immeasurably enriched my existence. Barbara loved
        her family, and nurtured her nieces and nephews, and cared about
        tending to the welfare of stray cats on the street. Her death was the
        worst thing that ever happened to me.

        I guess I can't be a true Existentialist, because I woke up one day
        and discovered that I'm a mystic.


        ----Dennis





        --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
        <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Dennis,
        >
        > One of the reasons often proposed to explain the difficulties women
        encounter in this area is our objectivity or rather our lack of it and
        it may well be a valid point but if one can try to overlook this
        (which I will) then what other factors could hinder our enlightenment?
        >
        > One thing I began to suspect, when I explored behind the scenes, was
        that where Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and even Sartre were concerned they
        probably were not in fact addressing me (in their philosophical works)
        or any other women for that matter. Nietzsche for example said 'Woman
        has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality,
        schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness, and
        immodesty lies concealed in woman'
        >
        > Whether I am right about this or not is irrelevant because the doubt
        is disconcerting. Anyway below are some questions I found in Towards
        the Spiritual Liberation of Women on the web...
        >
        >
        >
        > Seen in the context of enlightenment can absolute truth really be
        identified with a particular gender? Isn't enlightenment a perspective
        that is nondual and that is therefore beyond all limits or
        identity—even sexual identity? If so, what role does gender play in
        spirituality? Can one gender really have, in this arena, an advantage
        over the other?
        >
        >
        >
        > This case below was put by the women-centered psychological
        theory's which include Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering',
        about which I will say more later.
        > `Although women do not enjoy the same social and economic freedoms
        as men do and women's lives may not necessarily always run smoothly,
        they are raised to be selves-in-community, thus potentially live more
        fulfilling lives than men. Men on the other hand are invariably raised
        to be autonomous, contained selves sometimes becoming alienated and
        unhappy'.
        >
        >
        > Due to 5,000 years of patriarchal religion women find themselves
        within a society where male sexuality is venerated while female
        sexuality is denigrated, however despite this fact and their
        socioeconomic disadvantages they succeed in fulfilling their innate
        genetic function of reproduction and nurturing.
        >
        >
        >
        > Does the `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory perhaps illustrates the
        inadequacy of traditional male-centered psychology's idea of the self?
        Could it, for example, expose the flawed intellectual rigidity of
        Sartre's analysis?
        >
        >
        >
        > His analysis was from the view point of individual freedom,
        `beginning with the assumption that relations with others are based on
        objectification and that through our objectification of others and
        ourselves, either the body reigns as flesh, in which case domination
        or submission follow or consciousness puts its body and that of others
        at a distance and freedoms are preserved'.
        >
        >
        >
        > Sartre in effect concluded that women could only achieve fulfillment
        through the vehicle of their mate and Simone de Beauvoir only slightly
        expanded his theory with her idea `erotic generosity'. Whereby a
        woman, `who thinks she has little freedom to relinquish, will give
        herself entirely to a man in the faith that he, through his projects,
        his freedom, will justify her existence'.
        >
        >
        >
        > Both seemingly missing the point and taking no account of women's
        fulfillment through reproduction and nurturing. Unfortunately, they
        both highly influenced the course of the feminist movement that followed.
        >
        >
        >
        > Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory `rests on
        child's relationship with the mother and the role she plays in the
        child's development of the "self" and provides the basis which
        women-centered psychologists have used to discuss the origins of
        gender-identity differences between men and women. Her theory also
        rests on the social fact that women have been the primary caretakers
        of children and sees the construction of an individual, gendered self
        as the result of social context'.
        >
        >
        >
        > Could this theory in conjunction with the study of individuals and
        species through evolutionary psychology help span the boundary between
        science and spirituality (or moral philosophy) thereby provide a key
        for women to enlightenment?
        >
        >
        >
        > I'm intersted to hear your thoughts
        >
        >
        >
        > Helen
        >
        >
        >
        > PS
        >
        > I assume overlap here between the terms self-fulfillment,
        self-actualization and spiritual awakening and enlightenment…
        >
        >
        > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
        > Helen,
        >
        > I'd very much like to hear your thoughts about women's enlightenment,
        > and the difficulties thereof.
        >
        > ----Dennis
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
        > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
        > > Hello Bob,
        > >
        > > Please could you explain the following... see I'm not sure that I
        > understand what you are saying.
        > >
        > > 'And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
        > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
        > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations'.
        > >
        > > Do you mean.... that the expectation of 'the enlightened one' that
        > others can achieve 'self-abandonment and God-realization' is too
        > high?... for some reason....and therefore their encouragement often
        > fails? Is that it?
        > >
        > > I have to get back to you soon about women's enlightenment and the
        > difficulties thereof...I have been working on this and have some
        > thoughts that I'd like perhaps to share/discuss with you...
        > >
        > > In a nut shell
        > > ...menkind's not to blame otherwise we're done for...
        > > but there's more
        > >
        > > Helen
        > >
        > >
        > > new_trail_blazer <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hello again Neil,
        > >
        > > I think the aloneness that comes with transformation or rebirth
        > > serves to encourage the enlightened one onward to earnestly encourage
        > > or push others also onward themselves to self-abandonment and God-
        > > reaslization. And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
        > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
        > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations.
        > > And I would add that any attempt at typical organization has no place
        > > here either, since most often the age old monkey business enters and
        > > corrupts with the second man in, so to speak.
        > >
        > > What I find interesting in Fox's story is the following:
        > >
        > > "I saw professors, priests, and people were whole and at ease in that
        > > condition which was my misery, and they loved that which I would have
        > > been rid of. But the Lord did stay my desires upon himself, and my
        > > care was cast upon him alone."
        > >
        > > Seeing here not only the contrast between the many de-sensitized
        > > or hard-hearted souls and the few sensitive or far more finely-formed
        > > ones, but also the fact that only the Lord will steer us perfectly
        > > straight, and nearly all people will lead us astray, and often very
        > > far astray. And especially priests, ministers, counsellors,
        > > therapists, and the drug-dealing 'shrinks'.
        > >
        > > Regarding Schopenhauer, I feel far more fortunate having a good
        > > wife for a companion, rather than a poodle.
        > >
        > > And old Vivekananda sure had his fill of that which was all
        > > around him when he mahasamadhi-ed himself 'home' at an early age.
        > >
        > > "I have seen life and it is all self-life is for self, love is
        > > for self, everything is for self. I look back and scarcely find any
        > > action I have done for self-so I am content." (Vivekananda) I've had
        > > this quote framed and hanging up on a wall for many years, along with
        > > another favorite one of his as follows: "This sort of nervous body is
        > > just an instrument to play great music at times, and at times to moan
        > > in darkness."
        > >
        > > Take no wooden nickels,
        > >
        > > Bob M.
        > >
        > > P.S. The book 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James is
        > > here on the net in its entirety. Seek and ye shall find!
        > >
        > > ****************************************************
        > >
        > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, "right2neil"
        > > <right2neil@y...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Thanks very much Bob for taking the time and effort in tracking
        > > down
        > > > this marvelous piece. Walt Whitman's comment: "It is not far, it
        > > > is within reach. Perhaps you have been on the path to inner
        > > newness
        > > > since you were born and did not know it." comes to mind.
        > > >
        > > > And sheds light on Schopenhauer's: "A man can be himself only so
        > > > long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not
        > > > freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
        > > > Restraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom
        > > > there is no riddance, and in proportion to the greatness of a man's
        > > > individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices which
        > > > all contact with other demands.
        > > >
        > > > as well as Vivekananda's: It is only when everything, even love,
        > > > fails, that, with a flash, man finds out vain, how dream-like is
        > > > this world. Then he catches a glimpse … of the beyond. It is only
        > > > by giving up this world that the other comes; never through holding
        > > > on to this one.
        > > >
        > > > Thanks again
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
        > >
        > >
        > > ---------------------------------
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theexistentialsociety/
        > >
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        > > theexistentialsociety-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
        Service.
        > >
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        > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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      • helen steen
        Hello Dennis, Thanks very much for your reply..there’s a lot of interesting and helpful stuff in there. Actually books written by feminists have not occupied
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 20, 2004
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          Hello Dennis,

          Thanks very much for your reply..there�s a lot of interesting and helpful stuff in there.



