GENIUS NEWS

The Newsletter for Dangerous Thinkers

(Issue 7 July 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 those who value consciousness.


CONTENTS

In the News

Editorial

The Meaninglessness of Existence

Society and the Sage

Characteristics of the Sage

Subscription Info

From the Archives

Genius-l at a glance

Man, Woman: fact v fiction

From The Twilight Zone

The symbol will return you to this contents table from each major section.


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAGE

 

A young boy has not experienced the unity of man and woman, yet his manhood is strong.  He feels no magical pull of attraction towards the opposite sex, seeing them at most as a strange curiosity. Likewise does the man of knowledge wonder aimlessly about, desireless, without direction, and with nothing directing him.  He desires neither life nor happiness; how much less does he desire woman!

The sage is like an ocean.  There may be an occasional surface storm, but deep down there is stillness.  His occasional anger is only an appearance.  It is like burnt string, which looks like string, but a mere puff blows it away. His attachment is like that of a child.  He makes a play house, and if anyone touches it, he will jump up and cry; the next moment he himself will break it.  The sun undoubtedly has dark spots, but these do not obstruct its light. It says nothing against the ripeness of a spirit that it has a few worms.

He thinks of perfect wisdom as often as a jealous man thinks of his beautiful lover when he finds out she is spending the evening with another man. He wants perfect wisdom as much as an egotist wants to avoid pain.  He spurns the world as much as the egotist craves for it.  He cannot be defeated in argument, as he canvasses no position. When no ground is held, it is safe ground.

His ways are simple, his words plain.  He is aware of the limits of words, so does not stretch them too far. The more elevated his thought, the less contrived his expression. He cannot be classified into harmlessness as can scholars. He drives his meaning home hard; he speaks to our souls.  He does not motivate himself to attain God consciousness. Motivation creates false values.  He transcends instantaneously, his dictum being "First the Kingdom of God."

It can happen that a snake gets his prey stuck in his mouth, too large to swallow or spit-out.  Both will die a lingering and painful death.  But the sage is like a cobra: he kills with a single bite.

To the worldly, the sage is a mystery. Now he seems predictable, now he surprises, now he has character, now he has none, now he is shallow, now deep, now mad, now he disappears altogether!  He defies categories.  He is always intensively concentrated on what is real.  His eyes fall on infinite vistas.  He reads others as he would a page.

What is his greatness? Is the sun great?  Is a clod of earth great? Is the sage great?  They are all great because they do not think they are great.

Those of the world frantically wave their arms about trying to stay afloat on the surface of the ocean. At length they see an island and seek refuge on its shores.  Then the island rears itself out of the sea and devours them - a resting monster.  The way of the wise is to plunge into the deep, learning to live in the powerful and roaring currents.  One cannot sink who has already sunk.

The man of knowledge has eliminated all things from his sight: nothing remains to blind him.

He is ignorant of everything, uncertain of everything.  His only certainty is that he is uncertain.  Yet there is nothing hich he does not know.

He is like one who comes to people living in a world where everything is red, preaching that nothing at all is red. Most hateful about the sage is his persistence. "If he would only say what he has to say the once, and then go away!" the people plea. But no, he will not go away.  On the contrary, he has only just begun!

He has a strange body - like that of a kangaroo. Usually he sits still, but when he moves the tremendous leap that follows strikes terror into all who have attached themselves to him by the tender ties of kinship and friendship.

He forgets nothing, but forgives everything.  Therefore he is doubly detested, for he causes the foolish double shame by his honesty and magnanimity.  Unfortunately he is usually a he.

Kevin Solway from "Poison for the Heart"


- Society & the Sage -

Chris: Society is not a threat because society cannot tell the difference between wisdom and pretty words.

Dan Rowden: I agree that society cannot tell the difference between those things, but society can tell when it's most precious attachments are under threat, and its defensive response to that perceived threat can be quite significant. The would-be sage ignores this at his peril. Since wisdom entails the abandonment of just about everything society values, it is necessary and inevitable that such a one will stand in complete opposition to society. That opposition doesn't need to be deliberate or overt; it is just a natural consequence of what a sage is.

Chris: If you attain even little bit of wisdom, you know how to make yourself look like anything you want in the eyes of society.

Dan Rowden: I disagree with that completely. In fact, the reverse is true. One cannot abandon false beliefs and the attachments surrounding them and not be perceived by society as something quite alien to it. For the sage to act in a way that made society perceive him approvingly, he would have to act in a completely false and deceitful manner; he would have to act in way contrary to the nature he had built for himself.

I don't see what benefit there could be in that. I doubt that any sage could be that good an actor.

Chris: The only problem is that you'll be lonely for the most of your life.

Dan Rowden: The sage is never lonely, by definition, because only the ego experiences loneliness and the sage no longer possesses that ego.


The Meaninglessness of Existence


Is life meaningless?  And if it is, does it really matter?  What is meaning and where does it come from?  Do we need a God to give our lives meaning?  Do we really need to have meaning in our lives at all?  The following conversation between Alex Meyer and David Quinn explores these vital issues....

David Quinn: What is your goal in life?

Alex Meyer: The pursuit of wisdom, as an act to uncover the meaninglessness of life.

David Quinn: So what is wisdom then? If you are simply referring to the recognition and acceptance of the meaninglessness of life, then we are already inundated with hordes of wise people everywhere. For nihilism is the predominant theology of our age.

Alex Meyer: I am not accepting the meaninglessness of life, why should I? It is a dead-end. You die if you go there. That is exactly why I want to "uncover" it, I need to do that in order to move on. But at the same time I have moved on, as I have gone from the recognition-phase to the uncovering-phase. Wisdom for me, is anything that helps me uncover it.

