October  12th,  2004
Community and the War Between the Sexes

        This issue deals with a seeming almost universal subject in our culture  -  namely the
"War Between the Sexes".   It is amazing how often this scenario with all of its pain, anger and hurt; developes out of a initial place of seemingly so much love, passion, excitement and high expectations!  It this inevitable?  Is there nothing we can do about it?   Or perhaps is there really something to be learned which will really make a positive difference?

        There are a host of different thoughts, experiences and interpretation here on this subject.   Likely you will recognize some familiar themes and responses along with being perhaps amused and perplexed.  And yet I would suggest that there is hope... indeed significant hope.  I think you will enjoy this issue as you browse, contemplate and then read some more!

Cheers,  Eric

The War Between the Sexes !!
Is there an answer ?
Can there be sustained peace and love?
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The War Between the Sexes Responses to The War Between the Sexes The 'Devil' in Isolation
An Important Mexican story A Glimpse into the 
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The "War between the Sexes"
Some symptoms: 4 different stories


"To understand the story of Jim and I it would be easiest for me to tell you in person.  A long story.  Suffice it to say I loved him, lost him, and he came back into my life professing love.  I realized what a scag he is and that nothing had changed except that a part of me wanted it that way.  I set myself up for a world of hurt which happened,"

"I bought a brand new bed for my master bedroom.  I LOVE IT!  It was delivered yesterday.  I have this kind of "pledge" I've made to myself... I don't want to share that bed with anyone who doesn't show great signs of being very much in love with me."

"I have done something tonight I am not proud of.  Currently I am drunk and know that I am this way because I have allowed myself to be hurt once more by the same man again.  I wanted to run, scream, whatever.  Most of all I just wanted to feel warm and loved.  I cannot believe that I have allowed myself to listen to him again.  He really did know all the right buttons."

"My father adored me as a child and in my marriage my husband did too.  That's all I really want.  After my husband died, I've looked and looked trying to find someone like that again.  I just want to have someone who will adore me."

Confusing Symptoms, Sex and the
Real Source of
Relationship Pain, Failure & Loneliness
        Why does there seem to be so much confusion, hurt and pain around the subject of relationships?  Why do so many relationships fail?  Why do so many relationships continue on in sometimes horrific conditions of abuse, conflict or neglect; or at best continue on in a slightly warmed up version of the "procession of the living dead" with little or no vitality or joy being present?   Is it possible that we are confusing satisfying the immediate symptoms of not having a relationship with the deeper aspects of human interaction which will truly provide for an enduring and deeply satisfying total relationship?  Is it possible that we have been given ideas handed down from one generation to another for centuries (with the best intentions of the giver) which are really false or at best limiting when it comes to generating successful relationships?

        The answer seems to be dramatically "YES !" to both of these questions.

        To start out, let's look at the simple reality of ideas handed down from one generation to another, to another .... to yet another; such that finally the particular idea, or cluster of ideas, seems to be "natural", something that we "should just know" or something that is "just the right way to be".  One rather infamous example of this flow of a contaminated idea was the situation of the Hatfields and McCoys.

        These were two family clans located in West Virginia and Kentucky in the latter part of the 19th century.   Somehow an initial argument started up between these two clans and through ignorance, mis-information, and bad communication;  the initial conflict escalated to a full blown feud that lasted through several decades.  The two families were isolated from much contact with anyone else outside of their very rural environment.  They were not only isolated, but also had a distrust of "outsiders".  This prevented any third, uninvolved parties from coming in and helping to negotiate an end to the misunderstandings between the two clans.  The results were literally deadly and lasted for many, many years.

        The situation evolved to the place that 2 perfectly innocence babies could be born roughly at the same time, one in each of the two clans; and these 2 babies would grow up with the thought given to them (directly and indirectly) that it was perfectly "natural and good" to kill "one of those damned Hatfields" or "one of those damned McCoys".  Time and time again, there would be incidents where someone would have "success" in doing exactly that.  One of those 2 babies, now grown up some number of years, would be killed.  Of course each time it happened, one clan had its own "natural" rage fueled condemnation of the opposing clan reinforced; and the cycle of loss, pain, despair, hate and violence deepened.

