The need of a purpose

Only the oppressed have any real need of freedom. Yet as soon as they are free and providing they have the intelligence to weigh their freedom against the possible consequences - this need changes. The former longing for freedom reverts to a sense of fear accompanied by an intense longing to be tied and secure. In the first years of life man is never free. He is hemmed in by adult rules and, having no experience of social conduct to guide him, he is entirely dependent on them. As a result he develops an acute desire for freedom and feels a desperate need to escape from his prison at the first opportunity. Once a human being is free, if it happens to be rather stupid (and women are stupid) it will be quite happy with its freedom and try to retain it. As the unintelligent human being is incapable of abstract thought, it will never feel the need to leave its familiar terrain and consequently will never fear that its very existence might he threatened. It is not afraid of death because it cannot imagine it. There is no need to find a meaning or reason for life: its desires are fulfilled in its own personal comforts and these provide reason enough for living. Even the need for religion is comparatively unknown to a person of low intelligence and, if it does arise, it is very easily satisfied. A stupid person has an infinite capacity for self-adoration. If a woman chooses to believe in God, it is for one reason only: she wants to go to heaven. And what, after all, is the dear Lord but yet another man who will arrange things for her?

The situation of the intelligent person, i.e., a man, is very different. At first he welcomes his newfound freedom with a sense of relief, drunk with the vision and perspective of life before him. But the moment he puts this freedom to the test, that is, as soon as he wants to commit a given act which might send him in a given direction, he gets scared: since he is capable of abstract thought, he knows that each of his acts has a series of possible consequences, not all of which can be predicted. If he decides to act of his own free will, the responsibility will be his alone. At that moment, man would be delighted to cease all activity; but because he is a man and it is man's destiny to act, he begins to long for the rules of his childhood, to long for someone who will tell him what to do, to give meaning to his now meaningless actions. These actions are meaningless because they serve his comfort, but what does he serve? At this point he will search for a new deity, one to take the place of his mother, the deity of his childhood. The moment he finds her, he becomes her abject slave. Given the choice, of course, man would prefer a deity that is strong, just, wise and omniscient - rather like the God of Christians, Jews, and Mohammedans. But as he is an intelligent being, he knows that such a deity cannot exist, that every adult is, by definition, his own personal deity who must make his own rules.

Every adult, i.e., every man, must satisfy his craving for non-freedom, a regression to a sort of infantile dependency which gives him pleasure and he can do this only by imposing rules (deities) on himself, which he then sets out to fabricate. When man creates rules he unconsciously compares experiences with other men. Finding something in common with them, he derives generalizations. These `rules' become laws for future `reasonable' conduct (in other words, beneficial to someone other than himself), to which he voluntarily subjects himself The systems thus created grow collectively and individually more and more and soon they are so complex that the individual can no longer oversee them: they achieve autonomy and become `divine.' One can only believe in these laws - just as an inexperienced child must believe in the partly senseless, partly sensible rules of its parents. To trespass carries the threat of exclusion from society and loss of security. Marxism, brotherly love, racism, and nationalism all evolved in this way. A man whose personal need for religion is satisfied by such larger systems will be relatively safe from subjection to the rule of an individual (woman).

The majority of men prefer to subjugate themselves to an exclusive deity, woman (they call this subjection love). This sort of personal deity has excellent qualifications for the satisfaction of religious needs. Woman is ever-present, and, given her own lack of religious need, she is divine. As she continuously makes demands, man never feels forsaken. She frees him from collective gods, for whose favors he would have to compete with others. He trusts in her because she resembles his mother, the deity of his childhood. His empty life is given an artificial meaning, for his every action is dedicated to her comfort and, later, to the comfort of her children. As a goddess, she can not only punish (by taking away his sense of belonging) but she can reward as well (through the bestowal of sexual pleasure).

The most important requirements for woman's divinity are, however, her propensity to masquerade and her stupidity. A system must either overwhelm its believers with its greatly superior wisdom or confuse them with its incomprehensibility As the first possibility is unavailable to women, they take advantage of the second. Their masquerade causes them to appear strange and mysterious to men; their stupidity makes them inaccessible to scrutiny. While intelligence shows itself in actions that are reasonable and logical, hence permits measurement, predictability, and control, stupidity shows itself in actions that are completely unreasonable, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Women are protected by a screen of pomp, mummery, and mystification as much as any Pope or dictator: they cannot be unmasked and will increase their power unhindered, gaining strength as they go. In return man is guaranteed, in the long term, a divinity in which he can deeply believe.

[Source: Esther Vilar - The Manipulated Man]