If life is meaningless, then nothing makes a difference, absolutely nothing. I might kill myself, I might not. Either way I would consider myself dead. So that is simply not an option to me, I do not accept the meaninglessness, as I would accept my own death then. I recognize the meaninglessness, but I do not accept it, since suicide is not an option as long as you are not ultimately wise.

David Quinn: When you say "meaninglessness", I take it that you are referring to the lack of meaning and purpose in the Universe itself? There is no God, no conscious being that made the world for a particular purpose, and therefore everything is meaningless. Is that your line of thinking?

Alex Meyer: In part. Another part of it is that we cannot simply create our own meaning, meaning can't be subjective.

David Quinn: Why not? How can meaning be anything other than subjective?

Alex Meyer: Because subjective implies local, demarcations are largely arbitrary, so although you think you can create your "own" meaning, it is an illusion. Either you create some "meaning", and hope (that is, you use faith) that it by chance is the same as the objective meaning, if such a concept even exists. Or you create "meaning" with the knowledge that you have merely created an illusion.

David Quinn: It isn't an illusion if I know that "meaning" can only be subjective in nature. I mean, if I were to entertain the notion that objective meaning can be a reality, and if I were to project the meaning that I personally create for myself onto the rest of the Unievsre and claim that the whole Universe possesses this meaning, then yes, that would be an illusion. But if instead I were to acknowledge and accept that my own subjective meaning is just a temporary creation in a wholly meaningless Universe, then the illusion would vanish.

Alex Meyer: No matter what, you cannot create the objective meaning (again, if it exists), only the Totality can create (or rather possess) objective meaning. But that does not rule out that you can discover the objective meaning, if it is shown to you(which it is, if it exists), or if you know where to look. The hard part is to know when and if you have discovered it.

David Quinn: There is nothing to discover in this regard. Not even the Totality can posses objective meaning. "Objective meaning" is a contradiction in terms. Meaning only exists in relation to an observer. A meaning is only meaningful to someone with a mind.

Alex Meyer: Of course it is a contradiction in terms, but only because you want meaning to exist in relation to an observer. To me, real meaning is such an abstract concept, that it would be something inherent, something that could not be destroyed nor created, something that would be utterly independent of any observer.

David Quinn: I must admit that I have never before come across anyone who believes that meaning could exist without an observer. So you're pretty unique, Alex. It's a bit like asserting that pain can exist without an experiencer.

Alex Meyer: Hmm, in a very abstract sense, pain is simply an effect from a cause. However, we use the word pain only when this effect is from a cause that changes the current course, into something which is different from the intended course. However, if such an intended course exists, it implies that there is some meaning behind it.

David Quinn: Intention implies an intender and thus is subjective in nature. From Nature's point of view, there is no such thing as an intended course. Everything that happens is "intended".


Alex Meyer: Another part of it is the continuous and relentless changing going on, and still the changing seems to follow rules, why have rules if there is no meaning?

David Quinn: What rules? Are you talking about the laws of science here? Why do the existence of the laws of science have to denote a meaning to life? Like everything else, the laws of science are a temporary product of cause and effect. They don't inherently exist in the Universe.

Alex Meyer: Not the laws in themselves, but the processes they describe. It is hard to argue against gravitational pull, afterall we are corrected every time we try to. Cause and effect is a one-way process, it is never the other way around. If you follow the chain of causes and effects it will lead you in a direction, that such a direction exists at all, could be the sign of some inherent meaning.

The laws of physics seems to have this property, and mathematics too. However both sciences would have to be confronted on a more philosophical basis, in order for them to be ultimately useful.

David Quinn: The laws of science certainly seem more permanent than ordinary physical phenomena. Do you equate meaning with permanency? If that is the case, then the Totality itself would have to be the most meaningful thing there is, since that is the one thing in existence that is truly permanent and beyond all possibility of being destroyed.

Alex Meyer: No, I do not equate meaning with permanency. I equate meaning with the ability to withstand randomness.

David Quinn: But only an observer is able to find order, as opposed to randomness, meaningful. From Nature's point of view, randomness is just as meaningful or meaningless as order is. In other words, your equation of meaning with order is something that has been created by you, and is therefore a reflection of your own subjectivity. It doesn't objectively exist.


Alex Meyer: If life is meaningless, then nothing makes a difference, absolutely nothing. I might kill myself, I might not. Either way I would consider myself dead.

David Quinn: Are you so sure about this? Even though I am fully aware that life is meaningless - in the sense that, logically speaking, the Totality cannot have any purpose - it doesn't stop me from creating my own values and meaning.

The fact that the Totality is entirely indifferent to wisdom, enlightenment and truth is meaningless ot me. What matters is that I value them. They are important to me.

Alex Meyer: It only matters in a very small way, in fact it matters so little that it would be hard to say that it matters at all. Your values and the meaning you "create" is local to you, but there is no such thing as a local you, so your meaning is but a very small ripple in the ocean.

David Quinn: True. But still, my values and meaning matters to me.


David Quinn: [Meaninglessness arises as a result of] the desire people have for the existence of God, or at least for there to be meaning and purpose in the Universe. If one didn't have those desires to begin with, then the meaninglessness of the world wouldn't be a problem. Instead, it would just become another truth about life to be celebrated.

Alex Meyer: Yes, that is surely part of what meaninglessness is about - but having realized that, I am still not satisfied. It seems more like a restatement of the question, than a real explanation.

David Quinn: I personally see great meaning in life's meaninglessness. It is something which thrills and excites me. This is probably due to the fact that I can see beyond the meaninglessness and see into its source - which is the Infinite. The fact of life's meaninglessness is, to my eyes at least, a glorious attribute of Truth.

Alex Meyer: That this "glorius" attribute "thrills and excites" you, say nothing at all about the meaninglessness itself. It says something about you, and how you react to it - Reality does not adjust itself according to how we react to it, we cannot hurt its feelings.

