Issue 24, December 2002
This newsletter is unashamedly devoted to truth, genius and wisdom, which, of course, makes it totally anachronistic and out-of-fashion. Some people even go so far as to call it "medieval" in nature. The truths that it points to are subtle, profound and hard to discern. They aren't the sort of truths that you can hold out in front of everyone, as you can a scientific result or a mathematical proof. Rather, they are like beautiful diamonds that are buried deep within the mind. Much personal digging is required if you want to cash in on this wonderful treasure. But sadly, most people are too afraid to dig, lest their whole minds cave in. And so this newsletter is really only for the courageous few. Let the morons endlessly prattle on about how these inner diamonds don't exist. It is their loss, not yours. Let them revel in their poverty. What does it matter to you? You are a fine young explorer of the spirit! May you go all the way with your explorations. May you succeed where others fear to tread!
Welcome to Genius News.
The -[- symbol will return you to this contents table from each major section.
From: The Questions of King Milind
Milind: What is Nirvana?
Milind: How can there be
rebirth without transmigration?
Milind: Where does wisdom
Milind: If you speak
honestly to someone about how badly they behave, is this
not abuse, which might lead to a breach of the peace?
Nagasena: Vice dies away quickly by reason of its meanness, whereas virtue, by its grandeur, takes a long time to die.
Anna: I have seen in a few places the forum hosts have stated A=A is the foundation of logic, and some convoluted arguments about that, but no further development of the idea. I can't figure out where it ties together with your philosophy.
Dan Rowden: Well, let me try and give a hopefully succinct account
of how these ideas (including A=A as the basis of existence
itself) tie together:
- - - - -
A=A - the law of identity - as the basis of existence where "to exist" is defined as "presenting an appearance to an observer":
Any thing is what it is because it appears in relation to what it is not; that is, any thing requires what is not that thing for it to be what it is. If it was not for this boundedness, this relation to other things, this demarcation by other things, the thing in question would necessarily be the Totality of all that is. Therefore, things being relative to what they are not is the basis of existence (which is to say a thing cannot be at all - present an appearance - other than by way of demarcation from other things).
- - - - -
All things are caused, or, A=A as the basis of causality where "cause" is defined as "that which is necessary for something to exist":
Under this definition of "cause" it becomes immediately apparent that all things are caused - since any given thing requires what it is not for its existence ( its "being" is necessitated by relation to other things): those other things are necessary to its existence and are therefore causal to it. Any thing is caused by "not that thing". In many respects this is a re-stating of the above and conveys the same essential meaning. In Buddhism this is known as co-dependent origination - that things gives rise to each other due to the necessity of their relation.
- - - - -
A=A as the basis of logic:
This seems totally obvious to me as A=A is the basis of consciousness itself. Consciousness requires content, things, differentiation, and A=A represents the basis of that. Without the relation between "thing" and "not-thing" there can be no things to be aware of, no content, no existence and therefore no consciousness. Since A=A symbolises the basis of consciousness it must necessarily also be the basis of all forms of thought and logic is a form of thought; it is a movement of mind necessarily containing differentiated content (i.e. "things"). A=A is foundational to this and therefore the basis of logic.
- - - - -
A=A as the basis of the path to enlightenment and non attachment:
Since any given thing's existence is necessitated by its relation to that which it is not, no thing can be said to possess inherent existence (existence independent of other things/causes). This applies to us as well and particularly to the concept of an inherently existent self (ego) which stands as the prevailing force in our consciousness and which leads to all of our emotional attachments and our [irrational] concepts of Reality. Since no thing exists inherently, neither does the ego.
Anna: Well, well! Thank you for your detailed response. I find no fault with it. Right after I sent that post (below) I decided I had figured it out after all, and it has had a profound effect on my mind the past couple of days. Yet what I came up with is quite different! I wonder if it makes sense, or if I can state it. I was thinking rather concretely. You had asked, Why is a thing what it is, and why is A=A the basis for existence? So I thought, if A does not equal A, what is it? If you say it is B, that leaves you with B=B, which amounts to the same thing. But if A is not itself, it is nothing. I do not see how things can exist if a thing is not itself. If this item is not this item, it is not any item, because as soon as you say, no, it is not A, you must say what then it is. But as soon as you say what it is, it is then THAT thing. That brings you right back again to the stability of A=A. Unless every time you say it is THAT thing, it again is not THAT thing but something else yet again. This would go on forever, and nothing could exist.
- Sanity -
by Dan Rowden
Like so many things in a society
driven by the herd mentality, "sanity" is something
generally defined within the parameters of statistical norms,
social conventions. This leaves us with an essential criterion
for sanity which will look something like: perceptions of Reality
that fall within the parameters of conventional, statistical
This may have some socially pragmatic value, but what does it mean for the thinker? Not much, frankly, as it doesn't speak to the issue of whether these statistical norms actually have any relationship whatever to Reality as it truly is. A person could be judged sane, even if he was in fact a complete looney, simply because his perceptions fit within certain social norms. But how ridiculous is that? It's like saying a person can be sane and mad at the same time. Such a view of the notion of sanity has no use for the thinker at all. He requires something more concrete, more objective, more absolute. Therefore, the thinker's criterion for sanity demands direct relation to Reality, and will look something like: Sanity = the mind attuned to the true nature of Reality. Any person is sane to the degree that his mind is attuned to that true nature.