          Actually books written by feminists have not occupied a very high position on my reading list throughout my life either, in fact I had to look up all those ladies you referred to, as I�d never heard of any of them.



          Perhaps I was being naive but it never (up till a few weeks ago) even occurred to me that the works of male existentialists might not be addressing me on all fronts, so to speak but on the other hand there�s no doubt in my mind that feminist writings are aimed at a mainly female audience...and so I�m not sure they equate (genres and gender of audiences in these cases.. that is)?



          I didn�t intend making a feminist statement, in fact as I said it never occurred to me that this might be a gender issue until I started to look into it, however I now think that it almost certainly is.



          Consequently, I conclude that it�s advisable for women (like me, for example) to investigate more modern women-centered ideas along with the old existential �masters� and for a bit of healthy skepticism to take into account (what one can glean, authoritative or otherwise about) the MEN behind the ideas, thereby 'staying flexible, and leaving the concrete on the highway'.. stealing one of Bob�s sayings.



          What you say here about Nietzsche� �expressing a generalization��...yes, this is what�s so interesting for me ...does H.L. Mencken in The Philosophy of FN have the answer.........



          .>>NIETZSCHE'S faithful sister, with almost comical and essentially feminine disgust, bewails the fact that, as a very young man, the philosopher became acquainted with the baleful truths set forth in Schopenhauer's immortal essay "On Women." That this daring work greatly influenced him is true, and that he subscribed to its chief arguments all the rest of his days is also true, but it is far from true to say that his view of the fair sex was borrowed bodily from Schopenhauer or that he would have written otherwise than as he did if Schopenhauer had never lived. Nietzsche's conclusions regarding women were the inevitable result, indeed, of his own philosophical system. It is impossible to conceive a man who held his opinions of morality and society laying down any other doctrines of femininity and matrimony than those he scattered through his books.<<<



          Or does Deborah Hayden in Pox ...

          of course we�ll never know......



          There are other things you comment on that I will think about�and get back to you�but I�m a little wary about discussion of feminist issues in this forum.



          Helen



          PS

          Could you explain why the book .. In pursiut of Valis.... costs $92, is it printed with gold leaf lettering or somthing?


          neurom9999 <neurom9999@...> wrote:

          <<That we are bound to the earth does not mean that we cannot grow; on
          the contrary it is the sine qua non of growth. No noble, well-grown
          tree ever disowned its dark root, for it grows not only upwards but
          downwards as well.>>

          --------Carl Jung



          Hi, Helen,

          Books written by feminists have not occupied a very high position on
          my reading list throughout my life. I feel I can very well understand
          how you could come to doubt whether the works of some male
          existentialists (and other male writers) are, in fact, addressing you,
          and other women. I possess similar doubts about whether the works of
          many feminists are addressing me, and other men.

          When Susan Brownmiller asserts, in *Against Our Will*, that rape is
          not a crime committed by a minority of disturbed males but rather
          "nothing more or less than a conscious process by which *all* men keep
          *all* women in a state of fear;" when the leading feminist
          publication, Ms Magazine, foments a rampant hysteria regarding incest
          and Satanic ritual abuse via the instrument of "recovered memory
          therapy;" when I encounter drivel such as the pronouncements that
          "every act of sexual intercourse is rape;" when Susan McClary
          describes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a rape fantasy, and pronounces
          most classical music as bad because of its "phallic violence" and
          "pelvic pounding;" when Robin Morgan writes, in *The Demon Lover: On
          the Sexuality of Terrorism*, that men "dwell in a state of political
          savagery," and that only women are peaceful�I begin to see that a
          salient goal of many feminists is to erect and attack a fungible
          abstraction: "the male," and that the individual characteristics of
          any actual man have no relevance in their reality tunnel.

          If feminist writings have been addressed to me, then most of them have
          sorely missed their mark. Nevertheless, I have been a faithful reader
          of some women writers, and, in many cases, consider their works to be
          definitive.

          On first take, I could very well conclude that Nietzsche's
          generalization about women applies most especially to himself:
          *Nietzsche has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry,
          superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty
          licentiousness, and immodesty lies concealed in Nietzsche.*
          Projection exists.

          Nietzsche expresses a generalization�but it sounds personal and
          reactionary to me. I would want to know the antecedent
          events/experiences that occasioned such a genius to make such a
          hostile remark. It sounds like something I might say, after spending
          half an hour with Patricia Ireland.

          Some observant man once concluded: Most of the problems in the world
          can be traced to the inability of a man to sit still in a chair.

          It is an established fact that men of great wealth have historically
          tended to want to band together with other men of great wealth�in
          order to control the course of events in the world. But, for some
          strange reason, society has assumed that great wealth equals great
          intelligence. Money makes the world go round, but the members of
          these men's clubs are not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer.

          I admit that all facets of society�religious, social, economic�have
          been invariably patriarchal in established form, and that much effort
          has been expended by some men to systematically hold women down. But
          I don't see where establishment/academic feminism, with its tools of
          misanthropy, political correctness, collectivism, and conformity has
          done much to improve the quality of existence for individuals of
          either gender. The abuse of wealth and power has kept most men in
          chains, along with women.

          Neurologists have concluded that men and women differ in the "wiring"
          of brain and nervous system. Cognitive psychologists have concluded
          that most men tend to objectify, and that most women tend to project.
          Shown a photograph or illustration of a man and woman in an intimate
          encounter, a woman will tend to project herself into the female
          depicted, whereas a man will tend to block out the male in the picture
          entirely, and fantasize about the woman depicted as "doing tricks for
          him."

          In actual existence, gender does not seem to be an either/or category.
          For both men and women, the evidence seems to indicate that there is
          a spectrum, a range of gender. Many studies have dealt with the
          borderline conditions.

          A biology professor once informed me, matter-of-factly, that the
          screen actress, Mae West, possessed a "male" brain, and that that was
          the reason she knew exactly what to say and do, in her unique way, in
          order to excite the erotic imagination of a man.

          As I've stated on a previous occasion, I came to Existentialism
          through the back door, as it were�intrigued by the cogent associations
          and root similarities I perceived during my study of Gnosticism. I'm
          not a member of the wealthy elite, and I'm not very interested in
          politics�sexual politics, or other. I feel I can plainly see that all
          or most gains in human freedom have come from the disenfranchised, the
          counter-culture, the artists and writers who are constantly engaged in
          a struggle with the establishment, and hampered by the fact that most
          of humanity is, as Bob M. might say, asleep.

          Some of what attracted me to Existentialism was its focus on
          authenticity, its tolerance for subjective commitments, its respect
          for individuality, and its extreme reluctance to assign a dogmatic
          essence to human beings�as if the nature of existence were completely
          comprehended.

          Many academic critics have concluded that the Nineteenth Century was
          "silly." I don't find the following silly:

          <<There shall be poets! When woman's unmeasured bondage shall be
          broken, when she shall live for and through herself, man--hitherto
          detestable--having let her go, she, too, will be poet! Woman will find
          the unknown! Will her ideational worlds be different from ours? She
          will come upon strange, unfathomable, repellent, delightful things; we
          shall take them, we shall comprehend them.>>


          ----Arthur Rimbaud




          Rimbaud also stated: <<I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am
          there.>>

          I accept the basic premises of the theory of evolution, and therefore
          I accept that both men and women possess the legacy of a reptilian
          brain�a vessel of dark, raw, almost unspeakable impulses. But thought
          and impulse is not action. For me, the first step on the path of
          enlightenment is withdrawing one's projections. Perhaps the Homo
          Superior will not be burdened with having to exercise conscience,
          will, and self-control.