David Quinn: Alex, the discussion has been centered around your reaction to meaninglessness, not mine. All I'm saying is that I don't have a problem with meaninglessness. For me, it isn't an issue that needs to be resolved or overcome. I regard meaninglessness to be an indisputable fact about the Totality and therefore part of the great truth of life. It reflects the nature of the Infinite and that is what is signficant to me, since I am a lover of the Infinite.

Alex Meyer: Well, this must be where we differ then. I also regard the apparent meaninglessness as a reflection of the infinite, but I am not convinced that it is an indisputable fact. To me it is still only apparent meaninglessness.

David Quinn: Well, it's a logical point which one either sees or one doesn't.


EDITORIAL

- The Virtue of Elitism -

by David Hodges

In America, we labor under the fiction that all men are created equal, dispite the obvious fact that this is not so. There are a few exceptional men. Most people are run-of-the-mill, ordinary, salt of the earth, average. What is it that separates the exceptional from the ordinary?

I think there is likely a genetic component; the right combination of hormones and brain chemistry or whatever. But there is also the striving for excellence. An exceptional man might easily become an ordinary man, just by giving up, by settling for 'good enough'.

This is a very easy thing to do. The ordinary man has created the world in his own image. The world is full of ordinary houses, ordinary food, ordinary people doing ordinary things. By definition, the exceptional is rare. The world is geared toward the average, the normal, the easy and the obvious. To take what is handed to you in this way, to do the easy and the obvious, is the easiest thing in the world.

The average is not bad; it's just average. And that average can change over time - it can be pushed or pulled in various directions. It is sometimes pushed and pulled by the exceptional people; those who go (at least sometimes) where their own mind takes them, rather than always following along where everyone else is going. But just as often, it is changed by whims of fashion.

Striving for excellence is an important thing. But, paradoxically, excellence is driven from interest in the thing itself, the desire to follow something all the way to its end. It's not driven by the ego need for excellence relative to other people, which typically results in merely being above average. It's not driven by other people; it's driven from within.

What most people want is not truly excellence (in an activity or a thought or a physical object). What most people want is to feel that they are excellent. Actually, what most people want is to be just a little above average; to feel superior. They measure themselves by comparison to those around them, not by any objective standard. They need someone to feel superior to.

That is, people are driven by a need to please others, rather than to please themselves. People are in a race; what matter is not how fast you are, but that you are a little faster than the next guy. We want to compete, and win, but not to annihilate the competition, because we need to have them there to make us look good. The need is to look better than someone else.

Everyone, I think, has a little of this in them, some more than others. We are, after all, a social species; our ancestors are the ones that won these competitions. And yet we recognize that this is also something that holds us back in some ways (in directions that have nothing to do with making more little primates). It's a difficult thing to get beyond; it's our nature as primates.

So we strive to distance ourselves from the ordinary - not to be superior, not to impress the chicks - but in order to truly have our own identity, something that is separate from generic monkey nature. Not to ask, "Am I better than that guy?" but to ask, "Can I do better?" - to be focused on defining what excellence is, refining it; and this is always personal. Excellence, quality, is by nature subjective, a matter of one's own standards and values. It's about not accepting "good enough" from one's self.

Other people offer praise or criticism; it's hard not to respond to this emotionally. We take criticism of something we have done as a statement about ourselves, about our worth as a person. This stops us from actually benefitting from the criticism.

The exceptional man is able to free himself from his emotional detachment from the desire to be ordinary, the desire to impress others. The exceptional man can actually think about something other than himself; he can pursue truth, and not turn away when the truth doesn't turn out to be satisfying to the ego.

By removing this attachment, it is possible to constantly improve - by being able to recognize and admit flaws in one's self or in one's thinking, and thus be able to change them. At the same time, having removed a number of flaws leaves one open to the idea that one might still have flaws, mistakes in thinking, that you haven't discovered yet - an idea that is (so it seems) completely alien to many people, who seem convinced they must be right about everything. Honestly engaging in this process results in humility at the same time as it results in improvement.

The ordinary man has no interest in these things. He is interested only in feeding the ego, not in transcending it; in feeling good about himself, rather than actually being good. Since this is such an easy trap to fall into, it is important to keep some focus on this - to make it something in ourselves that we keep under control.

Because of this, it is easy to have contempt for this weakness in others; we hate in others what we hate most in ourselves. We express contempt for "the herd" because of our contempt for our own herdly nature, the monkey nature we are trying to transcend, which we see as a weakness in ourselves and therefore also a weakness in others - although they may not see it as a weakness in themselves. That they don't see it as a weakness is just a further weakness; the ego is all wrapped up in itself.

Is one person better than another, because one has transcended (to some extent) the ego? This is an ego-driven question, best dropped altogether. If you have made the decision to go in the direction of transcending the ego, then you have accepted that it is better to be less ego driven. But you need only compare yourself to yourself, to measure if you are improving, rather than to an external standard of where someone else is. Other people are relevant to the extent that you can learn from them.

And so, one further removes oneself from the typical ego-driven concerns of the majority of men. One loses interest in the typical concerns - who won the game last night? Do you think she likes me? Wow, I should get a car like that - it's very impressive. Did you see "Survivor" the other day?

On the one hand, we are doing something that we feel is better than what the vast majority of people are doing, in escaping from the ego. Yet on the other, we must be careful not to be prideful of that, lest we fall into yet another ego trap. On yet a third hand, we must realistically assess where we are, and whether that is truly different, and make a value judgement as to whether that difference is truly better - else why do it?

This is a delicate balancing act, and it is unsurprising that people fall off it in one direction or another at times; we want to recognize differences, while at the same time not falling into pride that we are superior (according to our own value system, the only standard by which we can judge).

In college, I had a friend who would debate with me which of us was the more humble.

"I am so humble! I am the most humble!"

