The Newsletter for Dangerous Thinkers
(Issue 6 June 2001)
Welcome to the latest edition of Genius News, a monthly newsletter based on the world's liveliest email forum: Genius-L. Genius-L is a discussion list dedicated to the nature of genius, wisdom and Ultimate Reality, to the total annihilation of false values and the femininity in all of us. That is to say, it is a list intended solely for men - of either sex.
"Man is a rope, fastened between animal and superman - a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal; what can be loved in man is that he is a going-across and a down-going.
I love the great scorners, for they are the great reverers and arrows of longing for the other bank.
I love him who lives for knowledge and wants knowledge that one day the superman may live. And thus he wills his own downfall.
I love him who keeps back no drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be the spirit of his virtue entirely: thus he steps as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who makes a predeliction and a fate of his virtue: thus for his virtue's sake he will live or not live.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who neither wants nor returns thanks: for he always gives and will not preserve himself.
I love him who throws golden words in advance of his deeds and always performs more than he promised: for he wills his own downfall.
I love him whose soul is deep even in his ability to be wounded, and whom even a little thing can destroy: thus he is glad to go over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is over-full, so that he forgets himself and all things are in him: thus all things become his downfall.
I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish." Friedrich Nietzsche
The symbol will return you to this contents table from each section.
Not for Women
Shardrol: I was doing a Google search for 'shardrol' just to see
if I was still the only Shardrol on the www & I came across a
quote from myself in Genius News. I remember telling Dan &
David it was okay to use anything they wanted of what I wrote so
this wasn't so surprising, but what did surprise me was that
Genius News described itself as 'not for women'.
Well all right, but if it's 'not for women' why would they use quotes from women? I wasn't the only woman quoted & I don't think the quotes were meant to exhibit what dingalings we were. So if women can write things worth quoting, why is Genius News not for women? If they'd said "not for flowies" I would have understood. But if the editors of Genius News want to enlighten the whole world, why discourage women from reading it?
I don't want to be considered an honorary man. If people find me untypical of women I want them to expand their concept of what women can be, not kick me out of the category so that they can retain their narrow view.
David Quinn: To me, it's a matter of weighing up the pros and cons. Dan and I agree that it is more fruitful to openly push the "masculinity is superior" line than it is to remain silent about the issue and thereby give tacit approval to the popular idea that masculinity and femininity are equal when it comes to wisdom and spirituality. Even though this may offend and hurt some women, the benefits are too large to ignore.
Of course, by "women" we mean the feminine-minded. I personally don't care whether a person is biologically male or female. The psychology of an individual is what counts. The masculine-minded person has a potential for great wisdom that the feminine-minded person entirely lacks and that is what matters to me.
So why use the term "women" and not "feminine-minded"? Partly for impact value, and partly because it reflects the truth that nearly all women are feminine-minded. It is also very effective in repelling the feminine-minded from our cause and makes it harder for them to sympathize with our ideas, which is also very important.
Irena: That's a pretty honest answer. For impact, and to exclude. My, my, I think you would make a good salesman or advertising executive. You know your market and how to target it. Well, I think you are taking the low road. I think you are missing a chance to do something big and unusual. Instead of persuing the same essentially misogynistic ( disguise it however you like) route, you could have done the high thing. You could have seen how important masculine and feminine are in combination.
David Quinn: The only trouble is, I don't agree with that particular sentiment. It is your point of view, not mine. If I actually thought that the feminine was important to spiritual growth, then yes, I would proclaim it as openly as I do my other views. But it isn't what I think, so I don't.
Quinn: Dan and I agree that it is
more fruitful to openly push the "masculinity is superior"
line than it is to remain silent about the issue and thereby give
tacit approval to the popular idea that masculinity and
femininity are equal when it comes to wisdom and spirituality.
Even though this may offend and hurt some women, the benefits are
too large to ignore.
Dan Rowden: It's simply the truth and I certainly don't care if the truth offends or hurts someone; that's their problem. I'm not about to dilute or distort my views out of deference to the egotistical sensibilities of others. Shardrol suggests that we should expand our ideas of what a woman can be, but this is unnecessary because our idea of what a woman can be already includes that of her being more masculine.
But I guess a case could be made that "feminine minded" is a better phrase than "women". One is more likely to think of - and therefore include - feminine minded men when confronted with the former term. Of course, in Australian culture it is not at all unusual for a man who is considered to be feminine minded to be referred to as a "woman". So, for Aussies this "problem " might not be so great. I think the fact that we've used three different phrases, to convey the same essential idea, means that we've pretty much covered all the bases.
Al Young: Given your purpose, it certainly does seem that "not for women" is unnecessarily off-putting.
Dan Rowden: I'm not so sure that, in relation to "our purpose", there's any such thing as that which is "unnecessarily off-putting". If a person is put-off by something I say I am quite happy to see the back of them.
Al Young: "Not for the feminine minded" seems to engulf your purpose far more accurately.
Dan Rowden: I can understand why you would think that, but both phrases are intended to convey the same meaning, and I don't think "not for women" would actually be off-putting to the sort of woman who would be likely to appreciate the list or the newsletter - a fact to which the presence of Marsha, Shardrol, Irena and Jane (and however many long-term female lurkers we may have) testifies - so I'm not particularly concerned by that. As far as I'm concerned, Genius-L is most definitely not for women, as is, say, no-holds-barred cage wrestling, but it doesn't exclude those women who may in fact be into that sort of thing.
Al Young: Do you agree with Dave that it's worthwhile and necessary to repel the feminine minded with a statement that's apparently calculated to offend (the purportedly feminine minded)?
Dan Rowden: I don't see it as calculated that way, and I don't think the feminine minded will necessarily be repelled by it. How many feminine minded women (and men) have you seen come to the list and disappear in pretty quick time? This is so because it is not a list for women. I don't agree that it is calculated to repel or offend anyone. It may have that effect, but for my part, it is not an effect that I explicitly intend. They are phrases meant to emphasize two things: 1) the masculine nature of the list; 2) the importance David and I place on the whole issue of psychology and feminine/masculine with relation to the philosophic path and the fact that feminine-mindedness has no place in it. To me, it is an issue as significant as any metaphysical concern, because it is not, in fact, distinct from those metaphysical concerns. It is all about the question of what sort of mind it takes to comprehend something like one's own nature or the Infinite.
