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Beyond The Human Condition

 

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Stage 2
Mildly Upset

 

 

Stage 2. Mildly Upset.

 

Drawing by Jeremy Griffith © Fedmex Pty Ltd 1991

 

 

Our Twenties (the individual)

Adventurous Adolescentman Homo erectus (the species)

 

Until we knew why we couldn’t help making mistakes, we couldn’t explain and thus defend them against our instinctive self’s criticism. Consequently, we were forced to live in a state of insecurity and became upset. We resented the unfair criticism and tried to maintain our dignity or sense of goodness through demonstrations of our worth, and tried to block out and escape the criticism. We became angry, egotistical and alienated.

These expressions of our upset made us appear even more divisive, attracting further criticism from our conscience, compounding our insecurity. The more we searched for the understanding that would relieve our upset the worse we made our situation and the more our upset intensified.

 

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Humphrey Bogart storms the terror-swept goldlands a new high in high adventure! The nearer they get to their treasure, the farther they get from the law! And the more they yearn for their women’s arms, the fiercer they lust for the gold that cursed them all!

From a poster for the film Treasure of Sierra Madre, 1948.

 

The threat of ignorance that emerged 2 million years ago was a threat against our species; if it prevailed we would never find understanding and never fulfil our responsibility to master intelligence. This battle to overthrow ignorance was so important it became our species’ priority. When men in their role as group protectors went out to meet the threat, our species changed from matriarchal (female role dominated) to patriarchal (male role dominated).

Tragically, the task of championing the intellect made men angry, egocentric and alienated, or upset. Unable to defend their loss of innocence, men began to resent and attack innocence because it seemed to criticise their lack of innocence. The first victim was nature. Men began to ‘hunt’ (kill) animals because their innocence criticised them, albeit unwittingly.

The next victims were women. The rapidly compounding upset in men attracted criticism from women who were unaware of its cause. (Unable to explain their upset men couldn’t even admit it a failed attempt to explain it would only be misinterpreted by women as an admission of badness.) In retaliation against their criticism men attacked women. Since women reproduced the species, men couldn’t destroy them as they did the animals. Instead they violated women’s innocence or ‘honour’ by rape; they invented ‘sex’, as in ‘fucking’ or destroying, as distinct from the act of procreation. What was being fucked or destroyed was women’s innocence. In this way women’s innocence was repressed and they came to share men’s level of upset. On a nobler level sex became an act of love. When all the worldPage 139 of
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disowned men for their unavoidable divisiveness women stayed with them, bringing them the only warmth, comfort and support they would know.

 

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’ . . . Then the Lord God made a woman . . . and he brought her to the man.

The Bible, Genesis 2:18,22.

 

For copyright reasons I am unable to reproduce the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s songs Cover Me and I’m on Fire from the album Born in the USA (1984), paraphrased in part as follows:

I won’t go out there again because the whole world just wants to ‘score’. I’ve seen enough of it and I don’t want to see any more. I’m looking for a lover to come in and cover me.

 

Sometimes it seems as if someone’s taken a blunt knife and cut a deep valley through my soul. I wake up at night soaked in sweat, with the feeling that a train’s running through my head. I’m burning up and you’re the only one who can quench my desire.

 

Sex and the relationship between men and women are subjects that deserve elaboration. Given that the whole world was an innocent friend of our soul but not of our apparently corrupt mind, it can be appreciated that men needed extremely powerful egos to defy ignorance and champion the intellect. Women, not responsible for the fight against ignorance, and so not partaking in the battle itself, did not and could not be expected to understand the battle. They could understand the search for the truth but not the battle involved.

 

Shirley MacLaine can’t find a man to love. The 48-year-old actress . . . [said she] longs for a ‘close and warm relationship’ but hasn’t met a suitable partner. ‘Most men I meet seem to be too involved in trying to be successful or making a lot of money,’Page 140 of
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she said. ‘I feel sorry for all of them. Men have been so brainwashed into thinking they have to be so outrageously successful to be winners that life is very difficult for them. And it’s terribly destructive, as far as I am concerned, when you are trying to get a serious relationship going.’

The Daily Mirror (a Sydney newspaper), December 14, 1982.

 

The only alternative to oppression was that men explain themselves to women but that was not possible. Men could not admit their inconsistency with integrative meaning until they could defend it.

 

One of the reasons that men have been so quiet for the past two decades, as the feminist movement has blossomed, is that we do not have the vocabulary or the concept to defend ourselves as men. We do not know how to define the virtues of being male, but virtues there are.

Asa Baber, Playboy, July, 1983.

