Issue 16, April 2002
In the midst of a world where spiritual idealism is all but extinct and feminine mediocrity and worldliness dominates our every thought and action, Genius News strives to re-ignite the noble in Man; to reinvent the philosophic wheel and recapture what has always been best in the human character: Reason. Our goal with this publication is to reach out to those rare souls who have been blessed by Nature with sufficient consciousness to suffer for the nature of the world and for their own ignorance. We hope to inspire them into ever greater levels of idealism with challenging and provocative material suitable only for those with the loftiest of philosophic aspirations. Our aim is to encourage such ones to embrace the Infinite and walk the dangerous but rewarding path to Enlightenment - the path of the true individual.
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The following conversation evolved out of a discussion about whether philosophy is relevant in our modern age. It is Jon's view that a particular philosophy cannot be valid or relevant if the entire human population cannot understand it and enjoy its benefits. Either everyone assents to it or it is useless. This inevitably led to the issue of women's historical and present-day lack of participation in philosophy. One of the interesting things about the following conversation is how heated people become whenever the legitimacy of women is questioned. I've seen it time and time again. People become enraged the moment you challenge the prevailing orthodoxy that men and women are equal in ability and suggest that women perhaps have some limitations in a particular area. There is obviously a very deep attachment involved here, of which people are very protective. It's akin to someone in the Middle-Ages questioning the legitimacy of the Christian God. You do it at your own peril.
Jon: As I stated, it's been recently shown that the fundamental mechanics of logic and reason appear to vary substantially at least between Asians and Caucasians. Assuming Buddha was Asian , it's very possible that it's IMPOSSIBLE for us (assuming most here as Caucasian or at least westerners) to fully grasp his teachings. Likewise, Asians possibily cannot fully comprehend western philosophy. Where does this leave us in the search for a comprehensive, global philosophy, which is what I assume as the goal? And if it's a regional phenomena, then what relevance can it have outside of each region?
It's also been suggested here that feminism has been mistaken for philosophy. This illustrates another major problem. I can't think of any "great" female philosophers, can you? Are we to conclude that fully half the population is incapable of this "deep thought"? Or perhaps fully half the population simply considers it irrelevant? How many females contribute to this board? How many even care? Any dicipline that excludes half the population, and various aspects of which may only be fully understood by racial or regional pockets, would seem to be at least on the margins of irrelevancy.
I'm not suggesting that we hold a book burning for philosophical tomes nor that it is not instructive to study and analyse them. I view it in more of a geographical/historical context however. It is interesting only in the sense that it gives us insight into thought, and thought processes, of various societies in various localities and how these thoughts have molded(or not) modern society. You cannot deny that every philosopher, great and non-, you cite was heavily influenced by his society and the times in which he lived. And since we do not exist in their places or times, it is difficult if not impossible to fully understand their meanings. We can glean clues and suggestions but the best we can do is partially understand the context of why they thought and wrote what they did.
I8piggo: Perhaps females haven't made any contribution to philosophy, because by the time women started being allowed to be intellectual, philosophy was dying. The only major female scientests have come around recently.
I take a sort of DIY philosophy class at my high school, and there certainly isn't any gender gap. In fact, the best couple of students are girls. Also, it seems like there wouldn't be any gender bias for philosophy; or at least less than there is for science and math. Philosophy requires left brain stuff and right brain stuff. Some feminism is philosophy, isn't it? Philosophy could certainly have some tenets of feminism and still be philosophy.
Matthew Timpanelli: Regretfully, all females are never masters. The best cook is male, the best writer is male, the best artist is male, the best philosopher is male. I wondered why this is so. Is it because females are inferior? Is it because all females go unrecognized in these fields? Is it because after centuries of oppression women are still catching up? Maybe its in the biology of a woman.
I am by no means a sexist individual, this is just basic fact. If anyone can think of a field where women excel over men, please share, perhaps gymnastics, but men are always stronger and male female gymnastics are different.
I8piggo: I think a lot of the ancestral idea that men are intellectually superior to women is rooted in sex-segregated educational environments. Frankly, it's difficult for me to believe that anyone who's had women involved in their intellectual upbringing and life can deny that women are as intelligent as men.
So I'm interested. Which of you males have had women involved in your intellectual lives, and which of you have not? And what are your views on woman's capacity for genius/discourse/it?
Matthew Timpanelli: While it is true that I have had both male and female influences, the impact is most commonly from males. Yet there were times when I see a movie and say, hey, that's pretty clever and find out later that a women made it. So then, what does this say about women? Well, for one, they can do what males do. Never better that the best male, but better than others. I am looking at humanity as a whole here. Let us not discount a woman's accomplishments, though. I said before that women are evolved differently. Let's say men are hunters, and women are gatherers and nurturers. Women, then, can nurture and gather more advanced than a male can. I think we should discover exactly what women do better than men. Then we can say that women are not geniuses, but a different word. A feminine word, like Genias. Or Ganius.
Women should never look to become a genius, because it would mean becoming more male. It's good to explore their masculine side, but women should embrace their femininity and become ganius' (feminine genius').
Jon: Matthew Timpanelli firmly states that females are absolutely incapable of doing ANYTHING equal to what males can accomplish. Yet he claims he isn't sexist. Try again, guys. You're not convincing me.
Matthew Timpanelli: I never said women were inferior. I said we are different. We are living beings just like any other living being on the planet. If you look at males and females throughout the animal kingdom you see differences. These differences are biological. Human males are stronger. It is a basic fact. Women who are stronger than the average male have male characteristics. These are mutations of genes. To become Mr Universe, you must become a man. It is like this with society. We live in a male-dominated society. Males, therefore, have made society according to a male's biology.
If a woman were president in a female dominated society, they might appoint two women for the role. Women who are on different menstruation cycles. This is just a stupid example of what a female dominated society might be like. Honestly, I would picture a female dominated society more like a bee hive.
But that's beside the point. The point is a man cannot bear children, and for that reason we will never know what it is like to have a mother-sibling bond. This is something that is strictly female. We can bond with our children and such, but never to the extent that a woman's biology is adapted for.
Is that sexist? The truth is that we are not equal. But it's not about who's inferior. Its just about how different we are from each other. I wonder why women try so hard to be equal. I'm fine being a male. Why can't women just be comfortable with their sex and not worry about proving that they can be male too. Of course, this isn't all women. But feminists and such.
David Quinn: Women may be intelligent, but they have no soul. By that I mean they have no connection at all with the highest wisdom. The idea of trying to comprehend the nature of Reality with their own minds would never occur to them. They have no appreciation of the concept of Ultimate Truth. It doesn't excite them. They are totally dead in this regard. All the female intelligence and energy in the world cannot mask this fact. For all her prettiness and energy, woman is fundamentally unconscious and aimless.
I AM: Wow....you gotta be kidding me. So what in your past has caused this opinion of women? Of course that is a rhetorical question, because you will undoubtedly deny your past had anything to do with it and come up with something clever to say about it.
David Quinn: No, I'll try to answer it honestly. Some of the factors which have led me to my current views on women include: (a) my understanding of Reality, which I know to be wholly beyond the grasp of women, (b) the sheer lack of female philosophers of any note in history, (d) the virtual lack of any female scientists and artists of any note in human history, and (d) the sheer lack of interest in philosophy by almost all women on the planet. There are other factors, of course, but this should do for starters.
I AM: Unless you have some significant evidence or even some simple logic to back what you said up, I urge you to please free yourself of the delusion that you're free or at least go into yourself even further and figure out why you have casted off more than half of the human species to have even the potential to comprehend or desire to comprehend reality. Happy searching.
David Quinn: I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Since when have women shown any genuine interest in reason and truth? Since when have they developed any skills in the wisdom of the Infinite? I've not seen it.
