By Byron Belitsos
The Wrightwood Series on Gender
"Forever each sex will remain supreme in its own domain, domains determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity..."
"Each sex has its own distinctive sphere of existence, together with its own rights within that sphere..."
"Women's rights are by no means men's rights. Woman cannot thrive on man's rights any more than man can prosper on woman's rights..."
The Urantia Book (p. 938)
What an abyss divides the sexes! Let us abandon the pretense of sexual sameness and admit the terrible duality of gender.
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae
As we strive to find common ground with women, let us never forget that our two systems are fundamentally dissimilar. Their system is based on estrogen, ovaries, fallopian tubes. They give birth; we give advice.
Humorist Charles Varon, "State of the Gender," from
Wingspan: Inside the Men's Movement
The Urantia Book reveals that gender differences are an essential feature of human life, even the afterlife, and that gender-based biological and mental differences are the basis of the complementarity of the sexes. Further, we are told that gender differentiation and complementarity reveal a creator design that assigns spheres of existence to men and women -- spheres in which they "reign supreme" and which are accompanied by gender-specific rights.
I believe that our planet stands on the brink of the discovery of these "gender-spheres" and the "gender rights" that accompany them. Feminism was the first modern statement in this evolving debate; the men's movement is the next step and will, I believe, reveal an entirely new dimension.
Though staunchly affirming the political, social, intellectual and spiritual equality of women, The Urantia Book's chief contribution to the debate about gender is a disclosure of sex differences. This includes assertions about maternal instinct, the indication that women appear to be more intuitive and less logical, and an allusion to unexplored realms of feminine charm and grace. Like the book's theory of race differences, these revelations are jarring. They seem arbitrary to many readers.
But recent developments in science and social evolution seem to lend outside support. It is also remarkable to witness the emergence in recent years of "difference feminism," a movement which is quite compatible with the book's teachings on sex differences and even celebrates them.
Part I of this essay explores the wide-ranging implications of the book's teachings on gender differences. I also make some preliminary attempts to define gender spheres and rights, especially the female sphere. Part II goes in search of more clues on the qualities of the male sphere. My method is to take a close look at passages that appear to describe the masculine qualities of Jesus.
Much of what follows is experimental and speculative. So much is at stake, and so much more research needs to be done. My hope is that this and future studies will some day point the way to a new epoch in which gender harmony will finally reign supreme.
Note On Punctuation: Use of bold in quoted passages has been inserted by the author for the sake of emphasis.
"As love is comprehended on a sex planet, the love of God
is more comparable to the love of a father, while the love of the Eternal
Son is more like the affection of a mother...there is a difference, not
in divine content but in quality and technique of expression, between the
love of the Father and the love of the Son." [UB: 76] The
great gift of The Urantia Book to gender studies is the revelation
that sexual differentiation has a cosmic basis. Sex differences are meaningful
even in understanding Trinity relationships -- they can be found throughout
the book's discussion of deity personalities.
While the author of this paper in The Urantia Book calls the above illustration "crude, indeed"; it is surprising that this Divine Counselor draws any gender distinctions at all in his (her?) presentation of the nature of Paradise Deity.
At the level of local universe deity, gender differences are explicit, but gender harmony is perfect. Indeed, the divine couple on Salvington is a model for mortal couples; they provide the "transcendent pattern for family organization...of the worlds of space." In addition, we are invited to know Christ Michael as a father and the Creative Spirit as a mother, for this aids our devotional practice and theological understanding.
"The Son functions as a father in his local universe. The
Spirit, as mortal creatures would understand, enacts the role of a mother....
"Though he was the sovereign of this local universe, the Son published to the worlds the fact of the Spirit's equality with him in all endowments of personality and attributes of divine character. And this becomes the transcendent pattern for the family organization ....of the worlds of space. This is, in deed and in truth, the high ideal of the family...." [UB: 366]
What is the "transcendent pattern for family organization" that our beloved Sovereign and his co-equal divine consort provide? In my reading, their cosmic endowments of gender difference and role complementarity should be at the heart of our understanding. For though they are equal in divinity, Michael and the Mother occupy vastly different cosmic roles.
For example, cosmic roles are revealed in the most severe test a Creator Son can undergo: insurrection by a subordinate. Role differentiation comes to the fore as we read that only Sons can contest rebellion. However, role complementarity is also essential, for the Mother's cooperation is necessary for success.
"In the face of insurrection only the Son and his associated
Sons can function as deliverers. Never can the Spirit undertake to contest
rebellion or defend authority...but no Son could hope for final success
without the incessant cooperation of the Divine Minister and her vast assemblage
of spirit helpers, the daughters of God...." [UB: 368]
Many other indicators of distinctive roles and spheres of activity at the local universe deity level are also revealed:
"Forever each sex will remain supreme in its own domain,
domains determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity."
[UB: 938] Forever supreme? Only revelation can get away with such
a brave statement. This stunning description of immutable gender differences
points to a pre-existing, purposive Creator design. Apparently, the deity
patterns of gender differentiation that we have just examined are mirrored
in human life. This means that not all of today's notions of human gender
differentiation are hopelessly culture-bound for The Urantia Book
tells us they have cosmic and divine roots.
For today's scholars of gender, theories of sex difference based on biology are held in low repute -- especially anything as drastic as an "instinct." Ten years ago, at the zenith of liberal feminism, any belief in biological determinism was also deemed an intellectual crime. Even in today's more flexible climate, most scholars mistrust or ignore even the striking discoveries of recent brain research in sex differences.
Surely here is a case where the guidance of revelation would come as a welcome gift. The Urantia Book gives us a firm basis to announce that biology can be the starting point for a close look at sex differences and resulting sex roles.
In this connection, it may come as a surprise to many that the book bases much of its discussion of gender differences on the notion of "mother instinct."
We are told that civilization can never
behavioral gulf between the sexes." [UB: 938]
And what is the basis of this difference? Woman has an innate maternal instinct, which man lacks.
"...women naturally love babies more than males do."
"Mother love is instinctive; it did not originate in the mores as did marriage. All mammalian mother-love is the inherent endowment of the adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe and is in strength and devotion always directly proportional to the length of the helpless infancy of the species." [UB: 932]
Here, then, is the holy grail of gender studies: A Creator design for biological motherhood, a pre-programmed endowment of the adjutant mind-spirit circuits of the local universe Mother Spirit.
Industry And Instinct
For some of us, the existence of a maternal instinct is intuitively demonstrated by experience and observation. But the following assertion may not be so obvious:
"Innate maternal affection will never permit emancipated
woman to become man's serious rival in industry." [UB: 938]
Nothing is said in the text of The Urantia Book to prove this claim. It is amplified, however, with a similar bold assertion:
"In self-perpetuation woman is man's equal, but in the partnership
of self-maintenance she labors at a decided disadvantage, and this handicap
of enforced maternity can only be compensated by the enlightened mores
of advancing civilization and by man's increasing sense of acquired fairness."
[UB: 936] You won't find much evidence or explanation for these
provocative statements in the book about women's prospects in industry.
Apparently, the revelators won't rob us of the pleasure of discovering
the logical and experiential basis of these propositions.
The "Apollonian Swerve" From Nature
Several modern authors, two men and one woman, each very much against the grain of trendy thought on the subject of gender, come to mind as corroborators of The Urantia Book's teachings on gender and biology. Each arrives at this uncomfortable place by way of logic and by reflection on a history of the sexes.
In Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia, an influential "post-feminist" scholar, does not concern herself directly with woman's prospects in industry. But she does persuasively argue that in Western history, the realm of industry and culture was invented by men as a defensive reaction -- an "Apollonian swerve" -- from woman's natural procreative power. In one typical passage she contrasts male theories of history with woman's "cyclical nature":
"The western idea of history as a propulsive movement into
the future...is a male formulation. No woman, I submit, could have coined
such an idea, since it is a strategy of evasion of woman's own cyclic nature,
in which man dreads being caught.... Woman does not dream of transcendental
or historical escape from natural cycle, since she is that cycle....Whether
she desires motherhood or not, nature yokes her into the brute inflexible
rhythm of procreative law." [Paglia: 10] According to Paglia,
Western culture arose from man's struggle for a separate identity in the
face of the primeval power of nature, which he confronts especially in
the engulfing sexual and procreative power of woman. Behind the veil of
her beauty and nurturance is her "confederacy with chthonian nature"
-- the life-giving but chaotic forces of nature. These forces may threaten
masculine security; but woman is given by nature her biological purpose.
Man reacts by carving out a separate domain, one marked by reason and logic; like the golden Apollo who stands astride the dark and wild Dionysus in Greek myth, he erects a separate realm of male activity whose chief preoccupation is mastery of nature. By striving for mathematical and conceptual purity, he escapes from nature and from his overwhelming debt to his mother. The Urantia Book's claim that women "appear to be somewhat less logical" than men (UB: 938) makes more sense in light of man's defensive Apollonian swerve from woman and nature.
Revenge And Paradox
As further revenge, man objectifies woman's beauty, turns her into a sex fetish and imprisons her in spheres of his exclusive definition. This process goes further than it might, because woman is emotionally handicapped in this millennial struggle for power:
"The mother and child relation is natural, strong, and instinctive,
and one which, therefore, constrained primitive women to submit to many
strange conditions and to endure untold hardships. This compelling mother
love is the handicapping emotion which has always placed woman at such
a tremendous disadvantage in all her struggles with man." [UB: 932]
Males are insecure in the face of woman's sex charms and natural
procreative powers, yet woman's mother- love paradoxically makes her less
powerful in the power struggle with defensive males. But she takes revenge,
setting off a paradox:
"Woman's status has always been a social paradox; she has
always been a shrewd manager of men; she has always capitalized man's stronger
sex urge for her own interests and to her own advancement. That is not all, for the struggle escalates! As further
revenge, men even conspire to monopolize the realm of spirit. According
to Paglia, their technique is, again, Apollonian: The intellectual mastery
of man-made religious doctrine, or "revealed texts"; the demonizing
of the body and of feminine nature; and domination of religious ritual
and symbolism. But this is yet another paradox, for the revelators tell
"By trading subtly upon her sex charms, she has often been able to exercise dominant power over man, even when held by him in abject slavery." [UB: 935]
"Woman...has always been the moral standard bearer and spiritual
leader of mankind." [UB: 938] One wonders how we got into
this confused mess! It required an incarnation by a Creator Son to initiate
Urantia's break from male domination of religious institutions. But this
project is far from completion.
"And this liberation of women, giving them due recognition,
was practiced by the apostles immediately after the Master's departure,
albeit they fell back to the olden customs in subsequent generations...Paul,
despite the fact that he conceded all this in theory, never really incorporated
it into his own attitude and personally found it difficult to carry out
in practice." [UB: 1679] Why would sincere men undo the teachings of their Master,
as this passage tells us, and return to a dark past of oppression? Paglia
pins her explanation on overwhelming male insecurity; men must find themselves
through unsteady performances and arduous achievements in the realm of
mind, but woman's usefulness to evolution is given in her body and in her
instinctive bond with her children. She does not have to wander the earth
in a quest for her identity. She is already central to life. Woman's womb
is man's point of origin, of birth. Her sexual organs are sufficient for
the mission of nurturing infants. As mother, she stamps an indelible mark
on the child, which the child carries into eternity.
"Woman's status in Palestine was much improved by Jesus' teaching; and so it would have been throughout the world if his followers had not departed so far from that which he painstakingly taught them." [UB: 1840]
"A human being's entire afterlife is enormously influenced
by what happens during the first few years of existence." [UB: 1922]
In this sense, she is in control of destiny as well. All men are
aware of the enormous influence of their mothers, and many never escape
from its bonds.
How does man, in flight from biological mother domination and woman's inherent sexual power, compensate for his lack of natural power? According to Paglia, his natural genital constitution lends some hint:
"The male genital metaphor is concentration and projection.
Nature gives concentration to man to help him overcome his fear. Man approaches
woman in bursts of spasmodic concentration. This gives him the delusion
of temporary control of the archetypal mysteries that brought him forth.
It gives him courage to return. Sex is metaphysical for men, as it is not
for women. Women have no problem to solve by sex. Physically and psychologically,
they are serenely self-contained. They may choose to achieve, but they
do not need it." [Paglia: 19 -- 20] She continues the genital
metaphor into the mental realm:
"The male projection of erection and ejaculation is the
paradigm for all cultural projection and conceptualization -- from art
and philosophy to fantasy, hallucination and obsession. Women have conceptualized
less in history not because they were kept from doing so but because women
do not need to conceptualize in order to exist.... Without [the power of
conceptualization], he would be helpless before woman's power. Without
them, woman would long ago have absorbed all creation into herself. There
would be no culture, no system, no pyramiding of one hierarchy upon another....