        Could the same thing (in a slightly milder form) be happening at times with men, women and the relationships they have, don't have, or seek to have with each other?   To present just a couple of current thought forms:  Are all men really just "scags" who want to get into a woman's pants, have a good time for a while and then leave?   Are all women really just "manipulators" who try to trap a man through sex, into being a "wallet" for them and their children?  Could these and other ideas, be false?  Are these derogatory surmises about the opposite gender, really generated from false ideas given to us about what is really important in a relationship?  Are these ideas seductive because they come from attempts to address an immediately present "symptom" or "hunger" when a relationship is not present; but which are false because they don't address deeper human aspects that truly support a relationship?

        All of us, both men and women,  have basic needs of safety and security.  In our culture, much of this first level of need gets focused upon having money, or having access to someone with money.  After this there occurs the natural needs of sexuality, sensuality, pleasure and comfort.   This involves not only the pleasure of sexuality, but also the needs for companionship and not being lonely; the pleasure and comfort of snuggling with someone at night as one example.

        There are certainly other needs that naturally occur for us after or in addition to these basic needs.  For example, the need to have some degree of power and control over one's own life and its direction is a fairly universal need.   It's easy to see this in just about everyone when they hit their teenage years and start struggling for independence from their parents.  Yet in adulthood in our culture, and removed from much contact with their original family grouping; many men and women who are not in 'relationship' are not faced immediately with questions about satisfying power and control needs. They are often immediately faced with questions of getting enough sex and warm sensual companionship.

        It hurts to be alone.  It is uncomfortable and unhealthy to not have enough sensuality and sexuality in our lives.  Science has finally demonstrated that sensuality and sexuality are biologically "good" for us.  In addition to loneliness in-and-of itself, we now know that one important aspect of "love" is the simple act of someone paying attention to us.  Particularly when we are removed from our original family (assuming it was at least fairly "decent"), being out of a relationship often also means we don't directly experience this basic element of being loved.   The sentence from one of this article's starting statements, "Most of all I just wanted to feel warm and loved.", speaks strongly to this initial set of basic needs and the drive to fill them.

        Here in lies the seduction.  Is is easy to want to finally get enough sexual and sensual pleasure again, and to feel appreciated and "loved" (someone is paying attention to us) because we are supplying that same sexual/sensual pleasure back to them.  It is also easy at times to start "trading" money/safety/security needs back and forth with sexual/sensual/pleasure needs.  Is there anything wrong with any of this?  Absolutely not!  What doesn't work is having the expectation (the idea) that doing this trading will generate a relationship that will last or which will remain vital and joyful.  A variation on this theme is the seduction of staying trapped in an old childhood perspective (an idea) like, "I just want to have someone who will adore me."  Here too, the old idea is not one which will sustain a joyfully vital relationship.

        Time and time again (just like the Hatfield's and McCoy's) we have been given  essentially unchallenged ideas that doing this "trading" is the right thing or the natural thing, or that if we just recapture what we had in a childhood relationship all will be well.  Yet if we pay attention at all, we notice that it really doesn't work long term for keeping a happy relationship going.

        We humans have other needs to be satisfied: needs beyond safety and security, and beyond sexuality and pleasure.   If we fully satisfy our basic needs for safety and sexuality/sensuality, we notice that there is indeed a need to have some power and control over our lives.   We notice there is a need to be loved and to love.  Beyond that there is a need to creatively express ourselves.  And finally there is an existential need to try to answer the questions of "What is life all about?", "What is this sense of unity I have with other human beings when I am really peaceful, all about?", "Why is there pain?", "What happens when I die?", etc.

        We just don't stop in our needs when the basic ones of money, safety and sexual/sensual pleasure are answered.   To have a relationship which is fully "successful", we as men and women need to establish a connection which supports not only safety and sexual/sensual pleasure, but also goes beyond this to fully support each person.  That is to fully support them in  experiencing success in developing their own power, success in being loved and being able to love, success in developing and expressing their own creativity, and finally success in trying to answer the fundamental questions of existence.

