Saturday, April 22, 2006

Psychology and Triessentialism

This is one of the first lessons Triessentialism showed me more clearly than modern culture: the difference between men and women.

Most men generally are focused on the Physical, while most women are generally focused on the Emotional.

As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, I generally focus on the Logical.

There are some men who are focused on the purely Logical, and some women also. There are some men who are focused on the Emotional, and some women who are focused on the Physical. These people are cultural anomalies, but no less people for it, nor of less worth to society. However, society does not cater to us.

Men think about camping, tools, building, science, cars, trucks, keeping order, and perpetuating the species.

Women think about art, religion, psychology, emotions, family dynamics, dating, decorations, sociology, clothing, literature, and stable, nurturing relationships.

This, of course, is a mass of generalization. However, this is also how the gender roles are marketed by advertisers.

The main point of connection between the two major gender roles is the Animal, the area where the Emotional and the Physical overlap. The Animal is focused on survival, pragmatism, us versus them, and the basic functions of staying alive. It was also the hardest for me to understand.

Each of the three primary views (Physical, Logical, Emotional) understand their own sphere instinctively. However, they often have a hard time seeing their own blind spots and the negatives of their "home" sphere.

Logic sees the Physical through the Scientific, and the Emotional through the Philosophical. I, as a Logic-focused person, saw the Physical only through Science, and had a very hard time dealing with it with no data, no gadgetry, no theoretical overview. I also saw the Emotional only in terms of Philosophy / Wisdom / Spirituality. I had a hard time seeing raw emotions without trying to figure them out, rationalize them, or idealize them. That led to some unusual and undesirable circumstances. I also saw the Animal as a bad type of thing, because it was inherently unpredictable and prone to constant change.

Most men instinctively see the Logical only though science and engineering. Most men see the Emotion only in terms of the Animal. For more in-depth on the Animal, pick up any book that relates animal or primate psychology to humans. The Naked Ape is a good one for that. The basics: us versus them thinking, protection of pack members from outside forces, keeping order in the pack or herd, keeping one's position in the pack through force if necessary. It is not unusual for male hamsters to eat their own children. I believe that a focus on the Animal side is what drives many men to abuse their partners (hetero and homosexual) and their children and step-children.

Most women instinctively see the Logical only through the lens of Spirituality / Wisdom / Philosophy. They can't help needing to add reasons or meaning or significance to understand something cold and logical, just as most men need something pseudophysical or some concrete analogy to understand the logical. Women generally see the Physical only in terms of the Animal. There are bodily drives, hormones, social behaviours, which end up sparking the creation of sexual displays which attract men to them. Ironically, this same instinct tells them that the first man to desire them sexually is probably not the best father for their children.

I heard on the radio about the results of a new study, which found that men are generally hardwired to react to the outside world of their senses and body, while women are generally hardwired to react to other emotions, to the world inside their own heads. I am donating my brain to the Autism Brain Tissue Program upon my death. I would not be surprised to find out that in my brain, and similar brains, a third region of the brain (distinct from the other two previously mentioned) triggers and is triggered by abstract, symbolic thinking.

Logic sees only four of seven regions, and is prejudiced against the Animal. My worldview originally only saw four types of things, and two types of people. Logical things were inherently good. Science was generally good, though it could be used badly. Philosophy was generally good, though it too could be used misleadingly. The Animal, the irrational side of behavior, actions taken without reasoning, actions taken too hastily, actions taken in anger. Locker room behavior, bullying, name-calling, jockeying for social position, and everything else bad in my life. I could see no good side to this category. Now I see that without it, life would lose a lot of its spice, and men and women would lose their major point of connection, and instinctive sense of social organization. Without the Animal, it would be a world of robots. Peaceful, but mind-numbingly dull.


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