We can't just pretend that women are lovers of truth and on the path to enlightenment. That would be disrespectful to reality. If we want things to change, the first thing we have to do is face up what is really happening in the world. If we're not even willing to do this, then we have no hope.
Unfortunately, what is currently happening is that people are altering the very concept of enlightenment, so as to not exclude women. They are literally choosing women over truth.
I8piggo: Mr. Quinn, like many religious fanatics, you're completely unable to accept that your experiences with women are not complete and universal. Perhaps this closed-mindedness is connected to your ability to spew forth thinly-veiled dogma and defend it as truth.
David Quinn: If it is the case that I'm just a close-minded fanatic, then you should have no trouble proving me wrong. All you have to do is provide an example of a woman, either from the present or the past, who displayed a profound comprehension the nature of Reality. I can name a string of men who have done it - Socrates, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Huang Po, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, etc. But no women.
I AM: Socrates? Buddha? Oh please! Do you think us males would have let females do anything but cook and clean back then? Socrates couldn't think on an empty stomach!
Avidaloca: I did meet a woman once who I regard as living an elevated and spiritual/logical life, but that is one in a large number. Incidentally, none of her features were very feminine (face, figure, style of movement) and she was not very interested in pursuing sexual relationships. Nothing about her that I saw could be characterised as female in the general sense of the term. In my opinion, her ideas on issues were highly advanced and there was a lot to be learnt from her.
So the point is, I have absolutely nothing against someone happening to be of a different gender to me, because I take everyone as they are, on their own terms. Gender is certainly not always indicative of character, and to discriminate against someone on that basis alone is pathetic bigotry. The point is that the women who don't fit the general mold aren't very womanly in the first place - and they are extremely rare.
I8piggo: If women around you don't talk about philosophy, David, it's probably because they're worried about being looked down upon by you for being too male.
Dan Rowden: There may be some truth to that point, but it's interesting to me that people who argue against myself and David on this issue invariably make our case for us without being remotely aware of it.
Our actions speak to what looms largest in our psyche (in our value system). If women refrain from philosophical endeavour because of how it will make them appear to others, then this speaks to what they value uppermost: i.e. relationship, community, being liked and approved of etc etc etc. It certainly doesn't speak to truth and reason being valued to any degree.
Such a mentality is precisely that which is largely incapable of real philosophy, because that involves being an individual to the highest degree possible. Caring about how others judge them is an anathema to such a one. For various reasons, males tend more to such individualism (hell, even feminists will argue that in their own way, though not actually realising they're doing it). This makes them naturally better disposed to a serious philosophic life.
David Quinn: It's not just the fact that women hardly ever talk about philosophy (can anyone imagine three women sitting down and discussing the nature of existence for an hour? - I can't), but also the complete lack of achievement by women in higher thought. More specifically, I haven't come across any woman anywhere, either in my personal life or in my studies, who has displayed what it takes to become a genuine thinker of the Infinite. Philosophically speaking, the female landscape is a desert.
I8piggo: I've seen [women discussing the nature of existence] time and time again!
David Quinn: But you're a male and therefore would have influenced the proceedings. Since very few women have any real passion for abstract philosophy (it is too far removed from the really important things in life - namely, relationships and sex), the chances of them sitting down and having a sustained, focused discussion about the nature of reality are very remote. More than likely, you will find them flitting around their favourite topics - men, clothing, knickers, children, gossip, etc.
I can certainly imagine a woman having a sustained philosophical conversation with a man, and I can even imagine, although with some difficulty, two women having such a conversation with a man. But two or three women by themselves ..... well, I'm sorry, there my mind snaps.
Pimp Daddy Dave: Two or three women by themselves? I could set that up for ya, if that's what floats yer boat...
David Quinn: That's the scary thing. I can conceive of three women engaging in a lesbian orgy far more easily than I can of them sitting down and having a rational discussion. With men, it's very much the opposite.
I8piggo: In all honesty, what kind of lives have you lived? Are you guys from the eighteenth century? Well since then it's been discovered that women are people.
Avidaloca: Gee, I wonder why it took 'em thousands of years to make their minds up on that one, and a few hundred to decide if Africans were worthy of not being slaves. Must of been a bunch of dumbasses hey!!! Who the hell did they think they were, trying to pretend they were superior to women or Negroes!!! Just one look at the highly enlightened society we live in today would put 'em right back in their place any day.
I8piggo: Is that sarcasm? Well, it's not that they were dumbasses, but that they were not privy to a lot of information and experience that we're now privy to. It was thought back then that women lacked the necessary intelligence to vote. That assumption could be justified with the same kind of evidence that is being used to deny the female capacity for "genius."
Is this some strange nostalgia for the good old days? Well, if you counted women and blacks as people, they would probably think society is a hell of a lot more enligtened. But since the unexamined life is not worth living, and only white males can truly examine their lives, the others don't matter. So let's re-institute slavery, and make women decorations. Huzzah!
Avidaloca: Eureka! Finally you've said something intelligent! I knew you could do it eventually.
David Quinn: I disagree with Martin's view that we should turn back the clock and reintroduce slavery, sexism, etc, if in fact that is what he was advocating. Although I'm radically at odds with our current society and its blatant worship of all things womanly, I believe we should move forwards, rather than backwards. Oppressing people with force isn't the way to go. Rather, we should try to appeal to people's intelligence and conscience and encourage them to lead rational lives. If a sufficient amount of people were to do this of their own free-will, then I dare say that our culture will change far more naturally and fundamentally as a result.
Avidaloca: The sad fact is that it is women and blacks who are the slavedrivers of today and who are oppressing the views of different groups in ruthless pursuit of their own agenda - worse than white males ever did. The only people who should be forcibly subdued and oppressed are those who seek to do the same to others.
David Quinn: Well, I don't know about blacks, but what you say is certainly true of women. The human race has always operated as a matriarchy - not openly in the way men do things, of course, but subtly and underhandedly. Women have always been aware of the power they exerted over men's minds and have never hesitated in using their "feminine wiles" to extract what they want. We all know this.
Nowadays, the tyranny is far worse because males have been talked into abandoning the only counter-force to woman's power that they possessed. So it's almost total domination now by the female borg.
Jon: So by this logic, what did women want when they exerted their power over men's minds to create philosophy? Certainly these subliminal bitches wouldn't have allowed us this otherwise useless mental masturbation with no beneficial purpose for the ruling Amazons. How do you explain the existance of philosophy then? Especially as a purely male pursuit? Was it to give males a false sense of superiority? If so, it certainly worked. Perhaps it was thought we needed something to strain our brains in idle moments so we wouldn't catch on to their treachery? Maybe it was for a good laugh about how gullable males are when they were through cackling about "clothing, knickers, children, gossip, etc."?
If your matriarchal fantasy is true, then philosophy too is inspired and controlled by these "underhanded" sirens whom us clueless penis-bearers can't resist. Or is philosophy the exclusive pervue of GAY white males? That would explain alot.
David Quinn: Your attempted satire, Jon, contains more than a grain of truth. The philosophical impulse in a male, at least in its infancy, is almost invariably caused by women. Kierkegaard expressed this well in the following passage from his great work, "The Banquet":
"Let me, then, thank the gods that I was born a man and not a woman. And still, how much do I forego! For is not all poetry, from the drinking song to the tragedy, a deification of woman? All the worse for her and for him who admires her; for if he does not look out he will, all of a sudden, have to pull a long face. The beautiful, the excellent, all of man's achievement, owes its origin to woman, for she inspires him. Woman is, indeed, the inspiring element in life. How many a lovelorn shepherd has played on this theme, and how many a shepherdess has listened to it! Verily, my soul is without envy and feels only gratitude to the gods; for I would rather be a man, though in humble station, but really so, than be a woman and an indeterminate quantity, rendered happy by a delusion - I would rather be a concrete thing, with a small but definite meaning, than an abstraction which is to mean all.
