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16089RE: [Meditation Society of America] Gender Differences Found In Forgiveness

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  • Balasubramanian Radhakrishnan Kumar
    Mar 4, 2008
      ________________________________"Why women are closer to enlightenment ?

      Generally speaking, it is easier for a woman to feel and be in her body, so she is naturally closer to Being and potentially closer to enlightenment than a man. This is why many ancient cultures instinctively chose female figures or analogies to represent or describe the formless and transcendental reality. It was often seen as a womb that gives birth to everything in creation and sustains and nourishes it during its life as form. In the Tao Te Ching, one of the most ancient and profound books ever written, the Tao which could be translated as Being, is described as "infinite, eternally present, the mother of the universe." Naturally, women are closer to it than men since they virtually "embody"the Unmanifested. What is more, all creatures and all things must eventually return to the Source. "All things vanish into the Tao. It alone endures." Since the Source is seen as female, this is represented in the light and dark sides of the archetypal feminine in psychology and mythology. The Goddess or Divine Mother has two aspects: She gives life and she takes life.

      -- Excerpts from THE POWER OF NOW - A guide to spiritual enlightenment written by ECKHART TOLLE
      > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > From: no_reply@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:44:01 +0000
      > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Gender Differences Found In Forgiveness
      > Over the years we had 4000+ students in our
      > Adult Education Meditation classes, and I'd
      > guess that 75% of them were female. This
      > article seems to point to a characteristic that
      > goes hand in hand with Humility as the most
      > important factors in spiritual evolution that
      > women may possess in greater amounts than men,
      > and that is Compassion. And that is perhaps why
      > there have been so many women ready to fill with
      > the blessed knowledge and practice of meditation.
      > I hope you enjoy and benefit from this article in
      > spite of its scientific jargon:
      > Gender Differences Found In Forgiveness
      > Forgiveness can be a powerful means to healing, but
      > it does not come naturally for both sexes. Men have
      > a harder time forgiving than women do, according to
      > Case Western Reserve University psychologist Julie
      > Juola Exline. But that can change if men develop
      > empathy toward an offender by seeing they may also
      > be capable of similar actions. Then the gender gap
      > closes, and men become less vengeful.
      > Exline is the lead author on the Journal of Personality
      > and Social Psychology's article, "Not so Innocent: Does
      > Seeing One's Own Capability for Wrongdoing Predict
      > Forgiveness?" She collaborated with researchers Roy
      > Baumeister and Anne Zell from Florida State University;
      > Amy Kraft from Arizona State; and Charlotte Witvliet
      > from Hope College.
      > In seven forgiveness-related studies Exline conducted
      > between 1998 through 2005 with more than 1,400 college
      > students, gender differences between men and women
      > consistently emerged. When asked to recall offenses
      > they had committed personally, men became less vengeful
      > toward people who had offended them. Women reflecting
      > on personal offenses, and beginning at a lower baseline
      > for vengeance, exhibited no differences in levels of
      > unforgiving. When women had to recall a similar offense
      > in relation to the other's offense, women felt guilty
      > and tended to magnify the other's offense.
      > "The gender difference is not anything that we predicted.
      > We actually got aggravated, because we kept getting it
      > over and over again in our studies," said Exline. "We
      > kept trying to explain it away, but it kept repeating
      > in the experiments."
      > The John Templeton Foundation-supported studies used
      > hypothetical situations, actual recalled offenses,
      > individual and group situations and surveys to study
      > the ability to forgive.
      > Exline said prior studies have shown that at baseline
      > (without any interventions), men tend to be more
      > vengeful than women, who have been taught from
      > childhood to put themselves "in the shoes of others"
      > and empathize with them.
      > In Exline's study, women who recalled similar offenses
      > of their own did not show much difference in their
      > levels of vengeance, in contrast to men. Women, having
      > been taught from an early age to be more empathetic,
      > lean toward relationship building and do not emphasize
      > the vengeful side of justice to the degree that men do.
      > The researchers found that people of both genders are
      > more forgiving when they see themselves as capable of
      > committing a similar action to the offender's; it tends
      > to make the offense seem smaller. Seeing capability
      > also increases empathic understanding of the offense
      > and causes people to feel more similar to the offenders.
      > Each of these factors, in turn, predicts more forgiving
      > attitudes.
      > "Offenses are easier to forgive to the extent that
      > they seem small and understandable and when we see
      > ourselves as similar or close to the offender," she said.
      > Exline found this ability to identify with the offender
      > and forgive also happens in intergroup conflicts in a
      > study that she related to forgiveness of the 9/11 terrorists.
      > "When people could envision their own government
      > committing acts similar to those of the terrorists,
      > they were less vengeful," she stressed. "For example,
      > they were less likely to believe that perpetrators
      > should be killed on the spot or given the death
      > penalty, and they were more supportive of negotiations
      > and economic aid."
      > ----------------------------
      > Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
      > ----------------------------

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