Of course, the herd will instantly reject such a criterion - such a definition - given that if one accepts that hardly anyone is enlightened, then this definition automatically means that almost all people are far less than sane; all people are to varying degrees, but most to a high degree, insane. This would be too much for their fragile egos to cope with! And yet, what more logical definition could there be? Why must we have two such different and competing options for the meaning of sanity, one which values what the true nature of Reality is, and one which does not? Why not abandon the conventional idea of sanity altogether, and instead speak of it as simple normality. At least the term normality directly speaks to what is socially normative. And why adopt a criterion for something as important as sanity that does nothing but produce mediocrity? Sanity by democracy and statistics! How insane! The worst part of this kind of convention is that is does nothing to inspire development. If one is statistically "normal", one has no need to strive for better or sharper or more profound perspectives of Reality. If one does so one runs the risk of stepping outside what is cognitively normative; one runs the risk of being perceived, then, as less than sane.
The thinker, if a true thinker he be, cannot afford to care about such things, any more than he can afford to care about any herdly perspectives. He must consider only that which is conducive to the sublimation of his deep desire for understanding and wisdom. He must consider only that which is true. Another common modern criterion for sanity is that one has "good reason" for one's beliefs or perspectives. The possession of so-called "good reason", apparently, makes one sane. But once again we're faced with conventional notions - in this instance of what constitutes "good reason". Once again we're working within the parameters of a standard that is regarded as socially normative. But once again this standard does not speak to what is actually true; it makes no pretense to any kind of objective or absolute standard. What is regarded as socially normative in terms of quality of reason might well be regarded as idiocy in a more enlightened society.
This is surely unacceptable to any person who feels that the concept of sanity must have a direct relationship to Reality as it truly is. But here we are, living in a world which does not care about Reality; one which cares only for what is socially "normal", what is expressed by the greatest number. The folly of this approach to sanity and reason is readily demonstrated by simple virtue of the fact that it may be socially normal to believe one thing in one nation and its opposite in another.
Someone once remarked that all religions are as true as each other. This can also be said of any statistical, social norm. When we make a concept like sanity socially relative, we destroy its meaning and worth altogether.
Anna: You say one can reason oneself into enlightenement.
What about meditation? Not necessary?
Dan Rowden: Meditation, with respect to the path of enlightenment, is simply the process of stilling or calming the mind so that reason can be focused on any given issue. It is ridding the mind of extraneous concerns and influences so as to give reason free reign. Other forms of meditation don't particularly interest me.
David Quinn: In a deeper sense, meditation simply means remembering God. It is the dwelling in God-consciousness, no matter what one is doing - sitting down, standing up, going shopping, writing, chatting to people, lying down, whatever.
"I would never have believed in God if I hadnt had my own personal near-death experiences."
Anna: On the woman question, I am thinking continually, but
have not much to say as yet. I am still in a state of grief.
However, I think it is unfair to say that a woman (such as
perhaps myself) that displays interest in these things, or other
"masculine" attributes is not a real woman.
David Quinn: Well, you would be a real human being - isn't than enough? I'm not quite sure what you mean by "real woman".
Anna: It is not my term! Yes, being considered human is pretty much what feminism is about.
David Quinn: I was talking about being human, rather than simply being considered human. I agree that feminists want women to be considered human, but they're not really concerned with what women should do to become human. By "human", I mean someone who is open-minded, rational, consistent, has a conscience, values enlightenment, unmanipulative, treats others with respect, isn't a slave to fashion, etc. This is far removed from where the average woman is now.
Anna: Now, as I am pondering all this, I am seeing more and more the incredibly big divide between men and women. For example, take the Islamic culture as the most extreme. You have said, what is to prevent women from making their own religions and organizing their own education, etc., etc.? I realize, you are so right! If you had a lot of men penned up in harems, there would be all sorts of organizations going on, secret teachings uncovered, artwork, philosophy...Even insane men can perform better than insane women. In the paranoid schizophrenic wards, the women are all lost in their chaotic maelstrom and are isolated, whereas the men with the same diagnosis are playing cards and talking to each other. Having said that, I utterly disagree with your above! Lots of women have a conscience, seek the spiritual life, try to be honest, have the value of being open-minded. Lots of women are pursuing enlightenment.
David Quinn: I wish I could agree with you. Generally speaking, what women mean by "conscience" isn't the valuing of truth, but rather the valuing of other people's happiness and that of social harmony - or in rare cases, the pleasing of a personal God . And what they mean by "enlightenment" isn't full comprehension of Reality, but rather communing with a God. Women are still trapped in the bonding/merging/harmonizing kind of mentality which makes it especially difficult for them to engage in the kind of deeper philosophic thought that can create fear and suffering in others.
Anna: Well you are using the word conscience in a limited, perhaps exalted sense.
David Quinn: Of course. From a spiritual perspective, what other sense is there?
Anna: The general meaning is doing what is right, not doing what is selfish, being honest.
David Quinn: As I say, as far as most women are concened, "doing what is right" is creating harmony and minimizing conflict, and "not doing what is selfish" is being concerned with other people's happiness.