Political equality for women, desirable and necessary as it is, is not
going to remedy the radical dysfunction between the sexes that begins and
ends in the body." [Paglia: 20-21] None of Paglia's arguments
deny woman's ability to function equally well in any of the realms of conceptualization
that are identified with men; they are simply less motivated to enter therein.
The issue is one of motivation. For man, these Apollonian realms of activity
provide a much needed sexual affirmation. For many, it provides the very
basis of psychological survival in the face of female power.
Sexual Suicide And The Economy Of Eros
This theme is also taken up by George Gilder in his 1973 book Sexual Suicide, one of the most articulate conservative responses to the first wave of feminism.
"Sex is the life force -- and cohesive impulse -- of a people,
and their very character will be deeply affected by how sexuality is managed,"
writes Gilder in his introduction. After a cogent summary of the
biological and sociological differences between the sexes, he concludes
"... [women] control not the economy of the market- place
but the economy of eros: the life force in our society and in our lives."
Woman's ability -- and consequent right -- to control sexuality
is based on two essential and natural qualities of her sex, according to
Gilder: Her innately secure sexual identity and the long-term horizons
of female procreative biology.
Woman's sexual identity is inherent in her physical being and confers on her certain powers and prerogatives not available to men. Indeed, woman's sexual constitution has an inexorable cosmic power which lends to her sexual and erotic advantages over man. Many studies of sexual intercourse, beginning with Masters and Johnson, have shown that woman enjoys sexual relations more profoundly and yet can forgo sex more easily than man. In addition, her success in the sex act does not depend on a contingent physical performance, as does the man's. Nor does her identity as a woman depend on engaging in intercourse; she has other specifically female experiences that affirm her sexuality. She is reminded of her sexual nature monthly by her menstruation, and her breasts and womb are further omnipresent reminders of her potential to enact her biological function.
"In discussing the erotic aspects of our lives, we must
concern ourselves chiefly with women. Males are the sexual outsiders and
inferiors. A far smaller portion of their bodies is directly erogenous.
A far smaller portion of their lives is devoted to sexual activity. Their
own distinctively sexual experience is limited to erection and ejaculation.
Their rudimentary sexual drive leads only toward copulation. The male body
offers no sexual fulfillment comparable to a woman's passage through months
of pregnancy, the tumult of childbirth, and on to the suckling of her baby.
All are powerful and fulfilling sexual experiences completely foreclosed
to men." [Gilder: 14] Her sexual power is also obvious in
courtship and sexual selection. Although men are almost everywhere found
to be the initiators of relations between the sexes, Gilder reminds us
that this responsibility for initiative derives from male sexual disadvantage.
She has less to prove sexually, and more to lose by entering into indiscriminate
"From her position of greater natural restraint and selectivity,
she is the sexual judge and executive, finally appraising the offerings
of males, favoring one and rejecting another, managing the sexual nature
of society." [Gilder: 23] Men's deficit in the economy of
sexuality gives rise to the uniquely male condition -- puzzling to many
women -- of a restless, often undefinable sexual insecurity and mistrust.
Here we can turn to The Urantia Book for support.
"...man's distrust and suspicion were not helped by the
fact that women were all along compelled to resort to shrewdness in the
effort to alleviate their bondage.
"The sexes have had great difficulty in under standing each other. Man found it hard to under stand woman, regarding her with a strange mixture of ignorant mistrust and fearful fascination, if not with suspicion and contempt. Many tribal and racial traditions relegate trouble to Eve, Pandora, or some other representative of woman kind. These narratives were always distorted so as to make it appear that the woman brought evil upon man; and all this indicates the onetime universal distrust of woman." [UB: 935]
The Vicious Circle Of Gender Revenge
We've seen that women's sexual identity and security are a natural endowment, while men must validate and express their manhood through continuous action in the external world.
Unfortunately, this male drive may become an unstoppable force. Insecure men will seek sexual affirmation through the control of women's lives or anything else in their environment that will submit to harsh logic if not brute force. In primitive societies, insecure men seek to subjugate woman socially and subdue her cosmic sexual power, to control her body and mind and the prerogatives of her gender-domain, even turning her into a piece of property. This is also witnessed in modern society:
"Woman has always been treated more or less as property,
right up to and in the twentieth century after Christ. She has not yet
gained world-wide freedom from seclusion under man's control. Even among
advanced peoples, man's attempt to protect woman has always been a tacit
assertion of superiority." [UB: 936] As the revelators tell
"We do not regard a planet as having emerged from barbarism
so long as one sex seeks to tyrannize over the other." [UB: 564] But
any given reaction by women to this male tyranny is not necessarily righteous.
As Sam Keen pointed out in Fire In the Belly, there is a crucial
difference between a prophetic feminism, which cries out against the unjust
domination by men of women's lives, and an ideological feminism, which
seeks to blame and attack men, creating even greater male insecurity.
A feminism that attacks men only plays into the social paradox we have been dissecting: The vicious circle of man's reaction to natural female sexuality, leading to shrewdness and covert manipulation by women, leading to Paglia's "Apollonian swerve" of icy male intellectualism, leading to covert female sex manipulation to regain some power, leading men to become increasingly abusive and mistrustful to maintain their control. As we will see in Part II, no one gets to grow up under this arrangement -- certainly not men.
George Gilder's Solution: Women Must Civilize Male Nature
Gilder suggests that woman's unacknowledged sexual power points the way to a solution. Like Paglia, he offers a sociological argument derived from a biological/ cosmological thesis. These methodologies of Gilder and Paglia are strikingly similar to that of The Urantia Book's own theory of gender.
Like Paglia, Gilder argues that the horizons of female sexuality are relatively long-term; her procreative powers tie her into natural rhythms quite unlike the short-term, repetitive build up and release of sexual tension so characteristic of male sexuality. Ultimately, her identification with nature's extended cycles of gestation, birth, and nurturance -- supported by an innate mother-love implanted in her by the Universe Mother Spirit -- have profound cosmic implications. This connection is rightly celebrated in contemporary feminist spirituality and eco-feminism -- but ignored by ideological feminism.
The "feminine principle," if you will, is more in tune with the demands of advanced cultural evolution. Cosmic cycles -- even the demands of producing cosmic citizens and sons of the Father -- are implied in woman's very biology. Here then is Gilder's solution:
"The crucial process of civilization is the subordination
of male sexual impulses and psychology to long-term horizons of female
biology. If one compares female overall sexual behavior today with women's
life in primitive societies, the difference is relatively small. It is
male behavior that must be changed to create a civilized order. Modern
society relies increasingly on predictable, regular, long term human activities,
corresponding to the female sexual patterns. It has little latitude for
the pattern of impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and immediacy, arising from
male insecurity without women -- and further enhanced by hormonal activity.
This is the ultimate and growing source of female power in the modern world.
Women domesticate and civilize male nature. They can destroy civilized
male identity merely by giving up the role." [Gilder: 23]
Jesus' Solution: Special Protection And Male Maturity
The Urantia Book largely supports Gilder's assertion that "it is male behavior that must be changed." This is well exemplified in Jesus' instructions to the man who was mistreating his wife. This remarkable lecture explains how a loving, mature male must treat his wife (and children). As we have seen with Paglia and Gilder, Jesus' teaching centers on the issue of woman's natural procreative powers and specialized sexual and nurturing role. Note how Jesus supports his case by an appeal to gender differentiation and complementarity at deity levels, which we examined earlier.
"Jesus said: `My brother, always remember that man has no
rightful authority over woman unless the woman has willingly and voluntarily
given him such authority. Your wife has engaged to go through life with
you, to help you fight its battles, and to assume the far greater share
of the burden of bearing and rearing your children; and in return for this
special service it is only fair that she receive from you that special
protection which man can give to woman as the partner who must carry, bear,
and nurture the children. The loving care and consideration which a man
is willing to bestow upon his wife and their children are the measure of
that man's attainment of the higher levels of creative and spiritual self-consciousness.
Do you not know that men and women are partners with God in that they co-operate
to create beings who grow up to possess themselves of the potential of
immortal souls? The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children
of the universe as one equal to himself. It is Godlike to share your life
and all that relates thereto on equal terms with the mother partner who
so fully shares with you that divine experience of reproducing yourselves
in the lives of your children. If you can only love your children as God
loves you, you will love and cherish your wife as the Father in heaven
honors and exalts the Infinite Spirit, the mother of all the spirit children
of a vast universe." [UB: 1471]
Here's how I would summarize Jesus' teaching in relation to the book's own history of the relations of the sexes. Through attaining "higher levels of creative and spiritual self-consciousness" (see above quote), a man can harmonize the tension between woman's desire for equality and her need for special protection. He must do this much as the Father honors the divine motherhood of the Infinite Mother Spirit, yet remains equal to her in trinitarian relationship.
In Part II, we will return to this theme by looking closely at how Jesus' life provides a new model for masculine maturity (i.e., "higher levels of creative and spiritual self-consciousness") and for the male gender-domain in its fullness. We will also see in the coming sections how women must play their part in civilizing men -- as Gilder believes they must -- by exalting high moral and spiritual standards.
"Male and female are, practically regarded, two distinct
varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association.
Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different..."
[UB: 938] This quote echoes the earlier theme of "...domains
determined by biological differentiation and mental dissimilarity."
In which ways are men and women "essentially different" in viewpoint
and reaction to life? The book gives us a few precious hints:
"Women seem to have more intuition than men, but they also
appear to be somewhat less logical." [UB: 938] We all know
this as one of the most carefully crafted statements in the book. Note
the qualifiers: "seem to have more intuition" ... "appear
to be less logical." This passage is a profound moment in a revelatory
text, so we must unpack its possibilities.
The first question is: Why not authoritatively sort out for us the difference in mental attributes between the sexes? Couldn't uncounted marriages be salvaged by agreement on this point alone?
Seeming appearance is one thing, reality another. Why not just state the essential differences in unambiguous form? How, for example, does a transcendent being like Michael of Nebadon see mortal sex differences at the level of mind? Does the author of this paper in The Urantia Book know the answer, yet labor under a mandate to withhold the truth?
Consider the possibility that the mental dissimilarity of the genders is an unsolvable mystery for all sex creatures. The author of the above passage is chief of Urantia seraphim. About seraphim we are told the following:
"Though not male and female as are the Material Sons and
the mortal races, seraphim are negative and positive. In the majority of
assignments it requires two angels to accomplish the task.... Such associations
are primarily necessitated by function.... [UB: 420] Seraphic pairs
are complementary in function like Materials Sons and mortals. Material
Sons and Daughters have distinct sex differences -- this is evident when
you read the narration of the default of Adam and Eve -- and they always
operate in pairs.
In my view, such sexual or complementary associations of beings are closed epistimological systems. Beings operating in such dyads cannot get outside the system far enough to see the absolute essence of the other sex (or the other "complement of being"). This handicap in perception would even include our author of the key paper on gender differences, the chief of Urantia seraphim. Perhaps this explains the use of terms such as seem and appear.
Ambiguous Findings Of Social Science
If we look at evolutionary thought on the subject, we find the same conceptual muddle. A defining moment in gender studies of the past 20 years was the publication in 1982, In a Different Voice, by Carol Gilligan. Much of previous male-dominated psychology had concluded that women were somehow morally deficient because they lack moral reasoning skills displayed by boys and men. Gilligan convincingly showed that women live by different -- but equally moral -- ethical norms. According to Gilligan, women tend to base moral decisions on principles of compassion and care, whereas men base theirs on abstract principles of justice. Women ask "who will be hurt least?" while men think "what is the fairest thing to do?" Women reason that they must care for others, based on intuitions of relationship, while men concern themselves with the logic of determining the rights of others.
One is tempted to see in this tidy theory a gender difference along rigid lines of emotion-intuition versus logic. But in a thorough review of the research findings since Gilligan's book, Carol Travis showed in her 1992 book, The Mismeasure of Woman, that the wide popularity of the theory "does not rest on its scientific merit." Subsequent studies showed that men were more care-based. One overview of the studies of the last decade showed that women were actually more justice-based than men! So much for the findings of social science. It's likely that mental differences between the sexes will always be a matter of appearance, always subject to a debate about semantics.
Issue settled? Not with regard to our beloved book, which gives us other hints about mental dissimilarity. Remember this puzzling passage?
"It was farthest from Eve's intention ever to do anything
which would militate against Adam's plans or jeopardize their planetary
trust. Knowing the tendency of woman to look upon immediate results rather
than to plan farsightedly for more remote effects, the Melchizedeks, before
departing, had especially enjoined Eve as to the peculiar dangers besetting
their isolated position on the planet and had in particular warned her
never to stray from the side of her mate, that is, to attempt no personal
or secret methods of furthering their mutual undertakings." [UB: 840]
Brain Science And Mental Dissimilarities
Perhaps the physical sciences can offer fresh insight. For this we turn to a remarkable book, entitled Brain Sex, which summarizes worldwide brain research in sex differences. The findings are startling. These excerpts (from the book's opening chapters) are offered for the interpretation of others. Emphasis is mine:
To maintain that [men and women] are the same in aptitude, skill
or behavior is to build a society based on a biological and scientific
lie. The brain...is differently constructed in men and women; it
processes information in a different way, which results in different perceptions,
priorities and behavior.