Community Participation

        Just as the Hatfield's and McCoy's were hurt by being isolated from innovative outside thought, so are we men and women hurt by being isolated in such a quest for a full and meaningful relationship.  We need to have others around us who know there is more to life than the old idea of money, safety and sex.  We need to be in a community of others who will support us (as we support them) in going beyond just treating the initial symptoms of missing "safety, sex, and pleasure"  when we don't have a relationship; to encouraging our success in meeting all of our human needs.  Community is our most  natural way of living, along with that which is the most healing, the most empowering, and the most Joyful  -- "Real" Community.

Eric N. Best, Ph.D.            (C)  Copyright  October 4, 2000

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Responses to "The War Between the Sexes"
Ken Gretchen Len
Annie Jeff Ronda & 
several responses to her
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Ken writes:
        I have always believed that it is a mistake to put all of one's eggs in one emotional basket. To rely on a single fallible human being to fulfill all of our needs for companionship, sex, money, friendship...has always seemed like a losing proposition from the getgo.

        Recently my dear wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that point I realized how much I loved her and had built my life around her. I realized how much I wanted to see her grow old and be around when our kids are all fully grown with kids of their own. It seems like such a simple request of life, yet it may not be granted to us.

        Confronted with this makeup call about herald my--mortality, I recognize that it is necessary to put many eggs in one basket and that I have actually done so big time. She deserves to have someone deeply share her moment in eternity, and that someone is me.

        On the other hand, I now see that when I don't have my own separate emotional support, the two of us can be like two shipwrecked people flailing around in the bottomless ocean, trying to hang onto each other while we grasp for the life buoy. Other people are the life buoy. Without them, their information, their support, and their love, we are both terrified and ineffective.

        What I was reading that you sent me just seems to me to be a lack of choosing one's partner, one's emotional basket, wisely, for whatever reason. That said, I feel that even when one has chosen one's partner well, we all need more, much more. I feel we need more than just a pat on the shoulder in tough times. We need intimacy.  And when we get the strength that comes from this, we can pass it along to the beloved.

        A loving community seems to be what is needed, when the chips are down. But no other relationship should come between you and your loved one, whose lasting survival must be in your heart.

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Gretchen writes:
        First off I must say that every viewpoint is right, if you are standing in the right place.  The problem is, we are not all standing in the right place.  Evolution is about change.  No one evolving will be in the same place!  So the question then what level of consciousness are we discussing the "War Between the Sexes" From where I am standing, I see my Husband (or other in any relationship) as my reflection, when I judge the "other" as good, it is something I like, or would like in myself.  When I see something I judge in the "other" as bad, it is something I don't like or don't want to see in myself.   From the ultimate viewpoint, were it makes sense to be everything there is no separation, just a reflection of "all that is".  The challenge for me is when I change my viewpoint, and I see my other as the enemy, then  all my attention and energy goes into proving the "other" wrong and me right! I like that viewpoint!  But it doesn't feel as good, and it takes a lot of energy.
        Just my viewpoint ...gretchen  :)

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Len writes:
        Interesting perspectives...historically these scenarios have repeated over and over for thousands of years. Not a surprise because the underlying issues leading to this situation have not been adequately addressed. None of the arguments that your group has taken are wrong ... quite the contrary...they are all right.   In fact, these perspectives can be our teachers if we dig down deeply and explore...our best lessons in life are learned from situations that are painful...

        The deepest underlying issue that I see is that we're all looking for connections to one another and to spirit, and we're not adequately prepared to enter into these relationships in a way that they can adequately work. Why? SImple. We're not able to form truly healthy relationships with others and with spirit until we have evolved to the point where we are congruent with who we imagine we are in the deepest sense and how we actually are. We need to know who we are, appreciate that whatever that is it is okay because we're made by mother nature herself in all her spender, and we must be forthright in presenting ourselves in exactly this way. This is what I'd term being a self-actualized human being.   Having a relationship with such a person could be wonderful...what you see is precisely what you get ...  no role playing, no hidden agendas, only giving, graciously receiving, and sharing...

