The subject that I would like to discuss with you tonight is important. It's important because it reflects our world and the understanding that our world has.
We live in a world that is very, very out of balance. I don't feel that any of us will necessarily correct that. I do believe, though, that if we sincerely want to, we can bring about a balance in our own lives. When we do that, we inspire others to do the same.
Integrity begins with oneself. To some this might seem a slow process. They feel that it is better to run off into the world and proclaim new ideas and philosophies to the multitudes. I would remind them of a Mister Gandhi, who managed to bring about sweeping changes in a nation and a world and still serves as an example of such, whose primary focus was himself, believing that integrity begins with oneself and that when your home is in order and your life is in balance, that balance will reflect and radiate to others. Whereas to attempt to put the world in balance while you yourself are in a state of imbalance will produce results that ultimately will not be lasting.
The imbalance I speak of in the world, which we see manifested in wars, violence, poverty and other depressed social conditions, stems from a lack of knowledge. We call this lack of knowledge "maya" or "illusion," meaning that we don't see the truth as clearly as we should. We speak of enlightenment, meaning that we see the truth. We live it, breathe it and understand it. The process of moving from maya, a condition of partial knowledge, to illumination, enlightenment, a condition of endless knowledge, is the pathway to enlightenment that we call self-discovery.
In addressing this particular topic tonight, you might say I'm addressing all topics because I feel that all topics are found in any singular topic. Once you've learned the art of problem solving, for example, you can solve any problem. The method is transferable. So I feel if we can correctly understand this one subject, we will understand all subjects, whereas if we fail to understand this one subject, we will fail to understand any subject because I feel all subjects in our world are predicated upon this subject. I feel it is that important.
Why don't more women attain enlightenment? Why don't more men attain enlightenment? More men than women attain enlightenment. This suggests an imbalance. I would like to address the question - why don't more women attain enlightenment - this evening. But in addressing that question, I'm also addressing the question, why don't more men attain enlightenment? Why don't we live in an enlightened and happy world? Because I feel one is wrapped up in the other and one cannot be separated from the other, but there is a greater imbalance reflected on one side of the question than on the other. I'd like to look at that side. Why don't more women attain enlightenment?
There are many, many reasons why more women don't attain enlightenment. In presenting my theory to you, I would like to first look historically at a few important items or consolidated histories, because without an understanding of what has been, it will be very difficult to understand what is.
It is equally easy, initially, for either a man or woman to attain enlightenment, what we call liberation or self-realization. Ultimately there is no sex. The jiva or soul, the principle within us that is existence, is neither masculine nor feminine. It composes both. Structurally we know there are obvious differences between the male and the female body. There are also differences between the subtle physical body, the luminous body, of a man and woman. But beyond the physical and the subtle physical bodies, what we see is that all of us are androgynous. All of us really contain both sides, or it's even incorrect to say that there are two sides because that implies that there is a difference, and there is no difference. We are one integrated reality.
Historically, men have suppressed women quite effectively. They have suppressed women since the beginning of our history. We must ask ourselves why this is so, and in doing so, not assign blame. We're looking at a historical principle. But there's no sense of judgment involved in our examination, only detached observation so we can understand cause and effect.
Women exemplify, from a spiritual point of view, power. The power of the kundalini energy, the energy of life, flows through them in a very different way than it does through a man, innately. In a fallen world, in a world of fear and darkness, men have reacted very negatively to the power that is inherent in women. Rather than realizing that that power is also indigenous to themselves, that they have the same power, only it manifests in other ways, they have rejected that power and sought to convince women of the exact opposite, that they are powerless. They have done this through sexual repression, economic repression, political repression, social repression, ideological repression and spiritual repression. Women have been given a description of the world that they are taught from childhood, which they believe is true, as are men. We are taught by our societies, by our parents, by the examples of those we see.
There is really no such thing as a woman or a man. There is a physical body, a subtle physical body, a soul. But there is no such thing as a woman or a man. What we consider to be a woman is an idea. This idea has been formed through history, culture, politics, art, religion - the same is true of a man. These ideas are out of balance. They are not true or accurate. Women have been taught that they are not powerful, as a matter of fact, they've been given an opposite description - that they are, in fact, weak. The word "effeminate" implies weakness, stemming from feminine. Women have been taught that they are not particularly sexual. Who has taught them this? Men.
