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Letters to Young Woman [2006]

by Dean Hannotte

Dean Hannotte is the editor of the Paul Rosenfels Collection and sole copyright owner of these works.
To learn more about Paul Rosenfels, visit Wikipedia or The Paul Rosenfels Community.

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Table of Contents
1. Personal Growth
2. Introversion and Extroversion
3. The Defenses
4. Retreat and Enlistment
5. Mated Relationships
6. Psychiatry
7. Issues You've Raised
8. Who I Am


1. Personal Growth

Rachel,

I would like to talk to you about myself today, and explain something I should have helped you see long ago but couldn't. I've spent my life in a very special, very nurturing, environment called the East Village, and more specifically the Ninth Street Center. I've always wanted to rescue you from the anti-human and occasionally medieval culture you found yourself in, but just couldn't do it long-distance. Explaining truly novel experiences to someone is like describing the color red to a blind person. That's why I always wanted you to see my world for yourself. I wanted you to come and meet my friends so you could see and judge for yourself whether you liked the kinds of freedom I enjoyed. My attempts to exemplify this freedom were desperate sometimes, but I felt that these things had to be demonstrated rather than communicated by an appeal to reason.

The East Village, not unlike other cosmopolitan neighborhoods the world over, is a Mecca for people who define themselves psychologically rather than culturally. What I mean by that is that while we may feel, and even be proud, that we are Puerto Ricans or lipstick lesbians or African Americans, we also recognize the legitimacy and equality of all the other subcultures in our community. We recognize that people come from different traditions, but are not simply reflections of them. At our best, each of us reflects the highest values that civilization everywhere embodies: truth and right, honesty and courage, and a host of other virtues that are taken for granted by creative people.

At the Ninth Street Center we took this principle and ratcheted it up a few notches. Since 1973 you might say we've deconstructed traditional forms of identity based on group affiliations, leaving only the naked individual — who emerges out of what Jung called the process of "individuation". We're like the ultimate commune, a permanent love-in where everyone deserves the fulfillment we all seek and each one has a role to play in preserving, protecting and promoting the mental health of all. Unless you've experienced such an environment for yourself, it's easy to be cynical and assume such a place must be a cult — a cosmic farce or ship of fools. But I'm a product of what happens when people believe in truth and right and devote themselves to adhering to seeking truth and embodying morality over a lifetime, and I offer my basic satisfaction with life to you as an example of a kind of fulfillment that you too can have.

Compared to a life dedicated to personal growth, other occupations begin to seem like mere grasping. This includes not only material greed but, you'll be surprised to hear, certain kinds of artistic pursuits as well. Art will always play a big role in the lives of those who know that our reach exceeds our grasp, but artists themselves are often just as sick as everyone else in society. Isn't there a sad irony to this? Should we be producing ever more dedicated artists, or instead pulling back into more essential questions about personal development and social progress? Young people have flocked to New York for decades, confident that they know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They'll learn to play a violin, and then they'll be all set. Or they'll learn to write poetry, and then they'll be all set. Or they'll learn to act on the stage, and then they'll be all set. At the Center, we believe in eschewing Boy Scout merit badges. We are more than just producers of art, just as we are more than just producers of canned goods. We need to be much, much more.

There's nothing wrong about being an artist who makes money, of course, or even a Bill Gates who gets rich by marketing mediocre software. The point is that these activities in themselves do not tell the story of a life. A life is so much more than how you earn a living, or even what you're famous for. I like biographies that are candid about the dark sides of civilization's heroes. Gandhi was cruel to his sons and they committed suicide. That doesn't mean his political message isn't useful to us, it just means that he himself must have lived partly in a hell of his own making, and that his life mustn't be blindly emulated. No one should have to sacrifice their mental health for a cause, because the greatest cause of all is the ability of the individual to find happiness here in this life. Loyalty to any lesser cause, even one that benefits many other people, is ultimately dehumanizing.

Seeing how flexible the human person is, and rejecting the excuses many people use to explain why they need to be horrible, is something I do everyday. I think that people sense their bad habits are not intrinsic and that human nature cannot itself be evil. This insight is at the root of Christianity. Indeed, why not just decide one day to commit random acts of kindness? What if, indeed, God were one of us? The evolution of civilization depends not on the elaboration of marketable ideologies as much as how you decide to treat the next stranger who comes along asking for directions. The Hindus understand much better than we do that when they greet a stranger they look upon the face of the infinite. Each life, each point of light, is an extrusion into the temporal realm of the Godhead.

These are the sorts of issues that I want to be a living, ongoing part of your life. It's not enough to devote yourself to learning a trade, even a trade that results in something called art, unless the needs of your entire personality are being addressed. To do that you'll need to understand, and perhaps even redefine, what you are. And that takes a lifetime. I want you to be open to such questions just as I am, and even to welcome it when other people question the decisions we've made about your future. You don't know how to trust people yet. You certainly don't trust me. You remind me of the people who used to come to the Center in the 70's, who I wrote about in a recent preface to the handbook I prepared back then:

"When we opened the Ninth Street Center, we experimented with all kinds of social activities to learn what would be helpful to people new to the idea of gay liberation and, indeed, liberation itself. After ten years of trial and error, the Center was no longer the shiny new button it had once been. We knew what we were doing, and we knew intimately the sort of resistance we faced. When you work on human liberation hard enough, you end up being more liberated than those around you — at which point many of them will accuse you of taking liberties. If you happen to enjoy foul language, as we do, you are said to be rude. If you think cheeks are to be kissed, they suspect you of promiscuity. So we ignored their facades and postures, teased apart their defenses, and spoke gently to the often seduced and intimidated individuals hiding inside. Unfortunately, such unexpected intimacy could be so alarming that we had to spend far more time than any of us wanted in repeating that we came in peace, meant no harm, and truly wanted to help — an explanation many of them had grown too cynical to consider possible. It was clear that a simple, friendly pamphlet which introduced some of our strange ideas might be very helpful in preparing them for the shock they would soon experience in becoming familiar with our unfamiliar world. This handbook was the result."

Please remember that I love you and that I want your life to be spectacular.

Dean


2. Introversion and Extroversion

Rachel,

I'd like to talk to you today about human nature. For some people, this is an odd topic to propose. Most people think they understand human nature about as well as they need to. If their understanding of human nature is about the same as everyone else they know, there's no reason even to bring it up. That would be like starting a conversation about how you know that a chair is a chair. We just know. And human nature just is.