        Few of us have this kind of self image...Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Christ, and a few others ... we're too busy trying to impress others that we're special and important in an effort they they will convince us that we're worthy of such feelings. We set up expectations of ourselves that are unrealistic...this leads to our "playing roles" that are different than we actually perceive ourselves. It also explains why our vision of success is too often having loads of money and power...far too often this leads to creating the illusion that because people "look up to us" or fear us, that we are really wonderful human beings... Now, try to develop a relationship with this kind of starting place...good luck!  Would you really want to be a Donald Trump?

      The real issue is teaching our kids that they are wonderful in their own right....they are born perfect...and it is our job as a village to understand each individual and help guide them accept who they are and present themselves in exactly that way. Once we have sufficient self love...not narcissistic love...we are then in a position of wanting to share who we are, what we know, and what we have...our job, so to speak, is to be creative about how to give...we don't need anything more than this and our goal then becomes finding ways to share what we give...not to listen to have compassion and to short, to love. It is not possible to give what you don't have...and if we don't have love, we cannot give it...

I hope this is useful...

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Annie writes:
          The selfish preservationist part of us wants to be the beloved, the one made warm and adorable, yet the true lover is just that: the one who is doing the loving, getting pleasure from pleasing the partner.  It has to mostly be both ways between a couple, each one equal parts lover and beloved, or the magic won't happen. 

          i don't need a partner to have my own personal power, that has always been mine, as well as creative expression. if anything, i have seem some people have their personal power and creative expression stifled by over demanding partners. the spiritual realm is one of becoming, the more i learn the less i know, the more i learn to trust my instincts and intuition. i have always been right about what i intuit, but i have ignored my intuition and gone against my better instincts. i have always been spiritually curious, a seeker. you have to see the movie, “what the bleep” about quantum physics. it is good. i know you would enjoy it. the song i am studying with my teacher is meant to be sung at 4 AM. tewari says the indians believe that it is at this hour that what we dream will come true. the song says, “To whom should I share my dreams? when I awoke, I had no one to call my own.” again, the indians use the physical metaphor of a lonely lover to signify that yes, we are all truly “alone” or at least separate from the Source even as we are also all connected thru it. there is no pain
greater than losing a loved one. i think i try to cover my pain from my loved ones because i don't want them to worry about me. i think this is a common response. 

    hope you are well,
    love,  a

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A lengthy but insightful response from Jeff:

So here are my thoughts on conflict between the sexes.

        I should say at the start that I was married and the marriage was annulled and I have not been married since. Mostly I've been working on myself...enbracing my wounded and disowned parts and exploring new paths of creative expression. I also agree with most everything you say with a few additional qualifiers below and have attempted to explore the issue based on my experience and understandings gleaned after 62 years on the planet and through a dozen  long term relationships over these years.

        It's a tremendous challenge to be with the same person for life on many levels. Here are a few of the challenges I see:

CONTEXT     We live in a time when things are getting better and better and worse and
                         worse, faster and faster and a time when anything is possible and nothing is certain. In short, a time of accelerating change and uncertainty.

        We also live in a time when fear far in excess of reality is perpetuated 24/7. Stress and deception in life, politics and big business and media's focus on negativity have all contributed to rising levels of fear and record sales of antidepressants . So given this contextual framework, it is challenging for interpersonal relationships when individuals are mostly stressed out much of the time. Stress and fear can seriously contract us and we don't live transparently and authentically in contraction. Only in a state of expansion or love can our authentic self feel safe enough to begin its emergence into life and only in a space where that is honored by both partners.

THE SHIFT     It appears to me that we are in the midst of a titanic paradigm shift that turns
                          old assumptions on their heads.  The shift is driven by our understanding of our interconnectedness via ecology and new physics that tells us everything is intimately connected. This scientific understanding creates a link to the spiritual and mystical which says the same thing as reflected in Advita and the recent film phenom, What the Bleep.  Yet integrating that understanding into our lives is difficult at best and seemingly impossible for most Americans living in a culture of materialism, always more, excess, greed, deception, dualism, etc...It takes a deep desire to get beyond the existing cultural paradigm and taking a chance on losing everything we've known as our identity to discover the reality of who we truly are. Some would rather live in denial because its really a  conscious death while alive, and that frightens most people which is why so few choose the path. And the ones that do rarely return to their former selves often giving up.