"As I have said, it is through woman that ideality is born into the world and - what were man without her! There is many a man who has become a genius through a woman, many a one a hero, many a one a poet, many a one even a saint; but he did not become a genius through the woman he married, for through her he only became a privy councillor; he did not become a hero through the woman he married, for through her he only became a general; he did not become a poet through the woman he married, for through her he only became a father; he did not become a saint through the woman he married, for he did not marry, and would have married but one - the one whom he did not marry; just as the others became a genius, became a hero, became a poet through the help of the woman they did not marry. If woman's ideality were in itself inspiring, why, then the inspiring woman would be the one to whom a man is united for life. But life tells a different story. It is only by a negative relation to her that man is rendered productive in his ideal endeavors. In this sense she is inspiring; to say that she is inspiring, without qualifying one's statement, is to be guilty of a paralogism which one must be a woman to overlook. Or has anyone ever heard of any man having become a poet through his wife? So long as man does not possess her, she inspires him ....... "
I8piggo: This board is very rapidly filling me with a disgust for philosophy and its practitioners. It's justifying your beliefs about life by attributing them to something greater than yourself. Same thing as religion.
Alicat: Does gender identify who you are? My gender does not tell you or anyone else who I am. It determines very little about me. It does not tell you my dreams, my hopes, my ideas. It doesn't tell you what I care about, who I love, what experiences I have had, my background, my future, or anything else about me as a PERSON. I don't claim to know who or what you are based on your being attached to a penis, so why do you propose to identify any group based upon any number of individuals?
David Quinn: One can do this because women are so predictable. While men as a group have a wide diversity of passions and interests, which makes it impossible to judge the character of a man simply by knowing that he is a man, woman are almost identical the world over. In 99% of cases, one can know exactly what a person is like, together with their limitations and potential, simply by knowing that she is a woman. Just the very name "woman" suggests a very definite entity with a particular set of values and interests, which is applicable the world over. It is an archetype which very few women deviate from.
Mentally, women put on many dresses, which creates an illusion of distinction and variation, but at bottom there is really only one kind of woman in the world, and she is everywhere.
Alicat: Not to offend, but you must have had some really screwy female role models growing up. So then, tell me all about myself.
Thomas Knierim: Such statements are truly worrying. Obviously the thread has devolved into something that cannot be called philosophy any longer. Perhaps it is better to resist the impulse of following Mr. Quinn's thoughts into such depths. I should mention that Mr. Quinn has been diagnosed with a personality disorder some years ago. He stated once that he does not object to mentioning this in public. It may help explaining his present stance in this question.
David Quinn: To me, this is a badge of honour. If you don't have a personality disorder then there's obviously something wrong with you. You have given up your soul and blended into the herd.
Dan Rowden: Know what an ad hominem is, Thomas? David went through the disablity process so as to remain on the dole. His "personality disorder" consisted on nothing more substantial than a total dedication to the spiritual life and a philosophical overview that most people find too radical to handle. His "disorder" amounted to nothing more than an incapacity to fit in. I share that disorder. God forbid that I should ever be cured of it.
Thomas Knierim: Dan, I am familiar with [the term "ad hominem"], but you misinterpret my intention. I know the Genius group for a few years now, and although I have often disagreed with David Quinn, I feel no ill-will towards him. I am concerned. I think that David should seek professional help to work on these issues. Further isolation from society is most likely counterproductive, as it would only deepen the spiritual crisis that I see David in. I find it difficult to tolerate sexism, just as I find it difficult to tolerate racism or fundamentalism, and I tend to speak up against it. This is no assault against David, but rather an appeal to his friends to take this matter seriously.
Bondi: Ah, men(???), do not turn this topic into some psychological bullshitting, just because David has a very different opinion of the world, than you have. I agree with him (not 100%, however, which does not matter now) -- just have a look: democracy is dominating all the way, a typical woman-like concept of governmental form, in which "everybody is equal" and the such. It has the side-effect of making everybody equal, mostly the two sexes, hasn't it. I suppose, on such a way, we have about 50-100 years, after which one will not be able to distinguish between man and woman, turning everybody into a Marylin Manson kind of hermaphrodites or such, at least. And take a look at our clothes, for ex., feminine, woman-like dressing, head-dress etc. are becoming more and more popular suppressing that which is masculine, man-like. Yep, this cannot be called "philosophy", this is called reality......
Alicat: Hmmmm....I think some people are paranoid. Women are out to get you. Live like hermits. Inform the world. That's the only way to survive.... The Invasion of the Woman! Everybody, Run!
David Quinn: It doesn't quite happen in that manner, but in many ways I would prefer it if it did. It's more like the Invasion of the Borg - that is, the invasion of unconsciousness upon consciousness.
Women don't consciously set out to dominate men (that would be too masculine), it's more of an instinctive impulse with them. She instinctively expects men to kowtow to her in everything they do. It's her birthright as a woman. She believes that the entire universe was created especially for her, that she is at the centre of it all, and that men are the lackeys which exist to fulfil her every need.
But of course, this dynamic is rarely thought about or acknowledged in our society. Most people pretend it doesn't exist. Men try to block it out of their minds and most women are too unconscious to be aware of it. But it's there all the same, the soul of our civilization so far.
So it's wrong to think of women, in general, as calculating creatures who are busily devising ways to gain control of the male mind. Some women are like this, of course, but for the most part all a woman has to do is doll herself up, adopt a flirtatious personality, flash her breasts every now and then, and men are instantly spellbound. She doesn't need to calcuate, it all happens too easily for her.
I8piggo: How the hell can [you guys] have any deep, successful relationships with people of the other gender? What do you talk about?
David Quinn: What indeed? Since I refuse to flirt with women and engage them on an emotional/sexual level, and since it is pointless to engage them in philosophical conversation, what is there to talk about? It's an intractable problem.
I AM: David, I think you need a hug...from a woman this time.
David Quinn: Why? Am I becoming too conscious?
Jon: Well Golly! Maybe there is something to this philosophilical stuff after all. If you scratch around long enough, you're bound to come up with some of them there elusive basic truths.
After ethereal ramblings about the nature of
nothingness or how enlightenment is realizing the nothingness of reality, or A
does or does not equal A, or having to lose one's ego through
"mystical" experiences, yada, yada, yada, we get down to some real
nitty-gritty. And some of these "truths" are pretty gritty and
seemingly not related to nothingness, A=A or loss of ego.
Some other good 'ol boys here have come to the "absolute truth" that women are incapable of rising above mediocrity in any endeavor where they might have to compete with men, and in fact devoid of souls. Not only that, they did it without once having to refer to DNA percentages. Well done I say!
Not that I dispute this wisdom, but let me throw out some random thoughts that might, just might, have some relevance. Up until around the beginning of the last century(and up 'til today in some places) women, and some races, were considered worthy only as chattel and therefore incapable of making even the simplest decisions. They were therefore nearly universally denied the right to vote, and of course education. What's the use, right? They would most certainly not be capable of the understanding necessary for either endeavor.(not to mention lessen the power of white males)
While acknowledging genetic and cultural differences between genders and races, having a spare hour or two now and then devoted to interpreting reality implies that one can afford to participate in such pursuits. First, as noted above, no pre-1900 consideration was even given to including women or other races in such discussions. Gee, what could account for the dearth of great women philosophers? Second, as has been mentioned, someone had to be in charge of the tea and crumpets, and pressed suits and ties, and emptying cigar ashes, and refilling sherry glasses for these deep, masculine deliberations. Not to mention tending to the health and welfare of male progeny so men could have the satisfaction of knowing that these all important discussions would not end at the grave. Perhaps even some feminine mental capacity was reserved to contemplate what horrors to humanity might emerge from several hours of macho cigar-chewing, sherry imbibing and ego stroking.