But a lot of us think it's important to bring human nature into slightly better focus than this, for two reasons. If you understand something, you can predict it's behavior, which may have important future advantages. And if you can control something, you can integrate it more logically into your world, and even make the world better for those you care about.

The world in general seems to have this two-sided aspect, and at several levels. The world is something we partly understand, but also something we partly control. We want to understand nature, but we also need to control nature. We seek the truth, but we also reach for the right. Genders specialize into female and male. Personalities specialize into introverts and extroverts. I believe that this idea of polarity, which ancients called Yin/Yang and Alan Watts discussed in The Two Hands of God, is an important window into life, offering a viewpoint that clarifies the relationships between many of the otherwise confusing phenomena we see and deal with.

My understanding of human nature was very clouded and confused when I was in college. I believed that people were essentially good but saw that they got terribly fucked up. People born innocent could later commit murder and start wars. Why that is was a complete mystery to me. But I knew that I needed a way to talk about these problems that conveyed full respect for the human personality and how people develop in an ignorant and immoral world. Reading the Great Books helped me to appreciate how clouded and confused most other people throughout history felt about these same problems. Modern psychological insight began to provide a platform for teasing apart man's virtues from his vices, but there was much bullshit to wade through as well. Freud brought sex out of the closet, and thought homosexuality wasn't automatically perverse — which was good — but then he indulged in all these weird fantasies about boys wanting to kill their fathers and fuck their mothers, and girls having penis envy — whatever that is. Even worse was his fantasy about an "unconscious mind" (an oxymoron) which secretly controlled us and made it impossible to understand or to take personal responsibility for our problems unless we became his patient!

Reading Freud didn't make me understand anything — unless you count feeling sorry for someone who hadn't a clue about the issues I was facing. Then I found Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections. Here was a man I would have enjoyed talking to. He understood completely how the lives we lead are based on how we feel about ourselves, on how much permission we give ourselves to be different, on what we view as our human potential, on how much latitude we grant ourselves to experiment with new experiences instead of trusting tradition. But Jung seemed to get lost in a lot of fantastic speculations about racial memory and flying saucers, too. Although I had fun painting a mandala on the wall of my first East Village apartment a few years later, this wasn't where I wanted to get stuck.

In the summer after my second year of college I saw a psychiatrist named Paul Rosenfels a few times. He was very nice, but I didn't know what he was talking about and I wasn't impressed. He gave me a copy of his new book, Love and Power, though. When I started reading it back at college I found it gripping. A lot of it seemed academic, in the sense of saying what everyone knows in words that no one understands, but in another sense it was fresh and riveting. He seemed to understand intimately the world I was coping with, especially issues like conformity, conventionality and consciousness-raising.

I won't tell you the story of my relationship with Paul. I think it's more important, and probably more interesting, to give you a sketch of Paul's view of the world, especially the meaning and value of introversion and extroversion in civilized life.

I know you've heard about introverted types vs. extroverted types. And I know you've heard about femininity vs. masculinity. Paul and I, and people from the Ninth Street Center, use these terms in a slightly different way than do most people. Sex began very early in evolution. Bugs, fish, birds and reptiles all have sex. But the character differentiation between females and males only becomes pronounced in mammals with the origin of the extended childhood and family life. An extended childhood allows a species to be much more than what can come out of a womb. The family, in fact, is a kind of sociological womb that makes possible a great evolutionary leap for life forms. While there are notable exceptions, the general idea is that females, embodying love, nurture the offspring, while males, embodying power, protect the offspring. Note that there is no suggestion that one type is better than another. Their roles are different, but equally essential for survival.

But there is a big difference between people and other mammals. Try as they might, women these days don't always seem to be "feminine" and men don't always seem to be "masculine". When they try too hard to live up to these cultural stereotypes in artificial ways, two things happen: they live twisted lives, and our understanding of human nature is set back. Many psychologists could see this in the 19th century and decided that the very terms "feminine" and "masculine" were not scientific and should be discarded. But they felt that there were indeed personality types that needed to be cataloged and described. Some of these "characterologies" were based on three basic types, some on four. But the ones that I think made the most sense paralleled the psychological qualities of female vs. male mammals, even though they were given new names: Apollonian vs. Dionysian, Epimethean vs. Promethean, Furneaux Jordan's reflective vs. active, and William James' tender-minded vs. tough-minded. In the 20th century Carl Jung came up with the terms introvert vs. extrovert and it's by these names that most educated people refer to this distinction today.

In separating femininity from introversion and masculinity from extroversion, however, Jung set a trap for himself. He made each type so independent that he failed to see why either type would ever have anything to do with the other. That's why at the Center we began to use the terms feminine and masculine. Everyone knows in their heart why a feminine and a masculine person would want to be together: that way they become more than the sum of their parts. Plato explains this well in the Symposium, accounting not only for heterosexual attraction but homosexual as well. As Paul put it, "Love and power are a natural pair; put apart, love sickens and power runs wild." It's not the genitals that are mating, after all, but the personalities.

One of the reasons Paul wanted to understand psychological polarity so much was precisely because he woke up one morning and realized that he was in some unclear sense "feminine". Unlike lesser men who would react to such an insight by wearing a dress, Paul devoted the next few years to understanding how femininity and masculinity, divorced from gender, could still operate at a psychological level in humans more or less the way they did with mammals. In fact, as the ancient Greeks had already claimed, this model explained why gay relationships could be as valuable and meaningful as straight relationships. Paul, like Jung, was equally hesitant to use the culturally-tainted terms "feminine" and "masculine", so he wrote his first few books using the terms "yielding" and "assertive". It was only when a large group of young gay people began mobbing him in the early 1970's that their adoption of those familiar terms, now rechristened in a completely gender-free context, convinced him to follow their lead. As far as reusing outmoded cultural stereotypes go, it was a bit like converting the Bastille into a day-care center.

Once you get rid of the notion that all women are "feminine" and all men are "masculine", a lot of things begin standing out in bold relief. To begin with, it seems as if roughly half of women are feminine and half masculine. And the same ratio goes for men. Why should this be the case? I think Paul's hypothesis, which he only arrived at a few years before meeting me, is quite promising. Paul thought that it was false to believe that daughters identify with their mothers, and sons with their fathers. (They do, of course, when it comes to social roles and obligations, but we're not discussing that here.) Instead, daughters identify primarily with their fathers, and boys with their mothers. Daughters polarize with their mothers, and boys with their fathers.