In the past 10 years there has been an explosion of scientific research into what makes the sexes different. [Scientists and others] working apart, have produced a body of findings, which, taken together, paints a remarkably consistent picture. And the picture is one of startling sexual asymmetry.
The truth is that virtually every professional scientist and researcher into the subject has concluded that the brains of men and women are different. There seldom has been a greater divide between what intelligent, enlightened opinion presumes...and what science knows. The differences between the brains of males and females are now clear. There is more to know, but the nature and cause of brain differences are now known beyond speculation, beyond prejudice, and beyond reasonable doubt.
The biggest behavioral difference between men and women is the natural, innate aggression of men. Even researchers who are hostile to the acknowledgment of sex differences agree that this is a male feature, and one which cannot be explained by social conditioning.
On measurements of various aptitude tests, the differences of the average scores between the sexes can be as much as 25 percent.
The area where the biggest differences [in aptitude] have been found lies in what scientists call spatial ability. That's being able to picture things, their shape, position, geography and proportion, accurately in the mind's eye. One scientist who has reviewed the extensive literature on the subject concludes, "The fact of the male's superiority in spatial ability is beyond dispute." It is confirmed by literally hundreds of different scientific studies.
At the very highest level of mathematical excellence, according to the biggest survey ever conducted, the very best boys totally eclipse the very best girls. For every exceptional girl there were more than 13 exceptional boys.
The male advantage in seeing patterns and abstract relationships -- what could be called general strategic rather than detailed tactical thinking -- perhaps explains the male dominance of chess, even in a country like the USSR, where the game is a national sport played by both sexes.
While the male brain gives men the edge in dealing with things and theorems, the female brain is organized to respond more sensitively to all sensory stimuli. Women do better than men on tests of verbal ability. Females are equipped to receive a wider range of sensory information, to connect and relate that information with greater facility, to place a primacy on personal relationships, and to communicate.
Girls learn to say their first words earlier than boys, and are generally more fluent in their preschool years. They read earlier too. Boys outnumber girls 4:1 in remedial reading classes. Later women find it easier to master foreign languages, and are more proficient in their own, with a better command of grammar and spelling.
Girls and women hear better than men. When the sexes are compared, women show greater sensitivity to sound. Six times as many girls than boys can sing in tune.
Women see better in the dark. Men see better than women in bright light. Intriguing results also show that men tend to be literally blinkered; they see in a narrow field -- mild tunnel vision -- with greater concentration on depth than women. Women, however, quite literally take in the bigger picture. They have wider peripheral vision.
In childhood and maturity, women have a tactile sensitivity so superior to men's that in some tests there is no overlap between the scores of the two sexes; in these, the least sensitive woman is more sensitive than the most sensitive man.
This superiority in so many of the senses can be clinically measured -- yet it is what accounts for women's almost supernatural `intuition.' Women are simply better equipped to notice things to which men are comparatively blind and deaf. Women are better at picking up social cues, picking up important nuances of meaning from tones of voice or intensity of expression.
"Each sex has its own distinctive sphere of existence, together
with its own rights within that sphere.... We have considered "domains determined by biologic
differences..." and the more controversial issue of "domains
determined by...mental dissimilarity." If we continue to follow the
thread of the book's teachings on gender, we arrive at a concept of gender
even more controversial -- the notion of complemental but distinctive --
spheres and rights" of each gender. This appears to be The Urantia
Book's master concept of gender.
"...women's rights are by no means men's rights. Woman cannot thrive on man's rights any more than man can prosper on woman's rights...." [UB: 938]
Some may argue that this standpoint represents only the highest point of evolutionary thought in the 1930s; others may regard it as an echo of the Victorian separate-spheres ideology; some will accept it as the last word on the issue. I prefer to treat any sociological statement in the book as simply a working hypothesis and an indispensable starting point.
Let us return to our exegesis. Note the use of a three-dimensional spatial metaphor -- "spheres of existence." Apparently, creator design has reserved for each of the sexes a substantive "gender-world" -- an expansive realm in which it "reigns supreme." We have already seen that these gender-spheres are not merely conditioned by biology and psyche; they are determined by inherent physical and mental characteristics.
Bearing this in mind, what guidance do the revelators give us concerning how to recognize woman's distinctive sphere? Literally speaking, it seems there are only two passages; one on moral and spiritual leadership and one on "spheres of charm and grace."
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
In constructing the first of these spheres, it appears that the revelators ranged far and wide in the written record of planetary thought in search of "a highest existing human concept" that might apply. The result is a fragment from an 1865 poem by William Ross Wallace, a minor poet of the nineteenth century who was a close friend of Edgar Allen Poe. The poem is entitled "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World," and the original stanza is as follows:
"Blessings on the hand of woman!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbow ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world."
These lines appear to be translated into the following passage, one
of the most vivid in the book:
"Women seem to have more intuition
than men, but they also appear to be somewhat less logical. Woman, however,
has always been the moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind.
The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny."
[UB: 938] She has led in spirituality and in upholding moral standards.
This is the domain in which she has reigned supreme. Does she still? The
revelator's next move is a leap to the concept of her instinctive mother-love.
Yes, the mother of the species gives birth to, and "fraternizes"
with, the child's destiny. Of course, fraternize is a weaker term than
Wallace's sentimental notion of "ruling" the world. Still, this
passage presents a strong image of leadership.
Let's not ignore the previous context of this line. We can see here a connection between a mental dissimilarity -- "more intuition" and "less logic" -- and the sphere in which she reigns supreme. The use of however strongly implies that moral and spiritual leadership do not require logic so much as intuition; presumably, the activities specific to the male sphere do.
In the final analysis woman's right to leadership in the moral/spiritual domain is derived (at least in part) from her motherhood and the innate mental capacities and aptitudes that accompany it. As the poet Wallace would have it, this supremacy is symbolized by her nurturing hand, whose "strength and grace" is guarded by angels.
Are Mothers Morally Superior?
The distinguished anthropologist Ashley Montagu argues this case in his beautiful book, The Natural Superiority of Women, especially in a chapter entitled, "The Genius of Woman as the Genius of Humanity":
"The maternalizing influences of being a mother have, from
the very beginning of the human species, made the female the more humane
of the sexes. The love of a mother for her child is the basic patent and
model for all human relationships. Indeed, to the degree to which men approximate
in the relationships with their fellow men the love of the mother for her
child, to that extent do they move more closely toward the attainment of
genuine humanity." [Montagu: 182] For Montagu, this mother-love is paradigmatic of the highest form
of human love. Men participate in this love as a child, but increasingly
depart from it as they leave childhood behind. Because of their "greater
competence" in loving and cooperative relationships, women are naturally
superior to men in the moral and spiritual realm. Indeed, Montagu concludes
the argument with an allusion to Wallace's famed poetic line!
"It is in this, of course, that women can realize their
power for good in the world, and make their greatest gains. It is the function
of women to teach men how to be human. Women must not permit themselves
to be deflected from their function by those who tell them that their place
is in the home, in subservient relation to man. It is indeed in the home
that the foundations of the kind of world in which we live are laid, and
in this sense it will always remain true that the hand that rocks the cradle
is the hand that rules the world." [Montagu: 183] Montagu
takes Gilder's position that women must civilize male nature. But Montagu
argues throughout the book, somewhat like Paglia, that men's historical
response to this natural rule of women is reactionary. It drastically exalts
the male sphere -- the cold objectworld of industry, the brute logic of
the market, the violence of the battlefield -- over the spiritual and moral
values of the home and of mother-love.
The Wages Of Patriarchy
As we have seen, Paglia argues that this seizure of power was motivated
by man's terror of woman's procreative powers, including male fear of being
engulfed by mother-love. Here is another of her vivid accounts:
bonding and patriarchy were the recourse to which man was forced by his
terrible sense of woman's power....Reason and logic are the anxiety- inspired
domain of Apollo, premier god of the sky-cult. The Apollonian is harsh
and phobic, coldly cutting itself off from nature by its superhuman purity...Apollo's
great opponent Dionysus is ruler of the chthonian whose law is procreative
femaleness." [Paglia: 12] On its positive side, Apollonian
male reason produced the material and cultural achievements of Western
civilization; its negative manifestation was an all-pervasive, oppressive
Patriarchy operated not only by devaluing the feminine as a realm of "soggy emotionalism and bristling disorder," in Paglia's terms, but by invading woman's domain in order to control it with Apollonian logic. This violated her basic rights, the rights belonging to her gender-sphere.
Lest male resentment build, I would like to lend the book's much wider perspective to this discussion of the ravages of patriarchy:
"But man did not consciously nor intentionally seize woman's
rights and then gradually and grudgingly give them back to her; all this
was an unconscious and unplanned episode of social evolution. When the
time really came for woman to enjoy added rights, she got them, and all
quite regardless of man's conscious attitude. Slowly but surely the mores
change so as to provide for those social adjustments which are a part of
the persistent evolution of civilization." [UB: 937] While
it is true that patriarchy acted out its fear and disdain for female power,
the book tells us these men were unconscious. I offer this standpoint to
those looking to pin blame for the historic wrongs of men.
"Puerarchy": The Rule Of Boys
This description of patriarchy also rings true with the contemporary
men's movement, which often defines patriarchy as puerarchy -- the "rule
of unconscious boys":
"Patriarchy is the expression of
the immature masculine. It is the expression of Boy psychology, and, in
part, the shadow -- or crazy -- side of masculinity. It expresses the stunted
masculine, fixed at immature levels. Patriarchy, in our view, is an attack
on masculinity in its fullness as well as femininity in its fullness."
[Moore: xvii] Unfortunately, the men's movement did not arise in
time to preempt the first great pendulum swing of righteous indignation
of feminism. Ideological feminism reacted to patriarchy by adopting the
assumptions of Apollonian reason. In its worst rendition, it exalted the
values of careerism in the marketplace over the values derived from the
mother-child bond. Montagu sees this as a colossal error:
"But if women ever come to believe that...being a mother
is somehow inferior to being a career woman, they will have betrayed themselves,
and reveal how profoundly they have been brainwashed into accepting the
mythology that males have imposed upon them. For the truth is that being
a mother is the most important career anyone can be called upon to follow."
[Montagu: 187] The Urantia Book's presentation is more subtle,
however, than this formulation. The book recognizes that woman's work at
home -- conveniently delegated to her because this is where her children
are -- is nothing less than domestic drudgery.
At least this was so before the industrial revolution. In the section "Women Under the Developing Mores," the author celebrates the fact that science has "emancipated woman." The modern factory set women free from "the confines of the home." Material progress has tended toward "women's liberation from domestic slavery." These passages clearly distinguish the material requirements of home maintenance from the moral and spiritual challenges of child-rearing, which do belong to woman's sphere and her sexual constitution.
Elusive Spheres Of Charm And Grace
In addition, this material liberation has opened up another distinctive quality of her sphere:
"Once a woman's value consisted in her food producing ability,
but invention and wealth have enabled her to create a new world in which
to function -- spheres of grace and charm. Thus has industry won its unconscious
and unintended fight for women's social and economic emancipation."
[UB: 937] Here's a puzzling passage for feminists concerned about
equal pay for equal work! Woman's "economic and social emancipation,"
won by industry, does not automatically lead her into industry to compete
for equal terms with men as an emancipated woman.
Rather, it enables her to create a new and quite separate world of, shall we say, enchantment and elegance. This is what industry unconsciously aimed at in its unintended fight. This, we are told, is the evolutionary gain that "even revelation failed to accomplish."
Spheres of charm and grace.... Bilingual beauties spotted in uptown cafes after a long day of translating UN speeches? Future Madonnas enchanting millions with erotic spectacles? Southern belles in lace waiting for their beauxs? A wife whose simple smile at the door is the only memory her husband has of the previous day? A quivering poetess who holds the world spellbound with transporting images of spiritual beauty? Delighted mothers tossing beach balls with laughing children on a spring afternoon while their men ride jackhammers at work? A superbly dressed docent leading tourists through a Degas exhibit at the Louvre? Grandma's rhubarb pie cooked to perfection just arriving at the Thanksgiving dinner table while the extended family of eighteen people looks on?
I will leave the further definition of "spheres of charm and grace" to others.