Anna: I do not think that is what women think about conscience. Most people, men or women, if you asked them, would say it is that which makes you feel guilty if you do something wrong.
David Quinn: You're doing the typical womanly thing and defining conscience in a way that (a) has no connection to Truth, and (b) conveniently gives nearly every woman on earth a very large conscience.
Anna: A conscience as commonly understood has a large connection with truth, but certainly contains many other ethics as well. If you want to define it for me, I will stick to your definition. (But then, in the end, truth and ethics would coincide). Is it possible that women could have a small, general tendency to be a little more kind or have a slightly more sensitive ethic about one or two things while men are more ethical on about 50 others? Besides, it does not give it to every woman. Sadly, pure spiteful meaness motivated by envy and covetousness is a minor but definite trait of the female, of the lower sort.
David Quinn: "Women have no sympathy . . . And my experience of women is almost as large as Europe. And it is so intimate too. Women crave for being loved, not for loving. They scream at you for sympathy all day long, they are incapable of giving any in return for they cannot remember your affairs long enough to do so." - Florence Nightingale
Anna: Actually, some women enjoy stirring up conflict and creating disharmony. I would not praise them for their consciences. If they feel guilt for it, good, just as they should feel guilty for telling a lie. Actions can be wrong, negative, hurtful to others or selfish. Does it matter if you shoplift or hurt someone's feelings? Both are unethical.
David Quinn: What usually happens in these situations is that the woman has bonded herself to a smaller herd within the larger herd, and her disruptive activities are directed towards those outside her smaller herd. She might join an activist group, for example, or simply team up with her boyfriend. A classic expression of it is when young girls try to shock their elders by being sexually provocative.
And the trouble with multiple ethics is that it creates conflicts of interests. Many people see an advantage in this, of course, as is it enables people to avoid the demands of one set of ethics by constantly escaping into another set. For example, if a person adheres to a happiness-based ethical system, as well as to a truth-based one, then any painful demands that are made on him by truth can easily be averted by diving into happiness-based system. Since, in the happiness-based system, it is "wrong" to inflict suffering upon others or upon onself, it is "right" to ignore all those dictates of truth that one doesn't like.
Anna: No matter what is said, you always have a rejoinder
which says - women are no good.
David Quinn: I would consider any women "good" to the degree that she embodies the things that I value - wisdom, rationality, sanity, non-emotionalism, etc.
Anna: Let's found The Society for the Elimination of All Emotion.
When I was little, I valued being strong and brave. When the other little kids were crying, I marched up to the lady with the needle and pulled up my shirt sleeve. Everyone thought it was funny. I was afraid of the shot, but I knew we were all going to get it anyway. I still believe in bucking up under adversity and trying not to whine. When I was in labor with my last child, (at home) I stopped talking during the contractions, but in between I made jokes and ensured everyone had a good time. Isn't that just like a woman? In my previous labor, the doctor yelled at me and said, "Let's get this baby out!" even though the labor took only 3 hours. Now I value courage to pursue truth.
The only way in which I agree with you is that I think women are less able to keep their emotions in perspective and step back from it under stress. Yet, I had, from observing men in my life, come to the theory that men are actually less logical than women in certain emotional situations. I decided that the reason was probably because they are less comfortable in the world of emotion, that when they are a bit overwhelmed emotionally, they cannot keep their logic in gear. I am sorry David, but I have observed this over and over. Men who are upset saying off the wall things that are utterly illogical and emotional, and also saying things they do not mean purely to score a point, which I call fighting dirty. However, I recently modified that position as I noticed that, for example, one of my daughters is unfailingly logical no matter how upset (like me) and the other loses her reason.
David Quinn: I have observed this also. It is easily explained by the fact that men are used to suppressing their emotions while reasoning in an attempt to be objective and dispassionate in their thinking. When they enter into highly emotional situations, however, their ability to continue suppressing their emotions becomes strained and can often break, which causes their emotions to come flooding into their consciousness. This, in turn, can destabilize their thinking.
Men are not used to mixing reason and emotion together like this and hence their comments under emotional stress can seem extremely strange. Women, on the other hand, are always infusing their reasoning with their emotions, even during their calmer periods, and so there is not such a great change in their thinking when they do become highly emotional.
Anna: And this is obviously an advantage! Imagine that - keeping oneself all of a piece as a human being, with both heart and head engaged!
David Quinn: The drawback is that women find it very difficult to reason objectively - both in the abstract realm and in their personal life.
Quinn: Any woman who does try to
become real human being will automatically be perceived by most
other women (and men) as being unwomanly.
Anna: This I doubt. I am considered a bit strange by people who first meet me, although this really only happens with Americans. Most foreigners take to me instantly. However, it is not that they consider me unwomanly. My problem is that I am highly introverted, and sometimes forget to pay attention to the minutae of people's reactions. Like, if lost in thought, I may pass you in the hall and not say hello, because I barely registered your passing, except so as not to bump heads. Men like the way I am. In all my serious relationships, the men have admired my intelligence. They talk to me seriously, as I do to them. I have similar conversations with women, but I will concede - not nearly as often as with men. Yes, there is a difference
David Quinn: Men are able to tolerate a woman who is intelligent as long as they can perceive that she has a soft feminine core inside her. If they can be reassured that she isn't actually serious about her thought or her convictions, and therefore won't pose a threat to their own male egotistical security, then they are fine with it.