          I believe that the path of enlightenment for both men and women lies
          in an authentic and intimate union of a man and a woman. I believe
          that women tend to be psychologically more stable, and that they are
          better adapted for existence. I believe that men tend to be
          psychologically more fragile�more prone to veer outward in tenuous,
          eccentric attempts to conquer the unknown�and, perhaps, end up
          stranded out on a limb.

          I am certain of very few things, but of this I am sure:

          Encountering my Barbara was the best thing that ever happened to me.
          I never felt the need to insist she support my projects in order to
          justify her existence. We never had the goal of making babies. But
          we had many synchronicities, many magic moments, and many
          breakthroughs. She immeasurably enriched my existence. Barbara loved
          her family, and nurtured her nieces and nephews, and cared about
          tending to the welfare of stray cats on the street. Her death was the
          worst thing that ever happened to me.

          I guess I can't be a true Existentialist, because I woke up one day
          and discovered that I'm a mystic.


          ----Dennis





          --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
          <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello Dennis,
          >
          > One of the reasons often proposed to explain the difficulties women
          encounter in this area is our objectivity or rather our lack of it and
          it may well be a valid point but if one can try to overlook this
          (which I will) then what other factors could hinder our enlightenment?
          >
          > One thing I began to suspect, when I explored behind the scenes, was
          that where Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and even Sartre were concerned they
          probably were not in fact addressing me (in their philosophical works)
          or any other women for that matter. Nietzsche for example said 'Woman
          has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality,
          schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness, and
          immodesty lies concealed in woman'
          >
          > Whether I am right about this or not is irrelevant because the doubt
          is disconcerting. Anyway below are some questions I found in Towards
          the Spiritual Liberation of Women on the web...
          >
          >
          >
          > Seen in the context of enlightenment can absolute truth really be
          identified with a particular gender? Isn't enlightenment a perspective
          that is nondual and that is therefore beyond all limits or
          identity�even sexual identity? If so, what role does gender play in
          spirituality? Can one gender really have, in this arena, an advantage
          over the other?
          >
          >
          >
          > This case below was put by the women-centered psychological
          theory's which include Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering',
          about which I will say more later.
          > `Although women do not enjoy the same social and economic freedoms
          as men do and women's lives may not necessarily always run smoothly,
          they are raised to be selves-in-community, thus potentially live more
          fulfilling lives than men. Men on the other hand are invariably raised
          to be autonomous, contained selves sometimes becoming alienated and
          unhappy'.
          >
          >
          > Due to 5,000 years of patriarchal religion women find themselves
          within a society where male sexuality is venerated while female
          sexuality is denigrated, however despite this fact and their
          socioeconomic disadvantages they succeed in fulfilling their innate
          genetic function of reproduction and nurturing.
          >
          >
          >
          > Does the `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory perhaps illustrates the
          inadequacy of traditional male-centered psychology's idea of the self?
          Could it, for example, expose the flawed intellectual rigidity of
          Sartre's analysis?
          >
          >
          >
          > His analysis was from the view point of individual freedom,
          `beginning with the assumption that relations with others are based on
          objectification and that through our objectification of others and
          ourselves, either the body reigns as flesh, in which case domination
          or submission follow or consciousness puts its body and that of others
          at a distance and freedoms are preserved'.
          >
          >
          >
          > Sartre in effect concluded that women could only achieve fulfillment
          through the vehicle of their mate and Simone de Beauvoir only slightly
          expanded his theory with her idea `erotic generosity'. Whereby a
          woman, `who thinks she has little freedom to relinquish, will give
          herself entirely to a man in the faith that he, through his projects,
          his freedom, will justify her existence'.
          >
          >
          >
          > Both seemingly missing the point and taking no account of women's
          fulfillment through reproduction and nurturing. Unfortunately, they
          both highly influenced the course of the feminist movement that followed.
          >
          >
          >
          > Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory `rests on
          child's relationship with the mother and the role she plays in the
          child's development of the "self" and provides the basis which
          women-centered psychologists have used to discuss the origins of
          gender-identity differences between men and women. Her theory also
          rests on the social fact that women have been the primary caretakers
          of children and sees the construction of an individual, gendered self
          as the result of social context'.
          >
          >
          >
          > Could this theory in conjunction with the study of individuals and
          species through evolutionary psychology help span the boundary between
          science and spirituality (or moral philosophy) thereby provide a key
          for women to enlightenment?
          >
          >
          >
          > I'm intersted to hear your thoughts
          >
          >
          >
          > Helen
          >
          >
          >
          > PS
          >
          > I assume overlap here between the terms self-fulfillment,
          self-actualization and spiritual awakening and enlightenment�
          >
          >
          > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
          > Helen,
          >
          > I'd very much like to hear your thoughts about women's enlightenment,
          > and the difficulties thereof.
          >
          > ----Dennis
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
          > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
          > > Hello Bob,
          > >
          > > Please could you explain the following... see I'm not sure that I
          > understand what you are saying.
          > >
          > > 'And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
          > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
          > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations'.
          > >
          > > Do you mean.... that the expectation of 'the enlightened one' that
          > others can achieve 'self-abandonment and God-realization' is too
          > high?... for some reason....and therefore their encouragement often
          > fails? Is that it?
          > >
          > > I have to get back to you soon about women's enlightenment and the
          > difficulties thereof...I have been working on this and have some
          > thoughts that I'd like perhaps to share/discuss with you...
          > >
          > > In a nut shell
          > > ...menkind's not to blame otherwise we're done for...
          > > but there's more
          > >
          > > Helen
          > >
          > >
          > > new_trail_blazer <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello again Neil,
          > >
          > > I think the aloneness that comes with transformation or rebirth
          > > serves to encourage the enlightened one onward to earnestly encourage
          > > or push others also onward themselves to self-abandonment and God-
          > > reaslization. And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
          > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
          > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations.
          > > And I would add that any attempt at typical organization has no place
          > > here either, since most often the age old monkey business enters and
          > > corrupts with the second man in, so to speak.
          > >
          > > What I find interesting in Fox's story is the following:
          > >
          > > "I saw professors, priests, and people were whole and at ease in that
          > > condition which was my misery, and they loved that which I would have
          > > been rid of. But the Lord did stay my desires upon himself, and my
          > > care was cast upon him alone."
          > >
          > > Seeing here not only the contrast between the many de-sensitized
          > > or hard-hearted souls and the few sensitive or far more finely-formed
          > > ones, but also the fact that only the Lord will steer us perfectly
          > > straight, and nearly all people will lead us astray, and often very
          > > far astray. And especially priests, ministers, counsellors,
          > > therapists, and the drug-dealing 'shrinks'.
          > >
          > > Regarding Schopenhauer, I feel far more fortunate having a good
          > > wife for a companion, rather than a poodle.
          > >
          > > And old Vivekananda sure had his fill of that which was all
          > > around him when he mahasamadhi-ed himself 'home' at an early age.
          > >
          > > "I have seen life and it is all self-life is for self, love is
          > > for self, everything is for self. I look back and scarcely find any
          > > action I have done for self-so I am content." (Vivekananda) I've had
          > > this quote framed and hanging up on a wall for many years, along with
          > > another favorite one of his as follows: "This sort of nervous body is
          > > just an instrument to play great music at times, and at times to moan
          > > in darkness."
          > >
          > > Take no wooden nickels,
          > >
          > > Bob M.
          > >
          > > P.S. The book 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James is
          > > here on the net in its entirety. Seek and ye shall find!
          > >
          > > ****************************************************
          > >
          > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, "right2neil"
          > > <right2neil@y...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Thanks very much Bob for taking the time and effort in tracking
          > > down
          > > > this marvelous piece. Walt Whitman's comment: "It is not far, it
          > > > is within reach. Perhaps you have been on the path to inner
          > > newness
          > > > since you were born and did not know it." comes to mind.
          > > >
          > > > And sheds light on Schopenhauer's: "A man can be himself only so
          > > > long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not
          > > > freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
          > > > Restraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom
          > > > there is no riddance, and in proportion to the greatness of a man's
          > > > individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices which
          > > > all contact with other demands.
          > > >
          > > > as well as Vivekananda's: It is only when everything, even love,
          > > > fails, that, with a flash, man finds out vain, how dream-like is
          > > > this world. Then he catches a glimpse � of the beyond. It is only
          > > > by giving up this world that the other comes; never through holding
          > > > on to this one.
          > > >
          > > > Thanks again
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
          > >
          > >
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        • neurom9999
          Wow! I am so sorry about the current price of *In Pursuit of Valis.* I had no idea. I purchased the 1st edition trade paperback when it launched at the list
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 21, 2004
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            Wow! I am so sorry about the current price of *In Pursuit of Valis.*
            I had no idea. I purchased the 1st edition trade paperback when it
            launched at the list price of $14.95. If I had known the work was
            going to soar to such extremes, I would have bought a case, at least,
            of the edition. Apparently the publisher didn't think there'd be
            sufficient mass appeal to justify a 2nd edition.

