Lucysnow I believe it is because men need to conquer things, need to dominate and own them and not just belong to them or participate with them in harmony, as women want to. The masculine requires dominion where the feminine requires harmony. This masculine need is reliant on creating accurate objective strategies, based on abstract mental modeling. Just like in hunting. We must first understand the other species, know its habits and weaknesses before we can bag it. This entails an objectification of that which is desirable and the suppression of emotion that may warp accurate strategizing. Just like in a hunt the emotion of fear must be overcome in order for the kill to proceed efficiently. That’s why a man offers himself to a women absentmindedly and only to gratify self and then eventually gets emotionally involved when he becomes addicted to the gratification, whereas women begin with complete abandonment to emotionality and eventually begin to perceive the other more objectively, which sometimes leads to disillusionment. Yes, but only if you change the ‘men’ label for the ‘masculine’ one. The difference? Both men and women can be masculine or feminine to varying degrees. So your statement should read: Only the masculine can find balance in a relationship. Whether the masculine is found in a women or a man is irrelevant. I say this because there is an ongoing discussion as to the nature of femininity on another thread and I have commented on the feminization of man myself on another where I mention this fact. I know men that are much more feminine in their psychology than some women and so for them the difficulty of finding balance or for separating emotion from desire is equally as difficult. Having a penis is a detail. A somewhat relevant detail but still a detail. The Apollonian side, I believe, more accurately symbolizes masculinity where the Dionysian is purely feminine. I agree. People have a tendency to forget how things were before they had someone or something and so they stop appreciating it appropriately. They forget about the solitude that was soothed away or the need that was absolved or the gap that was filled. Every time the electricity is cut, in our homes, we become aware of all the things we have become dependant on because of it and sense the anxiety of absence. The same happens in relationships. We begin with passion and heightened emotions and expectations[lasting between 1-6 months], then a period of contentment and bliss follows [1-3 years] and after that a slow insidious decline into comfort and taking it for granted [4-7 years; ergo the 7 year itch]. If it causes a split then the shock of self-realization and the emptiness left through the loss of that which we thought was fixed and now that it is gone it fills us with the memory of the past and the recognition that nothing is fixed in this world and that change happens even when we don’t perceive it. It reminds us of our ephemeral and fleeting existence where nothing is absolute or solid. Depression follows and then the slow climb up again. The only way to prevent this is a conscious decision not to allow it to happen or to adapt to the changing circumstances through struggle and effort. If we do not want wood to decay we treat it every so often to prolong its solidity. When one sees the other as a gift, to be rediscovered, re-explored and enjoyed anew with every sunrise, as one should do with everything in life, then instead of taking it for granted he/she is almost pleasantly surprised that it is still there, available to him/her and he/she gives thanks to it for remaining so. One should wake up every morning and be amazed that he or she actually did so. Then the entire day becomes magic. So when you wake up and look at your loveror wife or mate sleeping there, imagine the empty space without them and give thanks for their presence. There are those that will never fill their beds. I agree again. This “bombardment” causes information overload and fills us with discontentment because of confusion that can lead to cynicism. Consumerism bases its power on making the mind unhappy with what it has and forces it to crave what it does not have. If you do not have a car then you must have one or you don’t belong, you are somehow wanting in some way or weird. If you have a car then it isn’t good enough, you must buy a ‘better’ one, a more expensive one, the latest model. If you are in a relationship then there is a better man or woman out there to be enjoyed because our partners are products for consuming and so interchangeable with others. Warm bodies to fill the void. This because we find no connection to their minds or personality that can be unique and distinct, we only connect to them physically where body parts are not that different from one another. If, like the elephant man said, “The mind is a true measure of a man” then how many of us truly know our partners true ‘measure’ and not only their physical manifestation of that measure, in other words a shadow of it. Capitalism is dependant on spreading anxiety and envy. We live in a culture of plenty. We have everything we can possibly need, if only we pay the price to get it, and yet still nobody is contented on any level. We are being programmed to be gluttons and greedy automatons. Someone has a bigger car, a bigger house, bigger boobs, a bigger