Having an "unbalanced" identity doesn't make people perfect, unfortunately. Feminines can be clumsy and masculines can be idiots. Feminines often cover up their inner indecisiveness with bluster, and masculines often cover up their inner obtuseness with pseudo-intellectuality. Why else would these types always be looking for their other half? There are many other ways they try to compensate for their incompleteness, of course, some of which are healthy but most of which are merely defensive.

That's probably enough for now. If you're curious to learn more about polarity you could look at the following web pages:

I'll leave you with the rest of that quote from Paul, by which he ends his first book. It's very important.

"Love and power are a natural pair; put apart, love sickens and power runs wild. If men do not bring their honesty and courage to each other's aid, so that they find a view of life and way of life through each other, the great undertaking which is civilization may still go down under the hammer blows of fear and rage. It is not fitting that men should attempt to make peace with pain and suffering, ignoring the great problems which depth of character exposes and bypassing the fundamental obstacles which vigor of character confronts. Let the truth be told; let right be done."

Dean


3. The Defenses

Rachel,

Thanks for your letter. It was reassuring to learn that your insights about formal education are quite advanced. You often think you're disagreeing with me and then say the same thing I did only in different words. (I do that too.) I love your line about poetry being "a fine way of wiping the dirt from the window." In fact I plan to use it myself someday. ("Bad artists copy, great artists steal.")

You ask, don't I realize that you know me? Actually, you've put your finger on a problem I want to address. I feel you don't know me that well. You don't know what I'm good at, or how you can benefit from my being in your life. You don't know my backstory, as it were, the subtexts. You don't understand what I'm looking for in relationships or what I'm capable of offering.

As for these letters being an exercise in pseudo-intellectuality, I believe they can be much more. When I said that feminines who can't handle imbalance become aggressive and masculines who can't handle imbalance become passive, I was discussing problems that people who devote themselves to the growth process can make considerable headway with. Paul was occasionally brusque, and had rare episodes of livid anger, but basically he despised aggressive feminines and stopped short whenever he saw himself straying in that direction. I was very passive when I first met him, and many of my initial reactions to him, not to mention my entire college existence, were indeed pseudo-intellectual. But I hate people who renounce personal power out of cowardice, thwarting their own happiness, and spending the rest of their lives analyzing why, after all, they'd had no choice. If you do ever attend any of the discussion groups I run, you'll see that I don't suffer fools gladly, and thoroughly enjoy putting pseudo-intellectuals in their place. I'm kind of famous for it. That doesn't mean I'm not capable of momentary obfuscation, just that I'm capable of rising above this when I put my mind to it. Communicating in a fuller way with someone like you is well worth this disciplined effort.

I think a fit topic for this letter might be, in fact, the defenses. I've learned from thirty years at the Center that human beings are haunted by defenses — those they can see as well as those they don't. Furthermore, they're defensive even about hearing about them. (A double whammy!) "There's nothing wrong with ME!" the parent of an inquisitive child will say. Or, "Who are YOU to criticize your elders?" It's a bit like saying "Who are you to think women should vote?" or "Who are you to think slaves should be freed?" Indeed, who are we to want a better life, or even a decent one? Cultural criticism, and especially self-criticism, at this psychological level seems something new in civilization. Yet, ironically, the ancient Greek excelled at it. I suppose it is easier to cruise through life blindfolded, telling yourself that only meandering "philosophers" who never get to the point anyway would ask these sorts of stupid questions that have no answers.

I guess a simple definition of "defense" might be "a childish reaction that pops up in adult life when you're not looking". The definition I wrote for the glossary I published on the Center's website is more academic and maybe even a little (oops) pseudo-intellectual: "defense: a capability which protects and nurtures a growing individual but which can be outgrown. Biological defenses protect animals from destructive forces such as predators. A defense such as a hiding place used by a young animal may become unnecessary when full size is attained. Psychological defenses protect man from the depressive effects of shame and guilt in relation to other men. A defense such as compulsiveness or obsessiveness may be replaced by love or power in the course of psychological development."

Oh well, people who come after me — maybe you? — will improve on my definition. The point is not to leave your mark no matter what — that urge has caused a lot of earth to get scorched. The point is to make sure you do even a little bit of good. And to do no harm. The reason defenses get in our way is because they're so instinctive (or learned at such an early age) that they kick in faster than deliberated action can. This is why we find ourselves saying something defensive before thinking up something actually useful. This is why peacemakers need to reign in the anger reactions that are so easily triggered during stressful negotiations. And why you and I need to read each other's serious emails twice — the first time just rankles too much.

When we're tired it's even harder not to be defensive, and when we're walking around emotionally exhausted we can actually become apparently "crazy" briefly. (I use that term in its colloquial sense, not alluding to any technical psychiatric meaning. At the Center we use the term "crazy" simply to mean "You can't expect me to understand what you're doing right now!") When we make really big mistakes, the adrenalin kicks in and suddenly our brain's prime directive becomes to see if there's any possible way that a slight reinterpretation of events might put us in the right. People accidentally kill family members in fits of rage all the time, for instance, but instead of calling the police they run away. That's because their defenses have taken over. A year later they'll say, quite honestly, "I don't know why I ran. I should have just told the police it was an accident." Having read so many novels, I'm sure you realize that in worst-case scenarios people can be in denial for the rest of their lives about something horrible they did but can neither admit nor forgive themselves for.

In my first letter I talked about "personal growth." That phrase sounds like a lovely metaphor, you may be thinking, but it sounds like something that happens all by itself. Is there anything we can do to make sure we don't stagnate, or maybe even accelerate the growth process? There is. If you want to be more insightful, spend more time thinking about people — their problems, their potential, and especially the things about them that seem bizarre. If you want to be more skillful, spend more time working with people — coaxing them out of their recalcitrance and helping them to believe in themselves and their capacity for constructive engagement, especially people who are "impossible".

But the way you really accelerate the growth process, we've found, is to examine the defenses head on. Use them as a mental microscope, as an instrument for self-examination. Expose them, study them, arouse them, inflame them — in controlled environments, at least. Show them to be the frauds they are. Defenses are important windows into life because they highlight what's holding us back. Pulling defenses out by their roots is kind of a modern scientific version of exorcism — except that it works.