            Actually, I've been dealing with similar situations my whole life--
            spending time, effort, and money to track down and obtain certain
            obscure books. I've even driven librarians to their wit's end with my
            esoteric requests. I find that I usually need to pay a premium to
            obtain works that attract my interest & imagination (because the
            majority of people don't share my good taste. LOL).

            I would not spend $92 to purchase a used copy of *In Pursuit of
            Valis,* despite the fact that I value Dick's ratiocinations. I paid a
            premium price for editions of Aleister Crowley's *Magick* and Charles
            Baudelaire's *Fleurs de mal*--but there were considerations of quality
            of binding and physical construction, and some subjective priorities
            involved.

            I will keep a lookout on any developments, and alert you on any
            opportunities to purchase *In Pursuit of Valis* at a reasonable price.

            Fortunately, the Beat literature is now fairly well available. I
            don't believe that Kerouac had any inkling of what the impact of *On
            the Road* would have on the 'Sixties generation. He wasn't a coach
            like Ginsberg. He was a quarterback, throwing a pass. Surprise! The
            pitch was caught by the hippies.

            I don't particularly want to discuss feminist issues in this forum
            either--especially since you have confirmed that feminist writings
            have no relevance to me as a man.

            If you feel so inclined, you can check out *The Shifting Realities of
            Philip K. Dick: Selected literary and philosophical writings,* edited
            by Sutin. Listing at $13, it seems to be available at Amazon for
            $10.50. There are gems in the mix.