Men have taught them so in a world of darkness because they were afraid, because the thing they wanted the most they feared the most - power. When you wish to subjugate a people, you have to convince them of their own inherent weakness. If they believe that they are weak, they will not rebel. If they believe that they are strong and intelligent, they will rebel. So the social repression and ideological repression of women began with depriving them of education, political decisiveness, mobility and essentially [creating] sexual slavery - in marriage, through childbirth and in many other ways.
In order to survive, women developed their second attention, which men have not evolved. They use that second attention, and have used it most effectively, to manipulate men. And while we can say that their manipulation is certainly justified - it's a justifiable reaction that has been necessary for survival - unfortunately, it has caused women to enter into a state of consciousness in which enlightenment is not possible. The only way women can hope to attain enlightenment is by rising beyond the consciousness of sexual manipulation.
Each one of us has a second attention. That is to say, there is another part of our being which is nonphysical, which is extremely powerful, which is capable of doing incredible things. This side of our being evolves through meditation, sometimes accidentally, through shock. There have been cases where a person has gone through a trauma of some type and it's caused them to develop extrasensory powers, occult powers, powers of prophesy. Some people have developed these powers, developed the second attention, through meditation, which is the safe way. Some have developed these powers, to an extent, through the use of drugs. Some have found these powers have developed innately, it seems. They developed them in prior lifetimes and prior incarnations, and they've resurfaced at a certain time in their life.
Most people do not develop the second attention unless they're forced to. The second attention is developed when we find ourselves in a situation for which we have no solution. So, for example, if we're confronted with the death of someone we love and we can't reconcile that loss, we reach to God. We reach to the spirit world, perhaps. We enter into it with our feelings, and we find consolation because we know that there is no death.
In the case of the brujos, the sorcerers in Mexico, the Spanish Conquest forced them to develop their second attention. They had developed it to an extent, but the conquest caused them to develop their second attention completely so they would not be destroyed. Many people develop the second attention when confronted with the pain of life, realizing that in the samsara, in the world existence, there is nothing but pain and pleasure. They grow tired of the limitations of the world and the physical body and the physical mind and seek peace through joy or happiness. They pursue the spirit, which is the endless world of light.
We stand on a plateau that is endless. Above us is the sky, and it stretches on forever. But few people become aware of that sky, of what lies beyond death, or even what exists in life. Women have developed the second attention because they were repressed, because they were manipulated, because they were used as property, as chattel, historically, for thousands of years and still today, in many countries and even in our own society. They were forced to develop their second attention to survive. The second attention is the occult side of the being. It is the ability to manipulate others, be it for good or ill intent.
What women have done is developed a survival mechanism, and it's a fascinating one and it's been effective and justified, in my opinion. And that is the ability to manipulate men sexually. Men are really not all that interested in sex. For most men, sex is a very simple experience; their sexual capacity isn't that great. They don't like to hear it, but it's true. Women, on the other hand, have a much greater sexual capacity, and are much more interested in sex. Masters and Johnson, in the laboratory, have asserted this truth. It's a scientific fact. Yet, it's a curious thing that men feel that they're much more sexual than women. They're not.
Women have used sexuality as a method of survival. Now, we live in the liberated, modern twentieth century, and still it's a man's world. No matter what the law says - the law may say one thing, society says another. And while we've seen wonderful progress in the last 50 or 100 years in one or two countries, or three or four countries, still, throughout the world, sexual repression is the way. There's no thought even that it's repression, it's so accepted.
Women have been dependent upon men for their survival, for the survival of their children. So what they have done over the centuries is evolve the fine use of sexual power. By that I mean that a woman's place, her entire experience in life, has been and in many places still is dependent upon the man she marries. If the man she marries is wealthy, she'll have money; if he's poor, she won't. What will determine whom she ends up with or has ended up with is her sexual attractiveness, in most cases. So women have developed their second attention to manipulate men. And part of that manipulation has been to convince men that they're much more interested in sex than they really are.
A young girl is taught through the example of other women how to manipulate a man. If she looks at her mother, her older sisters and the women of the world, she will observe and learn, not necessarily through explanation, but just through observation - her body reads it, how to do this. She may have developed this attention in other lifetimes.
