exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
What Men Really Want
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Editor’s note: Movies, songs, and literature offer a seemingly endless parade of commentary on “what men want.” And it’s all true, as Mister Testosterone is hard-wired for species-propagation impulse. You heard it first here. But the animal side of the male, once "eyes are opened," will constitute but minority interest within an array of commanding authentic desires. There's more to him after all, no matter what Mom taught you.
Allow me to put this differently: Women might offer the question, “Does he really love me? How will I know?” ...
How Will I Know
There’s a boy I know
He’s the one I dream of…
Tell me is it really love
How will I know
Love can be deceiving
How will I know
How will I know if he really loves me…
How will I know
How will I know…
Whitney’s right – “love can be deceiving.” Dr. Mortimer Adler, too: "Love is all opposites - the only reality, [but also] the great illusion; the giver of life and its consumer; the benign goddess whose benefactions men beseech, and [the one] who wreaks havoc and devastation.”
it’s better to be approximately right than precisely wrong
Editor’s note: This issue of the deceptiveness of love is multi-faceted. If you’re with the wrong person, with no hope of being together as eternal mates, there’s no way to correct this. You cannot transform any pretty face - with effort, good intention, plus a magic hand-sign blessing from your Bishop - into your cosmic one-and-only. It doesn’t work that way. It’s called being “precisely wrong.” But, even if you’re one of the rare ones who’s caught a glimpse of a destined one, the one with whom you'll eventually explore all of life, love, and the universe, this doesn’t mean, if you were to presently interact with this person, that it would be all peaches and cream. If one or both of you is still immature, then egos will clash, and assuredly it will not be pleasant; not yet. There's a lot of “unfinished homework to hand in” before you get to have the good stuff. In the short term, alas, you will be “approximately correct.”
But concerning a general answer to Whitney's question "How will I know?" the quick answer is, if he’s still operating solely as Bio-Man, led by the “false self,” he’s not yet even capable of genuinely loving you - even if, by chance, he is your eternal soulmate; as we say, his warp-drive won’t even be installed until Tuesday. But, hold on, if his deeper, truest self has begun to stir, if eyes have begun to open to ultimate reality, to pluck a phrase from an old Jim Croce song, “then, mother, you’re gonna see” some things you didn’t know about what men really want.
And if this great metamorphosis has occurred to a fellow you once knew, or thought you knew, and if you haven't seen him in a long time, then, be prepared to meet someone new. Let's count the ways:
He wants to talk to you, and only you. Women don’t really understand this, at least, not in the beginning, but they soon find out when their Bio-Man doesn't want to talk. However, my claim here can’t possibly be true, you argue, not as a general rule; why, certain loquacious men, rare as they are, come to mind this moment – witty, affable, gracious, quite easy to talk to. But, don’t you know, these are Yeats’ “smiling public men,” canvassing for support. Let us recall the dictum, “all egos want something from you.” Yes, the gracious man, as duty calls, knows how to charmingly turn a phrase in the presence of the fairer sex; but, in this stagecraft, with thespian mask, there is no authentic communication. Much more is required for him to make himself vulnerable. The “smiling public man,” behind the photogenic smile, laments his condition, the hidden prison of his soul's aloneness. As such, he not only desires, but craves, for the liberation of speaking to one woman who will understand. One particular woman. The woman he truly loves. Only to her will he lay bare the long-fortified citadel of the heart. How he yearns for this access to you - far more than the imagined “what men want.” As songwriter John Sebastian expressed it, "the great relief of having you to talk to."
If required to choose, he would rather explore your mind than your body; not that he intends to give up the latter. But, he knows, and feels deeply, what he really wants. He realizes, if only subliminally, that he cannot move forward in his existence – without you, without a "union of spirits" with you. And this is why he is compelled to discuss, with you, his deepest aspirations and ideas, his plans for better days, his hopes of a perfected tomorrow. Mentally, he stands at the precipice of a black chasm of despair, the horrific threat of unremitting existential crisis, if you, somehow, were not to be part of his future. He knows that this would destroy him.
