Response to a MGTOW Critique

The MGTOW symbol

A MGTOW blogger whose screen name is Neroke recently wrote a response here to my article, “The Red Pill Movement (MGTOW): Men Waking Up as Loners.” Though he invited me to respond in his comments (“You have a problem with me you take it to my comments”), when I did so my comment was promptly deleted.

(Edit: Neroke has now restored my comment on his blog. The system incorrectly flagged the comment as spam, and he had to fish it out of his spam folder. My apologies to Neroke for assuming he had deleted it.)

Here is the response I wrote there, with some links added:

Hi Neroke,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my MGTOW article. I’ll ignore all the standard Red Pill name-calling and personal attacks and focus on a few of the substantive points you make.

But first, I’m a little surprised that you think my article is so terrible. I read a whole lot worse while doing the research for my three-article series on the Red Pill movement. Having gone through a milder version of what a lot of Red Pill men have gone through in their relationships with women, I’m far more sympathetic to MGTOW than most outside critics. And if you can’t take a little satire . . . well, that’s your problem, not mine.

But what really struck me in reading your article is that for the most part, you’re telling MGTOW the same things I am, except from an insider’s perspective rather than from an outsider’s perspective: Get yourself out of bad relationships if you can. Be single if you want to be single. Don’t blame it all on women. Take responsibility for your own self as a man and move on with your life.

As for all of the things you say I’m avoiding, I had already dealt with most of them in the first two articles in my Red Pill series, on MRA and PUA.

Now I’ll respond on a few points:

“I’m an atheist”

Doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t care if you’re theist, atheist, agnostic, buddhist, rastafarian, or pastafarian. And I don’t think God does either.

Within a few short centuries after Jesus, Christianity got seriously off track, thinking it’s all about believing the right thing rather than about living a good life—which is what the Bible focuses on. Yes, there are statements in the Bible about believing in Jesus. But traditional Christianity has totally ignored what Jesus himself taught. Read Jesus’ own clearest statement about who goes to eternal life and who doesn’t in Matthew 25:31–46 (The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, AKA The Judgment of the Nations). There’s not a word in it about belief or about faith in Jesus. It’s all about how people treat their fellow human beings. And it applies to people of all nations, not just to Christians.

It’s because I’m a Christian that I care far more about how people live than about what they believe. I wrote a whole article on my blog about how atheists can go to heaven just as easily as theists as long as they live a good life with some care and concern for their fellow human beings according to a decent set of principles.

So I don’t really care much if you’re an atheist. I care about whether you live a decent life according to some set of principles that says, at the most basic, that you should treat other people the way you would want to be treated. Even if you don’t believe in God and an afterlife, that still makes life better both for yourself and for humanity as a species.

Of course, it’s your business, not mine, how you choose to run your life. You’re the one who has to take the consequences for whatever choices you make, and whatever actions you take. And no, I’m not talking about being roasted over a spit in hell. I don’t believe that either. I’m talking about making your life a lot harder than it needs to be if you do stupid, selfish, and greedy things.

But you seem to be a decent person despite all the bluster. I suspect you have all of that fairly well under control by now.

Which leads to:

“We’re just venting”

I get that. And I do deal with it in the articles.

But reading the Red Pill and MGTOW forums, it was hard to find the “adult” Red Pillers in the room. Where are the men saying, “Don’t get mad at all women. Get mad at the one who screwed you over”? Where are the men saying, “Let it all out! And then get over it and move on”?

Yes, you can find these things if you dig into some of the MGTOW websites and video channels. But you can find a whole lot more about how terrible, selfish, and destructive women are, and how men’s problems today are due to the feminism and gynocentrism that have taken over modern society.

Bullshit.

But that’s the next point.

To finish up with this one: If you’re going to do your group therapy for new Red Pillers in public, and the adults seem to have left the room and buried their more mature perspectives where most casual observers of the movement never find them, what do you expect your movement to look like to outsiders?

And you can say all you want that you don’t care about what outsiders think of you. But if you want to bring about change in society, it isn’t going to work very well to project an image of screaming victimhood. The people who might otherwise work with you to make those changes will just distance themselves from you and tune you out.

“Today’s society is anti-male”

First of all, objectively, this just isn’t true. Men still occupy most of the top positions in government, industry, and society. Men still make far more money and wield far more power than women do. We are very far from a society in which women rule and men grovel at their feet.

When outsiders hear Red Pillers yell about how women are running the world and oppressing men, it makes the Red Pill movement look ridiculous, because looking at the big picture, it’s simply not true.

However, there certainly has been a pendulum swing on the gender front in recent decades.

Given that throughout recorded history men have been ascendant over women, that’s not too surprising. If anything, the current pendulum swing against all that history of men being on top and women being on the bottom is rather mild.

And as always, the pendulum will continue to swing until society reaches a new equilibrium on gender roles and relations.

I predict that in another fifty or sixty years today’s sitcoms in which men are bumbling idiots and women are smart, savvy achievers will look like dated period pieces just as TV shows from the 1950s now look like dated period pieces. And more seriously, the current imbalances in the divorce courts will be a thing of the past as well. It takes time and a lot of very hard work to correct the wrongs and the overreactions of society and the legal system.

Meanwhile, men in today’s society can still live a good life. Yes, some men will get screwed over by women. And some women will get screwed over by men. Lots of people screw over lots of other people. Welcome to reality.

Personally, about all I have left from my first three decades of adulthood is my beliefs, my relationship with my adult children, and my rather extensive personal library. Most of the rest is gone. I had to rebuild my life from scratch. So don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

It may surprise you to hear that all your shouting aside, I agree with most of what you say in your “rebuttal” to my article. I’m just a little mystified that you seem to think I’ve made a terrible attack on MGTOW. In fact, even though I engaged in some satire along the way, I’m basically telling MGTOW the same thing you’re telling them: Don’t blame women. Take responsibility for your own life.

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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62 comments on “Response to a MGTOW Critique
  1. Rami says:

    Hi Lee,

    This is probably the last topic I expected to interact with you over, and probably the last instance in which we’ll do it, but while the power of men is not the least bit threatened at the institutional level, it wouldn’t be surprising if society has become to some degree unfairly anti male at the cultural level.

    And that’s not even a criticism. As far as I see it, that’s just the nature of pendulum swings, especially one that’s propelled largely through social media. Social media is like fire accelerant for trends, and right now one of the biggest trends is recognizing men for our legacy of misogyny- both grand and casual- such that it could very well be trickleing down to the average guy, who is looked at with maybe more suspicion than he deserves, or who is given less margin for error than he deserves, or who’s missteps are treated with more outrage and less empathy than he deserves. These are of course nothing compared to what women have endured for centuries, and I’d have a hard time calling men victims in most instances like the one I’m describing, but if we’re talking about balance, sure, men are probably being collectively punished to some (mostly mundane) extent.

    But again I’m not saying this in defense of men or against the tide of female empowerment. Rarely are grand scale changes proportional ones. We under react, we over react. We over correct, we under correct. Human beings generally don’t have the level of precision to nail it on the first swing, and it takes a few swings of the pendulum before we
    settle into the center position. Considering where we came from, and the way we change, a slightly disproportionate swing seems like a fair price to pay.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rami,

      Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, that’s about how I see it. I don’t agree with the current anti-male cultural trends, but I see them as an inevitable zig or zag in our often tortuous course of correcting past wrongs. I have no doubt that the culture will move on, and in time adopt a more balanced view of men as well as of women.

      I continue to believe we’re moving toward a better paradigm in gender relations. It’s just that as usual, the pathway we’re taking to get there is a messy one.

  2. Rohan Pereira says:

    Excellent point Lee that folks should not taint a whole gender for the actions of a few.

    From my understanding of MGTOW, I see two core areas that they are focussed on.

    1) They are unsure how to deal with a large proportion of western urban-dwelling females who have given the best part of their biologically prime years to various other men i.e. If she has committed her teens and 20s to having marital like relationships with other men, then should a man still reward her with the prime of his 30s and 40s. I believe Swedenborg wrote in Conjugial Love that a woman’s conjugial love is one with her virginity and that he made distinctions between virginal women and non-virginal women. So they have to deal with the confusion of women who no longer have the natural capacity for conjugial love from previous serial monogamy.

    2) They believe that the ‘Love of the othe sex in general’ is no good for a man because the man then has to mould himself to the sensuality and vain desires of the world in order to be pleasing to the other sex. I think Apostle Paul wrote something similar in his writings where he magnified the celibate life over married life. I see this principle in the writings of other ancients too especially brahmacharya practiced by the hindus. Of course Swedenborg counters that such celibate folk are often dull and gloomy but I can see that voluntary celibacy allows a man to focus and grow in other areas (Sciences, spiritual, etc.).

    So I guess MGTOW is of a different beast to the Red Pill but such questions are not new at all.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rohan,

      Thanks for your thoughts, and for putting some of these issues into a wider context.

      About your first point:

      I would caution against making hard-and-fast rules out of Swedenborg’s statements about female virginity and marriage love. Those statements were made in the context of 18th century European culture, in which an unmarried woman who had sex was considered damaged goods, and either was, or was seen as, a “woman of ill repute.” The very fact that she was not a virgin commonly precluded her from marriage, not for spiritual reasons, but for social ones. Just as with Jesus’ strongly worded statements in the Gospels about adultery and divorce, I believe Swedenborg’s statements about female virginity and marriage are far more pragmatic than is commonly believed among Swedenborgians, and that they were aimed most directly at the social realities of the culture in which he lived.

      The dramatic cultural changes that have taken place since then, and that we who are alive now, two or three centuries later, are immersed in, hadn’t yet happened in his day. It therefore was not possible for him to directly address our current cultural conditions with regard to sexuality and marriage.

      Meanwhile, Swedenborg also talks about widows and widowers remarrying. And though he says that these marriages are different from those between previously unmarried (i.e., virginal) women and men, he doesn’t say they can’t be true, spiritual marriages, and strongly implies that they can.

      Swedenborg also talks about people in the afterlife dissolving unsuitable marriages and forming a new marriage with a partner who is a spiritual match for them, before moving on together to their eternal homes in heaven.

      Based on these two examples, clearly Swedenborg believed that many women who are not virgins are indeed capable of having a real, spiritual marriage, both here and in the afterlife.

      I would suggest that the underlying meaning behind the idea than women who aren’t virgins can’t have a true marriage is that women who are not virgins because they have no respect for or ideal of marriage can’t have a true marriage. The same is true of men who are promiscuous because they have no respect for or ideal of marriage. Without repentance and a change of heart, these people will continue to disrespect and violate marriage, making true marriage impossible for them.

      About your second point:

      The irony of Swedenborg’s opposition to celibacy was that he himself remained unmarried throughout his earthly life, and wrote his theological writings, including his book on marriage love, as a bachelor. It’s hard to imagine his engaging so intensely in those spiritual pursuits if he were married with children.

      However, his bachelorhood was not because he had taken a position that celibacy was spiritually preferable to marriage, but because his attempts early in life to form a marriage were unsuccessful. Even for himself, his preferred state was marriage. We know from a few statements in his unpublished writings that he looked forward to being married in heaven. And both here on earth and in his travels in the spiritual world he greatly enjoyed and valued his interactions with women. He published several stories of learning various points of wisdom from conversations with women in heaven.

      Perhaps for some people, remaining single is necessary for them to accomplish their life work here on earth. But if that is turned into a commitment to remaining celibate based on principle, I continue to believe that it narrows and weakens rather than broadens and strengthens people’s spiritual and intellectual pursuits.

      For one things Swedenborg also says that intellect untempered by love is rigid, hard, unyielding, and brittle. Men who reject feminine connections and influences commonly create hard, brittle, and unyielding philosophies and theologies that, in the long run, don’t well serve either themselves or humanity.

      As an example of this, I doubt Catholicism could long hold onto many of its harsher and more unyielding attitudes, doctrines, and practices if women had access to the Catholic priesthood, and if Catholic priests were allowed to marry. The presence of women on an equal footing with men makes such unyielding and over-intellectualized harshness much more difficult to maintain.

      • Rohan Pereira says:

        Hi Lee

        I have to dig deeper into your assertion that some of Swedenborg’s thoughts are in a way obsolete because they were written for an 18th century audience.

        I would rather rephrase to be that Swedenborg’s writings are overwhimingly written for a male audience using masculine thought processes.

        Let me explain based on my latest learnings.

        From my personal observations, I have been wondering why women in general were more likely to inquire into a new age religion over a traditional mainstream religion like Christianity, Islam, etc. Why were they more likely to engage in Goddess worship, mother nature worship, Paganism, temple prostitution, etc when they had no male relationships (via a husband or father) to a mainstream religion.

        and then I found this gem of wisdom from the web that explained the difference:

        reference-http://www.taotantricarts.com/the-feminine-spiritual-path.html

        ‘…The masculine style of opening (in a man or in a woman) is when we open through silence, meditation, aloneness, asceticism, facing death and through discipline.

        The feminine style of opening (in a man or in a woman) is when we open through energy, movement, connection, love, touch, the senses, merging into life, pleasure and through surrender…’

        Similarly I have observed in Swedenborg’s writings that male spirits ‘ALWAYS’ gave different opinions to female spirits for the same question both in hell and in heaven.

        So therefore Swedenborg’s writings should not be discounted purely from the fact that they were written for a different culture but rather Swedenborg’s writings are not tempered with the feminine perspective.

        But the feminine perspective is not something that can be written down though in the form of reason. The feminine thought is of feeling and not of reason. For example: A male can say I love you (for X, Y or Z reasons, I will continue to love you now and the future) but the female response of ‘I love you’ is based on ‘I love how you make me feel at this present moment but this does not extend to the future’.

        So while we can say that Swedenborg’s writings are in a way obsolete because it lacks the feminine perspective, we cannot say that here instead is another female-inclusive perspective that is universally correct. This is because the female perspective is only valid for the current moment of time given the current culture, environment and experiences.

        Also coming back to virginity, there is more from Swedenborg on it. He states in conjugial love that almost all female harlots only became harlots because they were first duped by a male lover. He also hints that a lesser form of evil was for a male to temper his sexual urges with only a woman that was not a virgin. He also hints at a divine order for relationship courting were physical relationships are not allowed before a spiritual and then emotional relationship is created. So therefore the virginity principle has some meaning to it and the ancients all considered virginity sacred. Therefore it cannot be discounted entirely.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          In addition to the above, I must also add another personal observation regarding celibacy and MGTOW.

          During the recent same-sex plebiscite in Australia.

          The ‘yes’ campaign were publicly for the most past majority represented by women. Their campaign motto was ‘Love is Love’. I interpret this to mean that ‘Love is the feeling of Love’.

          When I encountered such women over debate, they would for the most part refuse to enter into a logical debate as to the meaning of Love. They would engage in ‘shaming’ those that wanted to come in between a same sex couple’s feeling of Love for each other.

          Now irrespective of the same sex marriage debate, I noticed that males for the most part had to side with women particularly if they were in a relationship. And it was they who had fought for the yes campaign on the basis of reason. Men who refused to do so were shamed ad ‘cavemen’, ‘misogynists’, ‘bigots’, etc. It was almost as if women threatened to withhold sex to such men (this has been done many times in recent history for other campaigns).

          On the ‘No’ side, I noticed that a majority of the women who were vocal against same sex marriage were Christian. This could imply that the wife’s desires had to match the reason of the husband or the truths of their church unlike their counterparts in the yes campaign.

          So what this implies is that women’s expression of desire causes most men to engage in the fulfilment of that desire irrespective if the desire is good or evil.

          Hence there is a place in society for celibates and MGTOW as a counter measure against the potential vanity of society.

          This was the reasoning behind the celibacy of early Christian figures such as St. Augustine, Paul and Jerome. You will also find such reasoning the writings of nearly all ancient philosophers who bemoaned the potential abuse of such a power by women.

          Similarly you will find in books, the popular ancient Roman sarcasm that mighty Rome was in fact ruled by women prior to its downfall.

          I would also add that it would be unlikely for Swedenborg to have written what he did over the space of 3 decades had he not been a celibate.

          Swedenborg also writes that in the spiritual heaven, the male is the form of truth and the wife the affection for it.

          But in the celestial heaven, it was vice versa. So therefore the women by devine design has great power for good or evil at the extreme ends of heaven and hell.

          Hence MGTOW and celibacy should not be looked down upon entirely without first considering the reasons for voluntary celibacy.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Men and women both have a part in the degeneration of any degenerating society. Blaming it on the women who are “the real power” behind the men in power is not sound thinking. If the men were not amenable to what the women want them to do, they would not do it. And any man who is lacking enough in moral principle and strength to allow an immoral woman to lead him through blandishments on the one hand and sexual pressure on the other is himself an immoral man, and would likely do immoral things regardless of whether there is a degenerate woman “behind” him.

          I reject the notion that the downfall of any society, including both Rome and present-day Western society, is due to the influence degenerate and immoral women. For better or for worse, in any society men and women act in tandem, regardless of power structures. If a society is degenerating, it is because both the women and the men of that society are degenerating.

          The MGTOW and general Red Pill arguments that our present-day society is going to hell in a handbasket due to feminism and gynocentrism is a groundless and ridiculous argument. It’s just another example of men blaming women for their own ills and for the ills of society.

          And it’s not manly.

          Real men take responsibility for their own lives. Real men don’t blame women for their own problems, nor do they blame women for the problems of the world. Rather, real men shoulder the burden of responsibility for their own lives, and do their part to right the wrongs of society rather than looking for scapegoats to blame those problems on.

          Yes, immoral women use their feminine wiles to dupe and mislead men who are susceptible to their wiles.

          But moral women use their deep wisdom, grounded in love and relationships, to moderate the worst excesses of over-intellectual men, and temper the male intellect, pride, and ego with a feminine love, interpersonal focus, and recognition of other people’s wisdom as well as one’s own.

          Swedenborg was not a “celibate.” Celibacy implies a commitment to remaining single. Swedenborg was, rather, a bachelor, through no choice of his own. And as the stories of his spiritual experiences published in his theological writings show, having no wife of his own, he actively sought out the views of women in the spiritual world in order to provide the necessary counterbalance to his own unaccompanied male intellect.

          My greatest problem with MGTOW is not their desire to be single. As I’ve said in every article I’ve written, and every debate I’ve had on the subject, it’s a man’s own choice whether he wants to be single or married.

          My greatest problem with MGTOW, rather, is in its generally jaundiced view of women, which emphasizes all of the negative aspects of negative womanhood, and minimizes or denies all of the positive aspects of positive womanhood. And, of course, that MGTOW objections to the contrary, as a group, today’s MGTOW do despise and denigrate women, and blame women for their own problems.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Thanks for your thoughts.

          It’s not a matter of discounting virginity. It’s a matter of recognizing that human life is not always ideal (in fact, it’s never ideal), and adapting ideals to the realities of human life. I continue to believe that the ideal is for people not to have sex before marriage. But the reality is that many people do, and they can still go on to have a good, loving, and spiritual marriage, depending upon their attitudes toward marriage.

          It’s also not a matter of discounting Swedenborg’s writings. It’s a matter of recognizing the reality that divine revelation must be delivered in human containers because otherwise we wouldn’t understand it. And those human containers include many elements from the particular cultures in which the human beings who are the means of revelation lived.

          Further, revelation embodies a relationship between God and humanity. This means that to be revelation, it must have both a divine side and a human side. Recognizing that there are human, culturally-derived elements in any revelation, including both the Bible and Swedenborg’s writings, doesn’t discount them as revelation. Rather, it honors the nature of revelation as a relationship between God and humanity.

          But it also means that some elements of revelation will, in their “literal meaning,” inevitably be adapted specifically to the specific cultures in which they were given. When later, very different cultures draw on those revelations, it’s best if they distinguish between the universal divine truths that are the underlying, divine reality, and the temporal, human, cultural clothing in which those divine truths have been cloaked and expressed.

          Further, in any revelation, some meanings and correspondences are universal, and some depend upon how a particular thing functions within the particular culture. And most have elements of both.

          Virginity is commonly seen cross-culturally as a sign of purity and innocence. However, some cultures insist upon virginity (especially of women) prior to marriage, and others do not. So yes, there is a universal significance of virginity as purity, innocence, and, for a virgin of marriageable age, an inclination to join love with wisdom. But in Western culture it is common for people to think of virgins as naive, inexperienced, and not so likely to have a real sense of what marriage is all about. Whether or not that’s actually true, it’s a common attitude in contemporary Western society. And virginity can have a negative meaning. Even in the Bible, Jesus tells a story in which there are five wise virgins and five foolish virgins. And the foolish virgins have a negative meaning.

          For these and many other reasons, it is not sound spiritual reasoning to take a particular statement in Swedenborg’s writings about virginity and make a universal, hard-and-fast rule out of it. Human life just isn’t that simple. And God is able to bring good even from evil. Stated flatly, the idea that women who aren’t virgins when they get married can’t have real marriage love simply isn’t true.

          In addition to the examples from Swedenborg that I provided before, Swedenborg also has a whole segment in Marriage Love about people who commit adultery, and yet, for some of them it is relatively mild, and doesn’t preclude real marriage, whereas for others it is very serious, and makes it nearly impossible for them to ever have a real marriage.

          Back to general observations, it just isn’t a good idea to take individual verses of the Bible, or individual statements in Swedenborg, and build our whole structure of belief on that subject from those individual snippets. It is necessary to read the entire Bible, and every verse in it in the context of the whole. And it is also necessary to read Swedenborg’s statements on any subject, including virginity, in the context of the rest of what he says about virginity, sex, and marriage. We can then build up a more realistic picture on the subject that more broadly reflects the realities of human life and experience.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Nice quotes on the masculine and feminine styles of opening. It’s a reflection of the nature of truth as something that distinguishes and divides, compared to the nature of love as something that unites and melds together.

          However, I don’t think it’s true that women can’t make commitments because their love tends to be more present-oriented. Many women stick with their husbands through thick and thin, including through times when they really don’t feel a whole lot of present-moment love for their husbands.

          I would say it’s more a matter of husbands commonly being willing to stick with even a bad marriage indefinitely, whereas women are unlikely to allow a marriage to remain a bad one indefinitely, but will either require that it improve or will move toward breaking off the marriage. This, I would suggest, has more to do with women having a greater sense of the underlying realities of a marriage relationship than men (who tend to be blissfully ignorant of what’s really going on in their marriage) than to any inability on the part of women to make a commitment beyond the present moment and present feelings.

          About Swedenborg’s writings being male-oriented, I would say that’s generally true, but not to the extent that you seem to be saying. Certainly Swedenborg was a male intellectual, and he was writing primarily for an educated male audience. But the very fact that women’s voices are heavily represented, in contrast to men’s, in Swedenborg’s writings suggests that Swedenborg was open to a feminine voice, and that that voice is represented in his writings, even if Swedenborg’s own voice is clearly a masculine one.

          Although there are elements in Swedenborg’s writing on men and women that I find troublesome, such as his defining women’s character in reference to men’s character, but not the reverse, in general I would say that especially for an 18th century intellectual, Swedenborg’s writings have a great deal of feminine influence, and that they honor and respect women and the feminine voice far more than most writings of his day, and even than many writings by male intellectuals today.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Yes my comment comes off as blaming women for the downfall of societies and I would say that I am wrong.