Defenses are the biggest enemy of mankind precisely because they make us so irrational and inhuman. But defenses can be quite interesting and revealing too. People who have unruly defenses often have more potential than people for whom the well-worn pathways of time-honored conventions work "well enough". In fact, sometimes Paul would say of someone who seemed unmotivated and stuck in a rut that "he needs more interesting problems". (Sometimes we use the word "problems" interchangeably with the word "defenses".)

So I don't disapprove of problems. On the contrary. I think problems need to be brought out in the open, dissected carefully — even laughed and joked about. Not to humiliate the person being examined, but to desensitize him to embarrassment and make him realize that his problem is not a cross he need carry in secret and that such inner denial is in fact a prescription for being torn apart. Own your defenses or they will end up owning you.

My definition of a friend is someone who helps you face your problems in a constructive way. Paul liked the word "challenge" as in "I challenged him to face his pseudo-intellectuality." (I would like that word more if he hadn't spent way too much energy in our early years harassing me about every little thing he enjoyed complaining about!) Helping in this context can mean a lot of things, but at minimum it means telling your friend when you see him doing something foolish or wrong.

I was very impressed with your diary entry about me that said, "I refuse to learn anything from someone who lives so falsely." I hope you remember that I didn't get defensive or upset when you read it. Instead I said, "You're not doing your friends any favors by taking notes about their mistakes and then not warning them." It's fine not to want to learn from someone who is living falsely, but have you ever thought that maybe you could teach something to someone who is living falsely? Perhaps he doesn't want to live falsely but is merely unaware that he is doing so. I'm not rebuking you, Rachel, merely pointing out that seeing a problem is only the first step in the more socially constructive project called teaching. I believe you may become a wonderful teacher once you realize how much you actually have within you that other people need to hear. It's one of the reasons I've charted your development all these years. And not entirely altruistically, for I believe that you're capable of the kind of depth of insight that could help me grow.

Here's a more pedestrian example of bringing the defenses out of the closet. Obsessiveness in masculines and compulsiveness in feminines are defenses that seem to linger with us through a lifetime and seem impossible to cure completely. This is why you've often found me to be annoyingly pig-headed about something or other. I don't deny I have this problem. All my friends know about it. Paul even wrote about it in his autobiography. But I know that I won't have to accept condemnation from them for it, for they have their own problems that they count on me to help with. As a family group we manage these demons as if they were unruly children, refusing to hate each other for having given birth to them. Knowing about our problems — having them out in the open on leashes and not hidden in a closet or swept under the rug — spells the difference between living an enlightened, imperfect life — a "life-in-progress" — and living a lie. It is not fit for a human beings to end up with lives of exhaustion and denial, haunted by hidden shame and guilt. I will always choose knowledge over ignorance, and integrity over immorality.

Dean


4. Retreat and Enlistment

Rachel,

Have you ever wondered what drives people to join monasteries, or enlist in the French Foreign Legion? Paul understood these phenomena very well when he discussed what he called retreats and enlistments. A feminine who gets caught up in too much "masculinized" behavior, who is intimidated by social role-playing and becomes aggressive, may need to withdraw into a very private world such as is offered by a monastic retreat in order to heal himself. A masculine who gets caught up in too much "feminized" feeling, who is seduced by false idolization and becomes passive, may need to enlist into very gregarious activities such as are offered by a military organizations.

When Paul realized that his big career as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and associate professor was intimidating him into becoming a stuffed shirt, he instinctively dropped everything — including his wife and child — and moved to California to be a cook. That was his form of retreat. When I was being overcome by pseudo-intellectuality in college, Paul offered a world of experience, a cushioning environment where I could find the love I needed without having to pretend I was something I wasn't. That was my enlistment.

But people don't want to stay in these states forever, because while they can offer a basic level of mental health, they can't offer opportunities for further growth and development. You wouldn't want to spend your whole life being a healthy adolescent. That's why Paul came back to the world as a psychotherapist and author, and why I've become interested in the world of ideas again but this time on my own terms. And I have a big hunger to love someone who is safe for me to love. By that I mean someone who is better at loving than I am, so that I'm sure that by loving I'm not going to be taken advantage of.

It's important to realize that having problems is the best, and perhaps only real, motivation for personal growth. Otherwise why would we expend the effort to develop new insights and new "modalities of mastery" (Paul's phrase)? Sometimes setbacks can be quite serious, such as going to jail, becoming addicted, and joining a cult. It's important to understand that some people need to retreat or enlist for years at a time. Joseph Conrad was crushed by a frustrated love affair at an early age and went off to sea for 20 years before he could once again handle civilized life. (Paul was an expert on Conrad, and wrote about Homer as well.)

One of the big defenses that we moderns are not even aware of is our intolerance for failure of any kind. It's impossible to overemphasize the fact that in a society of achievers such as America has always been, being okay with mistakes is something that we are simply not very good at. But perfectionism takes a great toll on our search for happiness.

I remember my schoolyard friend Stanley who would burst into tears whenever he scored less than 100% on a test. All through elementary school they told me I was stupid and couldn't concentrate, which was depressing. Then suddenly in Junior High they discovered that I could do math and decided I was a genius, which for me was like suddenly being allowed to breathe. Once I got hooked on getting good grades and being patted on the head instead of mocking the system, I began to understand how Stanley felt. Fortunately, the degeneracy of my overachieving high school — where they calculated grades to 5 decimal points to encourage competitive envy! — forced me to question the maze-rat I had become, and I went to a college where intelligence and independence were cultivated but performance itself wasn't graded.

Some cultures are worse than others on this score, of course. The British aristocracy is notoriously stoical ("keep a stiff upper lip") and each class is expected to be duty-driven. Yet in the poem voted Britain's most popular, Kipling writes, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two Impostors just the same; Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it." Churchill regarded success as "the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

In war, snap decisions can cost lifelong remorse, and by the time they're old enough to be soldiers, combatants are often too rigid to be taught how to forgive themselves. Some young people sign up precisely because they are so rigid that they believe that people who make moral mistakes need to be killed. A terrorist is someone who has never learned to forgive. And that includes forgiving themselves, which is why they usually can't wait to die. There are terrorists all around us.