No way, dude, I am like ten times as humble than you. Your humility is NOTHING compared to mine!"

... and so on.


News items taken from various sources around the world:

(Cartoons that may be used in this feature were not part of any original news stories)

Living in a Femi-Nazi State (I)
-------------------------------------------------

- From Australian Association Press, 17 June 2001


"I am not being misundertsood"


EMBATTLED magistrate Pat O'Shane said her comments about women manufacturing stories about sexual assault and domestic violence had not been misunderstood but instead targeted by people with different agendas.

Ms O'Shane today said she had been fielding many questions regarding whether she was misunderstood over comments that "a lot of" women manufactured stories about being raped, but said people understood her perfectly.

"I can say this - they are not misunderstanding me in the least little bit," she said. "I have received loads of phone calls in the last 24, 48 hours. People understand me extremely well, they know what I'm saying. I am not being misunderstood.

"Those who take an opposing position, or a position in opposition to me, have their own particular agendas and that's it. I mean, it's no great mystery, it's not even newsworthy in my opinion."

Ms O'Shane made her comments about women fabricating stories while defending Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander (ATSIC) Commissioner Geoff Clark, who last week was accused of raping four women. Mr Clark has strenuously denied the allegations.

Comment: A typical example of a person being universally vilified for speaking a truth which isn't flattering to women.


Reincarnation and Glue Sniffing

---------------------------------------------------

The Australian, 30 June 2001


Young aboriginal children are sniffing glue with the belief that it had the power to return them from the dead. In their minds, Sean Mununggurr, an aboriginal actor who played a pertol sniffer called Botj in the recent film, "Yolnga Boy", provided the evidence when he returned home last year as a movie star.

According to one elder, many children believed Sean, 17, whose movie character died from petrol sniffing, had come back to life and was proof of the benefits of sniffing.

This was reinforced by the fact that Sean, a sniffer from the age of eight who had given it up for the movie, resumed the habit on his return.

Sean did little to disencourage his small-time messiah status. He partly enjoyed it, but he was not entirely to blame. This after life story was the children's belief, so for a long time he went along with it.

In Aboriginal culture, a person's spirit is reborn in an animal or perhaps a human. Parents worry children are sometimes reckless because they are guaranteed reincarnation. For small hallucinating minds, Sean was their key to invincibility.

"It was that sort of attitude - that people can live again a second time", the town clerk, Mr Wunungmurra, said.

Comment: Let nobody say that religious fantasy isn't dangerous.


Domestic Violence More Likely From Women

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Irish Times, 6/14/01

 

Women are more likely than men to perpetrate domestic violence, according to new research on Irish couples who seek marriage counselling. It was produced by a team led by Dr Kieran McKeown, who has a distinguished reputation in social research and was commissioned by Marriage and Relationship Counselling Services, one of the main counselling organisations in the country. In a survey of 530 clients of MRCS, the researchers found domestic violence occurs in almost half (48 per cent) of all relationships which are sufficiently troubled for one or both partners to seek counselling. Where there is violence, about one-third (33 per cent) inflict violence on each other, while female-perpetrated violence occurs in about four out of 10 couples (41 per cent) and male-perpetrated violence in a quarter of couples (26 per cent) leading us to conclude that women are more likely than men to be the perpetrators of domestic violence", the report's authors say.

Comment: Since researchers have had the courage to do cross gender research into domestic violence, a truth has been revealed that every man has long since known: the equation - domestic violence = male violence against women - is pure mythology.


The Animal Nature of Music
----------------------------------------------------------

- New Scientist, 27th April 2001


Cows produce more milk when they hear slow tunes by Beethoven and REM. However, unlike many humans, they hate upbeat hits by The Beatles.

A music technology company fitted out dairy enclosures with sound equipment, so that psychologists Adrian North and Liam MacKenzie from the University of Leicester could serenade a thousand cattle with music for 12 hours a day over a nine-week period.

Slow music was defined as having a tempo of less than 100 beats per minute, while fast music had more than 120 beats per minute.

On average, each cow produced 0.73 litres more milk per day to tunes such as Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony than they did to the Beatles speedy Back in the USSR or Size of a Cow by The Wonderstuff.

"It's all about getting the right atmosphere," says Neil Cutler, a dairy farmer from near Portsmouth, UK. "The less stressed the cows are, the more easily they let down the milk."

Comment: Music speaks to the animal in each of us. Apparently, termites eat houses more energetically when they hear loud rock-and-roll, while chickens are known to respond especially well to Pink Floyd. (No joke!)


 

From the Twilight Zone

To our great shame, the most common form of response to any critical analysis of the feminine aspect of mind:

"Are you sure you're not just a bunch of hung-up, sexually repressed retentives taking your frustrations out on the female form?"


Man, Woman: fact v fiction (the debate continues...)

 

Shardrol: You can tell me till the end of time that when you use the word 'women' you don't mean all females but just the ones who exhibit those traits you label 'feminine'.

Dan Rowden: It seems to me that the trouble you have in accepting that is emotionally based.

Shardrol: I think it's logically based. The pronouncements you make sound as though you mean all women.

Dan Rowden: They refer to most women. I see no need to continually insert qualifiers like "most". One of the things that I find different between men and women, and which I think is very significant, is that men are more capable of seeing themselves as individuals; they are more able to stand apart from any generalisation made about men if they know it is not applicable to them. A man can do that but still appreciate the accuracy of the generalisation. One can say "men are blind to their idealised view of women" and that can be true, and an individual male can observe its generalised truth whilst knowing it doesn't actually apply to him, or that it only applies to x degree.

Women seem to have a problem with statements about "women" in the sense of not being able to see it as other than a proclamation about absolutely all women. That is, women are tied to a collective consciousness that men are not. When a man hears or sees statements made about "men" they know whether it applies to them or not. They automatically know that "men" refers to a generalisation.