          I would rather say that if women correspond to the ‘will’ and men correspond to the ‘intellect’ as Swedenborg put it, then the intellect is powerless against the will. Swedenborg understood this when he questioned a female angel as to why women had such a great power to influence men.

          The bible seems to depict a constant pattern of men serving as the ‘intellect’ for the perceived ‘will’ of the woman and this being the cause of the downfall of many ancient churches. Eve incited Adam, Solomon’s wives turned his heart away, Samson was tricked by Delilah, Job’s wife asked him to curse God, Gomer abandoned Hosiah, Lot’s wife heart was set on worldly desires, Herodias provoked Herod into slaying John, the Egyptian wife tried to seduce Joseph, Mary thought Jesus was crazy and tried to take him away from the synagogue, etc. We cannot deny this common pattern that the ancients were highlighting across the ages.

          So yes you are right in that a ‘real man’ does not succumb to the will of another if it is in opposition to God. But such men in free open society are few.

          What I had realised from the same-sex plebiscite that I had mentioned about in my previous comment was that the Yes campaign used propaganda that was entirely of feeling. If you go to YouTube, you will see their promotional videos wherein
          couples of all genders and colours are depicted as simply hugging and being happy. They did not even have to argue their case whereas the No campaign videos where fought entirely on reason e.g. Somebody appearing to talk about keeping traditional families intact.

          The voice of reasoning (intellect) did not stand a chance against the voice of feeling (will) in the end.

          And this is what MGTOW cite a lot in their posts that urban women have been the target of propaganda campaigns. Because once the women have their wills aligned with the propagandists in Hollywood, big business and government, then their men will follow suit.

          Have a look at this widely commended propaganda video targeted at women that Rami in his comment would be concerned about https://youtu.be/XqHYzYn3WZw.

          So when such forces tell women that male authority is always bad, religion is the product of patriarchy, monogamy is outdated, career and travel over children, sexuality must be explored, etc then society has little chance because the women are then encouraged to collectively deny relationships to men that do not accept such views.

          At the other end of the spectrum, there is a passage in conjugial love where Swedenborg asks the wisest of angels as to what does a woman have to do with a wise man and the angels hint that they are wise because their wives desire spiritually wise husbands.

          So it is clear that the ‘will’ of the woman can influence man to act as her proxy intellect and to do either good or evil.

          So therefore MGTOW and celibacy is simply a refuge for men in the same way that Augustine and the celibate monks used the lonely deserts to get away from cultures where the will of the woman was turned away from spirituality.

          And in these online refuges, you will find a lot of men in search of philosophical truths. It is here where they are encouraged to pick up religion/stoicism instead of going back into accomdating a degenerate culture.

          The red pill on the other hand is about profiting from a degenerate culture which I am against.

          I also don’t think that the woman is virtuous because she is more likely to stay with a bad husband.

          I knew one couple personally and I would say that there are complex reasons behind why the woman stays with the man such as the age of the woman, her children, finances, reputation and her ability to draw another man in.

          But I would cite another reason… Many of them have grown to be actually content with such relationships.

          In the previous comment, I mentioned that the female’s spiritual path was one where she felt more alive where as the male’s was of acetic-ally throwing away his identity.

          Such women feel attached to bad men (playboys, socialites and the heartbreakers) because they give them a range of emotions to feel. They make them feel extreme ends of sad, angry, love, happiness, adventure, drama, etc.

          70% of divorces are filed by women and the reason most women attributed to divorce was that they were neglected or rather their partner did not make them feel alive. Therefore she will remain in a bad relationship as long as she is not neglected.

          The woman has an affinity to wanting to experience such a range and intensity of emotions because at her core she is given the ability to be a mother and that comes with being able to handle the up and down emotional nature of children.

          She can handle a bad husband for the same reason nature gave her the ability to manage a bad child.

          So I would not cite that to be coming from a place of virtue.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          What has me concerned is that your comments on this subject are continually highlighting the negatives of woman being the will, and downplaying or ignoring the positives. Your statements also seem to assume that man being intellect is always positive, which is certainly not the case.

          But to focus on the female side for now: Whether a woman being characterized by will is good or bad depends upon whether the woman herself is good or bad, moral or immoral, loving of others or primarily in love with herself. (And of course, there are many shades of gray between good and bad, in which most actual women exist.)

          Yes, there are many instances in the Bible of women leading men astray. But there are also many instances in the Bible of women making sure that the right thing happened when if it were up to the men, the wrong thing would have happened.

          • Sarah made sure that Abraham’s lineage and legacy would go through Isaac, not Ishmael.
          • Rebekah ensured that the strong-willed Jacob would carry on that legacy, not the weak-willed Esau (who was his father Isaac’s favorite).
          • Zipporah acted quickly and decisively to save Moses from being killed by Yahweh.
          • Deborah led the way in defeating Sisera and his army when Barak was too weak to provide that leadership.
          • Mary realized her mistake and became a follower of Jesus, giving much strength to the early Apostles.
          • The women followers of Jesus were first to see and recognize him after his resurrection, while the men still doubted and discounted their story.

          Many more examples could be given. For a longer version on some of these biblical women and their critical, positive role in the story, see: “Is the Bible a Book about Men? What about Women?

          The idea that women are always a negative force due to the power of their will over men is unbalanced and false. Once again, it all depends upon the moral and spiritual character of the woman. And just as there are many good men who do great and positive things, so there are many good woman who do great and positive things, including in their influence on men.

          Men are also able to influence women negatively, and lead women astray. So the idea that it’s always women leading men astray is also unbalanced and false.

          Once again, what I find most problematic in MGTOW materials and attitudes is the highly unbalanced, negative view of women. It’s not that everything they say about women is false. It’s that they see and comment on only the negative side of women, so that their view of women is completely unbalanced and therefore false. A half-truth is not a truth. And seeing only the negative aspects of women, but not the positive aspects, is a half-truth.

          As for the ascetics, while they may have thought they were escaping a corrupt world to be pure in the desert, what they mostly came up with was dour, joyless, loveless philosophies of life. And that is diametrically opposed to true Christianity, which is full of interpersonal love and joy.

          And as for the two sides of the homosexuality plebiscite, the irony is that the “rational arguments” of the anti-gay-marriage side are ignorant, irrational, and false.

          To take up just the one you mention, opposing gay marriage does not have any positive effect upon “keeping traditional families intact.” In fact, it has just the opposite effect.

          For one thing, social and religious opposition to homosexuality has had the effect of pushing gays and lesbians into heterosexual marriages that are doomed from the start, and that will almost inevitably break up and cause much pain and confusion for the children of those marriages, and a bad model of marriage for those children as they grow up.

          Further, the idea that same-sex marriage destroys traditional marriage is based on the false idea that people choose to be gay or lesbian, and that people can be influenced to be gay or lesbian when they would otherwise be straight. There is now a vast weight of evidence that this simply isn’t true: that somewhere between 1.5% and 3.5% of the population is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, with a few other less common orientations thrown in, whereas 96.5% to 98.5% of the population is straight. Accepting gay marriage will have no effect whatsoever on “traditional families.” The overwhelming majority of the population is straight, and will form opposite-sex marriage, have and raise children in opposite-sex families, and so on, regardless of whether gays and lesbians are socially and legally allowed to form same-sex marriages.

          There is also no evidence whatsoever that children raised by gay and lesbian couples are more likely to be gay or lesbian than straight.

          I could go on. But the short version is that the idea that allowing same-sex marriage will somehow destroy or diminish heterosexual marriage has absolutely no rational or scientific basis.

          In short, the “rational (intellectual)” arguments against same-sex marriage are actually irrational, emotional arguments that have no basis in fact or reality.

          For a man to represent truth and intellect properly, he must base his thinking on actual truth, not on irrational social prejudices, no matter how ancient those prejudices may be.

          (For those just tuning in, there is abundant supporting evidence on the homosexuality issue in this article here: “Homosexuality, the Bible, and Christianity.”)

          This also means that just as women, with their strong wills, can have a negative effect upon society if their will is bad, so men, with their strong intellects, can have a negative effect upon society if their intellect is bad.

          And we haven’t even delved into the deeper reality about men and women that Swedenborg also presents, though less often than the traditional man = intellect and woman = will. The deeper reality is that man is love expressed via wisdom, whereas woman is wisdom expressed via love. So the identification of man with the head and woman with the heart is only the external reality. In the internal reality, the roles are reversed.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Also to add, you made a statement:

          ‘…has more to do with women having a greater sense of the underlying realities of a marriage relationship than men…’

          This goes against the advice that you written in this post in not treating a whole gender as the same.

          Because if you advised the MGTOWer in the post to not think of women as more immoral to men, then you similarly cannot hint of women being more moral to men.

          The statement you made comes across as that women [all women] have a better understanding of the inner realities of the women.

          You have to apply your own same rule by saying instead that ‘some women understand it and some don’t.’.

          It may seem like a small observation but its impact is huge.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Women in general have a greater sense of the underlying realities of a marriage relationship than men. A good woman will use this to bring about good things in the relationship. A bad woman will use this to bring about bad things in the relationship. Either way, the woman is generally less clueless than the man about the state of the marriage. And yes, this is a generality, not a universal rule.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          I have never stated in any of my comments that the women being the will is negative nor have I said that the man being the intellect. This is a misrepresentation.

          All I have said is that is that the man’s intellect is more likely to serve the woman’s will than his own will.

          And that a man will carry out good or evil to fulfill the respective good or evil desires of the will of the woman.

          And I stand by my only negative comment that in this age, an independent woman is very likely to renounce traditional religion for new-age female diety centric philosophies that pride the woman as a whole as being more virtuous e.g. The goddess movement.

          Secondly I have not said homosexuality is bad or good. I am on the fence on that one but was highlighting how culture wars are now fought.

          What I have said is that when a debate is fought through feeling then in almost all circumstances reason cannot win. This is a thing of concern for all religious men.

          For example, in the linked YouTube video, when the feminists hint that most women are beaten up by men. One cannot reason with them with statistics or proof. The battle is already lost. And this is what most MGTOWErs are going through.

          They may be wrong in many areas but you cannot deny their underlying realities of the cultures they live in and the state of monogamy especially when you some of your posts indicate that men are waking up as animals.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          If you don’t think that a woman’s will is generally a negative influence on men, that’s a good thing. It may be a negative influence, or it may be a positive influence, depending upon the character of the woman. Women come in good and evil flavors just as men do.

          I would say that a man will serve his own will regardless. If what his will prompts him to accomplish is either congruent with a woman’s will or requires him to satisfy a woman’s will to get what he wants from her (such as sex), then he will serve her will in order to serve his own will.

          If in serving his own will a man does something immoral, wrong, or corrupt at the prompting of a woman in the process, that’s still serving his own immoral, wrong, or corrupt will to get what he wants regardless of what he might have to do or who might get hurt in order to get it. Men will not do something entirely contrary to their own will in order to serve a woman’s will. If they’re willing to do something wrong to please a woman, then they’re willing to do something wrong, period.

          A good man will not do evil to carry out a bad woman’s bad will. Only a bad man will. So it’s still wrong to place the blame for the wrong a man does at the behest of a woman on the woman. The reality is that, both are working in tandem to do the evil, each for her or his own purposes, which may or may not be entirely congruent with the other’s purposes. And men who blame women for their actions are just making weak excuses for their own bad behavior.

          Yes, many women are abandoning Christianity and going for the goddess movement or some other type of spirituality—or becoming atheists. That’s because after its first century or so, Christianity has historically not been particularly good for women. It has tended to denigrate women and make woman secondary to and inferior to man. That’s Christianity’s fault, not women’s fault. And if many women are abandoning Christianity for that reason, then it’s part of the abandonment of and judgment on the corrupt relics of a long-ago corrupted “Christianity.”

          When Christianity as an institution stops being sexist, women will return to it.

          My point about the homosexuality debate is that “emotional” arguments are not always wrong, and “rational” arguments are not always right.

          The very reason we need women on an equal footing with men is that we need a balance of emotion and reason to arrive at a good and just society. In the case of the arguments in Australia (and elsewhere as well) on the pro and con side of the gay rights and same-sex marriage debates, the “rational” arguments were based on fallacy, whereas the “emotional” arguments were based on reality. And in that case, the emotional arguments should win.

          I found the YouTube video you linked offensive also. However, the statistic I heard put into the mouths of the little girls was that one in five women would be sexually assaulted by a man. It simply doesn’t say, nor even hint, that “most women are beaten up by men.” It quotes a statistic which seems reasonable to me. And that statistic represents a wrong that should be fixed. But I still don’t like the video. I find videos in which adults put words in children’s mouths to push their own agendas annoying, even without all the gratuitous profanity in that particular video.

          But to the point, if a MGTOW were to watch that video and conclude that it is saying that “most women are beaten up by men” that would be an inaccurate portrayal of what the video actually says. And in fact, my experience with MGTOW rants (which is what they commonly are) is that they engage in wholesale misrepresentation and exaggeration of what feminists as a group are actually saying. And of course, MGTOW rants focus on the most radical end of the feminist movement as if it accurately represents the entire feminist movement. That’s like atheists saying that Christianity is a terrible religion because . . . you know . . . CRAZY FUNDAMENTALISTS!

          And though marriage may look like a mess in today’s society, I would suggest that if you sort out the inevitable chaos that always takes place during major societal paradigm shifts, marriage is actually in a better state now than it has ever been in recorded history.

          In all of recorded history, there effectively wasn’t marriage of the kind that Swedenborg describes in Marriage Love. That kind of marriage requires an equal honoring of the character and contributions of both the man and the woman. But in all of recorded history, in just about every culture we’re aware of, women were seen as inherently inferior to men. That attitude makes real, spiritual marriage impossible.

          That’s just one of the reasons Swedenborg says:

          There is a true marriage love, which today is so rare that people do not know what it is like, and hardly even know that it exists. (Marriage Love #58)

          Today, although the bulk of marriages around the world probably still aren’t characterized by true marriage love, at least some of them are. And as the ideal of marriage as an equal partnership entered into for love and shared values becomes more and more widespread in the world, there are more and more marriages that are actually real marriages.

          What MGTOW see is the breakdown of “traditional marriage,” which really isn’t marriage at all, as Swedenborg defines it. It’s almost a parent/child relationship rather than a marriage relationship. The man is the father, and the woman is like a daughter who must obey him. That’s not real marriage, even if it may have been accepted socially as “marriage” for thousands of years in most cultures around the world.

          Yes, the marriage and gender scene is messy today. But that’s because the old, false idea of “marriage” is finally breaking down, as it eventually had to, because humanity is finally getting a glimpse of what real marriage is supposed to be, as originally created by God but lost long before humans became literate and began recording our history.

          If there is some weirdness and chaos going on in the marriage and gender front, that’s just how major change works. Things are thrown into a chaos, and out of that chaos a new order emerges. That’s straight out of Swedenborg:

          Before anything is restored to order it is very common for everything to be reduced first of all to a state of confusion resembling chaos so that things that are not compatible may be separated from one another. And once these have been separated the Lord arranges them into order. Phenomena comparable to this take place in nature. There too every single thing is first reduced to a state of confusion before being put in its proper place. Unless atmospheric conditions included strong winds to disperse alien substances, the air could not possibly be cleared, and harmful toxic substances would accumulate in it. The same applies to the human body. Unless all things in the bloodstream, those that are alien as well as those that are congenial, were flowing along together unceasingly and repeatedly into the same heart where they are mixed together, the vital fluids would be in danger of clotting and each constituent could not possibly be precisely disposed to perform its proper function. The same also applies to a person’s regeneration. (Arcana Coelestia #849:3)

          Today’s gender and marriage chaos is, I believe, the breaking up of the old incompatibility between marriage as it actually existed in human society and marriage is it was originally created by God to be. This chaos won’t last forever. A better form of marriage—one that actually is marriage—is steadily emerging out of the chaos, and will become the new order once the dust settles.

  3. Rohan Pereira says:

    Hi Lee

    Sorry for the late reply!

    You make a really good point that emotion and reason together make a good and just society.

    Its just that I have an appreciation now for Immanuel Kant and a core philosophy of his which is that true virtue is ‘the quality of raising the feeling of humanity’s beauty and dignity to a principle’.

    Or if I have to paraphrase it…

    ‘there must be rational and universal principle behind the display of positive emotion to another if it is to be considered a virtue’.

    The feminist movements driving social change around the world shy away from defining or communication such principles. They despise authority and they despise the use of reason to validate emotions.

    Their motto is that ‘if it feels right between two people then it is right’. Their campaigns such as ‘Love is Love’, ‘Real men do not do XXX’ or ‘Make Love not War’ are not principles. What is ‘Love’, what is ‘Real men’, ‘What is rape’. They are ambiguous by design. The reason they do not define Love or Real men or Consent is because they have left it to the woman do decide its value given her own circumstances. She chooses what is love, who is a real man and what is consent.

    If she finds you attractive, then the consent was mutual. If she suddenly finds you repulsive, the consent was not mutual.

    I agree on your assertion that a man who does the evil will of another is not innocent. But he is not always culpable for his evil.

    The way I see it is that a male under the age of 25 is mostly incapable of restraining his biological impulses. His normal rational nature is overpowered by the emotions he feels.

    But women by the age of 25 have matured faster and the young man is not able to resist the manipulation of his will by the young woman. As Swedenborg writes in conjugial love, the woman is able to put on a cloak of innocence and can trick men into doing her will. The young man’s hormones overpower his ability to rationally evaluate the intentions.

    Most cultures enforced celibacy for the young and early marriage coupled with law and customs were there to protect the young man from the young woman and the young woman from the young man.

    Traditional marriage was a necessity because man lived in a harsh unreliable world and they needed some artificial permanence to keep it going. Traditional marriage had many artificial external restraints out of necessity or society would not have been able to trust each other.

    Today the external restraints have been taken away and the man’s physical powers too have been restrained. Which means that he is left open to the emotional powers of the woman.

    Hence you will find on the internet forums of MGTOW and the red pill, mostly young men who have been burned, neutered and terrorised by women. They communicate how the woman thinks and how to live with her nature because general society no longer tells them what to expect.

    We can only hope that future generations develop the courage to call out women and hold them accountable to principles.

    I can see that you are courageous enough to hint that such men are animals but I am convinced you have no courage to even write the same of women on your site.

    No you have a reputation and any hint of misogyny could damage it. You may have a wife or a daughter or a female audience that you cannot risk offending like you would for men.

    Only a celibate can truly speak his mind. Swedenborg had no such restraints. Jesus had no such restraints. They could say what they wanted and be the most hated person in Christianity or the world respectively.

    but nevertheless I follow the teachings of OSHO in that old marriage must die not because it is inherently misogynistic but because two people should choose to love each in complete freedom devoid of external restraint.

    They must be able to have the options to destroy and manipulate each other but choose not to. They must not depend on law and custom to protect themselves from each other.

    This is the principle for the future that I believe Swedenborg was describing.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rohan,

      First, let’s not make this personal.

      I am perfectly willing to call out women when I believe they are thinking or acting wrongly. The fact that I am married, not single, doesn’t restrain me from that—though it does give me a woman’s perspective, which is very helpful. If anything, Annette is harder on women who don’t measure up to her standards than I am. And these are not “emotional” standards. If a woman is a slacker or uses emotional and sexual wiles to manipulate men into doing her work—including her dirty work—for her, Annette has very little respect for that woman, to put it mildly.

      I have never felt constrained in expressing what I think about women in general, or about particular women who raise issues or questions here. For just one example, see: “What If I’m In Love with Someone I Can’t Have?” If anything, I’m able to speak more strongly because I can run it by an intelligent and experienced woman, and ensure that I’m not missing something obvious that a woman’s perspective can supply. And unlike a single man, no one can accuse me of having no idea what women think and how they feel, because I have a woman with me whose judgment I trust whom I can consult on these things.

      About feminism:

      Though some women do the things you describe, for the most part feminism is a pragmatic movement. It’s about gaining the same rights for women that men have. It’s about protecting women and children from sexual predation, predominantly by men. It’s about generally balancing the societal scales on gender issues.

      Have some parts of the feminist movement gone overboard and created imbalances of their own?

      Yes.

      But is the movement as a whole an emotional, irrational one?

      No.

      The general goals of the feminist movement are, in my view, reasonable and worthy of adoption, even if I don’t agree with some of the more radical viewpoints among feminists. I believe women (and people in general) should be free from the fear of sexual and other types of predation, and that the laws against such predation should be strong and fully enforced. And I believe that women should have equal opportunity in the workplace.

      Having said that, I don’t believe the law should force businesses to hire women in preference to men, to pay the same wages for female-dominated jobs as for male-dominated jobs, and so on. These are things that should be left to the market to decide. I believe in equality of opportunity. But the idea that different groups of people—whether sorted by gender, race, religion, or other criteria—are ever going to function exactly the same way in society is, in my view, a pipe dream. Specifically, women and men are different, and we’re never going to erase those differences.

      About young women beguiling young men:

      It works both ways.

      • Many young women do like to wrap young men around their fingers and get them to bankroll them do their dirty work, even threatening to wreck their lives if they don’t.
      • Many young men like to get into the pants of a young woman before moving on to the next one and getting into her pants.

      Both young women and young men have their agendas, which often aren’t very good agendas. It is common for each to try to take advantage of the other based on the general self-absorption of young people, regardless of gender.

      If young women are generally better at emotionally manipulating young men, young men can be quite skilled at coaxing even reluctant young women into bed. They’ll paint rosy pictures of commitment and white picket fences until they get an attractive woman’s clothes off, have sex with her as many times as they want, and fully enjoy her naked body until they reach a point of satiation with her. Having achieved that, they’ll dump her and move on to the next visually pleasing target. The PUA (not MGTOW or Red Pillers in general) that I referred to as human animals have developed this practice into an art form.

      Youth in general is a messy time of life. Focusing on all the wrongs of young women, and not paying attention to the wrongs of young men, does not result in a balanced perspective.

      About marriage:

      I agree that ultimately it should be based on internal love, commitment, and integrity rather than on external laws and bonds. However, we’re a long way from everyone having sufficient spiritual maturity just to relax all social and legal restraints and let people do whatever they want, regardless of the fallout. But that’s a huge topic, and not one I have time to delve into right now.

      • Rohan Pereira says:

        Hi Lee

        Apologies for getting personal but I didn’t mean to include your wife in the comment.

        It was a generic statement that applies to all married folks with children. That their opinions change by default because their will has to accommodate the interests of their spouse and children by default.

        There’s similar accounts of feminists softening their stance when they eventually give birth to boys. http://www.scarymommy.com/having-son-changed-feminism-for-me/

        Thanks for your discussing your ideas with me.

        I now understand that there is quite a large gulf in your opinions and Swedenborg’s especially around relationships and atheism.

        Perhaps you are right and he is wrong.

        It just that both Swedenborg and Paul claim to have their writings provided to them by divine intervention and wrote it as a blueprint for future generations.