Paul felt that the more comfortable you get with failure, the healthier you'll be. That's why he liked the maxim that a general doesn't mind losing a battle once in a while as long as he's winning the war. Paul often said that he had failed at everything that he had ever tried to do. But, unlike the rest of us, with each failure he focused on a "bigger picture" of what he was aiming for, and started out all over again. (Mostly he was talking about having had to drop out of his prestigious professional career in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and deciding to rethink the theories about human nature he had been taught — ultimately developing the foundations of what Hume and other philosophers of the Enlightenment had called a "science of human nature".) Paul loved to quote Kipling's line about success and failure being imposters.

Like most of us, I prefer to see people succeed, but every time someone is presented as a "success" I wonder, "Why are they so satisfied with so very little?" This is why my contribution to any devil's dictionary would include "normalcy: lacking ambition". The only kind of success I ultimately care about is using my life to help advance civilization. And no one gives you awards for that.

Am I advocating failure? Of course not. That would deny the very purpose of the journey. But the goal of the journey is the mountain top, and if it's worthwhile reaching it, get used to the mud puddles along the way. Watch when your feet lead you into quicksand. Don't travel in a straight line. Learn how to make frequent mid-course corrections and occasional detours. Lose a battle, even.

I think I'll leave you today with this quote from my main man, Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.

Dean


5. Mated Relationships

Rachel,

You ask me what I want from a relationship. That's a good question. It raises important issues — even if the answer won't necessarily predict if a particular relationship is going to go anywhere. And there are two ways of addressing it.

Any description of human nature must deal with biology and culture, both. It must elaborate the fixed needs we all have because we are biological creatures, but also the knowledge and ability and all the other aspects of civilized character we develop as we absorb the culture of the time and place we happen to have been born into and then continue to learn and grow during a lifetime in a way that goes beyond that. Our biological needs were more or less adequately mapped a century ago, which is why the field I focus on is developmental psychology writ large — what constitutes a good life, how can people make the world better, what is wisdom, etc. It's interesting that the higher needs often make room for the lower needs, which are stronger and more difficult to change. They may succeed in constraining them, but they never completely supercede them.

Carl Sagan used to say that the brain has three levels. The deepest level is the reptile brain, which provides basic survival urges like fight and flight. Surrounding that is the mammal brain which gives us the social instincts that cause us to want to nurture and protect others. And surrounding that is the human brain which gives us the capacity for abstract symbol manipulation that facilitates the ability to learn and grow throughout our adult life.

Like it or not, no matter how sophisticated we imagine we are, we're still animals and need always to respect that. All forms of competitive sports are a disciplined and hopefully safe way of playing "I'll be the lion and you be the zebra" — something you think we might have outgrown by now. Even mammals who have an amazing ability to raise families can revert in an instant to primitive warring reptiles.

Here's another example. Logically there's no reason women and men shouldn't enjoy walking around without shirts, yet we concede to biology and cultural rigidity the fact that human males, and some females, are so hypnotized by the sight of breasts that they lose a bit of their gentility in their presence. We also concede the territorial drives, choosing wisely to respect "personal spaces" even when there's strictly no logical reason to do so. And, in fact, with a little discipline such needs can indeed be subordinated to higher needs, such as in nudist colonies or when surgeons claustrophobically crowd around a critical patient on the operating table.

So when I think about what I want from a relationship I have to care about my mammal needs as well as my human needs. (The reptile in me is happy enough not to eat you as long as you don't eat me.) In terms of human needs, I want a relationship from which I can learn and in which I can give the best I have to offer. To me this means a marriage of teaching and leading. Paul was my teacher first and bedmate second, and I emerged over the years as an increasingly competent leader who took more and more responsibility for his mental health and the welfare of the Center. Using this polarized terminology, I would say that I want to protect someone in a world of power I supply, and I want them to nurture me in a world of love they supply. (I'm sorry this is kind of abstract, but it's the best I can come up with right now!)

But there is a more down-to-earth answer too, one which has to do with biological needs rather than human virtue, and which may not sound very exalted at all. I've examined my feelings about jealousy, for example, which is often dismissed as a defense or imperfection in human nature but which I believe has legitimate biological roots which are dangerous to ignore. I find that what I want is going to sound very "conventional", very "normal". But I think it's merely biological, and something which experimental efforts to "overcome" — such as the 60's Sexual Freedom League which advocated having sex out in the open, even in front of children — have always failed. I want fidelity.

But what I mean by fidelity is a bit more flexible compared to what most people mean. I'm not like the jock who can't stand the sight of "his girl" talking to any other man! What I mean by fidelity is that I like to explore with anyone I court, at least on an trial basis, whether a monogamous relationship would be healthy for us. That simply means that we wouldn't give sexual favors to third parties. But it doesn't mean that we couldn't have lots of friends who we show affection to. In fact, Paul sometimes thought that a lover gives one a stable grounding in mental health but that we grow more from friendships that come and go. (There are other, similar, models I could tell you about sometime.)

While I think humans need this kind of fidelity to stay healthy, and have seen my suspicion confirmed scores of times in relationships at the Center, I can't give you any more sophisticated explanation than to say, "Humans seem to need this." Perhaps it's enough to say that sexuality, like a psychedelic drug, is a very powerful and dangerous tool which can easily get out of hand. It's much safer to keep it confined in a single relationship founded on love and power than to let it loose to wreck havoc like a bull in a china shop.

Notice I'm not basing my opposition to promiscuity on stoical or Puritanical reasoning. I think children should feel free to masturbate, for example, and should be taught how by their parents. But I think that adult sex is a precious gift that is often best used as a kind of candle in the quiet places of serious relationships, a reward for work well done or, as Paul liked to say, "the icing on the cake." I don't think "promiscuity" is wrong in any moral sense — just premature and distracting.

When a courtship is serious, the goal is far larger than attaining a satisfactory level of sexual activity. In fact, it may surprise you that in such circumstances I sometimes find that sex goes out of the picture before it ever happens. This sounds like a paradox, doesn't it? I think the bottom line is that I just want to be important in the life of the person who's important to me. Even when sexuality happens, I'm not a "lustful" or demanding person. Whenever I had a lover I more or less let them set the pace for our sexual encounters. Sometimes it petered out after a few months, but we were still happy because each still knew we were the other's "number one". (I can always masturbate, after all, and because of this I've never believed the lie that some young men use to seduce and intimidate women — the lie that they need to have sex with them otherwise they'll have to have sex with someone else.)