What she can do, or what she discovers, is that there's a tremendous difference in her effect upon men according to how she dresses, how she walks, how she speaks, how she wears her hair, how she moves her eyes, and as she grows up, she strives to perfect her ability to control. She practices, even unconsciously. She's not thinking, "Oh, I'm practicing," but she is. And she's absolutely correct in doing so because the job she will get, the man she will marry, the experiences she will have, are very much dictated by her ability to do so. But this is not simply a physical attention.
Let us say that it is possible, it's everyday, for a woman to project a very strong wave of sexual energy through her second attention into a man, for him to assume that that energy he feels is his own. And he will feel that he is independently attracted to her, never realizing that she's using him. Or let us say she's trying to compensate for the political freedom, religious freedom, economic freedom, cultural and social freedom that she's been denied. She's using the only method available to her when all others have been denied. She's been forced into developing her second attention and using it. And while certainly women are historically justified in doing so, there's a problem.
The problem is for the woman who seeks enlightenment. Because whenever you are involved in the consciousness of manipulation - you're involved in the consciousness of manipulation. When you seek to manipulate and control someone, you cannot be absorbed in the superconscious, even if it's an unconscious action. And if 99 percent of your attention is directed to dressing, walking, talking, speaking and acting in a million ways, which are more than socially acceptable, then your attention isn't on enlightenment.
In other words, we had a bad situation for women, and it still is very bad. Men, fearing their innate power, pushed them back into slavery. Women, knowing this was not right but not knowing what else to do, developed the only means to fight for their survival that they had, since their survival was dependent upon men, and that was to use sexuality to survive. However, in doing so, they locked themselves into the plane of sexual manipulation, which precludes enlightenment. That's why more women don't attain enlightenment.
In order for a woman to attain enlightenment, she has to undo and dispose of the very things that have helped her to survive. But we live in a society today where for the first time, historically, this is possible - where it is possible for a woman now to put aside these devices and to use her second attention, which she has developed to project these energies and feelings and thoughts, for enlightenment.
It is my belief that it is easier now for most women to attain enlightenment than it is for men. The reason that it's easier is because women have already developed the second attention for sexuality. If they transfer that second attention to the process of enlightenment, enlightenment will become very easy. Whereas men have not had to develop their second attention. They've developed instead the physical mind and the physical body.
The subtle physical body of a man and woman is different. The subtle physical body is a body of light, and like the physical body it's composed of parts. Just as we have veins, arteries and organs in the physical body, so the subtle physical body is composed of luminous fibers, of chakras, energy centers. The subtle physical body of a man is not stronger than that of a woman, but it reacts to different factors very differently than the subtle physical body of a woman. The subtle physical body of a woman is easily damaged by exposure to certain types of energy. This energy is primarily a violent energy that is often linked with sex.
When a woman uses her second attention to receive attention - not simply through her physical actions but also through her innate ability to be sexy, which is actually operating in another plane of consciousness - and stimulate a man, she is bringing success to herself on one level but damage to herself on another. Because the sexual energies that are returned to her, when they're not evolved - meaning that they're still linked with violence and the fear of power, the fear of woman, the hatred that exists in so many men, the need to rape and to subjugate and to control - these energies when directed towards her subtle physical body cause the subtle physical body to break down, to lose its luminosity. It makes it very difficult for her to meditate well, even to be healthy.
The subtle physical body of a woman is quite strong, and for most women there will be very little deterioration for many years - dependent, of course, upon how much of this energy she's been subjected to. A woman will not necessarily notice the deterioration of her subtle physical body, but this deterioration is taking place. You may have a disease, you may have cancer, and you show no signs of the disease until one day it becomes manifest. When it becomes manifest, it happens all at once, but the disease may have existed and have been getting stronger and growing for a long, long time. Early detection, we know, with cancer, saves lives. The same is true of the subtle physical body. All disease and aging occurs as the subtle physical body breaks down.
There are certain energies that exist in this world that wear the subtle physical body, which is why physical death occurs. Physical death occurs because of the breakdown of the subtle physical body. But the subtle physical will not necessarily show this wear right away. Many women will develop the second attention, attract a great deal of sexual attention in order to help them survive in a man's world, and for many, many years will appear to be very vibrant and strong. Then there will come a period of time where very quickly a woman will lose what some call her beauty. She'll find a rapid deterioration, which is particularly noticeable in the skin, and this is the sign that the subtle physical is weakening.
