THE ETERNAL FEMININE AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION
There is a Crack in Everything, That’s how the light gets in……Leonard
There is a crack in contemporary society. It comes from strain built into this society from long ago and far away. It derives from a “definition” of the role of the female in society. Recent recognition of the faults in this role and thus in the society are beginning to emerge in that weak light is creeping in. The definition begins at least as early as the guidebooks for Christianity and related religions. It probably began with masculine strengths early in human development where muscles were of greater value than minds. It then continued into the religious precepts as written by men, with no interference by women. Women were depicted as weak then corrupt, and drawn to snakes.
This continued to the present as men traveled the world and women stayed at home waiting for their return, and praying for their safety. Or, waiting on the shoreline for “new” and more exciting men to arrive upon them.
The light that is entering this scene via the crack in the story is the idea of the eternal feminine, and how it is more basic to understanding nature than the manliness that has declared open warfare on nature. Humans increasingly see how all systems of life depend on nature. Via this light we see how the feminine is different.
The question becomes is this difference one that will make a difference to living systems and is there still time to use this difference to correct the designated end state? In the way of both is revaluation and then timely realization. In the way of both are many cultural traditions and the societal institutions that maintain them.
Institutions are an important component of a civilized society. They allow members of a society to work to achieve well-being in a context that helps societal well-being. As such the Eternal Feminine Foundation is an exercise in institution building. Institutions ought to work to enhance societal well-being. They help to define, form and sponsor meaning in social affairs. They help define what we hold in common as true, not true, valuable and dangerous to life. The eternal feminine is to be part of this process.
Follow in a painting done twenty-five years ago by Zaihong Shen in New York City. Adjacent to it is a context painting completed ten years ago by a member of this group. The two depict the components of institution building as it is seen in the Foundation.
Eternal Feminine in a Societal Context
In most societies family is a central institution. Where there are many ideas of what a family is, should be and who it is serve, the idea of family as important is a give. There are many other ideas for fundamental thinking of forming institutions. Within an institution individuals can operate to form social organizations that behave as viable systems. It should be noted that a system is not a societal whole that is greater than the sum of the individual parts of that whole. Instead we see it as a whole that can perform greater, and sometimes lesser, things than what is achievable or explainable by the behavior of the parts. For example, via Internet a social group can create and generate knowledge beyond what can be known by a single part and thus enhance the common well being, or use group tweeting to expand disinformation to create a new version of the ancient mob scene.
Crucial to the Foundation is the thinking of China’s ancient “Old Man of Knowledge,” Lao Tzu. Following are his thoughts at the base of the Foundation’s reason to be. The two that deal with leadership and change are crucial to the Eternal Feminine. The Wisdom of Lao Tzu, the “Old Man” – An Eternal Basis for the Foundation of the Eternal Feminine.
- “A leader is best when people barely know he (she) exists, when his (her) work is done, his (her) aim is fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” (Lao Tzu)
- “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward to whatever way they like.” (Lao Tzu)
- Great hope lies behind the veil created to subject women to eternal hopelessness. From this the eternal feminine is thus revealed as hope.” (Hawkeye)
Lao Tzu Empress Dowager Cixi
Lao Tzu we are well aware of in our Foundation. Cixi is less well known to its operation. She was born November 29, 1835 in Beijing, China. She was one of the Xianfeng emperor’s low-ranking concubines, but in 1856 she bore his only son. On Xianfeng’s death, the six-year-old boy became the Tongzhi emperor, and state business was put in the hands of a regency council of eight elder officials. She says much about the world of differences between the ancient and the modern, the East and the West, the Knowing and the Discovering.
Via its institutions a society forms, reforms, and manages itself. Institutions are to aid in the serving of human needs associated with provision of health, wealth and security. They are generally set up and manged to respond to needs associated with the Platonic four: the good (ethics), the plenty (economics), the truth (knowledge / sciences) and beauty (aesthetics). (For more on this see Russell L Ackoff’s 1999 “Recreating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century.”)