You are not simply an alluring pretty face but part of his own person. He’ll probably consider you “most beautiful”; but such superlative is not why he can't live without you. More than decorative appeal, you are to him – as he senses the hard reality – an aspect, a half, of his very being; to him, you have been revealed as "soulmate, myself." Only you can rise to this level of mystical integrated-familiarity, with all other members of your species, pleasant as they may be, relegated to fungible product. You are sacred "Woman" to him with all the rest as mere "female."
He will not fight for you, but this doesn’t mean that he will cut you loose. We talked about this. In the fur-and-feather arena of “Animal Planet,” many of the fuzzies, jousting for a mate, will puff their chests out, make some screech bird-calls, do a rain dance, wave the coat-of-many-colors, and if you’re the last tuft-of-fur standing, you might enjoy the five seconds of pleasure, the fleeting privilege, of perpetuating the species. Nice work if you can get it. The enlightened true-mate, however, is hunting for bigger game. But let’s be clear. When we say that “he will not fight for you,” do not misunderstand. If he thought that it would help, he would march into fiery hell for you and lead the commando squad and take no prisoners. But, as we’ve said, there is no point in corralling the beautiful body if the mind wishes to be elsewhere and is not ready to reciprocate. But why should he not cut her loose if she wants to go? Are there not untold millions of “fish in the sea”? Why bother with the recalcitrant one who is not ready to transact the business of life when there are so many pretty faces out there? Well, such dispassionate philosophy is the spirit in which most deals are done every day on “Animal Planet,” but none of this disposable, throw-away love means for anything to the enlightened true-mate. His eyes are now open – the inner eyes of the soul – and he has been granted a sampling, a mystical revelation, of the life within; and because he has come to know these inner riches, his true self, he will also be able to recognize, and resonate with, his true mate, his lost “better half,” when her energy-field crosses his mental radar screen. Once he knows who she is – and this discovery may be a shock to him and not his “choice” – and if she is not ready to be with him, then he will lay plans and bide his time. He will not give her up. Yes, in fact, he will fight for her, but not by “puffing his chest out.” His strategies emulate, far more, those of Lao-Tzu and the ancient warriors of the East, "yielding to overcome." He will never give her up. Never. How can he? There is only one woman created for him. There is no other “fish in the sea” for him. Period. He has no true feelings for another pretty face. He has no other options.
You are his “intimate enemy.” Only with you will he argue, only with you will he engage in lovers' combat. Even if lovers are eternally destined, because each matures on an individualized schedule, inevitably, for a while, they will be out of phase with each other. Each will come to realize what needs to be realized, but at different times; the lights will go on, but not in unison. And during these times of “ships passing in the night,” one will likely be angry with the other. The one with “eyes in the head” will do well not to provoke or demand too much too soon. We say that “only with you will he argue.” It takes energy to argue, and he will not argue, not on a sustained basis, with a woman he does not love. It won’t be worth it to him; couples who see no reason to thoughtfully argue are the living dead, it's over for them, all but the funeral homily. And why should he argue, or disagree, or not give in? He must stand fast if he knows she’s in the wrong; and being “in the wrong” means that decisions have been made that will lead to suffering. If he presently sees more than she, then he must stand fast in his principled view. Pandering, for short term gain, would just prolong their misery and delay their eventual union. True lovers engage in a kind of “sacred combat” in which they will absolutely not allow the other to destroy him or herself. Not without a big fight. It would be very easy, and so pleasant, to just walk away and find another “pretty fish in the sea” to sleep with, but, once eyes have opened, this is no longer a possibility; even Jesus talked about this. Yes, your eternal true friend and guide will not be impressed with your bad ideas and your bad decisions, your culturally-conditioned fear and guilt...
he needs to agree with the girl’s mother on religion…
Anne Of Green Gables (2015)
Anne (Ella Ballentine) and Matthew (Martin Sheen)
Anne: [Someone said] that, when a man is courting, he needs to agree with the girl’s mother on religion, and with her father on politics. Is that always true?