Al Young: Why not dispense with the covert calculation and just honestly state the purpose?
Dan Rowden: Well, I think it expresses what I consider to be a bald fact - the list is not for women. I don't really relate to the phrases in the way you suggest, though I acknowledge that, for some, this repulsion may be a consequence of them. If some person is, in fact, repelled by them, I could frankly give a damn. David and I are trying to attract a certain kind of mind - one for whom the idea of masculinity of mind and character resonates. One could say: why not just use a phrase like "for the masculine"? But in terms of impact, negative phrases often have more of it than positive ones. They're also more provocative, and I'm not the least bit shy about stirring things up a bit. I don't see anything covert in it; what are we supposed to do, add a statement saying we are trying to be deliberately provocative?
Any tool you use to attract a certain type of creature may well have the effect of repelling another type, but it doesn't mean you're using the tool specifically to repel that other type. Because I've never specifically had that repulsive effect in mind, I've never given any thought to whether such a consequence is good or bad. Having done so I can say that I think it is entirely good. Feminine minded people are a pain in the arse. They are annoying gnats who get in the way of everything.
There's also the not altogether insignificant point that if you speak of women or the feminine minded in any way critically or in a way that marginalises them in some fashion, you will immediately repel most people because most people have an enormous emotional attachment to "woman" and all that it entails. It's like us (David and myself) saying, as atheists, that the list is not for religionists. It's an essentially accurate claim, but one that will immediately repel many with religious sensibilities.
They're also phrases which help to indentify the degree of distance between us and conventional, herdly thinking and attitudes.
- HER ALIEN NATURE -
by David Quinn
The mind of a woman behaves in a
way that is very difficult for a man to comprehend. She
appears to have a human form, yet her mind rarely seems to
operate along the same lines that his does. A part of him wants
to believe that men and women are mentally alike, but experience
consistently teaches him the folly of this view. She
sometimes appears god-like; at other times cat-like; yet other
times alien-like, or child-like, or just plain insane. Very
rarely does she appear human-like.
No matter how knowledgeable a man becomes in the study of female psychology, a woman always seems to have the knack of being able to confound all his expectations. No one knows how a woman will behave in a given circumstance, least of all her. Her behaviour is only loosely controlled by conscious thought and logically-reasoned analysis, and is a lot more random and unpredictable as a result. Hormones and emotions also play a large part, which only adds to her unpredictability.
Whenever a man looks into a woman's mind he is struck by how alien her thought-processes are compared to his own. I refer not just to her interests, beliefs and values, but to the very way her mind is structured and the way it functions. The difference is so extensive that one could be forgiven for thinking that men and women belong to two entirely different species. If it wasn't for the fact that they breed together, it would be an entirely reasonable classification to make.
There is a saying that if you want to change a woman's mind, all you have to do is wait five minutes and she'll change it for you. Never has a truer word been spoken. Women are notorious for their fickleness and changeability. They do not have a reputation for displaying consistency of thought, or having a strong attachment to timeless principles. They have never been noted for the weightiness of their reflections, or for having an unrelenting passion for enlightenment.
Like a ball of wax, woman lacks an inner centre and is almost entirely formless. Masculine people generate their own thoughts, beliefs and values from within themselves, but feminine people have these things impressed upon them from the external environment. She is like a mirror that always reflects what is placed before it. She is directionless and passive, always bending where the wind blows.
It would never occur to a woman to assume responsibilities above and beyond what other people around them assume, and so it would never occur to a woman to make a bid for consciousness and individuality. Most women just go with the flow, happily doing whatever their society tells them to do, breeding children, gossiping with their friends and leading mediocre lives. They can barely be distinguished from their surroundings. If it wasn't for their physical beauty and their vaginas, no one would even know they were there.
A woman never consciously reasons out a matter to the very end, never attempts to ground her thoughts in absolute truth, never embarks in a particular philosophical/spiritual direction. She remains the same throughout her life - constantly changing in a directionless manner, aimlessly flowing into other people's grooves. A fifty year old woman is almost identical to an eighteen year old girl; she might be a little more worldly wise, but other than that there is little to distinguish between them.
Her thinking is always conventional, her values are those of the herd. She has no passion for pure knowledge, no hunger to understand what is ultimately true, and her philosophical thoughts rarely go beyond being half-formed, unfocused and unclear. Society adequately caters to her physical and emotional needs without her having to mentally develop in any significant way and she therefore tends not to notice the large deficiencies in her mental life. Yet the more aware and truthful one becomes, the more glaring these deficencies in women seem to be. In truth, women are virtually unconscious.
Relationships, Intimacy and Ego
|David Hodges: I've felt so much better in the last few days
that I've noticed something about the girlfriend: all she
does is complain and whine and worry.
Dan Rowden: I suspect you didn't notice this all that much previously because it was a disposition that you were in fact relating to. But it's actually something that comes naturally to most women; it's how they get things done. They whine and moan and complain so much that men (or even other women) feel duty bound to relieve them of their angst and woes. It's the ol' passive aggressive approach to life.
David Hodges: This is pretty much the conclusion I came to, myself.
I've also come to the conclusion that there's nothing I can do about it - about her nature, I mean. In any situation, you could find something to worry about and complain about, if you tried hard enough. Anyway, I've got enough to do, taking care of myself right now, that I can't be responsible for her well-being, too.
Dan Rowden: In what sense have you ever been responsible for her well-being? Isn't that her problem?
David Hodges: Yes, it is her problem, I suppose, or it should be. But
when you are intimately involved with someone, you take on some
control over each other's well-being. A sharp word from a lover
can have a lot of impact where it would mean nothing from a
Dan Rowden: Yes, but only because you have a greater egotistical investment in the lover.