Shardrol: And yet many men object to the generalizations about men made by feminists on precisely the grounds that they themselves aren't like that, which is something you say men don't do.

Dan Rowden: But that's different from what women do. Women don't say "that doesn't apply to me", they say "how dare you say something like that about women". Most women don't even question the validity of the statement, they only question its morality. The idea that any claim made about women might not apply to them doesn't even occur to them at all because for it to do so, it would necessitate them seeing themselves as less than "wholly" a woman. This mentality is so deep and abiding you could say just about anything about women, however extreme and however false, and most women would immediately believe it of themselves, or at least, they would have a very hard time disassociating themselves from the claim. They might say that it is not true of women, generally, at all, which is fair enough, but if they couldn't quite say that they'd have a hell of a time distancing themselves, as individuals, from the claim. 

A man can quite readily deny the truth of a generalisation, but he can also quite readily acknowledge its truth whilst distancing himself from it. Doing so doesn't make him feel less of a man.

For me, the proof of my claim here lies in what I've experienced as the fact of women's reactions to even the mildest criticisms of women. They don't stop to consider whether it is true of them, they just react to it as if there was no possibility that they could be other than just like every woman. A claim made about women applies to them by definition. That's the key difference - a woman must deny that a claim is true as a generalisation whereas a man can acknowledge its truth whilst seeing himself as something apart from it - an exception. It is much, much easier for a man to see himself as an exception to the rule. Indeed, for many men, it is even a desire which can lead them to falsely believe that they are such an exception. The important thing, however, is the ability to stand apart as an individual.

Shardrol: I actually think that most people, both men & women, accept generalizations about a category they belong to according to whether they can see the characteristics of the generalization within themselves or not.

Dan Rowden: That's a pretty brainless way to divine the truth of a generalisation (it also expresses the logical fallacy of composition).

Shardrol: Unless they are the ones making the generalizations. Then they'll often say 'these people are like this, but I am not'.

Dan Rowden: Yes, but it depends on whether the generalisation is meant to express something positive or negative. Obviously if it's the latter one will try to exclude oneself from it. But I have to ask: how many genuinely negative generalisations have you heard women make about women? Even when women occasionally do it, they do it in such a way as to make it sound like the negative thing women are doing is actually some kind of virtue, some kind of sacrifice women make. E.g. "Most women attend far too little to their own needs".


Shardrol: I have come across quite a few women who have spiritual interest & depth.

Dan Rowden: Ok, but what, exactly, differentiates them from the rest? A willingness to talk about matters of substance? Lots of academic females can do that on some level. Is it consistency over time? A genuine change that occurs in them because of their thought? I'm curious as to what characteristics you see in these women that you think sets them apart.

Shardrol: You are thinking in terms of women in our Western industrialized culture & some of the women I'm talking about are not part of that. You also have to remember that I don't think the only path to understanding of Reality is through the intellect.

Dan Rowden: I think that difference makes a lot of difference. My views, taken through the filters of your perspective will undoubtedly make a lot less sense. However I hold firmly to the view that the path of reason and intellectual discrimination is the only path to Truth.

Shardrol: What characterizes these women is courage, dedication, commitment & focus. I would think this would characterize anybody who is serious about anything.

Dan Rowden: Most people are committed to and focused on their pursuit of happiness and egotistical gratification. I'm talking specifically about focus and commitment in areas that involve the abstract. I've never met a woman, other than on this list, who was remotely interested in getting rid of her ego, and that includes Buddhist and Hindu women. The idea that one can benefit from a painful truth is not something that is easily adopted by the feminine mind.

For my part, I have never, ever witnessed women indulging in any kind of sustained and serious discussion about more abstract issues. A man and a woman can certainly have such a discussion but it is usually the man that sustains its tempo and keeps its focus. The woman responds in kind to the discussion environment but this is usually more about connecting on a level other than the purely abstract and intellectual. That is, the content of the "debate" is less significant than the fact of the interplay between the participants.

It's almost impossible for me to conceive of two or three women having a sustained and serious discussion of any duration on issues that don't involve conventional "womanish" concerns. It could be argued, I suppose, that because women are adept as certain forms of multi-tasking that their conversational style is always more complex than that of males and that they can incorporate more facets into their discussions, but my experience is that the womanly stuff inevitably takes over the discussion almost entirely. Of course, women can and do maintain issue focus in a contrived context with set parameters for discussion (e.g. an academic debate), but does that focus and concern remain outside those set parameters? I've never seen it.

Shardrol: Never ever? That amazes me. More & more I believe that the differences in the way you & I view other people have more to do with our life circumstances than anything else. I grew up in New York, a huge multicultural city; I've lived & traveled in many different places such as London, Wales, India, Nepal, Russia, Israel, California & Vermont. I think there's a good chance that my sample of humanity is a lot larger & more varied than what's available in West Bicyclesville, Australia. There are more things in heaven & on earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Well on earth, anyway.

Dan Rowden: I doubt it. Brisbane isn't that small a place. But you're right to some extent, I am extrapolating on my own experience, but what I've seen of women from other parts of the world, in the various ways that I've observed them, makes me think those extrapolations are valid enough.

Over the last couple of years I've attended a number of local discussions regarding predominantly politically-oriented issues. These discussions/debates have been attended by roughly equal numbers of men and women and the women have been as vocal and vigorous in these debates as the men. But when the formally allotted time for the discussion is over, I have never seen any women continue to discuss the issue at hand (though they sometimes discuss the tenor and conduct of the debate - that is, they gossip about it). It's as if a curtain comes down on a performance they've attended and it's now business us usual - women's business, that is. They just go straight into gossip mode and talk about anything and everything other than the issue they were so animatedly concerned with not 5 minutes earlier. The reason for that is that they were never really there for the sake of the matter at hand at all - it was just a vehicle through which they could come together in some sort of "communal" activity.

