Tiger Woods, Jesse James, cheating politicians and men’s brains

Since I have already written a blog post for Easter as well as address the crucifixion and Glorification of the risen Lord, I decided to address another hot topical issue—cheating men.

The other day this topic was addressed on the Dr. Oz show and tonight (Saturday) new research on men’s brains will be discussed on Coast-to-Coast AM with Ian Punnett.

Are men’s brains hard-wired to cheat? Are men simply innocent victims of their biology? I am looking forward to tonight’s radio discussion on this matter.

Meanwhile, what did scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg have to say about men’s attitudes towards women and fidelity?

In his fantastic book Conjugial Love, he offered a spiritual look at the differences between men and women (which he learned from male and female angels in heaven). He said that women are naturally inclined toward finding and focusing on ONE member of the opposite sex. But men are naturally attracted to ALL of the opposite sex—which leads to wandering eyes. (A woman on the Dr. Oz show humorously remarked that men had ears on the side of the heads so that they could listen to their wives while looking in another direction!)

So Swedenborg would agree that men are wired differently. While women naturally embrace monogamy he stated that men could not be inwardly faithful except through proper spiritual growth.

Of course, science with its materialistic ideology is beginning to downplay the biological importance of monogamy as they find rare examples of it in the animal kingdom. Again, Swedenborg says the issue of monogamy is spiritual for men—for it involves them transcending their biological selves. Spiritual (conjugial) love is not of the animal kingdom, but of God’s kingdom in heaven. It is purely angelic.

According to Swedenborg, the main role of a woman is to help her man become more spiritual. God tries to bend a man’s heart from within while a woman tries to bend a man’s heart from without. Men often call this outward and seemingly incessant influence by women “nagging.” Inwardly they feel God’s influence as “conscience.” Men can ignore both by offering no resistance to their natural urges.

I would like to recommend to my readers that they contact the Swedenborg Foundation at www.swedenborg.com and order a copy of Swedenborg’s Conjugial Love and tune in to tonight’s Coast-to-Coast AM discussion on the male brain with Ian Punnett.

Then I would like to hear from you. Please share your thoughts.

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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9 Responses to Tiger Woods, Jesse James, cheating politicians and men’s brains

  1. Sue says:

    Thanks for the holiday chuckle, GodGuy.

    “Honey, men are all thumbs in a kitchen, so go ahead and make the Easter dinner, ok?”
    “Men are more cut out to drink beer and watch sports than to organize an egg hunt.”
    “Like all men I just get SICKER than a woman does when I get the flu. I know I didn’t help much, but now that I’ve caught it, I need you to cater to me, ok?”
    “Men are wired to need frequent days of golf just to withstand the pressure of work. Women are luckier – stress doesn’t get to them so much so they can keep up the laundry on their day off.”
    “Oh, yeah, and I saw this TV show …”

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    I am glad I made you laugh. However, I did make a spiritual point. What spiritual point are you trying to make? My readers are hungry for info – not clever banter.

    By the way, did you know that Dr. Oz has studied Swedenborg!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. Roberta says:

    Thanks GodGuy and Sue,

    I didn’t hear much of the Coast-to-Coast show last night (and I’m not home during the day to see Dr. Oz) but I would have to agree that men are wired in a fundamentally different way than women! That just makes sense. Sometimes it annoys me, sometimes it hurts me deeply, but other times it is the greatest thing in the world. With my hubby and me, we each obsess over different things, which can be a pain, but is actually good in the long run. That way we can be there and support each other when the going gets tough.

    That’s the nice thing about a relationship built on trust. And trust in a relationship is so easily broken. I hope for Elin Woods, Sandra Bullock and countless other women out there that the men in their lives do have a spiritual side that can be awakened and that they can develop into something more like that ideal man we’re all hoping for. As much as the media enjoys poking fun at these guys, it seems they are at least “trying” to get their act together. Hope it works out for them all.

    Sue, your comments to this post are cute, but “we women” need to remember we aren’t always right! And when we make light of the fact that men don’t do things the way we do—or when we want them done—and when we put down their way of doing things, we are stooping to the same level of disrespect we often see in men who devalue women. I know I’m guilty of this myself, because it feeds my own ego to seem witty and superior sometimes. Awesome as we women are, it’s something we really need to watch out for in ourselves. We need to be conscious of this so it doesn’t become part of “who we are.” That kind of stuff can “stick to our souls” without us even realizing we’re doing it. And we have to watch it in front of our kids, who see and absorb everything we think and do.

    Little boys need good role models in order to become the kind of men we want them to be. And that comes not only from men getting their acts together, but also from women treating husbands like the “grownups” we’d like to see them become. There’s a line in the movie “As Good as it Gets” where Jack Nicholson says to Helen Hunt “You make me want to be a better man.” That’s a pretty awesome thing to strive for.

    I’ve been married to the same good, but imperfect man for 30+ years and I’d have to say that as much as he annoys me sometimes, I know I bug the heck out of him, too. He definitely is my “other half.” Neither half is better than the other, but each truly completes the other. We’re a good team because we both excel in different areas. And we appreciate each other.