[Please see Appendix B where I have reproduced portions of a letter by Rebecca Kantor, who describes herself as "a feminist in search of charm and grace," concerning her perceptions of this teaching in The Urantia Book.] But the benefits that mother-love confers on civilization are well understood to all who have enjoyed healthy relationships with their own mothers.
"If woman aspires literally to enjoy all of man's rights,
then, sooner or later, pitiless and emotion- less competition will certainly
replace that chivalry and special consideration which many women now enjoy,
and which they have so recently won from men.
"Innate maternal affection will never permit emancipated woman to become man's serious rival in industry." [UB: 938]
Industry -- broadly conceived -- appears to belong to the distinctive sphere of men. This is the domain of becoming, of history; the hand that rocks the cradle is in charge of origins, and of the child's destiny.
As politics and statehood evolve, the book tells us, men will function co-equally in the common sphere of home, church and school, but will provide for the specialized service of women in industry with:
"The due recognition of sex equality and the coordinated
functioning of men and women in the home, school, and church, with specialized
service of women in industry and government." [UB: 807]
The Invasion Of Spheres
Acting in their own sphere of worldly power, men's inventions liberated women from domestic slavery, allowing women to enjoy..."a degree of personal liberty and sex determination that practically equals man's." Thus, "...evolution increasingly worked toward the realization of women's rights. But women's rights are by no means men's rights."Note the deep irony here, one cited often in men's movement literature: It was male achievement in industry, motivated in part by his sexual insecurity, that made possible women's social liberation, which in turn led to women's direct entry into men's distinctive sphere.
If we accept The Urantia Book's line of argument, woman's emancipation eventually induces her to aspire to enjoy rights that belong to man's sphere, while providing her with the temptation to abandon the obligations of her distinctive sphere altogether. "Among industrialized races she has received almost all rights and enjoys exemption from many obligations..." But we are also told in no uncertain terms that women "cannot thrive" on men's rights.
In the same passage, we are also nearly harangued with the further declaration that men cannot "prosper on women's rights."
I believe this passage is a clarion call to clearly define these gender rights, and to outline boundaries within which men and women might freely cultivate -- without harassment or confusion -- the activities of their gender- domain. Might this be the new occupation for feminists and advocates of male rights in the epoch to come?
This 21st (or 22nd) century project should define the circumstances under which individuals of either gender can freely explore and enjoy experiences in the distinctive sphere of the other -- with careful attention to gay rights in this connection. It should certainly recognize that nothing in either domain, with the exception of physical child-birth, can be foreclosed to individuals of either sex or to gay men and women. And, a definition of gender rights must also spell out gender obligations as well.
Paglia reminds us that,
"Woman, at first content to accept
man's protections but now inflamed with desire for her own illusory freedom,
invades man's systems and suppresses her indebtedness to him as she steals
them." [Paglia: 9] As The Urantia Book warns, "emancipated"
women will in time discover that they cannot seriously rival men in industry.
"A contemporary woman clapping on a hard hat," says Paglia, "merely
enters a conceptual system invented by men."
This invasion, legitimate as an individual act, is often her only answer to patriarchy's encroachment on her rights. But why all this disrespect for gender boundaries?
The Timely Emergence Of The Men's Movement
It is none too soon for men to develop an independent response to this impasse. Fortunately, men's literature is just now beginning to achieve philosophic depth. Almost all these men's movement writers join The Urantia Book in celebrating the economic and social emancipation of women, although much of men's writing today is still in thrall to the impact of what we have called here ideological feminism, or liberal, secular feminism.
Some of these authors come directly from the liberal feminist movement. Warren Farrell, a key spokesman, was three times elected to the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City. After this apprenticeship, he underwent a transformation and later set out on a campaign for his version of "men's rights." Unfortunately, his agenda is a mirror-image of that of the feminists who aspire to thrive on men's rights. In Why Men Are The Way They Are, and his forthcoming The Disposable Sex, Farrell argues for men to enjoy the rights once reserved to women's traditional sphere, while mocking the hypocrisy of feminists still unable to accept equal responsibility to initiate sex, die in wars, pay the mortgages, and run multinational corporations.
The other and more important wing of the men's movement takes a cue from Paglia and others, and seeks to remove the emotional basis of male sexual insecurity in the face of woman's cosmic power. The "mythopoetic" wing of the men's movement is essentially a search for the cosmic roots of masculinity, something that Urantia Book readers can only applaud. It plumbs the mysterious depths in the soul of man for instincts and archetypes that might be commensurate with woman's mother instinct and the resulting female procreative power. It sets the stage for the worldwide revelation of the life of the greatest male who ever lived, Jesus of Nazareth.
Robert Bly On The Masculine Soul
Does the soul bear the marks of gender? Is there a cosmic basis for masculinity? Resoundingly yes, says Robert Bly in Iron John. And with this manifesto by a renowned American poet, the men's movement of the '90s was launched in the effort to create for men a soulful alternative to patriarchy. Bly's book -- and the social change it has initiated -- gives hope that men can reoccupy the male sphere with a new dignity and confidence, leaving women free to realize the essential qualities of the female gender-sphere.
Bly's search for authentic masculinity led him to the old Grimm brothers tale of the mythic natural man of the forest, Iron John. In Bly's brilliant interpretation, John personifies the unconditioned, instinctually male qualities of the psyche. When the timing is right, this friendly, hairy, ancient wild man emerges from the deep forest of the unconscious to initiate boys into true manhood. Bly's true man has depth and maturity -- and, as Jesus would say -- operates at "...higher levels of creative and spiritual self-consciousness." [UB: 1471]
Bly's message is compelling: Forget the trite images of manhood from advertising and popular culture. Every man has an Iron John that can lead him downward from these shallow waters, into the masculine depths.
Using the Iron John narrative, plus poems, myths and old stories, Bly follows in the footsteps of Carl Jung in attempting to decode the archetypes of the male soul. The result has been the introduction of a new vocabulary for American men: Jungian terms such as Wildman, Warrior, and King are now in the male parlance. Bly's book has sold over three million copies and has made its own mark on the soul of American men.
The Victimhood Of The "Soft Males"
Like other writings in this early phase of the men's movement, Iron John's point of departure is the male response to post-1960s feminism. Bly's most fervent audience contains the male victims of feminist excesses -- the so-called "soft males" of the 1970s.
These men might be called post-patriarchal. They are sensitive and "in touch with their feelings." In actual fact, observes Bly, they are feminized. Mother-identified, and raised in families in which the father was physically or emotionally absent, they now live under the tutelage of their liberated girlfriends or wives. Others are laboring at "integrating the feminine." Many have embraced the feminist program for gender justice, which at its extreme, entails a program for the female invasion of the male sphere as restitution for patriarchy's domination of the female sphere.
Rather than seek vengeance for this invasion of boundaries, as their patriarchal fathers did, these men are its passive victims. This is how Bly describes them:
"In the seventies I began to see all over the country a
phenomenon that we might call the `soft male.' Sometimes even today when
I look out at an audience, perhaps half the young males are what I would
call soft. They're lovely, valuable people -- I like them -- they're not
interested in harming the earth or starting wars. There's a gentle attitude
toward life in their whole being and style of living. But many of these
men are not happy. You quickly notice the lack of energy in them. They
are life- preserving but not exactly life-giving. Ironically, you often
see these men with strong women who positively radiate energy." 
What underlies this unhappiness, this lack of vitality? These men
have not succumbed to Paglia's "Apollonian swerve," but have
become consciously engulfed in the feminine. Let us turn for insights to
"depth psychology" and The Urantia Book.
Recovering The Male Sphere
Buried somewhere in the hearts of this generation of "soft males" is the secret of the recovery of the male gender-sphere, for these men are the negation of patriarchy. Beyond this lies the authentically masculine soul, exemplified in the life of our Master Jesus.
To find this soul, says Bly, the first step for men is a recovery of nerve.
In workshops all over the country, Bly helps thousands of men access their wildman energy, showing them the new and soulful way to express the "deep masculine." And it is notable that, in building his image of the wild strength of Iron John, Bly turns to the biblical image of Jesus who, after all, was initiated by another hairy wildman named John the Baptist, and who "goes wild in the temple and starts whipping the money changers." (p. 26)
Jesus The Man
For those in search of a new model of manhood, Jesus is the obvious place to begin. In his life are the clues for positively defining maleness in a post-patriarchal world. Masculinity entails a precarious balancing of psychic forces as a response to the overwhelming power of the feminine; Jesus' life portrays these forces held in perfect balance.
So the question becomes: What kind of man was Jesus, as man? How did he express maleness in his bestowal? In what ways is his masculinity a vehicle of divine revelation, in what ways his feminine side?
Jesus lived his bestowal life for all men and women on all worlds of Nebadon. He lived a life exemplary for all. But does this mean that his incarnation is gender-neutral? Is he the mere expression of a neutered spirituality? This is hard to accept in light of passages like the following:
"Could you have had but one look at him, you would have
known that Jesus was a real man of great experience in the things of
this world. The teachings of Jesus in this respect have been grossly
perverted and much misrepresented all down through the centuries of the
Christian era; you have also held perverted ideas about the Master's meekness
and humility.... The teachings of Jesus constitute a religion of valor,
courage, and heroism. And this is just why he chose as his personal representatives
twelve commonplace men, the majority of whom were rugged, virile, and manly
fishermen." [UB: 1582] Was Jesus Androgynous?
"The pictures of Jesus have been most unfortunate. These paintings of the Christ have exerted a deleterious influence on youth; the temple merchants would hardly have fled before Jesus if he had been such a man as your artists usually have depicted. His was a dignified manhood; he was good, but natural. Jesus did not pose as a mild, sweet, gentle, and kindly mystic. His teaching was thrillingly dynamic." [UB: 1590]
In the above passage, and in others, the book goes to some length to establish Jesus as manly. His mastery of human life extended to a full expression of masculinity. It was in the company of men, among the hardy workmen employed by Zebedee when he worked in Capernaum as a boat builder, that he was first called "Master." (UB: 1421) His mastery was developed in a balanced way, extending also to the full expression of the feminine virtues.
Jesus allowed the full flowering of his feminine self, but he did not suppress his masculine qualities in order to accomplish this. He was not an androgyne in the sense of today's feminist rhetoric. Nor was he like the androgynous "bearded woman" rendition of Jesus portrayed in some quarters of the Christian world.
This kind of androgyny seeks to suppress the deep masculine, says Jesuit theologian Patrick Arnold, in his marvelous book Wildmen, Warriors, and Kings: Masculine Spirituality and the Bible.
"The attempt to repress or obliterate sexual differences
and produce the ideal androgynous person or society, moreover, disguises
a devastating attack on masculinity and males.... In many ways the whole
phenomenon of masculinity is founded on its separation from the feminine
world and is energized by its continued contrast to femininity; to eliminate
sexual distinctiveness amounts to an unconscious attempt to suppress masculinity.
In practice, androgynous rhetoric is heavily invested in bringing about
its ideal mainly by mitigating male "excesses" such as aggression
and competitiveness in favor of values that in fact are highly feminine
in nature, such as harmony and relationship." [Arnold: 20] Jesus
was not this kind of man. He was not a polite mystic who was nice to those
around him, not an androgyne possessing a kind of neutered sexuality, nor
was he a feminized, soft male. It appears that Jesus expressed a noble
spirituality that did not suppress gender differences but fully expressed
and exalted both.
The "Charm And Force" Of Jesus
"Jesus was truly a master of men; he exercised great influence
over his fellow men because of the combined charm and force of his personality."
[UB: 1589] Jesus' charm quality might be seen as feminine; his
force quality as masculine. In the above passage, we first come across
the book's definition of the masculine force qualities:
was a subtle commanding influence in his rugged, nomadic, and homeless
life. There was intellectual attractiveness and spiritual drawing power
in his authoritative manner of teaching, in his lucid logic, his strength
of reasoning, his sagacious insight, his alertness of mind, his matchless
poise, and his sublime tolerance. He was simple, manly, honest, and fearless."
Next the passage portrays the charm qualities -- presumably his
"With all of this physical and intellectual
influence manifest in the Master's presence, there were also all those
spiritual charms of being which have become associated with his personality
-- patience, tenderness, meekness, gentleness, and humility." Finally,
the revelators explain that the blend of these qualities in one person
mightily appealed to both women and men.
"His personality not
only appealed to the spiritually minded women among his followers, but
also to the educated and intellectual Nicodemus and to the hardy Roman
soldier, the captain stationed on guard at the cross, who, when he had
finished watching the Master die, said, `Truly, this was a Son of God.'
And red-blooded, rugged Galilean fishermen called him Master." [UB:
1590] Jesus' appeal is to all humans on all planets in Nebadon.
No wonder he represents the best qualities of the masculine and feminine
expressed in one life.
