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This is Freedom Essay 27
Human sex, falling in love, women’s beauty, the ‘sex object’, marriage, clothing, the ‘mystery of women’, gender role differentiation, the ‘war between the sexes’, the feminist movement, sexism, homosexuality, initiation ceremonies, hunting and meat-eating — all at last truthfully, compassionately and relievingly explained
The previous , titled Men and women are finally reconciled by the understanding of the human condition, describes how the ignorance of our instinctive self or soul of our conscious thinking self’s, or ego’s, need to search for knowledge posed a threat to humanity and, since the historic role of males has been one of group protector, men had no choice but to take on the responsibility to fight this battle to champion our conscious thinking self or ego. This meant that when this horrifically upsetting battle against our instincts began following the emergence of consciousness some 2 million years ago, the nurturing matriarchal or female-centric priority that, as was explained earlier in , created our altruistic moral instincts and a cooperative humanity, was superseded in importance by a patriarchal world. Men necessarily and unavoidably had to defeat the ignorance of our instinctive self or soul, for if that battle wasn’t won humanity would self-destroy from perpetual ignorance and resulting terminal upset anger, egocentricity and alienation. The Bible, which, now that the human condition has been explained (see ), we can see is an absolutely extraordinary collection of denial-free truth, acknowledges that human society changed from being a matriarchal, soul-centric, nurturing society to a patriarchal, egocentric, embattled society after the upsetting search for knowledge began when, after describing how Adam and Eve took the ‘fruit’ ‘from the tree of…knowledge’ (Gen. 3:3, 2:17), Moses wrote, ‘To the woman he [God] said…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you’ (3:16). Wives and children in virtually all cultures have not adopted their husband’s or father’s surname because of some cultural coin toss, but because they were living in a patriarchal world.
Of course, this role differentiation where men took up the task of fighting against the ignorance of our instinctive self also made sense because nurturing depends on love, whereas fighting is an aggressive, non-loving behaviour; far better then to leave women out of the upsetting battle to preserve as much upset-free, loving innocence as possible to nurture the next generation.
The immense problem this role differentiation gave rise to, however, was that in not being responsible for, or directly participating in, the terrible battle to overthrow ignorance, women were naive or unaware of the ramifications of fighting the battle, and, as a result, were unsympathetic to both the battle and the frustrated upset anger and power, fame and fortune-seeking egocentricity it produced in men—a situation that placed men in the awful predicament of being misunderstood and unjustly condemned by women. Women, not responsible for the fight against ignorance, and so not partaking in the battle itself, did not and could not be expected to understand what happened in the battle or the effect it had on men. Women could understand the search for knowledge, but not what the battle involved, as this comment reveals: ‘Shirley MacLaine can’t find a man to love. The 48-year-old actress…[said she] longs for a “close and warm relationship” but hasn’t met a suitable partner. “Most men I meet seem to be too involved in trying to be successful or making a lot of money,” she said. “I feel sorry for all of them. Men have been so brainwashed into thinking they have to be so outrageously successful—to be winners—that life is very difficult for them. And it’s terribly destructive, as far as I am concerned, when you are trying to get a serious relationship going”’ (see ).
Life has certainly been ‘very difficult’ for men; they have had the absolutely horrible job of having to be strong enough to, in effect, kill soul—to search for knowledge and determinedly defy our beautiful, cooperatively orientated, loving original instinctive self. And since that defiance resulted in becoming angry, egocentric and alienated, which are all divisive, un-Godly traits, men were, in effect, in violation of God, the integrative ideals of life! (The integrative, ‘Godly’ meaning of existence is explained in .) So from an initial state of upset, men had then to contend with a sense of guilt, which very greatly compounded their insecurity and frustrations and made them even more angry, egocentric and alienated. How tough were men going to have to be to continue to do their job without receiving any respect or appreciation for why they were having to do what they were having to do! No wonder they have become so incredibly upset—and no wonder nearly all cultures conducted initiation ceremonies for young men, in which they were subjected to brutal physical pain that they had to demonstrate they could endure before they would be considered men!
