© 2017 Carole Claude Saint-Clair
Women Carry The Brunt Of It
Some of us do ponder how to begin redesigning aspects of what matters most to us in this lifetime.
It would seem that when in the presence of Man, the serpent is often nearby, and that it has been deemed Woman’s lifelong duty of care, aeon after aeon, to divert his eyes from her.
As Khalil Gibran wrote, ‘Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.’
Early days in 2018 – phew!
Currently, in 2018, the trend is to test means by which men are more likely to be made accountable for their emotions, thoughts, actions and reactions regardless of the triggers. We expect no less of our teenagers.
Self-knowledge is the key to self-control and, as the ancient expression originating from a Latin proverb states, forewarned is forearmed.
Until the time a religious person decides that there is no god because events in their lives have been too traumatic, they imagine their god as a loving, mostly fair, sometimes angry father who only has their best interest at heart. The thing is, if a father keeps managing his children’s affairs, how will they ever become independent and self-sufficient?
These days, it is accepted that overprotective parental behaviour a.k.a. helicopter parenting can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety along with a warped sense of entitlement in the children. Thus, a god in his infinite wisdom, like a good father, thrusts his children into situations intended to force personal growth from the inside-out, as they exercise their free will for the greater good of all and self.
Free agent = Free to think
From the moment of birth, each one of us is a free agent. We may sin, or we may do our best to avoid it. Each one of us is capable of becoming more perfect.
Presumably, religious persons accept that the gift of free choice is the ultimate expression of their god’s love as it is through rounds of experiences, opportunities of trial and error, thinking and rethinking our thinking that we mature – that we evolve.
Regarding matters of the flesh and irrepressible surges of testosterone induced by the sight of a woman’s locks, throat or legs – and occasionally young boys – how have orthodox men who postured as living representations of our society’s moral compass engaged with free will to springboard out of their rut?
Another little mind-meander coming up
Followers of Jainism, an ancient Indian religion, adhere to the principle of ahimsa, not to hurt any living being by actions, thoughts or speech. They adhere to an egoistic imperative aimed at self-liberation.
Applying their philosophy to the nth degree, because Jains are vegetarian, orthodox Jain monks cover their mouths with a white cloth to avoid accidentally swallowing an insect while talking which would, however inadvertently, cause the death of that insect.
Similarly, they do not eat ‘root’ vegetables such as potatoes and onions because of the tiny organisms destroyed in the process of pulling them out of the soil.
No other religion or sect has ever developed the doctrine of non-violence, enacting it proactively in everyday life, as has Jainism.
Jains have a saying that may sound quirky at first, but that reflects the constant struggle raging inside our human brain: ‘If you have a choice between bad and worse,’ they say, ‘then, do bad.’
In other words, ‘Know the extent of your weakness. Be ready to switch tactics and kick into damage control.’
Serious question inspired by the Jains’ control of self:
Why is it that aeon after aeon of being slaves to their desires of the flesh, religious men, especially, have not yet created one single overt practice to help themselves should they accidentally set eyes on an appealing full head of hair – or cleavage?
Like, why not?
Here is a weird little thought worth pondering if only for a few seconds.
Since hooded cloaks, prayer shawls, the ghutra, and flagellation have failed to address the focus of men’s wondering eyes and thoughts while in prayer-mode and while in the streets, why haven’t any religious leaders worthy of the name thought to impose on men the wearing of blinkers or blinders?
How about manly bonnets with a wide stiffened, curved brim that restricts peripheral vision like those worn by Amish women?
No? Not likely to ever happen? Why not?
Seriously, why not?
Numbers give us a clue
As it is, a verse in Numbers, the fourth book of the Torah, does offer proof that Yahweh, himself, did offer a suggestion.
He ordered Moses to tell the men to knot fringes together, to tie them at the corners of their prayer shawls and to contemplate them during prayer. ‘It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at,’ God said, ‘and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot [commandments] and obey them so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves.’
Beyond the sacred texts
Can it, at least, be assumed that, across the spectrum of religions, men do pray fervently and daily that their god will soon change his mind and finally reward them with the nerve to develop righteous, emotional coherence wherever their steps might lead their eyes?
The 10th commandment, Do not covet, is as clear to Jews as it is to Christians.
Buddhist sacred texts also tell us in their own way that a state of non-desire is the best place in which to be.
Put simply: What the eye does not see, the heart does not rue, and there is nothing to regret.
The Quran warns that ‘one of the greatest sins is to have illicit sex with your neighbour’s wife’, which perhaps brings this meander full circle back to the notion that the modesty of one person is one of few ways to help curb temptation in the other.
Under the radar rocks
There are definite incentives for walking humbly ‘under the radar’ but, short of becoming genuinely invisible, there is no sure-fire way to control the emotions, thoughts actions and reactions in the heart and brain of others. Good god! It’s difficult enough managing our own!
After all, karmic attraction IS.
Whether this magnetic attraction gets triggered by a manly or womanly smile, a shy, humble or modest grin, by something in one’s eyes, or the shape of one’s mouth or cheekbones, the tilt of one’s head, who knows!
Always according to Soul’s meticulous choreography
Our tests and challenges are always synced to the blueprint of our karmic tally sheet, the one we are intended to improve as we go, one breath at a time, one emotion at a time, one thought at a time, one moment at a time.
All that needs to be understood is whichever karmic test befalls us will come to pass to matter what.
Even if we hide under a rock, time and time again, it will find us. It will see us, and it will ‘retest’ us, as any good teacher would, until we can show significant improvement in our mastery of clarity, certainty, constancy, coherence and resilience.
As an aside: Is it a shared blessing or a mixed blessing for men and women that, on the one hand, there is apparently nothing in men’s physique to distract women from their focus in prayer and, on the other, there is nothing that men are required to hide or better cover?
Within the context of this little mind-meander, dear Reader, what do you think would be a true blessing worth praying for?
© 2018 Carole Claude Saint-Clair