Jealousy In Men

Jealousy In Men

In common thought jealousy is generally seen at one of two extremes – either it is an unhealthy behavior of a possessive partner, or it is the only true evidence of love.  Both of these perceptions of jealousy are wrong, for with men “whether they feel any love or not, the vainglory of their honor induces, heightens, and exacerbates jealousness” (CL 378).  In actuality, the seat of jealousness:

is in the intellect of a man who receives his partner’s love and loves her in return, and that its quality there is according to his wisdom …  Jealousness has something in common with esteem, which is also present in conjugial love; for anyone who loves his partner also esteems her … The reason … is that conjugial love protects itself through the intellect, as good protects itself through truth.  Thus a wife protects those concerns which she has in common with a man through her husband.  And for that reason zeal is implanted in men, and through men and on account of men in women. (CL 372)

Essentially, men need to pursue real wisdom of life so that they can receive conjugial love from their wife and thereby establish a zeal for its protection in their minds.  This sometimes is seen as simply a protective instinct, but in good men it arises from a love of and esteem for their wives and therefore a desire to protect their body, mind, and spirit from harm.  The ideals of chivalry could be seen as the remaining externals of masculine wisdom regarding marriage, when the internals had been lost.  The point is not to restore the externals (chivalry and simple protection) apart from the internals (wisdom of life and love for your wife), but to reestablish the internals of wisdom and love so that the externals will come by correspondence with real states of life.

The Pursuit Of Masculinity

From everything that has been said concerning the masculine it is clear that “it is the intellect which makes the man and also his masculinity; consequently, that according as his intellect is elevated, so does he become a human man and also a manly man” (CL 446, see also CL 432, 433).  Therefore, let all men respect true masculinity and support each other in pursuing true wisdom.

What It Is To Be A Woman

Women are voluntary, or in other words “a female is born will-oriented [or voluntary]” (CL 33).  This is the case because “good of truth or good from truth exists in the female and is the essence of femininity” (CL 61).  The voluntary is more complicated in its nature than the intellectual man because a woman “is born with a love for joining herself to [the affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise] in the male” (CL 33).  This means that women are born “to become a form of will that loves the understanding of the male” (CL 159, see also CL 33, 55.6, 187, 218).  What is interesting is that although this “affection for wisdom is beauty itself” (CL 56.3) the fact that the female disposition is “to love knowledge, intelligence and wisdom – though not in herself but in a man – and for that reason to love a man” (CL 91) is often taken to mean that women are not as valuable as men.  And yet, the Heavenly Doctrines explicitly warn of thinking such things as “what is woman? Is she not born subject to a man’s will, and born to serve and not to rule?” (CL 77.4).  The fact that “the female was created to become a form of love for the male on account of his wisdom, thus in accordance with that wisdom” (CL 66) and therefore “in response to the intellectual orientation in the male … to be a lover of the wisdom in a man, because she was formed by means of his wisdom” (CL 91) does not make women of less importance or value than men.   On the contrary, women share an equal role with men in the creation and maintenance of the human race and in the spiritual life of a couple.

It was seen above that men’s thoughts can be separated from their affections.  And further, that this is their strength because it affords them the opportunity of seeing things in a higher light.  In the case of a woman her thoughts are not separated from her affections (CL 169).  This is her strength, for it allows women to “have an interior perception of love, while men have only a more superficial perception” (CL 47r).  The will is such that it “does not think about goodness and truth but loves them and does them” (CL 220).  Where men love the pursuit of goodness and truth, women love the good and truth themselves.  This arises from the fact that “conjugial love is implanted in every woman from creation” (CL 409).  This must not be underestimated, for it will be seen that conjugial love is the parent of all loves, including love to the Lord and love of the neighbor.  Therefore, life itself comes to the human race by means of women and is brought into forms by means of men.

What Women Do

It was mentioned previously that “A husband has duties appropriate to him, and a wife duties appropriate to her, and a wife cannot enter into duties appropriate to her husband or a husband into duties appropriate to his wife and perform them properly” (CL 174).  It was seen that men approach occupations from their strength, the intellect.  And so by contrast it may be seen that women approach occupations from their strength, the will.  Where this becomes controversial is when this is confined to mean that “female employments have to do with things that are works of the hands and are called sewing, needlework, and other names, which serve for decoration, for her personal adornment, and for enhancing her beauty” (CL 91).  However, the feminine approach to occupations is best described as focusing on “various tasks called domestic, which complement the tasks of men (which, as we said, are called occupational).  Women do these things out of an inclination toward marriage, in order to become wives and so one with their husbands” (CL 91).  In general “duties by which wives especially unite themselves with their husbands are duties involved in the upbringing of little children of both sexes, and of girls to the age when they are given in marriage” (CL 174, see also TCR 431).  However, it may be seen that many employments can be approached from the perception of love, which provides women with a greater ability to work in the medium of beauty, weave personal relationships, or embroider social networks, to give a few examples.

There is one real concern with how women are employed:

Many people believe that women can perform the duties of men if only they are introduced into them from early age in the way that boys are.  However, women can be introduced into the exercise of these duties, but not into the judgment on which the proper performance of these duties inwardly depends.  Therefore, those women who are introduced into the duties of men, in matters of judgment are bound to go to men for advice; and then, from the men’s recommendations, if they are their own mistresses, they choose what accords with their love. (CL 175)

Men have judgment and wisdom from a higher light of truth. Women have judgment and wisdom from a higher warmth of love.  In the optimized workplace, therefore, men would be employed in making judgments that require such things as a sight of the future state of a system or the evaluation of performance dynamics.  Women, on the other hand, would complement these decisions with judgments that require such things as a sense of the quality of the workplace environment or the evaluation of management techniques.

One final point about the employment of women – the most important job that a woman can have is that of wife and mother.  Just as it is a man’s first responsibility to love the Lord and the things of His church so that he can bring these to his wife, it is a woman’s first responsibility to be a wife and mother, acting as the conduit for conjugial love, which is all love, into the human race.  Just as men should not allow their employment to become an obstruction to their role as husband and father and the pursuit of wisdom in matters of the church; women should not allow the opportunity of employment outside of the home to interfere with their role as wife and mother.

Employment is simply a tool.  It can be used well or poorly by men and women.  The essential point to bear in mind – whether you are masculine or feminine – when making choices about employment, is to choose employment which enhances your spiritual responsibilities, not employment which hinders them.

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