I see that behaviour manifest in most discussions between men and women. They can have a seemingly deep and meaningful on the question of the nature of the infinite or the ego or whatever, and the woman may seem to be matching it intellectually with the man and expressing an equal degree of interest and motivation. But when the discussion is ended, the man walks away with the substance of it etched into his mind and will most likely continue to think about it for some time to come. The woman will forget it almost immediately, because it has nowhere to take hold in her brain; it is not committed to memory in a logical way - her next thought will probably be: "Oh, I've got to meet Betty and have a coffee and chat about her pregnancy."

It's kind of like the difference between computer memory: a man's mind is like the hard-drive; a woman's like the RAM. When you turn the system on and feed data into it you can do all sorts of great stuff and all the components seem to be interfacing just fine, but when you hit the reset button or turn the system off, the RAM just disappears into that mysterious ether where all RAM stuff goes. You can't just retrieve the data that is created and saved in the case of the hard-drive, you have to feed it all in again and create the same dynamic.

Shardrol: Perhaps, as you said earlier, the female brain is more suited to multi-tracked experience & the tenor & conduct of the debate is another dimension of meaning which can be important in addition to the actual content.

Dan Rowden: I think that is probably true, but my point is that the former is actually more important to them because it involves relationships and human behaviour, more than it does impersonal, abstract considerations.

Shardrol: But why do you call it gossip? Is talking about people & their behavior always gossip?

Dan Rowden: It is if it's gossipy! It's gossip because it is idle chatter about other people which does not relate directly to the matter at hand but more to issues of social standing and whether this person's child is behaving well at the after school care program or whether Mr Perkins is speaking out of turn according to his social standing and so forth. That is, they talk about the people at the discussion in a way that has nothing whatever to do with the discussion. It is the usual female chatter.

Shardrol: I have observed the mirror image of your discussion with David Hodges about his ex-girlfriend played out in countless cafés around the world. Davida talks about the behavior of her former boyfriend & Dana helps her to see that it's not just this one instance but it's an example of 'how men really are'. Dana has given up on men, it's just not worth it to her anymore, & even though Davida clearly sees this point, & acknowledges that her chats with Dana are a lot more interesting than her former wranglings with the boyfriend, she'll probably backslide into another relationship.

Dan Rowden: Well, yes, I see that, but it doesn't mean that David will. The difference is, though, I am legitimately interested in examining the essential nature of relationships and ego and am attempting to inspire David into a similar investigation; I'm not simply indulging his emotions and ego. Davida and Dana are just crapping on emotionally. They probably couldn't give a rat's whether their statements are true or not. It's the emotional connection that counts for them. If I suspected David was beginning to get some sort of moral kudos or suchlike out of the discussion, I'd be the first to pounce on it.

Shardrol: In addition, I think that the shallow 'culture of appearance' that so many women buy into is mirrored by the mindless accumulation of equipment & channeling of energy into games that characterizes many men. It just doesn't make sense to me to characterize spiritual or philosophical interests as 'masculine'.

Dan Rowden: The difference is passivity verses aggression and proactivity. The two cultures of appearance are very different, even if equally egotistical. The difference lies in one of the essential differences between the sexes - submitting and conforming to an ideal (feminine) and actively creating that ideal (masculine). Men create rules and structures and formulas and that is reflected in the way games and sports are conducted. Male minds are more structured and prone to making connections in an active, conscious way. The feminine mind flows spontaneously and unconsciously with the fashion of the moment. It is far more likely, for example, that in a group setting a woman's emotional state will be affected by her surroundings than will be the case for a man. A man is much more likely to actively take a conversation in a direction he thinks it should go, to find some resolution of some kind - or for whatever end - but a woman will take on board the emotional ambience of the environment and flow along with it like the others. We give it the fancy name of "empathy" but it's actually just passivity.

Shardrol: No I think it's empathy. A method of understanding other people through temporarily identifying with them.

Dan Rowden: It's having your own feelings validated by connection with externals. That is pure femininity.

Each sex is affected by their surroundings and responds to them, but those responses are very different in nature. Men are superficial; that's not something I'm going to argue about. Sports and male-oriented games are pretty mundane. But the psychology that underpins such activity comprises the soil out of which the more fully masculine seed can germinate. It is eminantly arable soil. It is the overcoming, the will to conquer, to defeat, to construct rules of engagement that speak to the task at hand; it is the will to mould and create not be moulded and created. It's the difference between going out and meeting a problem head-on and waiting for the problem to come to you. Indeed, it's the will to create "problems" in the first place. To come up against resistance; to shake your fist at reality and demand something from it, as opposed to, as I said, flowing along with the current and encountering no resistance at all.

Many will say that the feminine way makes more sense, that men just create problems for themselves to solve just to gratify their egos; they'll claim that it is stupid to create resistance where there is no need of it . But the important factor is that ignorance and delusion are hard facts about our natures. Circumventing such things - defeating and transcending them - necessitates a mind that welcomes challenge and resistance, difficulty and burden, responsibility and duty, aggression and proactivity. It necessitates a mind that is willing to swim against the tide because it knows that the prevailing current is one that sweeps us down into that sea of ignorance and delusion.

It is a mind that begins with seemingly mundane and superficial desires like wanting to run over the top of someone to score a touch-down.

Shardrol: I wasn't talking so much about playing sports as about watching them, which is the more common activity.

Dan Rowden: Sure, but the underlying mentality is still there. Men identify with structure - the rules of the game. They get animated by two things when watching sport: 1) skillful play and 2) contravention of the rules or instances where the rules get in the way of the goal of the game. And even if their experience of the challenges and overcoming of obstacles is vicarious, that's still what they're relating to.

Shardrol: The games I was referring to are electronic, rather than something like tennis.