RELATIONSHIPS    Interpersonally, when two people get together unless they have done
                                    serious work embracing their shadows, they, like fundamentalists, will often project that shadow on others   -  their partners first, then families and friends. What percentage of the population has done this critical work?  Minuscule. So without this work, the mask that covers the shadows of a man and women meet, fall in love or lust and ultimately, the mask is removed revealing the disfigured psyche that acts out old dysfunctional patterns always brings. This is true whether an individual, a family or a country. The US has a disowned shadow which it is projecting on the other and the world and its approach is but one choice of many on how to deal with terrorism. But as Martin Luther King said, violence does not bring peace only more violence. We must embrace the terrorist in us all before we will ever destroy terrorism in the world.

        Crushed dreams lie at the heart of many of our deepest woundings whether of a loving parent or partner or of our own mission in life. Far too often we say what we want, only to have others make fun or diminishing our dreams value and soon we can believe them and shrink and die to our beautiful visions and the field of possibility in which we live becomes a self constructed prison. In surrendering our dreams we begin living someone elses and we live a half life with no energy. We have given up our power. This scenario creates wounded people who can hurt others to get back at anyone for crushing their dreams. There is little or no trust and we must take the time to rediscover through any means possible the unlimited potential that is our gift from birth. That reawakening through a friend, a book, a course like Hoffman Quadrinity Process or others, is the moment we reclaim our creative potential to become our dreams and are ready for a true relationship with ourselves and others for the first time.

        So if two people have done the work, there is a chance they just might be ready to commit fully to a great relationship in which each supports the other in becoming all they can be and in some cases working together to serve their community and/or the world. I think another important dimension of a successful relationship is total transparency so no energy is tied up in old events not dealt with. My picture of a great relationship is two people expressing their creativity in their own unique ways separately or together and placing their intelligence and compassion in the service of life. Their is a sovereignty that each honors and should the other choose to leave, there is an acceptance that they have outgrown the relationship and their time together served each others growth and that understanding is part of the conversation going in. Not that that time cannot be a lifetime, but both people are whole in themselves so they don't need the other as much as they have freely chosen them because they respect their values and who they are as a person and they can see that because they are not wearing a mask-they are naked and real and in that space of authenticity comes respect and honoring.

        I think this authentic relationship with self is the basis for all good relationships between people. The same things come up. If your identity is too much in the other person, if they leave you are crushed because in a sense, there you go...If its too painful you could try and stop the other person from leaving by brutalizing or in the most extreme case resorting to murder. Or you could become an alcoholic, drug addict, take antidepressants or in the worst case take the pain of projected separation out on yourself and attempt suicide.

        These are the reasons relationships are so challenging because they must begin with deeply loving ourselves enough to be impeccably honest so we can be honest with another.

        And I agree that the disappointments of past relationships can be projected onto new partners and doom the relationship from the start. The projecting partner can either look for or create the conditions that will being out exactly the traits they don't want and the cycle continues ad nauseum.

        We also have the problem of super heroes and superstars with power, a lot of money and the worship of beauty and externals at the cost of the soul.  How can someone who does not look like a movie star or sports hero make it or feel worthy in our culture? Self-esteem is a challenge in a culture that worships celebrity. It's a very sad thing and only those who know and value the beauty of life, the exhilaration of self generated creativity, who listens and operates from their soul and serves while leading and continuously learns rather than thinking they know it all are really in a position to enjoy their lives free from the competitive need to always be more ... never good enough ....

        Then there's the challenge of living in the moment rather than in the past or future. The Power of Now describes living in the moment beautifully. And until we learn how, our energy isn't available for another.

        And if we are not physically healthy, we can not bring our full energy to a relationship.

        One must be able to be alone to be capable of being with another freely and not out of need ... too much need ... the other may flee. It's wonderful to snuggle and make love but only with the right person, for when we connect with another wrong person, the pain just continues and the pleasure is always in the future other than a momentary respit.