But what could men do in the face of such a diabolical situation? They couldn’t explain themselves to women because they couldn’t explain the human condition and defend their immensely upset, soul-corrupted state. Indeed, men have had to endure being completely misunderstood and misrepresented as the villains of the piece because what the explanation of the human condition reveals, now that it has been found, is that men are, in fact, the heroes of the whole story of life on Earth because they had to succeed (and have now succeeded) in championing the cause of nature’s greatest invention, namely the conscious mind’s battle to establish itself on Earth!
The truth about men was certainly not as it appeared; they weren’t selfish, world-destroying monsters—quite the reverse. So when the leading feminists Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem said, respectively, ‘As far as I’m concerned, men are the product of a damaged gene. They pretend to be normal but what they’re doing sitting there with benign smiles on their faces is they’re manufacturing sperm’, and ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’, they were making two of the most embarrassingly wrong statements in history, and yet, in her secret self, every woman has been making them for 2 million years! (see .) (Note that Greer’s assertion that all men are doing is ‘manufacturing sperm’ reflects the dishonest explanation for men’s competitive nature, which is that they are competing to reproduce their genes. This false savage, competitive-instincts-in-humans excuse is debunked in & .)
Yes, most unfortunately, women have not appreciated men’s battle—they have not been able to empathise with what has been going on, nor respect the corrupting effect it had on men. They tended to be soul-sympathetic, not ego-sympathetic. The gulf between men and women—acknowledged in the title of John Gray’s bestselling 1992 book, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’—is palpably clear in this conversation: ‘She: You men are wholly monstrous, foreign bodies, in fact cancers on this planet. He: Yes, well, haven’t you heard that women are so meaningless as to not even exist.’ This bitter exchange provides a true measure of the extent of ‘the war between the sexes’. (see )
This cartoon by Michael Leunig (that is also included in ) recognises the immense gulf that has existed between the situation men and women faced under the duress of the human condition and their subsequent view of the world—with Leunig indicating the lack of empathy women have had for the battle and its corrupting effect on men by the woman’s tears of disappointment and sadness. Women have not been, as it were, ‘mainframed’, as intuitively understanding of the battle as men—in the same way men have never been as mainframed to the role of nurturing as women intuitively are. Regarding the caption on Leunig’s cartoon, paradoxically real ‘peace’ could only come by men winning their ‘war’ against the ignorance of our instinctive self or soul.
What now needs to be described is that without the ability to explain the all-important role that men were having to play, and thus defend themselves against women’s lack of appreciation of that role, men were left in an untenable situation. They couldn’t just stand there and accept women’s unjust condemnation of their behaviour—they had to do something to defend themselves. So, what men in their anger, frustration and desperation did, was turn on women and attack them by violating their innocence or purity or chastity or ‘honour’ through rape. Men perverted sex, as in ‘fucking’ or destroying, making it discrete from the act of procreation. What was being fucked, violated, destroyed, ruined, degraded or sullied was women’s innocence. The feminist Andrea Dworkin recognised this underlying truth when she wrote that ‘All sex is abuse’ (see ).
The consequences of this horrific development have obviously been immense. Prior to the perversion of sex as a way of attacking the condemning innocence and naivety of women, women weren’t viewed as sex objects and so nudity did not have the problem of attracting lust and so there was no need to conceal our nakedness with clothes. To quote Moses in the Bible, when Adam and Eve took the fruit from the tree of knowledge (set out in search of understanding), ‘the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves’ (Gen. 3:7). Clothing was not originally designed to protect the body from cold as children have been evasively taught at school, but to restrain lust.
In the case of the convention of marriage, this institution was invented as one way of containing the spread of upset. By confining sex to one life-long, monogamous relationship, the souls of the couple could gradually make contact and coexist in spite of the sexual destruction involved in their relationship. As stated in the Bible, in marriage ‘a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one’ (Mark 10:7, 8). Brief relationships, on the other hand, kept souls repressed and spread soul repression. However, the more upset, corrupted, insecure and alienated humans became, the more they needed sexual distraction and reinforcement through sexual conquest (in the case of men) and sex-object attention (a development in women that will be explained shortly), and thus the more difficult it became for both sexes to remain content in a single, monogamous relationship.