Jesus And The Male Psyche
What images do we have of Jesus' rich masculinity other than the incident in the temple? Men's movement writers have just begun to explore his distinctly male qualities. As we walk this same path, we must always remember -- of course -- that the incarnate Creator Son must be much more than a mere exemplar of the "mature masculine." But men can be safe in assuming that -- as the Creator incarnate in a male body -- he cannot be anything less than that.
Jesus' maleness can help us decode masculine spirituality, but we need an interpretive scheme to know how to unlock the code. For this purpose I have turned to the trailblazing work of depth psychologist Robert Moore, professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and noted author and lecturer. Widely regarded as a leading theorist of the contemporary men's movement, Moore's numerous books include his best-selling King, Warrior, Magician, Lover and The King Within, both co-authored with Douglas Gillette.
These books present a cogent theory of the masculine psyche in its fullness. This makes Moore's work a worthy guide for understanding Jesus' masculinity. This understanding will contribute to a general theory of the male gender-sphere.
The mature masculine self, says Moore, results from a dynamic balance of opposing energies arising from deep structures of the psyche, or Self. These structures, or archetypes of the masculine Self, are four in number: eros and aggression (the archetypes of the Lover and the Warrior) and ruler and sage (the archetypes of the King and the Magician). These correspond to gender- specific programs -- or what Moore sometimes calls biograms -- that are ultimately derived from instinctual forces.
Following his mentor Carl Gustav Jung, Moore's model of the psyche is quadrated. This has been best summarized in The King Within:
"Each quadrant represents in a way a distinct biogram encoded
with psychological possibilities necessary to a cohesive and fully functioning
human self.... All of these programs must be adequately accessed, then
balanced one against another in a healthy dynamic tension." 
To help grasp the concept of the quadrated psyche, Moore has adopted
a pyramid structure. Each face of the pyramid model represents one of the
four biograms of the Self. The pyramid structure is not just a convenient
graphic. The geometry of the pyramid is extremely useful for envisioning
how opposing psychic forces may be balanced and ultimately unified.
At the base of each triangle are polar opposites of the immature form of each archetype. For example, the two base angles of the warrior triangle represent the immature warrior. These appear as two complementary shadow forms -- on the one hand the sadist, and on the other, the masochist. The warrior in his fullness has integrated these diverging fragments of the warrior energy by the synthesizing action of a healthy Ego. The Ego's job is to access each of these fragments, blend their psychic energies, and thereby elevate the immature warrior to a place of maturity at the top of the triangle. Here it can move into a balanced relationship with the other archetypes of the Self.
The Ego works by learning how to access the opposing energies of each biogram, while not identifying with it. This same pattern of polar opposites dynamically united at the triangle's tip occurs for the King, the Lover and the Magician triangles.
Methodology For This Study
If we can accept Moore's theory of the quadrated psyche, we will find in it an uncanny affinity with the book's description of the balanced and unified personality of Jesus:
"...it is altogether possible for every mortal believer
to develop a strong and unified personality along the perfected lines of
Jesus' personality. The unique feature of the Master's personality was
not so much its perfection as its symmetry, its exquisite and balanced
unification." [UB: 1101] In my view, this description of Jesus'
symmetrical personality easily relates to the exquisite symmetry of a pyramid,
Moore's master metaphor for the integrated Self. Since few geometric forms
represent the notion of symmetry and balance better than a pyramid, this
model serves as a heuristic device to define the mature masculinity of
But does evidence exist that Jesus exemplified Moore's archetypes of the masculine? Perhaps this quest for the cosmic roots of masculinity -- through a study of the incarnate life of the Creator of masculinity -- will provide more clues as to how to understand the differentiation and complementarity of the gender-spheres.
"...The King archetype comes close to being God in his masculine
form within every man. It is the primordial man, the Adam... The King is primal in relation to the other archetypes
of the Self. As we see in the above quotes, Robert Moore portrays the King
as the ordering, nurturing and generative principle of the psyche.
"The first [function of the king] is order; the second is the providing of fertility and blessing.
"What can we say are the characteristics of the good King? Based on ancient myths and legends, what are the qualities of this mature masculine energy? The King archetype in its fullness possesses qualities of order, of reasonable and rational patterning, of integration and integrity in the masculine psyche... And in its `fertilizing' and centeredness, it mediates vitality, life force, and joy... It looks upon the world with a firm but kindly eye... It guides [others] and nurtures them toward their own fullness of being. It is not envious, because it is secure, as the King, in its own worth.
" [The King] comes first in importance, and it underlies and includes the rest of the archetypes in perfect balance. The good and generative King is also a good Warrior, a positive Magician, and a great Lover." [Moore: 49 -- 62]
In comparative mythology, we find that the true King always constitutes a world-center. Out of this center, the King (and Queen) generate a blessed world in which others can live and prosper. The King image is central to our understanding of the male gender-sphere.
The King delineates a world-center, but each archetypal figure of the quadrated self has a unique and crucial relationship to the kingdom space encircling the world- center. Wherever a genuine King appears, a Warrior arises to defend and maintain the boundaries of this world. A Magician emerges to advise the King and to create a sacred space within his world for healing and life transitions. And the Lover relates to the King's realm in an attitude of joy and celebration, ignoring or even disdaining boundaries.
"The King" In The Urantia Book
Not unlike the King of myth, The Urantia Book depicts the Universal Father as a Center. He is the First Source and Center, an infinitely creative center from which all possible worlds are generated. On page 118, we read that the all-loving Father is "resident at the very center" of Paradise.
Even the Trinity itself has "King" qualities. The domains of the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and Paradise, are interdependent with the First Source and Center. On page 1145 we learn that the sovereignty of the Trinity provides for a realm of "universal law," and that the personal relationships of the Deities within the Trinity bring into being a universe of "living love." Similarly, the archetypal King creates a realm of order (universal law) in which he promulgates fertility and blessings (living love).
In the true kingdom, each citizen has the King's unconditional support. The archetypal King has so arranged his affairs that he is able to take a personal interest in the welfare of all of his subjects. His Kingdom is always open to all and inclusive of all; his blessings are upon all. In his most advanced phases, as depicted by Jesus, the King shepherds his subjects, and if one is lost or needy, he goes in search until he finds him. (See Jesus' parable of the lost sheep, UB: 1762.)
Other prominent images of the King in The Urantia Book include the fallen kingship of Adam, the dignified kingship of Machiventa Melchizedek, the religious king Ikhnaton, the hero-king Moses, and the shadow-kings Lucifer and Caligastia.
The Kingly Side Of Jesus
Urantia Book readers can readily discover the King quality of Jesus. At age 15, Jesus took on the mantle of acting head of his fatherless earth family. As the oldest son, he became the family's sole provider. He magnanimously carried out his charge for over ten years, creating a nurturing home life for the children with "...a well-regulated scheme of management...." [UB: 1394]
He was a foster-father to his siblings, nurturing seven brothers and sisters, until all had achieved adulthood. He took great personal interest in the welfare and happiness of each of them.
After completing this generative work on behalf of his earth family, Jesus then became acting head for a father-less planet. He began this work by ordaining his apostles as "ambassadors of his Father's kingdom." [UB: 1570]
He created a center for his ministry in the humble villages and towns of Palestine, a world-center from which he sent his followers out to heal, teach, and bless all the peoples of the planet. All were to be called to enter the "kingdom of God." Later his own followers tried, but failed, to make him "King" of the Jewish nation.
When this work was completed, Jesus ascended to another kind of kingship: he took on the mantle of Sovereign of Nebadon. From his reign on high, Michael calls on each of his children to take on the mantle of a king or a queen in their world. Perhaps we can say that Michael models for men the genuine qualities of kingship in the male gender-sphere, while the Creative Mother Spirit models for women the true queenship of the female gender-sphere.
The King archetype traditionally upholds order and generativity in all the realms of his universe: in the family, in the polity, in the brotherhood of humankind, even in the cosmos of all beings. The fact that Jesus declined to be made King (see the King-making Episode, UB: 1702-3) did not mean he rejected the need for a generative political order.
Instead, Jesus' mission was to reveal a hidden realm of kingly activity, the inner spiritual life of the individual. We can call this realm, with the depth psychologists, the "inner king." Jesus named it the kingdom of God within. To the multitude that shouted "Make him King!", he answered by proclaiming the inner king. Looking "every inch a...king" himself, he declared to the five thousand,
"If you must have a king, let the Father of lights be enthroned
in the heart of each of you as the spirit Ruler of all things." [UB:
The Inner And Outer Kings
In Iron John, Robert Bly paints a picture of interdependent realms governed by different kinds of kings. In mythology, these levels of King manifestation would traditionally include the inner king, the civil king, and the heavenly or sky king. (The Queen manifestation has related imagery). Perhaps these levels of the King reveal the general structure of the male gender-sphere.
The image of interlinked realms of kingly power is helpful for understanding Jesus' gospel of the inner kingdom. Here the Father of lights is "enthroned in the heart," yet we are to be careful to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."
The King levels are intimately linked. This means that when a genuine
king appears in one realm, a true king can surface in another. For example,
if an earthly king provides a generative political order in which the subjects
feel blessed, they will naturally infer a sacred order in the heavens above.
The reverse could also be true. A great era of the reign of the inner king
in the hearts of people -- such as the golden age of Buddhism in India
-- will produce the reign of a great civil ruler like Asoka. [See UB: 1073]
Bly explains this connection of King levels in terms of the spiritual imagination:
"When the political king disappears...we find it difficult
to see or feel the eternal King...we need to notice that our visual imagination
becomes con fused when we no longer see the physical king. We need to see
our radiant inner King uncontaminated by the images of fallen Herods, or
dead Stalins." [Bly: 109] As a child of the 1960s, I experienced
this king confusion. I grew up in a world where the very notion of kingship
had become defiled. There was no true king to serve; our political kings,
Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, were exposed as unrighteous and deposed
by the people. Our fathers drafted us to be killers -- rather than noble
warriors -- in Vietnam. Later we will examine how the Warrior declines
quickly when the true king disappears.
In many ways, the movements of the '60s were a rebellion of the sons against the fathers, of oppressed subjects against an unjust king. The 1960s were a time of brothers and brotherhood, but not of the king and the kingdom. By the time of Nixon's resignation in 1974, the sacred image of the archetypal King was in pieces.
The Primacy Of The Inner King
By the 1970s, the patriarchy came under full-scale attack by emerging feminist critics. Women exposed the cruelty and unfairness of the outward patriarchal order, inadvertently damaging men's ability to perceive the radiant inner King. It has taken over twenty years for men to step forward and redefine the King for the post-patriarchal world. New images of gender differentiation and complementarity are replacing the old stereotypes.
While it is true that a genuine outer king makes it easier for individual subjects to infer an inner king, Jesus taught us to seek the inner kingdom before all else. This teaching marked an unprecedented emphasis on the inner spiritual life of the individual, and our generation has learned this great truth by experience. Jesus proclaimed that the ordering principle of the psyche was truly within, and not dependent on any external political order.
Jesus said we should "render unto Caesar," and he enjoined his followers not to tamper with the civil order. Still, he remained cognizant of his obligation to the Supreme; his kingdom was not of this world, but Jesus was not totally otherworldly. He gives primacy to the inner king, but he did not decouple the levels of the King principle.
Neither does The Urantia Book. Lucifer's abdication of true kingship led thousands of brilliant beings to lose sight of the sacred kingship of the Paradise Father. Tragically, Lucifer's followers were also led astray in their inner life by their brilliant fallen king. Instead of enthroning the Father in their hearts, they opted for the gospel of "self assertion" and "equality of mind." (UB: 604) Indeed, Lucifer repudiated all manifestations of the archetypal King, of natural hierarchy. We read with shock in the Lucifer Manifesto how he lashed out against the sacred kings of the heavens.
"He protested against the right of Michael, the Creator
Son, to assume sovereignty of Nebadon.... He asserted that the whole plan
of worship was a clever scheme to aggrandize the Paradise Sons.... Most
bitterly did he attack the right of the Ancients of Days -- `foreign potentates'
-- to interfere in the affairs of the local systems and universes. These
rulers he denounced as tyrants and usurpers." [UB: 603] As
a direct result of the Lucifer rebellion, Urantia became a forlorn and
kingless planet. All aspects of the King principle remained in disarray
on this planet -- including the absence of Adam and Eve as visible heads
of the sphere (UB: 584) -- until Michael mercifully bestowed himself on
Urantia to restore kingly order and blessings to the inner and outer realms.
"...the Warrior is a basic building block of masculine energy,
almost certainly rooted in our genes. It is difficult
to think of the Prince of Peace as an exemplar of the Warrior. Yet if we
are to envision a mature masculinity based on Jesus' life, we must find
a way to relate to his spirit-warrior qualities. Certainly his warriorship
is the most easily misunderstood of his male qualities.