Matthew: I’m not so sure of it.
... and so, as they say, he will turn you every which way but loose. In his natural, enlightened state, he's like Jack Ryan, with an open "boy scout grin." But, during this out-of-phase time of one mate flirting with self-destruction, he has no sense of humor. And he will keep coming at you, and keep coming at you, until it's over. Failure, for him, is not an option.
If he really loves you, he will change his life. He will do things, for you, that he said he’d never do, even to help himself. There is a bastard version of this principle that we see all the time in unenlightened society. One of the lovers is religious, the other is not, or is of a different faith. But then one “converts” to the other’s belief-system in order to close the deal of the domestic business contract. This is usually a very bad idea, for many reasons. However, suffice to say, if one really believes, in good conscience, in a certain list of "holy, infallible" doctrines, even if it's all crackers, then you will pervert yourself to jettison it all for a “happy married life.” This is pure illusion. If you enter a marriage having compromised core principles, you will be miserable, guilt-ridden, wallowing in self-loathing. Guaranteed. (The same will be true for those who remain in a bad marriage despite the inner “still small voice” telling you to get the hell out.) This much is almost common sense. If you violate your conscience – even if, for the time, the conscience is miss-educated -- no good can come from it. Therefore, the true mate will never force his lover to accept more than she’s ready for. Ok then, all this acknowledged, let’s talk about an aspect of this that’s right and proper. I’m reminded of a scene in “A Walk To Remember,” the love story of Jamie and Landon.
There’s something he doesn’t want to do. It might even be a good thing, but he’d never be bothered to do it for himself. But then she smiles sweetly and coos: “Please? For me?” No match for her in the heat of combat, he is now overturned by her onslaught, sighs palpably, and abruptly withers. And so what do you say when the girl you die for asks for something that’s in your power to give? This is how it works, and it’s why the great Spirit Guides inform us that the deepest purpose of sacred love and marriage is to provide impetus to spiritual growth and development. There are certain high levels of achievement that we might never get around to working for unless a smiling lover besets us with, “For me?” If a man truly loves a woman, he will change himself -- a "causal efficacy," as evolutionists use the term -- in order to be better for her. He wants to please her in all things, and he will arrange his life – that which is discretionary and not of core principle -- to please her. It’s as if he has no choice in the matter. His entire being, the higher self, is programmed to be as close to her as possible, and he will change himself to make it so. Editor’s note: She must not take advantage of his “weakness.” He may be tempted to give too much, things which he may need for his own peace of mind. She must not allow him to bankrupt himself in the pleasing. In the mature romance, without gamesmanship, they must discuss what they, together, need and desire for their joint lives of love and well-being.
Summary principle: If he truly loves you, he will tirelessly work toward, plan for, creatively generate, all that you need and desire for a happy life. It’s a signed blank check, just for you. In “The Wedding Song” we learned that egoic lovers use each other as stepping-stone “means to an end.” Each hunts for a mate who will “make me happy,” with little regard for the other’s needs. While this self-centeredness becomes prelude to much sorrow, this does not mean that, in a healthy love relationship, there is no place for “make me happy.”
Street wisdom speaks of the “50-50” marriage, as if to say, “we should not give of ourselves beyond a certain point,” that is, "more than we receive." But this spirit of miserly calculation, of “knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing,” has never produced the “extreme delight” of oneness promised in the self-sacrificial, holy, eternal marriage. John and Mary are taught, even by clergy and counselors, that success in marriage comes from "the art of compromise" - as if marriage were some kind of union contract to be hard-bargained for; in other words, it's "giving to get," but no more than necessary. And in this buffoonery-philosophy of marriage, young couples soon enter the ranks of what Ann Landers called "the miserably married."
The reality is, a man truly in love will do anything for you, and anything just to be with you; if he has to, he will wait the proverbial "thousand summers" to see you, to touch you; and, once he’s with you, he will work, joyously, to make you happy. This grand principle of giving of oneself “100%” in shared blissful harmony, generally speaking, will not happen in this world but awaits us in Summerland as the sacred Twin Soul union. All this is what men really want. Eternity, without true happiness, without true love, without you as Darling Companion, becomes, in the end, for him and for you, avenue to insanity. See my article "Will You Survive The Terror Of Eternal Life?"
