We made it — all the way to the twenty-first century! And yet, in spite of our many achievements, we still haven’t mastered the most basic principles. Amazing. Technology has made our lives easier and more productive…but also dizzying and confusing. Cultures now smash up against each other with an immediacy like never before. At the click of a button, a person in China can reach out to a friend in the USA — and casually share the details of the latest drama surrounding their mutual friend in New Zealand. When differences in language become a problem, the click of another button calls online translators to help smooth the way. However, we have yet to overcome the fundamental communicative obstacle to our continued survival and evolution: namely, the ability for men and women to reach a mutually beneficial long-term intimate accord.
All You Need is Love?
Divorce rates hover around fifty percent in some of the larger Western nations: sources provide estimates as high as fifty-five percent in Sweden, and forty-six percent in the United States and Australia. However, men and women (and to an increasing degree in some countries, couples of the same sex) continue to boldly venture into the realm of proposed lifetime commitment — despite the coin-toss odds. The problem is not so much one of our being able to get together: hormones and brain chemistry solve that problem for us. Instead, our greatest challenge is in continuing to find ways to communicate and work together — so that we might stay together. Once the urgency of hormonal attraction begins to diminish, in the face of the day-in/day-out exigencies of life, the challenge of maintaining cohesiveness proves too great for many couples.
Of course, there’s always the odd chance that the partners were just ill-suited to one another — or simply, the “blindness” afforded them by love wore off over time. However, another set of statistics reveals that such breakdowns in our relationships are not only common, but also repetitive: in the United States, fifty percent of first marriages, sixty-seven percent of second marriages, and seventy-three percent of third marriages end in divorce. Even when one accounts for a potential discrepancy in the percentages themselves, the trend speaks volumes for the probability that there’s something lacking in the general understanding of the requirements for a productive marriage.
Perhaps there’s some mystical after-effect of marriage that only emerges once the couple is hitched. In an effort to test the waters, many couples opt to form cohabiting relationships, either prior to marriage or as an alternative to marriage. However, a complex array of statistics and surveys that cover the range of cohabiting relationships (and their outcomes) seems to suggest that living together as an intimate couple can be even more stressful than marriage.
Before we begin to pull the veil off the matter, let’s also consider those individuals who are currently dating. There’s no clear picture relating the average number of intimate partners a person will have before he or she decides to settle down, not settle down, or pull out of the pursuit of intimate involvement altogether. One would surmise that as the number of an individual’s past sexual partners increases, so too does the negative perception of members of the opposite sex; the interest in formulating lasting partnerships (those that go beyond mere sexual pursuits) begins to wane. Often, when singles gather amongst members of their own sex, laments of how those of the opposite sex are all just alike are certain to be tabled and seconded.
Behind the Veil
At this point in the evolution of humankind, we continue to suffer greatly from our failure to rise to a long-standing challenge: the requirement to overcome emotions and desire to such an extent that our actions are driven by a positive and informed will. Two crucial facets of human character derive from this challenge: i.) Discipline, and ii.) Integrity. Across the spectrum of most human endeavor, we’ve proven woefully unwilling to address our inadequacy in these particular areas. In other words, a person must be in command — while remaining keenly aware of the requirements of any given moment. Also, that person must stand directly accountable for the consequences of those commands (and the actions that follow)! Our shortcomings in this regard (failure to correctly assume command, unwillingness to be amenable to command, and lack of accountability) prove to be the chief impediment to the formation of long-term intimate relationships between men and women.
Or perhaps it’s not a matter of evolution — and thus, not something we can overcome — but rather that we are victims of a constitutional deficiency.
Adam’s Big Mistake
The Old Testament narrative of Genesis clearly presents the case that our failure in this regard is a fundamental challenge for human character. Following a rather matter-of-fact examination of the allegory contained in the scriptural account of the creation of Adam & Eve, we will reconsider the circumstances that precipitated their expulsion from the garden of Eden.