The subtle physical is made strong by meditation, by a balanced lifestyle, by love and selfless giving. Damage that is done to the subtle physical can, to a certain extent, dependent upon the amount of the damage, be repaired through these things. In order to attain enlightenment, one must have a perfect subtle physical body.
Sexual energy itself does not necessarily hurt the subtle physical body. So the fact that a woman has sexual intercourse does not preclude her ability to attain enlightenment. The problem is in the type of energy that is directed towards her, either in the act of sexual intercourse or simply as she's walking down the street, sitting in an office or talking to someone. If the attention and energy that is directed to her is mixed with violence and hatred and fear, if it's not true love, then that energy will gradually wear the subtle physical down.
Now this information is not necessarily of interest to a woman who's not interested in attaining enlightenment. She's going about her life and she's using her second attention very effectively, just to survive. Because of the opportunities that have been denied to her, because of the cultural indoctrination that has convinced her that she's inferior, weak, limited, and not simply as good as a man, she uses her second attention to survive. But a woman who seeks enlightenment must become conscious. To be conscious is to be aware. And this awareness engenders change and a solution.
The subtle physical body of a man endures in this world in a different way than that of a woman. The energy that we associate with violence doesn't hurt it as much. However, the subtle physical body of a woman is a better conductor of light. It seems strange, in other words, that since the aspect of a woman is power and that her subtle physical body conducts light very, very well, that more women don't attain enlightenment than men, and I would suggest that the reason this is so, is cultural.
As a woman, you should consider and reflect upon your childhood, adolescence and adult life and consider the millions of ways you've been taught manipulation, and how it's probably become an unconscious process for you. You're not even aware of it. Because in your description of the world, you see that a woman is someone who uses energy, power, beauty, and other qualities to become desirable. And if you review very carefully, you will find that you have developed your second attention; that you know, without knowing consciously, how to use your second attention to bring about results in a sexual plane. The more powerful the woman is, the greater these results are. So I would suggest that if you're a woman who's interested in enlightenment to begin with, this indicates that you have a great deal of spiritual evolution. Therefore, you are more powerful than you realize. But to use your power to enslave or entrap others, even when you are socially and historically justified in doing so, will prevent you from attaining liberation. Yours is the situation of a prisoner who has found a means of escape, but that very means of escape will set you into another prison.
Men must also consider the karmic effect that they're reaping. Because they have and continue to uphold the repression, women have used the only means that they have, or one of them certainly, to defend themselves. I would suggest that the majority of times when a man thinks he has been the instigator, which men like to think, in sexual and romantic experiences, that has not been the case. Women have allowed you to think that, which is part of their inaccessibility in using their second attention. In other words, what I'm suggesting is that men are dominated by women in a way that most men could never conceive of, or because of the size of their egos, possibly accept.
There's this absurd, innate need in most men to feel that they're more powerful than women are, which is ridiculous. One is not more powerful than the other, although power and other qualities manifest differently through them. But again, this is part of the description of the world that a man has received. He's been taught the need to feel superior, which is very far from the truth. There's no need to feel superior or inferior. All there is is the need to be.
As a man, if you allow yourself to fall into that description of the world, that is, to be a man as the world has defined man, then you open yourself up to a type of manipulation that will prevent you from attaining enlightenment. In other words, you won't be able to determine whether your interest in a woman is actually your interest or whether that's been implanted through the skillful use of the second attention. I would ask you to review in your mind the relationships you've had throughout your life, or the interests you have felt, and to honestly evaluate with some humility whether that was actually your interest or whether that interest was generated through the skillful use of the second attention. I think you'll be rather surprised, if you're at all honest, by what you discover.
The situation, then, is bad. It's bad for men and it's bad for women. What we find is, men are suppressing women and women are suppressing men. Men are suppressing women politically, philosophically, socially, through denying them education, equal rights, equal employment, and just by setting up a description of the world in which a woman views herself as a vessel, as someone who's only there to have children, as someone who can't succeed, even spiritually - and that deprives them of liberation. That consciousness engenders weakness and responding with the second attention as the only way to at least ensure survival.