        If a huge part of Swedenborg’s writings have been superseded by a newer revelation owing to cultural change, then it sets a poor precendent for determining objective universal truth.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          And my generic statement is that married folks with children are better able to speak objectively and authoritatively about gender issues precisely because they are married and have children. Single, and especially celibate, people are less able to do so. They are less objective because they have only their own gender’s point of view. That is, if they don’t actively seek out the company of the other sex, which, as I’ve said previously, Swedenborg did extensively.

          I never said that “a huge part of Swedenborg’s writings have been superseded by newer revelation.” I don’t claim any revelation.

          But yes, there have been huge cultural changes since Swedenborg’s time, and even more huge cultural changes since the Bible was written. Not recognizing this has caused many people, both Swedenborgians and general Christians, to completely misunderstand the real message of both the Bible and Swedenborg.

          Cultures change. Spiritual truth is timeless. It is not the spiritual truth, but its application to the culture that changes. Without recognizing this, we have no hope of even approaching “objective universal truth.”

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Here are a few more responses following up on my quick reply last night:

          First, thanks for the link. It’s a good article. I’ve read similar ones in the past, generally focusing more on feminists realizing, upon having a son of their own, that boys (and men) really are different than girls (and women), and that it’s not just socialization and the way they’re raised. In the article you linked, I found some of the author’s concluding words particularly cogent:

          Boys who grow up feeling confident, loved, respected, and trusted don’t need to seek hypermasculine security blankets to confirm who they are. They don’t need to harass or exert authority over women to prove their worthiness. They don’t feel threatened by a society that places value on equality and fairness. They become leaders who embrace their truest nature, and in turn, their truest strengths. This, at least, is my hope.

          This has been the general experience for me and, to the best of my knowledge, for my siblings as well (three sisters, four brothers). Not that we’re a perfect family. But based on the way our parents raised us, we’re all pretty comfortable in our own identity as men or women. That seems to be continuing down to the next generations in our family as well.

          I understand that a lot of young men have crises about their masculinity. For me, it’s just a simple fact: I’m a man. I have never felt any need to “prove it.” This has freed me from doing all sorts of foolish and stupid things based on social pressure. (And freed me to do my own stupid and foolish things! 😉 ) I don’t fear feminism or feel threatened by women because I’m perfectly comfortable being a man, regardless of what women do. I am a man. There’s nothing anyone can do to change that. And I raised my own children (one girl and two boys) to feel the same way about themselves.

          About married people you say:

          It was a generic statement that applies to all married folks with children. That their opinions change by default because their will has to accommodate the interests of their spouse and children by default.

          Not just their will, but their understanding as well.

          And that is a good thing.

          I would encourage you to read the chapter in Swedenborg’s Marriage Love (traditionally Conjugial Love) about the changes in men and women that take place when they get married. In that chapter and related ones Swedenborg makes it abundantly clear not only that the minds and hearts of men and women are changed by their marriages to one another, but that this is a very good thing.

          The idea that single people and celibates are somehow more clear-minded and objective about men, women, and gender issues is based (among men) on a lingering idea from past, low-level (spiritually speaking) human cultures that men are intellectually and in most or all other ways superior to women, and that when a man connects himself with a woman, this very act taints and clouds his thinking, so that his mind and his statements can no longer be trusted.

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s pure hogwash.

          And though I could spend a lot of time here explaining exactly why it’s hogwash, once again I encourage you to read what Swedenborg says on the subject. And read the stories (aka “memorable relations”) in which he recounts his conversations with wives in the spiritual world, and hears what they teach him about the nature of a woman’s wisdom in relation to a man’s wisdom.

          You didn’t explicitly bring Annette into the conversation. But I did. Because with her I have experienced for myself exactly what Swedenborg, and those women in the spiritual world, are talking about. Annette is a woman. I am a man. We think in different ways. And speaking for myself, I know that having her with me, and having access to her different way of thinking, makes my own thinking much clearer than it ever was before, especially on gender issues. It’s not that I have any interest in becoming a woman or thinking like a woman. Nor have I “become a (#$%^) feminist,” as the MGTOW who stumble here commonly “accuse” me of being. Once again, I am a man. And as a man, I agree with some parts of the feminist movement, and disagree with other parts of it, according to my own philosophy and perspective. But being a man, having the benefit of a woman’s perspective and a woman’s way of thinking clarifies many things for me that on my own, with only a man’s mind to draw on, I simply could not understand very well.

          Based on this, when I hear single men, especially celibate men, expounding on the nature of women, men, gender, marriage, and so on, I don’t listen all that closely. Most of them simply don’t have the experience and perspective to properly understand and judge such things. Having only a male perspective makes them unable to properly see and understand the nature of women, marriage, and gender issues in general. Their views are unbalanced and therefore lack fullness and objectivity.

          MGTOW writings about women and gender issues are full of this one-sidedness and lack of balance and objectivity. Reading their stuff doesn’t “challenge” me. It makes me realize just how little they understand the things they are talking about. They are speaking based on the emotion of their own bad experiences with immature and/or toxic women. Despite all their loud shouting about rationality and objectivity, their thinking is heavily clouded and vitiated by their own emotions arising from their own bad experiences. They simply don’t have the objectivity or the rationality to properly understand the nature of women, men, and their relationships.

          Having said that, a few more “mature” MGTOW have stopped by here and spoken more thoughtfully on gender issues and relations. I’m speaking in generalizations—but generalizations that seem to cover the majority of the bell curve of MGTOW.

          And I should add that I have the same reaction to many writings by feminists who have taken, intentionally or unintentionally, an anti-male stance in their thinking and their life, often based upon bad experiences with immature and/or toxic men.

          Swedenborg, being single, knew he needed women’s perspectives in order to properly understand and write about the nature of man, woman, and marriage. That’s why he actively sought out women and engaged in philosophical conversation with them in the spiritual world. And we know from historical and biographical information about him that he actively sought out and enjoyed the company of women here on earth as well, despite—or perhaps because of—his unchosen status as a lifelong bachelor.

          Being married to a woman in one’s soul does change how a man looks at things and at people. And that, once again, is presented by Swedenborg as a very good thing. Here is a snippet from a story Swedenborg tells about a conversation with a married couple in the spiritual world. Swedenborg is addressing the husband:

          Then I asked, “If your union is such, are you able to look at any woman other than your own?”

          “Yes,” he replied, “I can, but because my wife is united with my soul, we two look together, and so not the slightest spark of lust can enter in. For when I look at other people’s wives, I see them through my wife, whom alone I love.”

          The subject here is a man looking at other women besides his wife. And the husband says that because he is united with his wife in his soul, he looks not only from his perspective, but from hers as well, and this prevents any wrong thinking or feeling from entering into his mind as he relates to other women.

          I would suggest that this same principle applies to everything a spiritually married man looks at and thinks about. Being united to a woman in his soul provides a clearer and deeper perspective than he would have on his own. The two minds together make a stronger, more clear-minded mind than either one does separately. This theme occurs many times throughout Swedenborg’s writings about the nature of man, woman, and marriage.

          This, of course, assumes that both the man and the woman have some level of spiritual development and maturity. Obviously, immature young men and women who get together with each other won’t experience this kind of mental synergy and clarity because neither of them has sufficient maturity to tap into that level of their mind, heart, and soul. They have yet to develop these parts of themselves, and so they cannot give them to one another.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          About Swedenborg and Paul, you say:

          It just that both Swedenborg and Paul claim to have their writings provided to them by divine intervention and wrote it as a blueprint for future generations.

          Yes and no. Both of them did indeed say that they were inspired by the Lord to preach what they preached and write what they wrote. But neither one of them claimed that everything they said or wrote was directly from the Lord. And neither of them made any claim that everything they wrote was “objective universal truth.”

          Also both of them are quite clear in a number of places that they are writing certain things to address the current social and spiritual situation.

          Paul certainly did say in a number of places that the Lord appeared to him and taught him the Gospel that he (Paul) preached. But he was also aware that some of his statements were his own opinions, and not from the Lord. He said so explicitly:

          To the married I give this command—not I but the Lord—that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does separate, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

          To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. . . .

          Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. (1 Corinthians 7:10–13, 25–25, italics added)

          So the idea that everything Paul wrote is pure divine truth from the Lord or “objective universal truth” is flatly contradicted by Paul himself.

          Further, he is here explicitly addressing “the impending crisis,” meaning the current social and spiritual situation, and giving advice in light of that. To read his words as “objective universal truth” when he specifically says that his words are given in view of the current situation is, once again, to ignore what Paul himself says about the purpose and application of his words.

          Swedenborg, for his part, didn’t claim that everything he wrote was based on divine revelation from the Lord. There are many accounts in his writings of conversations with angels and spirits who tell him various things. And he commonly says that the Lord granted him full consciousness in the spiritual world so that he could learn what he needed to know to write what he wrote. Further, he said in one of his letters that the Lord prepared him for his spiritual task by having him spend his life immersed in gaining scientific knowledge, especially, in his life leading up to the opening of his spiritual eyes in his mid-50s. Without this, Swedenborg said, he could not have understood or expressed what the Lord wanted to reveal to and through him.

          All of this makes it clear that Swedenborg’s writings are not pure divine revelation, nor are they “objective universal truth” from beginning to end. Rather, they are a divine revelation delivered to, and through, the mind of a human being filled with human knowledge of both material and spiritual things.

          And once again, Swedenborg never claims that everything he wrote is pure divine truth directly from the Lord. Here is what he does claim in the clearest statement in his published (or unpublished) writings regarding his divine inspiration:

          This Second Coming of the Lord Is Taking Place by Means of Someone to Whom the Lord Has Manifested Himself in Person and Whom He Has Filled with His Spirit So That That Individual Can Present the Teachings of the New Church on the Lord’s Behalf through the Agency of the Word

          The Lord cannot manifest himself to everyone in person, as has been shown just above [§§776-778], and yet he foretold that he would come and build a new church, which is the New Jerusalem. Therefore it follows that he is going to accomplish this through the agency of a human being who can not only accept these teachings intellectually but also publish them in printed form.

          I testify in truth that the Lord manifested himself to me, his servant, and assigned me to this task; after doing so, he opened the sight of my spirit and brought me into the spiritual world; and he has allowed me to see the heavens and the hells and to have conversations with angels and spirits on a continual basis for many years now. I also testify that ever since the first day of this calling, I have accepted nothing regarding the teachings of this church from any angel; what I have received has come from the Lord alone while I was reading the Word. (True Christianity #779, italics added)

          There is much to analyze here. But for our present purposes, Swedenborg makes several critical statements that are often glossed over by those who think of Swedenborg’s writings as a pure divine revelation with no human component:

          1. Swedenborg is clear that there is human agency involved in this revelation.
          2. He speaks of accepting these teachings intellectually, not just unthinkingly passing on words and teachings from the Lord like an amanuensis or court stenographer.
          3. He speaks of having extensive personal experience in the spiritual world, including extensive conversation with angels and spirits.
          4. And yet, he says that he has accepted nothing regarding the teachings of this church (i.e., the New Jerusalem) from any angel, but from the Lord alone, while he was reading the Word.

          Some conservative and literalistic Swedenborgians have argued that even though Swedenborg publishes extensive accounts of his experiences in the spiritual world and his conversations with angels, all of this is still “revealed by the Lord” because the Lord selected what Swedenborg would write of these experiences, and so on. But there is no basis whatsoever for such claims in Swedenborg’s writings themselves. He presents these as his experiences, and he even edits them from one version to another to tell the story the way he wants to tell it or to make the points he wants to make.

          In fact, we know from comparing his manuscripts and earlier versions with later, published versions, not to mention cross-outs and rewrites within the manuscripts themselves, that Swedenborg engaged in heavy editing of his own writings. The idea that the Lord dictated the words to him so that it is somehow a pure divine revelation without human input flies directly in the face of overwhelming manuscript and comparative version evidence that Swedenborg’s own mind was actively involved in editing and shaping his theological writings to express what he wanted to express in the way he wanted to express it based on his own experience and understanding—just as he says in compact form in True Christianity #779.

          What he does say is that nothing regarding the teachings (traditionally “doctrines”) of the church came from any angel, but from the Lord alone while Swedenborg was reading the Word (the Bible).

          We can therefore know at minimum that when Swedenborg is reporting what an angel or spirit is saying, this does not constitute “the doctrine of the church” (as conservative Swedenborgians so commonly and mistakenly make it), but rather, a reporting of the views of those angels and spirits. Over the years I have had to deal with many wrong-thinking “Swedenborgian” ideas based on the idea that something that an angel or spirit said and Swedenborg recounted in his writings constitutes “church doctrine” and, in your words, “objective universal truth.” This is simply flat-out wrong, according to Swedenborg’s own statements about exactly what the Lord revealed to him. Angels and spirits are not the Lord, and what they say is not “from the Lord alone while I was reading the Word.”

          Contrary to assertions from you (and others from time to time as well) that I am diverging from Swedenborg, in fact, I am paying much closer attention to Swedenborg’s own statements about the nature of his theological writings than the people who make these charges and assertions. It is conservative and literalistic Swedenborgians who are departing far from Swedenborg’s own statements about his writings when they assert that everything in them is pure divine revelation, and even that they are the Third Testament of the Word of God. Swedenborg himself never makes any such statements or claims. And no objective reading of what he did say provides any support for such claims. These are pure human inventions that flatly contradict Swedenborg’s own description of the nature of his inspiration and his writings.

          It is based on Swedenborg’s own statements about his own writings, and based on Swedenborg’s own extensive teachings about the nature of divine revelation, that I recognize and state that there are many things in Swedenborg’s writings that are addressed specifically to the culture of his day, and are expressed in human ideas that are based on the culture of his day. Not recognizing this is denying Swedenberg’s own teachings on the nature of revelation. It is making a graven image out of Swedenborg’s writings and worshiping that graven image rather than reading his writings for the deeper, spiritual truth they contain within their human containers based on Swedenborg’s intellectual (and necessarily culturally-influenced) grasp and acceptance of what the Lord was revealing to him from within.

          And to get personal for just a moment, having led you to Swedenborg’s writings as a deep and broad source of divine truth, I certainly hope that you don’t fall into the literalistic trap that so many Swedenborgians have fallen into regarding his writings. That trap is really no different than the literalistic and materialistic trap that fundamentalist and evangelical Christians have fallen into with regard to the Bible. Such fundamentalists miss most of the depth, meaning, and power of the Bible because they’re too busy focusing on the treasure chest to actually open it up and see the spiritual treasures it contains.

          For more on these things, please see:

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          I think most males (both married and single) are triggered by feminists for two very big reasons. And this is something only a male would understand.

          1) They fear being made eunuchs or being virtually castrated by powerful cultural voices.

          2) They deeply desire the same unconditional love that their mothers gave them.

          Sigmund Freud had some great theories on this particularly castration anxiety.

          At the root of feminist anger is the collective threat to deny males with opposing lifestyles and views a relationship. E.g. A male who identifies as religious or conservative is mostly shunned by liberal women.

          I also get that the feminist in the blog wants men to be more vulnerable and emotional. But general thought on the forums are that the more sympathetic a young woman feels to a man, the more she takes on a mother/sister role instead of the role of a mate e.g the friendzone. So it’s a bit of a catch 22.

          Either way, men with access to one or more mates behave and reason differently to men who struggle for a mate.

          So voluntary celibacy is about detaching yourself from the need to feel validated by the woman. Once you separate yourself from being good enough or man enough for a woman, a new freedom is achieved in being whoever you want to be.

          – – – –

          I’m sure you have a fantastic relationship with your wife that makes you a better man.

          But I think it’s a bit too rich to say that you have a higher authority to speak with regards to the woman’s perspective.

          You rather have access to ‘YOUR wife’s perspective’.

          I have met married men myself who in their elderly wisdom gave me differing accounts of the nature of the woman. I have also read various accounts of the nature of the woman from pick up artists, relationships experts, feminists, pastors and philosophers. All from their own experiences of women. Some gave good accounts and some gave accounts like how the hellish adulterers spoke in conjugial love. They all thought that they understood women better because of their experiences but they are all wildly different to each other. And I would put it down to being subjective and biased.

          But yes I still believe that men and women are different and it comes down to the difference in the male and female spiritual paths that I commented earlier on.

          I do not think single males know better about women. Though swedenborg writes in conjugial love that the Lord gives some form of dual nature to the celibate to help ease their pain.

          But I do understand especially from Paul’s teaching is that a husband deeply desires to please his wife and make her happy. At least in their early states.

          From reading the writings of the Catholics Augustine and Jerome, I see that such a drive in the man often leads him to wrong ends because they often take away from spirituality and into the world. The old Testament has similar accounts of Jehovah God warning the Israelites to not marry foreign women for they will lead you to idolatry. There is something about women and their feeling/sensual nature that the ancients understood as distracting from the spiritual goals of a man.

          ——

          I would not also play down the experience of single men in their knowledge of women.

          How many relationships and dates have you ever been on?

          Have you browsed through online dating profiles of women?

          Have you ever had to sell yourself to a woman in a short space of time?

          Have you had to choose from a pool of women who have already gone through a dozen or more sexual relationships?

          Have you lived, worked and studied in ultra liberal colleges, workplaces and cities?

          You cannot always summarise their experiences as that of loners, animals and victims unless you have been in their shoes and you have written of your own experiences for their knowledge.

          – – – –

          You may think celibacy is about hating the other sex. I see it differently.

          Voluntary celibacy if done right is about protecting conjugial love within yourself.

          Celibates who were outside the kingdom of heaven in conjugial love had lost the desire for conjugial union with one of the other sex.

          But a godly celibate only wants to marry a woman whose desires are in the Lord. And for that he must be able to distinguish between the characters of women.

          He studied the various accounts of women. He studies himself. He studies what is love and what is godly marriage. And he studies how he can sacrifice his self for the woman.

          As swedenborg wrote in conjugial love, most marriages in the world are training relationships.

          Any celibate who hates a woman is plain wrong but he should not be dismissed as a misogynist because he wants to judge between the different characters of women.

          I know women appear virtuous to the eye but true virtue is when we declare that our love and wisdom does not arise from ourself but from the Lord.

          If a man can can state that he derives his truths from religion then a woman should be able to say that her love for others is not her own but that she loves from the Lord.

          Anyone who loves from themselves is not virtuous and swedenborg writes that conjugial love can only occur when two people come together through a shared union with God.

          Many MGTOWers are simply childish and selfish. Their anger is self righteous and pathetic.

          But I won’t judge them at that point because the anger phase is something every celibate goes through.

          The anger can either lead you to further stupidity or it could lead you to exploring hidden wisdom.

          I myself was first an angry red piller many years ago but have fought back against many of their theories (especially after reading conjugial love and how swedenborg was able to distinguish between a harlot and a wife)


          I agree on your assertions regarding Swedenborg and Paul. I do think they both had a similar role to play in resolving church differences of their time and opening up Christianity to gentiles. Will be studying your comment a bit more before I comment.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Being single is not the same as being celibate.

          Though the term is often used loosely, celibacy more properly means choosing to remain single and not sexually active as a matter of principle, in preference to being married and/or being sexually active, usually accompanied by a belief (religious or otherwise) that celibacy is intrinsically better than being in a relationship. Celibacy not a state of waiting for the right partner. It’s a state of choosing not to have a partner at all, nor even look for one, ever.

          I’m all for remaining single until one find’s the right partner. But that’s not celibacy. It’s being temporarily single—even if the “temporarily” may last decades or one’s entire earthly life.

          I don’t think most males are triggered by feminism. But I think many males are.

          Castration anxiety is just a freudian-style term for being insecure in one’s masculinity. And I know that many men deal with this. But expecting women or feminism to be responsible for one’s sense of masculinity guarantees that one will remain insecure in one’s masculinity. Masculinity is an internal trait. It doesn’t depend upon external validation. Though it may seem simplistic, it seems to me that the “cure” is for a man to recognize the fact that he is a man, and simply be a man. The work is in figuring out exactly what that means. But engaging in that exploration doesn’t require external validation by women or by society.

          And yes, men desire the sort of unconditional love that their mothers (usually) gave them. That sort of love, however, will rarely, if ever, be found in another human being. If a man screws up badly enough, even a woman who loves him will leave him. For example, a self-respecting, principled woman will leave a man who commits adultery, especially if he does so multiple times. God is the only one who continues to love us no matter what we do. And perhaps a few highly spiritually advanced human beings approach the ability to love other people unconditionally.

          If a man wants unconditional love, he’ll need to have an active, chosen relationship with God. And that’s one of the reasons true marriage love is not possible for those who do not have a relationship with God. They’ll always be seeking from their partner what only God can give. But if a person’s sense of self, self-worth, and purpose is grounded in a relationship with God, then that person can engage in a marriage relationship with another person from a position of internal stability and rootedness, without needing his or her partner to have a godlike ability to love him or her perfectly, infinitely, and unconditionally.

          It seems to me that one of the problems MGTOW, and Red Pillers in general, have with women is that women aren’t God. Women are imperfect beings, and they do stupid, foolish, and selfish things just as men (who are also imperfect beings) do. Even mothers aren’t perfect, and their love isn’t perfect. Expecting one’s wife or girlfriend even to function as one’s mother, let alone as God, is a recipe for disappointment and disillusionment.

          As for conservative males being rejected by liberal females: Of course they are! But a conservative male shouldn’t be aiming for a relationship with a liberal female anyway, any more than a conservative female should look for a relationship with a liberal male. It’s a mismatch. Liberal males and females aren’t going to be loved by conservative females and males either.

          About the blog post you linked to: I didn’t read the author as saying that she “wants men to be more vulnerable and emotional.” What she said, rather, is that she thinks boys (and by extension, men), should be allowed to experience and express the emotions that they already have, and not shut down and told to “suck it up” whenever they get emotional. Within reason, of course. If your son throws a temper tantrum when you won’t let him ride his bike down the stairs, you still don’t let him ride his bike down the stairs, and you don’t tell him it’s just fine to have a temper tantrum when you won’t let him do very stupid or dangerous things.

          The “friendzone” thing is mainly a PUA issue. The idea that you can’t be friends with women because then no women will want to have sex with you is both self-centered and irrational. Most women want to be your friend rather than your sexual partner simply because you’re not the right man for them, and they’re not the right woman for you. Being friends with them will have to effect whatsoever on your romantic and sexual relationship with a woman who is the right woman for you.

          However, the only use PUA have for women is as (to use the feminist term) sexual objects. So if they can’t have sex with a woman, they’re not interested in her. That’s the PUA’s failing, not the woman’s failing.

          And why does a man need access to “one or more” mates? If a man isn’t just looking for sex with multiple partners, more than one mate isn’t necessary. You only need one mate to form a marriage. And it makes absolutely no difference if no other woman in the entire world wants to have sex with you. Needing access to multiple women who want to have sex with you is a sign of a man who is stuck in what Swedenborg calls “sexual love” (traditionally “love of the sex”) rather than “love for one person of the opposite sex” (traditionally “love of one of the sex”). It’s a materialistic, unspiritual, and yes, animal-like state.

          That’s enough for now.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          But I think it’s a bit too rich to say that you have a higher authority to speak with regards to the woman’s perspective.