David Hodges: Quite right. That is part of intimacy; you have an investment in each other, a commitment toward each other.
Dan Rowden: I think the real commitment one makes is to one's own
ego. It's is exceedingly rare that one will remain
committed to another if that commitment means forsaking one's own
happiness and security. We do not continue to love that
which brings us only pain, therefore the commitment isn't really
to that other.
David Hodges: She demands to be treated in a certain way, and right now it's a drain on me to deal with it. She has her own issues to deal with - insecurity - like most people do. It's easy for me to upset her without meaning to - just out of thoughtlessness, forgetting something she said, a casual stupid comment that she takes out of proportion. She isespecially insecure at the moment, because she is moving out, getting her own apartment, this weekend. I t's all very amicable - we aren't breaking up - but she is obviously afraid that I won't be seeing her as much, and so is being very lovey-dovey.
Dan Rowden: Pure manipulation. I mean, it's perfectly understandable - she's protecting her interests, but who wants to live their lives as an object of such need? It's like being a piece of property, a commodity. What value do you have other than the value she sees for herself? This is one of the painful things we have to face with respect to ego-based relationships with others - that each person is really only interested in the other for the sake of the benefits derived from them. There's something distasteful about that. One of the distasteful things being that that need means that we invariably apply pressure on that other person to be a certain thing, to remain a certain way, or even to change into a certain thing. Who and what they really are or might like to be never enters the picture. What woman wishes her beau to become a perfectly enlightened Buddha?
David Hodges: What other people think of her is emotionally very important to her - as it is for most people. That puts responsibility for her emotional state on me.
Dan Rowden: When we care about how we appear to others, we give ourselves over to them, in subtle and not so subtle ways. We do, in fact, become an extension of their egos and their self. We cease to have an independent identity; we cease to be. Of course, if we enter these dynamics we're doing that to others as well. I mean, damn, are there any real, whole, complete individuals in the world? We're more like the Borg than we imagine - except that there's no big bad leader-Borg.
David Hodges: She needs reassurance.
Dan Rowden: The reassurance she should be getting is that she is capable of greater emotional independence. Any other kind just makes her more dependent, and by extension, more demanding. How much reassurance does a woman need? - that's like asking: how many moments does a woman experience?
David Hodges: Having a relationship does have rewards - if they are worth the effort and stress or not is something each has to decide for himself.
Dan Rowden: But any stress that's there only arises from our egotistical attachments and desires, and our demands that this other person be a certain way. The whole dynamic is a bit "off", don't you think? I reckon the egotistical benefits we do derive from such relationships blinds us to the deeper reality of it.
David Hodges: At its best, a relationship is like a deep friendship, where you can talk about things, do things together, share experiences, pool resources, help each other to grow in some ways.
Dan Rowden: I would make a distinction between a "spiritual" friendship and an ego-based one. A spiritual friend is one who is prepared to make you suffer and who will not pander to your ego; one who will be an enemy to your ego. If a person is seriously interested in authentic progress, these are the best kinds of friends.
David Hodges: Maybe we should be more independant, like some heros in an Ayn Rand novel, but that's how it is in the real world... a relationship does mean some emotional interdependance.
Dan Rowden: It's not just about independence, it's also about ethical soundness. What right do any of us have to demand that other people treat us in a certain way? That they should modify their ideas and language just to appease our egotistical sensibilities. It's really quite pathetic when you think about it. We do not allow that other to be who they are. It is a form of violence. Basically, you both agree to behave badly. That's the essence of any ego-based relationship.
David Hodges: I understand what you are saying - but I would also point out that this is essentially the basis of civilization, the 'social contract' as it were. You agree to modify certain behaviors, go along with certain rules, and you get certain rewards.
Dan Rowden: I think people are in a constant state of "war" with each other, forever tussling with all the cunning that an adult human being can muster, to gain those rewards for themselves; always jostling for position
David Hodges: Is anything we do that might change another person, violence?
Dan Rowden: Yes, I think you could say that it is, but I don't think all violence is bad.
David Hodges: Should we allow people to be anything they happen to be, saying nothing, when they could be better?
Dan Rowden: No, certainly not. The problem is that most people don't even know what they are. The goal is to make them conscious, then they can work it all out for themselves. It's kind of like tossing a glass of water in the face of someone who is hysterical. It's violence of a sort, but once enacted, that person then has an chance and the capacity to work out what to do from there. If your goals and values involve human consciousness in any way, it's impossible not to indulge in some type of manipulation, coercion etc. The only reason I decry the forms of behaviour that I do, is because the egotism and lack of consciousness underpinning them is bad news for the goal of wisdom.
David Hodges: A relationship, by its nature, is not dictated by one or the other party to it. It's mutual. If it is violence, it is consensual violence. How can there be an ethical issue?
Dan Rowden: The issue is in the egotism and ignorance underpinning the behaviour. If one doesn't care about such things there's really no issue at all. Every judgment I make about these matters revolves around the goal of the attainment and spread of wisdom and the relationship between that and certain forms of behaviour and psychology; change the goals and you change the judgements.
[quoting some author] - "Women for the
most part do not love us. They do not choose a man because
they love him, but because it pleases them to be loved by him."
David Hodges: What can I say, other than I fear this is true. It's satisfying to the ego to have someone else care about you.
Dan Rowden: Very much so. That's a big part of what relationships are about. Women are in love with love. The man, in terms of his individual character, which a woman may never even really come to know, because she always sees him through the filters of her own desires, is somewhat incidental. This is one of the reasons women are happy to be involved with criminals and sundry shitheads. They are being loved and that's what matters. It can be quite horrifying for a man to see the type of guy his ex-girlfriend has taken up with after they've split.
Celibacy and the Perfect Buddha
Dan Rowden: Celibacy, as commonly defined and understood, is always one of two things, a choice made by an individual as a means to facilitate some goal or express some value or moral precept, or, a natural consequence of a particular mind state. James seems to include under the umbrella of celibacy any individual who, for whatever reason, cannot get sex over a period (no menses pun intended), but who would have sex if they could. I don't consider such a person to be celibate at all - they are simply victims of circumstance, but I guess if one wanted to give the term celibacy such a definition that's up to them. On an individual, philosophic level, I don't find it especially helpful.
