|ABOUT THE SEMINARS|
Jacqueline's letter to Jess Lair in I Don't Know Where I'm Going, But I Sure Ain't Lost
...reacting more strongly and saying, "To hell with men. I'm going to be both a man and a woman in this woman's body. I can sure do a lot better job than he can." Still a third type of woman is looking around and totally refusing the experience of marriage. Ibis woman is saying, "No way! I don't want to have anything to do with anyone masculine because I've seen women who've been dominated and brutalized and every other damn thing, both emotionally and physically, and I won't even entertain the idea of marriage. " So both men and women are denying their nature.
I'm going to include here a piece on marriage my wife wrote to me once as we were puzzling this out. I'm sure you'll find this interesting, I know it made me sit up.
So I said to my wife, "Jac, what is a man?" And this is what my wife replied.
"I can't tell you 'what is a man.' But I can say how I see you and what I think that you must do for yourself now.
You're nearly fifty-four years old, Jess. We've lived together for thirty-one years. We've lived through a lot of joy and pain with each other and with our children. When I think of the fire we've come through so far I do believe we are very rare metal.
I've watched you, Jess, these past three years since you returned to me from your seven years of seeking. I think every man alive goes through a searching time, and you were no exception. You had to go in search of yourself, of what was right for you. In our society, as it was constructed when we were young, you finished college, married me, had five children, worked hard and dropped of a heart attack at only thirty-five. How could mid-life cause you to do anything else but seek a better way?
When all was said and done it was me you chose again. You said it was because I am the most interesting woman you ever met. This is true. I am a very interesting woman. You never bored me either. You are far from dull.
Most marriages, in our age bracket, go through a crisis time. And better than half of them survive. It is the quality-of the survival that worries me. Most of them survive by going their separate ways yet living in the same house. The personal encounters become subdued and quiet and dead. They settle for peace at any price.
There is that within you and me which cannot settle for peace at any price. We have both lived too close to the fire. It would be better to go our separate ways than to smother our fierce tenacity.
Jefferson Campbell at Polarity Institute taught you that a man is responsible and a woman is receptive, and that marriage is a lifelong commitment. He told you that you and I are on a Journey toward God and that you would make a mistake in leaving me because you would find that you would have to go through the same pain with another woman, no matter who she was.
I will now tell you how I see us in light of what Jefferson said.
He is right. A man is responsible and a woman is receptive. And a man must learn to accept responsibility. It is an awesome thing, and few men ever achieve this. Man's irresponsibility gave rise to women's rib. Women are angry; justifiably so. They are waking up, along with others who have been oppressed by irresponsibility.
I have slowly come to believe that it is possibly true that we live many lives. I have no difficulty believing this and being Christian. It doesn't make sense to me that we get only one lifetime in which to learn all that is needed to become one with God.
You came back into my life three years ago a man who was committed to our marriage, ready to be responsible, and that was good, in essence. But a man who has girded his loins with responsibility and commitment is a terrifying visage.
My experience with you has been that you did not come back committed to me, but committed to the idea of commitment. Through gritted teeth you were saying to me, "This marriage is a commitment, I am going to be a responsible man and I will act responsibly and manage our affairs in a better way, and be home with you mom, and behave myself, and do things I have seldom done like mowing the lawn and paying the bills and tending to business. Now you be receptive, god dammit.
And I must look at you, Jess Lair, and say that this is still the same old scene, played over and over again in our marriage. Everything that you do is done to set me apart from you. Why do you fear me so? What is there about women that makes you so angry? Why do you flee me?
I am woman. I am your other half. I am that part of yourself that lies sleeping inside of you. You wish to stay married to me? You want me to make a commitment to stay in this marriage? You don't want me to ever again say, "I don't know if I can stay with you, Jess Lair"? Then you stop fleeing me. I say the words, "I do not know" . . . but you do the fleeing.
You want to stay married to me, Jess Lair? Then surrender to me. I am you. A man can never be whole unless he becomes his other half. Look at me, Jess Lair. I am you. That you seek, yet run from. Ah God! All men are the same. They need us, they want us, yet they flee and oppress us because they cannot see that they will never be whole until they are consumed in us, until they become us, their other half.
Run, flee, do your numbers game, your intellectual, unemotional, smothering trip. Have your heart attacks, your strokes. Die, and then do it again. And the day must come when men must see the distinct possibility that they cannot go to God except through woman.
What is woman to man? An exquisite torture chamber that he must go through to be perfected. Look at me, Jess Lair. I am strong, I am gentle, I am kind, I am the spirit of man. I am in tune with the earth, with children and animals, with flowers and birds and trees. I know my joy; I know my pain and sorrow. I know fear and sadness. Oh God! such sadness. And yet I am faith, the almighty, powerful belief that it is not all for nothing. That life is all beautiful.