BUT while sex was an attack on innocence, an act of aggression, it was also one of the greatest distractions and releases of frustration and, on a nobler level, it became an inspirational act of love, an act of real affection derived from a shared faith in the ultimate meaning of their lives. A sublime partnership between men and women did develop, for when all the world disowned men for their unavoidable divisiveness, women, in effect, stayed with them, bringing them the only warmth, comfort and support they would know. As Moses said in Genesis in the Bible, ‘The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”…Then the Lord God made a woman…and he brought her to the man’ (2:18, 22). The great philosopher Sir Laurens van der Post offered this sensitive attempt by a man to explain to a woman the greater significance of sex; it is a conversation that takes place on the eve of a Second World War battle: ‘Touched by her concern for her honour, in his imagination he would have liked to tell her that he could kneel down before her as a sign of how he respected her and beg her forgiveness for what men had taken so blindly and wilfully from women all the thousand and one years now vanishing so swiftly behind them. But all he hastened to say was: “I would have to be a poet and not a soldier to tell you all that I think and feel about you. I can only say that you are all I imagined a good woman to be. You make me feel inadequate and very humble. Please know that I understand you have turned to me not for yourself, not for me, but on behalf of life. When all reason and the world together seem to proclaim the end of life as we have known it, I know you are asking me to renew with you our pact of faith with life in the only way possible to us.”’ Friedrich Nietzsche gave an honest description of the roles that developed for men and women in humanity’s heroic journey to overthrow ignorance when he wrote that ‘Man should be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.’ The 1960s sex symbol Brigitte Bardot was of a similar view when she said, ‘A women must be a refuge for the warrior. Her job is to make life agreeable’; although shortly after making this statement Bardot encapsulated the paradox of life for women when she declared that all men are ‘beasts’. (see )
It can be seen that the innocence of women was two-sided: it condemned and upset men, who, therefore, had to attack it, but it was also an inspirational reminder of our species’ original innocent soulful, true world that they were fighting to reinstate by finding the understanding that would stop the upsetting criticism of them and of the human race as a whole. So women’s innocence could both condemn and inspire men, which, as will now be explained, is why the image of innocence—that Bardot’s beauty was such a magnificent representation of—was so inspirational. The image of innocence in women could inspire the dream of the human race’s return to living in a cooperative, loving, upset-free, ideal state, a state free of the human condition; it could lead to ‘romance’. Men could dream that the image of innocence in women meant women were actually innocent and that through their partnership with women they could share in that innocent state; and for their part, women could use the fact that men were inspired by their image of innocence to delude themselves that they actually were innocent. Men and women could ‘fall in love’, let go of reality and dream of an ideal, cooperative, loving world. Cole Porter’s 1928 song Let’s Fall In Love contains lyrics that reveal how falling in love is about allowing yourself to dream of the ideal state, of ‘paradise’: ‘Let’s fall in love / Why shouldn’t we fall in love? / Our hearts are made of it / Let’s take a chance / Why be afraid of it / Let’s close our eyes and make our own paradise.’ (It should be pointed out that ‘falling in love’ has been one of the most wonderful experiences we could have during the 2 million years the human race has had to live with the immensely upset and soul-corrupted state of the human condition—because when it happened we did let ourselves believe we were back in, and thus experience, the all-loving, all-sensitive and completely happy original state of innocence that the human race once lived in. We can also see from that intoxicating experience how extremely soul-dead, love-less, bleak and empty our human-condition-afflicted lives are—and also how fabulous human life is going to be now that we can leave the upset state of the human condition!)
The effect of the ‘attraction’ of innocence—which has been the preserve of youth because the young were innocent; they hadn’t yet been exposed to all the upset in the world—for both dreaming through and for sexual destruction was that through the course of the 2-million-year journey of humanity from conscious ignorance to understanding the human condition our physical features became increasingly youthful looking or neotenous, as the increasingly child-like, domed forehead, large eyes and snub nose features of the skulls of the varieties of our Homo ancestors who lived during this period (shown below) evidence.
Women were especially selected for their more innocent looking, neotenous, youthful, childlike features of a domed forehead, large eyes, snub nose and hairless body. Just how adapted women have now become to being sex objects can be seen in women’s magazines, which are almost entirely dedicated to instructing women how to be ‘attractive’, which really means just better able to imitate the image of innocence. Women are now habituated and codependent to the reinforcement that men, for over 2 million years, have given their object self rather than their real self—for instance, they love to adorn themselves with beautiful objects, use make-up on their faces to increase their neotenous appearance, and wear high-heel shoes to give themselves the leggy, youthful, ultra-innocent look of pubescents.