James: I acknowledge that this may seem strange, but it is possible that I, or "I" in this particular case, may be sabotaging those chances I do have "unconsciously", as a victim to my own inner unknown tyrant. Much of the way I interact and understand the world is on an intuitive level, I will sometimes go years with a philosophy or active morality without being able to justify it verbally or reasonably, until one day suddenly I can. Our brains process data indifferent ways, and as evinced by hypnotism, the unconscious has access to "more" data than the awake part of our minds, remembering details we cannot consciously recall, finding subtlety where our ego selves see only the surface. Thus, it may be that this celibacy I currently see as circumstantial may be on some level willed, I cannot myself be sure. I can only hope to know one day one way or the other, in any case; I cannot be other than I am.
Dan Rowden: Yes, I can relate to this rather well, as I spent most of my adult life expressing a celibacy that was very much like what you're describing. I intuitively knew that something was wrong with the whole dynamic of the interplay between the sexes and what I perceived was necessary for me to do to have any "success" with women. So, even though the sexual desires burned, I resisted acting on them. It could be, of course, that I was simply extremely fearful of rejection, and I would think that was definitely part of it, but on an intuitive level, I had real problems with playing the game. During that period, I could not have coherently articulated the reasons I had; they were more emotional and intuitive feelings than a rationally work-out moral philosophy.
I've related this story before but I'll tell it again because it's relevant to this issue: when I was in highschool, around 14 years of age, I witnessed one of my friends interacting with his then girlfriend; it was winter and he was wearing a sweater. He was leaning against a wall and she was standing in front of him; as they chatted she reached over and began to pick fluff from his sweater. A perfectly innocent bit of behaviour, right? You'd think so, but it absolutely horrified me. There was something about what she was doing that troubled me deeply and it affected my attitude to male/female relationships for a long time to come. What was it that I sensed that disturbed me so? I had literally had no idea, not then, at least. I shared these feelings with a girl I knew and she thought I was insane.
Now, of course, I know that what I was perceiving intuitively was the ego at work, and the dynamic of a female taking control over what a man is - wanting to change and mould him according to her own desires. However, without ever really known why, precisely, through the years I just wouldn't take the steps necessary to "chase" a woman because on that intuitive, emotional level, I knew I'd be in for big trouble if I did. Of course, it wasn't till I actually did gain an understanding of these dynamics that I could be sure that all that time I wasn't simply being a pathetic wimp who was so reliant on the approval of "woman" that I couldn't bring myself to be put in a situation of rejection by her. Mind you, it would be less than honest to suggest that there wasn't also some of that fear in there as well.
It is true that celibacy is something statistically aberrant to our natures, but then, aberrance is part of our natures - that's what having the ability to make self-aware, conscious decisions and choices is all about. We have the power to decline to act on certain drives for the purpose of expressing values and goals. But there's one important thing that must be remembered, and that is that a drive or desire is being expressed even if it is not physically enacted. It is absurd, for example, to believe that a person is not violent on account of their never having physically assaulted anyone, or perhaps, more accurately, it is absurd to think of yourself as a non-violent person for that reason. If the desire for sex and all the psychological baggage that goes with it, exists, then one is absolutely not celibate. I don't care if you go your entire life never getting any, that does not make you celibate. Mind makes one celibate, not circumstance. Therefore, I would assert that the only people who can ever be celibate are the perfectly enlightened - those for whom no part of their deluded, desirous ego remains. Has anyone in the history of Man been celibate? Possibly, but more than likely, not.
A sexual thought or inclination makes you a sexual being, simple as that. The question is how such thoughts and inclinations arise; that is, what is their nature? An egotistical being expresses that ego in everything it thinks and does; desire, of any kind whatsoever, arises out of the need for the ego to express itself. When we're talking about "ego", we're talking about the concept of an inherently, independently existent self. When the false nature of such a self is understood and that understanding begins to seep into every aspect of an individual's consciousness, ego begins to dissipate and so too the desires that spring from it. As the individual begins to see more clearly, for example, the egotism in the normal dynamic of the sexual interplay between the genders, his involvement in that interplay, both physically and mentally, disappears in proportion to the degree his ego has disappeared. Such a one does not exactly "choose" celibacy, either on moral or aesthetic or ascetic grounds - it occurs as a natural consequence of the diminution of the psychological forces that cause such desires in the first place. The egotistical fuel that kept the fires burning is cut off and the fire begins to die for lack of fuel.
|The choice one makes to not enact sexual desires, referred to as celibacy by some, is a perfectly reasonable choice to make, especially for the serious thinker, at least where he does so on the grounds that entering into the emotional and egotistical complexity of sexual interplay is something that necessarily undermines focused thought. The idea that you can think clearly and analytically whilst caught up in sexual gamesmanship, and the various emotional nuances of that, is pure balderdash, as is the whole idea of non-attached, purely sensual, recreational sex. One would have to enter into such a dynamic with an especially cold and calculating approach, but if one is doing that, then one is not really entering the reality of the dynamic between the sexes at all. Such a person is doing no more than experiencing their own contrivance.|
James: I think I could safely say that I am
not engaged in sexual gamesmanship; admittedly, when confronted
by what appears to be an opportunity I might exert myself in that
direction, but if I do not seek out those situations what
gamesmanship is there?
Dan Rowden: In this case the gamesmanship would all be internal, but it's still there, it just takes on a slightly different form than if you're engaging the female directly. In other words, you will be playing out all sorts of scenarios in your head - good ones, bad ones, one that you may not actually want to talk about. This still amounts to entering into the ego dynamic of sexual interplay. And whilst it may appear that you're not involving a particular woman in that dynamic, if she senses that your behaviour has anything to do with her at all (women have exceedingly powerful radar in these matters), then you are in fact involving her. Can that be helped? Probably not. Just being indifferent to a woman has an impact on her ego so there's really not much you can do about that. You have to concentrate of what is beneficial for you.