The Warrior is always alert. He is always awake. He is never sleeping through life. He knows how to focus his mind and his body... As a function of his clarity of mind he is a strategist and tactician, he can evaluate his circumstances accurately and then adapt himself to the `situation on the ground.'
The Warrior energy...makes all personal relation ships relative, that is, it makes them less central than the transpersonal commitment. Thus the psyche of the man who is adequately accessing the Warrior is organized around his central commitment." [Moore: 77-85]
Understanding the Warrior may also help us clarify the concept of gender-spheres. Consider the following premise: As the mother-instinct waxes dominant in young girls, the Warrior biogram, which includes male sexual aggression, is ascendant in young boys.
There are two key areas of evidence for this distinction as regards males. First, in most traditional cultures, warrior initiation was universally practiced on behalf of the boys of the tribe, seldom for girls. And second, the biological roots of male aggression have been revealed in the finding of developmental biology that teen boys are flooded with up to twenty times the testosterone of girls. This aggressive, restless, combative energy can be highly dangerous if these boys are not carefully and skillfully initiated by their elders.
One need only observe the megaviolence of gang warfare in our inner cities -- which includes violence against and devaluation of women and children -- to know the ravages of uninitiated warrior energy. The example of Jesus tells us these boys must be introduced to the warrior's mission of transcendent service to a genuine King as a way to harness this instinctual energy.
As I said previously, when young boys are getting overwhelmed with the aggressive instinctual energy of the Warrior, girls begin to experience the instinctual qualities associated with their emerging motherhood. It is believed by some psychologists -- and supported by The Urantia Book's theory of gender-spheres -- that these biograms are complementary to one another by design. Perhaps some day different initiations will be adopted for each sex that will help young adults fully and responsibly exercise the rights of their gender.
Jesus The Fearless Hero
Jesus is a central model for young men attempting to integrate their innate warrior energy and for older men desiring to assist them, for Jesus was a genuine warrior -- a true Master. He was a protector of truth, a fearless hero, and a paragon of masterful self-control. He tempered the aggressive energies of his boyhood by balancing these with the diverse energies of his psyche. By early manhood, he had become a perfectly unified personality.
In adulthood, he manifested the signs of the mature warrior. Descriptions of Jesus' spirit-warrior qualities abound in the section, "The Acme of Religious Living" (UB: 1101 -- 3):
"He was immune to disappointment and impervious to persecution."
we see a man whose natural manly aggression is consecrated to the service
of a transpersonal commitment. Mythologically, he is a warrior in service
to a True King. Jesus revealed the Father as a King of Love, and he established
a new standard of spiritual warriorship in service to his kingdom.
"Even his enemies maintained a wholesome respect for him; they even feared his presence."
"He was unquestionably loyal to all truth."
"...he was always true to his convictions and magnificently firm in his devotion to the doing of his Father's will."
Spiritual warriorship, like masculinity itself, is a social construction. It is fragile, and must be maintained with resolve and vigilance.
A spirit-warrior must protect his warrior energies from attack, temptation, or distraction. But why does he fight so fiercely to uphold his warriorship? He does this so that his devotion to a unifying, transcendent cause can be maintained. He would rather face death than falter in service to his King.
Listen to the ideal spirit-warrior speak of his impending death in service to the kingdom of God:
"In answer to Andrew, Jesus said: `...the Son of Man must
presently go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be rejected by the scribes,
the elders, and the chief priests, and after all this be killed and raised
from the dead. And I speak not a parable to you; I speak the truth to you
that you may be prepared for these events when they suddenly come upon
us.'" And now listen to the true warrior defending his resolve
to follow his Father's will, even in the face of an enticement from a loving
"And while he was yet speaking, Simon Peter, rushing impetuously
toward him, laid his hand upon the Master's shoulder and said: `Master,
be it far from us to contend with you, but I declare that these things
shall never happen to you.' And now
harken to Jesus' call to future spirit-warriors in service of this cause,
one which requires even the supreme sacrifice of selfishness:
"Peter spoke thus because he loved Jesus; but the Master's human nature recognized in these words of well-meant affection the subtle suggestion of temptation that he change his policy of pursuing to the end his earth bestowal in accordance with the will of his Paradise Father. And it was because he detected the danger of permitting the suggestions of even his affectionate and loyal friends to dissuade him, that he turned upon Peter and the other apostles, saying: `Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary, the tempter. When you talk in this manner, you are not on my side but rather on the side of our enemy. In this way do you make your love for me a stumbling block to my doing the Father's will. Mind not the ways of men but rather the will of God.'"
"After they had recovered from the first shock of Jesus'
stinging rebuke, and before they resumed their journey, the Master spoke
further: `If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, take
up his responsibilities daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save
his life selfishly, shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for my
sake and the gospel's, shall save it. What does it profit a man to gain
the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange
for eternal life?'" [UB: 1760 -- 1]
The Fierceness Of The Spirit-warrior
It would be difficult to maintain the warrior's resolve to serve his King (i.e., "carrying out his Father's will") when even those who love you do not support you. This is where fierceness must be called upon, even at the price of rebuking and stunning one's associates:
"In all the association of the twelve with their Master,
only a few times did they see that flashing eye and hear such swift words
of rebuke as were administered to Peter and the rest of them on this occasion.
Jesus had always been patient with their human shortcomings, but not so
when faced by an impending threat against the program of implicitly carrying
out his Father's will regarding the remainder of his earth career. The
apostles were literally stunned; they were amazed and horrified...."UB:
1761] Jesus treated his blood family in the same fierce way when
faced with their enticements to retreat. Recall the episode in which Jesus'
family sought to
"dissuade him from further work...and to come
home with them... [and] to give up the foolishness of trying to preach
a new religion." [UB: 1721] He was in the middle of delivering
a parting address to the disciples, and when interrupted with the news
that his family was just outside, he looked down to his disciples and spreading
out his arms in a gesture to all his followers, said, "I have no mother;
I have no brothers. Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever does
the will of my Father in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother, and
my sister." We read next that "...when Mary heard these words,
she collapsed in Jude's arms."
The spiritual warrior has a transcendent mission. He must work diligently
at maintaining his heroic stance, even if it means emotionally distancing
himself from those he loves, while not becoming cruel. Moore summarizes:
"The Warrior energy...makes all personal relation- ships relative,
that is, it makes them less central than the transpersonal commitment.
Thus the psyche of the man who is adequately accessing the Warrior is organized
around his central commitment.... He is emotionally distant as long as
he is in the Warrior. This does not mean that the man accessing the Warrior
in his fullness is cruel, just that he does not make his decisions and
implement them out of emotional relatedness to anyone or anything except
his ideal." [Moore: 84-5]
Dangers Of Misguided Warriorship
What if the king is not worthy of his warriors? What if the king falters, or is found false or corrupt? Then the warrior energy degenerates into a grotesque display of aggression. First the warrior becomes a mere soldier; from soldier he degenerates to mercenary, and from mercenary to murderer. In this century, we have witnessed the further degradation of the warrior to that of genocidal murderer. In American culture, males with uncontrolled warrior energy perpetrate domestic violence, rape, child abuse, criminal violence, white collar crime, environmental catastrophes, governmental malfeasance, and other manifestations of infantile warrior energy on a massive scale.
No wonder even to discuss the Warrior archetype raises anxiety! Little wonder some feminists have raised male- bashing to a national pastime! Yet we cannot somehow erase masculine aggression; it is innate and must be guided. Moore believes that "...the Warrior is a basic building block of masculine energy, almost certainly rooted in our genes." [Moore: 77]
The Urantia Book supports this view. It teaches that "war is the natural state and heritage of evolving man ... and that warfare exists...because man is human, evolved from animal, and all animals are bellicose." [UB: 783]
War also had a distinct social value during the millennia previous to the industrial era. It selected "innately great men for leadership" -- the great warrior-kings of the past. It could "facilitate the adoption of new ideas such as would not have occurred naturally in ten thousand years ..." And it has been "...an indispensable scaffolding in the building of civilization." [UB: 783 -- 86]
The book seems to teach that harnessing the innate warrior energy was not only essential for survival, but was a socially progressive influence on the development of early civilization.
Jesus' Skillful Warriorship
Jesus' life shows men how to gain self-mastery in relation to the Warrior. For the true Warrior is always skillful in the expression of his aggressiveness, according to Moore. His warrior energy is not reckless; it is always joined with clear thinking, alertness, and focus. We read that Jesus always tempered his bravery with reason:
"His bravery was lofty and his courage often heroic. But
his courage was linked with discretion and controlled by reason. It was
a courage born of faith, not the recklessness of blind presumption. He
was truly brave but never audacious." [UB: 1101] The true
warrior is also effective, competent and well- organized. "As a function
of his clarity of mind he is a strategist and tactician," writes Moore.
"He can evaluate his circumstances accurately and then adapt himself
to the `situation on the ground'." (Moore: 80)
In his public ministry, Jesus was a brilliant strategist and tactician. One vivid example is his handling of the king- making episode (and the Capernaum Crisis immediately thereafter), in which he aggressively and successfully confronted (1) his miracle-minded followers, (2) the false hopes of his apostles, and (3) the caviling of his religious opponents.
First, as a result of "conscious preplanning" (UB: 1702) he deployed a stupendous nature miracle as a vehicle to root out the shallow ones among his followers, while offering yet another sign to the unbelievers. Following this blazing display, the spirit-warrior within Jesus fully unfolded before the eyes of all, going on the attack:
"Jesus comprehended that he faced the immediate declaration
of avowed and open warfare by his increasing enemies, and he elected boldly
to assume the offensive." He began by assailing the idea of
the material Messiah and the Jewish deliverer. In the presence of the distinguished
audience of Jews assembled before him in the Capernaum synagogue, he openly
proclaimed that "I am the bread of life" and that "I and
the Father are One," forcing his opponents to take a stand. In the
tumultuous aftermath of this epochal sermon,
"...the apostles were all amazed and somewhat terror-stricken
by the sudden change in the Master's teaching tactics. They were wholly
unaccustomed to seeing him perform in such a militant manner." [UB:
1708] Perhaps he stunned his apostles and opponents, but a true
warrior knows when his spiritual warriorship must be invoked -- or held
in check. Jesus deployed such wise strategies throughout the public ministry,
sometimes engaging in tactical retreats, other times advancing with aggression.
In the final week of his life he unfurls before our eyes an even greater revelation of spiritual warriorship in the handling of his enemies -- especially in cleansing the temple and at the last temple discourse. Witnessing these extraordinary feats transformed his band of ordinary fishermen and common believers into spiritual warriors, gladly willing to face death in the name of Christ the King.
These warrior images of Jesus are compelling and inspiring, but even more compelling is the picture of Jesus as the perfect image of the Warrior in balance with other energies of the psyche. To get a picture of this exquisite balance, let us conclude by turning again to "The Acme of Religious Living." These are images of mature masculinity in its fullness:
"The unfailing kindness of Jesus touched the hearts of men,
but his stalwart strength of character amazed his followers." [UB:
"Always was he saying, `Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.' But when duty required, he was willing to walk courageously through the `valley of the shadow of death.'" [UB: 1103]
"He spoke with undoubted confidence and taught with absolute authority. But his superb originality did not cause him to overlook the gems of truth in the teachings of his predecessors or contemporaries.
"He was outspoken in his love for the sinner and in his hatred for sin. But throughout all this amazing frankness he was unerringly fair.
"He fearlessly faced the realities of existence, yet he was filled with enthusiasm for the gospel of the kingdom." [UB: 1102]
"The magician is an initiate of secret and hidden knowledge
of all kinds...and rarefied realms of secret power." Male aggression is all too
often responsible for the wounding of others, especially women and children.
But a profound balancing element exists in the male psyche, and these forces,
when activated, help compensate for the ravages of the warrior's excesses.
One of the most important is the "healer-magician," though Moore
designates it the "magician." Patrick Arnold names it shamanic
" [The magician is] the archetype of thoughtfulness and reflection. And because of that, it is also the energy of introversion. What we mean by introversion is not shyness or timidity but rather the capacity to detach from the inner and outer storms and to connect with deep inner truths and resources." [Moore: 97 -- 110]
"The psychic remnants of the shaman still exist in the male
soul as the Healer archetype... Men need to know that, in addition to such
well-known archetypes as the Warrior and the King, they also come psychically
equipped with a tremendous capacity to heal wounds and bring about a new
wholeness in themselves and others." [Arnold: 135] The manifestations
of this rich archetype descend to the modern age in two branches. The ancient
healing arts of the shaman and medicine man are in direct lineage with
today's physician, priest, and psychotherapist. Another branch leads from
the "technicians of the sacred" -- such as magicians, sorcerers,
astrologers, and rainmakers -- to modern scientists and engineers.