Anna: There is a common lament here that women don't think
the way men do or value the things men do. Even dismissing the
lack of physical strength or adventurous drive, the crux of it
really is that if women are in such a different attitudinal world
without some overlap, then men would only have true companionship
with other men.
David Quinn: I think that is true. Women and men can certainly relate to each other on an emotional level - indeed, many a marriage is built on shared feelings of vulnerability - but what about the deeper, non-emotional realms that male thinkers inhabit? If a woman is unfamiliar with these realms herself, and 99.99% of women are, then what hope does she have to being a companion to him?
Anna: Well, you exaggerate the numbers, and not all men inhabit it either. But I do have a greater appreciation now for how difficult it is for a really exceptional thinker to find a woman. Heck, it is hard enough for those who are not exceptional. I can just see the personal ad..."Truly exceptional thinker and unflinching seeker of truth, looking for same - that one in ten thousand woman and you know who you are. The unworthy need not respond."
David Quinn: It goes a lot deeper than that. The really exceptional thinker is more concerned with the ethics of being involved in an erotic relationship with a woman in the first place, rather than with trying to find such a relationship for himself. I personally think it is immoral for a man to imprison another person in a relationship simply for the sake of his own erotic pleasure. It is misogynistic and only serves to keep women down.
The odd woman who is familiar with these realms can only be familiar with them at the expense of her womanliness, as it is part and parcel of being a woman in our society that they are entirely dumb when it comes to higher thought.
Anna: Oh, piffle. Poppycock. Balderdash. Such people are lonely only because it is not often they find kindred spirits. I think being an electrical engineer would be a little tough for a woman, but not being a philosopher. Any woman who is really philosophically minded will never give a damn what men think of her as a woman, because she does not want a dumb man. Smart men want smart women. Of course, such people must break with their religions, which is often pretty tough.
David Quinn: Becoming involved in higher thought means clashing with the world, as the world doesn't value higher thought. Being a woman, on the other hand, means harmonizing with the world and playing the role of the nurturer. Never the twain shall meet ......
Anna: A favorite quote of mine is "Truth is a pathless land." It takes courage to step off the path (and the priesthood will try to frighten you away from it). Courage is the question. A woman can do it.
Updated: 11:17 a.m. EST November 6, 2002
CLEVELAND -- Are you a man who is feeling irritable, depressed and bloated? Well, those are symptoms related to a condition called "irritable male syndrome," which may affect millions of men. But there are available treatments that may help.
Connie Hillegass said she hit a snag in her marriage a few years ago because something was different about her husband, Michael.
"It's like a switch was turned off. There was no lust -- no desire," Michael Hillegass said.
Scott Simmons, an IMS patient, noticed changes when he hit middle age, too.
"(I felt) tired, lethargic, and (I) didn't have a zest for work anymore. (I) started gaining weight," Simmons said.
Both men sought medical help, and the diagnosis was IMS, according to urologist Christopher Steidle.
"Irritable male syndrome is incredibly common in up to 30 percent of men. This is a male version of PMS, or premenstrual syndrome," Steidle said.
When a man's testosterone level dips, it can result in depression, weight gain, a loss of energy, and a disappearing sex drive in men as young as their 30s, according to Steidle.
"Many of the symptoms are indistinguishable from old age, and for years you've always thought of it as a 'grumpy old man.' Now we know (what) the grumpy old man probably has," he said.
Steidle said the impact of IMS on the family is incredible. When the affection disappears, depression sets in, and it can be confusing for the woman behind the man. Connie Hillegass blamed herself.
"Is he interested in someone else? What's going on? There's got to be a reason," she said.
While the effect on men is clear, the cause is not. Does a man's diet play a role?
"The role of diet in triggering this syndrome is probably very minimal," Steidle said.
However, urologist Larrian Gillespie disagrees. She believes two things trigger IMS -- stress and diet.
"Under the circumstances of stress and then particular dietary changes, men exhibit these symptoms of irritable male syndrome, much like women do with PMS," Gillespie said.
Men can fight back by eating right, according to Gillespie, and in her book, "The Gladiator Diet," she reflects on what "he-men of old" used to eat before battle.
"People can't get a chariot through a drive-in, so there wasn't fast food," Gillespie said.
Fats and carbohydrates block the body's ability to use testosterone proteins, and eating unprocessed foods can help. Gillespie suggested a diet of approximately 300 to 500 calories about five times a day will keep testosterone and insulin levels smooth.
After following this advice, Simmons said, "My belly went away."
But Michael Hillegass said, "I'm more interested in just getting out and doing things."
Connie Hillegass also noticed the changes in her husband and she said, "It's like wow, yes, this is a different guy. (You) know, (he has) a whole different personality."
According to Gillespie, IMS has been linked with osteoporosis, or weakened bones, in men.
If you think you might suffer from IMS, stay away from foods like black licorice and breath mints. Gillespie said they contain a chemical that can dramatically reduce testosterone levels.