You should realize by now that mated sex is completely different from the hit-and-run encounters and drunken cheap-thrill recklessness that abound on some college campuses. When you have a lover, having sex becomes comfortable, effortless, comforting. You won't feel guilty or ashamed, and you won't have to avoid the person afterwards or lie about where you were last night. A personal relationship is the best way to take someone you care about away from the world of cynical, opportunistic sex and celebration and introduce them to a world of love and power where real human needs are addressed.

Dean


6. Psychiatry

Rachel,

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while I recommend that someone seek psychiatric help — especially if they live far away and I can't take care of them personally. But it's important to understand why even 21st-century psychiatry remains myopic and has little to say to serious people.

Historically, psychiatry was a humane response to the desperation people felt about being unable to help crazy people. If you've ever done volunteer work in a mental hospital you'll know what this feels like. No amount of personal warmth or charm can reach some patients, and if you're not careful you can feel quite depersonalized in their midst. Most of the behavioral language that works so well with friends has no meaning when the other person is really . . . let's say "sick".

Why call them "sick"? Nowadays that term has fallen into disuse because it sounds pejorative. But — like the guillotine — it was an improvement over what came before. Crazy people used to be thought possessed. And since there was a demon inside them, the best remedy seemed to be to kill the demon — which often resulted in killing the crazy person too. With the rise of medicine arose the hope that drugs, physical therapy and "healthy living" might finally help these lost souls. A new concept was coined, that of "mental illness", which was only later shown to be a myth, or at best a metaphor, by people like Thomas Szasz. Nowadays the term "mental illness" is little more than just another viral meme. It exists solely for its Darwinian fitness to survive rather than for any actual benefit it renders to our understanding of ourselves. A less favorable interpretation is that it is yet another attempt by the medical establishment to reduce complex human phenomena to the biomechanical models they learned in grad school.

Besides the psychoanalytic and behavioral schools of depth psychology that were developed early in the 20th century by Freud and Adler, by the 1950's a so-called Third Stream had evolved that tried to apply psychological insights to otherwise normal people on the assumption that even normal people could use a little enlightenment once in while. Out of this effort came humanistic psychology, then evolutionary psychology, and, most recently, "positive psychology" — trends that are now all over the web. None of these have much use for the taxonomies and bumper stickers fabricated by psychiatrists. And why would they? A cursory glance at the Fourth Edition of Hinsie and Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary shows that shrinks love playing word games and habitually confuse symptom with cause — as when they define a "reversal type" as "persons with a tendency to act contrary to normal. They may express contrary opinions, though they know them to be illogical; they may 'dress out of style'; they may enumerate irrelevant items, etc." (Any patient that treats you this way, doctor, thinks you're an idiot and is toying with you. Consider the possibility that she may be on to something.)

So, aside from the ineptitude of psychiatrists, why doesn't the psychiatric model work for most of us? One problem is that, since it evolved to help crazies, its goals are totally irrelevant to the lives of ordinary human beings. We are already fully functional in their terms. Yet it has to be recognized that every once in a while a person who seems fully functional may need the help of a concerned and experienced medical person to work out a problem that may have an underlying biological component they have never dealt with or even recognized. This is why psychiatry needs to be kept in our arsenal — but only as a weapon of last resort. For, as we are constantly reminded by every sitcom that has a shrink in it, you have to be very careful about trusting these people. Some of them are the silliest twits you'll ever meet and, the last time I checked, as a group had the highest suicide rate of all medical specialists.

Let's look at the difference between what we might call intellectual health and intellectual growth. What kind of people like to monitor the intellectual health of other people? Nazis, that's who. What kind of people obsess about "clean thoughts" and "clean minds"? Fundamentalists. These people believe that the goal of living is merely to be healthy, to be socially acceptible by keeping their nose to the grindstone and their eyes on the ground, and never asking questions — a state where "mature" people cooperate in lock-step synchronicity, aware that deviating from the norm is always precarious. Unfortunately, the white coats who get to define mental health in industrial socities are all licensed by their governments and, invariably, end up caring whether their patients are functional in terms that serve the maintenance of a stable society instead of the actual goals of each individual. Such a constricted viewpoint, which consitutes little more than professional malpractice, leads quickly to abuses such as are well demonstrated by the history of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.

What kind of people, by contrast, believe there are no necessary endpoints to learning, pursue adult education and the liberal arts, and insist on taking responsibility for their own intellectual growth? Often these are the very people most distrusted by the establishment, people such as the Enlightenment philosophers, the intellectuals who fled Germany between the wars, or people who "drop out, turn on and tune in". In the 21st century, health is no longer enough if it becomes a dead end robot factory, like the "finishing schools" that a century ago used to turn out our most prized barbie dolls. We must all be involved in a lifelong growth process, or something dies inside us — and in society as well.

Now if you replace the word intellectual with the word psychological in the above comparison, you'll see what I'm getting at. Psychiatry is concerned with — and has limited and blunt tools that are sometimes helpful in — attaining a minimal standard of functioning, i. e. controlling your emotions and behavior so that you don't chronically fail to achieve the lowest common denominator of interpersonal adequacy. But once you have reached that plateau you will quickly need to detach yourself from psychiatry, otherwise it will expect you to wallow in a celebration of normalcy till the end of time and beyond. You will want to go far beyond the limited comprehension of psychiatrists and explore other resources — the wisdom traditions of other cultures, for example, humanistic co-counseling such as are practiced at many alternative counseling centers, or an avocational immersion in the so-called "Great Books" — the choices are endless. If you are ambitious, you may even someday make an original contribution to the foundations of a true science of human nature, the first rough-hewn formulations of which can be discerned emerging from our leading intellects today. When that time comes, even psychiatrists will have to take their heads out of the sand and address much bigger questions than they've ever had to deal with before.

Dean


7. Issues You've Raised

Rachel,

In this letter I'll try to respond to some of the issues you've raised. Quotes from your letters are prefaced by the date they were sent.

April 13: "Shakespeare wrote, 'Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,' and I always wondered if that was so. Part of me thought that he was actually negating the idea that love is eternal — he uses so many negatives in that sonnet. If love stops, was it ever really love? Is love like Einstein's idea about energy — it changes form but never disappears? I wonder."

I'm no expert on Shakespeare, but I believe he simply described what he saw, like most dramatists, and left prescription to the philosophers. Sometimes his sonnets seem like third-person soliloquies, exercises in play-writing, rather than insights which he might personally have believed. But the sentence you quote certainly means, on the surface, that "Love is eternal". It's a lovely thought, indeed, but where it actually applies in the human scene would be difficult to identify.