        To say it takes a lot of work on the self to be ready for a relationship is an understatement .... I think people should have to earn a certificate of self-mastery before they can enter a relationship and especially before they can have a child.

        Perhaps some of these ideas may shed some light on why relationships are so challenging. Perhaps a community built around developing the personal and interpersonal skills explored above and more could serve as a beacon for our culture.  It's rare for individuals to reach that stage of maturity, rarer still for couples and families and many communities hope to attain this level of intimacy but few I've experienced have done it. I hope that these ideas may be explored and expanded an that communities of authenticity can become harbingers of a new integral society even as the old appears to be crumbling before our eyes...

        You say "It hurts to be alone".  Not really....if we are following our bliss, the time and space of deep pleasure and connectedness to our soul and the connection and appreciation with and of others who value our work is hardly painful. The key is to connect with another being who is doing the same and is happy being alone and consciously choosing to be together ...  So there is a time to be together after we have done this important work because otherwise the relationships will be just or more painful than being alone. And ultimately, the work must be done ... in this life or the next if you believe in reincarnation.

        Yes we all want to be loved...but we must learn to love ourselves first and then we can truly know how to love another rather than looking for love from another because we are empty inside and need rather than choose love...

        So I agree totally when you write..."own power, success in being loved and being able to love, success in developing and expressing their own creativity, and finally success in trying to answer the fundamental questions of existence"

        We are on the same track Eric and appreciate your insight and wisdom. I truly am looking forward to settling into a new relationship with a loving partner in the relatively near future. I have invited her in and continue to each day. I am in conversation with her and I trust she will hear me and appear one of these days....for me its time for a new chapter which I am very much looking forward to....

Best,  Jeff

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Here is Ronda's response to this "The War Between the Sexes".  She makes a very telling comment toward the end of her short note here.    I'm curious to hear about your responses to her observations about "men and integrity" versus what she implies about women and "laundry lists" !!    Any truth here?

Cheers,  Eric

Ronda writes:
Thanks Eric....I confess I've not read most of your previous emails for sometime.. mostly I've been in a very deepening inner process that has asked for very little stimuli whatsoever, and just silence.  Been quite amazing, and continues to unfold.  I did however stop and read this one as the ending of my marriage is bringing up depths of insight and feeling and sadness long held dormant.  ....there's a good Leonard Cohen song (well ALL his songs are great) that speaks to the was between a man and a woman.  One line "I was so easy to deceive. I was so easy to control.
I didn't even know there was a war"...  I think for many men (perhaps more than woman) this is so as women seem to "keep a pretty good laundry list" whereas men seem to approach relationship much more simply -- an integrity I've come to respect very much.

Be well.

 Here are some of the responses so far to Ronda's comments.

        Of course there are different responses and different levels of response; but all in all, I find this type of interaction to be very worthwhile.  It seems to stimulate people in their thoughts, their interactions with their partners, and certainly it has stimulated the whole developemental process in the GateWay events.

I'm not sure integrity is the word I would have chosen; single-mindedness perhaps. Based solely on my experience, especially during the five years I was single between Mary and Emily, I do believe women are more likely to have unspoken agendas than men. Most of us are not noted for guile or subtlety. I agree with Ronda about the "laundry list" which I take to mean a catalog of slights, real or imagined, which can be dredged up on occasion to generate (or justify) a negative response. I think most of us men are clueless and mystified by this behavior although it is probably just a less intense form of the "gunny sack" approach many of us use when we're angry.

Just some musings.....

Peace, love & joy,

Good Morning!
It's a beautiful day.  Fall is in the air, and I love it!

Eric, Thanks for passing this along.  I think the words "laundry list" are a bit harsh, but I agree with Gary's assessment of women remembering more in detail things that have happened.  I think this is because women react more from a level of feelings than men do.  An event attaches to a strong feeling, and it is embedded in the brain or psyche because of the
attachment to feeling.

I have enjoyed some interesting experiences with Gary over the past couple of months.  We are both so stubborn that we will never concede to the other's point of view, but discussing the situation at this level brings us and our views closer together.