            ----Dennis




            --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
            <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello Dennis,
            >
            > Thanks very much for your reply..there's a lot of interesting and
            helpful stuff in there.
            >
            >
            >
            > Actually books written by feminists have not occupied a very high
            position on my reading list throughout my life either, in fact I had
            to look up all those ladies you referred to, as I'd never heard of any
            of them.
            >
            >
            >
            > Perhaps I was being naive but it never (up till a few weeks ago)
            even occurred to me that the works of male existentialists might not
            be addressing me on all fronts, so to speak but on the other hand
            there's no doubt in my mind that feminist writings are aimed at a
            mainly female audience...and so I'm not sure they equate (genres and
            gender of audiences in these cases.. that is)?
            >
            >
            >
            > I didn't intend making a feminist statement, in fact as I said it
            never occurred to me that this might be a gender issue until I started
            to look into it, however I now think that it almost certainly is.
            >
            >
            >
            > Consequently, I conclude that it's advisable for women (like me, for
            example) to investigate more modern women-centered ideas along with
            the old existential `masters' and for a bit of healthy skepticism to
            take into account (what one can glean, authoritative or otherwise
            about) the MEN behind the ideas, thereby 'staying flexible, and
            leaving the concrete on the highway'.. stealing one of Bob's sayings.
            >
            >
            >
            > What you say here about Nietzsche… `expressing a
            generalization—`...yes, this is what's so interesting for me ...does
            H.L. Mencken in The Philosophy of FN have the answer.........
            >
            >
            >
            > .>>NIETZSCHE'S faithful sister, with almost comical and essentially
            feminine disgust, bewails the fact that, as a very young man, the
            philosopher became acquainted with the baleful truths set forth in
            Schopenhauer's immortal essay "On Women." That this daring work
            greatly influenced him is true, and that he subscribed to its chief
            arguments all the rest of his days is also true, but it is far from
            true to say that his view of the fair sex was borrowed bodily from
            Schopenhauer or that he would have written otherwise than as he did if
            Schopenhauer had never lived. Nietzsche's conclusions regarding women
            were the inevitable result, indeed, of his own philosophical system.
            It is impossible to conceive a man who held his opinions of morality
            and society laying down any other doctrines of femininity and
            matrimony than those he scattered through his books.<<<
            >
            >
            >
            > Or does Deborah Hayden in Pox ...
            >
            > of course we'll never know......
            >
            >
            >
            > There are other things you comment on that I will think about…and
            get back to you…but I'm a little wary about discussion of feminist
            issues in this forum.
            >
            >
            >
            > Helen
            >
            >
            >
            > PS
            >
            > Could you explain why the book .. In pursiut of Valis.... costs $92,
            is it printed with gold leaf lettering or somthing?
            >
            >
            > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
            >
            > <<That we are bound to the earth does not mean that we cannot grow; on
            > the contrary it is the sine qua non of growth. No noble, well-grown
            > tree ever disowned its dark root, for it grows not only upwards but
            > downwards as well.>>
            >
            > --------Carl Jung
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi, Helen,
            >
            > Books written by feminists have not occupied a very high position on
            > my reading list throughout my life. I feel I can very well understand
            > how you could come to doubt whether the works of some male
            > existentialists (and other male writers) are, in fact, addressing you,
            > and other women. I possess similar doubts about whether the works of
            > many feminists are addressing me, and other men.
            >
            > When Susan Brownmiller asserts, in *Against Our Will*, that rape is
            > not a crime committed by a minority of disturbed males but rather
            > "nothing more or less than a conscious process by which *all* men keep
            > *all* women in a state of fear;" when the leading feminist
            > publication, Ms Magazine, foments a rampant hysteria regarding incest
            > and Satanic ritual abuse via the instrument of "recovered memory
            > therapy;" when I encounter drivel such as the pronouncements that
            > "every act of sexual intercourse is rape;" when Susan McClary
            > describes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a rape fantasy, and pronounces
            > most classical music as bad because of its "phallic violence" and
            > "pelvic pounding;" when Robin Morgan writes, in *The Demon Lover: On
            > the Sexuality of Terrorism*, that men "dwell in a state of political
            > savagery," and that only women are peaceful—I begin to see that a
            > salient goal of many feminists is to erect and attack a fungible
            > abstraction: "the male," and that the individual characteristics of
            > any actual man have no relevance in their reality tunnel.
            >
            > If feminist writings have been addressed to me, then most of them have
            > sorely missed their mark. Nevertheless, I have been a faithful reader
            > of some women writers, and, in many cases, consider their works to be
            > definitive.
            >
            > On first take, I could very well conclude that Nietzsche's
            > generalization about women applies most especially to himself:
            > *Nietzsche has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry,
            > superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty
            > licentiousness, and immodesty lies concealed in Nietzsche.*
            > Projection exists.
            >
            > Nietzsche expresses a generalization—but it sounds personal and
            > reactionary to me. I would want to know the antecedent
            > events/experiences that occasioned such a genius to make such a
            > hostile remark. It sounds like something I might say, after spending
            > half an hour with Patricia Ireland.
            >
            > Some observant man once concluded: Most of the problems in the world
            > can be traced to the inability of a man to sit still in a chair.
            >
            > It is an established fact that men of great wealth have historically
            > tended to want to band together with other men of great wealth—in
            > order to control the course of events in the world. But, for some
            > strange reason, society has assumed that great wealth equals great
            > intelligence. Money makes the world go round, but the members of
            > these men's clubs are not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer.
            >
            > I admit that all facets of society—religious, social, economic—have
            > been invariably patriarchal in established form, and that much effort
            > has been expended by some men to systematically hold women down. But
            > I don't see where establishment/academic feminism, with its tools of
            > misanthropy, political correctness, collectivism, and conformity has
            > done much to improve the quality of existence for individuals of
            > either gender. The abuse of wealth and power has kept most men in
            > chains, along with women.
            >
            > Neurologists have concluded that men and women differ in the "wiring"
            > of brain and nervous system. Cognitive psychologists have concluded
            > that most men tend to objectify, and that most women tend to project.
            > Shown a photograph or illustration of a man and woman in an intimate
            > encounter, a woman will tend to project herself into the female
            > depicted, whereas a man will tend to block out the male in the picture
            > entirely, and fantasize about the woman depicted as "doing tricks for
            > him."
            >
            > In actual existence, gender does not seem to be an either/or category.
            > For both men and women, the evidence seems to indicate that there is
            > a spectrum, a range of gender. Many studies have dealt with the
            > borderline conditions.
            >
            > A biology professor once informed me, matter-of-factly, that the
            > screen actress, Mae West, possessed a "male" brain, and that that was
            > the reason she knew exactly what to say and do, in her unique way, in
            > order to excite the erotic imagination of a man.
            >
            > As I've stated on a previous occasion, I came to Existentialism
            > through the back door, as it were—intrigued by the cogent associations
            > and root similarities I perceived during my study of Gnosticism. I'm
            > not a member of the wealthy elite, and I'm not very interested in
            > politics—sexual politics, or other. I feel I can plainly see that all
            > or most gains in human freedom have come from the disenfranchised, the
            > counter-culture, the artists and writers who are constantly engaged in
            > a struggle with the establishment, and hampered by the fact that most
            > of humanity is, as Bob M. might say, asleep.
            >
            > Some of what attracted me to Existentialism was its focus on
            > authenticity, its tolerance for subjective commitments, its respect
            > for individuality, and its extreme reluctance to assign a dogmatic
            > essence to human beings—as if the nature of existence were completely
            > comprehended.
            >
            > Many academic critics have concluded that the Nineteenth Century was
            > "silly." I don't find the following silly:
            >
            > <<There shall be poets! When woman's unmeasured bondage shall be
            > broken, when she shall live for and through herself, man--hitherto
            > detestable--having let her go, she, too, will be poet! Woman will find
            > the unknown! Will her ideational worlds be different from ours? She
            > will come upon strange, unfathomable, repellent, delightful things; we
            > shall take them, we shall comprehend them.>>
            >
            >
            > ----Arthur Rimbaud
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Rimbaud also stated: <<I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am
            > there.>>
            >
            > I accept the basic premises of the theory of evolution, and therefore
            > I accept that both men and women possess the legacy of a reptilian
            > brain—a vessel of dark, raw, almost unspeakable impulses. But thought
            > and impulse is not action. For me, the first step on the path of
            > enlightenment is withdrawing one's projections. Perhaps the Homo
            > Superior will not be burdened with having to exercise conscience,
            > will, and self-control.
            >
            > I believe that the path of enlightenment for both men and women lies
            > in an authentic and intimate union of a man and a woman. I believe
            > that women tend to be psychologically more stable, and that they are
            > better adapted for existence. I believe that men tend to be
            > psychologically more fragile—more prone to veer outward in tenuous,
            > eccentric attempts to conquer the unknown—and, perhaps, end up
            > stranded out on a limb.
            >
            > I am certain of very few things, but of this I am sure:
            >
            > Encountering my Barbara was the best thing that ever happened to me.
            > I never felt the need to insist she support my projects in order to
            > justify her existence. We never had the goal of making babies. But
            > we had many synchronicities, many magic moments, and many
            > breakthroughs. She immeasurably enriched my existence. Barbara loved
            > her family, and nurtured her nieces and nephews, and cared about
            > tending to the welfare of stray cats on the street. Her death was the
            > worst thing that ever happened to me.
            >
            > I guess I can't be a true Existentialist, because I woke up one day
            > and discovered that I'm a mystic.
            >
            >
            > ----Dennis
