We’ll discuss the similarities between Something Deeperism and the Alcoholics Anonymous method, and then we’ll work with you to develop a program tailored to your situation.
Maybe it would help you, and us, and everyone else, if you could expatiate a little on what it is to be a man — particularly on how much a man wants to mean something to a woman. And how much good and evil that great longing’s unleased upon this little world.
Oh. Okay. Sure.
Whenever you’re ready.
So, yeah. Being a man. You want to matter to a woman. You want to satisfy her. You want to be a man for her. What you don’t want is to let her down, or disappoint her, or to make her wish she’d chosen another man.
So if something goes wrong. If you for whatever reason can’t access your own sexuality. Or you have a tiny penis. Or an erection issue. Or something that keeps you from driving your point home to her in such a way as to convince her that you’re a man through and through and she’s right to melt around you and ask you to fill her and stay with her, then you feel like a joke. You think you don’t count. You feel like there’s nowhere to put yourself, nowhere to put the passion screaming for connection and fulfillment. You think you can’t be held and respected the way you need to be to feel OK about yourself and your life. You think there’s no place where you can be all of you and be accepted and cherished for who you are.
Or if you can’t provide for your family, and this makes your wife scorn you.
Or if you don’t succeed like she thinks a man should in order to really count for something, and this makes her scorn you.
If for whatever reason — emotional, physical, or circumstantial — you don’t satisfy your wife’s demands on her husband, and she isn’t happy that you’re the one in her bed and in her house and sharing her life; then you feel like you don’t matter and you have no safe place in the world, because she and you were supposed to make and occupy a safe place where you could let yourselves be fully yourselves, where you didn’t have to tamp down your deepest fires, or hush up your hopes, fears, and fantasies. But if she doesn’t love you, if she doesn’t think you are worth caring for, then you are so alone, stranded forever in a world that doesn’t hold you and believe in you. You need to be held and to be believed in. You need to have someone who is so glad to have found you and whom you are so glad to have found. You need to matter to someone who matters to you, to desire someone who desires you, to satisfy someone who satisfies you, to believe in someone who believes in you, to give your all and have it be enough and to be held and loved and respected for that moment when you’ve opened up your pit and exposed the delicate inner pulp that you’ve learned to guard and keep from the world — that doesn’t have time or energy to care how you really feel deep inside.
This is what it’s like for most men. But sometimes they don’t want to admit that. They want to play the big womanizer or the great genius or the hero or the king or moneybags. Because, for whatever reasons, they aren’t able to admit that they just want to be right for a woman who is right for them; they just want to share happy, satisfied safety with a woman that fits their shape and whose shape they fit.
Of course, sometimes a man can’t find the right woman. Or sometimes he becomes a monk. Or sometimes he loses his penis. Or whatever. There was a famous lover, a man that more than one woman offered to leave her husband for, who was impotent. It was from a war injury. He used other parts to please them. And the Dalai Lama never gets a woman, but he’s still beaming joyful contentment everywhere. And there’s men whose wives disappear and they spend the rest of their lives caring for their children and friends and family and they are okay with it, and don’t consider themselves to be failures or jokes. There’s a lot more to a life than the need to connect romantically and succeed as a lover, a provider, a man. But still, the longing to count as a man is great and one has to address it — and not just once, but every day, over and over again. Maybe in the Dalai Lama the game shifts deeper, but still he has to work on his inner passions every day like the rest of us.
To the degree that people cannot admit to themselves what they think and feel, they are dangerous to themselves and others. They slip and slide in daydreams that they cannot actually understand, believe in, or care about. To this degree, they do not travel with their own feeling/thinking to their own decisions/actions: they lack meaningful traction within their own conscious moments: they lack a meaningful way to choose one feeling/thinking path over another. To this degree, one is meaningless-to-oneself and one’s feeling/thinking is corrupted and disengaged from one’s internal rules for feeling/thinking — from aware clear honest accurate competent kind joyfully-interconnected feeling/thinking/acting.
Human communities are corrupt to the degree they select for and reward actions springing from internal corruption — actions that spring not from clear honest competent kind feeling/thinking; but from all the little panics, greeds, and moral-incompetencies that take over to the degree a person lose traction within hisorher own feeling/thinking/acting. Human communities are corrupt and corrupted to the degree they do not safeguard transparency, honesty, fairness, equality under the law, and other rules and norms that help groups to jointly safeguard the eternal values (aware clear honest accurate competent kind joyfully-together).
What happens to a man who lives for his wife and children in a place where one has to cheat, lie, and harm others in order to get and maintain power? What happens to him when he has to do evil just to get clean water, decent food, and a safe place for his family? Or is it never really like that? Is that just a trick people tell themselves to let themselves be rotten?
What happens to a young man who doesn’t feel valued by any woman he values?
How do young men and women decide who to value in what way?
What happens to inside of men as they justify dishonesty, thievery and violence in the name of their manhood? “I am doing what is right for my family.” How much evil has that sentiment protected, grown, and spread?