Given the restrictions on women and the "mud" races until virtually yesterday in human history, I am astounded at the advances both have made in all arenas, especially since many men and quite a few women hold to the notion of subserviance and inferiority to men. This is not all that surprising of course, religious and much secular philosophy clearly procribes this subserviance and inferiority. Exactly how many female and/or slave students did Socrates have again?
I might add that there is surely residual inferiority complex in both women and other races. After 40,000 years of being told you're not worthy, you begin to believe it.
It is the epitome of male-centric, western arrogance and egotism to conclude that women or other races are incapable of contributing to philosophy, or any intellectual pursuit for that matter. There have been women and others not normally considered capable who have made breakthroughs in literature, science and other intellectual diciplines. Before 1900, more often then not, they have been closely associated with male intellectuals and thinkers by marraige or friendship, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly and Madame Curie for instance. Our masculine brains would like to conclude that they acheived their greatness not through their own intellect but by association with male counterparts. It is much more likely that their male comrades treated them as intellectual equals and engaged them in philosophic and other discussion. Given the chance, it seems that women CAN rise to the occasion and equal or surpass male counterparts.
Even though males have always had the advantage of access to education and intellectual stimulus, it is easy to pick out century long periods where no outstanding (great) male thinkers, scientists, authors or philosophers emerged. It means nothing at all if no women have yet emerged in these catagories in 100 years of academic and social SEMI-freedom.
I wish to retitle this thread. Please refer to it as the "Is Philosophy Dangerous?" thread from now on. I can be a little thick now and then. The arrogance and pretentiousness of any board called the "Genius Forum" should have been a dead giveaway that anyone who considers themselves a genius must be arrogant and pretentious, and therefore subject to delusions of granduer.
If this is genius, let's give thanks that it's a pretty rare phenomena. And luckily, no one on this board probably qualifies.
I8piggo: Has it occurred to anyone here that genetics aren't the complete picture? Society and upbringing have been demonstrated to be far more important. The idea that cranial capacity differed uniformly by race was discounted quite some time ago.
David Quinn: I'm not quite sure what your last sentence here has to do with this discussion. This is a discussion about the sexes, not about race. Please get your ad hominems sorted.
It is obvious that there are innumerable reasons why men and women are different from one another. A large part of it is genetic (women have genetically evolved over tens of thousands of years to be pragmatic, domestically-minded, nurturing, and passive), and part of it is also environmental/cultural (men want women to be feminine and pretty). There isn't a simple explanation of the differences between the sexes, such as "differences in cranial capacity". Rather, what's involved is a complex brew of psychological, biological, cultural, emotional, sexual, and pragmatic reasons.
The conclusion that I have come to, after studying men and women for many years, is that, although women have a capacity for a fair amount of success in most fields of life, they nevertheless lack that edge which would see them enter into the realm of genius. In other words, women are the equal of mediocre men and nothing more.
In my opinion, they lack the capacity to go beyond this because of serious impediments in their psychology. And I can't see this changing unless women one day decide to bite the bullet and agree to fundamental changes to their genetic structure. But for that to occur men must be willing to give up their attachment to feminine women, which I doubt will ever happen.
I AM: David, you are becoming very predictable and hard to take seriously. If you really feel the way you do about reality and think you are "free", then I feel sorry for you and think you and your buddy Drowden should jump out of your Kangaroo sacks and see what's going on with the rest of the world and humanity. True enlightenment can only come in relation with the world, and that is very hard to do, of course. Anyone can make themselves think they are enlightened if they grow a beard, hide from the world and turn their calendars back a few hundred years! You have fallen into the one of the most dangerous illusions, and that is the illusion that your already free. I can make myself hallucinate if I starve myself, it's all the same. There's definately nothing wrong with what your doing of course...it's better than breaking codes for the CIA and causing wars...your living a cozy little life I suppose, and that's fine, as long as you know that your still in the cage. Or maybe not...because that might break your illusion...then you'll have to create a new one. The mind is a powerful thing, my friend. [
David Quinn: To me, the question is not whether men and women are equal in terms of intellectual capacity, but whether they have a similar capacity for genius. When it comes to mediocre intellectual exercises that possess no real import, such as doing university exams or IQ tests, women clearly show that they fall within the same range as men. But it's a vastly different story when it comes to great intellectual achievement. It is here that women are sadly lacking.
This is evidenced by the fact that women have contributed very little in the way of greatness in the areas of science, art and philosophy over the past century - despite the fact that they have attended the same universities and had the same opportunities that men have had. Indeed, we've bent over backwards to make it as easy as possible for women to achieve, even so far as to change the way university curriculums are constructed, making them far more "feminine-friendly", in order to give every advantage to women. And still they haven't come up with the goods. I find it very revealing.
From my many years of studying women, I have concluded that women as a group lack that special edge which can tip a person over into the realm of genius. They are just not quite hungry enough for higher knowledge, not quite single-minded enough, not quite extreme enough, quite sharp enough when it comes to deeper forms of reasoning. In short, it's lots of little things in their character which hold them back. So although they might compare favourably with men in particular aspects of intellectual endeavour, as articulated by Thomas Knierim above, when taken together as a whole package women fall woefully short.
This is not meant to be an attack on women. I have no desire to do that. But I think it is important to face up to reality and stop kidding ourselves. How long can we go on pretending that women are something more than they're not?
Avidaloca: The great dictators of the world also had this deep mediocrity, which they sought to redeem through standover tactics and inhuman schemes and ruses. They also saw themselves as vastly superior to their fellow countrymen, despite no evidence to support that claim (if anything the opposite was the case). They had a burning need to enforce this image of themselves (through law and custom) as being superior in every way to any foreign group. You can learn much about the psychology of women in the way these people conducted themselves.
Gladpanther: The advantages women have are primarily legal. Social, largely unconscious, discrimination is still widely perpetuated within the classroom. Studies have been done showing that, beginning in elementary school, female students are treated differently then male students.
How long can we go on pretending that discriminatory practices, which pass as social norms, are not going to have an effect on a woman's educational career?
Existenital Integrity: [David, you wrote:] "...whether they have a similar capacity for genius...But it's a vastly different story when it comes to great intellectual achievement. It is here that women are sadly lacking."
Genius is intelligence, nothing more. You're talking about those brilliant characters who radically alter society through intellectual advancements, correct?
David Quinn: To my mind, genius is not merely a matter of raw intelligence, but more a question of how it is applied. There is an ethical element to genius which is often overlooked nowadays. A genius is someone who single-mindedly applies his raw intelligence in the most ethical manner possible - namely, the whole-hearted pursuit of truth.
Existential Integrity: Can you name any modern geniuses? What about Ayn Rand, in terms of her wide understanding of economics?
David Quinn: Ayn Rand was definitely a cut above the average woman, I'll grant you that. She at least attempted to value reason to some degree, which is admirable. More importantly, she tried to devise an entire system of philosophy that was logically consistent to certain core axioms - an enterprise virtually unheard of in the whole history of womankind. So she definitely stands out.
But I can't consider her to be a genius simply because her thinking wasn't very deep. She completely ignored the most important issue in life, which is the understanding of Ultimate Reality, and indeed dismissed anything that was even slightly metaphysical in nature. Her knowledge of human psychology was also severly stunted. She was a worldly thinker through and through, and thus very limited in her outlook.
And if you look at her life objectively, she wasn't all that flash, even in the context of worldly achievement. If she had been a male, she would have been indistinguishable from the many thousands of forgotten mediocre philosophers who have graced the history of Western academic thought. It's only because she was female that people put her on a pedastal.
Existential Integrity: [You wrote:] "This is evidenced by the fact that women have contributed very little in the way of greatness in the areas of science, art and philosophy over the past century - despite the fact that they have attended the same universities and had the same opportunities that men have had." This says nothing in regard to whether or not they actually can.