The Urantia Book devotes an entire paper to shamanism, thus showing its key importance in the evolution of the male psyche. [See UB: 986-993] In tribal life, the shamans were often in conflict with the kingly and warrior castes. We read that "In many groups the shaman outranked the war chief..." Further, "the shaman sometimes functioned as a priest-king..." or "very frequently...were able to dominate the chiefs and kings."
The book's social analysis of shamanism directly supports the view that primal human energies are embodied in the ancient figures of the king, the warrior, and the healer. In the millennia of struggle between these groups, the shamans often went too far. "It was shamanism that took the exclusive direction of tribal affairs out of the hands of the old and the strong...(" -- presumably kings and warriors -- ") and lodged it in the hands of the shrewd, the clever, and the farsighted."
"Rarefied Realms Of Secret Power"
Moore emphasizes that mental cleverness, esoteric knowledge, and technical prowess are characteristic of the healer-magician, both in ancient times and in the modern age. "The magician is an initiate of secret and hidden knowledge of all kinds...and rarefied realms of secret power." They can access mental depths and universal forces that others can't. At the same time -- and equally as important -- they have access to "...applied knowledge of how to contain and channel [this] power." [Moore: 97-109]
In discussing the shamanic theory of disease, The Urantia Book emphasizes these same qualities. The shamans "...desired to modify and even control the life and energy of the physical domains." They were also deeply concerned about hidden knowledge, differing from today's scientists only in their erroneous beliefs in supernatural causation. These grossly mistaken assumptions aside, The Urantia Book tells us that the techniques of the shamanic cults were understandable:
"The primitive mind may be handicapped by lack of facts,
but it is for all that logical." [UB: 989] In ancient times,
the shaman was the logician and the technician of the laws of the supernatural;
in his modern incarnation, he's a theoretical or applied scientist concerned
with the laws of nature. He is the biomedical researcher and the heart
surgeon; the theoretical physicist and the electrical engineer; the depth
psychologist and the therapist. The urge to comprehend and control the
forces of nature, mind, and spirit links the shaman and the scientist.
This urge arises from the underlying biogram of the healer-magician.
Like all archetypes, the healer-magician has a shadow side. In its puerile manifestation, the healer-magician is a clever, selfish manipulator of men and things. The book's chapter on shamanism exposes this shadow form of the healer-magician, and praises those religious teachers that arose from time to time to "...challenge the shamans or priests of any age..." [UB: 988]
Jesus The Scientist
The Urantia Book reveals Jesus as the great exemplar of the healer-magician energy in its full maturity. He is the foil of spiritual charlatans and obscurantists, and the inspiration for us all to actualize the healer and the scientist within. The Urantia Book's expanded version of Jesus' life reveals that Jesus was a rigorous scientific thinker. His scientific curiosity blossomed as a young boy.
"He persisted in asking many embarrassing questions concerning
both science and religion, particularly regarding geography and astronomy.
He was especially insistent on finding out why there was a dry season and
a rainy season in Palestine. Repeatedly he sought the explanation for the
great difference between the temperatures of Nazareth and the Jordan valley.
He simply never ceased to ask such intelligent but perplexing questions."
[UB: 1365] These kinds of inquiries about nature reached a fever
pitch in his eighth year of life. As a grown man, he was able to apply
his keen and analytic mind to problems at hand.
"He possessed the ability to mobilize all his powers of
mind, soul and body on the task immediately in hand. He could concentrate
his deep-thinking mind on the one problem he wished to solve." [UB:
1400] He was a master at applying his knowledge to practical affairs.
He studied the habits of the fish on the Sea of Galilee so closely that
he could predict catches that others regarded as miraculous. He also was
an expert and innovative boat builder, and a skillful smith. In addition,
he was a great social scientist. Even at a very young age, he carried out
a "thorough study of how men make a living." (UB: 1371) We read
also that "the real purpose of his trip around the Mediterranean Basin
was to know men."
The Healing Mission Of Jesus
Jesus turned his knowledge of men to the applied science of leading men into the realities of the kingdom" including his sometimes reluctant mission of physical healing. His acts of physical healing were often a distraction from his primary mission of disclosing the Father's love, but the human Jesus truly desired to see his fellows made whole. In addition, Arnold points out that Jesus exemplified a specifically masculine quality in his healing ministry:
"Nowhere in the gospels do bystanders ever comment on Jesus'
tenderness to the sick. What does astonish them is his authority. Jesus
heals, not by being nice, but by a show of pure masculine and spiritual
force.... He orders people to get well!" [Arnold: 188] Arnold
quotes the many cases in which Jesus does indeed command people to become
whole. (Mk. 1:23, Mk. 10:52, Mk. 5:41; see corresponding UB:1631, UB 1652,
But the Jesus of The Urantia Book also exhibited feminine traits of tenderness to those who were sick, an attribute that is less obvious in the biblical accounts. Just after ordering the epileptic boy to "Come out of it" (UB: 1631), we find him at the Zebedee home standing over Peter's wife's mother, "...holding her hand, smoothing her brow, and speaking words of comfort...." [UB: 1631], after which her fever left her. Jesus exemplifies Arnold's contention that "Strong, confident, authoritative masculine energy can heal as surely as nurturing feminine care." [UB: 188]
But Jesus' healing ministry at its best went beyond gender qualities and was always by direct and authoritative appeal to the spirit. At the pool of Bethesda, he said to the assemblage of the sick and afflicted, "If you could be healed of your physical afflictions, you would indeed marvel, but it is even greater that you should be cleansed of all spiritual disease and find yourselves healed of all moral infirmities. You are all God's children; you are the sons of the heavenly Father. The bonds of time may seem to afflict you, but the God of eternity loves you...." And this direct spiritual appeal inspired many at the poolside not only to become believers in the gospel, but through faith to become instantly healed of their physical ailments. (See UB: 1649)
Like the shamans and magicians of old, Jesus coped with the manifold challenges of his environment by delving deep within for spiritual power. Moore emphasizes that the magician biogram is:
"...the archetype of thoughtfulness and reflection. And
because of that, it is also the energy of intro version. What we mean by
introversion is not shyness or timidity but rather the capacity to detach
from the inner and outer storms and to connect with deep inner truths and
resources. Introverts, in this sense, live much more out of their centers
than other people do."
Jesus was clearly this kind of healthy introvert. Even at age eleven "...he was more and more given to peculiar seasons of profound meditation and serious contemplation." [UB: 1400]
As an adult, he refined this tendency into a consistent habit of "going off so frequently by himself to commune with the Father in heaven" -- what Rodan has immortalized as his consistent practice of "...the isolation of worshipful meditation." [UB: 1774]
And in the midst of his greatest earth crises, Jesus went off by himself to search for the Father's will, sometimes spending entire nights in meditation and prayer. A mature man is at once a spirit-warrior in his outer life, yet able to dig deeply within for answers to life's great challenges.
"The Lover...is the primal energy pattern of what we call
vividness, aliveness, and passion....The Lover energy...is also the source
of spirituality -- especially of what we call mysticism." [Moore:
120-2] Rather than analyze Jesus as "lover," I propose
instead a celebration, for his love was a perfect revelation of his Father's
infinite love. Our main concern here is a bit more narrow (but just as
worthy of celebrating): How was Jesus' love expressed through the perfect
symmetry of his personality, and how can this revelation help us understand
the male psyche and gender-domain?
In other words, how does a man with a love-saturated soul and a mature masculine psyche bestow love on his fellows? What does this look like in action? How can post-patriarchal men look to Jesus as exemplary of the truly loving man?
Essential aspects of the Lover (following Moore) are presented in each section below, so as to better organize our celebration of the lover Jesus. The quotes from Moore are followed by supporting quotes from the Jesus Papers.
This picture of the Lover in Jesus completes our portrait of the four-fold pattern of the symmetry of his personality.
"...They Beheld Him Weeping"
"The Lover's connectedness is...through feeling.... [But] the
Lover is not just the archetype of joy in life. In this capacity to feel
at one with others and with the world, he must also feel their pain. Other
people may be able to avoid pain, but the man in touch with the Lover must
endure it. He feels the painfulness of being alive -- both for himself
and for others." [Moore: 121] If we may use today's parlance,
Jesus was a man who was in touch with his feelings. The Jesus Papers narrate
three major episodes in which Jesus wept publicly, for example. (UB: 1102)
In the following story, he wept for his people, the Jews, who were about
to reject their greatest mission.
"Jesus was lighthearted and cheerful as they moved along
until he came to the brow of Olivet, where the city and the temple towers
came into full view; there the Master stopped the procession, and a great
silence came upon all as they beheld him weeping. Looking down upon the
vast multitude coming forth from the city to greet him, the Master, with
much emotion and with tearful voice, said: `O Jerusalem, if you had only
known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to
your peace, and which you could so freely have had! But now are these glories
about to be hid from your eyes. You are about to reject the Son.'"
[UB: 1882] Many also beheld him weeping openly as he approached
the tomb of Lazarus with Mary and Martha, the grieving sisters of Lazarus.
And he wept over the estrangement from his family just as he and his apostles were about to begin their public work:
"Just before leaving, the apostles missed the Master, and
Andrew went out to find him. After a brief search he found Jesus sitting
in a boat down the beach, and he was weeping. The twelve had often seen
their Master when he seemed to grieve, and they had beheld his brief seasons
of serious preoccupation of mind, but none of them had ever seen him weep.
Andrew was somewhat startled to see the Master thus affected on the eve
of their departure for Jerusalem, and he ventured to approach Jesus and
ask: `On this great day, Master, when we are to depart for Jerusalem to
proclaim the Father's kingdom, why is it that you weep? Which of us has
offended you?' And Jesus, going back with Andrew to join the twelve, answered
him: `No one of you has grieved me. I am saddened only because none of
my father Joseph's family have remembered to come over to bid us Godspeed.'"
[UB: 1587] It is deeply moving to know that Jesus allowed himself
to experience these very human feelings of abandonment by his own family.
There is also something profoundly human in its timing, this being the
"great day" of beginning the public ministry. A man consumed
by the Warrior would never begin a campaign with weeping, but a perfectly
balanced personality can find time to weep, to laugh, to play and to appreciate
beauty as he pursues his goals and discharges his duties in life.
The Lover Of Beauty
" [The Lover] experiences everything, no matter what it is,
aesthetically...All of life is art to him and evokes subtly nuanced feelings."
[Moore: 122] We know that as a boy, Jesus took music lessons, and
"...was very fond of playing the harp." [UB: 1364] At age 14,
neighbors would drop by to hear Jesus play the harp and tell stories. (UB:
1389) These are just a few instances of Jesus' love of the beautiful as
a child. Perhaps the most notable in his adult life is his visit in the
home of Flavius, a wealthy art collector.
"Flavius was agreeably surprised when Jesus entered the
home that, instead of rebuking him for having these supposedly idolatrous
objects scattered about the house, he manifested great interest in the
entire collection and asked many appreciative questions about each object
as Flavius escorted him from room to room, showing him all of his favorite
statues." [UB: 1600] Jesus' liberal attitudes toward art and
beauty were a large part of the reason that Flavius decided to go down
to the +Jordan the next day to be baptized.
Jesus And Play
"The Lover is the archetype of play and display, of healthy
embodiment, of being in the world of sensuous pleasure and in one's body
without shame. Thus, the Lover is deeply sensual -- sensually aware and
sensitive to the things of the physical world in all their splendor."
[Moore: 123] Jesus appreciated bodily display in the best sense
of Greek athletics. Jesus did not hold to the prudish disdain for the body
that was characteristic of contemporary Judaism and the later asceticism
of Christian tradition. At age 12 he shocked his father with his enthusiasm
about the Greek games at Scythopolis.
"About the middle of May the lad accompanied his father
on a business trip to Scythopolis.... It so happened that just at this
time the annual competitive games and public demonstrations of physical
prowess between the Greek cities of the Decapolis were in progress at the
Scythopolis amphitheater, and Jesus was insistent that his father take
him to see the games.... The boy was thrilled with the games and entered
most heartily into the spirit of the demonstrations of physical development
and athletic skill. Joseph was inexpressibly shocked to observe his son's
enthusiasm as he beheld these exhibitions of `heathen' vaingloriousness.
After the games were finished, Joseph received the surprise of his life
when he heard Jesus express his approval of them and suggest that it would
be good for the young men of Nazareth if they could be thus benefited by
wholesome outdoor physical activities.... Throughout his life he endeavored
to introduce the idea of wholesome recreation into his personal plans and,
as far as Jewish practice would permit, into the later program of regular
activities for his twelve apostles." [UB: 1371]
"Jesus Loved The Children...."
"The man under the influence of the Lover...wants to touch
everything emotionally and physically. He recognizes no boundaries."
[Moore: 123] Jesus recognized no boundaries when it came to loving
the individual who happened to be near.