The only kind of love that is eternal, as far as I know, is the love that you have inside you for those aspects of the world that are worth loving. You will always love beauty, but individual objects may not be very beautiful to begin with and can suddenly lose what beauty they have. If you continue to grow and maintain your mental health, your capacity for love will never end. But that doesn't mean it will attach to any one object unconditionally.

Love of a living thing, be it cat or man, remains healthy when the thing loved benefits from it. Otherwise it can become sadistic to justify its lack of value to the beloved. Unconditional love can only lead to victimization if the beloved becomes psychotic, detached, or simply unreachable, and even the most insightful lover can't always rule out the possibility that these things will happen. Given the unpredictability of future events, you must prepare to abandon even the deepest attachments when your survival — or that of your lover — depends on it.

May 27: "Did Paul feel guilty about abandoning his family? I empathize with him, as my retreat from the world began chaotically, but at another level, I despise such behavior. Do you know what I mean? To leave your children, who depend upon you, because you're afraid you're becoming 'a stuffed shirt'?"

The pain that Paul went through during this period went far beyond the guilt he felt about abandoning his family. His life was collapsing around him, and he knew that if he "stayed the course" he would not survive. We'll never know the details, of course, but by this time his wife was already having affairs with other men and may even simply told him to move out. Perhaps she had already lined up a step-father for their son. In any case, his wife was a professional anthropologist who was perfectly capable of being a single mother, and their son seems to have come out of the experience okay.

May 27: "I'm always a little suspicious of nomenclature. Even the terms 'masculine,' 'feminine,' and 'enlistment' cause me to raise my eyebrows, because I don't think anything about us can be tucked tidily away into boxes like that. I agree that many people fit these patterns — that perhaps all people do, to some extent — but human beings are so unpredictable, and some are so bright. You never know what to expect from brilliant people ... maybe that's why they're so infuriating and wonderful."

Suspicion is not only a good thing, but absolutely required if we are to avoid uncritical acceptance of what may turn out to be mere rumor. Suspicion is a child of the Enlightenment, after all, which was the first period in history to formally reject the authority of religious authorities and ancient texts. But we can't characterize all efforts to understand the world as "tucking things away into boxes". It's only the words that are simple, not the phenomena, after all. The history of science presents many unresolved and intractably mysterious issues, but to think that such a simplistic criticism explains anything would itself be an example of "tucking things away into boxes".

We have to face the fact that we have only three pounds of neurons in which to squeeze the myriad varieties of sensations afforded by an infinite universe, so a certain amount of tucking may be inevitable. We are not deities who can peer into the universe from the outside. We are monkeys who only know a little about bananas and how to knock them out of trees.

Each person is limited to seeing an entire universe from a tiny corner of space and time. That's why it takes many blind men to put together the idea of "elephant". But besides the mapping between the world and the mind that invariably results in data loss, there's the mapping between the mind and our language that compounds the problem. This is why a picture is worth a thousand words. When you look at the amount of work the brain has to do to parse even simple sentences like "Time flies like an arrow" and "Fruit flies like bananas", it's amazing we're able to communicate at all. Socrates' parable of the cave serves as well as any other metaphor to capture this dilemma. Humans live inside a cave and only see shadows against a wall. If they were ever to escape their chains and climb out of the cave into the sunlight, they'd see reality directly. (Do you see, though, that the fact that Socrates could understand all this hints at a way out?)

But your point is an important one, with an ancient lineage. You can imagine it voiced by a Greek soldier saying, "That dreamer Pythagoras! Where do you ever see perfect triangles in the real world! He's just tucking things away into boxes!" You might say that this issue of "what can the mind comprehend" instigated my lifelong study of the history of ideas. Why, indeed, is there a history of ideas at all? The universe hasn't changed. Do ideas need to? The answer seems to be yes. Each age rethinks and reformulates an all-embracing philosophy in broad strokes of "how the universe really works". Some ages merely ascribe this to the mysterious workings of a unseen deity and leave it at that. Others have been able to reduce much of the complexity to "laws of nature" and "initial conditions" upon which such laws work to produce history. But there's no end in sight to the history of ideas since "laws of nature" is at best a metaphor and "initial conditions" can never be probed. Each age makes yet another best guess about "how it all works", which becomes the intellectual air that an entire culture breathes. Most people sense the boundaries of the historical matrix they're embedded in about as clearly as fish see water, unfortunately. And another generation may come along to swing the pendulum in a different direction, and sometimes future generations will forge a compromise between the two. (This is what Hegel meant by the terms thesis, antithesis and synthesis.) None of us escapes the inherent limitations of this evolving zeitgeist, but we can each take a part in improving upon it just a bit.

Here's the way Paul described the issue you've raised:

The development of a science of human nature is primarily a semantic problem. Man dwells in a self-made world of meanings, established through the use of words, and an equally self-made world of values, brought into being by the creation of procedures and techniques. Important psychological abstractions like love, mercy, and honesty must be understood in depth, which means that they take on a permanent core of meaning which can be readily communicated. If these words change in meaning with changing circumstances they become mere words, phantoms from which life has departed, and no matter how much intensity of feeling the user brings to the words in an attempt to endow them with life, they remain mere echoes of the insight they are supposed to embody.
When the fundamental abstractions on which human communication rests cannot find a permanent identity, each man is burdened with the necessity of finding the meanings of human ideas in his own life. There is no established body of universal truth in human matters on which he can rely, and the consequent insecurity for the seeker of human truth becomes very great. Since everyone who thinks creatively must have a unified and permanent view of life many men are forced to accept that view of life which wards off discontent and anxiety, rather than maintaining that open search which only ends in the presence of the truth.

As you go through life, try to see our submissive and dominant traits in very positive ways, as I do all the resources that have evolved out of psychological polarity. One way to think about this is to see submissiveness as another word for goodness, because the kind of submissiveness I'm talking about emerges from the desire to be good to someone or something. We don't have a precise analog for "good" yet in human language, but something like "beauty" might serve. (Psychological language was invented, it seems, by feminines, for feminines!) A person like me only wants to be dominant insofar as it is morally "beautiful" and helps people make choices that are in their own interest. Confucius understood this when he said that the true leader wants to lead people to an ethically superior life, and does so more by example than by force.