David Quinn: The proof lies in the pudding. We can't really say that they can until they actually do.
Existential Integrity: There are plenty of highly accomplished females working now, and in my opinion they will continue to be role models to inspire women into deciding they don't have to stay home and raise a family. Genius could show itself when the whole population of women is after the intellectual ideal, while it certainly won't if women decide rather to be housewives.
David Quinn: Maybe, but I have my doubts. I am continually looking for signs in women of a sincere interest in ideals such as Ultimate Truth, perfect honesty, higher rationality, etc, and I'm always drawing a blank. It's quite disturbing, in fact.
As a rule, a woman's priorities tend to lie elsewhere - in the ideals of social harmony, good relationships, fighting social injustice, good sex, etc. The concept of Truth is just too abstract and inhuman to excite her. She would literally have to abandon her very womanhood before she could start directing her gaze towards such a lofty ideal.
Existential Integrity: [You wrote:] "From my many years of studying women, I have concluded that women as a group lack that special edge which can tip a person over into the realm of genius."
I think I can understand where you're coming from here. First, though, to address the alternate side of the ambiguity: geniuses are born geniuses, they do not become geniuses after they "tip" over into a higher realm; it is the dream of the non-geniuses that genius is some transcendental thing.
David Quinn: It's likely that we have an entirely different view of what constituites genius. What you seem to be referring to here is talent.
Existential Integrity: That "special edge" [that you talk about] requires ambition for higher intellectual achievement, right?
David Quinn: Partly. I would put it more strongly and say that it requires nothing less than a whole-hearted ambition for full spiritual/philosophical enlightenment. In other words, the effort to reach the highest that life has to offer.
Existential Integrity: We do differ in our definitions of genius. Genius, as I firmly believe it to be, is aptitude. A genius is capable of a greater degree of mastery over anything, because he is by definition able to learn faster than the average. Mozart learned music faster. Einstein learned mathamatics faster. Out of two students, the one who is a genius can study for the same length of time as the average student, and by the next morning have acquired a considerably greater understanding of the subject.
David Quinn: In other words, genius is a talent for learning? In the future, computers and robots will be able to learn a wide variety of complex tasks in extremely quick time. Will that make them greater geniuses than us?
Existential Integrity: Genius is a talent for learning. Computers are non-living; genius applies to humans. An ape may be highly intelligent, but you would say he's "an ape genius."
David Quinn: That's a bit species-ist, isn't it? Only homo sapiens can be geniuses?
One of the virtues of my definition of genius is that it is tied to an absolute standard of what constitutes genius. A genius is any being or entity that has eliminated all delusion from its consciousness. It doesn't matter whether the entity in question is a human being or an alien or an animal or a machine - the criteria is always the same. It doesn't matter what form a conscious being takes, or what it is made of, if it has eliminated all delusion from its mind, then it is enlightened and can be considered a genius.
The definition you are proposing, on the other hand, turns genius into a relative quality. Not only are you stating that genius can only occur within homo sapiens, but you're defining it in such a way that it is firmly linked to the capacities and qualities of the human population at large. In other words, by your reckoning, a person isn't a genius if he shares the same qualities as everyone else. This means that you are not taking into account the specific qualities the individual himself has. Your focus instead is on whether or not he is sufficiently different and extraordinary enough to be distinguished from the general population.
Albert Einstein, for example, is considered to be a genius because he towers far above the average physicist. Yet if he had lived in a world where all physicists possessed the same kind of qualities that he possessed, he wouldn't have been regarded as a genius. Instead, he would have been though of as just another average scientist - even though he is exactly the same individual in both cases.
Existential Integrity: Genius, as I believe it is intended to be viewed, has nothing to do with a person's inclinations. The search for ultimate truth is not evidence of the presence of genius. Mozart had no such concerns, and he was certainly a genius. I think you have taken the term "genius" and applied it to your personal metaphysical ideals, simply because they require genius to fulfill. I'm sure you would not agree with Mozart if he claimed that genius is the pursuit of musical composition, though in order to do it to the extent that he did you would have to be a genius as well.
David Quinn: Well, I don't consider Mozart to be a genius. He certainly had an extraordinary capacity for making beautiful music and he might well have possessed the capacity for even greater, more philosophically-orientated achievements if he tried. But the fact is he didn't try, which kept him a notch or two below genius.
You see, I can't see how genius could be adequately defined without making reference to consciousness. Mozart had no conscious connection with reality, nor did he strive to cultivate one. His music-making ability was essentially a spontaneous, non-conscious activity. The music flowed through him, as though from an external source. He was closer to being a medium than a genius.
Existential Integrity: I think you have taken the term genius and applied it to your personal metaphysical ideals, simply because they require genius to fulfill.
David Quinn: It's more than that. How can a person be called a genius if he allows himself to remain trapped in fantasy and delusion? That isn't genius, that is foolishness. If Mozart did have potential for genius, he squandered it by confining himself to the activity of stringing pleasant noises together. How can that be called genius?
Yamori: And what is fantasy and delusion and what is not? I assume you refuse to acknowledge anyone for genius unless they agree upon your own definition of such?
David Quinn: Of course. I don't acknowledge anyone as a genius unless they fully comprehend the nature of Reality. It is the bare requirement for genius. Without it, there is nothing.
What is fantasy and delusion? Any thought or belief that conflicts with the nature of Reality. An example is the belief that love is selfless. Another is the belief that things inherently exist, including one's own self, and that life and death are real.
Existential Integrity: I would say the true definition of your idea, David, is simply "a gifted metaphysical philosopher," because that is precisely what you mean when you say "genius."
David Quinn: No. A genius is someone who is completely honest and truthful in all areas of life - whether it be in his metaphysical thinking, scientific thinking, psychological thinking, or whatever. He is the complete human being.
Existential Integrity: Incidentally, I have heard it said here that the feminine is "the unconscious." Since there is no "the unconscious," I assume that to mean "the subconscious?"
David Quinn: No. The feminine is unconscious in the sense that it lacks the memory and structure of thought that is needed to become aware of Reality. The most feminine kinds of people are those who live entirely in the NOW and are oblivious to causal consequences.
Avidaloca: I believe this to be the defining characteristic of someone who is fully conscious, or enlightened: awareness of causes and consequences. The more conscious a person, the more aware they are of their actions creating consequences, particularly in the spiritual or karmic sense. It's why we allow so much leeway for women and young people, because we know they do not possess this faculty sufficiently to be responsible for their own actions. A full enlightened person is fully conscious of the myriad of consequences all their actions create - it is an inbuilt knowledge that comes with enlightenment. This is why it is so telling that we do not ascribe the ability to be consciously aware of our actions to some groups (women, children etc). By doing that, we are saying that these people are somehow inherently inferior to someone who has even the potential for self-realisation and enlightenment. It's also why Westerners felt no guilt over taking over native peoples' lands - if they didn't have the consciousness to be able to hold them themselves, they were less worthy of them than those who did. It placed consciousness above other virtues - made it a supreme virtue. As the place of consciousness receded in the West, so did the position of women, Negroes and criminals rise (as well as every other form of unconsciousness we see i.e., in modern-day entertainment, politics etc). Even the victory of the Soviet Union over Hitler's Germany was a triumph of a culturally inferior group over a superior one - because the superior one had failed to maintain its consciousness of its own actions at the highest level.
Existential Integrity: It should be known that the necessity for the subconscious is even greater in genius. The subconscious mind, though passive, is the very place that knowledge is processed, stored, and integrated. Sudden insights are likely the result of the subconscious mind at work independently of the conscious mind. In other words, the genius grows smarter while he sleeps.