Men have fallen into a description of the world where they consider themselves to be something that they're not. The karmic retribution for this oppression of women is to find themselves enwrapped in emotions and feelings that are not indigenous to them. So instead of directing their attention towards enlightenment, they direct their attention towards sexuality, feeling that they're extremely sexual when in fact they're not. Consequently, no enlightenment. But the pain has been greater for women because some men are able to draw back when they recognize that level of manipulation. Even though they may not know what to call it, you might say it registers on their second attention and they resist it. Thus many spiritual teachers, who have mostly taught men, have said, "Stay away from women." The reason they say, "Stay away from women," is because they see the ability of women to use the second attention and realize that if a man becomes overly involved in relationships, enlightenment is not possible because he's directing too much of his attention to duality and not to unity.
Women have also been systematically pushed out of spirituality by men. This must also be considered in our view of why don't more women attain enlightenment. Even in the Bhagavad-Gita, a book that I revere and respect, it's indicated that even women, along with animals, are capable of attaining enlightenment. The idea is that to be a woman is a lower birth, but still, all can attain enlightenment if they truly aspire. Even in a very high spiritual and philosophical book we see the concept, which is quite ridiculous, that a woman is in a lower birth, that to be a woman is innately wrong, in other words. You made a mistake somewhere and that's why you were born in the body of a woman. Traditionally, in most spiritual organizations, women are not allowed to become priests, in many cases ministers, monks. Or if they are, they have special sets of rules and are denied power in the spiritual organization. So women, again, are cast into an image. And that image is inferiority.
What is the solution? The solution is not easy, either for men or for women. We have two people, a man and a woman, who are fighting each other. They are so busy fighting each other that they don't realize that they could be inspiring each other or giving each other strength or learning from each other. Or if they can't do that, at least leaving each other alone, and each growing without interference from the other.
What is necessary for a woman to attain enlightenment is for her to undo everything that's been done. She will have to completely reexamine her life, her priorities and specifically her use of the second attention, along with the physical attention, for sexual manipulation. She will have to realize that while everyone else in the world may do this, and it may have even brought her to the point at which she is now, it will bring her no further. That she has to take that second attention, which she's already developed, and use it for spiritual pursuits.
What a man must do is realize that his continued belief in the inferiority of women is going to produce a type of karma that is going to hold him back, and already has. And he must be honest enough, and have enough integrity, to change his description of the world, even though everyone else in the world may not feel that way. By doing this, a man or woman will not necessarily change the world, but they will change themselves. They will enter into a state of balance. It's not an easy task, but it's a necessary task if one seeks enlightenment.
You have to become both a man and a woman to be enlightened. Simply meditating is not enough. If you meditate and go into a high state of consciousness but then return after that meditation to your old description of the world that has been engendered by society, you'll still be stuck. Selfless giving is not enough. If you give to others but still hold those ideas, even in your subconscious, about the inferiority or superiority of women or men, you will still be stuck. You must accept what is real and what is true. To do that you must examine yourself, your history and simply start to observe.
I don't ask that you believe what I say. I don't think most people will, even if they're interested in the subject to begin with, which is very questionable in this world. But if you are interested in enlightenment, all I ask is that you observe - just become an observer, do a scientific experiment. Observe people, and observe yourself. Observe how they interact. If you can see and feel at all, if you've developed the ability to see on other levels of attention through your meditation, observe what happens when you watch a couple or you watch people of the opposite sex engaging. Watch or feel how women use their second attention to control men. And watch how men, through the ideas they have, project a field of attention that limits women. Because they dream so strongly in themselves, their superiority and women's inferiority, they project an image that a woman finds very, very difficult to fight against.
Observe how women defeat each other. When a woman is using her second attention to sexually manipulate because she seeks control for her survival, which is justifiable, still that puts her at odds with every other woman. The product that is necessary for survival, the commodity, has become man. Whether it's simply for a promotion, for a husband, for survival, so she won't be beaten up in a relationship, whatever it may be - because of that physical strength of man and his lack of humanity, she must sometimes for her very life use that attention. But she has to now fear every other woman because every woman represents a threat to her. If her security rests upon her alliance with a man, another woman may take that man away, therefore threatening her security; therefore women have no unity between themselves.