Comment: This was an interesting story in that it's good to see that someone is taking notice of male health and the importance of male hormones in the formulatuion of who and what a man is (we've had plenty of that with respect to women). It's also good to know what one can do, diet wise, to avoid a loss of testosterone in the system. What's sad, however, is that all the concerns mentioned here are feminine oriented - change of appearance, loss of libido and affection etc. There's no mention of loss of rationality, purpose and principle. And even though it's the men undergoing these significant changes in their selves, the impact still seems to be measured predominantly in terms of the impact on women. It seems a woman's health is hers, but a man's health is owned by everyone.
SCIENTISTS have created the perfect male face - a man so handsome any woman would automatically pick him out of a heaving crowd.
Perfect face: Researcher Tony Little has created the 'ideal' face.
He has large expressive eyes set
in a smooth-skinned symmetrical face, a straight nose, and a
rounded hair and jawline.
Although his makers admit their perfect male looks slightly girlish, they have found modern women want caring feminine traits rather than more macho markings.
They say bearded men and others with features that suggest they are unlikely to wash up or change a baby can forget about impressing women.
Single women now want a trophy partner, a "new man" with domestic attributes that her friends can admire at a party, but who can be trusted not to go home with one of them.
Real men will be relieved to learn this Adonis does not exist.
He is a composite computer-generated image of 12 moderately attractive and average-looking young men.
The researchers at the psychology department of St Andrews University in Edinburgh, who created the ideal male, discovered that women are most attracted to a man with features representing the average. They believe women prefer such features because they signal that the man is one of the mainstream majority and less likely to carry harmful genes.
The face was created with a computer program that calculates average distances between the features of different faces, and average hair and jawlines.
The volunteer men were picked from the local student population, and 34 female "raters" with an average age of 20 were asked to give marks out of seven for masculinity and attractiveness to various composite images of the men.
The psychologists found the women questioned had almost identical opinions.
The clear winner was a composite of all 12 males, feminised to soften the jawline and perfect the complexion. The researchers say smooth skin in men conveys an absence of inherited disease or damage -- a factor that would reduce the score of sex symbols such as Richard Burton, whose faces had pockmarks.
Symmetry in male and female features has long been recognised as an important attribute in sexual attraction, but the rise of feminine appeal in a male face is a modern trait.
"Women find femininity appealing in a male face because they said they associate it with co-operation, honesty and parental ability," said Tony Little, the principal research psychologist.
"Strongly masculine features are considered threatening and less attractive, but they still want some combination involving masculine features because they want dominance, too."
Dr Little cites Jude Law and Brad Pitt as embodiments of the ideal man. Leonardo DiCaprio's looks would be too girlish to attract the mainstream, and a super-masculine Arnold Schwarzenegger type would be considered too aggressive and promiscuous to make a reliable partner.
Marcelle D'Argy Smith, a former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, said soccer stars such as David Beckham and Michael Owen, and film stars such as George Clooney, typified today's desirable male. But she pointed out: "Some men who look absolutely gorgeous are completely doomed from the moment they open their mouths. Men can be thrilled to bits by a lap dancer with an IQ of 43 and even marry them. A woman could never do that."
Anthropologist Desmond Morris said the shift reflected women's increasing dominance. "Smooth-skinned and feminised looks are characteristics of youth," he said.
"It's possible these looks stimulate not only sexual but also maternal feelings. If women want to be more dominant, they will look for a little-boy face."
However, Dr Little points out that research shows women aggressively use a "mixed mating strategy", which varies with their menstrual cycle.
"Work on the timing of affairs has shown that flings or affairs tend to coincide with a woman's peak fertility ... which suggests women may be making the best of both worlds," he said.
"They take a more feminine male partner for long-term investment, while occasionally having affairs or short-term relationships with masculine males to provide good immunity genes for some of their children."
Quotes of Quality from Genius-L and Genius Forum
So, for example, most people would certainly be attracted to the idea of being free of suffering, but they're not really seeing this result in its true light, so when you tell them that to be without suffering means to be without attachment, all of a sudden they're not so sure they want this so-called benefit after all. It's too big a trade-off for them and they'll probably not see the duality in their consciousness clearly enough to believe that trade-off is even necessary. It can be difficult to convince a person that happiness is not the means by which one divests oneself of suffering. Dan Rowden
Imagine you are having a dream at night and you realize, during the course of this dream, that you are indeed dreaming and that everything you are experiencing is just a simulation or an illusion. Even your own body within the dream is part of the illusion. Do you think that you would continue to treat the dreamworld in the same way as before? Would you become frightened if someone tried to harm you, for example? Or relieved if he went away? To the degree that you see that it is all an illusion you would experience neither of these emotions.
This is similar to what happens to a person when he becomes spiritually awake. He realizes with the utmost clarity that everything he experiences in the physical world is an illusion. And so he enters the "living death" that I have spoken about. He can no longer take anything in the world seriously enough to develop a life out of it. And yet the quality of his existence is infinitely high. David Quinn
It's important that one approaches an understanding of Reality in the right way and with the proper motivation. If that doesn't exist then at the first sign of "trouble" one will back away from the path. And what is that proper motivation? An absolute desire for what is true. If one approaches the path to wisdom with anything other than a need to overcome suffering that is directly related to one's ignorance regarding Reality, then it is doubtful that the dedication and resolve that is necessary for the path will exist. This is utterly critical and is precisely what protects one from lapsing into satisfying and gratifying quasi-religious beliefs. Dan Rowden
Well, we can't experience or talk
about the Totality directly (since anything directly experienced
by mind must exist relative to what it is not and there can be
nothing other than the Totality), but we can understand why this
is so; in other words we can understand the principle of the
Totality. Part of the falsity we engage in with respect to
the Totality (or Reality) is that of a deluded grasping for it as
if it were a thing that could be captured within mind. When
we stop this grasping we begin to dwell within Reality in the
only way possible. One can say, in a somewhat cryptic vein
I suppose, that we find Reality by ceasing to look for it.