          I didn’t actually say that. But I did say in my initial response that married people generally are better able to speak objectively and authoritatively about gender issues than single people due to the fact that they are married rather than single. And that, I think is rich in wisdom and common sense. 😀

          I reject the idea that when a man marries a woman or enters a relationship with a woman, it automatically clouds his mind and his thinking. For some men, maybe. But a man of integrity and some spiritual maturity will have his thinking improved and clarified by his relationship with a woman, especially on gender issues.

          A man who is spiritually immature and not a person of integrity may very well have his thinking clouded and obfuscated by his efforts to please his woman, usually for the purpose of gaining sexual or other favors from her.

          But a man of integrity and some spiritual maturity will do things to please his woman, assuming they are good things, simply because he loves her and wants to make her happy. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it doesn’t cloud his judgment. He will not do immoral or unethical or stupid things for her, because they are contrary to his principles and code of conduct. Nor will he do good things for her at the expense of someone else.

          Doing good things for other people is the foundation of heavenly happiness. Doing good things for one’s wife (or husband) is no different.

          And I believe that the common religious idea that being celibate is somehow more holy and spiritual than being married is just plain wrong. It’s based on an ethereal and impractical idea of what it means to be spiritual. According to Swedenborg, our spiritual life is developed, not by withdrawing from the world, but by engaging in the world and its businesses, occupations, and services. True spirituality is formed as we actively love and serve God by loving and serving our fellow human beings. And that, once again, is the foundation of heavenly life and happiness.

          Celibacy has a general sense of withdrawing from the world and abstaining from its activities. This is not a path to spiritual life, but a path to absorption in focusing on one’s own spiritual life and development, which, ironically, ensures that one will never truly develop spiritually. Of course, some celibate people throw themselves into serving their fellow human beings rather than cloistering themselves away from humanity. But their celibate state contributes nothing to that. And it is precisely within marriage that we can serve another person at the deepest and most spiritual level. This better equips us to serve other people besides our spouse as well.

          The Israelites were forbidden to marry foreign women. They weren’t forbidden to marry. In fact, they were generally expected to marry. But they were to marry someone who shared their own faith, so that they did not get pulled away from it, but strengthened in it. And a number of prominent Israelites in the Old Testament did marry foreign wives, but those wives either became Jews themselves or did not pull their husbands away from their own faith and practice. For more on this, see the section on “The Old Testament on interfaith marriage” in the article, “What if My Partner and I Have Different Religious Beliefs? Can Interfaith Marriage Work?

          There is nothing in the Old Testament to support the idea that celibacy is preferable to marriage. Even the priests were married. What the Old Testament requires is marriage with someone who shares your faith and values. And that strengthens rather than weakens a man’s faith, his thinking, and his devotion to loving and serving his fellow human beings.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Yes celibacy leaves open the door to marriage or perpetual singleness.

          It is because the celibate does not choose to suddenly get married. No, he has no will of his own. He has renounced his own desires.

          But if he is provided a wife by God, he renounces his celibacy and accepts the will of God over his.

          In many traditional cultures this is how it still is. Until the parents who in lieu of God, select a wife, the son remains unmarried.

          Marriage does not give you a better perspective on gender issues. But it gives you a better perspective of your own self.

          Your spouse tells you that you never knew what is love, you never knew how to communicate, you never knew your pettiness, etc. Annette is assigned to be your teacher on the subject of ‘You’ and vice versa.

          I agree that the manosphere thinks sometimes that a woman could solve it all. Only a relationship with God can do that.

          But for the most part, young men and women have to deal with raging biological impulses. These urges are irrational and in a perfect idealistic and theoretical world, men and women would bond over the friendship you describe.

          I’ll probably end this with some teachings on marriage by OSHO. A great Hindu scholar who I study a lot. If you do have time, it is worth a read.

          http://www.osho.com/highlights-of-oshos-world/osho-on-marriage-quotes

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Once again, celibacy is not the same as singleness. Celibacy is the intent never to marry. Celibates believe that it is God’s will that they should never marry.

          And marriage gives a man perspective on much more than himself. The idea that a wife only gives a man perspective on himself could be entertained only by people who don’t understand marriage, have never experienced real marriage, and who have a very narrow and limited view of woman and woman’s wisdom.

          Yes, most young men and women have strong sexual desires. But those, in time, give way to a more mature love in those who are growing emotionally and spiritually. Marriage cannot be judged by how it is entered into by young and immature people.

          And the quotes on marriage by Osho (aka Rajneesh) only show that he understands neither love nor marriage. He confuses love with lust, and marriage with legalized prostitution. Nearly everything he says about marriage, if it isn’t just spiritual-sounding vagueries, is based on what Swedenborg would call sexual love, not marriage love. I found the quotes to be mostly devoid of any real understanding of or wisdom about marriage. For someone who is actually married, not a word he says provides any useful or helpful guidance. The one exception, which boils down to “know yourself,” can be found in just about any spiritual philosophy. It’s a bit of window dressing to make his words sound profound when he is only regurgitating a few ordinary ideas embedded in the culture.

          Beyond that, Rajneesh is about the last person from whom I would take instruction or advice on marriage. I have nothing but contempt for him. At his so-called ashram in Oregon, he piled up wealth for himself while presiding over the sexual abuse and rape of hundreds, if not thousands, of women. He terrorized the people in the communities nearby, and presided over one of the worst biological weapons attacks in U.S. history. Read the accounts of those who lived there and escaped. It is a harrowing, criminal story. And his attempts to blame his second-in-command instead of taking responsibility for his crimes are nothing short of pathetic. He is not someone who should be listened to on any subject, and especially not on love and marriage. Enlightened spiritual teachers do not preside over sexual abuse, rape, and murder.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Addressing some of your points:

          Catholic beliefs about sex are infected with the idea that sex is inherently unspiritual,

          Nope you will not find that anywhere in the catechism of the catholic church. Perhaps you are referring to some ancient catholic texts

          And it has caused the Catholic Church to generally cheapen both sex and marriage, and to propagate the false notion that celibacy is spiritually superior to marriage.

          Nope you won’t find such an understanding either. Perhaps you mean to refer to Paul’s references to celibacy being a better state in his epistles. The Catholic church’s position is for all to marry as a sacrament. Only those who take up really grand and intense human focused responsibilities are allowed celibacy

          Specifically, he teaches that not only are angels overwhelmingly married, but that they continue to have sex, even though there is no physical reproduction resulting from it.

          Big difference though. If Swedenborg had to put a definition to spiritual sex, he would say that it is the husband’s inner truths being made available to the wife and the wife engaging in receptivity to the husband’s truths.

          However, there is no place where the Bible says that sex without the intention of reproduction is wrong or evil.

          What about Gen. 38:8? Yes this text could be symbolic of the propagation of truths but this verse can also be read as ‘do not separate procreation from recreation if you have sex’. So yes the Bible does have scripture around it but it is up to interpretation.

          (and rejoice in the wife of your youth,….Proverbs 5:15–23)

          This verse is symbolically about the wife being ‘wisdom’ and not about ‘sex’. Consult Swedenborg’s statement on it.

          Homosexuality was condemned in ancient Israelite and early Christian society, not because it didn’t result in reproduction

          Of course procreation not only played a part but is the root of homosexuality being a lesser form of relationship. It was the pride of a man to have his own descendants in the ancient world. House of David. Children of Abhraham. Osama Bin Laden – son of Laden. A full time homosexual was a lesser man because he didn’t have his own line of subservient youth who followed him as the ‘father’. I would even say that homosexuality is more widely accepted today due to non-procreation between couples not being a social stigma anymore.

          it is also true that most heterosexual sex also does not result in pregnancy.

          The act does not have to result in procreation. But the act of sex is done in such a manner that the spouse you are with is someone you want to have children with and you subconsciously communicate that by having sex in the most natural manner possible.

          Pope Paul VI addresses old age and infertiliy issues here:

          “The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, ‘noble and worthy.’ It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws.”

          So it’s a little too facile to say that men in ancient society avoided sex with women for fear of pregnancy.

          I did not make such a statement. I said men kept their wives for procreation and used others for recreation in a general sense. And yes a lot of sex was avoided for fear of procreation. In Asia, anal sex between young couples is common so that the woman can keep her virginity and avoid an illicit pregnancy. This is nature Lee. There is a risk with sex.

          The idea that sex without reproduction is tantamount to rape is rank and utter falsity.

          I respect you Lee but this is disgraceful. You stripped out a major part of the sentence I wrote. I said Sex separated from procreation is ‘at worst’ rape.

          Rape occurs even when sex ‘appears’ consensual. A woman can withdraw her consent after the act and claim rape for genuine reasons. So seemingly consensual sex can be rape. Today’s great debates on consent stem from the mystery of what exactly constitutes consent. There’s this local news story that im following that describes the misunderstanding of consent even when it appeared consensual on the night of the act – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/kings-cross-rape-case-that-put-consent-on-trial/9695858

          Also in Conjugial Love, there is that section on lust for virgins where a newly arrived spirit from the world is chastised for deceiving virgins. They proclaimed genuine love and bedded virgins only for them to walk away. In my books that is spiritual rape even though it was consensual.

          Sorry but I support the feminists on this one.

          Even the idea that sex between married partners without the intention of reproduction is making a woman (or a man) into a sex toy. It is hard for me to believe that you are swallowing this rank sewage about sex.

          Yes when there is a contraceptive involved. Google contraception and catholic church. There’s some good material to understand sex that is only concerned with the business of pleasure.

          I understand these teachings are difficult for you. I think sex gives a lot of people some transcendental meaning to life. And the fiercely attack any doctrine that could take that pleasure away from them. But the teachings on sex by the church are to guide the right use of sex for pleasure. Not to prevent them.

          For me as I personally understand it, the desire for sex directly co-relates with the feeling of being useless in life. It occurs mostly to people at both ends of the spectrum… those who are the most productive and also the least productive.

          The most productive like politicians and sports stars, though they achieve much, they always feel like they could have done more. So they look to sex to fill that void.

          At the bottom, you have incels, the poor and the depressed. They ‘feel’ useless and see their lives as devoid of meaning. That society would be the same without them. To fill the void, they have a large sexual appetite.

          Sex is transcendental because at its core, it is creating new meaning. Two people working together to create something new. It is act where two people come together as one to serve their neighbour i.e. another life. People who are already leading busy meaningful lives don’t have strong desires for sex. e.g young busy mothers.

          When you fool your body into non-procreational sex, the depression eventually returns.

          Swedenborg wrote that husbands and wives are primarily conjuncted through the raising of children or simply working together for a goal. Procreative sex is working towards a goal. Pleasure is not a goal.

          In particular, people who do not want children should not have children.

          This is your personal opinion but if everyone in society followed this, the Earth’s birth rate would have struggled to go beyond a million. As Swedenborg wrote, the desire for procreation is one brought on from a sphere above.

          Also without children such people will rarely understand their own selfishness. The ancients understood the spiritual changes that having children had on people. Paul even wrote that women are saved through childbirth (though he is half wrong about that). It is nature’s prescription for a man-child to become a man. It is a state one should aim at.

          Before you publicise such a far-reaching black and white statement, I would invite you to watch a documentary that follows a woman who never wanted children and yet reluctantly had one.

          It thought me so much about the pain people go through in their lives and how children teach them some beautiful lessons.

          Even Catholicism, in contradictory fashion, allows for the rather ineffective “rhythm” method of contraception. Does this mean that if a couple successfully practices “rhythm”

          Not just Catholicism but pretty much all of humanity until a century ago. It has nothing to do with contraception but a woman’s natural menstrual cycle has a lot of influence on her emotional well being. Something we as men no nothing about.

          Abandon the Babylon that Catholicism has become.

          I am a former catholic but I am not foolish enough to make such a statement. Lee you are man of many prejudices and I invite you to study modern day Catholicism. It does have many bad dogmas but they also have many excellent dogmas particularly relating to education of children, the running of hospital and shelters and a massive focus on community outreach.

          Go to the developing world and you will find Catholic after Catholic running community services in the most decrepit places possible. There is no other religious organisation that is out there in the field serving humanity like the Catholic church. Read about Mother Teresa order working in the slums of Calcutta.

          You really have no idea what you are talking about when you make such a biased statement. You really dont know how much the Catholic Church lives by the life of good works principle beyond a knowledge of books you have read.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Thanks for your replies.

          There’s a lot here. I may or may not get around to responding to it all. And in general, I’m going to aim at some general misconceptions embodied here rather than attempting to provide a point-by-point response to everything you say.

          First, I recognize that the Catholic Church and its people are doing many good things as a result of its general belief that good works are a necessary part of salvation. And I also recognize that the Catholic Church is nowhere near as Babylonish as it once was. However, that’s not a result of any real focus on spiritual growth or life in the Catholic Church, but because it was thrown down from its position of nearly unchecked political, social, and financial power first by the Protestant Reformation and then by the Age of Enlightenment. And yet, it is still committing many crimes, one of the most egregious recent ones being the rampant child sexual abuse by so many of its priests, and the institutional cover-up of those crimes.

          However, in my urging you to go out of the Babylon of Catholicism, I was mostly referring to its false doctrine rather than its former and current crimes—even though I think the two are connected.

          There is a common misconception that evil and falsity are entities unto themselves, with their own root reality.

          That is not the case.

          Evil and falsity are simply the twisting and distortion of good and truth. Good and truth have self-existence, because they are, ultimately, God and from God. Evil and falsity, however, have no self-existence. They have only a derived existence. Their existence is derived from the specific good and truth of which they are a twisting and corruption.

          This also means that everything evil and false actually has a spark of good and truth behind it. Without that, it could not exist. And the reason evil and falsity ultimately don’t harm the good and true is that for those focused on the good and true, all the focus is on the spark of good and true behind the evil and falsity.

          More practically, this means that evil and falsity commonly masquerade as good and truth, and even have aspects of good and truth associated with them. In the case of the Catholic Church and Rajneesh, many of the things they say are true. However, those truths have been corrupted and falsified because they are being used to accomplish evil, or at least materialistic, goals, and as a result they inevitably get mixed in with falsity, and turned toward falsity.

          A good-hearted person like you will look at the teachings of the Catholic Church or of Rajneesh and see the spark of good and truth behind them. But that can become a trap, because that good and truth has been corrupted by and mixed with evil and falsity, creating, as I have said before, a toxic mix that can be very dangerous, deceptive, and destructive.

          Not everything the Catholic Church and Rajneesh teach is false. But much of it is. And because the truth they do have has been mixed with and turned toward falsity in many areas, it ceases to be genuine truth, and becomes falsified truth.

          This is why it’s important to pay attention to what people and organizations who claim truth, and sound enlightened, actually do. That is how you discover what they really believe and mean by the true-sounding things they say. You will know them by their fruits.

          Even if you abstract the teachings from the actions, the mixture of truth and falsity still has many traps and dangers of its own. Not everything the Catholic Church and Rajneesh say about marriage and sex is false. Some of it is true. But it is mixed in with untruths. And the true component makes it look like the untrue component is also true.

          Every skilled liar knows that for a lie to work, it has to be believable. That’s why a skilled liar uses as much truth as possible so that when the lie is slipped in, by association with the truth it looks like it is true also.

          This mixture of truth and falsity is far more deceptive and dangerous than straight falsity would be. But once again, there really is no such thing as “straight falsity.” It always has some truth behind it, which is then twisted into something false.

          This is the philosophical and theological reasoning behind my continued insistence that both the Catholic Church’s teachings and Rajneesh’s teachings on sex and marriage are false, or falsified, and should not be followed.

          Yes, the Catholic Church says some very beautiful things about sex and marriage, such that on surface inspection it looks as if it is enlightened on these subjects. But then it mixes them in with things that are false. And its actual practices demonstrate that falsity.

          One of those actual practices is imposing celibacy on its priesthood. You say that the Catholic Church doesn’t denigrate sex and marriage in comparison to celibacy. But that is put to the lie by its practice of imposing celibacy on those whom it sees as being the most spiritual, and the leaders, in its organization: its priesthood. Whatever beautiful things it may have to say, its actions show that it believes marriage and sexuality are ultimately mere material, unspiritual things. Its denial of sex and marriage in the afterlife demonstrates that this is, in fact, its view of sex and marriage, regardless of any true- and spiritual-sounding things it may say about sex and marriage.

          In Rajneesh’s case, the fruits of his belief simply scream out that he was utterly opposed to marriage love, and completely focused on mere sexual love. Everything he says about sex and marriage is a falsification of truths about marriage that he has taken and twisted due to his lack of real marriage love, or any ideal of marriage love, and his complete focus on sexual love.

          At any given time, Rajneesh had a “girlfriend.” And when Ma Anand Sheela, who was for several his personal secretary and the only person he actually spoke to and charged with carrying out his orders and his will, finally left him, he called her a “bitch” and said that she was just bitter and jealous because he never had sex with her. These are not the words of a man who values and respects women and marriage.

          Recognizing that Catholics and Rajneeshees do some good things does not erase the fundamental falsity of their beliefs. At best, it demonstrates that for people of good will and good intentions, even falsity can serve as truth, and the Lord will bend falsity toward truth in their lives and their minds as they go about their journey of regeneration.

          So my advice to you is still to “Go out of her.” Though it is a noble effort to focus on the good and truth in Catholicism and Rajneeshism, it is playing with fire to take the next step of considering that their teachings may be a good source for your own spiritual understanding and life. The truth that they do have becomes a lure and a hook to connect a person to the evil and falsity that they have twisted it into.

          Better to keep oneself separate internally and conceptually from their doctrine and institution, while maintaining brotherly relations with those adherents of theirs who are people of good will. That is what I did in relation to the other local churches, religions, and religious leaders during my decade of parish ministry back east.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          The story of the sin of Onan in Genesis 38 has been misunderstood and misinterpreted to mean all sorts of things it doesn’t mean, including interpreting it as a prohibition on masturbation, which it has nothing to do with, and interpreting it as meaning that sex should be engaged in only for procreation, which is also a complete misunderstanding of the story.

          Onan’s sin was specific: he refused to get his deceased brother’s wife pregnant because if she then bore a son, that son would negate Onan’s effective primogeniture due to the death of his older brother, and would greatly reduce Onann’s inheritance from his father. His sin was not having sex without the intention of pregnancy. It was avoiding his duty to give his brother an heir for selfish financial reasons.

          This is covered more fully in the section titled “The sin of Onan” in my article, “What does the Bible Say about Masturbation? Is Masturbation a Sin?

          Those who interpret the story of Onan as a prohibition on sex without procreation have completely missed the point of the story within its cultural context. That’s simply not what the story is about. It’s a fine example of the common practice of supporting false teachings by yanking Bible verses out of context and twisting them into a meaning that is simply not in the text.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          I refuted both your “worst case scenario” of sex without an intention of procreation as tantamount to rape and your not quite so bad scenario of it being like playing with a dildo or a sex toy. Both are terribly false and deceptive, and show not only shocking trivialization of rape, but also a complete lack of understanding of the spiritual nature and origin of true marriage love, and of sex within a spiritual marriage.

          Yes, there are borderline cases in which a woman later claims she didn’t give consent even if at the time she effectively did give consent by not saying no and not refusing to engage in sex. Some of these cases will just have to be left to the courts and juries to decide, if they go to trial.

          But in general, cajoling a woman or even putting some pressure on a woman to get her to have sex is not rape. She still has the option of saying no if she doesn’t want to have sex. Rape is forcing a woman to have sex against her will, without her consent.

          Pressuring a woman to have sex also is not a good thing. And I’m in favor of social sanctions against it. I also think that powerful men abusing their positions to have sex with less powerful women (or whatever the gender make-up happens to be in in the equation) is bad and wrong, and should have social sanctions against it. But neither of these is the crime of rape. If the woman can say no and refuse sex, and doesn’t, then it’s not rape, even if it is usually wrong on the man’s part to push a reluctant woman into agreeing to have sex with him, and always wrong (in my opinion) for powerful people to use their position to have sex with less powerful people.

          I know this is not politically correct. But I believe it’s important not to blur the definition of rape. Rape is forced sex, in which a woman (or man) who doesn’t want sex is not given the option of saying no and refusing it.

          The fact that there are questionable and borderline cases does not negate the basic fact of rape, and its basic differentiation from any consensual sex. Rape is sexual assault.

          Consensual sex without the intent of procreation is consensual. It has nothing at all in common with rape socially, legally, morally, or spiritually. Equating the two in any way, even as a “worst case scenario,” is a complete travesty and an utter falsity.

          Meanwhile, saying that consensual sex without the intention of pregnancy, or even with the intent to prevent pregnancy, is tantamount to playing with sex toys reflects a completely materialistic, sense-oriented attitude toward sex.

          This leads to another general principle that is getting ignored and mushed together in many of your statements that are based on Catholic attitudes toward sex and marriage.

          There are two types of love that may result in sexual intercourse. Those two loves are quite distinct from one another, because they exist on different levels. To use Swedenborg’s traditional terminology, they are:

          1. Love of the sex
          2. Love of one of the sex

          Another way of saying this is:

          1. Sexual love
          2. Marriage love

          “Love of the sex,” or sexual love, is an undifferentiated, animal and biological desire for sexual intercourse with any available and attractive partner. Humans have this love in common with animals. And yes, its primary biological purpose is procreation. It is, in short, a natural and biological love, which should really be called “desire” rather than “love.”

          “Love of one of the sex,” or marriage love, is a specific, focused love for one person who is united to oneself in heart, mind, and spirit. Unlike sexual love, it is not a merely natural and biological love or desire, but is a spiritual love that can exist only among people who have a spiritual life, and only in faithful, monogamous marriages, or marriage-type relationships.

          I have heard some Swedenborgians say that sexual love is transformed into marriage love. But that’s not what Swedenborg says, and it’s not what actually happens. Rather, marriage love starts where sexual love leaves off. It is its own distinct love. Sexual love is, in nature, a correspondential expression of marriage love. Marriage love can flow into sexual love and make it holy, clean, and spiritual, such that it is no longer a mere biological urge, but is focused on one partner. But sexual love can never transform or flow into marriage love. That would reverse the order of inflow (traditionally “influx”), which always flows from God to spirit to nature, or from higher to lower things and never in the reverse.

          Without a clear understanding of the difference between marriage love and sexual love, it is impossible to properly understand sex and marriage in all of its varieties. Mixing the two together either conceptually or in practice makes a confused mash out of two things that are quite distinct from one another, and confuses one’s thinking so that it is impossible to think rightly about love, sex, and marriage.

          Most of what the Catholic Church says about marriage shows a lack of understanding of the distinction between these two loves. Sexual love does have procreation as its primary purpose. Marriage love does not. Yes, it is good for married couples to have children and propagate the human race. But in the eternity of heaven, no children are born of spiritually married couples. If this were the primary purpose of marriage and sex, there would be no sex and marriage in heaven, as the Catholic Church believes. The Catholic Church is wrong about that, and its entire body of teaching about love, sex, and marriage is vitiated and falsified by this fundamental error in its understanding of the nature of marriage.

          Also, just to be crystal clear, angel couples in heaven don’t just look into each other’s eyes, share truth and love with each other, and call it “sex.” They have actual, bodily sexual intercourse, in which the husband’s penis goes into the wife’s vagina. The oneness of bodily sexual intercourse is an outward expression of their inner oneness of spirit.