David Quinn: The subconscious, as you describe it here, is something different to the unconsciousness of feminine people. You're right in saying that our subconscious minds are capable of generating interesting insights and intuitions, and I agree that it is important to cultivate the skill to tap into one's subconscious. But I would argue that it is the conscious part of ourselves which is the source of genius, not the subconscious part. It is only when one consciously and systematically abandons all delusions that one's genius can be developed.
In short, a person is a genius to the degree that he has consciously destroyed all false thought in his mind. [
By David Quinn
Cow that can be told is not the eternal Cow.
The Woman that can be named is not the eternal Woman.
Man is the Creator of ten thousand things.
Woman is the beginning of hell on earth.
Ever desireless, one can see the truth.
Ever desiring, there is only appearance.
These two differ in name, and are forever opposed; this appears as darkness.
The gate to all knowledge.
Under heaven, a man sees her beauty as beauty only because he is ignorant.
He knows her good as good only because he is evil.
Therefore her goodness and his evil arise together.
Her beauty and his ugliness contrast each other;
His strength and her weakness rest upon each other;
His hardness and her softness create each other;
His forwardness and her backwardness follow one another.
Therefore the wise man goes about avoiding her, teaching no-mooing.
His ten thousand thoughts evolve without cease;
Creating, yet not possessing,
Working, yet not taking credit.
His work is done, then forgotten.
Therefore it lasts forever.
The Cow is an empty vessel; she is used but never satisfied.
Oh, fathomable source of ten thousand delusions!
Blunt her shapeliness,
Untangle her hold,
Scoff at her stare.
Merge with dust.
Oh, enclothed but ever naked!
I do not know why she comes.
She is the curse of all thinkers.
Women and girls are ruthless;
They see man's ten thousand thoughts as dummies.
Wives are ruthless;
They see their husbands as dummies.
The difference between man and woman is infinite.
Fashions change, but never this truth.
The more women change, the more they stay the same.
More roles count for less.
Hold fast to your masculinity!
The petty spirit never dies;
It is the Cow, primal woman.
Her gateway is the root of all mindlessness.
It is like her veils, barely seen.
Men who use it - die.
Look, she cannot exist, she is unconscious.
Listen, she cannot be silenced, she is without purpose.
Grasp, she cannot be held, she is not really there.
These three are inhuman,
Therefore they are joined in one.
From above she is not bright.
From below she is not stupid.
An unbroken space beyond description.
She is simply nothingness.
The form of an angel,
The image of Heaven,
She is called impossible and beyond comprehension.
Stand before her and there is no dignity.
Follow her and there is no joy.
Esteem the ancient Cow,
And move into oblivion.
When the great Cow is forgotten,
Simplicity and clarity of mind arise.
When women and femininity are born,
The great pretence begins.
When tears well up in a woman's eyes,
Guilt and concern promptly arise.
When she is confused and in chaos,
Loyal men appear.
The great Cow flows everywhere, both in the world and in the home.
The ten thousand thoughts shy away from it, but it holds nothing back.
It fulfils its purpose noisily and makes endless claims.
It poisons the ten thousand thoughts,
And yet it is not their lord.
It has no aim; it is very petty.
The ten thousand thoughts struggle against it,
Yet it is not their lord.
It is mindless.
It does not show greatness,
And therefore it is mediocre.
The wise student hears of the Cow and laughs out loud.
The average student hears of the Cow and becomes deeply disturbed.
The foolish student hears of the Cow and immediately changes the subject.
If there were no changing the subject, the Cow would not be what it is.
Hence it is said:
The mind of a woman seems pure;
The ways of the feminine seem innocent;
The smells of the Paddock seem natural;
Getting married seems like progress;
The highest salary seems fulfilling;
Great sex seems heavenly;
A wealth of possessions seems comforting;
Having children seems important;
The perfect tear has no beginning;
Great mistakes ripen late;
The obvious notes are hard to hear;
The greatest evil has no shape;
The Cow is everywhere, and has many names.
The Cow alone poisons and brings everything to stagnation.
My words are easy to understand, and easy to perform.
Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.
My words have ancient beginnings.
My actions are disciplined.
Because men do not understand, they have no knowledge of me.
Those that know me are few;
Those that abuse me are honoured.
Therefore the sage wears rough clothing
And ignores the attractions of the heart.
Kittyfoot: Here's a question. At what point does Philosophy
require a well-developed sense of humor? Are the two integrated and if not,
Gladpanther: Laughter has an effect on both sides of the brain. It
effects vision and thought. Much of the thinking of philosopy is likely done in
the left half of the brain. We need both halves to function optimally. The
benifits of philosphy are likely optimized by stimulating both hemispheres of
the brain. In addition, laughter works as a kind of "reset" button
for emotions. If you can get an angry person to laugh then they have a more
difficult time returning to the state of anger.
David Quinn: Philosophy is nothing other than humour pushed to the extreme.
Humour is the art of shattering conventions. It overturns, in small isolated instances, what is previously expected and accepted. If a person has been burdened by what is expected and this is suddenly lifted via a comic moment, he experiences a kind of liberation and laughs with relief and joy. His ego, previously weighed down, experiences a sudden increase in power.
A philosopher, then, is someone who consciously shatters all conventions and expectations in his effort to be liberated from all delusion. He is the greatest of comedians and experiences the greatest liberation that life has to offer.
Unfortunately, he is always a he. Women tend to seek their freedom, not through truth, but through emotions, people and unconsciousness.
Avidaloca: Philosophy is comedy taken seriously.
Existential Integrity: [David, you wrote:] "A philosopher, then, is someone who consciously shatters all conventions and expectations in his effort to be liberated from all delusion... Unfortunately, he is always a he. Women tend to seek their freedom, not through truth, but through emotions, people and unconsciousness."
"Shatters all expectations." Isn't the statement following this one an expectation? Along with the one after that? You cannot, by your definition, call yourself a philosopher, then.
David Quinn: It's the fruit of bitter experience, I'm afraid. Repeated experiences tend to create expectations of more of the same in the future. So I probably will laugh uproariously if I ever discover a woman who overturns that expectation - and maybe even with joy and relief. [
If a woman spends all her time in academic study, to improve her character, she forgets to improve her character, and one day finds herself to be a mere educated woman.
Matt Gregory: The fundamental expression of femininity is denial
without affirmation and affirmation without denial.
Actually, it's even more general than that. Femininity is just one-sidedness and masculinity is two.
Bob Willis: But isn't the feminine's yang too yang and yin too yin where the masculine has a yang/yin balance, centeredness? That is to say the masculine yields where it should yield and pursues where it should pursue, and the feminine just sort of gabs its way through... loud, soft, whatever.
Dan Rowden: Consciousness is the key. The masculine mind is more or less aware of its relationship to reality, whereas the feminine mind is simply flowing unconsciously with whatever forces are acting upon it at any given time. This is why a man can take an action that one might reasonably assert to be contrary to his nature, whereas the idea of a woman doing something contrary to her nature is all but inconceivable.
Bob Willis: What I find confusing about the masculine/feminine debate is the place of the ego.
The ego must be a symptom of a conflict of the conscious and unconscious (masculine and feminine).
Dan Rowden: It's more a consequence of a certain level of development of consciousness. The feminine represents a kind of primordial level of consciousness that lacks the introspective contrast of self and other, which is necessary to the existence of ego. It is pure, unconscious animal. Whereas the masculine represents that form of consiousness which involves the perception of an independent self, which relates to the world on a consciously individual basis.