James: While I am the first to admit that the majority of sexual relationships in our culture are, for a man, a pit of despair and lead away from wisdom, I am not so arrogant to assume that an impediment on the road is a negation of the journey.
Dan Rowden: I don't really see your point. Anything that takes one away from wisdom is bad. It doesn't mean that involvement with "woman", which is what we're really talking here, much more than the issue of just getting laid, will remove one permanently from the path, but it is definitely a tremendous risk. To enter into a relationship with "woman" which is in any way emotionally fulfilling, one has to, quite literally, abandon consciousness - there's no two ways about that. Having done so, there is no guarantee whatever that you'll ever get it back again. Having said that, if one enters such a relationship in a genuinely idealistic fashion, the disappointment that will inevitably follow, may lead to a higher level of idealism. It may be that for some, a failed relationship with that most powerful of gods - woman - may be what leads that person into a purer relationship to truth. It all depends on the psychological nature he brings to that relationship from the outset.
To some extent, however, it's possible to go through such a relationship without ever having actually entered into a normal relationship with an actual, living, breathing women. That's because most of our relationship with "woman" is in our own heads anyway. Getting close to a real woman can be a means to facilitate that realisation, because one is struck by the sheer chasm between what a woman is "supposed" to be and what she actually is.
I guess the thrust of my point is that such an involvement may be useful so long as the man never loses himself to it completely, because if he does, he is most assuredly lost to the path. I can't advocate it unless the desires are too powerful to resist. It's a bit like any kind of drug experimentation; it may prove useful to one who enters into the whole thing with a strong mind and resolve, but it could prove devastating to one who does not.
Of course, denying something to oneself without good reason is definitely a perversion.
James: What if you suspect there is a good reason but are unable to, as yet, articulate it?
Dan Rowden: Then I would follow my gut instincts, all the while doing my best to establish a conscious understanding of it.
James: Way ahead of you, my man.
"The ordinary man would rather read the life of the cruelist pirate that ever lived than the wisest philosopher."
|Shardrol: On the subject of pedophilia, I
was wondering if any of you have read the novel 'Lolita'
by Vladimir Nabokov. This is the story of a middle-aged
man, narrated in the first person, & his sexual
obsession with a pubescent girl. One of the things that
makes it interesting is that even though we are seeing
everything through the narrator's eyes, it's still
possible to observe how he is distorting his
interpretations of the girl's behavior to make it seem as
though she is attracted to him in the same way that he's
attracted to her.
Although the narrator also has some moments of brutal honesty when he starkly describes the damage he did, many if not most people who read the book completely misinterpret it. The word 'Lolita' (his pet name for the child) has even come to mean a seductive young girl.
The tragedy of this story is the fact of the different contexts of children & adults. What the child intends as playful, attention-getting, affectionate behavior, the adult interprets as a sexual come-on in adult terms. The excuse-the-expression literary genius of Nabokov manages to convey all this without ever explicitly stating any of it, telling the whole story in the voice of the pedophile himself. We experience him as both monstrous & tragic. But the book was very controversial when it was first published because a bunch of idiots saw it as a pornographic narrative of adult-child sex.
Irena: Part of the tragedy is that Lolita is
presented as being to some degree complict in the relationship,
she is not presented as a complete innocent, and this makes the
story all the more 'true' and compelling.
Shardrol: She is complicit at the level of a child. She has no understanding of the force of adult sexual obsession that drives Humbert. She reacts to the whole situation as a child, bartering sex for comic books, trying to make the best of her life of being entirely under his control. It's not a question of innocence. It's the collision of two worlds. The most poignant part of the book is when Humbert writes about Lolita playing tennis, how the form of her playing was perfect but she lacked the essential confidence & drive that would make her win. She was somehow eternally cowed, & he understands that he did that to her.
Irena: I think it is important to remember the whole construct comes as a fantasy out of the mind of a middle-aged man, a great writer. The story is not about Lolita, it is about Hubert Humbert. The man's desire, his fall, his angst, etc, etc. Another take on the story is Candy. Male fantasies.
Shardrol: That is the interpretation that most people put on it but it's dead wrong. What takes it out of that realm is that even through Humbert's narration we can see the child behind the 'nymphet', an actual person who suffers but adapts to her monstrous life. Because she's not in a position to reject Humbert's desires, she cooperates & the relationship continues. We see her become crass & calculating; she learns to manipulate Humbert.
Irena: I wonder if this is not a somewhat revisionist interpretation. Is it not possible, that beyond the character of child, she is also a character of somewhat manipulative proportions, a baby monster?
Shardrol: She turns into a monster, yes, but I don't think she starts out that way. Just as an ordinary 12-year-old, sometimes seemingly adult, sometimes bratty, etc. Yes my interpretation could be called 'revisionist' but just in terms of the book having been misunderstood by a lot of the people who read it & probably all of the people who didn't read it but have opinions about it nevertheless. I don't think it's revisionist in terms of the author's intention.
Narrated from the point of view of Humbert, as it was, it was a love story. A deranged love story, but still as close as he could come.
Irena: I think sometimes it is a mistake to interprete a creative work as a moral lesson, though naturally we will find one in most great works.
Shardrol: I'm not the sort to go looking for moral lessons. To me it was a story about humans & how they behave. Very true to life, artistic yet not contrived, which is why I liked it.
following dialogues focus on the issue of the Way - i.e. the
nature of the spiritual path. If Reality forms the totality
of all there is, then how can there be a path to realizing
it? Wouldn't we be conscious of it already? Isn't the very
search for it a delusion?
The main proponents in this discussion are David Quinn and Jeff Jackson. Both David and Jeff agree that Reality forms the totality of all there is, but disagree on what constitutes the path to enlightenment (consciousness of the nature of Reality). David maintains that we have to follow a specific path of abandoning delusions and false habits of thought before we can become truly conscious of what is before our eyes, whereas Jeff asserts that there is nothing to be done as we are already conscious of it. The clash of these two fundamentally different points of view comprise the bulk of the discussion.