Men have learned the secret of unity. While very often one band or tribe of men may fight another tribe, or one nation another, within that tribe the men have communion, they have a community. Consequently they have a group strength. Therefore they help each other attain enlightenment. Women do not help each other attain enlightenment because in the description of the world they've been given, unlike that of men, it's every woman for herself in order to survive. Because your very own sister may take your husband away. And if your husband is the ticket for economic survival, if your boss may give the raise or the step up the corporate ladder to the woman next to you because she used her second attention to make him interested in her, or in what she has to offer, you see, you have to respond in kind.
So what we have is a world in which men can come together and be friends and make each other stronger, because they're not concerned. They feel that it's not worthwhile to compete for women, particularly. They're not worth it, in men's description of the world. And there's always someone else - because they have social mobility, economic mobility and confidence. A woman, on the other hand, feels that she always needs a man, but I assure you a man doesn't feel that way about a woman. That's not an innate need. That's something that's been culturally presented to us, which we've accepted.
When a woman reaches the point where she no longer feels the necessity to use her second attention to sexually manipulate men for survival, she therefore has reached the point where she can now accept the friendship of other women without fear. Consequently, sisterhood is powerful. Women can support each other as women, in their pursuit for enlightenment or anything else, without fear. But as long as she's still in the commodities exchange market, buying and selling, she must fear the competition.
Now, of course, for the first time, we live in a society that shows any sign of the possibility of women changing this condition. Up until now, although we may forget in our current enlightened age, women have depended completely upon men for their survival. We get very used to living in America, in the modern age, where now a woman can own a car, a house and even sue in court because she was denied a job. This has all happened in the last 50 years. Let's go back simply a hundred years ago. Let's look at the history of the human race or what still goes on in many countries today or even within our own "enlightened" country, and you'll discover that while in our generation some of us may have been brought up with these changes and accept them, they're all new. You're dealing with thousands of years of history, where sexual slavery was the condition. While suddenly the laws may change, to some extent, the conditioning doesn't go away that fast.
In meditation you can erase the conditioning. Meditation is a powerful ally. But still, you have to fight the description of the world that everyone else is carrying around. And even though you may be able to procure certain advantages by using your second attention as a woman, you must be willing to forsake these advantages and take another route and perhaps even gain a lesser success in the material world but a complete success in the spiritual world. However, since certain changes have occurred in our society, it is encouraging to believe that a woman can now, without using sexual manipulation, succeed and choose a lifestyle that suits her. While again she may see others rising more rapidly who use their second attention, if her interest is enlightenment, the enlightenment will more than compensate.
For men, its absolutely essential to stop believing that they're superior to women because that very belief engenders ego, which sets them off balance. Therefore, they don't realize that they're being manipulated by the second attention of a woman because their ego won't permit them. It's a perfect setup for women to manipulate. It's sort of like the emperor's new clothes. No one's going to say what's true because they're all afraid to lose face. Men can't possibly accept the idea that most of their sexuality is not their own. No one wants to say what they see, that the emperor isn't wearing clothes, until the little child - the voice of the enlightened person - comes up and says, "Look, mom, the emperor is naked!" Suddenly everybody sees what's apparent.
So as a woman, experiment and observe. Observe yourself as you go through a day. Consider the creature that you are. What have you made yourself into? How do you walk, how do you speak, how do you dress? You will be amazed to discover the number and variety of things you do just on the physical level to control, or at least to pass without being hassled.
On the other hand, consider your second attention as a spiritual perceiver - you have a very developed second attention. Women, in other words, have developed the occult side of their being to survive. Consider how you use it. You may plead innocence. You may say, "Well gosh, I don't know what I'm doing." But a part of you does, I assure you. You're not doing anything wrong. Don't feel that you've sinned. You haven't. You've done what you had to do to survive, as did your mother, as did your grandmother. You learned from them without realizing it. They were your examples, growing up. The eyes of that little child took in everything, and you modeled your responses after your example.
But you won't attain enlightenment. You'll only attain enlightenment when you examine yourself and what you do and examine what other women do. Examine the dreams that men hold of you and how they force you into a corner, literally and figuratively. You have to understand the needs of your physical body and the needs of your subtle physical body.
