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Monday, July 19, 2004

A shot to cure infidelity?

This article in the New York Times Magazine has an amusing premise and some interesting information in it.  Apparently, some scientists were able to manipulate some promiscious male rodents into being monogamous through medical means.  The author takes off from there and wonders what would happen if you could medically manipulate men into faithfulness.  He suggests that women would be able to talk men into getting an injection that rid them of a straying eye by making it a precondition to sex.  Of course, that's nonsense, because in order for that to work all women everywhere would have to make it a precondition or else men who don't want the shot will gravitate towards women who don't demand it.
But his entire article is silly, because in order for his ideas to work, we have to accept that infidelity is a male problem and women are just victims.  And therefore the tension is not between men and women who extract monogamy from each other, but between men who want to be naughty and women who keep them in line.
But, women cheat nearly as much as men.  And men feel just as much anxiety about their mate's fidelity as women do.  They may feel even more anxiety--it's telling to me that there's a word for a man who's been cheated on (cuckold), but not a word for a woman with a straying husband.  On top of that, the sex that's notorious for using control to extract fidelity is not women, but men.  If there was a shot that made both sexes faithful, my guess is that the vast majority of people demanding it would be those men that stalk, beat, abuse, and otherwise already control their wives. 
That's probably why this writer decided to focus on controlling male infidelity instead of controlling female infidelity.  When women try to exert control over men, they stereotypically do so by using manipulation, specifically sexual manipulation, which he suggests would be the case here.  A woman using sexual manipulation is regarded with humor, regret, resignation, or annoyance, but it's usually not with horror.  It's just not that threatening.  But contemplating male control is to open yourself up to contemplating scarier things--violence or the threat of it.  What some men would do to get their wives to take a fidelity shot is no light-hearted manner in the spirit of this article. 

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So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.
A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.
We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
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