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
            > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hello Dennis,
            > >
            > > One of the reasons often proposed to explain the difficulties women
            > encounter in this area is our objectivity or rather our lack of it and
            > it may well be a valid point but if one can try to overlook this
            > (which I will) then what other factors could hinder our enlightenment?
            > >
            > > One thing I began to suspect, when I explored behind the scenes, was
            > that where Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and even Sartre were concerned they
            > probably were not in fact addressing me (in their philosophical works)
            > or any other women for that matter. Nietzsche for example said 'Woman
            > has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality,
            > schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness, and
            > immodesty lies concealed in woman'
            > >
            > > Whether I am right about this or not is irrelevant because the doubt
            > is disconcerting. Anyway below are some questions I found in Towards
            > the Spiritual Liberation of Women on the web...
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Seen in the context of enlightenment can absolute truth really be
            > identified with a particular gender? Isn't enlightenment a perspective
            > that is nondual and that is therefore beyond all limits or
            > identity—even sexual identity? If so, what role does gender play in
            > spirituality? Can one gender really have, in this arena, an advantage
            > over the other?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > This case below was put by the women-centered psychological
            > theory's which include Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering',
            > about which I will say more later.
            > > `Although women do not enjoy the same social and economic freedoms
            > as men do and women's lives may not necessarily always run smoothly,
            > they are raised to be selves-in-community, thus potentially live more
            > fulfilling lives than men. Men on the other hand are invariably raised
            > to be autonomous, contained selves sometimes becoming alienated and
            > unhappy'.
            > >
            > >
            > > Due to 5,000 years of patriarchal religion women find themselves
            > within a society where male sexuality is venerated while female
            > sexuality is denigrated, however despite this fact and their
            > socioeconomic disadvantages they succeed in fulfilling their innate
            > genetic function of reproduction and nurturing.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Does the `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory perhaps illustrates the
            > inadequacy of traditional male-centered psychology's idea of the self?
            > Could it, for example, expose the flawed intellectual rigidity of
            > Sartre's analysis?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > His analysis was from the view point of individual freedom,
            > `beginning with the assumption that relations with others are based on
            > objectification and that through our objectification of others and
            > ourselves, either the body reigns as flesh, in which case domination
            > or submission follow or consciousness puts its body and that of others
            > at a distance and freedoms are preserved'.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Sartre in effect concluded that women could only achieve fulfillment
            > through the vehicle of their mate and Simone de Beauvoir only slightly
            > expanded his theory with her idea `erotic generosity'. Whereby a
            > woman, `who thinks she has little freedom to relinquish, will give
            > herself entirely to a man in the faith that he, through his projects,
            > his freedom, will justify her existence'.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Both seemingly missing the point and taking no account of women's
            > fulfillment through reproduction and nurturing. Unfortunately, they
            > both highly influenced the course of the feminist movement that
            followed.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory `rests on
            > child's relationship with the mother and the role she plays in the
            > child's development of the "self" and provides the basis which
            > women-centered psychologists have used to discuss the origins of
            > gender-identity differences between men and women. Her theory also
            > rests on the social fact that women have been the primary caretakers
            > of children and sees the construction of an individual, gendered self
            > as the result of social context'.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Could this theory in conjunction with the study of individuals and
            > species through evolutionary psychology help span the boundary between
            > science and spirituality (or moral philosophy) thereby provide a key
            > for women to enlightenment?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > I'm intersted to hear your thoughts
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Helen
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > PS
            > >
            > > I assume overlap here between the terms self-fulfillment,
            > self-actualization and spiritual awakening and enlightenment…
            > >
            > >
            > > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
            > > Helen,
            > >
            > > I'd very much like to hear your thoughts about women's enlightenment,
            > > and the difficulties thereof.
            > >
            > > ----Dennis
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
            > > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
            > > > Hello Bob,
            > > >
            > > > Please could you explain the following... see I'm not sure that I
            > > understand what you are saying.
            > > >
            > > > 'And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
            > > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
            > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations'.
            > > >
            > > > Do you mean.... that the expectation of 'the enlightened one' that
            > > others can achieve 'self-abandonment and God-realization' is too
            > > high?... for some reason....and therefore their encouragement often
            > > fails? Is that it?
            > > >
            > > > I have to get back to you soon about women's enlightenment and the
            > > difficulties thereof...I have been working on this and have some
            > > thoughts that I'd like perhaps to share/discuss with you...
            > > >
            > > > In a nut shell
            > > > ...menkind's not to blame otherwise we're done for...
            > > > but there's more
            > > >
            > > > Helen
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > new_trail_blazer <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Hello again Neil,
            > > >
            > > > I think the aloneness that comes with transformation or rebirth
            > > > serves to encourage the enlightened one onward to earnestly
            encourage
            > > > or push others also onward themselves to self-abandonment and God-
            > > > reaslization. And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
            > > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve
            breakthrough
            > > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations.
            > > > And I would add that any attempt at typical organization has no
            place
            > > > here either, since most often the age old monkey business enters
            and
            > > > corrupts with the second man in, so to speak.
            > > >
            > > > What I find interesting in Fox's story is the following:
            > > >
            > > > "I saw professors, priests, and people were whole and at ease in
            that
            > > > condition which was my misery, and they loved that which I would
            have
            > > > been rid of. But the Lord did stay my desires upon himself, and my
            > > > care was cast upon him alone."
            > > >
            > > > Seeing here not only the contrast between the many
            de-sensitized
            > > > or hard-hearted souls and the few sensitive or far more
            finely-formed
            > > > ones, but also the fact that only the Lord will steer us perfectly
            > > > straight, and nearly all people will lead us astray, and often very
            > > > far astray. And especially priests, ministers, counsellors,
            > > > therapists, and the drug-dealing 'shrinks'.
            > > >
            > > > Regarding Schopenhauer, I feel far more fortunate having a good
            > > > wife for a companion, rather than a poodle.
            > > >
            > > > And old Vivekananda sure had his fill of that which was all
            > > > around him when he mahasamadhi-ed himself 'home' at an early age.
            > > >
            > > > "I have seen life and it is all self-life is for self, love is
            > > > for self, everything is for self. I look back and scarcely find any
            > > > action I have done for self-so I am content." (Vivekananda) I've
            had
            > > > this quote framed and hanging up on a wall for many years, along
            with
            > > > another favorite one of his as follows: "This sort of nervous
            body is
            > > > just an instrument to play great music at times, and at times to
            moan
            > > > in darkness."
            > > >
            > > > Take no wooden nickels,
            > > >
            > > > Bob M.
            > > >
            > > > P.S. The book 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William
            James is
            > > > here on the net in its entirety. Seek and ye shall find!
            > > >
            > > > ****************************************************
            > > >
            > > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, "right2neil"
            > > > <right2neil@y...> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > Thanks very much Bob for taking the time and effort in tracking
            > > > down
            > > > > this marvelous piece. Walt Whitman's comment: "It is not
            far, it
            > > > > is within reach. Perhaps you have been on the path to inner
            > > > newness
            > > > > since you were born and did not know it." comes to mind.
            > > > >
            > > > > And sheds light on Schopenhauer's: "A man can be himself only so
            > > > > long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will
            not
            > > > > freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
            > > > > Restraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom
            > > > > there is no riddance, and in proportion to the greatness of a
            man's
            > > > > individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices
            which
            > > > > all contact with other demands.
            > > > >
            > > > > as well as Vivekananda's: It is only when everything, even love,
            > > > > fails, that, with a flash, man finds out vain, how dream-like is
            > > > > this world. Then he catches a glimpse … of the beyond. It is
            only
            > > > > by giving up this world that the other comes; never through
            holding
            > > > > on to this one.
            > > > >
            > > > > Thanks again
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
            > > >
            > > >
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            > > >
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            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
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          • helen steen
            Hello Dennis, Yes, obtaining books of all kinds is a major problem, except for the relatively short time when I lived in the US, where I found the library
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 22, 2004
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              Hello Dennis,
              Yes, obtaining books of all kinds is a major problem, except for the relatively short time when I lived in the US, where I found the library system fantastic. The service opened up a whole new possibilities for me and then the arrival of Amazon was a major revolution for people like me, that is until they reorganized their sourcing arrangements and although prices on the face of it appear more attractive, reliability has been drastically reduced with delivery costs probably outweigh any apparent price advantages ...
              But buying books is only half the battle and I very much appreciate good recommendations of which I have had quite a number though interchange on this site.
              Thanks Helen