Some Institutions specifically cater to narrow private purposes of on of these, such as personal wealth via the plenty. Others serve a wider societal purposes of creating, maintaining and changing the conditions of context within which we are conduct our life. These strive to manage the “conflict of the commons.” They can even be in opposition to the institutions of personal wealth creation where private acts destroy the public commons. In theory the institutions of banking and marriage can fall into this category although each can become redirected to mediate the interests of the one.
It is herein important to note that with time institutions may become less relevant to humans or their societal context, or their operation may be clearly against the interests of that context. This can happen via corruption, incompetence, neglect or simply not knowing. As such institutions need periodic reviewed, renewed and perhaps significant change. Change can include elimination. This aspect of institution building while very important is not the subject being here addressed.
Our concern is not institution improvement, as outlined above, but addressed the “missing institutions” in society. Via changing conditions these institutions are needed but not yet formed. The need for them arises from new needs or radically redefined former human needs. This can be seen in the call for and creation of new institutions around electronic communications that have come to redefine management of all institutions. Creation of these new institutions can greatly enhance a society yet they often await articulation, definition and creation.This creation is one of the most optimistic endeavors in contemporary society. Even where institutions began to be created in the late 1960s to protect the environment from human actions there was much optimism about what the new institutions could and would accomplish.
Of concern to the foundation is a notion that the female is a lesser being than the male thus allowing one part of society, a part of a part with a particular attitude and approach, to manage the whole of society in a counter productive manner. The attitude is seen in most societal institutions. The demoralizing of women has a long history, going back before 500 BC, but even in the 19th Century via scientific breakthroughs women was subjected to an inferior status. Even Social Darwinism has been used to keep them in a reduced status, for example in the chapter, “The Gospel of Dirt,” in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, New York: Ballantine Books, 1992, pp 67-68):
“Natural selection has been misused by capitalists and communists, whites and blacks, Nazis and many others to grind this or that self-serving ideological axe. It’s not surprising that feminists feared that a Darwinian perspective would provide yet another cudgel for male scientist to hit women over the head with – about alleged inferiorities in mathematics or stagecraft. But for all we know, such a perspective might reveal, that the raging hormonal imbalances that propel men to violence made them less then optimal for leadership of a modern state.”
We believe the female is not better than or worse then the male. She is simply different. Increasingly it seems that the difference found in the feminine makes a difference to societal improvements and longevity. Contemporary challenges appear to require application of this difference as essential to human improvement, if not survival.
The Eternal Feminine Foundation fits into institution building as giving form to a new institution. This one challenges a traditional of seeing the role of the feminine as lesser in sensing, seeing and directing responses to shortcomings in contemporary realities, such as climate change. The Foundation will invest in young women to prepare them to deal differently with problems of the now, with an eye on improved vision towards problems of the future. This will include funding their education, helping them find ideas for business development and experiment in institution creation activities. The Foundation Board will review mentors for the selected candidates then approve resources the mentors will supervise the investment of. The result will be a cadre of new leaders to face old and new problems on the horizon. The females as trained may also serve as an early warning system for those society difficulties we can not yet imagine, but will arise from the consequences of today’s results achievement.
Ideas and practices of institutional entrepreneurship will be key. The specific subject areas will be up to the women being supported. Mentors such as Professor Annaleena Parhankangas of University of Illinois, Chicago have led the way in this regard. Thoughts of Lao Tzu will also be important.
IN SEARCH OF THE ETERNAL
During the last century we had the luxury to pre-define actions as ethically 1) good or bad, 2) functionally right or wrong, and 3) effectively beneficial or problematic. Armed with these pre-definitions we could prepare options, make forecasts and take rational decisions about the future.