 

(Feminists did not free themselves just because men stayed quiet as this quote suggests. The more men fought to defeat ignorance and protect the group [humanity] the more upset they became and the more they appeared to make the situation worse. The harder they tried to protect us the more they seemed to expose us to danger! In the end they became completely ineffective or inoperable, paralysed by this paradox. At this point women had to take over the day-to-day running of affairs as well as trying to nurture a new generation of soundness. Women, not oppressed by the overwhelming responsibility and extreme frustration that men felt, could remain effective. As well, when men crumpled women had to take over or the family, group or community involved would perish. A return to matriarchy, such as we have recently been seeing on earth, was a sign that men in general had become completely exhausted. However, it was not total matriarchy, because men could not afford to stand aside completely. They still had to stay in control of thePage 141 of
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fundamental battle and remain vigilant against the threat of ignorance. While some elements in the recent Feminist Movement seized the opportunity to take revenge against men’s oppression, the movement in general was most necessary and valid.)

 

 

Women with infants digging roots.

Photographs by Marjorie Shostak/Anthro

Women with infants digging roots.

 

 

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Telling the Hunt.

Marjorie Shostak/Anthro-Photo

Telling the Hunt.

 

 

These photographs from Lee and DeVore’s Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers (1976), illustrate what is being said about the different situations of men and women. Telling the Hunt shows the men attentively hearing about and presumably sharing in the success of the hunt. We can imagine the hunter recounting how he relentlessly pursued his prey, methodically stalking and finally vanquishing it, to the cheers of his audience. You can sense the oppression men feel from the world at large; in a world that condemns them they are finding support in each other’s company.

While the men are thus preoccupied satisfying their egos we find the women in the previous photo gathering food and looking after the children. While it was men’s responsibilityPage 143 of
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as group protectors to defy ignorance and champion the intellect or ego, women’s conscious mind and thus ego also needed to be satisfied. (In fact if men had not existed women eventually would have had to take up the task of fighting ignorance, at which point they would have become as ego-embattled as men. Thankfully men did exist, allowing women to stay relatively innocent of the battle and free to nurture. It was a fortunate arrangement because fighting and loving are opposite qualities that would not easily coexist in the one person.) While women are not as ego-embattled as men they are necessarily so to a degree: they too have to try to understand the world and justify themselves against the criticism of that search for understanding. However, with men preoccupied with the main battle they had to fit in their search for, and fulfilment of their conscious thinking selves around their food gathering and nurturing. The one way this was possible was through talking to each other. They couldn’t act out experiments in self-management but they could think and talk their ideas through, justifying and measuring themselves in words, and we can imagine that happening in this photo. They are undoubtedly keeping close together so they can talk.

What makes these photos such good illustrations is that they are of the relatively innocent Bushmen. While aboriginal peoples are necessarily more innocent than races more advanced (down the exhaustion curve) they are still members of the highly exhausted Sophisticatedman, Homo sapiens sapiens as these pictures confirm. The basic adaptations humans made to the human condition are clearly well established in the Bushmen. These could as easily be photos of businessmen discussing a takeover and women shopping.

We can see now how women’s innocence fell victim to men’s upset. Throughout the battle to find understanding women were being forced to suffer the destruction of their soul, their innocence, while at the same time their trappings of innocence were being cultivated. Originally (see page 90),Page 144 of
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cute, childlike features (domed forehead, snub nose and large eyes) were considered ‘beautiful’, and were favoured because they were the hallmarks of innocence and indicated a potentially integrative person. When ignorant innocence became a threat, men sought such ‘beauty’, such signs of innocence, for sexual destruction. We evasively described such looks as ‘attractive’ to avoid saying that what was being attracted was destruction, through sex, of women’s innocence. Because all other forms of innocence were being destroyed, this image of innocence ‘the beauty of woman’ was the only form of innocence to be cultivated during humanity’s adolescence. Women’s beauty became men’s only equivalent for, and measure of, the beauty of their lost pure world.

 

Sex is life.

Graffiti on a granite boulder at Meekatharra in Western Australia.

 

Women are all we [men] know of paradise on earth.

(Source unknown).

 

. . . we lose our soul, of which woman is the immemorial image.

Laurens van der Post, The Heart of the Hunter, 1961.

 

Woman stands before [man] as the lure and symbol of the world.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Je m’explique, 1966 (published in English as Let Me Explain, 1970).

 

It was little wonder men fell in love with women. The ‘mystery of women’ was that it was only the physical image or object of innocence that men were falling in love with. The illusion was that women were psychologically as well as physically innocent. For their part, women were able to fall in love with the dream of their own ‘perfection’ of their being truly innocent. Men and women fell in love. We abandoned the reality in favour of the dream. It was the one time in ourPage 145 of
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life when we could romance when we could be transported to ‘how it could be’ to heaven.