However, that can only happen at the end of a complete
appreciation for the nature of existence and the principle of the
Totality. In short, you haven't found Reality just by
ceasing to examine the matter. You have to know precisely why
it is that you must stop the "grasping". Dan Rowden
(...and the answers they don't want to hear)
Questions taken from the Courier Mail Nov 16
1. Why do men continually offer solutions and give advice?
A: Being more rational than women, men are naturally oriented to problem solving. This is what reason dictates. If a problem is posed, the natural response of the reasoning mind is to find and propose a solution. The female mind, being more emotional, has less interest and inclination to resolve problems; it is far more inclined to bathe in the waters of the emotion involved. Also, men offer advice to women because that's what women want and respond to. This dynamic indicates to the woman that she is valued (or at least, she thinks it is) and also allows the woman to take action without the burden of personal responsibility - they can simply act on the basis of advice given. In this sense, men, thought the avenue of advice giving, present women with one of the greatest gifts that a woman could want - a means by which to absolve themselves from responsibility for their actions.
The other, and perhaps less complicated reason for this behaviour in men is that men seek to dominate the world through mental action; women submit to the world and flow within its turbulence because they have no corresponding mental activity. Without the advice and problem solving of the males around them, most women would collapse into a pathetic heap. So, instead of asking why men continually offer solutions and give advice, women should ask themselves why they continually need it.
2. Why do men keep flicking through the channels with the remote control?
A: I can't say that I've noticed this to be an exclusively male behaviour, but the reason for it seems obvious: the vast majority of what's on television is so brainless, emotional and directed at women that men are forced to move about the channels just to escape it. It is a type of psychological defense mechanism. Men do not "flick" when watching the news or their favourite sports event, for example. And any man who lives with a woman knows that it is predominantly her abode. If there is some evidence within the household that he lives there, he's pretty lucky. Given this, it could be that exercising territoriality over the television remote control is one of the few ways he has of expressing his existence in the environment.
3. Why don't men stop and ask for directions?
A: Independence of spirit and sense of personal responsibility; the deep desire to solve problems for themselves and the satisfaction that goes with having done so.
4. Why do men insist on leaving the toilet seat up?
A: Why do women insist of being concerned with such trivia? Why do women insist on leaving the toilet seat down? Why do women believe the world should be set up for their benefit? If men have to lift the seat up every time, why can't women put it down? If this is the sort of thing that women actually do most frequently ask about men, it is proof positive that women are hopelessly self-obsessed and mentally vacuous.
5. Why do men make such a fuss about going shopping?
A: Like everything they do in association with women, their souls are at stake! I'm not entirely sure what "fuss" means in this question, but I suspect it's another example of men wanting to get the job done and not waste hours of one's life browsing over things that are of no interest to him and which will never be bought anyway. Men tend to hate window shopping. Sure, they can browse for ages looking for the best hammer in the hardware store, but their approach is directed and specific. Women browse merely to indulge themselves. If a man needs a litre of milk, he can walk into a supermarket and just get the milk; the average woman quite likely won't be seen or heard from for the next hour or more. No wonder men make a "fuss". I know of few men who don't very soon repent of their decision to go shopping with a woman.
6. Why do men have such disgusting personal habits?
A: Women are far more obsessed with how they appear than are men, therefore women attend to issues of personal habits - at least in public circumstances - far more than men. But it all depends on one's perspective of what constitutes a disgusting personal habit. I can think of few personal habits more disgusting than that of spending an entire hour of one's life piling chemicals onto one's face in order to appear more "attractive", or that of filling the air with ridiculous odours and sprays. Women are also more attuned to the immediate sensory environment than men, so women seek to control that environment more. This is why they have different standards for domestic cleanliness. Women are also far more concerned than men about what other people think of them, so they are always on the look-out for any misplaced element of their selves or their immediate environment. Men are "slobs" because they don't care so much what people think, because they are not as acutely attuned to their sensory environment as women, and also because they inhabit a far more abstract, intellectual world. And here is where the whole notion of disgusting personal habits takes on a new meaning. Men have tidier and more structured minds than women. Women's personal mental habits are about as disgusting as human behaviour gets. But no-one even talks about this area of human activity because it's not what females value. As usual, notions like "disgusting personal habits" is viewed almost entirely through the filters of feminine values. Maybe that's the most disgusting habit of all!
7. Why do men love gross jokes?
A: Men are more anti-social than women (i.e. they have a far greater capacity for the expression of individuality). Men like to push boundaries, defy conventional social moral mores. Men like to express their identity by a show of dominance (in the form of defiance) of the dictates of the herd. Women dislike gross jokes because they are more "civilized". Unfortunately, being more civilized means being more oppressed by one's need for relation to others; it means being more passive, submissive and dependent. And, of course, as with the last question, what constitutes a "gross" joke is always something determined by a woman.