"The disciples early learned that the Master had a profound
respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met, and they were
tremendously impressed by this uniform and unvarying consideration which
he so consistently gave to all sorts of men, women, and children. He would
pause in the midst of a profound discourse that he might go out in the
road to speak good cheer to a passing woman laden with her burden of body
and soul. He would interrupt a serious conference with his apostles to
fraternize with an intruding child. Nothing ever seemed so important to
Jesus as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence.
He was master and teacher, but he was more -- he was also a friend and
neighbor, an understanding comrade." [UB: 1546] Children always
felt safe crossing the artificial boundaries of the adult world when Jesus
"This year his seasons of deep meditation were
often broken into by Ruth and her playmates. And always was Jesus ready
to postpone the contemplation of his future work for the world and the
universe that he might share in the childish joy and youthful gladness
of these youngsters, who never tired of listening to Jesus relate the experiences
of his various trips to Jerusalem. They also greatly enjoyed his stories
about animals and nature. "The Best Friend They Had
In All The World"
The children were always welcome at the repair shop. Jesus provided sand, blocks, and stones by the side of the shop, and bevies of youngsters flocked there to amuse themselves. When they tired of their play, the more intrepid ones would peek into the shop, and if its keeper were not busy, they would make bold to go in and say, `Uncle Joshua, come out and tell us a big story.' Then they would lead him out by tugging at his hands until he was seated on the favorite rock by the corner of the shop, with the children on the ground in a semicircle before him. And how the little folks did enjoy their Uncle Joshua." [UB: 1416]
"The Lover energy...is also the
source of spirituality -- especially of what we call mysticism... the Lover
energy, through the mystics, intuits the ultimate Oneness of all that is
and actively seeks to experience that Oneness in daily life..." Dwelling
in unbroken communion with the spiritual energy of the Lover, Jesus became
a lover of all through his love for the One.
"[Ganid] asked, `Why do you occupy yourself so continuously
with these visits with strangers?' And Jesus answered: `Ganid, no man is
a stranger to one who knows God. In the experience of finding the Father
in heaven you discover that all men are your brothers, and does it seem
strange that one should enjoy the exhilaration of meeting a newly discovered
brother? To become acquainted with one's brothers and sisters, to know
their problems and to learn to love them, is the supreme experience of
living.'" [UB: 1431]
"Real men simply could not actually desert a revered teacher who had lived so close to them and had been so devoted to them as had Jesus. Through the dark hours of the Master's death, in the hearts of these apostles all reason, judgment, and logic were set aside in deference to just one extraordinary human emotion "the supreme sentiment of friendship-loyalty. These five months of work with Jesus led these apostles, each one of them, to regard him as the best friend he had in all the world. And it was this human sentiment, and not his superb teachings or marvelous doings, that held them together until after the resurrection and the renewal of the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom." [UB: 1546] "He exalted love -- truth, beauty, goodness -- as the divine ideal and eternal reality." [UB: 1583].
A key passage on gender from pages 937-8 in The Urantia Book
is quoted below in its entirety.
"Science, not religion, really
emancipated woman; it was the modern factory which largely set her free
from the confines of the home. Man's physical abilities became no longer
a vital essential in the new maintenance mechanism; science so changed
the conditions of living that man power was no longer so superior to woman
"These changes have tended toward woman's liberation from domestic slavery and have brought about such a modification of her status that she now enjoys a degree of personal liberty and sex determination that practically equals man's. Once a woman's value consisted in her food-producing ability, but invention and wealth have enabled her to create a new world in which to function -- spheres of grace and charm. Thus has industry won its unconscious and unintended fight for woman's social and economic emancipation. And again has evolution succeeded in doing what even revelation failed to accomplish.
"The reaction of enlightened peoples from the inequitable mores governing woman's place in society has indeed been pendulum-like in its extremeness. Among industrialized races she has received almost all rights and enjoys exemption from many obligations, such as military service. Every easement of the struggle for existence has redounded to the liberation of woman, and she has directly benefited from every advance toward monogamy. The weaker always makes disproportionate gains in every adjustment of the mores in the progressive evolution of society.
"In the ideals of pair marriage, woman has finally won recognition, dignity, independence, equality, and education; but will she prove worthy of all this new and unprecedented accomplishment? Will modern woman respond to this great achievement of social liberation with idleness, indifference, barrenness, and infidelity? Today, in the twentieth century, woman is undergoing the crucial test of her long world existence!
"Woman is man's equal partner in race reproduction, hence just as important in the unfolding of racial evolution; therefore has evolution increasingly worked toward the realization of women's rights But women's rights are by no means men's rights. Woman cannot thrive on man's rights any more than man can prosper on woman's rights.
"Each sex has its own distinctive sphere of existence, together with its own rights within that sphere. If woman aspires literally to enjoy all of man's rights, then, sooner or later, pitiless and emotionless competition will certainly replace that chivalry and special consideration which many women now enjoy, and which they have so recently won from men.
"Civilization never can obliterate the behavior gulf between the sexes. From age to age the mores change, but instinct never. Innate maternal affection will never permit emancipated woman to become man's serious rival in industry. Forever each sex will remain supreme in its own domain, domains determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity.
"Each sex will always have its own special sphere, albeit they will ever and anon overlap. Only socially will men and women compete on equal terms.
"The reproductive urge unfailingly brings men and women together for self-perpetuation but, alone, does not insure their remaining together in mutual cooperation -- the founding of a home.
"Every successful human institution embraces antagonisms of personal interest which have been adjusted to practical working harmony, and homemaking is no exception. Marriage, the basis of home building, is the highest manifestation of that antagonistic co-operation which so often characterizes the contacts of nature and society. The conflict is inevitable. Mating is inherent; it is natural. But marriage is not biologic; it is sociologic. Passion insures that man and woman will come together, but the weaker parental instinct and the social mores hold them together.
"Male and female are, practically regarded, two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association. Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different; they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other. Complete understanding between the sexes is not attainable.
"Women seem to have more intuition than men, but they also appear to be somewhat less logical. Woman, how ever, has always been the moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind. The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny."
21 June 1993
I read your paper titled "Spheres and Rights" this weekend and found it interesting and provocative. I would love to sit down with you sometime and hear about your experiences growing up amidst "the blossoming of feminism," as well as more of your own thoughts about the gender issue(s) of the day.
There are several thoughts and observations I wish I had time to share in response to your paper. Maybe over the next few weeks I'll have time to post them all. For now, I would like to comment on two ideas presented in the book, and which you seem to have read as either sexist or at least somewhat demeaning to women.
First, let me tell you where I'm coming from -- that my own views of women (and consequently myself!) have changed considerably over the past few years. Raised in a family setting in which men (and the "masculine") were highly valued and women (and the "feminine") were blatantly ridiculed, I grew up striving to cultivate those qualities I felt were of value (i.e. masculine). By masculine here, I mean generally the logos (Greek usage): focused consciousness, rational, abstract thought (including the art of farsightedly planning for more remote effects -- see your Urantia Book quote on page 15 of your paper) [earlier draft -- ed.], and by feminine I mean generally an emphasis on eros: diffuse, relational consciousness (characterized by feeling values rather than thinking values) which is essential to human and divine relationships and, in particular, love and friendship. Again referring to your Urantia Book quote on page 15 of your paper, and in an attempt to suggest one interpretation of this quote, in my opinion this form of consciousness exhibits a tendency to look upon immediate results (social harmony within the family and social groups) rather than remote effects. Ask any mother trying to keep track of three or more kids, put dinner on the table, and juggle the endless chores of family life -- diffuse consciousness has a lot to offer over the one-track-mind syndrome!
As an aside, I don't get your charge of sexism in this quote. It seems to me the Melchizedeks were trying to warn Eve that her natural feminine tendencies to create social harmony were, in this PARTICULAR situation, dangerous, because a more masculine viewpoint, (i.e., a rational assessment of what was a highly complex and somewhat abstract situation, including the looking ahead toward a remote future), was called for. They weren't making a blanket statement devaluing her natural feminine tendency toward invoking eros, nor were they saying that the masculine tendency to think rationally about more remote effects is any better -- they're just saying that in this instance it was not the most helpful approach to evaluating the situation and that Eve, being feminine in nature, needed to be on guard not to let eros/feeling rule where logos/reason was needed. I guess her experience shows the power of eros -- a driving force not to be ignored, denied, or misused, but one which needs careful attention, respect, and cultivation under appropriate conditions.
Without getting into the boring details, let me say that life itself has offered some rather vivid opportunities to correct my skewed value system and to begin living as I was designed to live - - wholly and joyfully as a female of the species with a natural bent, when push comes to shove, toward valuing relationship processes (feeling) over conceptual processes (thinking). The main lesson I have learned personally is that both the masculine and feminine forms of consciousness are essential to human culture and progress, and that both are of equal value while being very, very different. And while it behooves me to cultivate and utilize both the masculine and "feminine" qualities of my own consciousness, I am most naturally at home in the feminine realm, and it is WONDERFUL(!), especially after struggling so long as a gender-identified female trying to cultivate a dominantly masculine consciousness without attention or respect to the feminine. That misguided journey led to a thousand dead ends, and I think that many women are having the same experience. Males and females, being naturally oriented in consciousness toward their gender identification, are distinctly different, and vive la difference! But being one gender or the other doesn't excuse us from developing within ourselves the capacity both for reason and feeling. I think that men just have a natural tendency toward reason, and women toward feeling. Two different responses, each essential to a full life.
Unfortunately, what is still lacking among much of the feminist movement is the recognition of the high value of feminine/feeling consciousness in all facets of society. What is needed is a recognition that both forms of consciousness need to be cultivated so that the appropriate (i.e., most helpful) form (either logos or eros) can be utilized in each particular situation as it arises,whether it be between two persons, a family, or in corporate society.
With the previous thoughts in mind, may I offer a possible explication of the words "spheres of grace and charm" (UB: 937) -- concepts which seem to provoke a knee-jerk reaction of suspicion and dismay to those of us who camp within feminist territory. At first glance they literally reek of the oppressive roles of women portrayed by Harriet of "Ozzie and Harriet" fame -- at least, that is how I perceived your treatment of them in your paper (and please correct me if I'm wrong). And I must admit to initially having the same kind of knee-jerk reaction. However, after I really looked at the wording of the paragraph, and after doing a bit of sleuthing through the book (see the quotes below), I realize that these spheres of feminine attitude and action are not only affirming of mature feminine consciousness, but essential to the role of effective human relationships, and in particular of motherhood, family, and social life. Here's why:
As you noted, The Urantia Book states on p. 76 that there is a difference in the quality and technique of expression of divine love by the Eternal Son as compared to that of the Father. While the content does not differ, the technique of expression does, the Father bestowing Thought Adjusters and the Eternal Mother Son bestowing Michael Sons throughout the local universes (p.86). The character of God is divine love; the character of the Mother Son is mercy; the character of the Infinite Spirit is combined ministry of love and mercy (see quote below). The Infinite Spirit bestows Creative Mother Spirits, and I would like to make a case that grace and charm are attributes of the Creative Mother Spirit's type of ministry, which, again is love and mercy combined:
"The Spirit is love applied to the creature creation, the
combined love of the Father and the Son." [UB: 94] The local Mother Spirit ministers to humans by providing the
adjutant mind spirits, which in turn provides the females of the species
with mother love ("The mother and child relation is natural, strong,
and instinctive...."; "All mammalian mother love is the inherent
endowment of the adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe...."
(UB: 932) Is it reasonable to suggest that such mother love, formed and
administered by the adjutant mind-spirits through the human mother, provides
the child's first experiences of divine love and mercy ministry -- experiences
which will form the basis for that child's future ability to love and be
loved in return? If so, what might be those attributes of mother love which
characterize human mother love from that of all the other mammals? Given
the definitions and quotes below, might we understand grace and charm not
as surface attitudes of a repressed, oppressed Harriet manipulating her
husband to get her way, but as essential feminine qualities which replace
or at least soften the more animal (unconscious) qualities of mother love
with qualities which are distinctly human and divine, and which create
the aroma of friendship which emanates from a love-saturated soul.
"God is love, the Son is mercy, the Spirit is ministry -- the ministry of divine love and endless mercy to all intelligent creation." [UB: 94]
There are many quotes in the book which give some pretty good clues that grace and charm are attributes worthy of attention and cultivation vis-a-vis our spiritual lives and the cultivation of a loving family and community. Grace and charm, as used by the book, are the fruits of eros -- human and divine lovers (and friends) in relationship with one another. If they are not introduced to the child within the home, first through the ministry of instinctual mother love, and then through the loving and merciful ministry of both parents, where does the child experience such values and grow to desire them as personal attributes, thereby becoming more Christlike in nature?
I leave you with these thoughts, and hope they make some sense.
A feminist in search of Grace and Charm,
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The Urantia Book Fellowship