Editor's last word:
what’s going to happen to me when you’re gone, something deep inside is going to die, how will I live, how can I go on - how can I go on...
I’ve enjoyed the singing of Bobby Vee for a long time. When I was nine, my mother bought his album for me on a trip to Bismarck, and I can still see myself spinning it on the family stereo in the living room. Today, 60 years - several lifetimes - later, amidst 3000 songs on an ancient i-Pod, “Devil Or Angel” and “My Girl, Hey Girl” rank in my all-time “top 25” played.
In fact, among “the 3000,” if forced to choose, “My Girl/Hey Girl” just might be my very favorite song, ever; if required to pick one, it might serve as “soundtrack of my life,” so moving is it to me. It’s a difficult decision, as there are so many good songs, but there’s something about “My Girl/Hey Girl” that resonates with me. I actually have seven other versions of “My Girl,” all of which I like a lot, but Bobby’s rendition speaks to me in a special way.
what’s going to happen to me when you’re gone, something deep inside is going to die, how will I live, how can I go on - how can I go on...
There is a view of “what men want,” shallow and materialistic, suggesting that animal interests rule for men. Often this is true, but only for the immature. A day comes, however, when the fleeting nature of libidinous reactiveness is revealed in its poverty. While many songs speak to a higher order of human nature, “My Girl, Hey Girl” poignantly addresses these existential questions. Is it not strange? We are led to believe by materialistic sentiment that a “roll in the hay” is all that men want. Well, we do need that but, unless subsumed by something more profound, as everyone comes to learn sooner or later, mere sexual thrill very quickly loses its savor; that is, if all she is to you is mere pretty face.
Think about the haunting lines of the song: “What’s going to happen to me when you’re gone, something deep inside is going to die, how will I live, how can I go on – how can I go on?” This is more than a thrilling rendezvous behind the bleachers. This is life and death.
True romance, the true mate, the true marriage, far from the optional, whimsical, and materialistic status to which it’s so often relegated, is life and breath to us. As the proffered research on the Word Gems site presents, we will not survive “the terror of eternal life” without finding authentic romance. But then, in our secret fears, we already know this. That’s why we can have a popular song, grieving to melody, “What’s going to happen to me when you’re gone, something deep inside is going to die, how will I live, how can I go on – how can I go on?” We already sense we’re in very deep trouble if we cannot find that true mate, or, if having found her, she issues a rejection slip. But then, if she does, and if she truly is your eternal mate, she’ll be “sawing off the branch she’s sitting on.” There is no such thing as unilateral, unrequited love in the kingdom of God. The extreme misery, mounting and gathering, will yet bring the wayward mate to bear.
what can make me feel this way... hey, girl, I want you to know...
The real problem here is, we can’t just do this with any pretty face. She has to match one's soul-essence, or it’ll never work. She may or may not be your “choice,” but she will be your soul’s, your higher self’s, choice. But it’s not really a choice, in the popular sense. It’s a cosmic realization that wells-up from one’s deepest recesses.
Samuel Johnson, I believe it was, said that nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of being hanged in the morning. So, too, nothing leads a song to favored acceptance as the addressing of life and death issues, the question of surviving eternal life without one’s true mate.
Little wonder, as we discussed in “The Wedding Song,” that the metaphoric Adam named his true love, Eve (“life”); which is to say, “You are very life to me. I cannot live without you. This is not poetry or hyperbole. Only you can reach me on that deeper level of the prison of my great aloneness. And if you, ‘My Girl,’ were to leave, or to act like you want to, then something deep inside me is going to die, how will I live, how can I go on – how can I go on?”
Editor’s note: For more discussion on “how will I live, how can I go on,” romantic love as existential life and breath, see my essay, “The Meaning of Beauty.”