penis, more toys, more books, more goodies and more gadgets. Nothing is ever enough! Why? Because we measure ourselves externally, through the shadow of our being rather than form its essence So the system promotes anxiety to overcome resistance. Watch the ‘Threat Levels’ in the US and all the imminent disasters we must protect ourselves against. During the Millennium change, do you recall the levels of fear and stupidity out there? People were buying bottles of water, guns for the coming holocaust, food stuffs for the end of civilization and afterwards…... nothing. The system promotes fear and anxiety to retain control through unbalancing the individual with extreme emotionalism and to promote consumerism. Nothing can mean anything because then it will be kept and not discarded. When a car has a more profound meaning for us, due to memories or emotion, then we are unlikely to throw it away for a newer one. So a car must not have a profound meaning it must be interchangeable and replaceable and totally devoid of any value so that it can become garbage more easily. The same can be said for human beings. On this very Forum we can see the effects of information surplus on the intellect. This Forum is full of bright, modern young, and not so young, people that have read hundreds of books, can quote from numerous sources, can find subjects to discuss from a myriad of disciplines and are they happy, are they more wise, are they free? They can twist a clever verse and post artistic prose and they can present images and meanings from multiple books on multiple subjects, but they lack any solidity, any concreteness and they dream of ancient times where things were simpler and ‘nobler’. In a world where anything is probable, nothing is ‘truth’ and one can argue any point from any perspective drawing from any source, the focus turns away from substance and into presentation, out of the depths and into the surfaces. I’ve seen entire posts beautifully written and full of symbolism and linguistic artistry that say absolutely nothing but express sarcasm, a lack of respect for anything and everything and an arrogance produced from never having felt humility to the core. Who is more likely to enter a rink all cocky and sure of themselves and prance around as if they’ve already won the fight? Only one that has never had his face bloodied and his pride shattered. The US is a country that exemplifies the arrogance and thoughtlessness of those with little experience with defeat. The war in Vietnam and the current war in Iraq is proof of that. Few European countries, that have prior experience with devastation and war within their own borders, would have been capable of launching such an attack so callously and haphazardly. Current low voting participation, in the US, is a sign of an indifference derived from a confidence that no matter who wins things will remain pretty much the same and no major consequences will be incurred and so no responsibilities accepted. In other words they take things for granted and become indifferent to them or even demanding of them until something like 9/11 occurs to remind them that their actions have consequences that are sometimes not immediate or direct or only short term. Another metaphor based on the Ultimate Fighting Championships. It reminds me of Karate Masters that rely on flamboyance, myth and displays of acrobatics to dissuade others from attacking them. They insinuate prowess rather than prove it. They put on exhibitions of physical skill and never enter into real fighting competitions preferring to radiate power through mythological factories of ‘art’ , excusing themselves through lame ideas about passivity and manufactured displays of brick-breaking. But who wins the annual Ultimate Fighting Championships? The grapplers, the wrestlers, the simple fighters that have a balance of physical strength, courage and experience and don’t waste their time on showiness and pretence but enter the rink, remain efficient, straight forward and effective. Have you ever seen a roundhouse karate kick or a flying somersault in one of these real fights, as you see them displayed in movies? No, because anyone stupid enough to attempt it would get his ass kicked in real life. So here we are in this manufactured arena and we see the flamboyance and linguistic somersaults of members that know how to fight through learning it in books or being trained in gyms; they can break bricks with their words and perform intricate linguistic manoeuvres that wow the crowds but that would probably get their asses kicked out there in the streets where hair-pulling, eye-gouging, scratching and groin-kneeing are not excluded from the rules. Do you get my drift? Why would I be curious about something I already have personal knowledge of? I know about male sexuality; it’s female sexuality that is beyond my experiential reach and so becomes interesting to me for many reasons. No, I have not read that book you mention. Compared to many of you here, I haven't read many books at all. I didn't pick up a philosophy book until I was 28. What I've learned has been through life directly. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that others felt the same way as I did and that I wasn't sick in some way, when I first read Schopenhauer, Kant, Nietzsche, Russell, Plato, Dostoyevsky, and so on. But I am aware that women need to be engaged on many levels if they are to remain satisfied in a relationship. Men are on a disadvantage before and early on in a relationship but gain the advantage as time goes by because once they have been accepted by a woman their investment is secured. Women need good returns to ensure that their investment keeps on growing. Men think short-term, women long-term. That is why a strong Will, made so through ascetic training, is essential here. A noble mind isn’t governed by physicality, it is merely an extension of it. A noble mind can just as well go without as it can indulge. Instincts are dominated and governed by intellect and the intellect is influenced and inspired, but not controlled, by instinct. Balance. The temptation of offering ones abundance to a multiplicity is a sign that this abundance is new and not yet controlled or that one wants to display and show-off because he hasn't grown comfortable with his wealth. Just like when a fat girl, after years of being alone, loses many pounds and discovers her beauty and desirability and then is tempted to offer her beauty to all men that now crave her and run after her, so is the beautiful soul enticed to spread itself thin and offer itself to everyone indiscriminately, just as long as need is presented to it. In time one discovers that not all can appreciate or are worthy of such a gift and that sometimes when one has plenty one loses focus and the one. Then one wants to not squander gifts upon the unworthy but wants to offer them to those that can take advantage of them fully and completely. Yes, I know many reading this can relate to what you said. Especially these days. Time uncovers all truths. Nobody can remain hidden forever, he/she will eventually slip-up and shoot himself/herself in the foot. I’ve always tried to present my deficiencies first and up-front, so that what comes later, if there is a later, is pleasant rather than unpleasant. So I usually expose myself, warts, scars and all and hope the other won’t be disgusted by the sight and runs off in terror. I have this tendency to lay all my cards on the table straight away and dare the other to walk away or towards me. It's the way I'm built. I figure that my deficiencies will be discovered sooner or later anyway so why go through all the suffering, due to prolonged connection, when I can save myself a lot of pain by driving the other away from the start. But if the other does not turn and run then I know I’m onto a good thing. I would rather be hated for what I am than loved for what I am not. I would rather be alone than be with someone for all the wrong reasons. I figure that if the other rejects me for what I am then she wasn’t for me anyways or if they choose another instead of me then she was not meant for me, and I move on with my life. Simple and to the point. Most failed relationships are based on some level of hypocrisy and fallacy or else they wouldn’t have failed or the failure wouldn’t have surprised either one. Jesus Christ what is going on in this place?!! Is everyone trying to fuck everyone else? I’m getting that nauseating feeling again. Are your words a coincidence or the product of the same forum story? I wonder. Back to your questions. Because people have so much need, sometimes approaching sickness, that they are willing to compromise their dignity, freedom and pride to placate it. Everyone can talk the talk of nobility and say the right words at the right moments. Well not everyone but some of us. But how many can walk the walk. Why do you think I’ve said in the past that action is a more reliable source of information than words? Actions can’t lie. I can speak against thieving and write essays about not stealing but when the opportunity arises and I pocket that stray watch, lets say, then all my words were empty were they not. Most of the times we ourselves aren’t conscious that we are bull-shitting. We actually believe we are being honest and we justify all our indiscretions with clever excuses. KNOW THYSELF. But even a lie to our selves is exposed through action. Is it not? The real spirit of every human being cannot help but express itself through action. If we were able to see everyone on this forum, their body posture, their facial expressions, the way they moved, gestured, smirked, the fluctuations in their voice, their style of dress, their demeanor would all attest to their true being. They would be unable to hide who they were. But since we are limited to the written word where facades are made easier and myths can be created with ease some skepticism is always prudent. Correct. That’s why a noble mind relies more on evidence than speculation when making serious decisions. Abandonment is terrifying to me. It gives control to another and offers the weapon of ones own demise to the hand that can yield it. This level of intimacy and trust is hard to come by. It takes years, sometimes. Philosophers are human, after all, and so subject to pressures and influences just like everyone else. This ‘hypersensitivity’, I often speak about, leads to weariness that can diminish resistance to corruption. When someone sees so much one is inclined to become tired by the futility of it all. This is dependant on the strength of character and force of spirit within each one. We all have different breaking points, but we all have them.