Dan Rowden: The evidence seems to indicate that boys and men show far more focus and resolve in attempting to play and complete computer games. Also, most computer games that males prefer involve completing challenges and overcoming obstacles and difficulties, or they involve strategy and structure, foresight and creativity, whether they be first person shooters like Duke Nukem or strategy games like Civilization or just computer golf or Rally V or whatever. The basic psychology of computer games isn't any different to physical sports.


Shardrol: Your assumption here is that only focused intellectual discussion is useful. You equate a woman's ability to switch gears quickly as indicating lack of actual interest in the topic, but I think it's more than likely that it will come up for her again in another context. I do think in general women are less linear in their thinking than men, but that doesn't mean they don't have actual sustained interest in serious things.

Dan Rowden: I think it does, because all the trivial, superficial stuff she considers in the meantime is more important to her, which is why the focus is not sustained. It that wasn't the case, it would be. The type of focus I'm talking about is that where certain issues are all that matters and everything else is an annoying distraction from them. Women can certainly come back to an issue over and over again, but each time they do so at the same level they left it last time. There's no continuity and therefore no penetration. One of the indicators, to me, of genuine resolve, is what many would consider an unhealthy obsession, a kind of fanaticism. I reckon that without that level of dedication there is no authentic interest at all. If you are not haunted by a problem day or night then that problem is clearly not uppermost in your value system. Women are most haunted by their level of acceptance and by their social status and security. I have never in my life had any woman tell me she's being haunted by a question such as that of, say, the notion that a person can enjoy their suffering and therefore be unwilling to part with it or of the nature of the Infinite or any fundamental philosophic issue. Of course, academic women may be haunted by such questions but only because the environment demands it - they have to write a paper or prove themselves to their peers etc.


Shardrol: Al once wrote here about how men learn a lot of ways of defusing conflict between themselves whereas women, who are not as likely to be punched in the nose for something they say, often don't have these skills. But I think that the apparent subject-changes in female conversation can serve the same purpose.

Dan Rowden: Hell yes, I agree with that 100%. I think woman are actually far better versed in conflict defusing than men. Most conversations between women are 85% or more concerned with that very thing. I think most subject changes are for that very purpose. The subtle nuances of female conversation in the sense of judging and decrying without appearing to be doing those things are quite astounding at times. Another one of the differences between men and women is that when a man backs away from his views to avoid conflict, he feels weak and pathetic afterwards for having done so; a woman does not because the conflict resolution is, for her, a thing to be valued in itself, whereas for the man it's just a means of avoiding a clout on the scone. A man will seldom back away from his views if the other man offers no significant threat to him. He doesn't move to defuse conflict for the sake of doing it.

I admit, myself, over the years, that I have shut my face when confronted by a bloke I knew could kick my arse big time, or who had a propensity to argue a point with his fists rather than his mouth. I may be stubborn but I'm not stupid.

Shardrol: A tangential excursion into a friendly discussion of where to buy vegetables in the middle of some more lofty topic can indicate that there is no animosity on either side & that it's acceptable for them to disagree. Men, being usually more linear, indicate this in other ways but they do indicate it.

Dan Rowden: But that female need to connect and defuse possible conflict is, in my view, part of the problem. It expresses an inability to face the fact of inevitable conflict between ideas; it also indicates that the human connection is more important to them than anything else. Once diverged, women hardly ever return to the initial issue. I think it's also part of the problem that women, in that effort to find common ground, can't find it in anything other than vegetables! Why can't they simply find it in the substance of the issue at hand, regardless of any possible or inevitable difference of opinion? Men do. Men can disagree vehemently on any number of issues without it having any effect on their "relationship". That seems to be far less true of women. "Conflict" seems to mean quite different things for men and women. For women it means open disagreement of any kind; for men it means getting to the stage where the discussion has lost its meaning and chest beating is more attractive.

How many women do you think could call the other woman a fucking moron, or say "that is so utterly stupid" in a discussion without that really meaning much? Women always seem to have to be validating each other, and that's because they need the validation themselves. Men can abuse and insult their way through a debate and no-one gives a damn because they don't need the validation of any mind but their own. The more masculine the man, the truer this is.


Genius-L at a Glance:

In my experience, there is usually a small window of opportunity in most people's lives, usually when they are in their teens or twenties, in which their minds suddenly become freer and more imaginitive and they begin to take a genuine interest in philosophical issues.   It's as though their soul suddenly wakes up and starts to take a look around.   It is during this period that their "genius seed" is most likely to sprout, and so it is precisely here that a few wise words from a sage could prove crucial.  It could be enough to tip the person over a threshold and elevate him to a new level of existence.    It could represent the difference between him growing wings and soaring off into the philosophical heavens, or receding back into an average human being once again. But once people pass this window of opportunity, everything seems to change quite rapidly.   If they haven't been turned on to the spiritual path by this momentous phase, then their "genius seed" tends to shrivel up pretty quickly, and they become almost entirely tone deaf to the music of Truth. David Quinn


I've known a lot of people with a high IQ in my life.  I used to seek them out because I thought they knew something.  They don't.  They just have a high IQ.  That means they are good at taking IQ tests.  IQ tests measure one's ability to solve verbal & spatial & logical problems.  This skill does not necessarily translate to anything useful or even interesting.  It doesn't mean they are creative thinkers.  It doesn't mean they are not small-minded, conformist & mundane.  It just means they have some particular cognitive advantage but that's all it means. Shardrol


You must re-invent the meaning for yourself. When you reach a point intellectually where nothing and everything has value you begin to see value has an ascending and desending scale. Irena.