You men, you say these words, you want to believe, but you do not feel. And you never will learn to feel and know deep in your soul, until you embrace your women. Until you become your women.
A woman is receptive? That is a nice intellectual concept. Do you have the courage to know what receptive is? To be receptive instead of intellectualizing it? Intellect. I spit on intellect. Man made intellect their God out of fear of their own spirit, which is woman.
Receptive is to become one. Receptive means to take a thing inside oneself and feed it and care for it and let it become a part of you until there is no difference between you—even if in doing this you yourself are destroyed. And that is the power and majesty and awe-inspiring, God-like quality of woman.
Women's lib will fail, as it is now, Jess Lair. Do you know why? It is because women mistakenly think that the way to liberation is to become like man. How can they be so stupid? Women's lib is an acting against instead of for.
Women will be liberated when man is liberated, and not before. I will be liberated when you surrender to me and allow my receptivity to consume you and make you one with me so that there is no difference between us. And in your surrender my surrender can come. But you must face the fact that man's responsibility does not just lie in doing outward things, in paying bills and mowing lawns and being involved with your family. Your awesome, terrible responsibility is to turn and recognize me. Woman! Your other half. Your responsibility to yourself and to me is to become me. ME!
I have watched many men die prematurely and alone, with their family on the sidelines. I know many men who have chosen death though they still live. And all of them are dead because they will not become whole. And their wives and children will never be quite whole because of their responsibility.
I am in awe of men. I see them as they are truly meant to be. I see them in my mind's eye as they were meant to be, though I have only experienced two men who have even begun the journey toward wholeness. But knowing and experiencing them was enough.
It makes me mad to say this, I don't wish to think it is so. But perhaps, if it is true that we live many lives, our last life is lived as a man. Yuch! As a woman this is hard for me to say, because you know it means I must go around again if it is true. I say this though because of what I see in men. And what I see is an awesome thing.
Man is here on this earth to become whole; finally and irrevocably whole. Woman is here on this earth to teach wholeness to man. And the terrible dichotomy is--woman cannot teach what man will not learn. The closer man is to finally learning his terrible lesson, the angrier he becomes, the more he must resist, and the sooner he grabs a disease and succumbs rather than finish this trip.
Woman is simple. Man is complicated. A complete man, however, is remarkable in his simplicity. Simplicity is his hallmark. The hallmark of a whole man. Why do I say this? Complication comes from resistance, and resistance comes from man. Woman is simply woman. She must not become other than she is else she cannot fulfill her role in this tragicomedy. She is complete as she is. But a man cannot become complete and simple until he takes upon himself the awesome and ultimate responsibility of surrendering to woman and being consumed by her and in turn consuming her. Read your Bible. Read of Eastern religions. Read your history books, Jess Lair. They all teach the same thing. The story is always the same. Woman is life. Man is death. And here and there the great ones appear. And the great ones are always men who are more like women though they are the most awesome, powerful, earth-moving men who have ever lived.
They are men who changed the world, yet they did not go to war, they did not kill, they did not hate, they did not defile. Their power was acceptance and integration and love. They were men who were receptive as well as responsible. They were men who carried their woman-side within themselves and functioned well with it.
Look at Jesus Christ! I believe that he was God made man. He was receptive to all of life. He had the love of a woman for her baby at her breast. He had the compassion of a woman kneeling at her dying husband's bedside. He had the acceptance of a woman giving her last crust of bread to her hungry child. He had the faith of a woman lying on the ground to give birth to her child. He had the patience of a woman waiting for her man to return from war. And all of this he integrated with the power and glory of his responsible manhood. The simplicity of his wholeness reverberates still. Men like to think about his God-hood forgetting that he also showed them man-hood.
Look at me, Jess Lair. Look at Woman, Jess- Lair. We women are an awesome thing for we are the spirit of man. And because you aren't Jesus Christ, and you weren't born whole and complete and simple. you must come to me. You must not resist me anymore. You must take the final step of ultimate responsibility and step into me, for I am you. You chose me as your other self thousands of eons ago, and that is another awesome terrifying secret of woman. You cannot do it without us. We will always hold power over you and send you fleeing until you grow up enough to die to us. Man's surrender to woman is the beginning of his journey into the spirit.
When you surrender to me will you become like me? God forbid! Who would want to be like me? Only I am I. No! You will not become feminine. You will become only more of what you already are, a masculine man. Ask any woman alive.
A truly masculine man is not a macho man. He is a gentle man who is loving and kind and tender, but awesomely responsible. A surrender to me does not mean that you take on any negative qualities either. It does not mean that you become anything like me. Only more and more like yourself.