              neurom9999 <neurom9999@...> wrote:

              Wow! I am so sorry about the current price of *In Pursuit of Valis.*
              I had no idea. I purchased the 1st edition trade paperback when it
              launched at the list price of $14.95. If I had known the work was
              going to soar to such extremes, I would have bought a case, at least,
              of the edition. Apparently the publisher didn't think there'd be
              sufficient mass appeal to justify a 2nd edition.

              Actually, I've been dealing with similar situations my whole life--
              spending time, effort, and money to track down and obtain certain
              obscure books. I've even driven librarians to their wit's end with my
              esoteric requests. I find that I usually need to pay a premium to
              obtain works that attract my interest & imagination (because the
              majority of people don't share my good taste. LOL).

              I would not spend $92 to purchase a used copy of *In Pursuit of
              Valis,* despite the fact that I value Dick's ratiocinations. I paid a
              premium price for editions of Aleister Crowley's *Magick* and Charles
              Baudelaire's *Fleurs de mal*--but there were considerations of quality
              of binding and physical construction, and some subjective priorities
              involved.

              I will keep a lookout on any developments, and alert you on any
              opportunities to purchase *In Pursuit of Valis* at a reasonable price.

              Fortunately, the Beat literature is now fairly well available. I
              don't believe that Kerouac had any inkling of what the impact of *On
              the Road* would have on the 'Sixties generation. He wasn't a coach
              like Ginsberg. He was a quarterback, throwing a pass. Surprise! The
              pitch was caught by the hippies.

              I don't particularly want to discuss feminist issues in this forum
              either--especially since you have confirmed that feminist writings
              have no relevance to me as a man.

              If you feel so inclined, you can check out *The Shifting Realities of
              Philip K. Dick: Selected literary and philosophical writings,* edited
              by Sutin. Listing at $13, it seems to be available at Amazon for
              $10.50. There are gems in the mix.

