Aesthetic Realism in the News
What Eli Siegel understood about the world and the human self enables men and women to have lives they can honestly like. This knowledge, new in history, is taught at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City in public presentations and classes, and in individual consultations given in person and by telephone to people anywhere. Teaching what I've learned with my colleagues in Aesthetic Realism consultations is an honor. I love it!
To give some idea of the exciting education men are getting, I tell of Ed Dalton (not his real name), a man in his early thirties, who is learning to understand himself and to see his fiancée Carol Jackson with greater depth and kindness, including in sex.
Mr. Dalton told us that at times he felt he was selfish in sex, that he was more interested in getting pleasure than in wanting to see what Miss Jackson felt. This had made for pain between them. We asked, "Do you think you could see sex better?" "Definitely!" he replied and explained what he thought his problem was: "I guess the main problem enters when I lose control."
Mr. Dalton was describing what many men have felt. As I told last week, I thought that the reason men may be insensitive or cold to what a woman feels is because we are suddenly "taken over" by our "passionate desire" for her, which is not in our control. But I came to see that this is not passion or love for the woman herself whom the emotion seems to be about; it is really self-love. I was so surprised and excited when I saw this; it revolutionized my life.
In the consultation we said to Ed Dalton: "The main thing in sex, as in anything we do, is our motive, our purpose. Is our purpose to use a woman to be fair to the whole world, to see people, objects, events with greater vividness, excitement, and meaning—or to make a separate world where we're supreme as we look down on or wipe out everything else? Aesthetic Realism shows that our purpose in sex doesn't begin with the sex, but with how we see the whole world and our purpose with everything we meet. Do we want to have a good effect on whatever person or thing we have to do with—a piece of furniture, a book, food, a relative, a friend, a stranger we may see on the street—as a means of strengthening ourselves?
And we asked: "Do you think when a woman yields to a man, it usually makes for more respect or less respect for her?" "Less respect," he said thoughtfully. Ed Dalton was courageous as he spoke about how the night before, after having sex with Miss Jackson, he felt bad because he hadn't been thinking about what she felt. "So you didn't respect yourself?" we asked. "No I didn't," he replied. "Do you think Miss Jackson has felt that the way you touched her could have more respect in it?" "Yes, I think she has," he said.
Mr. Dalton was learning to see Miss Jackson as a oneness of mind and body, surface and depth, inward and outward. While men have been greatly attracted to how a woman looks, they have not seen knowing what's in a woman's mind as attractive, including where she might have criticisms of him. We respected Mr. Dalton for wanting to see. We asked him:
"So what do you think might be a woman's question as to body and being close to a man? Why would a woman have some concern or hesitation as you see it?"
Ed Dalton: That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Consultants: Do you think a woman can feel she's two different people?
He replied, "I don't think so," and we explained:
Consultants: Are you interested in really thinking about this or would you like to run over her objections?
Ed Dalton: I have wanted to run over them. I haven't been serious enough. That's the biggest problem I have.
Consultants: Unfortunately it's the male attitude: "You have me; what can you possibly have a question about?" A woman wants to be an integrity, to like how her mind works, feel she's trying to be fair to things, including when she's with a man.
Mr. Dalton was learning to understand Miss Jackson, to see her feelings as real, and as he saw more what she was hoping for, including from him, it made for greater love and feeling for his bride-to-be. He was beginning to have the courageous, strengthening, joyful, intellectual, kind power of seeing who a woman is, of having good will. "The thing you want most to feel—what will have you honestly like yourself—" we told Ed Dalton, "is that your effect on Miss Jackson has her in a better relation to the whole world, has her respect and like herself more. That's real passion! Anything else is pale in comparison!"
This is what every man wants most to feel and Aesthetic Realism makes it possible!
July 29, 1999
141 Greene Street
NEW YORK CITY 10012
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