    Another example: Thinking of myself as being an “enlightened woman” I was fully convinced I could raise our son to be a “perfect man” with no bad habits, but sure enough, after growing up and leaving home, he magically picked up his own set of bad habits and drove his own wife crazy, due I suppose to masculine inclinations hardwired into his being. I take that as more evidence that men’s brains may, indeed, be different from women’s.

    I think the most we can ever do is try to instill spiritual inclinations in our children of both sexes in the hope they will grow to appreciate each other and try to improve themselves and their relationships. Above all, hopefully our sons and daughters will treat their own loved ones with respect and fidelity. As long as there’s LOVE in the home, none of the trivial stuff like who fills the dishwasher really matters.

    Thanks again for your insights, GodGuy! I always learn something here. You make me think about things I might otherwise gloss right over.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roberta,

    Congratulations on your 30-plus year marriage! You make an extremely important point in that you realize it takes continuous effort (by both sides) to make a marriage work.

    Swedenborg said that there are marriages in heaven (and even sexual intercourse) and that a man or woman represented only half an angel!

    I am interested in your “enlightened” attempts and observations of raising your son to be a “perfect man.” Feminists once took the position that boys were defective and deficient girls, and, believed that if you raised them in a gender neutral environment (with no toy guns) boys would behave in a more sane and noble way. They soon learned that boys could pretend any toy was a gun and spurt out the words “bang, bang!”

    (If we look at the correspondence or symbolism of “weapons” we will find they represent one’s ideas of TRUTH forged into a tool designed to penetrate and convince another person’s opposing viewpoint. Men are wired to defend their idea of truth – all the way to their soul. Holy Scripture makes use of this symbolism when describing the use of swords and bows & arrows in its narratives.)

    Swedenborg also stated that wives in the spiritual world would recognize their husbands first. This implies that women have a deeper perception of a man’s inner qualities – because in the spiritual world one’s features represent those qualities much more perfectly. Women are wired to be sensitive to the changing states of a man’s heart and mind.

    I will refrain from saying more for now.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Sue says:

    Roberta, that was a great comment. I think your tone about the subject was way better than mine. And you explained it really well. Once again I’m swayed in discussion. Kudos.
    I linked to you today on my blog, GodGuy, because I liked your question to me: “what spiritual point are you trying to make?”
    And I heard from Amazon today about your book – coming a little earlier than expected – April 23!

  6. Sue says:

    The more I think about this topic, the more another of my opinions keeps percolating to the surface. And this one does sort of make a spiritual point.

    GodGuy, what do you think about the other women involved in these escapades of Tiger Woods, et al? Does it seem morally sad to you? It does to me.

    When a married person cheats, it causes a cascade of harm. The spouse and children get hurt, yes. But what about the girls who are tattooed, or drunk, or insecure and want to be attractive, or are raised badly, or whatever their deal is? They are being abused here. They look like they are asking for fame or money, but that doesn’t make it right to prey on them. Men might be hardwired to be attracted to other women, but not to cheat. That would be like saying they are hardwired to cause massive amounts of harm in the world without giving it a second thought.

  7. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    It takes TWO people to cheat.

    Without feeling a need for spiritual growth men and women (or boys and girls) have no tools which would allow them to properly judge and oppose their inclinations and compulsions.

    That teenage girls are willing to send nude pics through the internet is mind-boggling. Research shows that these girls are not simply tricked by boys into doing it – they literally think it is OK and necessary!

    In Swedenborg’s book “Conjugial Love” he describes a sexual encounter between a man and a woman from hell. They each express the different evil strategies employed by the two sexes. During their sexual intercourse both manifest their deep hatred for each other.

    Men’s natural minds are hard-wired for hell. Men’s internal minds are hard-wired for heaven. The higher mind does not correct the lower mind unless spiritual principles are applied to life. Then a battle arises between the two minds (all battles in Scripture refer to this spiritual battle).

    Second thoughts come from CONSCIENCE. The purpose of religion is to create a conscience – this becomes the plane or matrix from which spiritual development takes place. “Dry Land” in the Seven-Day Creation Story of Genesis is a metaphor for the appearance of spiritual conscience in one’s life!

    Your questions seem simple but require lots of set-up and answers that are often complex. The challenge of writing short blog posts concerning Swedenborg is that much material has to be left out. Because of this real limitation some readers can easily feel that I misrepresent Swedenborg’s explanation of certain topics. Furthermore, I am not afraid of experimenting with new approaches.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  8. Sue says:

    Well, the upside of feeling pangs of understanding for men who cheat is this:
    It makes you, GodGuy, more like the “liberal” Swedenborgians you were just talking about a couple posts ago (you know, us bleeding hearts who think hell is not permanent?)

    Have you noticed this is so true of all of us humans?: we sympathize with people who sin in ways we might sin, but we take a hard line against people who sin in ways that don’t tempt us?

  9. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    One does not have to be a bleeding heart liberal to feel the horror of a wasted human life. But just look around you. People live in a haze – oblivious to their spiritual potentials. How can one seek heaven without mining these potentials (which are the keys to our heavenly usefulness)?

    People in a haze do not need our hugs – they need to be startled out of their complacency and spiritual stasis!

    I will give Tiger Woods (and anybody else) the benefit of the doubt. And I was quite willing to call myself a “slug” a couple of posts ago.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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