I've met many men who are very powerful in their worlds. I have observed that most of them get their power from resistance. They have great negative strength, and it is consuming them alive. They are cannibalizing themselves and everyone around them in order to resist becoming whole men. They think women are on earth to give them birth, to decorate their homes, and to try to steal their genitals. And it is because of men like these that I have come to see that most men symbolize death.
It is because of two great men who loved me that I say these things today. Because of these two men I was able to see man. It's odd, Jess. One man was very old when I was very young. The other man is young now that I am getting old. But they both showed me the same thing. They showed me who I was, and in that learning I saw who they truly were. I know that it is my experience of those two great men that is being said to you right now. Those two men were so whole and complete that they became completely one with me. They saw me as themselves and treated me that way. They knew me as not even you have known me though you have lived with me for thirty-one years.
No, Jess! It isn't because they didn't live with me. It is because they became me. They were man enough to be totally ME. They knew my negativities even more truly than you do, but they knew that wasn't me. What I am saying to you, is that they became my essence and so I could become their essence. They were man enough to know that they must dive right into my soul in order to be one with me.
Don't you see, Jess? That is the secret of the terrible power of man. It is why man has always been awesome, despite what woman in her fear and lack of faith would wish to believe. The power really does belong to man. But man can only find his power through his woman. Not women. His woman.
A woman is simple, I say this again. She is receptive. She is the receptacle. She is energy, she is life itself. She is the storehouse of man's yearnings. She is his wisdom. A woman is a mirror to man of himself. And because men are babies for the most part, they go on destroying themselves and turning to woman for the food they are starving for.
It is in sex that I see man at his worst. Do you know that only masculinized women have sex indiscriminately, with no commitment? Deep in her soul, every woman knows the sacredness of sex. Women who have sex with many men have given up on men. Their sex is a denial of their power, of their receptivity. And the fact that there are women who deny their souls in this way is due to man's irresponsibility. Such is the awesome power of man.
I stand in front of you, Jess Lair, my feet planted firmly in the earth and I howl to the very heavens above, "Man! When are you going to be one with me? When are you going to surrender to me, and become a whole man. If you do not understand what I say to you right now, I will die alone and unfulfilled, and probably have to do it again. Hear me, for God's sake. I can never surrender to you until you first surrender to me. It is through me, to you, to oneness. You must finally accept your ultimate responsibility. Throw yourself away, in me, and set me free. I know it. I was born knowing it. That is woman, the knowing. But it is the doing that is man's responsibility. Don't you see? You stupid man, don't you see? I am here. I am receptive, but it is you who must do it.
Men will always deny us, fear us, run from us, analyze us, computerize us, sexualize us, and even kill us rather than face that we are them and that man must be responsible for that.
There are always women who will wait. When you have been on this trip a thousand times you learn the waiting. There have been a few old souls like Georgia O'Keefe and Anais Nin in today's time, who are so used to the waiting that they have a completeness that even you men cannot deny. The way I recognized them is in their work. They, of all women today, make their statements for rather than against. They love men deeply, and if I only had their power perhaps I could make you see me as I see you, as they see you.
Do not listen or believe women who say, "I do not need men. I can do it myself. They are women who quit being women. They have no soul. They are too young yet, though they may be old in years. They are masculine women and will die barren. Old souls who have known love as I have known love know they can never go through the fire alone. They know their oneness with man, and so they wait, once again, for the man with the insight to say, "Hello, my woman. Let us become one and go through the fire. I see myself in you. Together the fire will melt us into one and carry us through this time, through to what lies beyond our understanding."
And then Jackie shook her head and laughed and said, "There. That part of my work in this marriage is over. I will not say this again. The rest is up to you." And she went into the kitchen and started doing the dishes.
And I began to think about what this woman said, this woman I am married to.
I am sure you all can see that I meant it when I told you that I don't have a weak-willed wife. When Jackie wrote that, she was writing it to me, but she was also writing for all like-minded men and women. She and I are learning about marriage through our own lives, not just through marriage manuals and psychological journals. And the pain of it is real, believe me!
When you start understanding and are finally able to define "What is a responsible man?" you see that this is a man who sees his nature, who understands that he is a man, who knows what a man is, and is living it to the very best of his ability in all areas of his life.
Then you realize that there aren't very many examples of this around. I know I have a hard time finding many in my town. You begin to see the problem. If a boy wants to be a good baseball player, he doesn't have to go very far to find a good example--television and magazines are full of them. If you want to be a successful businessman you can study a lot of examples of that easily, too. But if you want to be a responsible, complete man, it's really hard to find lots of good examples. So I don't have any criticism of women for the difficulties that they have with the irresponsibility and babyishness of men (most notably myself) that I see.
As I've been studying in this area I have found great value in accepting the idea that man's nature is to be responsible and woman's nature is to be receptive. I first heard this theory in a clear way from Jefferson Campbell of Polarity…