Jason: I keep coming back to the fact that the truth is right in front of your eyes and can never not be. Most people search for a finite Truth, such as a set of beliefs. But if you want to have a perfect view of reality, you don't map it. Reality is everything, and trying to reduce it to something less than everything, is always going to lead to errors. Which leads me to the idea that there is nothing to really do at all accept realise that Reality is. That's it.
David Quinn: This is true as far as it goes, but is by no means the whole story. As an analogy, consider the dreams we have at night. When a person dreams at night, we can say that the dream he experiences is. Moreover, this is something which holds true regardless of whether the person is having a lucid dream or not. In both cases, dream is. And yet at the same time, there is a vast difference between the two in terms of understanding and quality of consciousness.
Similarly, there is a world of difference between a fully-enlightened Buddha and an ordinary person - even though, for both of them, Reality is.
Jason: But if you define Reality as "All That Is" then it is impossible to not be conscious of it every moment of the day.
David Quinn: The bare fact that Reality is "All That Is" isn't enough to ensure that everyone is conscious of its true nature. Animals, for example, are experiencing Reality all of the time, and yet they clearly lack the consciousness to realize its nature and appreciate its significance. The same goes for most humans.
In Buddhism, there is the parable of the six blind Indians touching an elephant. One touches a leg and believes it to be a tree trunk. Another touches the tail and believes it to be a rope - and so on. Only the sighted person is able to take in the bigger picture and realize that it is actually an elephant. Similarly, only the enlightened person is able to recognize the true nature of Reality, even though everyone does experience Reality in their own fashion.
Jason: Reality is everything, and trying to
reduce it to something less than everything, is always going to
lead to errors. Which leads me to the idea that there is nothing
to really do at all accept realise that Reality is.
David Quinn: The only way a person can know how to cease reducing Reality is by fully understanding its nature. Once he attains this understanding, he can then learn how to cease grasping at Reality with his ego.
Jeff Jackson: Bullshit. The only way DQ will ever admit that anyone but DQ has any insight is when he attains full understanding of reality. Then he can work on ceasing to grasp IT as his ego.
Some are born with it. Some realize it relatively soon. Some go to their grave. Some are stubborn. Some are obnoxious. Some are possesive. Some are jealous. Some are space aliens like DQ, beaming thoughts into your heads through the oh-so-innocent appearing internet. Wisdom is not a greased pig, and we are not in a contest to catch it.
Bob Willis: Aren't you doing the same thing you accuse David of? You're implicitly saying that you have a full understanding of Reality, that David doesn't, that it is possible to realize it "relatively soon", and further, that with a full understanding of Reality one will cease grasping for it. What's the deal here, Jeff?
Jeff Jackson: The deal is that I'm not hawking some "method" or "means" to an end that is already present. The deal is that I will acknowledge expression of the truth rather than pooh-poohing and yeah-buting. Jason was right on and got word mincing for his effort.
The deal is that I AM the same thing as David, and IN the same circumstances. What is the amazement that manifestation in duality is manifestation in duality. The deal is that David sez there's his way or the highway. I say there are as many ways as there are people.
The deal is that people are better off concentrating on finding their way rather than trying to incorporate the DQ way. The deal is that truth has been perverted from time immemorial by the self serving codifying their half truths, ala every major world religion, including Rowsolquinnism.
The deal is that if you can't see the difference, it is because you don't want to see a difference.
Jackson: The deal
is that I'm not hawking some "method" or "means"
to an end that is already present.
David Quinn: Yes, you are. You are telling people to stop searching for what is already present. That is your teaching and your method.
Jeff Jackson: There is no method, nor means, to reach the present. Means and method imply the future, not the present. It's a done deal. Whether anyone stops searching, picks their nose, picks another's nose, climbs a mountain, stays celibate, or fucks like a bunny, is up to them. Whatever they do, it is not specified by me.
David Quinn: Then why are you ticking me off for my behaviour? Am I to be the exception on your list of what is acceptable in life?
Jeff Jackson: This must be another example of language gap. Allow me to clarify. All you people out there, David Quinn has a way that may have correlations and use in your own devlopment. David Quinn is not to be ignored and has, a number of times, expressed lucid and tuthful observations. However, be on your guard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
David Quinn: If everything is a done deal and there is nothing to do, what possible reason could a person have for separating the wheat from the chaff? The chaff is as much a part of present Reality as the wheat is. Reality is. So why should the chaff be rejected?
Moreover, who are you to even comment upon what other people should or shouldn't do? According to your own philosophy, everyone is on their own path and no one path is superior to any of the others. So what does it matter to you what other people do?
Jeff Jackson: I do not deny you your path. I am simply pointing out that your path will only work for you. Some may find inspiration in what you say, yet others condemnation. Often, the ones who are condemned are the ones more advanced than you, other times, less.
David Quinn: How can anyone be more advanced than others, if everything is a done deal and there is nothing to be done?
What I find amusing is the way in which your philosophy puts you in a double bind. You can't affirm and support what I do because it is obvious that we are in profound disagreement with regards to nearly everything under the sun. Yet at the same time, you can't very well reject what I do because that would be to reject a portion of Reality and to negate the idea that Reality is, and that everyone is following their own path, etc, etc. Quite the conundrum, you could say.
Jeff Jackson: I hereby affirm everything you do by rejecting it. Stick to playing with your blocks, David. Someday you may play with words, and then, maybe even sentences.
Jackson: The deal
is that David sez there's his way or the highway. I say
there are as many ways as there are people.
David Quinn: No, you're saying that your way is the only way.
Jeff Jackson: Indeed. I am the way. How astute.
David Quinn: You stated that Jason's comments were correct (i.e. because they were in line with Your way), and that my comments were bullshit (i.e. because they conflicted with Your way). It's clear that you are a rigid-minded bigot who wants everyone to follow Your way.