From: David Quinn <dquinn@.......net>
Subject: re: Duality and Science
David Quinn: It [the question of where duality came from] is Nature's great mystery, if you will, except that it is an inherently un-solvable mystery. In other words, it is not the kind of mystery in which there is a solution and we are just too limited to grasp it. Rather, it is a mystery in which there is no solution at all.
Chuck Salvo: So there is an unsolvable mystery at the heart of it all! Can you see why some would think that all is uncertain?
David Quinn: Well, as I say, because there is no solution at all, the question is unaskable, and therefore the great mystery behind it is an illusion. Or to put it another way, it is the delusional mind-set on the part of the inquirer which falsely creates Nature's great mystery.
It is a bit like asking the question, "Where did Everything come from?" Delusional thinking insists that something must have created Everything. Yet, as I outlined in my last post, whatever can be postulated as the creator of Everything - God, for example - will itself be a part of Everything. So here is a mystery with no solution.
However, the mystery is a false one and has no ultimate basis to it. The question, "Where did Everything come from?" is unaskable because the very definition of Everything precludes an answer. The only way an answer could be found is by changing the definition of Everything into something else. But all that would do is destroy the original question.
Once it is recognized and accepted that Everything has no beginning, then the mystery of where it came from disappears. It is the same with, "Where did duality come from?" The One (Emptiness or Ultimate Reality) and the two (duality) are two sides of the one coin.
Chuck Salvo: Since they are two sides of the same coin, what is the truth value of understanding the phenomenal (ie duality)? Ought we not to get some understanding that way, or is all understanding solely from the noumenal?
David Quinn: One cannot truly understand the Two without first understanding the One. In other words, the attainment of enlightenment is a necessary prerequisite for the attainment of genuine knowledge in any sphere of life.
Scientists have done a good job in creating some sophisticated theories which seem to account, to some degree at least, for what we observe in the world. Yet they themselves have no understanding of why these theories should work, why the world the way it is, where it came from, what is or ought to be the purpose of life, and what is ultimately true. They are like men who refuse to open their eyes, and instead spend their lives creating theories about what they can merely touch and hear.
Chuck Salvo: If the one and the two are a single coin, isn't it just as legimitate to understand the two as it is to understand the one?
Quinn: Only after
one has understood the One. In understanding the One, a person is
clearly able to distinguish between what is ultimately real and
what isn't. He can then apply this clarity to anything in the
All things being equal, an enlightened scientist would be immeasurably better at doing science than an unenlightened one, just by virtue of the fact that his mind wouldn't be side-tracked by what is trivial and unimportant.
Chuck Salvo: Doesn't the scientist come to this conclusion: There is no god, no soul, no freedom of the will, nature is indifferent to our wishes, and there is an insoluability at the heart of it all?
David Quinn: This is an interesting point. I always find it amusing to observe the many contradictions found in today's scientists. An evolutionary biologist, for example, spends his days studying the causal processes of life on the assumption that there is no "self" in any of them. But then, lo and behold!, he goes home each night to his wife and kids and proceeds to live his life on the assumption that there really is a "self" inside himself after all! At the very least, one would have to conclude that such a person leads a double life. It would be rather like a passionate anti-pornography campaigner going home each night and masturbating in front of pornographic videos.
But again, because scientists rarely involve themselves in the knowledge-process, they cannot help making fools of themselves in this way. And their lack of involvement means that they are very naive and confused when it comes to the deeper realm of philosophy.
Accordingly, the scientist doesn't know with 100% certainty that there is no god, no soul, etc. He merely assumes that these things don't exist. It's just a guess on his part, one that best facillitates the scientific process at this particular point in its history.
The difference between a scientist who says there is no god and an enlightened person who says there is no god, is like the difference between a African tribesman who suspects that a motor car is not really powered by a deity and an expert mechanic who knows his engines thoroughly.
Chuck Salvo: Cannot the metaphysician also be a scientist? Actually, mustn't the metaphysician also be a scientist? Because otherwise the metaphysician becomes as superstitious as the common herd.
David Quinn: I reckon that nobody should be allowed to do science until they become enlightened. This may slow down the rate of scientific progress, but I believe that it would become better directed, more efficient, and more responsible as a result. At the moment, scientists are just pandering to the basest whims of society and deluging it with computer games, televisions, bombs, and other similarly dubious gadgetry.
The metaphysician cannot be superstitious if he has eliminated all of his delusions. Such a person knows the true place of science and can judge the worth of empirical knowledge in the correct light. He doesn't ignore what science has to say, but neither does he place upon it an importance which isn't there.
The Seven Biggest Mysteries (supposedly) About Men
(...and the answers no-one wants to hear)
Questions taken from the Courier Mail Nov 16
1. Why don't men know much about their friend's lives?
A: Men know as much as they need to know. Men come together in friendship as a consequence of shared values or interests; women as a consequence of a need for relation itself. Men have no need of the details of a friend's life beyond the context of those shared values or interests. For a woman, knowing as much detail as possible about a friend's life is part of building an egotistically beneficial relationship. It also provides women with the ability to gossip, exploit, manipulate and express power. For women, the nitty gritty, mundane details of the everyday (i.e. the immediate) is predominantly what their lives are made of, so it is unsurprising that they would value this and what to have knowledge of it with respect to their friends. Men, on the other hand, meet each other on a far more abstract and conceptual plane and those nitty gritty details of their more general lives are simply irrelevant to this.