And yet, a safe, happy, stable household is not just compatible with human decency, but is conducive to it. Because the sexual passions in and of themselves know no bounds. They need boundaries, and love and connection create strong ties with built-in boundaries.
The answer is, as always, that a human must admit to himorherself where s/he finds himorherself within himorherself. With internal awareness, we individuals are at a starting point. With a shared prioritization of the eternal values without which none of our feeling/thinking/acting makes sense to any of use (aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind, gentle, joyfully-interconnected), we groups are at a starting point. Both individuals and groups must continuously reevaluate, clarify, try again. A man must accept his own longings, potentialities, and limitations. A group must together defend honesty, clarity, competency, kind resolve, and joyful togetherness; as well as those structures — like transparency in government, freedom of speech, democracy, a free and independent journalism — that preserve their ability to collectively safeguard those eternal values.
A man’s justification of evil in the name of his family and friends is the way downward. But it is difficult to be both good and happy in a place where your family cannot be safe without stealing from others.
But these exigencies are always things of degrees, as well as matters of perspective. The way forward is not to run towards violent revolution every time things are a little off — violent revolution creates chaos and usually eventually a cruel and oppressive peace. The way forward is to start over and over again within oneself, within one’s family and friends, and within one’s larger (generally in this modern world multiple and overlapping) communities — always pushing out from within, reaching gently alone and with others for a little more awareness, clarity, accuracy, competency, kindness, and joyful togetherness.
Donald Trump’s attempts to scuttle the democratic process are evil. Corrupt power structures don’t prize competently finding what is best for everyone — they prize holding onto power no matter what. These are the values of thuggery — they are not even at a starting point.
Did you have to bring up Donald Trump?
I’m always sick to my stomach over this situation. We need to heal the divide in the nation so we can together carry out our fundamental duty as citizens in a representative democracy: serve as a final check on madness and corruption in government.
But can you now help me figure out how to pull it together? If essays could heal what ails me, I’d’ve been enlightened long ago.
Haven’t all the essays helped? Didn’t formulating a philosophy that accounted for your inability to Know the Truth, your need for the Truth, and the reasonable possibility of a non-literal whole-being organization of your own feeling/thinking/acting around a Truth shining in and through all things — didn’t that help? Didn’t that help you shake off all the tossing and turning within moral relativism and magical thinking — within empty existential stands and empty romanticisims?
Maybe. But not enough. I want to move on. I want to stop losing days to alcohol. I want to find the right woman and have us both know it, embrace it, and be happy together. I want to pay for myself in a way that is good for me and others. I want to feel/think/act in a positive way. I want to help the nation moves towards more shared wisdom and less stupid bullshit.
You got upset with the so-called-experts for always telling you your problem was brain chemistry. Because in time, you began to feel that their drugs and commentary only ever missed the point and made things worse — because these interventions had you looking in the wrong place for the cause of your difficulties.
Yes. What I feel within is a wound, like a knife in my gut, shoved in deep and twisted. And that feels to me like what happens when you are mistreated and your mind forgets but your body and the emotional inner lining of your body remembers. I feel like psychiatrists and psychologists misled me, and also harmed my mind with their useless, but very powerful drugs.
So what now?
Isn’t that why you’re here?
What is evil?
Evil is letting everything slide to your advantage. Evil is not doing the work and stealing the fruits. Evil is letting madness-slides-corruption guide your feeling/thinking/acting. Evil is purposefully confusing your own feeling/thinking/acting, so that you move away from grounding your behavior in calm clear honest accurate competent kind gentle joyfully-sharing feeling/thinking/acting anchored in a constant effort to organize your inner space around the Light within that Knows that and in what way is is True to say, “We are all in this together”. Evil is moving towards being guided by confusions that let you gobble guzzle steal break take strut loll while pretending-to-yourself that you’re doing something worthwhile. Evil is choosing the confusion that helps you justify cruelty, meanness, avarice, dishonesty, bullshit. Evil is choosing confusion over a coherent (meaningful-to-you) system for choosing one action over another. Evil is choosing meaningless — choosing to serve empty notions and animal drives over clear thought and kind resolve. Evil in groups is choosing meaninglessness over sharing the only meaning we as individuals or groups can possess: aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind, joyfully sharing and together. Evil is preferring hazy, self-indulgent feeling and thinking over awareness of your own feelings, thoughts, and actions, and how these actions effect others. Evil is dishonesty towards yourself, others, and the space between.
Are you Evil?
Good and Evil in humans are things of degrees.
Would you throw everyone under the bus just so you could sneak off with your dreamlady to a safe bliss?
I hope not.
What is going to keep you from cheating everyone like that? What is going to keep you from letting them die while you love yourself and a few select others who rub you the right way? What wisdom is going to enable you to treat everyone decently?
I don’t know. Aren’t we going to work on that now?
Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andrew M. Watson