In very basic terms, we're talking about human/animal consciousness. Ego demands a sense of self, beit true or false, so that demands a degree of masculinity of mind. Homo sapiens is precisely a development of the masculine element of mind. Men, to whatever degree they are masculine, deal with their experiences in terms of their relationship as an individual entity to the rest of the world. In other words, they operate in a mode of awareness of causation. Women, to the degree that they are feminine, basically just flow along and respond to things in a spontaneous way. Their relationship to the world is one characterised by immediacy. They lack introspection. This is why men have a sense of conscience and justice and ethics that is built upon principles which are themselves built upon models of relation between the individual and the world. A woman's ethic consists of little more than the feeling of a toddler - "This upsets me, therefore, it is necessarily wrong."
Bob Willis: I suppose a theoretically 100% conscious man would have no ego whatsoever, but then neither would a theoretical 100% unconscious woman.
Dan Rowden: That's right. A completely feminine woman would be a cow in every possible sense. She would really not be able to be considered to be a human being at all. Of course, a fully conscious man is not really a human being either. A different species name would be needed for such a one.
Bob Willis: In other words, for a person to have an emotional reaction he or she would have to have a feminine and a masculine component in his or her personality.
Dan Rowden: Not really. Emotions are non-rational, unconscious responses to simuli. They are symbols of the animal instincts that remain in us. The degree of masculinity in a mind is what determines how emotions are experienced. I think there's a certain instinctual appreciation of that in human beings, which is why one tends to respond differently to a man or a somewhat masculine woman crying, and some vacuous, feminine bimbo. We may seek to console each of them, but we will probably do so differently because we don't grant the crying of the bimbo any real significance because we don't associate consciousness with it. My experience is that when we see a man cry, we really believe that his suffering is deep and significant. A woman crying, is, well, just another woman crying. Our response to it is not all that different from the way we would respond to the tears of a young child.
The masculine mind relates its emotional responses to other elements of its overall nature and also to its relationship to the world. Men don't like to get emotional all that much because it means a loss of control; it means the world is exercising a power over them that they resist. A man functions this way because his mind dwells in that realm of "self" and "other". A woman experiences emotion as just another experience, like walking down the street or combing her hair or breathing. A woman can describe her emotions quite well, but don't ask her to explain them!
They say men are not in touch with their emotions but that is merely code for "men are not as emotional as women." Men are quite in touch with their emotions; they don't like to talk about them all that much because they don't like the idea of being subject to them. Women don't talk about their emotions, they emote about their emotions. The feminine mind experiences no psychical conflict with regard to its emotions because it has an essentially passive relationship to the world. There is no possibility of conflict arising; there is just no basis for it. A woman can be almost hysterically distraught one minute, and the next carry on as if nothing of significance occured. A man would carry the psychical scars of having been so deeply subject to an emotional experience for what might be years. It would change his perspective, at least to some extent, permanently, because he relates this experience back to the world and his individual relationship to it. It says something to him about that relationship, even if he doesn't grasp what that may specifically be. A woman just flows along as before because she lacks that introspective relation to the world. She can literally run the whole gamut of emotions in a single day and never feel as if she is as mad as a hatter. But because the masculine mind has an active rather than passive relation to the world, which is to say he has a foundation to his psyche, he cannot do this. It would ruin him. He wouldn't know whether he was Arthur or Martha (quite literally!) His mind would break and he would go mad.
The more a woman is pushed into a real relationship with the world, one based in a conscious appreciation of her as individual in a causal dynamic with the world, the more she suffers. She is forced to become active rather than passive, and her mind is simply not designed for it.
Every man goes his whole life in a state of some degree of existential crisis. The male psyche, is, itself, a kind of continuous existential crisis. It's only when this consciousness is pushed to fulfillment that that crisis is averted. However, the terms "woman" and "existential crisis" just don't fit together. I find it impossible to conceive of a woman of average femininity of mind experiencing such a thing.
Woman is of the world; man is in the world. [
I AM: I sense a strong lack of humility on this message
board, and I feel humility to an extent is an essential ingredient for
"Genius". "Intelligence comes into being when the brain
discovers it's fallibilty, when it doscovers what it is capable of, and what
it is not." - J. Krishnamurti
David Quinn: Why do you consider the experience of living in
Reality the equivalent of death?
Jon: A couple of things here. "A full undertanding of Reality" implies there is nothing more to be learned. To me this at least indicates intellectual death, as well as arrogance and conceit, three conditions that don't normally define enlightenment.
David Quinn: That's interesting. Are you saying that you would rather abandon knowledge of Ultimate Reality - the greatest prize open to humankind - for the sake of preserving your intellectual pursuits and enjoyment of life? Sounds like ego to me ......
Thomas Knierim: I guess [David's assertion] disqualifies Siddhartha Gautama, who purportedly became enlightened and reached Buddhahood at age 35.
David Quinn: That's true. But according to legend, he made the decision to abandon his family and worldly life at age 29, so he just sneaks in there. He was obviously bit of a late bloomer!
My statement, of course, wasn't meant to be an iron-clad law of nature, but rather a poetic expression of my philosophy. I was saying, obliquely, that not only is Truth entirely knowable, but that it is the most important thing in life. It should be known as soon as possible.
WolfsonJakk: How does a single organism know "truth" without fear of delusion? What is Truth?
Jon: My understanding is that one can never completely understand reality. A declaration of "a full undertanding of Reality" is therefore a contradiction in terms.
I AM: Yes, and to understand this (that we can't "fully" get reality) is a good example of humility.
David Quinn: What Jon says is true only in relation to the empirical/scientific side of things. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that we will never gain a complete empirical understanding of the universe. But this doesn't stop a sage from comprehending the essential nature of all things. That is his omniscience - he fully understands the nature of everything that ever has been and will ever be. It is an understanding which spans the entire Universe.
Of course, this sort of thing goes over most people's heads. They are completely blind to it. I've come across very few indivduals in my lifetime who possess even an inkling of what this knowledge might mean. "The Kingdom of God is only for the chosen few" - Jesus.
Jon: Your bold statement suggests that you HAVE acheived "a full undertanding of Reality" before the age of thirty. If this is the case, perhaps you could favor us with a brief description?
David Quinn: I describe it every day on this forum, but most people lack the eyes to see it. [
Quotes of quality from Genius-L and Genius Forum
What is art? Egotism and vanity spewed out onto canvas. Very little art is directly motivated by a desire to help people understand reality and themselves. Most of it is motivated by self-absorbed people simply trying to make their mark.
Some artists are "purer" than others, of course, but I find it difficult to take seriously anyone who restricts his expression of ideas to painting, sculpting, musical composition, novels, and the like. To my mind, the highest form of art is direct philosophical expression and that can really only be done in non-fictional prose.
However, I grant that the lower forms of art - painting, sculpting, music, novels, etc - can be enriching and stimulating at times, and may even provide the spark that ignites a person's passion for higher truth. So I can't deny there is some value in those forms of art.
It's the motivation behind the creating which is the key issue. Do you create in order to stimulate people into valuing truth and eliminating ignorance from the world? Or do you do it for things like entertainment, self-esteem, making a mark, filling in time, achieving status within the art community, proving your parents wrong, etc.
Some people say that the true artist has no choice but to create art. It's there bottled up within him and, like puss within a sore, it has to be let out. But I don't really buy that. It is their way of avoiding respsonsbility for what they do. Artists have as much free-will as the rest of us; they could easily do something more constructive with their time, should they choose to. But they feel they have the right to inflict the world with anything they create, no matter how deluded or unedifying, just because they're "artists". David Quinn
The feminine-minded person lacks certain key
aspects of consciousness which would enable her to address the delusions that
exist within her. She lacks the highly structured thought-patterns which are
necessary for the mind turn to back on itself and expose its deeper delusions.