              ----Dennis




              --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
              <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello Dennis,
              >
              > Thanks very much for your reply..there's a lot of interesting and
              helpful stuff in there.
              >
              >
              >
              > Actually books written by feminists have not occupied a very high
              position on my reading list throughout my life either, in fact I had
              to look up all those ladies you referred to, as I'd never heard of any
              of them.
              >
              >
              >
              > Perhaps I was being naive but it never (up till a few weeks ago)
              even occurred to me that the works of male existentialists might not
              be addressing me on all fronts, so to speak but on the other hand
              there's no doubt in my mind that feminist writings are aimed at a
              mainly female audience...and so I'm not sure they equate (genres and
              gender of audiences in these cases.. that is)?
              >
              >
              >
              > I didn't intend making a feminist statement, in fact as I said it
              never occurred to me that this might be a gender issue until I started
              to look into it, however I now think that it almost certainly is.
              >
              >
              >
              > Consequently, I conclude that it's advisable for women (like me, for
              example) to investigate more modern women-centered ideas along with
              the old existential `masters' and for a bit of healthy skepticism to
              take into account (what one can glean, authoritative or otherwise
              about) the MEN behind the ideas, thereby 'staying flexible, and
              leaving the concrete on the highway'.. stealing one of Bob's sayings.
              >
              >
              >
              > What you say here about Nietzsche� `expressing a
              generalization�`...yes, this is what's so interesting for me ...does
              H.L. Mencken in The Philosophy of FN have the answer.........
              >
              >
              >
              > .>>NIETZSCHE'S faithful sister, with almost comical and essentially
              feminine disgust, bewails the fact that, as a very young man, the
              philosopher became acquainted with the baleful truths set forth in
              Schopenhauer's immortal essay "On Women." That this daring work
              greatly influenced him is true, and that he subscribed to its chief
              arguments all the rest of his days is also true, but it is far from
              true to say that his view of the fair sex was borrowed bodily from
              Schopenhauer or that he would have written otherwise than as he did if
              Schopenhauer had never lived. Nietzsche's conclusions regarding women
              were the inevitable result, indeed, of his own philosophical system.
              It is impossible to conceive a man who held his opinions of morality
              and society laying down any other doctrines of femininity and
              matrimony than those he scattered through his books.<<<
              >
              >
              >
              > Or does Deborah Hayden in Pox ...
              >
              > of course we'll never know......
              >
              >
              >
              > There are other things you comment on that I will think about�and
              get back to you�but I'm a little wary about discussion of feminist
              issues in this forum.
              >
              >
              >
              > Helen
              >
              >
              >
              > PS
              >
              > Could you explain why the book .. In pursiut of Valis.... costs $92,
              is it printed with gold leaf lettering or somthing?
              >
              >
              > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
              >
              > <<That we are bound to the earth does not mean that we cannot grow; on
              > the contrary it is the sine qua non of growth. No noble, well-grown
              > tree ever disowned its dark root, for it grows not only upwards but
              > downwards as well.>>
              >
              > --------Carl Jung
              >
              >
              >
              > Hi, Helen,
              >
              > Books written by feminists have not occupied a very high position on
              > my reading list throughout my life. I feel I can very well understand
              > how you could come to doubt whether the works of some male
              > existentialists (and other male writers) are, in fact, addressing you,
              > and other women. I possess similar doubts about whether the works of
              > many feminists are addressing me, and other men.
              >
              > When Susan Brownmiller asserts, in *Against Our Will*, that rape is
              > not a crime committed by a minority of disturbed males but rather
              > "nothing more or less than a conscious process by which *all* men keep
              > *all* women in a state of fear;" when the leading feminist
              > publication, Ms Magazine, foments a rampant hysteria regarding incest
              > and Satanic ritual abuse via the instrument of "recovered memory
              > therapy;" when I encounter drivel such as the pronouncements that
              > "every act of sexual intercourse is rape;" when Susan McClary
              > describes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a rape fantasy, and pronounces
              > most classical music as bad because of its "phallic violence" and
              > "pelvic pounding;" when Robin Morgan writes, in *The Demon Lover: On
              > the Sexuality of Terrorism*, that men "dwell in a state of political
              > savagery," and that only women are peaceful�I begin to see that a
              > salient goal of many feminists is to erect and attack a fungible
              > abstraction: "the male," and that the individual characteristics of
              > any actual man have no relevance in their reality tunnel.
              >
              > If feminist writings have been addressed to me, then most of them have
              > sorely missed their mark. Nevertheless, I have been a faithful reader
              > of some women writers, and, in many cases, consider their works to be
              > definitive.
              >
              > On first take, I could very well conclude that Nietzsche's
              > generalization about women applies most especially to himself:
              > *Nietzsche has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry,
              > superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty
              > licentiousness, and immodesty lies concealed in Nietzsche.*
              > Projection exists.
              >
              > Nietzsche expresses a generalization�but it sounds personal and
              > reactionary to me. I would want to know the antecedent
              > events/experiences that occasioned such a genius to make such a
              > hostile remark. It sounds like something I might say, after spending
              > half an hour with Patricia Ireland.
              >
              > Some observant man once concluded: Most of the problems in the world
              > can be traced to the inability of a man to sit still in a chair.
              >
              > It is an established fact that men of great wealth have historically
              > tended to want to band together with other men of great wealth�in
              > order to control the course of events in the world. But, for some
              > strange reason, society has assumed that great wealth equals great
              > intelligence. Money makes the world go round, but the members of
              > these men's clubs are not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer.
              >
              > I admit that all facets of society�religious, social, economic�have
              > been invariably patriarchal in established form, and that much effort
              > has been expended by some men to systematically hold women down. But
              > I don't see where establishment/academic feminism, with its tools of
              > misanthropy, political correctness, collectivism, and conformity has
              > done much to improve the quality of existence for individuals of
              > either gender. The abuse of wealth and power has kept most men in
              > chains, along with women.
              >
              > Neurologists have concluded that men and women differ in the "wiring"
              > of brain and nervous system. Cognitive psychologists have concluded
              > that most men tend to objectify, and that most women tend to project.
              > Shown a photograph or illustration of a man and woman in an intimate
              > encounter, a woman will tend to project herself into the female
              > depicted, whereas a man will tend to block out the male in the picture
              > entirely, and fantasize about the woman depicted as "doing tricks for
              > him."
              >
              > In actual existence, gender does not seem to be an either/or category.
              > For both men and women, the evidence seems to indicate that there is
              > a spectrum, a range of gender. Many studies have dealt with the
              > borderline conditions.
              >
              > A biology professor once informed me, matter-of-factly, that the
              > screen actress, Mae West, possessed a "male" brain, and that that was
              > the reason she knew exactly what to say and do, in her unique way, in
              > order to excite the erotic imagination of a man.
              >
              > As I've stated on a previous occasion, I came to Existentialism
              > through the back door, as it were�intrigued by the cogent associations
              > and root similarities I perceived during my study of Gnosticism. I'm
              > not a member of the wealthy elite, and I'm not very interested in
              > politics�sexual politics, or other. I feel I can plainly see that all
              > or most gains in human freedom have come from the disenfranchised, the
              > counter-culture, the artists and writers who are constantly engaged in
              > a struggle with the establishment, and hampered by the fact that most
              > of humanity is, as Bob M. might say, asleep.
              >
              > Some of what attracted me to Existentialism was its focus on
              > authenticity, its tolerance for subjective commitments, its respect
              > for individuality, and its extreme reluctance to assign a dogmatic
              > essence to human beings�as if the nature of existence were completely
              > comprehended.
              >
              > Many academic critics have concluded that the Nineteenth Century was
              > "silly." I don't find the following silly:
              >
              > <<There shall be poets! When woman's unmeasured bondage shall be
              > broken, when she shall live for and through herself, man--hitherto
              > detestable--having let her go, she, too, will be poet! Woman will find
              > the unknown! Will her ideational worlds be different from ours? She
              > will come upon strange, unfathomable, repellent, delightful things; we
              > shall take them, we shall comprehend them.>>
              >
              >
              > ----Arthur Rimbaud
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Rimbaud also stated: <<I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am
              > there.>>
              >
              > I accept the basic premises of the theory of evolution, and therefore
              > I accept that both men and women possess the legacy of a reptilian
              > brain�a vessel of dark, raw, almost unspeakable impulses. But thought
              > and impulse is not action. For me, the first step on the path of
              > enlightenment is withdrawing one's projections. Perhaps the Homo
              > Superior will not be burdened with having to exercise conscience,
              > will, and self-control.
              >
              > I believe that the path of enlightenment for both men and women lies
              > in an authentic and intimate union of a man and a woman. I believe
              > that women tend to be psychologically more stable, and that they are
              > better adapted for existence. I believe that men tend to be
              > psychologically more fragile�more prone to veer outward in tenuous,
              > eccentric attempts to conquer the unknown�and, perhaps, end up
              > stranded out on a limb.
              >
              > I am certain of very few things, but of this I am sure:
              >
              > Encountering my Barbara was the best thing that ever happened to me.
              > I never felt the need to insist she support my projects in order to
              > justify her existence. We never had the goal of making babies. But
              > we had many synchronicities, many magic moments, and many
              > breakthroughs. She immeasurably enriched my existence. Barbara loved
              > her family, and nurtured her nieces and nephews, and cared about
              > tending to the welfare of stray cats on the street. Her death was the
              > worst thing that ever happened to me.
              >
              > I guess I can't be a true Existentialist, because I woke up one day
              > and discovered that I'm a mystic.
              >
              >
              > ----Dennis
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
              > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hello Dennis,
              > >
              > > One of the reasons often proposed to explain the difficulties women
              > encounter in this area is our objectivity or rather our lack of it and
              > it may well be a valid point but if one can try to overlook this
              > (which I will) then what other factors could hinder our enlightenment?
              > >
              > > One thing I began to suspect, when I explored behind the scenes, was
              > that where Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and even Sartre were concerned they
              > probably were not in fact addressing me (in their philosophical works)
              > or any other women for that matter. Nietzsche for example said 'Woman
              > has so much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality,
              > schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness, and
              > immodesty lies concealed in woman'
              > >
              > > Whether I am right about this or not is irrelevant because the doubt
              > is disconcerting. Anyway below are some questions I found in Towards
              > the Spiritual Liberation of Women on the web...
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Seen in the context of enlightenment can absolute truth really be
              > identified with a particular gender? Isn't enlightenment a perspective
              > that is nondual and that is therefore beyond all limits or
              > identity�even sexual identity? If so, what role does gender play in
              > spirituality? Can one gender really have, in this arena, an advantage
              > over the other?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > This case below was put by the women-centered psychological
              > theory's which include Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering',
              > about which I will say more later.
              > > `Although women do not enjoy the same social and economic freedoms
              > as men do and women's lives may not necessarily always run smoothly,
              > they are raised to be selves-in-community, thus potentially live more
              > fulfilling lives than men. Men on the other hand are invariably raised
              > to be autonomous, contained selves sometimes becoming alienated and
              > unhappy'.
              > >
              > >
              > > Due to 5,000 years of patriarchal religion women find themselves
              > within a society where male sexuality is venerated while female
              > sexuality is denigrated, however despite this fact and their
              > socioeconomic disadvantages they succeed in fulfilling their innate
              > genetic function of reproduction and nurturing.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Does the `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory perhaps illustrates the
              > inadequacy of traditional male-centered psychology's idea of the self?
              > Could it, for example, expose the flawed intellectual rigidity of
              > Sartre's analysis?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > His analysis was from the view point of individual freedom,
              > `beginning with the assumption that relations with others are based on
              > objectification and that through our objectification of others and
              > ourselves, either the body reigns as flesh, in which case domination
              > or submission follow or consciousness puts its body and that of others
              > at a distance and freedoms are preserved'.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Sartre in effect concluded that women could only achieve fulfillment
              > through the vehicle of their mate and Simone de Beauvoir only slightly
              > expanded his theory with her idea `erotic generosity'. Whereby a
              > woman, `who thinks she has little freedom to relinquish, will give
              > herself entirely to a man in the faith that he, through his projects,
              > his freedom, will justify her existence'.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Both seemingly missing the point and taking no account of women's
              > fulfillment through reproduction and nurturing. Unfortunately, they
              > both highly influenced the course of the feminist movement that
              followed.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Nancy Chodorow's `Reproduction of Mothering' Theory `rests on
              > child's relationship with the mother and the role she plays in the
              > child's development of the "self" and provides the basis which
              > women-centered psychologists have used to discuss the origins of
              > gender-identity differences between men and women. Her theory also
              > rests on the social fact that women have been the primary caretakers
              > of children and sees the construction of an individual, gendered self
              > as the result of social context'.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Could this theory in conjunction with the study of individuals and
              > species through evolutionary psychology help span the boundary between
              > science and spirituality (or moral philosophy) thereby provide a key
              > for women to enlightenment?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I'm intersted to hear your thoughts
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Helen
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > PS
              > >
              > > I assume overlap here between the terms self-fulfillment,
              > self-actualization and spiritual awakening and enlightenment�
              > >
              > >
              > > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
              > > Helen,
              > >
              > > I'd very much like to hear your thoughts about women's enlightenment,
              > > and the difficulties thereof.
              > >
              > > ----Dennis
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, helen steen
              > > <hjsgermany2000@y...> wrote:
              > > > Hello Bob,
              > > >
              > > > Please could you explain the following... see I'm not sure that I
              > > understand what you are saying.
              > > >
              > > > 'And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
              > > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve breakthrough
              > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations'.
              > > >
              > > > Do you mean.... that the expectation of 'the enlightened one' that
              > > others can achieve 'self-abandonment and God-realization' is too
              > > high?... for some reason....and therefore their encouragement often
              > > fails? Is that it?
              > > >
              > > > I have to get back to you soon about women's enlightenment and the
              > > difficulties thereof...I have been working on this and have some
              > > thoughts that I'd like perhaps to share/discuss with you...
              > > >
              > > > In a nut shell
              > > > ...menkind's not to blame otherwise we're done for...
              > > > but there's more
              > > >
              > > > Helen
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > new_trail_blazer <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hello again Neil,
              > > >
              > > > I think the aloneness that comes with transformation or rebirth
              > > > serves to encourage the enlightened one onward to earnestly
              encourage
              > > > or push others also onward themselves to self-abandonment and God-
              > > > reaslization. And I also believe that a keen discernment for the
              > > > capacity, or lack thereof, in certain others to achieve
              breakthrough
              > > > is too developed. Though not without many trials and tribulations.
              > > > And I would add that any attempt at typical organization has no
              place
              > > > here either, since most often the age old monkey business enters
              and
              > > > corrupts with the second man in, so to speak.
              > > >
              > > > What I find interesting in Fox's story is the following:
              > > >
              > > > "I saw professors, priests, and people were whole and at ease in
              that
              > > > condition which was my misery, and they loved that which I would
              have
              > > > been rid of. But the Lord did stay my desires upon himself, and my
              > > > care was cast upon him alone."
              > > >
              > > > Seeing here not only the contrast between the many
              de-sensitized
              > > > or hard-hearted souls and the few sensitive or far more
              finely-formed
              > > > ones, but also the fact that only the Lord will steer us perfectly
              > > > straight, and nearly all people will lead us astray, and often very
              > > > far astray. And especially priests, ministers, counsellors,
              > > > therapists, and the drug-dealing 'shrinks'.
              > > >
              > > > Regarding Schopenhauer, I feel far more fortunate having a good
              > > > wife for a companion, rather than a poodle.
              > > >
              > > > And old Vivekananda sure had his fill of that which was all
              > > > around him when he mahasamadhi-ed himself 'home' at an early age.
              > > >
              > > > "I have seen life and it is all self-life is for self, love is
              > > > for self, everything is for self. I look back and scarcely find any
              > > > action I have done for self-so I am content." (Vivekananda) I've
              had
              > > > this quote framed and hanging up on a wall for many years, along
              with
              > > > another favorite one of his as follows: "This sort of nervous
              body is
              > > > just an instrument to play great music at times, and at times to
              moan
              > > > in darkness."
              > > >
              > > > Take no wooden nickels,
              > > >
              > > > Bob M.
              > > >
              > > > P.S. The book 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William
              James is
              > > > here on the net in its entirety. Seek and ye shall find!
              > > >
              > > > ****************************************************
              > > >
              > > > --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, "right2neil"
              > > > <right2neil@y...> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > Thanks very much Bob for taking the time and effort in tracking
              > > > down
              > > > > this marvelous piece. Walt Whitman's comment: "It is not
              far, it
              > > > > is within reach. Perhaps you have been on the path to inner
              > > > newness
              > > > > since you were born and did not know it." comes to mind.
              > > > >
              > > > > And sheds light on Schopenhauer's: "A man can be himself only so
              > > > > long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will
              not
              > > > > freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
              > > > > Restraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom
              > > > > there is no riddance, and in proportion to the greatness of a
              man's
              > > > > individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices
              which
              > > > > all contact with other demands.
              > > > >
              > > > > as well as Vivekananda's: It is only when everything, even love,
              > > > > fails, that, with a flash, man finds out vain, how dream-like is
              > > > > this world. Then he catches a glimpse � of the beyond. It is
              only
              > > > > by giving up this world that the other comes; never through
              holding
              > > > > on to this one.
              > > > >
              > > > > Thanks again
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
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