          However, in heaven the wife never gets physically pregnant and bears a physical child as a result of sexual intercourse. That can happen only here on earth. Instead there are “spiritual conceptions and births,” which I’ve already talked about, and which consist of new births of love, understanding, and so on.

          These “spiritual conceptions and births” happen with spiritually married couples here on earth also, whether or not they have biological children.

          The Catholic Church’s stance that sex is intended primarily for procreation, and is illicit if that is not at least a possible or allowable outcome, is just plain wrong, because it is based on a materialistic and physical-minded view of sex, and a lack of any clear concept of true spiritual marriage.

          As for the Catholic Church saying that older people who can no longer have children can have sex, this still in their mind allows for the possibility of God bringing about children. The reference point on that is the biblical story of Sarah bearing a child (Isaac) for Abraham in her old age. The Catholic Church believes in miracles. And it believes that even elderly couples should allow for the possibility of God deciding to do a miracle and bring about a pregnancy.

          However, the ultimate proof that the Catholic Church’s view of sex is fundamentally materialistic is, as I said earlier, its teaching that there is no marriage and no sex in heaven.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          There is no danger that the earth ever would have, or will now, have a serious shortage of children. Not only is the biological sex drive strong, but men and women in general still find having and raising children immensely satisfying. If some decide not to have children, plenty of others keep right on having children. And the human population of earth continues to mushroom.

          There is not the slightest danger that the earth will cease to perform its function as a seedbed of heaven any time soon. At this particular point in history, 97% to 98% of the of land mammals by total mass are humans, our livestock, and our pets. Only the remaining 2% to 3% of the land mammals by mass consists of wildlife.

          We have, as God commanded us in Genesis, “replenished the earth.”

          And yes, I agree with you that raising children is a great spiritual exercise that brings about much spiritual growth in parents who are willing to engage in spiritual growth. Having raised three children of my own, I know from experience that this is true.

          However, that is still not a reason to require all couples to have children if they possibly can. There are other ways to grow spiritually, a primary one being a devotion to usefulness in one’s job or career. Engaging in regular, daily service to others is also a great spiritual exercise that brings about much spiritual growth in people who are willing to engage in spiritual growth.

          Are you ready to say that all people in history who didn’t have children are lesser beings morally and spiritually than those who have?

          Some of the great social, moral, and spiritual leaders in history never had children, and were not even married. Swedenborg himself is a case in point. It would be silly and false to say that not having children takes away the possibility of spiritual growth and regeneration. It would be especially contradictory and hypocritical for the Catholic Church to say this, since it bars its own spiritual leaders (priests) from marrying and having children.

          And of course, Jesus himself never married and never had children. Does this mean Jesus could not engage in proper spiritual growth? The whole idea is ludicrous.

          So as much as I agree that parenting is a major forum for spiritual growth, it is simply wrong to believe or claim that people who do not have children are somehow stunting their spiritual growth. It is also cruel to say this sort of thing when there are so many people who for one reason or another never had the opportunity to get married and have children, even if they wanted to.

          God provides many pathways of spiritual growth and regeneration. Having and raising children is a wonderful one, but it is in no way the only valid one. People who don’t marry and have children here on earth can go to heaven—even to the highest heavens—just as much as people who do.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          I just came across this, from the Council of Trent, which shows definitively that the Catholic Church considers celibacy to be superior to marriage:

          CANON X. – If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema.

      • Rohan Pereira says:

        Hi Lee

        You provide a dictionary definition of celibacy. I encourage you to go through what spiritual celibacy is through reading ancient texts from Catholics to Hinduism.

        Such spiritual celibates will contemplate sex only and only for the purpose of procreation as nature intended it.

        A celibate who says he shall never do X is not a spiritual celibate. The word never doesn’t exist because his ego would feed of it.

        ….

        I don’t care who Rajnesh is. He could be a criminal or a pope. I seek truth and not the person. I don’t respect his teachings based on who he is but how closer it can lead you to divine truth preached by the gospels.

        Would you reject all of swedenborg’s teaching if you today found out he committed fornication. Jesus said have no father on Earth.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Lee,

          I would also like to add something about feminism as you brought it up in your earlier comment when discussing Freud.

          In conjugial love, I realised that a woman’s thought process is intentionally kept hidden from their husbands. They are given perceptions about their husbands from above but usually keep it to themselves and only discuss the private perceptions of their husbands with their trusted female friends. There is also the account of the harlot clooking herself as an innocent virgin.

          From this I would say that what a woman’s says to a man is not indicative of how she actually thinks.

          Well in order to dwell further into this as I didn’t want to trust my own personal experiences, I studied the conversations amongst women in women only forums on the web. I went to mumsnet.com and studied their general conversations on a wide range of matters over a long period of time.

          I would say that a good proportion of ardent or fundamentalist feminists are actually angry with other women rather than men.

          From a young age they realise that males in their immediate communities like certain traits in a woman. These males may like blonde hair, skinny physiques, playful personalities or other traits depending on the culture.

          But some of them realise that they are unable to match these traits and yet a good proportion of their fellow women are all molding themselves perfectly well to these traits in order to appear attractive to the male.

          They hate how the ‘patriarchy’ influenced all these women to act and behave in a certain way. They even hate further the women that benefit most from pleasing these men according to their set standards of beauty. They see right through these fellow females.

          But for some reason, they are afraid to confront these women for seeking validation from men. I cannot explain but they all fear confrontation with other women. They instead confront the males. These males they singularly see as one group irrespective of their differences or even of the male himself is a victim. They are simply ‘the patriarchy’.

          I don’t know why but a woman would happily stand up to a dozen males and call them out but something in her fears confronting a dozen females in the same manner.

          So four things may occur at this stage:

          1) she attacks these females in proxy by attacking the males or the patriarchy

          2) she begins mutilating herself to show her disgust for the standards. E.g. If men like blonde hair, she’ll colour hers green. If her mum told her to dress pretty, she’ll go out and tattoo herself. She makes it known that she’s like not like ‘other girls’. She tries hard to be unique.

          3) she is afraid that men will never love her for who she is. She is pessimistic, fearful and forever testing her mate.

          4) she tries harder than the girls ahead of her. She goes to greater lengths to compete.

          Younger women protest visually whilst the postmenopausal older ones are more likely to engage in vicious rants about men to younger women (appearing as an angel of light).

          I read Florence Nightingale’s biography and she being a woman from a well-off family despised the neediness and validation-driven nature of the other poorer women she came across. Read this interesting account on https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/kb4jd3/its-really-sickening-how-much-florence-nightingale-hated-women

          She is both a feminist and anti-feminist. Yet she gives a great account of the hidden thought processes of a woman’s world.

          But yes then again, there are other feminists who campaign for rights and equal opportunities for women. They are generally pleasant and less violent.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          The statements in Swedenborg’s accounts about women hiding their true thoughts and feelings from their husbands apply mostly to ordinary, not very spiritual marriages among ordinary, not very spiritual people. In those conversations the women commonly spoke of wives acting in this way in order to keep their husbands from wandering off to other women. However, men who are committed to a spiritual marriage have no interest in wandering off to other women, and their wives do not have so much need of hiding their true thoughts and feelings from them. So while it is generally true that women understand their husbands better than their husbands understand them, there are many husbands who do know their wives’ minds and hearts very well.

          Besides, even if a man doesn’t know his wife’s mind and heart very well, that doesn’t mean his thoughts and feelings aren’t influenced for the better by his wife (assuming she is a good and moral person). A common “trick” of wives is to introduce an idea or plan to her husband while making him think that it was his own idea. Assuming that it is a good idea or plan, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Men who have a strong ego will work harder to accomplish something that they think is their own idea than if they think it was someone else’s idea. Their wives understand this. It’s an example of a man not understanding what his wife is doing, but her presence with him still having a beneficial effect on his overall life, beliefs, and actions.

          And yes, there is a lot of internal conflict within feminism and among women. And yes, some of that is misdirected at men. Aside from the “women’s solidarity” thing, I think women instinctively or explicitly understand that women are wise to the ways of other women, and that men are generally easier targets. In schoolyards, the rare girl-on-girl fights are always the nastiest. There are not the rules of engagement that boys and men follow as a code of honor when they fight each other. See (contains profanity):

          Besides, if a woman can get a man to fight her battles for her, she doesn’t have to get a bloody nose herself.

          Still, I liked the final line of the Florence Nightingale article you linked:

          Although her negative qualities don’t quite stack up with the other misogynists we’ve discussed here, it’s fair to say that Nightingale also made strides in women’s fight to suck as much as men.

          If the more hardcore feminists want women to be taken down off their pedestals and join the rest of the crowd here on the ground, that means recognizing that a woman can be just as much of an asshole as a man can be. The idea that all women are innocent and good and all men are guilty and bad is ridiculous—and ultimately just puts women right back up on that idealized pedestal that they’ve been trying to get themselves off of for the last century or two.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Do those Hindu and Catholic texts say that a celibate is simply waiting for God to provide a partner for marriage?

          You say:

          Such spiritual celibates will contemplate sex only and only for the purpose of procreation as nature intended it.

          Even nature doesn’t “intend” sex only for procreation, especially in humans.

          Aside from all of the health benefits of regular sexual intercourse that physicians and psychologists commonly write about, sex provides great pleasure, especially for humans. This helps to bind mated partners together so that the offspring will have the best chance of survival.

          Humans have a very long period of infancy, childhood, and adolescence in which they need to be cared for and protected. Males don’t have the intrinsic, biological urge to protect them that females—especially nursing females—do. By providing her mate with a close and pleasurable connection to her through having sex even when there is no chance of conception (such as during the early part of lactation and even during pregnancy) a woman has a better chance of keeping a man with her and having his aid in providing for and protecting her (and usually their) children. This benefits the male as well in making it more likely that offspring carrying his DNA will reach adulthood and carry on his genetic line.

          In short, even from a purely natural biological and sociological perspective, it’s simply not true that procreation is the only purpose of sex. Sex also serves to bind couples together to better protect and raise their children. And even after the children are grown, stable couples are able to take care of one another and ensure their own survival better than non-coupled individuals.

          From a spiritual perspective, reproduction is far from the only purpose of sex. Sex involves the sharing of a spiritual bond that creates new love and new understanding (“spiritual offspring,” to use Swedenborg’s term) on an ongoing basis, regardless of whether the couple ever has any biological children at all.

          The notion in conservative, generally sex-shy churches such as Catholicism that reproduction is the primary or only purpose of sex is simply wrong, both naturally and spiritually.

          In Eastern religions such as Hinduism it is common to believe that ultimately, sex is not such a good thing because that’s what keeps people reincarnating, and our whole purpose is to escape the cycle of reincarnation and achieve nirvana. In a reincarnationist perspective, sex does not result in anything new; it only recycles existing souls.

          This is diametrically opposed to the Swedenborgian view that each conception and birth represents a brand new, unique expression of the love, wisdom, and power of God.

          From a Swedenborgian perspective, having biological children is an outward expression of a much deeper reality about sex. In Swedenborg’s view, sex is intrinsically good when engaged in by people who are spiritually married, regardless of whether it produces biological children. In the spiritual world, no children are produced by the sexual intercourse that angel couples engage in. And yet, they continue to have sexual intercourse regardless, because it is the “ultimate” (meaning complete down to the most outward level) expression of their spiritual union, and it continually produces “spiritual offspring” of new love, new understanding, and new ability to engage in service to others, which is the foundation of heavenly life.

          Both Hinduism and Catholicism look forward to a time when there will be no more sex. They generally think that sex is at least of questionable virtue, and at worst is actually a negative, unspiritual, animalistic part of human existence.

          Swedenborg, by contrast (and I along with him) believes that sex is intrinsically a good thing both naturally and spiritually, not just temporarily but eternally, originating as it does in the eternal marriage of love and wisdom in God.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          While it is true that a bad man (or woman) can provide good teachings, this requires maintaining at least a public persona of goodness, even if there is a bad heart within.

          Rajneesh destroyed even the public persona of goodness by piling up Rolls Royces for himself and creating an atmosphere in which women were sexually assaulted and public officials and local citizens were attacked with biological agents in order to express and carry out his will. Even if it is others carrying it out, a leader is responsible for what happens among the people he or she is leading. And it is the leader that creates the atmosphere in which these things happen. That’s why Catholic bishops and cardinals can be removed from office and even prosecuted based on the child sexual abuse that priests in their dioceses committed under their watch.

          Rajneesh fled the U.S. in order to avoid prosecution for his crimes and the crimes of his people that happened under his watch. The name “Rajneesh” became a stench in the noses of the general populace of the United States, of India (where he came from and fled back to), and of people all around the world. His flagrant crimes, and the crimes that took place under his watch, removed any moral and spiritual authority he may have had. I suspect that the stench that came to surround the name “Rajneesh” is why later in life he changed his name to “Osho,” and his remaining followers continue to use that name publicly instead of “Rajneesh.”

          Besides, “his teachings” are mostly just an amalgamation of teachings from various ancient and modern religions, movements, and ideologies that he melded together to form his own blend. There is little or nothing original in Rajneesh’s teachings. Most, if not all of them can be found better expressed in the various religions, ideologies, and movements he borrowed them from.

          About Swedenborg, though there is no direct evidence of it, it’s fairly likely that he did engage in “fornication” when he was a young man, just like many other young men then and now. And there is every evidence that as a mature adult Swedenborg refrained from any kind of fornication or sexual inchastity. But even if he did have sex outside of marriage as a young man, there is no ratio between that and the flagrant crimes of outright sexual predation and attempted murder (and later, actual murder) that Rajneesh and his followers committed.

          Beyond that, it’s not just the criminal character of Rajneesh that I object to. I also find his teachings on marriage, as represented in the collection you linked to, to be repugnant and even hellish in character. Here is just one example:

          Rajneesh / Osho (references are in the linked collection of quotations):

          Marriage Has Created Prostitution

          “What is the difference between a prostitute and a wife? One is a temporary arrangement, the other is a little more permanent. Marriage is a permanent kind of prostitution; deep down, it is not different. Hence marriage and prostitution have both existed together.

          “If you go into it, it is marriage that has created prostitution. And prostitution will never disappear from the world unless marriage disappears; it is the shadow of marriage. In fact prostitutes have been saving marriage. It is a safety measure so the man can go once in a while, just for a change, to any other woman, a prostitute, and save his marriage and its permanency.”

          And:

          “As I see it, out of a hundred marriages ninety-nine marriages are just licensed prostitution. They are not marriages. A marriage is only a real marriage when it grows out of love. Legal, illegal, does not matter. The real thing that matters is love.”

          And:

          “Marriage is very secure. It is safe. There is no growth in it. One is simply stuck. Marriage is a sexual arrangement; intimacy is a search for love. Marriage is a sort of prostitution, a permanent sort. One has got married to a woman or to a man—it is a permanent prostitution. The arrangement is economical, not psychological, not of the heart.”

          Compare this with a conversation Swedenborg had with some spirits in hell:

          We went into some of the shacks here and there, and in each we saw a man with his woman. And we asked whether all of them here lived each in his own house with only one wife.

          But they replied to this with a hiss, “What do you mean, with only one wife? Why not ask whether we live with only one prostitute? What is a wife but a prostitute?

          “According to our laws we are not allowed to commit whoredom with more than just one woman, but still it is not dishonorable or shameful for us to do so with more than one, provided we do it away from the house. We boast about it with each other! In this way we enjoy license and its pleasure more than polygamists do.” . . .

          To this we replied, “You speak, my friend, like one devoid of religion. What person endowed with any power of reason does not know that adulterous affairs are profane and hellish, and that marriages are sacred and heavenly? Are not adulterous relationships found among devils in hell, and marriages among angels in heaven? Have you not read the sixth commandment in the Decalogue? And in Paul, that adulterers can by no means come into heaven? [1 Corinthians 6:9.]”

          At this our host laughed heartily, and he looked on me as a simpleton—almost, even, as insane. (Marriage Love #79:5–6)

          Rajneesh views 99% of all marriages as simply a legalized and condoned form of prostitution. In that, he agrees with the evil spirits in hell that Swedenborg and his angel companions visited. He even talks about having extramarital affairs as “saving marriages,” which is not far from the evil spirits in hell bragging about their adulterous affairs.

          It’s not just that Rajneesh was a criminal. It’s that his teachings about marriage are repugnant and hellish. He paints a veneer of “love” on it, but his real view of marriage is apparent. And his followers responded to his disdain for marriage, and by extension, his disdain for women, by engaging in wholesale sexual abuse and rape of women. See “Outside the Limits of the Human Imagination,” by Win McCormack.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Regarding sex and celibacy.

          Yes I agree with your premise that sex feels good and binds people together.

          The teachings on sex by religious authorities over the years has been mostly negative because they enshrined it as law rather than advice.

          Whilst researching celibacy, I came across a new understanding of sex.

          Firstly the thought of celibacy is hated and shunned by most people in the world. Because for a lot of people, sex is one of the few reliable joys of life.

          Secondly, most sex between heterosexuals today is homosexual in nature because they have separated the procreative and unitive components of sex from each other.

          In the ancient world, men commonly used to have sex with women for procreation and then with young boys/other men/eunuchs/slaves for recreation.

          Since they existed no effective birth control and a dowry was an obstacle, men avoided recreational sex with women for fear of pregnancy.

          Having spent a long period of time in the middle east, I can tell you that this is still practiced.

          In the past, a woman who did get illicitly pregnant would often visit a witch who would prepare a DIY poison for her abortion.

          Today with birth control and abortion clinics, a man is able to have both recreative and procreative sex with women.

          So the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual sex was actually a reference to avoid sex where recreation and procreation are separated. Hence do the right thing of pledging yourself to a woman and have sex with her only. You could not enter your neighbour’s wife nor a whore. Neither would you have to kill the woman/young girl/deal with bastards after you raped her, fooled her or paid for her services.

          Thirdly, sex without procreation is at worst rape or the fantasy of rape and at best, it is the use of each other’s bodies as a dildo and hollow sex toy even between married partners.

          Google ‘sex is rape’ and you will find many feminist entries. Today’s issue with consent all stem from it.

          Without procreation, any bodily cavity is the same. Vagina, mouth, anal, hand, etc. It doesn’t matter if the cavity is another man or another woman. That’s why people today see no difference between heterosexual and homosexual sex. They call it all ‘sex’.

          It is about pleasure and giving/taking it.

          The catholic teachings on sex follow something called natural family planning.

          In it, You are allowed to have sex with your spouse as long as you satisfy the procreative and unitive aspects. It doesn’t matter if she is barren or you are suffering from a dysfunction. You must allow the remote possibly of God using you as agents to create life in the world.

          There is also teachings on following the woman’s menstrual cycle and allowing her rest and recovery.

          Fifthly, sex is not bad in itself but the attachment to it. Everytime you enjoy sex, you desire it again.

          What you love, you must also equally hate it’s opposite. E.g. If you love summer, the warmth and the good vibes, you can’t stand the depressing winter. Same thing with sex and a lack of it.

          It can overrule you and make you even fall in love with a woman who you don’t actually love.

          Swedenborg himself said that one must never physically be joined with a woman before having a spiritual and emotional union
          with that woman. The man must ensure this even within marriage.

          You should not even see her as a walking vagina for recreation or procreation. Jesus’s most difficult teaching is that you should not even lust with your eyes. To will it, is as bad as adultery.

          Think about it. When you are with your mother or sister, do you not mentally castrate yourself so you feel no sexual urges for them? In the same way, you should see all women as your mother and sister except your wife.

          A man must bring his urges under the spirit and the will of God. If God provides a wife, you take and give thanks.

          Sixth, the ancients knew that a man and woman really wanted to be with each other physically in order to evaluate compatibility.

          Their form of dating was the man and woman to simply embrace sitting down whilst facing the same way and with clothes on. They would then simply smell, whisper and hold each other. This was as good and even better that the modern sex after a few dates to ‘know each other’

          Today this same form of embracing can be found in the teachings of tantric sex. Google it.

          It is not about thrusting but simply looking into your partner. Holding her, smelling her and slowly feeling her body and mind.

          Such forms of love making will trigger disgust in most couples because very few of them have that kind of intimate relationship to embrace the other in such a way.

          Swedenborg understood that procreation was the joy of heaven because it added to the human race that could possibly heaven.

          There’s more about sex but I’ll leave it at here for now.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Though I agree with some of what you say here about sex and marriage, it still seems to be infected with the idea that sexual intercourse is somehow tainted, merely physical, dirty, and unspiritual.

          Though sex can be and is tainted and unspiritual for people who are unspiritual, for those who are spiritual, sexual intercourse within a loving, monogamous marriage is highly spiritual even if there is no physical reproduction involved or possible from engaging in it.

          And yes, even if couples who physically could have children use contraceptives, their sexual intercourse can still be highly spiritual and good. That’s because as important as creating new human beings to populate heaven is, the primary form of reproduction that results from sexual intimacy within a real, spiritual marriage is spiritual reproduction, not physical reproduction. That is, the primary “conceptions” of sexual intimacy between truly married partners are new conceptions of love, wisdom, truth, understanding, compassion, and other spiritual things.

          The birth of new children is a correspondential expression of these spiritual “births.” For the angels in heaven, there are no physical births (of new babies), but only spiritual births resulting from their sexual intercourse. The same is true for spiritually married couples on earth who do not have physical children.

          To state it flatly: The idea that reproduction is the only purpose of sex, and that sex without the intention of having babies is wrong, is just plain false. That idea is itself a materialistic and unspiritual belief.

          Catholic beliefs about sex are infected with the idea that sex is inherently unspiritual, and created by God only for the purpose of physical reproduction. Catholicism teaches that angels are sexless beings, that we will be sexless beings in heaven, and that there is no marriage in heaven. This materialistic, unspiritual view of sex has confused and falsified their understanding of man, woman, marriage, sex, and celibacy. It has also caused the Catholic Church to saddle its members with unnecessary and damaging strictures against contraception and against any sex that couldn’t result in pregnancy. And it has caused the Catholic Church to generally cheapen both sex and marriage, and to propagate the false notion that celibacy is spiritually superior to marriage.

          Swedenborg teaches just the opposite. Specifically, he teaches that not only are angels overwhelmingly married, but that they continue to have sex, even though there is no physical reproduction resulting from it. See my article:

          Is There Sex in Heaven?

          And for those who think Jesus said there is no marriage in heaven (hint: he didn’t!) please see these two articles:

          1. Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?
          2. Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning

          As for tantric sex and couples staring into each other’s eyes: There’s nothing wrong with that. Couples who are in love with each other love to do that. But they also love to have sex with each other. Even if tantric teachings don’t start with sex, they eventually get to sex for those who have gone through the discipline of making a spiritual connection with each other first. That is simply observing the order that Swedenborg described and prescribed for couples: make the inner, spiritual connection first before proceeding to sex, because sex is meant to be an expression of the inner, spiritual connection between two people.

          This is the spiritual basis for the ideal of waiting until marriage to have sex. The time of dating (traditionally “courtship”) and engagement is meant to be a time of getting to know one another as people, and making an inner, soul connection with one another. The wedding is meant to happen at a time when the couple has made that connection and is now recognizing and proclaiming it publicly, and in the sight of God, with a ritual of union. The “wedding night” of first sexual intercourse is the beginning of full union when the couple’s spiritual oneness is expressed in physical oneness, and becomes complete.