So while at a more noble level sex became an expression of love, at its fundamental level it was an attack on the innocence of people; it was rape. The more upset and corrupted the human, the more sexually destructive and thus sexually perverted they were inclined to be, and the more innocent (or innocent-looking) the human, the more attracting of that destruction they have been. Understanding this makes it possible to explain homosexuality in men. As the victims of sex, women have historically been more exposed to and thus become, through natural selection over hundreds of thousands of years, more adapted to sex than men. In most cases, if a male was not interested in sex then sex did not occur, whereas women have been exposed to sexual advances regardless of their interest or lack thereof.
It follows then that the more corrupted a man is, the less naive he is, and thus the more he is aware that women are not innocent. Therefore, if a man is extremely hurt and corrupted in his infancy and childhood, when he becomes sexually mature he will not be naive enough to believe that women are still innocent and will not, therefore, find women sexually attractive. The last bastion of ‘attractive’ innocence for such men is younger men, because they are not as exposed to sexual destruction as women have historically been. To explain the effeminate mannerisms particular to male homosexuality, if you have had your soul, which is your core strength, destroyed in childhood, then taking on the extremely difficult male role of having to fight against the ignorance of the soulful, idealistic world would be an untenable position that would make the female position of not having to fight a much more preferential option. You would rather adopt the female role of being an object of adoration and service than the male role of having to take on the loathsome job of championing ego over soul. Homosexuality amongst women results from women’s understandable disenchantment with men, some even taking up the male role because it can seem preferable to having to be an object of adoration and service. Homosexuality is simply another level of perversion to heterosexuality. They are both psychologically corrupted states of sexuality that developed under the horror of the duress of the human condition.
It should be pointed out that since sex is an attack on innocence as well as an act of love the recent generations of humans who have been treating sex cheaply have been contributing significantly to the death of soul and increase in upset in the world. Queen Victoria was right to espouse the ‘Victorian morality’ of her era, a moral code that strongly encouraged people to treat sex with care and restraint.
What remains to be explained is why the beauty of women came to be so powerfully attractive and inspirational for heterosexual men. In it is explained how humans’ altruistic moral instinctive self or soul was developed through nurturing. It was explained that while a mother’s maternal instinct to care for her offspring is selfish (as genetic traits normally have to be if they are to reproduce), from the infant’s perspective the maternalism has the appearance of being selfless. From the infant’s perspective, it is being treated unconditionally selflessly—the mother is giving her offspring food, warmth, shelter, support and protection for apparently nothing in return. So it follows that if the infant can remain in infancy for an extended period and be treated with a lot of seemingly altruistic love, it will be indoctrinated with that selfless love and grow up to behave accordingly. And being semi-upright from living in trees, and thus having their arms free to hold a dependent infant, it was the primates who have been especially facilitated to develop this nurtured, loving, cooperative nature. So this is how our ape ancestor—and bonobos—developed cooperative, loving moral behaviour. (You can read about fossil evidence of our nurtured origins in .)
An accompanying development to the love-indoctrination process was the selection of cooperative, selfless, loving behaviour through mate selection. Individuals were selected for as mates who were closer to their memory of infancy; that is, younger, because the older individuals became, the more their infancy training in love wore off. Our ape ancestors began to idolise, foster, favour and select for youthfulness because of its association with cooperative integration. The effect was that we selected for the neotenous (infant-like) features of large eyes, dome forehead, snub nose and hairless skin throughout this early period of our development.
Significantly, what happened around 2 million years ago when the upset state of the human condition emerged is that instead of seeking out or selecting for neotenous features because they signalled a cooperative individual, such features began to be selected for because they signalled an innocent individual who was ‘attractive’ for sexual destruction.
What this means is that while the motivation behind the selection changed significantly, the neotenous features signifying soundness and innocence were selected for both throughout the 8 or so million years in which our cooperative, loving soul was nurtured, and throughout the last 2 million years when we became conscious and upset and sought out innocence for sexual destruction.