Jeff Jackson: I stated that Jason's comments were correct because they were in line with The way, not my way.
David Quinn: Oh, I see. You were talking about The way, not your way. I'm sorry. I thought we were talking about Your way, when in fact we were talking about The way. How unforgivable of me!
Shardrol: Jeff, when you say 'there are as many ways as there are people', that statement is an example of a particular view, not a lack of one. For instance, it is incompatible with the view that any one way is better than another (assuming what you mean by 'way' is something like 'valid spiritual path') or that following someone else's methodology can work. It's like someone trying to express religious tolerance by saying that all religions are the same, which is actually quite intolerant of the religions that believe they are the one true way.
Victor: I'm still unclear concerning what you,
and everyone else participating in the discussion, mean by a
"way". Does it imply a certain sequence of ideas
one must contemplate? Or perhaps a way of following certain
ethics and behavior?
David Quinn: "Way" can have several meanings. There is the "way" of Nature, sometimes referred to as the Tao or Dao. This refers to the fundamental principle of existence by which all things are created. He who follows the "Way" is fully cognizant of this principle in all circumstances. Such a person is able to see directly into the way in which all things exist.
The "way" can also refer to the path to enlightenment, which is the path of reason and the abandonment of delusions. This path is embarked upon the moment a person experiences a sincere desire to comprehend Truth and applies his whole mind to it. The "way" can also refer to the path to perfection, which is a very rare and lofty path followed by enlightened people after they attain enlightenment. This is the path to complete Buddhahood in which every last attachment and false habit of thought and behaviour is eliminated.
Jeff Jackson: The one way does not conform, everything else conforms to it. The way is not derivative, it is the source of derivations.
of space aliens beaming delusional thoughts into our brain
without our knowing it is a variation of Descartes' idea about a
mischevious demon. Descartes imagined a demon whose sole
intent was to distort our minds in any way it could. He
wanted to know whether it was possible for him to know anything
with certainty, despite the possibility of his mind being
deceived by this demon.
Unfortunately, this conception was to be the high point of Descartes' philosophical career. He subsequently formulated the higly flawed dictum, "I think, therefore I am", and then went rapidy downhill after that. He was last seen rolling about the floor in a fit and making bumbling apologetics for the Christian religion. Still, the basic idea of a mischevious demon was a good one, and in the following dialogues, we examine the same issue of "certainty" using an up-dated version.
David Quinn: In what way could the possibility of space aliens directing thoughts into my brain undermine my current knowledge of Reality?
Jason: Your mind could be being warped to believe it is rational and logical when it really is not. I think I know what your answer will be: a perfectly rational mind will know for certain that it is being rational. But the problem is that a mind that is warped will still believe it is perfectly rational. In other words, to the mind of the philosopher their will be no way to gauge if his thoughts are rational or the product of alien interference. Their will be no noticeable difference to the philosopher.
David Quinn: Let's consider a specific example, one that we all know about - the knowledge that consciousness exists and experience is happening. This is something that I can establish with absolute certainty, regardless of what these hypothetical aliens are doing to my brain. They can distort my mind all they want, but it still won't change the fact that I know that consciousness exists and experience is happening. There is nothing the aliens can do about this, short of making me unconscious.
The knowledge that consciousness exists and experience is happening is an example of what I call a "truth thought". True thoughts are unmistakeable and immediate, and ultimately cannot be challenged in any way.
Jason: I generally agree with this. But I can still imagine that it is caused by warping of the mind. Just because we can find no fault with our reasoning does that necessarily mean that there is no fault? Experience shows me that I can be wrong when I think I'm right. Many things seem beyond doubt, but are they?
David Quinn: True, many beliefs are like this. They can seem certain when in reality they are not. But it's a completely different story when comes to those utterly irrefutable truths like "experience is happening". You're making the mistake of lumping a great truth such as this with all other beliefs in the world and then using the uncertainty of these other beliefs to cast false doubt on it.
Jason: I've been trying to critically examine the idea "experience is happenning" and it makes my mind spin, I literally feel disorientated. No wonder I'm not making sense. It's seems that there is nothing to reason about. There is no reasoning behind the idea, it's just a statement of "isness".
David Quinn: There is reasoning involved when one asks the question, " Can I be absolutely certain that experience is happening?" One reasons that it is impossible to be uncertain of it due to the fact that the very question is itself an experience. In the very act of asking, the question is automatically answered.
Jason: Even if I consider that "experience is happenning" to be beyond doubt, so what? It doesn't change much does it?
David Quinn: No, but it's the thin end of a wedge. Once a person recognizes and accepts the utter infallibility of an obvious truth like "experience is happening", he can then go on to discern other truths which are just as infallible and far more life-shattering.
For example, I can be absolutely certain that what I experience in each moment is indeed what I experience in each moment. One moment, I might perceive a tree, for instance; the next moment, a car; the next, a cloud; the next, a thought inside my head, and so on. In each moment, the object that I perceive is indeed the object that I perceive. No amount of alien distortion can undermine my certainty in regards to this. As with the "experience is happening" truth, it is a kind of knowledge which completely transcends those kinds of possibilities.
So suddenly, with this single step in logic, we go from possessing just one absolutely certain truth to possessing an infinite number of them.
Next, we can lump the objects of our experience into the the single category of "A". In other words, at each moment we experience "A", where "A" stands for any object of perception. As with the above, the perception of "A" can never be called into question, no matter how much my consciousness is being distorted by aliens. Like "experience is happening", it is a transcendental truth.
Next, we can break up A into A=A. This is simply a conceptual process which fleshes out A into an expanded form, which we can then use to establish the validity of logical reasoning. The significance of this step is that it enables us to ground the process of logical deduction with the same absolute certainty as those other great truths above. It enables us to discern that the process of logical deduction is beyond question for the same reason that "experience is happening" is beyond question. It is literally impossible to question these things without falling into contradiction.
Finally, from this basis, we can logically deduce our way into the Infinite.
Jason: Please show me exactly how you do this - step by step.