In my estimation, sexuality is not precluded. You will reach a stage in your enlightenment process where you'll probably pass beyond it for a while, simply so you don't identify with yourself as a sexual being and you can see yourself as an androgynous whole. But you must understand that the attention that you gain when it's not a pure attention, in terms of sexual energy, that's being projected by men who simply watch you walking down the street, in the office, or in bed, in most cases, unless they're extremely evolved and somewhat balanced, in other words, is going to be very destructive to your subtle physical body. Fact. And that your very success is what's going to destroy you. The survival mechanism that you've developed is the very thing which will cause the downfall of your subtle physical body. While it does allow you at least to survive, it doesn't allow you to attain enlightenment.
It's necessary to accept the conditions of the world. We can't wish the world away; it is the way it is. It does evolve and change, but in this lifetime, it's unlikely that the views of the world are going to radically alter - the dreams that men have of themselves and the dreams that women have of themselves are likely to stay in place. But what you can do is see what's what yourself. Through a process of examination, meditation, a little creative thought - you need not accept what I say, but you can simply look around.
Consider what you've done and how you've achieved it in terms of relationships, or what you've avoided and how you've achieved it. Realize that you're much more powerful than you know, but it is only until you rise above the use of the second attention for manipulation that you can enter into a consciousness in which there is enlightenment. One precludes the other.
You can't be in a consciousness of manipulation and attain enlightenment because you're still in a self-oriented consciousness where there's "I" and "you," where there's something to fear and something to gain. And if it means that you have to change the way you are, then that's what you'll have to do. But you'll find that every step you take in bringing about a real synergistic balance within yourself towards androgyny will free you. You'll be happier, complete. Don't expect to be understood by the world. It's not necessary. You're understood by eternity, by God.
For men, it's necessary to push aside that marvelous ego that tells you that you are all knowing and all capable, and see that you are not. It's only when you accept that, that you will be able to see that much of the time when your attention is directed towards the world of sexuality as you've been brought up with it, it's done so through the second attention of a woman, who can be manipulating your attention, by the way, not simply in your physical presence but from thousands of miles away. You will be unable to do anything about it as long as you don't see that it's there. As in the story of the emperor's new clothes, the two fellows who claimed to weave his clothes out of jewels were able to leave town with all the jewels because no one would say what they saw [that the emperor was naked], because they were too caught up in saving face.
At the same time you have to accept, as a man, your feminine side. Some men go to the opposite extreme in an attempt to be liberal. They decide to throw away their description of the world and they accept some kind of nouveau-liberal-feminism whereby they become the exact opposite of what they've been, which they find they're not very happy with either. In other words, they think they've become what we'll call a "sensitive" man, which in many cases smacks of ego of a more subtle kind, but even if it doesn't, even if it's genuine, usually they discover they're not particularly happy.
What I'm suggesting is, don't go to one extreme or another - follow the middle path. The middle path is not to try and make yourself into anything as a man or woman but to actually, simply go back to the very beginning - past cultural conditioning, years of history, incarnations of experience, and to look at the truth and to model yourself after the truth, not after human beings who are not satisfied and who are unhappy.
You'll find this truth in your meditation. You'll find this truth through your continued observation and experimentation, and you'll find this truth in enlightened people. If one has attained enlightenment, obviously they've had to deal with this problem and have succeeded in doing it, so this indicates that you can do the same thing.
A little bit of affirmative action is necessary for both men and women. And as a woman, the need is even greater. You must unite with other women for a while and perhaps even reject the world of men, just to balance yourself. Sometimes when we've been on one extreme, we have to go to the opposite extreme before we can come back to the middle. Then we do come back to the middle.
So it's necessary, sometimes, for women to embrace the company of other women even more than might seem normal. But there is no normal in this world. Radical change is necessary to counterbalance what's occurred. Not violent change but radical change, indicating a strong forceful movement - a peaceful movement, a correct movement, towards light. If women have grown up with a sense of competition between themselves and are unable to form friendships because they're all deathly afraid of each other because they realize the power of the second attention and because the commodity is the man - and even if you don't think you're that way, believe me, it's engendered in your subconscious by the world you live in - it's in there, this belief. Then you have to reverse that and perhaps work harder at becoming friends with other spiritual women who are interested in throwing away the false description of the world that they have. To be around women who are still locked into that description, who are using their second attention and physical self for sexual manipulation for survival, will make it very difficult for you to do the opposite.