So the image of innocence has been selected for ever since we were apes, which is a very long time. What is also highly significant in terms of explaining why the neotenous image of innocence in women became so attractive is the fact that this image of innocence—‘the beauty of women’—was the only form of innocence that was being cultivated during the last 2 million years of this long period. Once upset developed 2 million years ago, all other forms of innocence were being attacked because it was seen as unjustly condemning of our loss of innocence. Men in particular, derived perverse pleasure from attacking and killing innocent animals, again because their innocence, albeit unwittingly, criticised men’s loss of innocence. Research shows that 80% of the food consumed by existing hunter-foragers, such as the Bushmen of the Kalahari, is supplied by the women’s foraging. So if providing food was not the reason, why did men hunt? Hunting was men’s earliest ego outlet. By attacking, killing and dominating animals, men were demonstrating their power, which was a perverse, sick way of demonstrating their worth. The diary of the legendary ‘white hunter’, the suitably named J.A. Hunter, reveals that he dispatched ‘966 Rhinos’ from ‘August 29th 1944 to October 31st 1946’—that’s the equivalent of nearly 10 rhinoceroses every week for more than 2 years that he shot to death (see )! Men’s resentment of the innocence of nature in general is revealed in the following cartoon of two cement truck drivers gleefully dumping their load of concrete over a tiny road-side daisy—this merely being an adult version of boys burning ants and tormenting pets. (see )
Interestingly, all the anthropological evidence indicates that our ancestors who lived prior to 2 million years ago, were vegetarian, but with big game hunting came meat-eating, an adaption that would have revolted our original instinctive self or soul since it involved killing and eating our soul’s friends. But we weren’t to be put off and in time, as our increasingly upset and driven (to find ego relief) lifestyle developed, we became somewhat physically dependent on the high energy value of meat. (see )
The main point being made is that women’s representation of innocence, their representation of our now lost pure world, has been the only form of that purity that has been continuously cultivated since we were apes, and that is why it is so powerfully attractive—and it’s why it is little wonder that men ‘fell in love’ with women. The following quotes reveal just how inspiring women’s image of innocence became for men: ‘we lose our soul, of which woman is the immemorial image’ (Laurens van der Post); ‘Woman stands before him [man] as the lure and symbol of the world’ (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin); ‘Women are all we [men] know of paradise on earth’ (Albert Camus). (see )
So while it certainly is of little wonder that men fell in love with women, the great ‘mystery of women’ was that it was only the physical image or object of innocence that men were falling in love with. The illusion was that women were psychologically as well as physically innocent. Thank goodness the reconciliation of men and women has finally arrived and all the perverse destruction of women’s souls can end, and instead of dreaming of a loving, ideal world, the real loving, ideal world for men and women can emerge.
Of course, human-condition-avoiding, psychosis-denying mechanistic scientists have been totally committed to avoiding any recognition that sex as most men practise it is about attacking the psychologically innocent state of women for its unjust criticism of men. They maintain that the attractiveness of younger women has nothing to do with them being less psychologically corrupted (or at least the appearance of that state), claiming instead that it is due to a genetic reproductive strategy—that men want to, as this quote says, ‘mate with women who look like…Barbie—young with small waist, large breasts, long blond hair, and blue eyes…[because] they are healthier and more fertile than other women’. This is the old Social Darwinist/Evolutionary Psychology strategy of blaming our competitive, selfish and aggressive human condition not on an upset psychosis in humans, which is its real source, but on non-existent savage, aggressive and competitive, must-reproduce-your-genes animal instincts within us. (For further reading on these dishonest theories on human behaviour, see , and .)
