Masculine, Feminine

Women struggling with need to please (SMH)

Psychology Today blog article by Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D. (JUne 2009)

"When asked, people think that novel, uncertain events will be less pleasurable than feeling absolutely certain and possessing every bit of information possible in a situation. However, scientists are finding that when events are new and uncertain our pleasure is more likely to be intense; it will linger longer and be more meaningful. What this means is that most of us are doing the exact opposite of what will bring us fulfillment."

This blog echoes others I have read, Hugh Mackay,1 Charles Handy, William Butler Yeats2, Jane Roberts3 et al, in that handling surprise, challenge and difficulty is the stuff of life. It's why we're here. To learn, stretch and grow.

It's a common theme for success. As Lolly Daskal explains "By listening to your inner self and following your compass within,  you will find a life that is aligned with your talents, truth and values."

As Todd explains:

"How can you thrive in an uncertain, unpredictable, rapidly evolving world?

Explore your deepest, most central values by devoting time for introspection. Schedule this time as you would your workout sessions and doctor appointments."

I wrote in Be and Become that to handle uncertainty effectively, it behoves one to remain centred; to enable our internal gyroscope (values, beliefs) to steady our stance as the ship of life rocks and rolls in turbulent seas. Most hang on to the ships structure (ego, material things), losing a sense of direction, purpose and stability, and ultimately left feeling at the mercy of the elements. Steve Chandler explains that we hang on to our personalities at the expense of relationships, commitments and results.

Fiona Smith reports that "Happiness isn't enough - if you want to really flourish, you have to be prepared to be negative too."4

In an interview with Prof. Barbar Fredrickson (author, Positivity), Fiona reports that "experiencing negative emotions is crucial for mental social health." Fredrickson explains "'Research suggests that negative emotions are a very critical ingredient in flourishing. The honest expression of negative emotions is vital,' she says via phone from the US."

I believe it's also important to trust that which extends beyond ourselves ... the wider community, and our wider-than-thought (at-once, nonlocal) intuition.

Todd concludes:

"Forget about the pursuit of happiness. Create a life that matters and you might catch happiness along the way.

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoidance of danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
~Helen Keller~"

Additional good stuff

This from Hugh Mackay:

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/478028-i-actually-attack-the-concept-of-happiness-the-idea-that

  • 1. "I just want my kids to be happy," I hear people say, as if happy kids are part of their perfect picture of themselves. But what a dreadful fate to befall anyone, just being happy. What about anguish, despair, panic and pain? Shouldn't our offspring experience the lot? "We grow through pain," we say, mining the wisdom of the ages and mouthing it like a slogan. But then we expect our every pain to be eased instantaneously: "Quick, a pill! I need perfect happiness!"

    {C}

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Leading God: Raw Individuality

At a dinner party recently I explained that "genuine creativity leads God", in that everyone else (including God1) is genuinely, gob-smackingly surprised by our raw originality.

One woman was deeply shocked and horrified by the idea. She said she completely "shut down" with regards to anything else I had to say. Golly.

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The power of the reciprocal test

Recently enjoyed a few email exchanges with a well-meaning, good-natured friend.

The communications included ideas concerning "God".

Now, as I have found in many such "arguments" there are entrenched views that aren't often swayed by counter-arguments — here's one example where simple straight-forward reasoning didn't change this person's belief one bit, it seems.

Be that as it may, there is a very helpful technique that enables one to see the bias in beliefs.

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Men are particles, women are waves

Update (August, 2016) - see latest regarding the dynamics of gender

When writing Be and Become during the latter half of the 90's, the various revisions of the manuscript1 included chapter (Nine) titled as "Men are particles, women are waves".

However, prior to publication I had the thought (contrary to my better instincts) that the chapter would best be titled differently, to what is now "Material men, wonderful women". It was, I thought, less likely to be dismissed as 'stereotyping' people, even though I felt at ease with the "Men are particles ..." title.  "Men are particles, women are waves" quite adroitly and succinctly expresses the inherent dynamics of life towards individualism, and collectivism -- men and male animals do (as a general rule!) bias themselves towards the hard, physical, individualistic side to life (characteristic of particles). Women do bias themselves towards the soft, interconnective, cooperative, relationship side to life (characteristic of waves and fields).