Now, I'm not speaking of in the workplace or in the world, but in terms of your own private time. You must band together with other women of like mind and for the first time find fellowship - womanship - without the need to compete, without a sense of insecurity or insincerity, without having to climb to the top over each other. There's no need to; there's no place to get to. It's only when you realize that, that you will be able to do this. That all the things you seek won't give you that which you want, which is fulfillment, which will only come through enlightenment.
Because today for the first time, at least in this country, you don't have to use those powers to survive. Our laws, imperfect as they may be, and our societal structure now provides for the first time in the history of the human race, with very minor historical exceptions, the possibility for you to survive without using sexual manipulation. While you may be frustrated occasionally when you are passed by or ignored or put down because you don't use those methods, you will be more than compensated by your spiritual progression, which will give you another type of power that makes the power of the manipulation of the second attention on a sexual level seem infantile. But you will only use that power for good, never for manipulation.
In other words, winning the race is not the point. That's the point for people who are involved in the world of winning and losing. What matters is balance and truth. And now history has given us a moment - it may not last - where you can, for the first time as a woman, step back from the very things that have given you your success and obtain a much greater success in your life - if you are interested in the world of enlightenment.
But you must undo what's been done. And you can easily do that because you have developed the second attention much more than you realize, and you use it more than you realize as a woman. That's why I feel that women can obtain enlightenment more easily than men. But they won't, and more men will continue to obtain enlightenment than women, unless women change their use of the second attention. Even though they have a stronger and faster vehicle, it's being used to take them in the opposite direction, and it has been necessary, but it no longer is.
So, if you will, examine a few of these thoughts in your spare time and ponder them and watch what you do during the course of a day, not only physically when you're in the presence of men, but even at a distance. Watch what you do with your thoughts and your energy, who you direct it to, how you direct it when you think of a particular man. Watch what you do in the presence of other women. Watch how you undermine each other. Watch how you present your power to each other. And consider that as long as you continue to do this, you will never have what you truly want - completion.
Review your description of the world, what it is to be a woman, and see how inadequate it is. See how it's a philosophy that's been handed to you by a bunch of men who were afraid. They were afraid, not of your power, but actually their own power. But they saw the power in you, so they rejected it. What they fear, what men fear, are not women. What they fear is themselves. So they instead overcompensate with hatred and violence and repression. It's Socrates' and Plato's parable of the cave. We're in the cave of darkness. We've been in the darkness so long that although the light is outside, and even though it's good for us, it's so blinding that we run away from it. So men and women equally have the inner light. But this inner light is within us, and if we fear it in ourselves, believe me, we'll fear it in others because if we have to deal with it in others, we have to deal with it in ourselves.
I mean, consider, even on a most basic level, how men react to the bodies of women. Consider a very natural process, menstruation, and how the association has been created in which this process is dirty, degrading. Well, did that come from women or men? I would suggest that there are many religions that have over the years or at different points in history even suggested that when a woman is menstruating, not only should the man not have sexual relations with her because she's dirty, but she should be avoided and not touched. But there's no such time period for men.
In other words, in their confusion and delusion, men hate the womb that gives them birth. Not all men, certainly, but enough men to run the world. While women have counterbalanced as best they can, and that counterbalance has ensured their survival in a limited way, it has also ensured their inability to attain liberation.
Why don't more women attain enlightenment? Because of men and because of women. Because of themselves. Because of ideas. For many, many reasons. There is no blame. I'm not blaming men, I'm not blaming women. What's gone by has already gone by. It's history. It's done. There is no right or wrong in higher spirituality. I don't feel that men have been wrong, I don't feel that women are wrong for using their second attention to combat sexual repression. That's just how it's been. But if you seek to change your life and attain enlightenment, you must deal with these questions.
You must ask yourself if you're using part of your attention for manipulation. It precludes enlightenment; it's impossible if you do. You must ask yourself if you're allowing yourself to be manipulated. It precludes enlightenment. You can't attain enlightenment if you believe the thoughts and desires you have and the reactions that occur from them are yours, and they're not. Ask yourself these questions, and just observe.
Observe what others do. Not simply on the physical plane but on the other levels of attention. And if you see that this is true, if there's any truth in this, then change it for yourself. If there's no truth in this, then ignore these silly words.