Beginning at Genesis 2:7 NASB, we read that God first creates the man, and situates him in a paradise — giving him an express command to exercise discipline:
7. Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
8. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
11. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
13. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.
14. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15. Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
16. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
God seeks to create a companion for Adam after commanding him to maintain discipline. When several subsequent creations prove unsuitable, God fashions the woman:
18. Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
19. Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.
20. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
21. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
22. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
23. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
25. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Although we are offered no account of how long Adam & Eve enjoyed their blissfully innocent existence together, we are informed of the development of a problem at the beginning of the third chapter of Genesis NASB:
1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, `You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
2. The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3. but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4. The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
5. “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In Genesis 3:6-8 NASB, the woman (who had not received any direct command requiring her to exercise discipline) begins to act according to her whim; and she takes what she wants, as she desires. Subsequently, Adam abrogates his responsibility to maintain discipline; and he follows the woman:
6. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
7, Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
8. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
When Adam’s transgression is uncovered, and he seeks to avoid accountability for his actions, he attempts to cast responsibility onto the woman — demonstrating his lack of integrity. In Genesis 3:9-13 NASB, we read:
9. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10. He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11. And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12. The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
13. Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Before they are cast out of the garden of Eden, both Adam and Eve are made aware that consequences follow their every action. Eve shall desire to follow Adam, despite her misgivings; because he carries the weight of integrity. Adam is reprimanded for his flagging integrity. In Genesis 3:16-24 NASB, we read:
16. To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
17. Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, `You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19. By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
20. Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
21. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
22. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” —
23. therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
24. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
The above scriptural account provides us with a key insight into the nature of man, the nature of woman, and the manner in which their challenges and responsibilities differ. Woman is afforded the luxury of caprice. Although it was the woman whose whim instigated the transgression, she was not held accountable for her action — because it was the man who had directly received the command to exercise discipline. However, they both suffered the consequences of their actions.
Here, we also bear witness to the birth of The Bitch Politic. Eve wanted what she wanted, when she wanted it. And caring not about consequences (perhaps much like an infant, she had yet to learn), she invited her partner to join her in wrongdoing. Clearly, we would be justified in applying the Bitch label to her — after reflection upon her behavior. However, Adam’s actions were even more “bitch” than Eve’s: he not only went along with the wrongdoing she proposed, but he later attempted to offload the responsibility for his errant actions back onto her.
The Bitch Politic, Codified
Scholars have suggested that the book of Genesis was authored around 3500 years ago, during the time of Moses (1391–1271 BCE); supposedly, it was a compilation of earlier accounts that were handed down through a patriarchal lineage. Even by that period, behaviors that exhibited a lack of discipline clearly had been designated as being feminine in character. At the same time, the lack of integrity that was often evident in the behavior of those who were in positions of authority (namely, the males) was attributed to their affinity for the females — and to their own constitutional susceptibility to feminine seduction. Although countless examples of integrity are mentioned (both on the part of males and females) in scripture, there was still a general fear of the unpredictability of the feminine influence.
However, there was not much acknowledgement of a simple fact: one does not give birth to that with which one has no intrinsic connection. A lion does not give birth to a bear. Likewise, crocodiles are not born of giraffes. Granted, the instance of the creation of Adam (and his woman) was an exceptional case. Thereafter, every other human (both male and female) was ushered into the material world through the womb of the female. Because one can only give birth to that with which one has an intrinsic connection, at least some measure of the feminine nature is intrinsic to the male. And because pregnancy is only instigated through the coupling of male and female essences, some measure of the male nature is intrinsic to the female.
In his groundbreaking work, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, psychologist Julian Jaynes theorized that during the period in which many of the founding texts and scriptures of Western civilization were authored, the human mind was not yet capable of the abilities of consciousness we enjoy today. As recently as 3000 years ago, there was not sufficient communication between the hemispheres of the human brain to support higher mental faculties such as reason and reflection. Even the Bible itself presents a case for the possibility of mankind’s evolution of character: as it progresses from book to book, the foibles of biblical figures become more complex and nuanced.