In general, the bashing or bigotry toward people for gender, religious, skin color, sexual orientation, lifestyle or other reasons makes me feel like walking backwards. 

I shy from people with intense inner personal conflict, aggressions, bigotry's or ignorance.

Thanks for writing and for allowing me.


PS:  I have decided I must have ADD, ADHD or just be plain lazy as I tend
        to read most long letters through the first paragraph before I quit.

hi, eric - how are you doing?  and your community work? 

this email is interesting - sorry i've not received others.  i would agree with rhonda - actually on just about everything she says!  she'd be interesting to communicate with on a one-on-one level.

hope all is going well with you.  keep in touch,


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And Carol (with a wonderfully humorous closing) writes:
Carol here.   I was wondering how I was going to enter into the discussion of men and women when this came. There's a lot of truth in this and it ties into the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. 

    The Guys' Rules 

    At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down. Finally, the guys' side of the story. 
    (I must admit, it's pretty good.) 

    We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules!   Please note... these are all numbered "1"        ON PURPOSE! 

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down.  You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down!

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be. 

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never  going to think of it that way. 

1. Crying is blackmail. 

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:   Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work!  Just say it! 

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. 

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. 

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor. 

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days. 

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys. 

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.  Don't ask us. 

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one. 

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you  want it done. Not both. If you already
    know best how to do it, just do it yourself. 

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. 

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we. 

1. ALL men see in only 16 colours, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a colour. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We ! have no idea what mauve is. 

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that. 

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle. 

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear. 

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really. 

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks. 

1. You have enough clothes. 

1. You have too many shoes. 

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape. 

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping. 

    Pass this to as many men as you can - to give them a laugh. 

    Pass this to as many women as you can -  to give them a bigger laugh!! 

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The Antithesis  of   "Real" Community
( or  Isolation:  The Home of Neurosis )

        If there is one thing which is the antithesis of close, loving & supportive community, it often is the relationship structures which thrive in isolation.  When the main component of a relationship is a neurotic or fear based one, the relationship will "thrive" only when enough isolation is present to allow it to continue unchallenged.  Indeed many neurotic relationships require a fairly high degree of isolation in order to literally survive. Why?  Simply because the "reality testing" that inevitably comes with exposure to others without the same or comparable neuroses, is far too challenging.

        First let's look at what neurosis really is.  The famed psychologist, 3 time president of the American Psychological Association and one of the founders of Humanistic and then Transpersonal psychology, Abraham Maslow; presented it this way:

        The Psychotic will say, "Two plus three is six." and feel completely comfortable with it.

                    {The reality of 2 + 3 equaling 5, not 6, is unavailable to them, they have no
                     emotional discomfort with this delusion, and they typically do not experience
                     distress when someone challenges their perception.}

        The Neurotic will say, "Two plus three is five, but I hate it!"

{They know the reality that 2 + 3 equals 5, but there is a large emotional discomfort with it.  This neurotic discomfort can be so large at times as to cause them to lie (to others or even to themselves) in order to avoid encountering the emotional distress around a particular subject area.  The lying to themselves aspect essentially presents itself to the neutral observer as "the person is unconscious" about this or that particular subject area which the observer clearly sees as being appropriately a cause (or not) for emotional distress. On the surface this may carry with it the appearance (like the psychotic) of inappropriate "comfort" (or "discomfort"); yet the neurosis is quickly revealed by an immediately rising level of anxiety, fear or anger if someone essentially challenges the false belief by introducing a different perspective.}
In our culture the typical conflict areas of "money, sex, & power" are fertile ground for many neurotic belief systems ranging from 'wage slave' syndromes to extraordinarily destructive religious and political ideologies.