2. Why do men avoid commitment?
A. Clearly, men do not avoid commitment. Men express commitment everyday across a whole spectrum of life matters. What women are really saying when they ask this question is: "Why do men avoid commitment to us?" Also, they are saying that commitment to them is really the only kind of commitment that matters. Men make a commitment to careers, politics, sports, principles and so forth all the time. It is surely one of the most perfect expressions of female vanity that a seeming unwillingness to commit to them on the part of men, signifies a general avoidance of commitment. That in itself is good reason for men to be wary of commitment to a female. Who wants to commit themselves to a creature who apparently believes herself to be God's gift to the universe, something inherently valuable and utterly magnetic? Men resist commitment to women - to the degree that they even really do - because it represents the potential loss of their freedom; of their individuality which they value highly and which women don't even comprehend. In short, men know the difference between commitment and - capitulation!
3. Why do men feel the need to be right about everything?
A. Well, I'm more interested in why women don't! Could it have something to do with conscience and responsibility? Certainly a man's need to be right about things because he has a conscience about being wrong, is tainted by an egotistical need to dominate, but this is surely preferable to the egotistical need to be passive with respect to the meaningfulness of what one is expressing. Women don't like to be held to account, therefore they have no concern for being right about anything, for to claim rectitude is to place oneself squarely in a position of responsibility, possibly even blame. We perceive men as being arrogant in this respect and women as being reasonable and open-minded. The truth is far other than this, however. The need to feel that one is right about things is in fact an entirely noble feeling, so long as it is accompanied by a conscience and a willingness to concede error when it's pointed out. Women avoid the whole dynamic entirely. They blissfully spew out opinions on everything and everyone, yet never feel the touch of the burden of conscience or responsibility, because, well, they never feel that they are necessarily right in their opinions. This is part of the reason that hardly any woman in history has achieved anything of worth in areas like philosophy and science. There must come, at some point, a willingness to say that one is right about something; a willingness to stand up and be counted and to be held to account. Only a woman would place a negative connotation on wanting to be right.
4. Why are grown men so interested in boys' toy's?
A. Men don't entirely lose the curious, adventurous, effervescent life of boyhood. Women think of this as a form of immaturity, but that is because women are basically dead in spirit and have been almost the entirety of their lives. So-called "boys' toys" often present two things that the male mind relates to: physical and mental challenges and the ability to imagine, to go places in the mind, to dream and idealise. Since women largely lack a mental life, they have no means by which to relate to this dimension of maleness. It is sometimes difficult to come to terms with the depth of unconsciousness women have with respect to the world they inhabit. If it weren't this "boyishness" in men, this sense of dreaming, adventure and creativity, the civilisation which women take for granted would probably never have eventuated.
5. Why can men only seem to do one thing at a time?
A. The male mind is designed for penetration and focus. This enables men to achieve great things within specific spheres of life. It is precisely why almost all the great thinkers, scientists, artists etc of history have been men. The multi-tasking of the female mind most certainly has its value, but it is not suited to the realm of serious philosophic thought.
6. Why are men so addicted to sport?
A. Men value sport, either on the basis of the personal challenge it represents to them, or because they can relate in a vicarious fashion to the structure, logic and challenge that sporting activity represents. Personal challenge seems to be something of an anathema to a great many women; it seems not to be a natural part of the feminine psyche. The elements of sport speak to the nature of the male psyche, which is why most sports have been created by men. It means challenge, struggle, overcoming. These things are much less apparent as values in the female psyche, which is why we see in tennis, for instance, that when a woman is losing a match she usually falls in a complete heap and the score-line looks something like 6-4 6-1 6-0. Male players who may possibly be quite out of their depth will nevertheless rise to the occasion and make a battle of it, perhaps even, through sheer brute determination and focus, prevail over a "better" opponent. One again, if it wasn't for this dimension of the male psyche, civilisation as we know it, and as women enjoy it, wouldn't exist.
7. What do men really talk about in the rest room?
A. That's simple enough - nothing. For men toilets are for pissing and shitting, not for undertaking various forms of social discourse. Some men may pass a few words between them when standing at a urinal, especially if it's a urinal in a pub and they've been there some time, but they do not venture into rest rooms in groups and sit on the wash basin benches and gossip and natter. Talk about your disgusting personal habits! Women really can't do anything on their own. Being of a more solitary nature, men don't feel the need to be constantly engaging other men just for the sake of it. Men respect each other's individual space. Women constantly network. Relation is their raison d'Ítre.
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.
Index Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3 Issue 4 Sex and the Sage Issue 5 Issue 6 Issue 7 Issue 8 Issue 9 Issue 10 Issue 11
Issue 12 Issue13 Issue 14 Issue 15 Issue 16 Issue 17 Issue 18 Issue 19 Issue 20 Issue 21 Issue 22 Issue 23
Copyright © 2000 - 2007 David Quinn & Dan Rowden