All the World’s a Stage, and all the Players Men

 

The history of civilizations is the history of men. Women stand and have always stood, at the sidelines, watching. Men have obscured this crucial fact, using language that purports to be inclusive, but is not. To be a woman is to be an observer, rather than a participant, in history. Women have not, usually, been agents on the political stage.

The history of civilizations is the history of one-legged cripples, one-eyed men, one-handed fighters. With all that they think of as “feminine” taken from them, men are caves that have collapsed into themselves, piles of rubble where pillars were meant to be. There is bravado without real strength, intellect without wisdom and even play without joy.

Rene Descartes discovered what he thought of as the “light of reason.” He was probably wrong to call reason a “light”, but he qualified the power of reason in his “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences”. In it he says “The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vice as well as of the greatest virtues” and specifies that his method is meant to show how to “promote the good conduct of his reason”. Reason must be conducted. Reason is a set of stepping stones, connected by logic. It can be a helpful tool, but it is not reason that chooses the destination, or the path on which the stones are laid. So, what is it within us that can conduct the reason as it struggles to find the way?

In the four hundred years since Descartes proposed an alternative to obedience to authority as a means of seeking truth, the answer to this question has been ignored. Even the idea that something must conduct reason has been ignored.

Human beings do have access to Truth, but the entranceway is in the body, in the heart. Descartes, living as a Christian in a time when people could almost not conceive of atheism, might have assumed conscience was the conductor and felt it not necessary to elaborate.
The best men are those who have had genuine companionship with women – not because women are better, but because they offer a different perspective. Though they also hobble about with one leg, extend helpfulness with one hand, see with one eye, they offer the perspective of the other eye.

As long and men and women are conditioned in such mutually exclusive ways, robbing each of the capacity to be whole humans, combining masculine and feminine within themselves, they need each other’s perspectives.

It is because of what has been amputated from them at and soon after birth that men need a woman’s eye and a woman’s input.Businesses are discovering this now, aren’t they? Those with women in higher positions do better. We have another example with the recent shut down of the American government. While the male senators postured and puffed and refused to back down or even to search together for solutions, the women senators got together to do what politicians are paid to do – solve problems for the good of the people.

For the most powerful of masculine-constructed people, reasoning together for a common good seems to be a missing skill. Yet it is one of the best uses to which reason can be put.

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