          When two people are one in true marriage, that is a bond that can never be broken, either here in this world or in the spiritual world. It is something God has joined together, and no one can put asunder. And it continues on all levels, from spiritual to bodily, with angel couples just as it does for spiritually married couples here on earth.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          I want to respond to some of your points specifically, starting with:

          Secondly, most sex between heterosexuals today is homosexual in nature because they have separated the procreative and unitive components of sex from each other.

          In the ancient world, men commonly used to have sex with women for procreation and then with young boys/other men/eunuchs/slaves for recreation.

          Since they existed no effective birth control and a dowry was an obstacle, men avoided recreational sex with women for fear of pregnancy.

          Having spent a long period of time in the middle east, I can tell you that this is still practiced.

          In the past, a woman who did get illicitly pregnant would often visit a witch who would prepare a DIY poison for her abortion.

          Today with birth control and abortion clinics, a man is able to have both recreative and procreative sex with women.

          So the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual sex was actually a reference to avoid sex where recreation and procreation are separated. Hence do the right thing of pledging yourself to a woman and have sex with her only. You could not enter your neighbour’s wife nor a whore. Neither would you have to kill the woman/young girl/deal with bastards after you raped her, fooled her or paid for her services.

          It is true that in the Bible God commands man and woman to be fruitful and multiply. Israelite and Jewish men, including the first Christian converts from Judaism, were expected to marry and have children.

          However, there is no place where the Bible says that sex without the intention of reproduction is wrong or evil. Only that sex with the intention of reproduction is good. The one does not follow from the other, any more than saying that red is good means that blue is evil.

          The Bible presents marital faithfulness and sexual attraction as being inherently good, and that is how it was seen in ancient Israelite society, especially as it transitioned from polygamy to monogamy. See, for example, this aphorism from the Proverbs:

          Drink water from your own cistern,
              flowing water from your own well.
          Should your springs be scattered abroad,
              streams of water in the streets?
          Let them be for yourself alone,
              and not for sharing with strangers.
          Let your fountain be blessed,
              and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
              a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
          May her breasts satisfy you at all times;
              may you be intoxicated always by her love.
          Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman
              and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
          For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord,
              and he examines all their paths.
          The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them,
              and they are caught in the toils of their sin.
          They die for lack of discipline,
              and because of their great folly they are lost.
                                      (Proverbs 5:15–23)

          Homosexuality was condemned in ancient Israelite and early Christian society, not because it didn’t result in reproduction, but because sex was seen as an inherently unequal relationship, whereas Israelite and Christian men were seen to be all equal to one another in the eyes of God and under social and forensic law. Sex between two men was seen as violating that God-given equality. For a full treatment of homosexuality and the Bible, please see:

          Homosexuality, the Bible, and Christianity

          In ancient Jewish and early Christian society, there was no real marriage as Swedenborg describes it: as a spiritual union between two equal partners. There was, instead, a materialistic and inherently unspiritual linking of man and woman for social, financial, and reproductive purposes. It was also an inherently unequal relationship, in which the penetrator (the man) was seen as superior to and dominant over the penetrated partner (the woman).

          Even homosexual relationships in ancient Greek and Roman society were not engaged in between two men of equal status. Such homosexual relationships were illegal or at least socially prohibited even in ancient societies that accepted and celebrated homosexual relationships between two men of unequal status. Men who engaged in homosexual relationships with their social equals were at best jeered and socially ostracized, and at worst executed for their crime.

          For all practical purposes, marriage as Swedenborg describes it did not exist in ancient society, or at any time in recorded history up to Swedenborg’s own day and the Age of Enlightenment. However, a simulacrum of marriage existed, and was rightly honored as a more upright state than that of promiscuity and adultery. Even if no real marriage existed, something that functioned as marriage did exist in those societies, and faithfulness to it was commanded as a foundation not only for an upright society back then, but for a future time when real marriage and real marriage love would come into existence.

          The advent of contraceptives has not changed the fundamental realities of promiscuous and adulterous love versus genuine marriage love. With or without contraceptives, people who have no real marriage love, but only sexual desire, will continue to engage in promiscuous and adulterous relationships, whether with someone of the opposite sex or someone of the same sex. The physical consequences (unwanted pregnancy) and social consequences will not be as severe. But the nature of the love will be the same: unspiritual and entirely physical in nature.

          This does not mean that such heterosexual sex is “homosexual in nature.” That would be like saying that sex among older couples in which the woman is post-menopausal is “homosexual in nature.”

          Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not distinguished by whether or not children issue from the union, but by whether the attraction and sex are with a person of the same sex or with a person of the opposite sex. Although it is true that homosexual sex never results in pregnancy, it is also true that most heterosexual sex also does not result in pregnancy. So that simply is not the distinction between the two.

          When a man and a woman have sex, it is heterosexual sex regardless of whether pregnancy results, and regardless of whether pregnancy can result from the union.

          In the ancient world, men were more likely to avoid sex with women that they weren’t married to for fear of pregnancy. They didn’t avoid sex with their wives for that reason. And in ancient Greek and Roman society, middle-aged men who had sex with men of lower status (unmarried teenagers and young men, slaves, eunuchs, etc.) also had sex with their wives, hoping to get their wives pregnant so that they could have children and heirs. And when they did get their wives pregnant, cultural taboos and practical considerations commonly presented them from having sex with their wives. So they would look elsewhere for sex, and the mechanisms you mention would come into play.

          In addition to having homosexual sex, married men also had sex with prostitutes. And sometimes they just went ahead and had sex with unmarried women who weren’t prostitutes. There are several stories about this in the Bible, and rules about it as well. The same is true for every other society. So it’s a little too facile to say that men in ancient society avoided sex with women for fear of pregnancy. At most, they were somewhat more careful about it.

          And yet, whenever they thought they could get away with it, they went ahead and did it. That’s because for the most part, they had no real marriage love, but only sexual desire. Today, with contraceptives, the same desire results in far more sex between unmarried men and women. And though that may seem like a massive change, it is so only socially, not spiritually. Spiritually the people involved are no different from the ancient people who had to be more careful due to the lack of contraception.

          What’s different today is that some men and women actually have, or at least aspire to, real, spiritual marriage love. And even many who were promiscuous when young and foolish develop this aspiration and reality as they mature.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          Thirdly, sex without procreation is at worst rape or the fantasy of rape and at best, it is the use of each other’s bodies as a dildo and hollow sex toy even between married partners.

          Google ‘sex is rape’ and you will find many feminist entries. Today’s issue with consent all stem from it.

          Without procreation, any bodily cavity is the same. Vagina, mouth, anal, hand, etc. It doesn’t matter if the cavity is another man or another woman. That’s why people today see no difference between heterosexual and homosexual sex. They call it all ‘sex’.

          It is about pleasure and giving/taking it.

          The catholic teachings on sex follow something called natural family planning.

          In it, You are allowed to have sex with your spouse as long as you satisfy the procreative and unitive aspects. It doesn’t matter if she is barren or you are suffering from a dysfunction. You must allow the remote possibly of God using you as agents to create life in the world.

          There is also teachings on following the woman’s menstrual cycle and allowing her rest and recovery.

          Where do you get these crazy, negative, fallacious ideas about sex?

          Apparently from Catholicism.

          The idea that sex without reproduction is tantamount to rape is rank and utter falsity. And horrible falsity at that. I can hardly believe that even the Catholic Church teaches this. If it does, then its teachings on sex and marriage are even more unenlightened, materialistic, false, and hellish than I thought.

          Rape is a crime. Rape is forced sex. It is a crime of violating a woman’s or man’s body and mind by forcing her or him into having sex that she or he does not want.

          There is no similarity between this and loving sex between two willing partners who happen to have no intention of pregnancy resulting from that sex.

          Only the most depraved and materialistic view of sex could create any connection between the two. They are as different as night and day. They are as far away from each other as hell is from heaven.

          Only in the crudest terms can even the physical act be said to be the same. Yes, both involve sexual contact, usually penetrative, of one sort or another. But the physiology is completely different.

          A woman or man being raped is in a physiological state of fear, revulsion, and rejection of what is going on—and the accompanying hormones are racing through her or his body, causing it to be a horrifying and painful experience, from which it can take many years to recover psychologically. There is commonly additional physical violence against the victim in the process of forcing her or him to submit to the unwanted sex, such that even apart from the horrible experience of being sexually violated, rape victims usually require medical attention for cuts, bruises, concussions, torn and strained tissues, broken bones, and on and on. It is a horrible, vicious crime—arguably the worst of all crimes.

          This is in stark contrast with consensual, loving sex, in which both the mind and the physiological state of the body are longing for union, and the very physiology of the two bodies are producing hormones and responses that make the physical act of sex pleasurable and healthful both physically and mentally.

          It’s a sick, sick idea (and not in the positive millennial sense of that term) that consensual sex and rape are in any way the same. Please, I beg of you, flush that foul sewage out of your mind.

          Even the idea that sex between married partners without the intention of reproduction is making a woman (or a man) into a sex toy is also horribly wrong, and shows a complete materialistic misunderstanding of the nature of sex within real, spiritual marriage. It is hard for me to believe that you are swallowing this rank sewage about sex.

          Sex within a loving, monogamous, spiritual marriage is not just some sort of masturbation. It is the physical expression of a spiritual union between two people. It is the bringing of the union two hearts, minds, and spirits into full physical expression. This is true regardless of whether reproduction results, or even could result. It is true even if the couple, for their own reasons, specifically prevents conception and reproduction through the use of contraceptives.

          In particular, people who do not want children should not have children. There are far too many children and adults in this world who have been terribly damaged by being born to parents who did not want them, did not love them, and were incapable of properly caring for them. There are plenty of children being born into this world without our needing to force every couple to have children, or to allow for the possibility of having children whether they want to or not. As a fundamentalist pastor once memorably observed, “The earth has been replenished.” There is absolutely no need to force or pressure every couple into having babies.

          Even Catholicism, in contradictory fashion, allows for the rather ineffective “rhythm” method of contraception. Does this mean that if a couple successfully practices “rhythm” and the woman doesn’t get pregnant, their sex is tantamount to rape or to making their partner into a dildo or a sex toy? What utter falsity and hogwash!

          Anyone who thinks or teaches that sex without reproduction is mere physical stimulation has never experienced true, spiritual sexual intimacy, or simply doesn’t understand the true nature of marriage, and of sex within a true, spiritual marriage. The idea that celibate Catholic priests should presume to teach their married flocks about sex and marriage is ridiculous at best and an anathema at worst. They have no experience whatsoever in what they presume to teach. And their whole ecclesiastical institution misunderstands and denigrates sex because it has an utterly physical and materialistic view of sex and marriage.

          I could continue, but instead I’ll simply and strongly urge you, Rohan, to flush all of this Catholic sewage about sex and marriage out of your mind. Then read Swedenborg’s book Marriage Love once again without all of that negativity and materialistic thinking about sex and marriage.

          It gets tiring to have to respond to one fallacy and falsity after another, based on a corrupted and unspiritual “Church” that claims to be Christian but in fact rejects nearly every teaching of the Bible, and founds its doctrines, teachings, and practices instead on human inventions made by its “theologians” over the centuries to replace the teachings of Jesus Christ. Though I spend much of my time here attacking and destroying false, unbiblical Protestant teaching, false, unbiblical Catholic teaching—which was the original foundation for false Protestant teaching—needs to be attacked and destroyed just as much.

          I strongly urge you to heed the words of the prophet, speaking of Babylon, to “come out of her, my people” (Jeremiah 51:45). Abandon the Babylon that Catholicism has become.

          Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Lee,

          Regarding wives knowing something that their husbands don’t.

          In conjugial love, there were a few accounts where Swedenborg met with some wives in the CELESTIAL heaven. He asked them a few questions but they were reluctant to answer. They only answered when they saw a bird and they stopped answering when the bird left. The bird signifies something of the spirit intruding upon the will of the mind.

          These weird accounts only happen to take place when the wives were present (along with their husbands). But such accounts of the dove didn’t seem tk take place with random men that swedenborg met in heaven. The men didn’t seem to have any restrictions. They could speak all that they wanted to. Never a bird in sight even when discussing conjugial love.

          From
          https://newchristianbiblestudy.org/multi/swedenborg_conjugial-love-warren-and-tafel_173/swedenborg_conjugial-love-warren-and-tafel_208

          But from the zeal of love for your happiness, and at the same time for our own, we feign not to know them; and yet we regulate them so prudently, that whatever is to the liking, pleasure, and will of our husbands we follow, by permitting and bearing and bending them only when possible, but never constraining.’ I asked, ‘Whence have you this wisdom?’

          The other account of women in the celestial heaven is how they are given perceptions of what makes their husband happy by the Lord. But they do not tell the husband that they know this or the manner by which they prudently serve the loves of the husband.

          They do this because they don’t want the husband to feel like the wife exploits their weaknesses of what they love. She keeps it to herself and plays dumb. She does not boast of her knowledge of her husband.

          From this I take that there are some personal truths that the Lord does not want the person to permit to escape from his heart and out of his tongue. God wants those truths to remain within a person’s heart.

          I say this because in the old testament, the Jews were fearful of even saying the name of God. Even modern Jews refer to God as G-D. Buddhism does not believe in God but only because they despise the assumption of an Abrahamic God that is distinct from his people. Man is one within God.

          The Hebrews had only one day in a year when their senior most priest was allowed to go into the most holiest place of the temple and utter the name of God in the most humble way possible.

          Why was this so?

          This is because the moment the word God departs from your mouth, it becomes external to you. You convert a truth to an image. And eventually through profanity, God would be thought of as external to a person when it was really meant for the person to always feel that God was within him. God is never supposed to be thought of as completely independent of man like Adam and Eve did when they hid in the bushes.

          In the same way, if the wife speaks of the divine truths of her husband that paints his image, the image of the husband becomes external to her. And through profanity, she may eventually not see her husband as one with her.

          She must carry the image of the husband within her and not let it come out of her. Not even to her husband. Not even as gossip to her friends. And most certainly not to her children (frustrated wives seem to do this a lot).

          So yes it goes beyond ordinary relationships.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Clearly the husbands of the wives who spoke of these things to Swedenborg did know about their wives’ profound knowledge of them (the husbands), because the husbands were right there listening to their wives. And the wives said to Swedenborg:

          It is a wisdom profoundly reserved in the hearts of our sex; and not disclosed to any husband unless he is in love truly conjugial. (Marriage Love #155(2), Warren and Tafel translation, italics added)

          For husbands who do have true, spiritual marriage love, there is no need for this knowledge of their wives about them to be kept secret from them.

          And the wives go on to say that wives keep their love for their husbands secret only from husbands who do not have real, spiritual marriage love:

          They replied, that if the least such thing escaped from their mouth cold would come over their husbands, and separate them from bed and chamber and from sight. But this is with those who do not regard marriages as holy, and therefore, do not love their wives from spiritual love.

          It is otherwise with those that do so love. In their minds that love is spiritual, and from this in the body is natural. “We, in this hall, are in this love from that; and therefore, we entrust the secrets of the delights of conjugial love to our husbands.” (italics added)

          And in a later story, after Swedenborg has had some other women laugh at the things he reported those wise wives telling him, it says:

          To this the wives sitting in the rosary replied, “Friend, you do not know the wisdom and prudence of wives, because they entirely conceal it from men, and they conceal it to no other end than that they may be loved. For every man who is not spiritually but only naturally rational and moral, is cold towards his wife. It is latent with them in their inmosts. This the wise and prudent wife exquisitely and keenly observes, and conceals in so much her conjugial love, and draws it into her bosom, and hides it there so deeply that not the least of it appears in her face, or voice, or gesture. The reason is, that in the degree that the love appears, the conjugial cold of the man pours itself forth, from the inmosts of his mind where it resides, into its ultimates, and induces a total frigidity of the body, and a consequent effort towards separation from bed and chamber.” (Marriage Love #294, italics added)

          In other words, these wives from the eastern heavens were speaking about how wives speak and act toward husbands do not have real, spiritual marriage love. For those whose husbands do have real, spiritual marriage love, they are open with their love for their husbands and their perception of their husbands’ mind, thoughts, and inclinations. These husbands still don’t have this level of perception about their wives, but they are not in the dark about their wives’ love, wisdom, and perception as are the unspiritual husbands who are more interested in promiscuous sex than in faithful, monogamous, loving marriage.

          As for the signs of the doves and the swans, these were simply representations of the wives’ own perception of how much they could say to Swedenborg. They scrutinized him at first to see if they could say anything to him at all. And they spoke only as long as they perceived that it was prudent to continue speaking to him. After all, Swedenborg was a human man living on earth, not a heavenly angel. Further, Swedenborg was not even married. They had to be sure that they wouldn’t be causing harm by disclosing these things to him. And they disclosed them to him little by little, not all at once, so that he would have a chance to reflect upon them and digest them before learning more.

          The things Swedenborg spoke about with male angels tended to be more rational and doctrinal ideas that men like to discuss and argue about intellectually. No such protection was needed for those types of conversations.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Lee,

          Regarding osho.

          I agree that he has a bad reputation but I don’t really look into it neither do I want to be physically involved with his followers.

          I read his teachings and they provide outlooks of the Bible and the workings of the mind that have blown me away.

          You know when I debate ex-Christians, a majority of them will tell me at some point that they don’t follow the bible because their pastor did XYZ wrongs. I say fair enough but at some point they have to separate the delivery of what is true from the application of what is true.

          Osho can deliver borrowed truths but he may not necessarily practice them.

          Lee, don’t we all borrow truths from different philosophies and religions? What kind of statement is that? You know better than most that no truth belongs to any person. Nothing good you or me ever said came from us. We only come into possession of it.

          Regarding Osho’ s teaching on marriage and prostitution.

          I agree with what he says and I have read conjugial love.

          You misunderstand what he wrote.

          He says that Love must always be free to be given between two people. Love must have no expectation or fear attached to it. By marriage, he means to say that marriage law and customs is the enemy of love.

          He said that when a man and woman first meet and date, they begin to love each other without an expectation of the same tomorrow.

          They are both free to stop loving each other but yet they continue to love each other. They have a beautiful friendship where they don’t necessarily need each other but want each other

          He says that ordinary marriage is when man wants to make permanent his love. He wants this conjugial state to last forever.

          But in doing so, he now forces the spouse to love him after the contract is signed. She is not free to love anyone else. She is bound by law to love him. Marriage law and customs takes away the freedom.

          He says man always wants permanence. Even in ancient religion, man would seek to have a permanent kind of relationship with God.

          Man would offer some sacrifices to God and in return he would expect God to guarantee a blessing i.e. Pagan ritualism.

          So man in marriage thinks that he can provide his wife a house, food and security and then guarantee that his wife will love him. He treats her like a prostitute.

          Man’s need for permanence in all his relationships makes him want to offer trade of flesh for services.

          You cannot buy love.

          In the heavens, there is no law or customs, if you want to leave your spouse, you can but it is to your loss. You have lost conjugial love.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          Regarding osho.

          I agree that he has a bad reputation but I don’t really look into it neither do I want to be physically involved with his followers.

          I strongly urge you to look into it.

          Rajneesh doesn’t just “have a bad reputation.” He was an evil mastermind who borrowed teachings from ancient and modern sources and melded them into a toxic brew that tore down people’s minds and bodies and bound them to him such that, as directed by his top leaders, they would engage in prostitution, drug smuggling, and even murder in order to keep paying him money to stay at his so-called “ashrams.” He bought himself Rolls Royces and Lear jets while women got raped in his “therapy groups” and children ran naked, muddy, bruised, and bloody on the roads of Rajneeshpuram.

          Please read the article I linked for you. Here it is once again:

          Outside the Limits of the Human Imagination,” by Win McCormack

          Win McCormack is a publisher and investigative journalist from Oregon who literally wrote the book on the Rajneesh cult in Oregon:

          The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil, by Win McCormack

          You will know them by their fruits.

          Rajneesh showed by what he actually did what his teachings meant. Though his teachings have a veneer of spirituality, and a certain hypnotic power over the minds of educated, thoughtful people, they were all aimed at binding followers to him so closely that they would do anything to make him rich.

          About marriage and sex in particular, here is an excerpt from McCormack’s article that show just how far his actual beliefs are from what you—a good, decent, and thoughtful person—are interpreting them to be:

          Of all the reprehensible aspects of the Rajneesh cult, the treatment of children at the ranch has been the most ignored or suppressed, probably because it is the most horrible and painful to contemplate. As far as I know, no one else has written about the subject but me. It plays no role in Wild, Wild Country.

          Let’s begin with the fact that Rajneesh did not want his followers to have children, a subject I wrote about in “Bhagwan’s Strange Eugenics.” Rajneesh made the following statement to the INS in an interview in Portland on October 14, 1982: “Just as murder is considered by the society, so the birth of a child should be considered by the commune.” He wasn’t kidding. Rajneesh required that all his top women officials have themselves sterilized, and he encouraged his other disciples to do the same. If a woman got pregnant at the Pune ashram in India or Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, she was given a stark choice: Agree to have an abortion, or leave the property forthwith. There were zero children born in Oregon to Rajneesh cult members during the time the commune was extant.

          “Bhagwan told his followers that a woman could not become enlightened if she had a child,” a former disciple informed me, “because it would take away from her vital energy. It took so much energy to become enlightened that if you had a child, you wouldn’t have the energy to pursue that path.” Actually, the reason Bhagwan did not want his followers to have children was the same reason he did not care for them to have stable, committed, loving relationships: Having a child might motivate its parents to forsake the commune for a more normal, adult lifestyle.

          And that is far from the worst of it. Read the article.

          Rajneesh in practice was diametrically opposed to everything you are saying about marriage. He was absolutely opposed to sex for reproduction, and banned it among his followers. Instead, he substituted “free love,” which in practice meant one-night stands with partners randomly assigned by group leaders, and men essentially gang-raping women in his “therapy sessions.” Again from McCormack’s article, regarding a Rajneeshee woman who was on trial for prostitution:

          In a document that Kristina’s mother submitted to the court in hopes of gaining leniency for her daughter, she reported that Kristina had told her the following about her experiences in a Tantra group: “Kristina was commanded to have sexual intercourse with every man in the group in turn, in order to ‘kill her ego.’ The group leader, a woman, shouted at her: ‘If you are to surrender to Bhagwan, you must surrender to anybody here, to any man although the mere thought of it makes you sick—you are not to think—just let it happen!’”

          Rajneesh does not just “have a bad reputation.” He earned that bad reputation by twisting teachings from ancient religions and modern psychology into a form of mind control so strong that his followers would do anything he and his leaders asked them to do, be it getting raped by every man in the room in turn, engaging in prostitution and drug smuggling to raise money for Rajneesh, or sprinkling salmonella on the salad bars of a number of local restaurants in order to poison local residents as part of a plot to gain control of the local county government in Oregon.