Submissive people and dominant people both have constructive social roles to play. Most native cultures have seen this for thousands of years, and in these societies these roles are called the shaman and the warrior. Many native American tribes are more advanced than we are in divorcing these roles from gender, resulting in the social acceptability of both male shamans and female warriors. But it's not mere role-playing we're talking about here. Each person who decides to live a creative life helps beat a path for those who come after them, enabling their children to go one step further. As Longfellow said,

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time.

Dean


8. Who I Am

Rachel,

The first few letters I've written deal with basic ideas that guide my life. This letter will tell you something about myself that I've never actually put into words for you. You deserve to know who I am, otherwise you won't be able to understand what I do. And I think you're more prepared now to know the full truth.

As you know I steer my life not according to the stars, but in reference to human history and my possible impact on it. This is not as glamorous as it seems. I think most people who live decent lives try to understand the world around them and live up to the best standards they can find. I just choose to latch onto a larger frame of reference. Instead of working solely within the ideas and traditions of my time and place, I try to understand the whole of human history and all the major cultures of the world. This too is nothing special, really. All educated people try to be "cosmopolitan", to eschew nationalism in favor of world peace, to understand all wisdom traditions instead of just signing up with their local church.

But here's where I'm truly different. When I met Paul I realized that I was in the presence of the most insightful human being I had yet known. Well, naturally, each most insightful person I was meeting was more insightful than the last, so this didn't surprise me. But Paul was, and is, categorically different from all the others. He not only was an incredibly accomplished psychologist, but also a philosopher of unique attainments. I hate the word philosopher because it is so overused, and therefore misused — just like the word God, which I try also to avoid. If I were to try to categorize Paul's work in an entry in Encyclopedia Galactica, I might identify his field as what has been called "philosophical anthropology." But these categories come and go, so don't try to remember that name. Here's the way I think about what he did.

Once you begin studying the "history of ideas" — one of several terms that are superior in denotative precision to "philosophy" — you can see a grand historical arc described by Auguste Compte and others, an arc that goes from religion to metaphysics to science. In Compte's terminology, religion involves explaining things by reference to invisible beings, like fairies or Zeus or a monotheistic deity. Metaphysics involves explaining things by reference to invisible forces, like Evil or The Good. (Sartre called this "reification," to contrast it with "deification.") Science tries to stick to the observables and draw conclusions that everyone who repeats the same experiments can verify for themselves.

But there is a problem with this definition of science. It makes it seem that we can only really know with certainty things we can learn from laboratory experiments. If this were true we would be doomed to ignorance concerning love and power, honesty and courage, strength and wisdom — all the really important issues of human existence. No one wants to accept that. And in fact, we know it's not true because all of us make headway during our lives towards understanding ourselves better and taking more responsibility for our lives, even if we can't always describe as "scientific" the methods by which we accomplish these things.

When 17th-century people were talking about this new kind of knowledge, they didn't think that science only meant physics or chemistry or biology. They thought there should be a science of society, too. (Compte later called this "sociology" and the name stuck.) David Hume talked about a science of human nature, which would put our understanding of human life on earth on the same kind of sound platform as Newton had placed our understanding of physics. Of all the dreams of the Enlightenment, the possibility of achieving a science of human nature was the grandest.

Sadly, even though a science of human nature would obviously be a great thing to have, we have not come far in developing one. In fact, 19th-century psychology was all about dragging human awareness and behavior into laboratory settings where easily observable phenomena could be quantified and analyzed statistically. Reducing human life to quantifiables has helped us in lots of ways, of course, especially when it comes to medicine. But what about the big questions? To this day, conventional scientists don't even believe such a science to be possible.

For example, in the November 1981 issue of Life magazine, Dr. Leon Rosenberg, chairman of the department of human genetics at Yale University School of Medicine, said "[We] maintain that concepts such as humanness are beyond the purview of science because no idea about them can be tested experimentally." Yet, if I can indulge in the delicious pleasure of quoting myself, "there remains a very simple observation you can make for yourself, much too simple for the experts to have grasped. Ideas about human nature, it turns out, CAN be tested experimentally — all that is required is a real need to know the outcome. Ask any five year old trying out her first friendship."

Remember when I said that if you don't believe you can do something, you'll never find out whether you in fact could have? This is what has happened to the idea of a science of human nature. Because discouraged scientists believed it wasn't possible, they never found out if it was. Not all of them were cynical, of course. But the few individuals who believed in developing a comprehensive theory of man were often working in isolation, without funding, and their achievements were disappointing. This is where Paul comes in.

Once you've familiarized yourself with all the various theories about human nature that are out there, you'll probably notice something about Paul's work. His theory is comprehensive yet not reductive, eclectic but not parochial. I believe his work is truly ground-breaking — and more than that. I believe it defines a framework within which all knowledge about human existence can live. Once I grasped not only the genius of his particulars but the wisdom of his universals, I realized I was in the presence of someone whom future ages would almost certainly regard as the founder of the science of human nature.

This is a grand claim. There's no denying it. And I won't go into the details until these issues interest you more. Incredibly enough, it didn't interest most of the people who came to the Ninth Street Center when we first opened. They hailed him as the greatest therapist ever, and newspapers called him the "Giant of the New Free Gay Culture". But "science of human nature"? They hadn't heard of any such thing. Paul said that this was where I was different. His students were just "feathering their own nests," as he put it, trying to make themselves comfortable as they limped towards the grave. My perspective was wider, he said, and deeper. I might someday even be the one to convey the real importance of this work to a doubtful world. And the Center has gotten more serious about this focus over time.

Most people hearing such a pitch would instinctively resist it. "Do your own marketing, Paul," they'd say. But the idea of playing a role in the founding of the greatest science of all has always thrilled me. It thrills me now as I think of it. This excitement, this purpose, has motivated my every waking moment for the last forty years, and will certainly continue to do so for as long as I'm alive.

I've never told you any of this before for the same reason that we never used to have discussion groups at the Ninth Street Center about the science of human nature. They weren't ready yet. But you deserve to know what makes me tick, what gets me up in the mornings, what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Dean

SUBJECT KEYWORDS: science of human nature, philosophical anthropology, moral philosophy, humanistic psychology, personal development, interpersonal creativity, social progress, introversion, extroversion, femininity, masculinity, psychological polarity, character specialization, homosexuality, gay liberation.

[C:\dh\web\ESR\3\HTP\Woman.htp (1266 lines) 2010-04-22 01:57 Dean Hannotte]