        The Personality Disorder  individual will say, "Two plus three is five.  So what!!??"
                     {There is no reality based engagement, good or bad,  with the situation of "2 + 3
                     equals 5" whatsoever.}

        The Healthy Individual will say, "Two plus three is five. Isn't that fascinating ! "
                     {They will immediately see the "wonder" and/or usefulness present in knowing
                      that 2 + 3 equals 5.    "Reality testing" becomes a wonderful and useful vehicle
                      for them.}

        Real community   is an environment which, among other things, promotes the easy initiation and flow of new ideas back and forth for examination.  This flow of new or different perspectives is extremely emotionally challenging to the person with any strong neurotic tendencies.  Very, very often they will avoid "real" community and purposely seek out isolation in one form or another; while also at times trying to carry a  "partner" into the isolation with them.  If the neurosis is strong enough, they will avoid even the intimacy of a single partner and completely isolate themselves.

        Ironically real community can offer the neurotic, one of the strongest and clearest paths to healing and health if they are able to stand the initial discomfort of being exposed to others' new and different thoughts.  In spite of the largeness of the statement, M. Scott Peck, famed author of The Road Less Traveled; was essentially correct when he said, "In and through community lies the salvation of the world."  If there were such a thing as a "devil", it would support and thrive in isolating people from real community.

Eric N. Best, Ph.D.
Copyright   (c)        April 27, 2001

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An Important Story

        A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village.  An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.  "Not very long," answered the Mexican.

        "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.  The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.  The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

        "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife.  In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.  I have a full life."

        The American interrupted, "I have a MBA from Harvard and I can help you.

        You should start by fishing longer every day.  You can then sell the extra fish you catch.  With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.  With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.  Instead of selling your fish to a middle-man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.  You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!  >From there you can direct your huge enterprise.

        "How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

        "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

        "And after that?"

        "Afterwards?"  That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing.  When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

        "Millions?  Really?"  "And after that?" asked the fisherman.

        "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!"


        Come... "catch a few fish, play with your children, take a siesta with your husband, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!"... now!    Don't even think about putting it off for another 10 to 20 years!      It's here now.

The Mariposa Group

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Next Issue   ----   A Glimpse !

        Invention after invention had occurred... from the cotton mill, to the steam engine, to the automobile, radio communications, nuclear weapons, lasers and more recently the computer. The computer, now in use as personal communication device (essentially with the world) via the internet, is helping to implement change in faster and faster amounts than we ever could have imagined.   Our general knowledge is now doubling about every 6.7 years.  The next 100 years will contain essentially 15 such knowledge doubling periods of time. (100 divided by 6.7)   The result will be a "2 raised to the 15th power" increase in our knowledge at least!    The result is over 30,000 !
         In a hundred years we will have over 30,000 times the knowledge we have right now!  What does this imply for us?  What does it imply for our children and grandchildren?  Is there any danger in this?   Is there great hope in this?   What do you think?

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GateWay to Community

An extraordinary event on the Creative power of "Real" Community
for Relationships and Living Life Fully & Joyfully!

Creating a stable foundation within the present culture,
upon which we can truly begin building a new culture that works!
.... where, among other things, relationships work !
"Tell the truth and support each other's dreams!"

February 11 - 13, 2005  Bivins, Texas
(30 miles due south of Texarkana, in N.E. Texas)
Other Event Dates
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"Tell the Truth and Support Each Other's Dreams!"

        One of my visions around "real" community and particularly physically collocated, living in close physical proximity to each other and having land/housing paid for community;  this vision includes what I believe is an excellent chance to stop (or at the very least minimize) the cyclic, repetitious flow of emotional hurt and damage downstream from one generation to another.   I believe this is extremely hard to do when we (and our children/grandchildren) are still embedded in the normal cultural stream of "chase the dollar", along with various dysfunctional examples about "life, love, sex, & relationship" (not to mention violence) being so strongly presented as part of our "normal" life in the media.   Nothing like the power of large 'big screen', high definition, digital TV showing and glorifying physical violence (along with dysfunctional relationships), day after day, to create a mind set in our youngsters which will sabotage them later on.

        Contrast this to a day to day example for our children of men & women laughing together, joking, playing, and Joyfully celebrating life in an environment where they are empowered with their financial independence to follow their dreams and to support others to do the same!!

        Accomplishing this shift would be a monumental contribution to life.... ours and the generations to come.   And.... guess what?  It's do-able!  It's starting right now.  Come join us!


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