There is Hope out there: Betty, 28, Yunnan, China
Certainly such life was not certain but it did allow for plans, planning and rational operations. The situation has been changed. Question of context and its conditions for life have replaced the rational and the mechanical. Actors and their circumstances are now in motion and approaching a state of turbulence. Context now serves to define success, not acts in that context. Planning via determination of preconditions now gets in the way. Corporate planning seminars now argue that planning is still okay to do as long as you don’t take the plan seriously once you encounter context. How can we best prepare for a changing context and dynamic conditions? Is education necessary, helpful or counterproductive? If education is the process of acquiring assumptions, and learning is the questioning of assumptions then learning is essential. Education is okay as long as it used a questioning mode, not memorization.
Can we find ways of living that allow accommodation of turbulence as part of our survival? Chances are high that this will require something more basic and eternal than plans and actions. It will require the significance of actually understanding the conditions of the “human project”, i.e., from where things come and to where they go. The eternal feminine is essential to this change. Considering it has long been different from cause-effect thinking via predictability. Predictability is not essential to the eternal. It simply is. Even use of logic and formal languages gets in the way of responding to turbulence. As such, the Eternal Feminine Foundation is a quest for the eternal and not the immediate. The eternal is not the timeless. It involves the dynamics of life and living beyond the immediacy of the shopping center, the kitchen and garden.
FROM NEANDERTHAL THROUGH TALIBAN TO DONALD TRUMP
Another way to approach the issues facing our species is to give greater note to what we can call the Taliban Effect. This begins with seeing how the species is composed of most humans having 2.5% of their chromosomal make up being Neanderthal. This helps explain a special behavioral trait in our species. To go a step further we can argue that it helps explain the contemporary Taliban ideology, and the traces of it in all men. It may survive in the species as being consistent with the special private interests of men, especially those who will to power, who must lead to fulfil their interpretation of a meaningful life. (See Denial of Death, Becker, 1973) Via this men define what will be done and what will then be done about it when it turns our badly.
While consuming of context, often per instructions found in religious texts of questionable morality, men have changed the context of survival. Air, soil and water systems have become corrupted by men being manly. Climate change is creating ill defined instabilities to life as humans defined it. New definitions are needed.
In what follows is first an image of a Neanderthal female, not so different in appearance from today. Following her is the image of a Neanderthal male, a bit different than how men appear sometimes today although can be found in some bars, camps, and bedrooms.
The Female As the Beginning, yet Secondary. The Male as Primary, yet the End, the end without Intelligence, or Hope for Finding it.
Foreplay, 30,000 years ago, and now?
Contemporary Neanderthal his Seeking Afterlife, and his 72 Vestal Virgins
The Cost of Seeking 72 Vestal Virgins by Today’s Neanderthal
THE MALE AS OBJECT, AND TO BE OBJECTED TO…..
The Neanderthal approach to “Foreplay” may bring sexually excitement to the scene via exhibiting complete power over women. Perhaps this allows more enjoyable sex, for him, not the her. Perhaps this allows him to feel as sexually irresistible? He is allowed to feel as if his offers simply can’t be refused. To be fair, some women have historically encouraged this behavior by pretend to be obedient to such men and their attitude.
Men’s Object of Affection and its Measurement, his Penis
Armed with a gun instead of a rock we see in the second image a close descendant of Neanderthal man. He seems very excited about soon finding 72 virgins of his own, to occupy his own heaven. Such men are actually only promised 72 raisins, not virgins, but who is counting what? To some men this is the image of a “real man” with his gun as his phallic extension to his limited phallic self. This approach to passion could be seen in the Roman Coliseums, can be seen in contemporary sports arenas, and even in some shoppers at Walmart.
It is difficult to operate in a world that continues to exhibit the Neanderthal Gene, as seen within its continuation by such as the Taliban.
What Kind of Man Would Justify this?
Women must be well prepared to function in this world while finding ways to rise above its obvious and enduring heritage. There are many men that will eagerly help, as well as some very gifted women advisers who have risen above the limits to human development. Then of course there is business as usual.
Man of the Year Award, why is this not shocking?
Exercising Power can be very Exhausting, It’s Nap Time for Men
President Trump’s men, his signing of an executive order against abortion
Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister, Isabella Lovin’s “women,” signing Sweden’s promised Zero Emissions from the nation by 2045
A Little School Girl, Hope for the Best, Despite the Rest
Don’t worry, I will help you and we can make it better, I promise….