David Quinn: There are many round-about ways of doing this, but the simplest and most direct way involves reasoning what Ultimate Reality must be, and then, armed with this definition, investigating exactly what in the universe conforms to it.
That is to say:
Definition: Ultimate Reality is eternal, timeless, without beginning and end, permanent, unchanging, everywhere and everywhen, absolute in nature, and accountable for the existence of all things. ("A")
Logical deduction: Whatever is finite, temporary, impermanent, of limited extent, etc, is not Ultimate Reality. ("A=A")
Logical deduction: Only the totality of all there is conforms to the definition of Ultimate Reality. ("A=A")
And so on.
Jason: Your definition just came out of your imagination though, correct?
David Quinn: Yes. But I have good reason for imagining it in this way.
Jason: Initially you said that you used reason to show that that Ultimate Reality must exist. But all you did was start with a definition of Ultimate Reality. So what you have done is simply equate "definition" and "reasoning". That leads to the problem that you could come up with any definition of anything and claim that you reasoned that it existed.
David Quinn: But that is not what is happening here. My definition of Ultimate Reality possesses a logic which is unique to itself, one that proves without doubt that it has an external referrant. That is to say, the definition contains its own proof of Ultimate Reality's existence. No other definition in the world possesses this kind of internal logic.
Victor: I find it hard to believe in the "absoluteness"
of such truths as experience is happening. To see why,
think of what meaning, understanding, and truth really are. After
all when a person understands something, finds something
meaningful, all he is doing is forging contextual links between
the unfamiliar concept and the concepts that are already part of
his conceptual network, concepts he already "knows".
When something makes sense, or seems true, it means that the new
concept is consistent with all previous knowledge.
David Quinn: This ignores the basis upon which the assertion "experience is happening" is absolutely true - namely, that it is impossible to question it without falling into contradiction. Since the very formulation of the question is itself an "experience", it can never be called into question.
The assertion that "experience is happening" is really just another way of asserting that "Reality is not nothing whatsoever". Call me into account over this if you must, but know that if you do, all you will be doing is proving that you are in complete agreement with it.
Victor: All signals of consistency are just particular neurons that fire up when we recognize something as true. An alien could conceivably cause those neurons to misfire at times, and it could introduce external chemo-electrical pulses at other times. Thus whatever we might think we understand -- whatever we find meaningful -- might make absolutely no sense to a "rational" observer; our understanding might be totally plagued with inconsistencies that we are unaware of due to the wicked alien repressing the particular brain signals that would point to those inconsistencies as such.
David Quinn: Your argument here is comprised of reasonings, despite the fact that reasoning itself is the very thing that is being called into question by you.
It doesn't matter what example you use as a hypothetical scenario - space aliens, demons, random influences from nature, or whatever - such a scenario will always be constructed out of concepts, definitions and reasonings. So if it is indeed possible to construct a valid hypothesis of this kind, as you believe you have done, and to use it as a basis for arguing against the possibility of attaining absolute knowledge, then you are automatically giving your stamp of approval to the use of concepts, definitions and reasonings in general - as valid tools for arriving at valid conclusions.
So in other words, in the very act of constructing an objection, you are tacitly affirming that it is possible to attain absolute knowledge, after all.
Victor: The subtle point you seem to be missing is that I don't question the methodology of logic and deduction as such, but merely observing that it can be interfered with.
David Quinn: But even more subtlely, you are here using logic and deduction to argue your point of view, which shows that you indeed have a 100%, unshakable faith in their validity. Thus, the conclusion you are trying to point me towards is wholly unbelievable. Even you don't believe it. No one does.
GENIUS-L at a glance:
Actually, it's interesting that men are always asking what women want - it points out that their only interest is in giving them whatever they ask for - or even things they haven't asked for, but might like. David Hodges
Trading one's honesty, sanity, and freedom for something as mediocre as material gain makes you -- well -- a whore. Being a whore in the sexual sense really means little, as that context is rather irrelevant, but in this sense? it is like giving up on the most important parts of one's life. what rational reason could there be behind this sort of large-scale enactment? answer: none, and any attempt at justification is likely denial and rationalization. David Schnur
Largely, sex is meaningless. I am not that keen to engage in meaningless activity. Marsha Faizi
I think you and those like you, need lies to support your egos, to support the tangled web of mutual ego stroking. I think you want and need people to lie to you. It makes you and everyone else comfortable. It's much more than just a trading game, it's a fitting-in game. It's to prove your normality. It's bowing down and paying allegiance to the herd on a daily basis. Jason
It's a rare person who can use logic to override their emotions, but it does happen. But it's even rarer to be able to use someone else's logic to override one's emotions. Usually you will just have to wait until a person is in a receptive frame of mind, when they've started to question things on their own & are actively looking for new ideas. Shardrol
Destruction of institutions gets us nowhere. It makes more sense, if one is able, to exploit them for use, as David Quinn and Dan Rowden and Kevin Solway do. One, then, is a parasite on the system one loathes and demands its support for one's own agenda. In this way, this forum is brought to us courtesy of the Australian government. It yet sees benefit in the support of the "eccentric" rather than retaliation against it. The government of Australia supports free thought through its welfare system. This is barely possible in the United States. This is why one does not see young men dressed as David Quinn is dressed in his photographs on the Subscriber Profiles page. There is no support here for such a thing. One either conforms or one does not live. The only possibility for individual expression ironically lies in the concept of communal living and even that is suspect. Marsha Faizi
I think 'turn the other cheek' is detachment. When someone has become secure in detachment (mastered himself), then he is in position to give (to love). Bob Willis
New! - Subscriber Profile Pages
If you've been wanting to put a face to the rhetoric, now you can! Short biographies and photos of some of our regular and long term contributors are now available. This is a work in progress so be sure to visit every now and then to catch new pages as they are added:
All images in this publication are taken from "The Devil's Gallery" http://www.theabsolute.net
Disclaimer: editorial opinions expressed in this publication are those of its authors and do not, necessarily, reflect the views of subscribers to Genius-L. 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
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