The problem for women, of course, is that while their image of innocence was being cultivated throughout the last 2 million years, their soul, their actual innocence, was being destroyed—women are only the image of innocence. But without the understanding necessary to explain themselves, men had no choice other than to repress the relative naivety of women, which in turn tied women’s corruption inextricably to men’s. It has been an extremely difficult situation for women. They have had to try to ‘sexually comfort’ men but also preserve as much true innocence in themselves as possible to nurture the next generation. Their situation, like men’s, worsened at an ever-increasing rate, in that the more women ‘comforted’ men, the less innocence they retained and the greater comforting the following generation needed. Had humanity’s battle continued in this exponential pattern for a few centuries more, all women would have eventually become like Marilyn Monroe, complete sacrifices to men. At this point men would have destroyed themselves and the human species, for there would be no soundness left in women to love/nurture future generations (see for an analysis of the endgame situation that humanity has now reached). In one of her books, the South African writer Olive Schreiner emphasised this point; when talking of men persuading women to have sex, she had one of her female characters state that men may say, ‘“Go on; but when you [men] have made women what you wish, and her children inherit her culture, you will defeat yourself. Man will gradually become extinct…” Fools!’ Incidentally, we again see here how calling men ‘fools’ was an expression of women’s lack of understanding of men, and why they were being attacked sexually by men in the first place. (see )
For their part, the more men fought to defeat ignorance and protect the group (humanity), the more embattled, upset and corrupted they became and thus the more they appeared to worsen the situation. The harder men tried to do their job of protecting humanity the more they appeared to endanger humanity! As a result, they became almost completely ineffective or inoperable, paralysed by this paradox, cowed by the extent of their self-corruption and its effects. At this point women had to usurp some of the day-to-day running of affairs as well as attempt to nurture a new generation of soundness. Women, not oppressed by the overwhelming responsibility and extreme frustration that men felt, could remain comparatively effective. Further, when men crumpled women had to take over or the family, group or community involved would perish. A return to matriarchy, such as we have recently seen in society, is a sign that men in general have become completely exhausted. However, total matriarchy has not re-emerged because men could not afford to stand aside completely whilst the fundamental battle still remained. They needed to stay in control and remain vigilant against the threat of ignorance. So while some elements in the recent feminist movement seized the opportunity to take revenge against men’s oppression, the movement in general was borne out of necessity. But as is explained in , the tragedy was that like all dogmatic, human-condition-avoiding-but-ideals-insisting, pseudo idealistic movements, feminism was based on a lie—in this case, that there is no real difference in the roles of men and women.
(Note that while men and women are different, sexist notions of men being ‘evil’ or of women being irrelevant have no credibility, as this essay makes clear. While the main device for avoiding prejudice was to deny that there was any difference between men and women, another was to maintain that any difference between men and women was simply a product of cultural conditioning—of girls being given dolls and boys swords as infants, for example. But the differences are, in fact, the product of a very real distinction between the sexes.)
Having to inspire love when they were no longer loving or innocent, ‘keep the ship afloat’ when men crumpled, all the while attempting to nurture a new generation while oppressed by men who couldn’t explain why they were dominating, what they were actually doing or why they were so upset and angry, was, in truth, more than extremely difficult, it was an altogether impossible task—and yet women have done it for 2 million years. Indeed, it is because of women’s phenomenally courageous support that men, when civilised, treat them with such chivalry and deference. Men have had an impossible fight on their hands, but at least they had the advantage of intuitively understanding that battle. To be a victim of a victim, as women have been, is an almost insufferable situation, because while a primary victim knows what the primary source offence is, a victim of a victim does not.
So while men’s situation has been horrible, so has women’s; and, just as men have yearned for freedom from their oppressor, ignorance, so women have yearned for freedom from their oppressors, men, as this comment by Olive Schreiner (that is also referred to in ) describes: ‘if I might but be one of those born in the future; then, perhaps, to be born a woman will not be to be born branded…It is for love’s sake yet more than for any other that we [women] look for that new time…Then when that time comes…when love is no more bought or sold, when it is not a means of making bread, when each woman’s life is filled with earnest, independent labour, then love will come to her, a strange sudden sweetness breaking in upon her earnest work; not sought for, but found.’ (see )
Thank goodness with the battle to defeat the ignorance of our instinctive moral soul now won, the horror of both men’s and women’s existence can end, and this dreamed-of ‘new time’ where society will be neither matriarchal or patriarchal, but gender-neutral and at peace, can begin. For 2 million years women have stood by and supported their men, just as for some 8 million years prior to that when nurturing was developing our cooperative soul, men supported their women. With understanding of the human condition now found, men and women can at last stand side by side.
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Watch Jeremy Griffith present his breakthrough redeeming explanation of the human condition in , or read . You can also read much more about all aspects of the relationship between men and women in and . Chapter 8:14 describes the tragic effect ageing has had on the lives of both men and women.
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