It’s timely to explain here why different cultures have had slightly different conceptions of beauty in women. Essentially, men are ‘attracted’ by innocent looks, which are youthful neotenous features. As the saying goes ‘blondes have more fun’ that is, blondes are considered more attractive in Caucasian cultures because many young Caucasians have blonde hair, a sign of youth/innocence. Long, healthy hair is also associated with youth, which is why men find women’s long hair attractive. In general, any feature unique to women will be attractive and signal a sex object to men, hence the desirability of breasts, shapely hips and narrow waist. The different cultural definitions of beauty can be explained in terms of what signals innocence. In times when few could eat or live well, fat women were considered beautiful because fat people were usually better fed and nurtured, indicating that they had been well cared for and were thus more innocent.

The destruction of women’s souls and the cultivation of their image of beauty has been going on for 2 million years. Lust and the hope of falling in love have assumed such importance that many people, such as psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, were misled into believing sex ruled our lives. However, underlying all this, the battle to find understanding always remained. Men and women became highly adapted to their roles. While men’s magazines are full of competitive battleground sport and business, women’s magazines are full of ways to become more ‘attractive’.

One of the best examples of being misled into believing sex rules our lives is found in the story of the Garden of Eden, where Eve is blamed for tempting Adam to take the apple from the tree of knowledge. The truth is that men shouldered the responsibility of searching for knowledge, became upset by the criticism from ignorance and innocence and retaliated against all innocence, including destroying or fucking innocent women. Women were the victims not thePage 146 of
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cause of upset in men, but lust became such a strong force in us, we were misled into believing it seduced us into behaving in an upset way.

So ‘attractive’ did the object of innocence become that we eventually had to conceal it. Clothes were not developed for warmth as children are taught at school, but to dampen lust. The relatively innocent Bushmen go about almost naked most of the time, and often, naked. Once we became extremely upset, even the sight of a woman’s ankle or face became dangerously exciting to men, which is why in some societies women are completely draped.

 

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

The Bible, Genesis 3:7.

 

The convention of marriage was invented as one way of containing the spread of exhaustion. By confining sex to a life-long relationship, the souls of the couple could gradually make contact and be together in spite of the sexual destruction involved in their relationship.

 

. . . a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.

The Bible, Mark 10:7,8.

 

Brief relationships kept souls repressed and spread soul repression. Ideally, if we wanted to free our soul from the hurt sex caused it, we needed to be celibate.

 

. . . others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.

The Bible, Matt. 19:12.Page 147 of
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In every generation, individual women had a very brief life in innocence before being soul-destroyed through sex. They then had to try to nurture a new generation, all the time trying to conceal the destruction that was all around and within them. Mothers tried to hide their alienation from their children, but the fact is if a mother knew about reality/upset her children would know about it and would psychologically adapt to it. Alienation was invisible to those alienated, but to the innocent and children are born innocent it was clearly visible. For example Christ’s mother Mary must have been innocent because we know he was. Since women become upset through sex, Mary must have had virtually no exposure to sex. The symbol for women’s innocence/purity is virginity hence the description of Christ’s mother as the Virgin Mary.

Women have had to inspire love when they were no longer loved or innocent, ‘keep the ship afloat’ when men crumpled and attempt to nurture a new generation; all the while dominated by men who couldn’t explain why they were dominating, what they were actually doing or why they were so upset and angry! This was an altogether impossible task, yet women have done it for 2 million years. It was because of women’s phenomenally courageous support that men, when civilised, were chivalrous and deferential towards them. Men had an impossible fight on their hands, but at least they had the advantage of understanding the battle.

With men defying and repressing their souls, women became the representative of the soul in the partnership between men and women. As well, because of men’s unexplained oppression of women and the world of the soul, and women’s inability to understand it, women were forced to rely on and trust their soul more than their ability to understand. As a consequence, they are more intuitive or dependent on their soul’s guidance than men. A common euphemism is ‘women feel and men think’.

 

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The sword was, he would suggest, one of the earliest images accessible to us of the light in man; his inborn weapon for conquering ignorance and darkness without. This, for him, was the meaning of the angel mounted with a flaming sword over the entrance to the Garden of an enchanted childhood to which there could be no return. He hoped he had said enough to give us some idea of what the image of the sword meant to him? But it was infinitely more than he could possibly say about the doll. The doll needed a woman not a man to speak for it, not because the image of the sword was superior to the image of the doll. It was, he believed, as old and went as deep into life. But it was singularly in women’s keeping, entrusted to their own especial care, and unfortunately between a woman’s and man’s awareness there seemed to have been always a tremendous gulf. Hitherto woman’s awareness of her especial values had not been encouraged by the world. Life had been lived predominantly on the male values. To revert to his basic image it had been dominated by the awareness of the sword. The other, the doll, had had to submit and to protect its own special values by blind instinct and intuition.

