Alex Jacob wrote:
"Here come the questions: doesn't that make you a girly man, and, what are you doing here. Before you throw it in my face, look at yourself."
Humor, especially from someone you don't know, is certainly difficult to read (interpret). My sense is that most people here have little or no sense of humor, always an alarm bell to my way of seeing things. Humorless people, I have noticed, will often project onto humorousness all kinds of dark material. I have no idea if that is the case with you, but I have absolutely no intention of doing harm to you or anyone on any level, so I am not sure why you'd think I'd 'throw a rock'.
The remark "here come the questions" was actually not aimed at you, but at some of the others here who tend to sling defensively without thinking.
I do like the question though, it is one that everyone should answer, in all contexts. I'll do my best to tell you why I am here. It is a little complex so bear with me.
Maybe it is because of what our culture has become (the US---I haven't been in Europe in years so can't speak about it). Over the last 10-15 years I have witnessed a transformation that I really can no longer bear. I don't want to live here anymore. Just walking down the street, in the supermarkets, in public, listening to people, I see things that make me 'sick to my stomach'.
I know what you mean, which incidentally makes me wonder why some posters are defending the idea in another thread, that humanity and its culture is not currently in decline.
To be quite truthful---though it is difiicult to talk about with objectivity---it really DOES seem to me that the civil culture is in so many ways essentially female, run by women, dominated by women's values and attitudes, but these are not the women I admire or respect, I don't know how else to put it.
Unfortunately it is all too easy to slap the 'feminine' label on the problem. At best this could suffice as a symptom, and even at that, I don't feel it is accurate. But go on.
I don't know what to make of that. To be truthful---and again it is difficult for me to assess my own objectivity because these observations do hinge on feelings, on senses, and are not only intellectual---if I had to say it, I really feel I have so very little left in common with my own culture, and with many people of that culture. What 'they' have become I never, ever want to be, and I don't think I am. I have spent my life living very individualistically, and that is not something I just say because I like the ring of it, it is very true.
Fair enough, and you're probably healthier for it, despite the ongoing stress of 'being different'.
Fact is, I have sacrificed so much of the traditional (relationship, wife, kids, house, the whole incredible scene that all this entails and much more too) to that pursuit of individuality, of personal dreams, of freedom, that at times it has been very painful to live in the loneliness that results from this. There is a real discomfort, something visceral, when you take stock of what you have given up.
It is called conscious suffering, and it is better in the long run, for someone of your temperament, than conscious slavery, or worse, unconscious suffering.
Well, that is one of the things I have come to realize more acutely since I found my way to this forum, which was by strange turns, because you are a strange lot I suppose.
It took seeing all the other strange folk to realize you are also strange? All right.
Y'all seem to couch it all in grandiose terms---that you are pursuing 'grand realizations' and 'ultimate freedom' and 'enlightenment'.
But, realization, freedom, and illumination ARE grandiose, in that they are far beyond ordinary experience. No two ways about it, they are far removed from that life that so disgusts you on the street, the experiences of, you might say, your own ordinary self.
I don't buy too much of this even for one second since I think that 'enlightenment' is never something to be talked about, and what it is is not at all what people seem to think it is, but there, I commit the error of talking about it.
There is a grain of truth to this. It is usually better to internalize rather than externalize, and yet there are times to talk of it, too.
But I have realized, more clearly, that I have spent 20 years of my life...in pursuit of myself...and interestingly, very interestingly, what I have sacrificed along that road...is a longterm relationship with a woman (to state it basically).
I guess that means marriage and kids and all that goes along with that. I always thought that I wanted that---her, that special someone---but recently I learned that I really didn't!
This sounds like a good realization for you, for now.
I really wanted something else altogether. It is a peculiar place to be in, very peculiar, to see that you lived in a certain way so as to never sacrifice your core freedom, but you couldn't quite state it in those terms, but now you can state it in those terms, and you see all that you have 'lost', but also all that you have gained, and maintained, and developed.
You have been able to gift yourself significantly, and this is no small beginning.
And 'the other people', they look at times like infants! (I see that sometimes and don't know what to make of it).
This is because you are working on evolving.
I had a breakup with someone I cared for a great deal. This was just a year ago now, in South America. The ffects were very wide-ranging. (I have another GF now). In taking a stand against immaturity and (you guys might appreciate this) a kind of self-centeredness and spoiledness in the person I was with, I effectively caused the relationship to end, but this was not at all what I wanted or thought I wanted. And I had to see that I did it, I produced this result, a bitter pill to swollow. The long and the short of it was that it produced a great deal of anger...anger that I have not completely gotten to the bottom of (and may never), but it seems to be a similar anger to some of the anger some men express on this list. But anger toward what? Toward whom?
Anger at falling in the trap yet again? (or is your current girlfriend situation different).
It is 'multivalent' the feelings and thoughts I have about this, it is not just one thing, it can't be discided so easily. Psychologically, truth be told, I feel a little drawn to some of the outright misogyny that is expressed by some on this list, and that is exactly what it is. On the other hand, I think that there is a significant portion of this anger or discontent that is...while not justified perhaps explainable, with reason. I think it is true, despite what any woman may say, that only a man can tell you the truth about a woman, and women. Ha! But maybe the inverse is true too: maybe only a woman can tell you the real truth about a man, and men?
You have many feelings about all of this, to sort out.
Anyway, I thought I'd find like minds here but what I find is a kind of 'sickness', some men who seem in some ways to be missing the boat, and investing in their neurosis even as they call it something else.
Such is life, but you can learn to separate the wheat from the chaff, an important skill as few things come pure.
Since I certainly don't want to take steps backwards that all has to be resisted, sorted through, and more than anything avoided.
Proper resistance and prudent avoidance are good skills, too.
'Spritual life'---what is it? What does that even mean? I don't think that hardly anyone really knows, and most of the time it seems to me that people are just 'investing in their neurotic trips', and in the end, avoiding life, saying 'no' to life. I don't want to go that route of course.
Knwoledge is power, certainly, freedom from illusion is tremendous power. But so few really seem to understand what any of that really means, and there are so many charlatans and cheaters out there. You can pretty much figure that if someone is trying to put their spiel on you, they are conning you, lying to you, trying to trip you up in their stumbling blocks. Isn't that true?
As you improve your ability to glean, these issues will clarify.
And, it's best to not worry about others; it will only sap your strength.
Y'all seem to think yo know what the pursuit of truth is, you've got it all worked out, you've even got books written on the subject---websites! Podcasts!
There technically is no group here to which "y'all" can be applied.
Not to minimize your efforts, some part of them (some part of all efforts) are sincere no doubt. I guess I just think your nomenclature is fucked up.
I would agree that it could be better.
For examples I think the definitions of "feminine" and "Enlightenment" could use some work vis a vis generally accepted meanings. Might lessen confusion to construct other words for those two meanings as they are used here.
You're mystified, you don't know what end is up, you don't know who you really are, and you haven't the foggiest idea where you are going or where you're supposed to go...or do you?
It is possible to be mystified and yet not feel mystified, true, but that is for each person to ascertain for his or her self.