Stereotyping?

Hardly -- walk down any street asking everyone encountered their occupation.  Then note the gender percentages of those in the 'hard-sciences', engineering and Information Technologies, compared with those in care services, humanities and communications.

The bias is not because men or women are 'pushed' into the various professions, or due to restrictions such as 'glass ceilings'. There's been plenty of attempts to get more women into IT, but they simply just aren't as interested ... as a GENERAL rule!. Yes, there's always exceptions, but we're talking 'bias' in numbers, of percentages, not of exceptions.

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Looking backwards, for control

Just ran across a wonderful quote by Harriet Rubin, which I expect will be lost on many:

"Freedom is actually a bigger game than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash."

I found that quote while researching one by Einstein that I consider an important one, as did Einstein himself:

The most important question a person can ask is, 'Is the Universe a friendly place?"

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What's missing from The Law of Attraction?

In recent years there's been much talk of the Law of Attraction, popularised in the film "The Secret".

As with many systems of belief, there is a great deal that is helpful and uplifting about the "Law of Attraction".  We can and do attract favourable (or unfavourable) 'things' into our lives, based on our beliefs.

But the attractive principle is a deeply feminine energy - it's reliant on the receptive (on receiving); of being open and inviting.

What's missing is quite simple to see and appreciate: the masculine energy of deliberate, forceful 'action.'

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Insourcing the masculine

Last night as I watched a televised studio-debate on sexual harassment in the workforce, I found that I was feeling increasingly troubled. This trouble I sense is of particular relevance and importance to those who want to get great outcomes.

During the debate about how bad and uneducated the perpetrators were it seemed to me that a great big elephant in the room was being steadfastly ignored.

In terms of sexual harassment, what's that 'great big elephant in the room'? There's actually two of them, but I digress.

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Control of 'psycho-destiny'

Recently I had a fairly involved, long chat with a friend about the deeper frameworks and dynamics of life. What came to light was how much we both knew but weren't applying to our own lives.

In particular was the realisation that we were both on the path of learning, and needing to learn how to 'let go' the pressures of society to be responsible, and to simply be ourselves, independent of the opinions of, and commitments to others.

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The immense importance of understanding 'masculine' and 'feminine'

By coincidence I've only recently (namely, this morning) come across a 1991 paper by Prof. Robert Jahn of Princeton's famous1 PEAR laboratory.

Jahn's paper is quite extraordinary, at least for me, for it covers many of the basic concepts that I wrote about in my book Be and Become.2

One of the central points of Jahn's paper is that not understanding the complementarity of 'masculine' and 'feminine' fuels "immensely destructive" behaviours and results, both personally and socially. From Jahn's paper:

When posed in polar opposition, whether within a single personality, or in the context of the ubiquitous interactions between the male and the female sexes, the failures of this interface are legion, legendary, and immensely destructive, both personally and socially. Yet, when deployed in constructive complementarity, the masculine/feminine integration within the individual can enable the highest creativity and personal satisfaction, and in the male/female partnership can generate some of the highest accomplishments, profoundest insights, and most beautiful resonances of human existence. In this form, it is probably the species' most powerful resource for spiritual as well as physical survival and evolution.

Why I concur with Jahn is that the deeper nature of what 'feminine' and 'masculine' actually mean is not widely understood or appreciated.

  • 1. or infamous, according to skeptics and assorted naysayers. See my article on sceptics and their brethren
  • 2. I used to think that I was well ahead of other thinkers on the subject of the deep frameworks of life, but Jahn has demonstrated he largely got there first! I suppose my contribution is the comprehensiveness of my work, going well beyond that of Jahn's paper. Still, I freely give recognition when it is appropriate and deserved.

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