Laurens van der Post, The Seed and the Sower, 1963.

 

(Note that these truths about the different roles of men and women are further examples of truths that we had to evade until we found the defence for our divisive nature. While men and women are different, sexist notions of men being ‘evil’ or of women being irrelevant have no credibility. To avoid prejudice we maintained that what difference there was between men and women was not profound, but simply a product of cultural conditioning of girls being given dolls and boys swords as infants for example. In fact, as Sir Laurens van der Post agrees, our cultural differences are the product of very real differences between the sexes.)

The development of women’s exhaustion was tied to men’s. Women had to try to ‘sexually comfort’ men but also preserve as much real innocence in themselves as possible for the nurturing of the next generation. Their situation, like men’s, worsened at an ever-increasing rate. The more womenPage 149 of
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‘comforted’ men, the less innocence they retained and the more the next generation suffered and needed ‘comforting’, etc. If humanity’s battle had continued for a few thousand years more all women would have become like Marilyn Monroe, complete sacrifices to men. At this point men would have destroyed themselves and the species because there would have been no soundness left in women to love/nurture new generations.

 

[when talking of men persuading women to have sex Olive Schreiner said (through her female character) men say] . . . ‘Go on; but when you [men] have made women what you wish, and her children inherit her culture, you will defeat yourself. Man will gradually become extinct . . .’ Fools!

The Story of an African Farm, 1883.

 

Sex killed innocence. During humanity’s adolescence that was what sex was all about, although it was also one of the greatest distractions and releases of frustration and, on a higher level, an expression of sympathy, compassion and support an act of love.

 

Touched by her concern for her honour, in his imagination he would have liked to tell her that he could kneel down before her as a sign of how he respected her and beg her forgiveness for what men had taken so blindly and wilfully from women all the thousand and one years now vanishing so swiftly behind them. But all he hastened to say was: ‘I would have to be a poet and not a soldier to tell you all that I think and feel about you. I can only say that you are all I imagined a good woman to be. You make me feel inadequate and very humble. . . . Please know that I understand you have turned to me not for yourself, not for me, but on behalf of life. When all reason and the world together seem to proclaim the end of life as we have known it, [this conversation is taking place on the eve of a World War II battle] I know you are asking me to renew with you our pact of faith with life in the only way possible to us.’

Laurens van der Post, The Seed and the Sower, 1963.Page 150 of
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The paradox was that having destroyed innocence, men would end up wanting to rediscover it. The truth was that men were having to repress and ‘hurt the ones they loved’.

 

I thought finally that of all the nostalgias that haunt the human heart the greatest of them all, for me, is an everlasting longing to bring what is youngest home to what is oldest, in us all.

Laurens van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari, 1958.

 

While women’s oppression has been extreme so has men’s. Men have yearned for freedom from their oppressor, ignorance, as much as women have yearned for freedom from their oppressors, men.

 

‘ . . . if I might but be one of those born in the future; then, perhaps, to be born a woman will not be to be born branded. . . . It is for love’s sake yet more than for any other that we [women] look for that new time. . . . Then when that time comes . . . when love is no more bought or sold, when it is not a means of making bread, when each woman’s life is filled with earnest, independent labour, then love will come to her, a strange sudden sweetness breaking in upon her earnest work; not sought for, but found.’

Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm, 1883.

 

It should be pointed out that our destruction and corruption of innocence has been going on at all levels. We even destroyed our own innocent soul by repressing it. All forms of innocence unfairly criticised us, so all forms of innocence were targets for our attack. Sunglasses aren’t always worn to shade the eyes from the sun. Often they were worn to alienate ourselves from the natural world that was alienating us. They were an attack on the innocence of daylight.

Another adaptation to life under the human condition was the development of materialism. In a world ignorant of our true goodness, we sought material glorification. While spiritual relief (understanding) had still to be found material relief was all that was available.

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(In our highly embellished material world order, as an aspect of integrative meaning or God, criticised us for our apparent disorder and lack of integrity; in retaliation we often deliberately distorted order and cleanliness of elements and colour in our designs and decorations. In our clothing and home decoration for instance, we preferred the come and go of fashion or change to constant, unwavering and unforgiving functional integrity. In fact the defensive word used against purity in design was ‘boring’.)