“You want it Darker?” Leonard Cohen
This is the Darker….NJ Governor Christie and the USA President Donald
This is the 2017 American Family, “Peace On Earth”
THE WOMAN SIDE OF THE EQUATION
We all know that the attitude, approach and skills of females to situations differs from that of males. For several centuries this difference has been assume to be someone trivial yet the leadership mantel is mostly passed from man to man throughout the eons. Our Foundation assumes that the difference is noteworthy and will make a difference in how humans occupy the earth.
The widely reported Danish aid working who met this little boy left behind, who could not resist adopting him and caring for him in a way that mattered; a not political way. Good for her.
The central question behind the Foundation thus becomes “is the difference in leadership a difference that makes a difference?” Our purpose is not to denigrate the role of the male but to elevate the role of the female in leadership of organizations and individuals. Perhaps a partnership is possible, or perhaps the difference can be seen to be very hopeful to our species and the context in which it operates.
Sometimes a little girl needs to be tough. It’s enough to drive a woman to drink.
THE ETERNAL FEMININE IS SPECIAL, DESPITE THE BEGINNINGS
To not pursue the idea that the female is very special to the species and in the world will continue the unfortunate. Something is certainly needed to move the status quo of business as usual. Thus we present the eternal feminine as a research project within the species; to better evaluate the difference and see what difference it makes.
The idea of the eternal feminine is powerful but not so often appreciated or even known by young girls. They can simply seem to be, or actually be lost in this world created and controlled by others that they may not like nor even understand.It is not easy for them. We are to help.
Business as usual is seen in the following photos and comments. Societal institutions are responsible for this, as well as its continuing to be accepted as part of reality, or simply okay. It is not okay to us.
It is sometimes difficult to deal with the human context at times, or even ones self in that context. It can even be difficult to continue. Friends are not enough ….
Photo by Lou Yang. Crying in a cab can be helpful, but what happens when you then “get there,” get to where you intended? Tears then do not help. Thank God for cabs.
Photo by Luo Yang, this friend is certainly not enough, except maybe for 15 minutes a day, or night. He is sort of fine, and sort of helps, yet why bother? With such a short short-term, where is any sign of the long-term? Does it matter? See Celines’ “Journey to the End of Night.”
Photo by Luo Yang: The “down below” appears as her only future…so lost, so sad…her context does not nurture well-being. This is her last chance to be “important,” or even noticed…. See Ernst Becker’s “Denial of Death.”
JOAN OF ARCH, AN ALTERNATIVE TO ENVISIONING THE FEMININE
Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes
The fight against Injustice in the 15th Century
CANDIDATES FOR FOUNDATION SUPPORT
Hi, I am Alexis. I was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA on June 1, 1996. I am of mixed race with a white father and Asian mother. I love them both but they became divorced when I was six years old and then my life became a little difficult. I first lived with my father in Florida where he remarried when I was eight years old. I then was transferred between schools nine times during my basic educational years. We moved around a lot. When I turned eighteen I moved to my mother in Iowa and continued my education with her. I have seven siblings and one niece living with us. I very much wanted to continue to college but it was not possible. The family needed me to earn income and help. I love mathematics and computer science but have it difficult with language. Maybe this because I am very shy around others. They all seem to strong and smart in what they say.
My greatest fear is to have something uncontrollable happen to either my family or my friends. I am also afraid of abandonment. I’m unsure of what I will do. Just now I work as a waitress in a restaurant and am 8 months pregnant with a baby boy. I already love him very much. The babies father is younger than me and failed to graduate from high school. I love him but he is not available.
My family is troubled but I really enjoy being around my friends and family. I have always wanted to have and be with a big family of my own. I look forward to seeing my big family in a reunion, with kids running all over the place and everyone just having the time of their lives, but this is difficult. I also enjoy watching movies and tasting different foods from different cultures. I love experimenting with life.