She lacks skill in abstract reasoning, her spacial skills are poorly developed,
and the ideal of truth has no interest for her. Indeed, her thought-processes
are so poorly developed that she isn't even aware that she is lacking in this
regard. Hence, feminine-minded people, assuming that all their external needs
are met, tend to be the happiest and least dissatisfied sector in the
However, one must be careful here. The fact that feminine-minded people are "inherently delusional" doesn't mean that masculine-minded people are somehow free of delusion. Unless a masculine-minded person puts in the hard yards and uses his reason to expose his own delusions, then he will be just as "inherently delusional" as the feminine-minded person. But the difference with him is that it becomes a matter of will and desire, and not, as in the case of feminine-minded people, a lack of mental capacity. David Quinn
The temptation of youth is the supposition
that paradise can be had on earth; the romantic supposition that there is a
perfect woman waiting "out there" who can ease all worldly sorrows.
That is simply not the case. It's a fantasy. It is a fantasy that increases
sorrow rather than to alleviate it.
The world is a grimy place in which we all put on masquerades in an attempt to avoid the truth of our animal natures and our "higher" natures.
Certainly, when we look around us, most of us must see that we could do better than this. The reason that we do not do better is a matter of cowardice and ignorance. It is not even our "animal" nature that chooses ignorance and cowardice. It is our mediocrity that succumbs to it; our want to fit in; our want to be a part of the Idiot Masquerade.
I am troubled by this propensity and, yet, recognize that it is not likely to change. Marsha Faizi
Mere survival is not all that it's cracked up to be. Maggots survive. Marsha Faizi
To rank importance, one must have values, and values are (or should be, perhaps) determined by what one has reasoned to be right or wrong via knowledge of Truth. If you're going to go about life with any aims, goals, ideals, or ambitions, don't you think a correct understanding of the Universe would be the height of aspiration? As far as God is concerned, in seeking Truth you find it to be synonymous with God. Bryan McGilly
Woman does not betray her secrets because she doesn't have any, but she can surely betray those of the men around her. Bob Willis
The present moment is all there is (plain as the nose on your face; if it were a snake it would have done bit you, etc.). If you define the thought you might be having at the moment as a past (adjective) memory that is merely a characteristic of the thought in the present, no different really than saying a flower is red (red being obviously non-temporal).
And if you really think about it there is also no present since the only way there could be a present is if there were a past (non-present) as contrast. Bob Willis
It is my intent to make the most of the thirty years or so that I have left to live. I have no intent of embracing the nature of mediocrity. I have spent ample time doing that already. I am more interested in studying -- for want of a better word -- Nature. Marsha Faizi
You can judge a person's character by the
kind of God he worships. The term "God" tends to embody all the
qualities and values that a particular person esteems the most. So when a
Christian, for example, worships an all-powerful, all-loving God who promises
eternal life in Heaven, it shows that his greatest concern in life is the
preservation and well-being of his own ego. His God is essentially an extenion
of his petty selfishness.
It follows, then, that the highest kind of human being, the one with the most character, is the one who equates the term "God" with Truth. To him, Truth is God. Not God is Truth, as the Christian would have it, but the other way around. As far as the highest human being is concerned, God is nothing other than Nature itself as seen by undeluded eyes. When a person sheds all of his false habits of thought such that his vision of the nature of existence is no longer distorted, then what he sees, no matter where he looks, is "God" ..... for want of a better word.
In my experience, those who worship no God at all and who proclaim themselves as "atheists or "agnostics" tend to be just as petty and selfish as Christians. The only real difference is that they no longer find the concept of the Christian God believable. Instead of looking towards an invisible God for salvation, they stick to "what they know" and worship the earthly objects around them that give them the most pleasure, usually in the form of other people. David Quinn
Within my field, I am acquainted with many
people whom I respect for their particular expertise. Respect for certain
skills does not entail respect for philosophical knowledge. I have known many
persons who were medical experts and scientific experts and artistic experts
who were philosophical dunces.
When I refer to "philosophical dunces," I am not referring to those who have never taken a class in philosophy at university level. I am referring to anyone who is completely unconscious of what pushes us; what motivates us; what enslaves the species of man.
If I could freely discuss this want of consciousness with my grocer or my bank teller, I would have no need to write to this discussion forum.
I am hardly elitist. But neither am I stupid. I am discriminating. Marsha Faizi
Just remember that what you hate in others you can only hate in yourself. I only say this because for a time I actually was mysoginistic (in thought, if not in deed) for awhile. But the thousand faces of God are just different facets of the same diamond. Wherever you look, there you are. Whatever you hear, it's only you, etc. Not to say that love for a woman is the same thing as love of the Infinite, they're totally different. Women limit men so much as that man limits himself. I, myself, am weak. The "red thread of passion" is more like a cable in my case. Thus I stay away from women (and "men", for that matter), so as not to remain a "hungry ghost" forever. Craving after an insubstantial being is ignorant, and painful if anything. Bryan McGilly
I'm not especially interested in relative notions of Genius. I'm not interested in a concept of Genius which says a person was a genius in one generation, but mediocre in another. True Genius, is, to me, a quality that transcends and pervades all generations as its nature is essentially timeless (since it is connected to the true nature of Reality).
This is ultimately a matter of disposition
and values. If people want to apply the term "Genius" to people
who simply created new paradigms in thought, then that is up to them. The
herd wants to link itself intimately to such "genius" so that it can
derive the benefits it desires. To have a genuinely idealistic notion of
what Genius is, one in which one can take no immediate vicarious pleasure, one
to which he average person can do no more than nobly aspire, is something the
ego tends to resist.
The Genius must be within our reach; he must be dragged down to our level so that we may take succour from him, so that we may bask in the vicarious glory of his capacities. Of course, at the same time we also have to keep him at arms reach so as not to feel the pressure to live up to his standards. The genius is therefore an anomaly, nebulously expressive of the latent capacity in us all. But he is not so distant that we cannot make use of him to bolster our feelings about ourselves. This is why those whom we struggle to understand and from whom we gain no such vicarious pleasure, we call "eccentric" (or perhaps "radical" or similar terms) rather than genii.
For these reasons the "genii" of any given generation will be nothing more than an expression of human capacity that their contemporaries cannot match. Personally, I find that an unedifying and philosophically paltry way to conceive of Genius. Dan Rowden
[Genius] Recognised by who? Ignorant people? Since they have no connection to Reality (in the sense of an understanding of it) they are not in a position to make a judgment about who is and is not a genius. That is why what passes for genius is little more than a kind of savantism, one which may be expressed in most any field of endeavour. The truth is the real genius is not about to be recognised as such by anyone but the substantially progressed soul. To most people the genius is more like a lunatic or some kind of screwed up radical. This is because there is no egotistical benefit to be derived from him, and that is all the herd care about. Dan Rowden
Men do not love women for who and what they are; that would be very difficult; one might as well fall in love with a cat. Men project their own ideation in the form of "Woman" onto women. Therefore, what men really love is their own mind and their own "purity", expressed within that ideation. But women, whilst being able to live up to that ideal to an astonishing degree, nevertheless begin to relax when having bonded with a man. She no longer has to play the role so completely and the unavoidable consequence of that is the clash that arises between the husband's perception of her as the epitome of "Woman" and the bag of egotistical and irrational blood and bones that she really is, and is now being seen by him to be.
This is a realisation men remain mostly silent about, because to speak of it is to admit that one had deluded oneself deeply. No romantic relationship can completely withstand familiarity. Dan Rowden
Consensus? Why in God's Name would concensus have to be reached? And why would or should such consensus have anything to do with what is ultimately True? ...about genius or anything else? God give me strength! Leo Bartoli
All images in this publication are taken/adapted from "The Devil's Gallery"
Disclaimer: editorial opinions expressed in this publication are those of its authors and do not, necessarily, reflect the views of subscribers to Genius-L or Genius Forum. Dialogues adapted from Genius-L and Genius Forum have been edited for the purpose of brevity and clarity. Certain spelling mistakes and typographical errors have been corrected to preserve meaning.
Copyright © 2000 - 2007 David Quinn & Dan Rowden