          His very genius was in his ability to combine teachings from various religions and disciplines into something that would “blow people’s minds” almost literally so that they would abandon all self-respect and common sense, and consider him the greatest spiritual teacher of all time. And he used that evil genius to build up great wealth for himself at the expense of all the brainwashed people who worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week at his “ashrams” in order to generate wealth for him. He regularly rode in his Rolls Royces past these adoring crowds of people who slaved away so that he could be chauffeured in luxury vehicles and attempt to escape the country in his personal Lear jet.

          This goes far beyond “a bad reputation.” Rajneesh was one of the most evil men who ever lived. And like several other evil cult leaders, toward the end he began comparing himself to Hitler, saying that Hitler was misunderstood, and so on. It’s all in the article.

          Inform yourself.

          Do not fall prey to the hypnotic spell of this evil man. His teachings are not what you think they are.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          I agree with what he says and I have read conjugial love.

          You misunderstand what he wrote.

          He says that Love must always be free to be given between two people.

          The evil genius of Rajneesh was that he was able to borrow commonly held ideas from various sources, both religious and secular, salt them into his speeches and writings, and let people assume that what he meant by these things is the common sense and spiritual ideas that people usually understand them to mean. This made him look very wise, though in fact he was an extremely foolish, unenlightened man.

          And the fact of the matter is that he meant something entirely different by the things he taught than what is commonly read into them by good-hearted people. That is shown by how he actually ran his cult.

          In fact, he did think that marriage was merely legalized prostitution. He altogether rejected marriage, not only as a social and legal institution, but as a state of love between two people.

          How do we know this?

          Because, as detailed in the article I linked for you earlier, any time any two people within his cult began to show love and affection for each other, and to pair off, he, through his top leaders, promptly broke it up, assigning them to different tasks on opposite sides of the property, and making sure they had little or no opportunity to see each other.

          It appears that by “love” he actually meant, not what we usually think of as love, but sex. He arranged for his followers to have sex all the time, with all different people, making sure that it never resulted in any real love, affection, or commitment between two people that could lead to marriage.

          In short, he hated marriage, and did everything he could to make sure that none of his followers ever got married.

          He loved promiscuity. He loved one-night stands with ever-varying partners. He loved forcing women who wanted love and marriage to become prostitutes by forcing them to sleep with many different men, even if they found a particular man repulsive and didn’t love him at all.

          In fact, within his cult Rajneesh turned marriage into prostitution. He did everything he could to destroy marriage love among his followers. And I’ve already mentioned that many Rajneeshee women made the money they were required to pay to the cult by becoming prostitutes on the open market. This is all well-documented fact.

          Rajneesh also hated children. He required all of his top leaders to be sterilized, and encouraged the rest of his followers to become sterilized as well. He required any woman among his followers who did become pregnant either to get an abortion or to leave the community. Those already-born children who came in with their parents were neglected, maltreated, and, if they were girls, made to be sexually active with older men as soon as they reached puberty, and in some cases even sooner.

          When it comes to sex and marriage, his cult was a horror show of promiscuity, adultery, rape, and sexual abuse of children. Meanwhile, marriage was generally prohibited and prevented as much as possible.

          So although I know you, being a good, thoughtful person, think he means what you have described, in practice, that’s simply not what he meant. He hated marriage and set about to completely eradicate it within his cult.

          He says that ordinary marriage is when man wants to make permanent his love. He wants this conjugial state to last forever.

          Yes. And in true marriage, so does the woman. Both of them want their love to be permanent. Because real marriage love is permanent.

          That is something Rajneesh could not stand, and something he set about to destroy among his followers.

          But in doing so, he now forces the spouse to love him after the contract is signed. She is not free to love anyone else. She is bound by law to love him. Marriage law and customs takes away the freedom.

          Not for couples who truly, spiritually love one another. For them, the “bonds” of marriage are freedom, not a freedom-inhibiting cable binding them. The faithfulness and monogamy required by law are what they want to do anyway, so it doesn’t inhibit their freedom in the least. They have absolutely no desire for or interest in loving anyone else romantically, or in having sex with anyone else (which, once again, is what Rajneesh really means by “love”).

          The only people to whom marriage laws look like bondage are those who do not have real marriage love, but who want to continue to sleep around and have promiscuous sex. Which is exactly what Rajneesh wanted them to have.

          Rajneesh himself viewed marriage laws and customs as bondage, because Rajneesh himself had nothing of true marriage love in him. As a result, he could neither understand it nor speak any truth other than borrowed (and not understood by him) truth about real, spiritual marriage. Instead, he set about to destroy it.

          Rajneesh epitomizes a man who is ruled by mere sexual love and not by love for one person of the opposite sex, aka marriage love. And he imposed that promiscuous and adulterous sexual love on everyone underneath him, while destroying everything of true marriage love in them as long as they continued to follow him.

          Swedenborg spoke very clearly about the difference in perspective on marriage and marriage laws among people who do and don’t have real marriage love. For those who don’t, marriage feels like bondage. For those who do, it feels like, and is, freedom. Here is what he says on the subject (though the translation is a bit archaic):

          Of accessory causes of cold[ness in marriage] a second is that living together with the partner under covenant and by law seems forced and not free.

          This cause exists only with those in whom marital love is cold in the inmosts; supplementing the inward cold, it becomes an additional or accessory cause of cold. With such partners extramarital love, through being countenanced, is inwardly the warmth (for the cold of the one love is the warmth of the other); this warmth, though not felt, is still within, yes, in the midst of the cold; were it not within, there would be no zest.

          This heat is what causes the constraint, which is increased as the covenant by agreement and the law from right are regarded by one of the partners as bonds not to be violated. It is otherwise if the bonds are relaxed by them both.

          The contrary happens with those who have held extra-marital love to be accursed, and who think of marital love as heavenly and as heaven; and still more with those who perceive that this is the fact. The covenant with its agreements and the law with its obligations are written on the hearts of such partners and ever more deeply written on them. With them the bond of marital love is not secured by covenant agreement, nor by legal enactment; obligation and law are implanted by creation in the very love in which they are. From these come the world’s bonds, and not the other way about. The result is that such partners find all the life of marital love unconstrained. There is nothing free which is not from love. I have heard from the angels that the freedom of true marital love is the freest of all, just as that love is the love of loves. (Marriage Love #257)

          In short:

          • For people who are inwardly cold to marriage love, and warm to promiscuity and adultery, marriage seems like bondage.
          • For people who are inwardly warm to marriage and true love with one partner, marriage is not bondage, but freedom.

          So once again, Rajneesh is just plain wrong because he not only doesn’t understand marriage love, but hates marriage love. His actions prove it.

          The only way marriage would feel like bondage, aside from simply being married to the wrong person, is if one or both of the partners have a hankering to sleep around with various partners, and marriage prevents them from doing so. These people have neither true love nor real marriage, but are in their hearts fornicators and adulterers who hate marriage.

          Aside from his unbounded lust for power, this is why Rajneesh hated marriage, and viewed it as merely legalized prostitution.

          Once again, please do not allow yourself to be hypnotized by the teachings of this evil man. Anything that to you sounds true in his teachings is just borrowed truth with which Rajneesh decorated his speeches and writings to give a veneer of spirituality to his depraved beliefs and practices—which were all aimed at maximizing his own absolute power over his followers and multiplying wealth for himself. This desire for wealth and power utterly falsified every truth that he borrowed from other sources and put to work to carry out his evil purposes.

          As I read the page you linked earlier giving excerpts from Rajneesh’s / Osho’s teachings on marriage, it became clear to me just how little he understood real marriage. All through the quotations there was material that screamed out that this man had no real enlightenment about marriage. Much of what he taught there is just plain false. And the parts that aren’t false are destroyed and corrupted by all of the falsity that he has mixed them in with.

          There are not words strong enough to say just how evil and hellish this man, his teachings, and his practices were.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          regd Rajnesh.

          Yes I agree I have not paid much attention to his evils but it’s probably because I usually pay no attention to the personhood of a man but only to this truths.

          What you describe about Rajnesh is something that is not unique to him. I have been part of catholic, evangelical, presbyterian and today swedenborgian churches. I grew up amongst muslims and hindus. I don’t care about the external facades of man or religion anymore. I only want to know truth.

          I can say that there seems to be some unhealthy link between priesthood and sexual deviancy. Gurus and Swamis in India are well known for being caught up in sexual scandals and cults all. Nothing new here.

          I was even once part of a church where the head pastor had an extra-marital affair with the wife of a junior pastor. I also lived amongst catholic priests whilst a university student and came across accounts of some of them visiting the nearby strippers. One priest even had a dubious relationship with a young student who was my friend.

          Even in politics, you have the heads of state engaging in sexual perversions namely Bill Clinton and Trump….. And these are the ones that were caught with their pants down. We don’t even know about the rest.

          But their offices that they are given, be it the office of the priest or that of the politician, might not necessarily reflect their evil inner values. They are given roles by above to fulfill for others. God sends rain on both the evil and good man.

          But I am cautious of OSHO only because I do not like his denial of God as a human. I also do not like when he sometimes brings his personhood into his writings.

          But I appreciate him bridging the gap between eastern and western religion. Very few people are knowledgeable about both the religions of the east and of the west.

          Having lived in both cultures, I can say that one is poorer for not knowing both sides. As Swedenborg understood… all religions can co-exist together and learn from each other. Osho understood this.

          I would suggest that instead of attacking OSHO, it may be more profitable for yourself and other to attack his doctrines.

          Sometimes it is necessary to lay down prejudices for the sake of studying different aspects of what could be true. I pick up a book sometimes to judge it but funnily it sometimes ends up judging me.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          My comment just above this one (here) was posted after this one, and responds on both the character and the teachings of Rajneesh. Both are corrupt and wrong, because they form a highly toxic mix of truth and falsity.

          Some further thoughts in response to this comment:

          The very reason Rajneesh was so evil is that he used a veneer of spirituality, not to mention great skill in hypnotic techniques, to gain absolute power over his followers. They willingly worked over 80 hours a week for him without pay because he had gotten control of their minds and made them believe he was a highly enlightened master. People who broke away from his cult commonly took many months or years to regain any sense of self-respect, personal integrity, and ability to follow their goals and purposes in life.

          People who use spirituality, spiritual truth, and spiritual power to gain power and control over others are the most evil human beings, and end out in the lowest hells because they have mixed good with evil, and truth with falsity, so thoroughly that they burn out the flesh and marrow of their spirits and have hardly anything of life left in them. I find it hard to believe that Rajneesh is not at this moment little more than a spiritual skeleton living in dire fantasies of his own greatness and enlightenment because he so thoroughly destroyed everything of spirituality and personal integrity both in himself and in his followers. For some of Swedenborg’s statements on this sort of spiritual corruption, or in traditional terms, “profanation,” see Arcana Coelestia #6348, 6959; Divine Providence #226.

          There is similar condemnation awaiting corrupt Catholic priests and Indian gurus alike who use their positions of spiritual and social power to sleep with other men’s wives, or with a wide variety of women in general, or to sexually abuse children, or to build up wealth and power for themselves. I believe that many of today’s Prosperity Gospel preachers who are living in luxury for which their financially struggling followers are coughing up the dough will find themselves dressed in rags and begging for spare change in their own special hells in the afterlife.

          A minister friend of mine used the term “the flipside principle” to describe the general truth that the best things, when corrupted, become the worst. Spirituality in general, and spiritual marriage in particular, are the best and highest realms of human life and experience. But when corrupted, they lead to the worst and most heinous crimes against humanity, destroying people not only physically and financially, but psychologically and spiritually as well.

          Rajneesh’s legacy is thousands of people whose lives, spirits, sexuality, and integrity were broken down and destroyed by this evil man who took the best of what humanity and spirituality have to offer, from both Eastern and Western sources, and turned it into a methodology to destroy people’s sense of self and personal integrity so that they would follow him without question and enrich him with the material wealth and personal power that were his real goals underneath the veneer of spiritual truth that he painted onto himself.

          Rajneesh’s particular skill was in attracting and binding to himself educated, capable, and often fairly well-off people who had reached some sort of crisis in their life—commonly a midlife crisis—and were looking for deeper meaning and purpose. He used that spiritual desire to destroy their spirits and turn them into his personal slaves who worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, living in overcrowded, squalid conditions and all the while thinking that they were basking in the Bhagwan’s love. It was a horrible travesty. The consequences for him will be all the worse in the afterlife, if his spirit and inner character are anything like what his actions demonstrated him to be.

          As far as attacking his doctrines, I have done that as well in previous comments. The things he says about marriage are a toxic mixture of truth and falsity that burns out the marrow of true marriage love and turns it into promiscuity, adultery, and prostitution.

          That is exactly what his “ashrams” were full of. He turned many good women who were seeking deeper meaning and purpose in life into actual prostitutes, who worked the brothels of San Francisco and other cities to pay money to Rajneesh so that he could buy expensive jewelry and a whole fleet of Rolls Royces for himself and his top leaders.

          Once again: You will know them by their fruits.

          Certainly it is good to bridge the gap between East and West. But using a knowledge of Eastern and Western spirituality and psychology to reduce people to mindless followers who slave away their lives to enrich a “guru” and his inner circle is taking the best that humankind has to offer and turning it into the worst and most depraved corruption possible.

          If you want to know what Rajneesh was really all about, I highly recommend that you read the book I linked for you earlier: The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil, edited by Win McCormack. I am reading it right now. The depths of Rajneesh’s depravity are hard for decent people to imagine as actually existing if they weren’t a sad and shocking reality.

          Please, please do not allow the veneer of spirituality that this man wrapped around himself to deceive you. Not only was he utterly corrupt, but he utterly corrupted the spiritual truths that he had access to, mixing and profaning them with all sorts of hellish falsity that led thousands of people to their physical, sexual, and psychological ruin.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          I agree completely on your second comment on the wives in heaven.

          I had never thought that they were prudently trying to protect swedenborg from such ideas.

          It was perhaps that I misunderstood the passage into thinking that the wives were instructed by the Lord to prepare for the visit of Swedenborg (similar to other encounters where angels and demons were explicitly sent to chat to Swedenborg). Hence my thinking was that the dove was sent to guide the women.

          But now that I think of your comment, it makes sense for the dove to be part of the woman’s inner perceptions.

          Because women unlike men think long and hard about revealing any real truths she holds within.

          For me, this is a complex area because I was and am still slightly under the impression that women find it difficult to put into words what they think. A man has no access to such truths in a woman and out frustrates him.

          I knew of women in my own life that took a very long to say simple but revealing information.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          Yes, women generally both think differently than men and express themselves differently than men. And they will often hide their thoughts and feelings, and allow them out only slowly and carefully. This is part of the “prudence” of women that Swedenborg describes.

          Our society is still quite materialistic in general, and its men are generally quite materialistic as well. Most are at least initially oriented toward sexual love, not toward marriage love. And many never do move beyond sexual love to marriage love. In that environment, all of the statements that the women in the garden in heaven made to Swedenborg come into play.

          Of course, many women are more into sexual love than marriage love also. But unlike men, even their natural instincts are generally to find and hold one man rather than to sleep with many men. So even many natural-minded women use their feminine skills to find and hold onto one man.

          Of course, our society in general is also in great flux regarding love, sex, and marriage. So a lot of what’s going on is just plain confusion and flailing around among people who no longer have clear, established social norms to tell them how they’re supposed to behave in these areas. Eventually I believe we’ll settle down into new and better social norms. But that will probably take a while.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Replies:

          Not everything the Catholic Church and Rajneesh teach is false. But much of it is. And because the truth they do have has been mixed with and turned toward falsity in many areas, it ceases to be genuine truth, and becomes falsified truth.

          All religions and denominations have a mix of truth and falsity in them.

          I appreciate Catholicism and Hinduism because we have access to the thought processes and perspectives of people from countless generations. Each one uniquely looking at universal human problems from different eras, kingdoms and circumstances.

          I don’t believe that something is true because a pope said it. I also don’t believe something is false because a devil said it.

          They are all opinions competing for the place of ‘most likely truth’ in one’s head. If a falsity is better than the truth in one’s head then it must take the place of truth until it can be rationally overthrown. This is the swedenborg process of rationally evaluating truth rather than the fruits of the speaker of the truth.

          Swedenborg did not simply listen to the opinions of angels. He also paid attention to the demons. He used them both to further drill down into newer iterations of the truth.

          For me the only baseline against which the truth can be measured against is the gospels and that alone is my basis for being a Christian.

          One of those actual practices is imposing celibacy on its priesthood.

          I don’t see this as wrong if they like most Christian denominations follow the teachings of Paul especially what he wrote about in Corinthians. Celibacy has a place in the church here on Earth. To be a counter culture against the general culture, to focus entirely on the study and preaching of spirituality and also to serve as a neutral middleman between the sexes (Catholic priest actively engage in couple counselling for the laity they serve).

          Secondly Jesus said that some become eunuchs for the kingdom of God. He did not chastise eunuchs for it. He in fact said that it was not something everyone could accept (I believe he intended for marriage and celibacy to go together). He too was a celibate who preached in the body of a 30 year old Jewish man though he followed other customs like keeping the sabbath.

          Thirdly sexual immortality occurs even more so amongst married priests and clerics.

          That is what I did in relation to the other local churches, religions, and religious leaders during my decade of parish ministry back east.

          I guess it’s comforting to be in an echo chamber. Once upon a time the Christian world thought it was heretical to think of the world as round.

          I believe that when one is ignorant of a certain religion, the more likely they are to engage in biases against it.

          I am convinced that your exposure to Catholicism is almost all from commentaries of the Catholics from non-catholic authors (Swedenborg included). And in these commentaries you will find many prejudices and cherry picking against the much larger and richer catholics (in the same way most people outside of America have great biases against Americans out of jealousy).

          Onan sin was specific

          Onan was not simply given a personal command but he was bound by a universal commandment namely

          …’If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.’

          It APPLIES today also.

          If a man beds a woman and has no children with her then he selfishly gets to keep his wealth and inheritance to himself. If he has a child with her, then he is bound to give the children and woman an inheritance (child support, etc)

          So yes we cannot deny Onan’s teaching as a mere personal account.

          shocking trivialization of rape… Rape is forcing a woman to have sex against her will, without her consent.

          You seem to have a problem with the word ‘rape’.

          Well then Jesus said that looking at a woman with lust is akin to adultery.

          Would you reply to Jesus saying, ‘No Lord, the definition of adultery is different. Looking and adultery are not the same. They have different meanings’.

          Hence even spiritual rape occurs without the assault.

          If the woman can say no and refuse sex, and doesn’t, then it’s not rape

          This is an old patriarchal way of thought. This understanding does not hold in a court of law.

          This is why courts give the woman over 20 years after the act to come forward.

          Also one in five women over age 15 have experienced sexual assault. But not all of them come forward because a woman takes time to deliberate consent after the act has done.

          She is more likely to come forward and press charges if the man ghosts on the relationship after the act.

          The feminists campaign for greater focus on consent. But they actually want consent to be decided by the woman.

          Why? Because she is the one being penetrated and she is the one who most bears the consequences of illicit sex.

          Meanwhile, saying that consensual sex without the intention of pregnancy, or even with the intent to prevent pregnancy, is tantamount to playing with sex toys reflects a completely materialistic, sense-oriented attitude toward sex.

          I think sex without an act of procreation intertwined fits your description of a materialistic sense-oriented attitude towards sex.

          Look at the animal world. There is a similar dance of aggression between the sexes before the male mates with the female.

          But does the male after winning over the female spill his seed on to the ground?

          Or does the female passively allow the subjugating male to mount her and trust that he will do his procreative duty and move on.

          You said that the ancients Greeks only had homosexual sex with lesser men. I read up on this and apparently a higher status man has to be the penetrating partner.

          Well if sex is mainly about pleasure and man’s g-spot is in his rectum. Then a lot of sex today would involve the man being penetrated (either naturally or artificially) but for the most part this idea is met with disgust by most males.

          Or if you saw two people publicly having sex in the bushes or if you overheard a woman moaning behind the bushes. Would your first thought be concerned about the safety of the woman?

          Would your first thought be different if they were sharing a meal instead?

          The penetrative act of sex will always carry a negative subconscious connotation despite how culture sells it.

          Also, just to be crystal clear, angel couples in heaven don’t just look into each other’s eyes, share truth and love with each other, and call it “sex.” They have actual, bodily sexual intercourse, in which the husband’s penis goes into the wife’s vagina.

          May you please refer me to the section in conjugial love that goes into the same detail above? I believe there was only a passing reference to the sexual act being ‘similar’

          But nevertheless the act is described as being spiritually procreative in nature. Swedenborg does NOT say that the intercourse was for purely coming together without a procreative purpose.

          Every spiritual organ has a correspondence and in the case of the male, his spiritual penis is his medium for the delivery of truths and the expelling of falsity. In the case of nonprocrative sex, he expels his truths to the ground.

          I am not sure why you would feel sex without procreation is spiritual. This is a common pagan understanding of sex.

          I’ll say this:

          If the oneness and delights a man feels with his partner is at its highest during sex relative to other acts then his relationship with his partner has not gone in to deeper highs of conjugial love.

          You should be able to feel the closeness with your spouse even without sex. You should be able to feel the oneness with your spouse even if your equipment ceases to work.

          It is in a woman’s nature to prudently wean her man off sex after marriage just as she does for a breastfeeding child.

          In heaven and hell, Swedenborg noticed that the delights of the hells were short burst of intense happiness but in the heavens they were always in a constant slow burning intensity of happiness.

          Therefore in a spiritual relationship, there are little or no highs and lows of romantic happiness between two partners. An angelic husband would feel the same delights of sex when simply dining with his wife.

          As for the Catholic Church saying that older people who can no longer have children can have sex, this still in their mind allows for the possibility of God bringing about children.

          It is impossible for children to be born but the procreative principle still remains. Is the person you are sleeping with someone you would have children with? Are they someone who you want to commit your life to raising children together with.

          It does not matter if you cannot bear physical children but this question must be answered by each other and symbolically demonstrated without contraception.

          Eventually I believe we’ll settle down into newer and better social norms. But that will probably take a while

          This is a tough pill to swallow but guess this may well hold true.

          I feel tradtional Christianity has probably got a maximum of two generations before it disappears in the West.

          I say this with great sadness. I feel sad to be the only practicing Christian in every social circle I am in apart from church. In the first comment of this post, I wrote of my disappointment in recognising a return to sexual paganism of the past especially by women.

          Osho talked about a newer future world where religion and public life would not be separated. There would be no priest and congregation. This is because religious values would be expected of everyone.

          I can certainly see that in society today.

          But I also see relationships are becoming extremely harder and MGTOW/feminism are highlighting it.

          This is because in the future there will be no obligation to remain with a partner. You can no longer depend on law and custom to hold together a relationship. You have to be in love or risk divorce.

          This is a scary proposition but it is increasingly true. Swedenborg talked of couples in the world of spirits who simply walked away from each other after falling out of love.

          For me the civil aspect of marriage is still important though. A legal agreement to remain together is important to ensure a stable home for children.

          I don’t see why there should be a marriage specific agreement between childless couples or homosexuals. Like osho said, marriage law is the enemy of love.

          Jesus did not “organize a rebellion.” In fact, he specifically stopped his followers from engaging in rebellion.

          Once again Lee, you have gone by dictionary definitions. Osho like Swedenborg talks in the form of correspondences.