I only dream of being a university student and learning like others get to do but sometimes feel guilty to have such selfish thoughts. Others in the world have less than I do. I am lucky.
I believe that I am a kind, caring, and loving person. I put other people’s problems before my own. I am a hard working individual and try to do whatever I can to do help those that are less fortunate than I am. All I know is that I must do the best that I can with what I have been given. I hope my son will be better than I and make fewer mistakes in life. I dream of this.
Thank you for taking your time to read this. Life is good.
And, this song is to reflect, a bit cynically, on closing time closing in prior to closing, should efforts of the Foundation be insufficient to the challenges mentioned in Part I.
References beneath the Foundation, ABC:
A. The Philosophical
1. “Philosopher’s Take on the World,” David Edmonds, Oxford University Press:London, 2016.
2. “I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change,” as translated by Rudolf Ritsema anStephen Karacher, New York:Barnes and Noble, 1995.
3. “Te-Tao Ching: Lao-Tzu,” Translated from the Ma-Wang-Tui Texts, by Robert G. Henricks, New York:Random House Books, 1989.
4. “The I Ching or Book of Changes,” as translated by Richard Wihelm, with forward by C.G. Jung, New York:The Modern Library, 1993, first Edition, 1950.
5. “Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching,” Translated by D.C. Lau, London: Penguin Books, 1963.
B: Values of the Feminine
1. “The Eternal Feminine: Selected Poems of Goethe,” Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Edited by: Frederic Ungar, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, 1980.
2. “Fen Shui: Harmonizing Your Inner & Outer Space,” Zaihong Shen, Dorling Kindersley Book,2001.
3. “Feng Shui for the Home,” Zaihong Shen, New York: The Feng Shui Gallery, 1999.
4. “Sexual Healing Through Yin & Yang,” Zaihong Shen, Dorling Kindersley Book, 2001.
5. “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image,” Leonard Shlain. New York: Penguin Group, 1998.
6. “When God Was a Woman,” Merlin Stone, New York: Barnes and Nobel, 1976.
7. “Wonder Women,” Sam Maggs, Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2016, (includes Huang Daopo, Chinese Textile Pioneer)
8. “How To Succeed in Business Without a Penis: Secrets and Strategies for the Working Women,” Karen Salmansohnm, New York: Harmony Books, 1996.
9. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors,” Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.
10. The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boy’s Club,” Eileen Pollack, Beacon Press: Boston, 2015. (“Pollack candidly traces the disadvantages she faced as a woman in the world of men…[Her] book gives painful scrutiny to the relentless opposition that still confronts female scientists and leads many to walk away from the field.” Sabrina Imbler, Scientific American)
11. “Why Business People Speak like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide,” Fugere, Hardaway and Warshawsky, New York: Free Press, 2005.
12. “Theories of Harmonious Development of New Industrialization and New Urbanization,” Yongda Yu, Beijing, China, CIP. 2006
C: A Feminine Perspective on the Human Project
1. “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman, (Nobel Prize winner, Economics), Farrar, Strausand Giroux: New York, 2011
2. “The Master and Margarita,” Mikhail Bulgakov, New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967.
3. “Goethe’s Faust,“ translated by Bertram Jessup, New York: Philosophical Library, 1958.
4. “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind,“ Yuval Noah Harari, Harper Collins Publishers:New York, 2015.
5. “On Bullshit,” Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005.
6. “Briefing for a Descent into Hell,“ Doris Lessing, London: Vantage Press, 1981,
7. “How Bad Writing Destroyed the World,” Ayn Rand and the Literary Origins of the Financial Crisis,” Adam Weiner, Bloomsbury: London, 2016.
8. “Unforgettable Fire,“ Pictures drawn by Atomic Bomb Survivors, New York:Pantheon Books, 1977.
9. “The Future of Life,“ Edward O. Wilson, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
10. “Threat of the Silkworm,” Iris Chang, New York: Basic Books, 1995.
11. “The Devil’s Dictionary,” Ambrose Bierce, London: Hill and Wang, 1957.