We continue to look to the writings of the ancients in a fashion that places their messages above reproach; and this is a mistake! At the same time, we ignore the probability that the human species is continuously undergoing an evolutionary process. It’s not just that our world is evolving; instead, in response to the changes in our world, we ourselves are evolving. Owing to that evolution, many of our abilities far exceed those of our ancestors.
One perspective that has passed down to us unchanged is the perplexity with which the ancients viewed the feminine nature. Further along in history, the appearance of concepts such as women’s prerogative found their way into law, providing easement for the emotional unpredictability attributed to women. Unfortunately, such laws were also used as a basis for the continuing oppression of women.
A large part of our problem in the modern day stems from society’s continuation of an ages-old attempt to arrest a natural volatility that finds its expression in the feminine nature. While patriarchal cultures have focused their efforts on the control of women through direct suppression, they have wasted energies that might have been better spent on the cultivation of the positive potentials of the men. In fact, the suppression of women (arising from men’s fear of being overpowered by their volatile feminine nature) tends to give rise to the more negative aspects of the masculine character — thereby precluding the development of the positive aspects. For at least the past 3000 years, our world has been out of balance in this fashion.
Yet, even with the benefit of thousands of years’ worth of examples of how things can go horribly wrong if discipline and integrity are not the moderating factors guiding an individual’s (or a society’s) actions, we persist in erring foolishly. We should know better. And sadly enough, although we can now do better, we all too often chose to do otherwise.
Time for a New Thing
In the current day, as women continue their emergence from the shackles of patriarchal oppression, a new dynamic is developing. Women are rising to wield true economic and social power — that which was formerly the exclusive province of males — and the world climate is increasingly welcoming a matriarchal slant. Not surprisingly, their mood is often angry: female leaders tend to mimic the darker qualities of their male counterparts, against whom they find themselves in direct competition.
Increasing numbers of women are found in the role of the single parent, with many consciously opting to raise their children without the influence of the males who impregnated them. However, because these mothers are the product of a patriarchal social heritage that has not afforded a balanced understanding to female children, single mothers are often ill-equipped to confer upon their male children the psychological tools necessary for them to rise to the challenges of manhood.
As succeeding generations of males are reared in the absence of a present and available model of masculine love, the development of the already diminished positive masculine character becomes further retarded. Angry women, weak (lacking character) and angry men: Not a recipe for good times.
For the well-being of all, men must begin to take an active stance in bringing about a correction to the conditions that have served to fuel the historical patriarchal oppression of women. Because much of the basis for this oppression has been man’s fear of woman’s sexuality, perhaps the keys to attaining to the discipline and integrity necessary for true positive leadership lie in overcoming this fear. Surprisingly, simply by developing an enlightened understanding of the importance of managing the emission of one’s semen, the modern man can begin to right the wrongs of the past. This truth will be elucidated in the succeeding chapters.
We can begin to change the world for the better — one man and one woman, at a time!
Before we venture forward, let’s revisit the garden of Eden, for a moment. With the mind attuned toward a sexual rendering, we recall the opening lines of Genesis 3:17 NASB:
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you…”
In the heat of passion, as a woman draws ever nearer to climax, she might exhort her partner to do things that will hasten her arrival. For both male and female, there are multiple levels of climax that can result from the sexual exchange. However, on average, the threshold for time-to-climax is significantly lower for the male than it is for the female.
Just as male and female genitalia are outward expressions of their opposite (though compatible) natures, there are inner and less obvious differences in their orgasmic response as well — particularly with respect to the functions of ejaculation. Although the male’s ejaculation might actually threaten to preclude orgasm (for both partners), ejaculation by the female is a result of her drawing ever nearer to the heights of ecstasy. If the man listens to the voice of his wife, and he follows her emotional current, his loss of discipline will usually result in a quick and wet ending to their journey to the higher realms – and neither will truly benefit from the exchange. Cursed will be the ground, because of him.
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