          What Osho says is that Jesus is a spiritual rebel in contrast with the religious Jews around him.

          The Jews only knew one religion and it was the their eternal preparation for a political messiah who would conquer the world for them.

          But Jesus rebelled against his own Jewish priests and clergymen. John the Baptist even doubted whether Jesus was the messiah by sending a note to him whilst in prison inquiring whether he was sure he was the messiah. Even Mary thought he was crazy and sought to bring him out of the synagogue.

          You got to understand that Osho is looking at Jesus from a non Christian perspective and he did not come from an echo chamber of Christian thought like us.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          In response to:

          Also, just to be crystal clear, angel couples in heaven don’t just look into each other’s eyes, share truth and love with each other, and call it “sex.” They have actual, bodily sexual intercourse, in which the husband’s penis goes into the wife’s vagina.

          May you please refer me to the section in conjugial love that goes into the same detail above? I believe there was only a passing reference to the sexual act being ‘similar’

          See my article, “Is There Sex in Heaven?” Swedenborg lived in a different age, and he was not as explicit as I was just above. However, it is crystal clear what he means when he says, as quoted in the linked article:

          The three newcomers asked whether married couples in the heavens have the same kind of love as they do on earth. The two angelic spirits replied that it is exactly the same. Then seeing they wanted to know whether the ultimate delights were the same there, they said they were exactly the same, but far more blessed, “because,” they said, “angels’ perception and feeling is much more exquisite than that of human beings.” (Marriage Love #44)

          “Ultimate delights” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse. And it doesn’t say they are “similar,” but “exactly the same” as the “ultimate delights” of marriages on earth. There is nothing else this could possibly mean than that married angels have exactly the same kind of sexual intercourse that married couples on earth do.

          Swedenborg also reports several conversations with angels in which they talk about angel husbands’ perpetual potency due to their understanding and wisdom. “Potency” is used in the sexual sense.

          In addition, in Swedenborg’s unpublished draft on Marriage, he writes:

          The angels of the third heaven are those who are in celestial marriage more than others, for they are in love to the Lord, and thence in the marriage of good and truth; whence also they are in conjugial love more than other angels, and in innocence and chastity. These walk with a cincture around the loins when abroad, and without the cincture when at home; and yet in their nakedness, they look upon the consort as a consort, nor is there anything lascivious therein. They say that to look at a consort clothed detracts from the idea of marriage, and what is wonderful, nakedness does not excite or stimulate; it is, however, as an internal bond of conjugial love. In bed they lie conjoined as they were created, and sleep so. They say that they cannot do otherwise, because conjugial love itself, which is perpetual, conjoins; thus also the life of the one is communicated with the life of the other, and the life of the husband becomes appropriated to the wife; that it may be as we read of Adam when he saw Eve his wife: “Behold my bone and my flesh,” and also that “they were naked and not ashamed,” that is not lascivious; but as soon as Adam through his wife receded from love to the Lord, which is meant by “the tree of life” in Paradise (of which there, and Rev. 2:7), which happened because they acted from themselves and their own proprium, namely, from the science and delight of the natural man, then the marriage of good and truth perished, then nakedness became lascivious, and the chastity of marriage failing, they were ashamed of nakedness, and were clothed with fig-leaves, and afterwards with woollen garments; thence by nakedness in the Word is meant lasciviousness, like that of adultery. (Draft on Marriage, #66, emphasis added)

          The Latin word here translated “conjoined” is copulati. In general use it means “conjoined,” as Whitehead has delicately translated it here. But in reference to a man and a woman, it means in sexual embrace. It is the source of the English word “copulation.”

          So although Swedenborg does not speak as explicitly about sex in his theological works as we do today, it is abundantly clear that he teaches that angel couples have sexual intercourse that is exactly the same as the sexual intercourse that couples on earth have, only more excellent because they are angels with spiritual bodies rather than people with physical bodies.

          Sex, and sexual intercourse, was created by God. The very first commandment God gave to the humans he had created was to “be fruitful and multiply”—meaning that God’s first commandment to human beings was to have sexual intercourse.

          Christianity fairly quickly became anti-sex, and tainted the whole subject of sex by considering it unspiritual and materialistic. But that is a falsity—and a serious falsity at that.

          Yes, sex can be dirty, just as anything good, when corrupted, can become evil and dirty. But sex in its own right, as created by God, is clean, beautiful, and spiritual.

          The very resistance that many Christians have, and that I sense in you, to the idea of sexual intercourse in heaven is a result of the corruption of marriage love and its physical expression in sexual intercourse into a merely natural, unspiritual thing, tainted with sin—a corruption that was brought about by the Catholic Church.

          There is sexual intercourse in heaven.

          In heaven, men are men, and women are women. And their “ultimate delights” are exactly the same as those enjoyed by married couples here on earth, “but far more blessed, because angels’ perception and feeling is much more exquisite than that of human beings.”

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          I guess it’s comforting to be in an echo chamber. Once upon a time the Christian world thought it was heretical to think of the world as round.

          I believe that when one is ignorant of a certain religion, the more likely they are to engage in biases against it.

          I am convinced that your exposure to Catholicism is almost all from commentaries of the Catholics from non-catholic authors (Swedenborg included). And in these commentaries you will find many prejudices and cherry picking against the much larger and richer catholics (in the same way most people outside of America have great biases against Americans out of jealousy).

          I would suggest not basing your thinking on assumption and speculation.

          My decade-long pastorate was in a town in southeastern Massachusetts, which is a heavily Catholic area. If you put all of the non-Catholic churches in that town together, their Sunday attendance amounted to perhaps half of the attendance at the town’s Catholic church. At least half of the new members of my own congregation who joined the church during my pastorate were former Catholics. (And by the time my pastorate was over, newer members constituted about half of my active congregation.) Most of them originally came to our church because they had been treated badly by the Catholic Church, and were looking for a church that would accept them and give them a spiritual home. Some of them became ardent, committed, doctrinal Swedenborgians, and core members of the church. They were wonderful people, and valued members of my congregation.

          I also married a Catholic. She is the mother of my children, and was my wife for over twenty years, until she left me. Although she had drifted away from the Catholic Church, her parents remained staunch Catholics. They were my in-laws. I spent many holidays and special occasions with them, in addition to the usual family contacts. When their oldest daughter’s husband died, she asked my father to do his funeral. It was held at a local funeral home, which was packed for the ceremony. She had divorced a man who did not treat her well, and had gone on to marry a good and wonderful man, who was well-loved in his community. Of course, the Catholic Church did not recognize her second marriage because of its medieval and unenlightened views on marriage. This caused her, also, to drift away from the Catholic Church.

          Half of my own children’s ancestry is Catholic, and the other half is Swedenborgian.

          Contrary to your assumptions, the reality is that my personal and pastoral history is heavily intertwined with Catholics and former Catholics. Though I have, of course, read Swedenborg’s harsh commentary on the Catholic Church, my primary familiarity with Catholicism is through my own family and church ties.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Hi Lee

          Replies:

          Contrary to your assumptions, the reality is that my personal and pastoral history is heavily intertwined with Catholics and former Catholics

          Lee, I stand by statement that you are mostly ignorant of Catholicism simply bacause your comment evidently indicates a knowledge of Catholicism from only second-hand sources. It’s like saying ‘trust me, I know how gay people think and feel because I have gay friends’.

          It does not matter if you lived, married and worked with Catholics your entire life. I grew up in a Catholic family and all of my early social circles were regular mass-going Catholics.

          Almost all of them though were ignorant of Catholicism beyond what was expected of them. This because they had never actively pursued a study of the catechism of the Catholic church. Neither did anyone of them make attempts to study their theologians or saints. They were given instruction and they simply followed it.

          But this is not their fault that they did not have a questioning mind.

          The majority of Catholic activities in the public sphere are intended for the general non-spiritual populace. The public-engaging face of the church (priests, nuns) is set up to guide the average man on the street on righteous living.

          Their public ministries are not intended to satisfy people like us who have deeper spiritual longings and want to go beyond the mass.

          Catholicism became the largest denomination in the world because they had catered for the psychology of the average customer. If they didn’t follow the policy of the average man, me and my ancestors would have remained Hindu.

          They converted the pagans and barbarians of the world. Some through the provision of opportunity to learn, some by force when they had to and some by enforced better living for the betterment of future generations.

          Why?

          It is because they believe that the average non-spiritual man on the street needs a framework to live by. A known boundary to not cross and to remain within. As Swedenborg wrote, only law and punishment can guide evil societies.

          If the Catholic church allowed remarriage as a law then trust me a lot of non-spiritual couples would have split up, destroyed their homes and damaged their children. Divorce is rare in my community.

          Instead the Catholic church made it extremely hard for the laity to marry (they have to attend mass, be known to a priest and go through a marriage course) and extremely hard to divorce (they have to go through counselling and try different stages of reconciliation first).

          They made it hard to have legitimate sex (one needed to first commit to marriage). They preached for people to settle down and have children (in order that they could aspire to reach a state in life where they could shoulder responsibility for someone else).

          If you didn’t follow this then you are free to go your own way in life (anathema).

          You say medieval thinking?

          Do you know the state of marriages in the medieval world? Do you know how bad lawlessness was in the medieval world? Do you know the abject poverty, disease and violence? Do you know the utter disdain the rich had for the poor?

          Read about John Calvin’s work in dealing with the lawlessness of Geneva. Read about Hindu untouchability and casteism.

          The Catholic church had the difficult task of reforming these societies. Initially through law and later on through education.

          To put it in another way, they preached repentance so as to prepare for Love.

          The laity are unaware of the intentions behind popular Catholicism because the mass and the priest cannot cater for it.

          As Jesus said the man on the street has to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and their rabbis. Some of your former catholic congregation did so by joining a Swedenborg church and some could do so by pursing advanced knowledge privately within the Catholic church. There are many opportunities to understand the true intentions of the doctrines of the Catholic church but only a fraction take it up.

          Sure there was a lot of abuse and many were prevented from doing legitimate things like remarriage. These come mostly from human frailties of an organisation the size of the Catholic church.

          And there are many selfish ex-catholics who think the church is a Babylon because they prohibited them from doing XYZ. Sure! but have they ever considered the wider application of the prohibition beyond themselves? Have they followed the processes of reconciliation?

          Nevertheless, the Catholic church knows that ‘Doctrine’ and ‘Law’ are concessions. Only ‘Love’ can be a better way. But Love can only come after law intended for repentance.

          Today’s Catholicism has mostly done its job in the West but they much work to do in the East.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          It sounds like you have thoroughly imbibed the sanitized Catholic version of its own history.

          Sorry, but I think you’re even less objective than I am about the Catholic Church. It has a long history of doctrinal and moral corruption. It took shape in the midst of doctrinal warfare, adopting perhaps the least objectionable human-invented heresy about God and making that the centerpiece of its doctrine. From then on, most of its doctrines were formulated to increase the power and wealth of the Catholic Church. And it proceeded to become very, very wealthy. It was the center of the corruption of Europe in medieval times, not the cure of it.

          When that corruption reached its height, Luther, and most of northern Europe with him, broke off from the Catholic Church to escape its corruption, and began to curtail the worldly power of the Catholic Church. And though outside pressure has forced Catholicism to clean up its act considerably since then, its internal corruption has continued right up to the present, as seen in its widespread crimes of child sexual abuse and institutional cover-up, for which it is now rightfully paying the price.

          Quite frankly, I think someone coming out of the Catholic Church is the least likely to have an accurate view of Catholicism.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Lee,

          Firstly, the catechism of the Catholic church has gone through a lot of reformation throughout its history. Today’s Catholic church is not the same as the one 50 years ago and unrecognizable from the one 500 years ago.

          Secondly, the history of the ancient Catholic church is the history of the general church itself. As Christians, we all have a share in it and the splits that came out of it.

          Thirdly, the Catholic church like all other Christian denominations and religions are still unable to accept the validity of Swedenborg’s claim that Jesus is Jehovah. This is precious knowledge that we should be grateful for. Nevertheless today’s catholic has more in common with the new church because of a focus on faith plus works unlike the protestants.

          Fourthly, sexual abuse scandals is another discussion. All I can say is do not believe the secular cultural imperative that the Vatican are a bunch of sexual perverts.

          I have lived with celibate catholic priests for 8 years and there is and has always been a lot of work that the Catholic church (especially the current pope) are trying to rectify in this area away from the public eye.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          You say:

          I feel tradtional Christianity has probably got a maximum of two generations before it disappears in the West.

          I say this with great sadness. I feel sad to be the only practicing Christian in every social circle I am in apart from church.

          I think you are probably right about the upcoming disappearance of traditional Christianity, though I do think some remnants of it will remain. Really, it’s already a shadow of its former self. Even evangelical Protestantism, which boomed in the last century, is now showing signs of losing steam.

          However, I don’t view the disappearance of traditional Christianity as the disappearance of Christianity. That’s because I believe traditional Christianity had long since ceased to be Christian. Institutional Christianity, in my view, was in reality non-Christian right from its founding as an institutional religion, rather than as the religion of love and truth Jesus taught.

          Yes, it’s sad to see large institutions fade away and die. But that is the inevitable result of their own errors, and of their own clinging to those errors. If so-called Christianity had actually been Christian, following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, it would not have had to die. See:
          Christianity is Dead. Long Live Christianity!

          I don’t say this from a smug or prejudicial stance. My own denomination, and the institutional Swedenborgian Church in general, is also dying. I have come to believe that it will die as an institution along with the traditional Christianity that it modeled itself on ecclesiastically, ritually, and socially, if not doctrinally.

          That type of institution is now the old, former, dying church. Its doctrines and its worship never did follow or express what Jesus Christ taught. And now society as a whole is moving beyond its state of non-Christian arrested development.

          Meanwhile, though I don’t know what it will look like, I look forward to the new and genuine Christianity that will replace it.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan:

          All religions and denominations have a mix of truth and falsity in them.

          Of course, no human being or body of human beings (such as a denomination) will ever have perfect, error-free doctrine. That’s not something we humans can attain to.

          But there’s a difference between minor errors in peripheral, non-essential doctrines and major falsity in the core doctrines of the church.

          Traditional Christianity is built on a core falsity about the nature of God. And though Orthodox Christianity has retained something of a true doctrine of atonement and salvation, both Catholicism and Protestantism have veered off into fundamental falsity about atonement and salvation with their respective satisfaction theories of atonement.

          Yes, I think Swedenborgians and their denominations have made some doctrinal errors. But the core doctrines are true and sound, and that being the case, the peripheral doctrinal errors tend to correct themselves over time.

          However, when the core doctrines of a church are wrong, doctrinal errors tend to be major and persistent, and to cause real damage in the lives of the adherents of that church, and in those churches’ relationship with the rest of the world.

          I appreciate Catholicism and Hinduism because we have access to the thought processes and perspectives of people from countless generations. Each one uniquely looking at universal human problems from different eras, kingdoms and circumstances.

          Believe it or not, I’ve spent a fair amount of time studying the history and beliefs of other religions starting with a semester of comparative religions class in high school—though I am far from an expert in those areas. And I do find much of interest, and gain many good insights from that study. However, I study those other religions from the position of having a clear doctrinal framework that enables me to sort out the truth from the falsity, take the good and true, and leave the evil and false.

          I don’t have a problem with your studying and learning from Hindu, Catholic, and other beliefs. But when I hear you espousing ideas from those sources that involve major error, it makes me a bit sad. Of course, it’s your life and your mind, and not really my business what you believe and how you live. It’s just that I’ve seen too many good-hearted people suffering under the weight of false religious teaching, and having their lives narrowed and suppressed by that false teaching.

          The ex-Catholics who became part of my congregation back east came to our church because, for example, the Catholic Church refused to do a funeral service for one of their sons who had committed suicide as a result of a mental illness, or refused to recognize a second marriage even though the first one had involved abuse of both the wife and the children, and the second one created a good and loving atmosphere in which to raise the children from the first marriage. These were good, solid people trying to live a charitable and God-centered life, and the Catholic Church, due to its false doctrines, chewed them up and spat them out . . . and we picked up the pieces and gave them a spiritual foundation and home.

          To this day, I have people washing up on the shores of Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life whose life and spirit have been broken by their former churches, whether Catholic or Protestant (not as many Orthodox), and who seek healing truth so that they can pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. I can’t excuse those churches for inventing and clinging to so much fundamentally false doctrine, and hurting so many people due to that extensive false doctrine touching on almost every area of human life.

          I don’t believe that something is true because a pope said it. I also don’t believe something is false because a devil said it. . . .

          Swedenborg did not simply listen to the opinions of angels. He also paid attention to the demons. He used them both to further drill down into newer iterations of the truth.

          Yes, Swedenborg listened to the opinions of both angels and devils, and reported their words in the many stories of the spiritual world that he published in his theological works. However, he also said:

          I also testify that ever since the first day of this calling, I have accepted nothing regarding the teachings of this church from any angel; what I have received has come from the Lord alone while I was reading the Word. (True Christianity #779)

          There is a persistent idea among non-Swedenborgians that Swedenborg got his doctrine and his biblical exegesis from angels and spirits. That is not the case.

          There is also a persistent idea among Swedenborgians that when Swedenborg reports conversations with angels, spirits, and devils, that constitutes “doctrine” or “teachings of church.” That is also not the case.

          Swedenborg’s spiritual experiences gave him an extensive fund of knowledge about the spiritual world that, along with his extensive fund of knowledge about the natural world derived from his former studies in philosophy and science, made it possible for him to receive and understand the doctrine that the Lord was revealing to him. But the doctrine itself did not come from angels, spirits, devils, philosophy, or science. It came from the Lord alone, while he was reading the Word.

          And that, I believe, is why Swedenborg was able to articulate a system of doctrine whose core teachings are solid and true, even if he did add some human error around the edges—which we must now, a few centuries later, sort out from the core truth of the theology that he taught from the Lord.

          Meanwhile, much of the doctrine of traditional Christianity came, not from the Word (the Bible), but from human philosophy. The Trinity of Persons was formulated in language deriving largely from Greek and Roman philosophy (which, of course, was embedded in polytheistic culture), not from the Bible. The satisfaction theory of atonement was formulated based largely on human logic and medieval legal theory. Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone, in turn, was based on that human-originated atonement theory.

          It’s fine to learn from human knowledge and experience. But when it comes to church doctrine, especially core church doctrine, that should come from the Lord, and not from any human being, human science, or human philosophy . . .

          For me the only baseline against which the truth can be measured against is the gospels and that alone is my basis for being a Christian.

          . . . and that’s why I entirely agree with you that the Gospels, where we read the words of the Lord himself, is the primary source and basis of Christian belief and life.

          That’s why I find it so off-putting that Protestant doctrine is supported almost entirely from the writings of Paul, and largely ignores the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. And why I find it so off-putting that the Catholic Church refers to the Bible very lightly in formulating and promulgating its doctrine, believing that its priestly hierarchy has the imprimatur to define doctrine that, in practice, has as much authority, if not more authority, than the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels.

          Swedenborg, by contrast, relied heavily on the Gospels in formulating and teaching Christian doctrine. It his the congruity of his teaching with the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels that gives me confidence that Swedenborg taught true doctrine from the Lord, in contrast to the false, human-derived core doctrines of traditional Christianity.

        • Rohan Pereira says:

          Regarding Rajnesh.

          I am aware of cults like his. This is common knowledge in India with these crazy yogis.

          People from all over the world fly in to secluded retreats in India and engage in all kinds of vices away from the public and the authorities.

          From my understanding, the people that come to these ashrams are generally in a very bad condition already but they have long prepared for the journey. They first came across an offshoot of the cult in their own countries.

          They are generally recent divorcees, drug addicts, hippy backpackers, anarchists and pagans. Not your ordinary innocent sort.

          They sometimes bring their young kids with them even though in their own countries they are bound by law to keep their children in school.

          They come there for a novel spiritual experience and they demand it. They are at a stage in their life where they don’t care of what others think of them.

          I am also aware that sex is also a big part of these cults. Like a lot of cults, sex is considered transcendal and is worshipped.

          Many of these devotees are encouraged to engage in rampant sex in order to get over their former relationships. Some of them have never felt loved by their former partners or parents and they feel that the cult is where they can experience what they missed out on.

          It’s messed up. Both sides are equally to blame. I don’t defend either.

          I don’t pay attention to this. The general population does not either.

          I don’t really care about Rajnesh or his followers.

          What you have written about his teachings on marriage are mostly inaccurate.

          For the most part, he describes the problems with non spiritual marriage and he invites people to rise above the stupidity of their actions arising from their ego. Very much along the lines of Swedenborg who also noticed the trouble with non spiritual marriages.

          There’s a great free book on the gospels that is on his website. It’s a different perspective of the gospels from an outsider’s perspective and it’s refreshing.

          I’d recommend reading it to form a more accurate understanding of Osho.

          http://www.osho.com/iosho/library/read-book/online-library-glory-christ-light-76c02405-966?p=8e923fa79a66086ab6bbaea6256e6859

          Come Follow to You, Vol. 1

          “Osho makes a clear distinction between the rebel called Jesus Christ and the religion that followed after him – Christianity.”

        • Lee says:

          Hi Rohan,

          I responded about Rajneesh as well in one of my earlier replies about Catholicism here.

          I did read a bit of the Osho link you sent. But right away I ran into disagreement. Jesus did not “organize a rebellion.” In fact, he specifically stopped his followers from engaging in rebellion. It’s exactly the opposite. The earth was in rebellion against God, and Jesus came to bring humans, and humankind, back into harmony with God. Jesus’ message was not one of rebellion, but of love and truth.

          And though I agree with Rajneesh that Christianity as it exists has little or nothing to do with Christ, that’s not because organizations can’t reflect Christ. It’s because the particular organizations that were supposed to reflect Christ instead focused on their own correctness, power, and wealth.

          There is nothing inherent in an organization that prevents it from being Christlike any more than there is anything inherent in an individual preventing an individual from being Christlike. Organizations are just composite human beings. They can make the choice to be Christlike or not Christlike just as individuals can.

          I suppose I could go on, but if on the very first page I find Rajneesh showing a lack of real, spiritual understanding both of Christ and his mission and of the nature of humans and human organizations, I really doubt it is worth my while to continue reading the writings of this confused, materialistic man who had illusions of being a great spiritual teacher.

  4. Tony says:

    hi lee

    you seem to be having a big discussion but I thought I would share this video with you if you want to watch it

    • Lee says:

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for linking the video. I’m sure it represents what many MGTOW today believe. But as with most MGTOW materials, it lacks perspective on both women and society. It has the usual fear of women taking over the world, and the usual unbalanced view that women already have taken over the world—at least, in the West.

      I recognize that many men, especially young men, need to take some time to get themselves together and figure out their life and goals. And if they need to do that while single, that is fine. But that is simply a stage in a longer process of moving toward emotional and spiritual maturity. Living one’s entire life in service to oneself means getting stuck in the self-discovery phase and not moving on to the phase in which we use what we’ve discovered about ourselves to contribute to the wellbeing of our fellow human beings.

      So while MGTOW beliefs may be necessary for men who are confused about their own identity as a man, they do not represent a good or sound long-term philosophy of life.

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Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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