I do not buy the feminine=evil and masculine=good stuff either. But still, beneath that "creative use of words", some quality thinking is occuring (in my opinion that is). So you would be quite foolish not to take it seriously.   I think that is why some have expressed concern about the use of "not for women", since if this list was all bullshit, it would be great to discourage people from subscribing. Naturally the concern is based on a belief that the list is worthwile.  On this list I simply take what is useful to me and my pursuit of truth. I do not care much about how the individual members like to define the words they use, words are not important, the thinking behind them is.   Alex Meyer 


How do you describe something that has no center?  To my mind, society seems to be a swirling vortex of cows following cows, pure unadulterated unconsciousness, the incarnation of mindlessness, aimlessness, a large noisy blob of meaningless interaction.  It's not even the sum-total of billions of egotistical beings - it's worse than that. Bob Willis


Animals distinguish among things, plants grow toward the sun as opposed to away from it, rocks respond to their environments, but, as with other people, you can't know for sure.  Even if you could do a Vulcan mind-meld would you be certain that what you were experiencing was not a creation of your own conscious? Bob Willis


Emptiness is the true nature of things;  things as they really are - appearances unencumbered by delusional assumptions of solid essence (e.g. that a given thing exists even when one is not experiencing it, or that things are manifestations of a "real" thing behind the appearance, etc.).  Bob Willis


Most people live for comfort, yes.  What's tragic to me is when someone temporarily lifts their head out of the fuzz for a bit only to go diving back in, this time for good. Shardrol


i reject values that conflict with mine for a number of reasons; one major reason is that they are often moral. morality enslaves humanity and so i want to see it stake out as little a claim on our collective existence as possible. instead, i believe in freedom. of course, that's just an arbitrary, personal value... although i think many people, if they understood the issues involved, would see things my way. David Schnur


After all, what does it matter what men think if we get our way on the issues important to us in the end anyhow?  Genie

It's true. What men think is of no importance to you. It's also of no importance to my cat.  As long as she gets fed, she is happy.  She doesn't care what I am thinking, as long as she gets petted and the food bowl is full. No doubt she thinks she's in charge, since she has someone who will go fetch food for her, clean up her litterbox and so on.  On the issues that are important to her, she gets her way.  She's happy.
David Hodges


I see enlightenment as the perfection of consciousness and the masculine aspect of mind as the best tool for that attainment (and the feminine its greatest barrier). Because I value enlightenment, which necessitates a heightening of consciousness, I necessary take a position against unconsciousness and ignorance, which is why I am against the feminine in any mind. Dan Rowden


In any ego-based relationship, one has to remember that one is seeing that other through the filters of one's own egotistical desires.  The person you're living with, or the person you think you're living with, may be someone entirely different from who that person really is.  Indeed, this happens in interaction between people all the time, whether they're in a relationship or not.   My "community support program" case manager, for example, who is a woman in her mid twenties, filters out everything about me that is genuinely spiritual or philosophic in nature.  I'm stuffed if I know who and what she thinks I am, but I know that she does not know me in the slightest.  This will sound a tad theatrical but I consider it a kind of violence we perpetrate against people.  We literally kill them off - we destroy who they really are and reinvent them.  We symbolically murder them. Dan Rowden


There is a real philosophical lethargy currently pervading Western society right across the board, which is directly linked to the unconscious,"anything goes, all paths are equal" mentality that sums up our age.    Fighting against this mentality is like fighting against empty space.   You rarely hit anything and you can never win.   It can be very discouraging. It won't be long before we will all be squawking "SO WHAT" like dumb parrots.  It's where we are all heading.  We're a species that is slowing sinking into maximum entropy.  Even the rebels are becoming too enervated to resist. David Quinn


I have never been convinced that Nietzsche was entirely serious in the concept of the Ubermench.  He was somewhat serious, I reckon, but he was fond of using inversion.  It is hard for me to look at the species of man and imagine anything super about it.  I always thought that he intended the Ubermench as somewhat of a prank or practical joke.  Marsha Faizi


Killing is a vicious cycle.  For the federal government to kill McVeigh does not set an example of why one should not kill.  McVeigh died a hero's death.  He is a martyr to his cause.  He set out to die for a cause and that is what he accomplished.  He was defiant until death.  There are a lot of people who want to be heroes; who may emulate McVeigh.  His execution rather eggs this on.  His death did not bring so called closure to the families of the victims.  Grief does not end that easily.  Marsha Faizi


From the Archives....

 

Date: Fri, 01 Aug 1997
From: Kevin Solway
Subject: Truth and Stereotypes

I do not believe one is justified in refraining from speaking the truth just because that truth will serve to reinforce negative stereotypes in the minds of idiots. We should not always structure our lives around the lowest common denominator, but, rather, we should aim for the stars. We should direct our gaze upwards and strive boldly forwards rather than forever looking backwards and downwards into the gutter out of fear of the stinking mob.

We will never break-out of the vicious cycle of samsara by pandering to the weaknesses of the unintelligent.

I can use language any way I want to, but I have specifically chosen to use it in the way I do. We live in an age where nobody speaks the truth. Statements of truth are never heard from our religious leaders, never from our scientists, never from poets and artists, never from musicians, never from politicians, never from writers and storytellers, and never from parents and friends. If I do not speak the truth then who will?

There is an
extreme difference between the feminine mode of thought and the masculine mode of thought. The masculine mode of thought is essential if we are to continue to evolve mentally as a species. What is more, the masculine mode of thought is hardly found in women at all, such that very few women can even conceive of what the masculine mode of thought is. In order to understand something one needs to have it as part of oneself.

Women are also the main attachment of men (as well as of women). So for all these reasons I will continue to speak of "women" and "men", otherwise I will not be using the correct tools for the job that needs to be done, and I will not be speaking the truth. In our age, possibly more than in any other, we need to speak the direct truth. Veiled or hidden truth is no truth at all.


All images in this publication are taken from "The Devil's Gallery" http://www.theabsolute.net

Compiled and edited by David Quinn davidquinn000@optusnet.com.au and Dan Rowden danrowden@optusnet.com.au

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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