Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dear Doctor Ruth

I recently had my chasna (got married.) I come from a very frum (religious) family and my beautiful wife, Chaya Leah, is the first women I have ever had a sexual relationship with. We have a very good relationship. She cooks and cleans and looks after the house and sews my clothes if I tear them. I study in the kollel ( centre for married men to study Torah in, we receive a stipend each month which allows us to continue learning) and we hope, G-d willing, to have chilren as soon as we can. Which brings me to my question. After we had relations on our wedding night Chaya said it was not so nice. That was two years ago. Since then her menstrual period lasts 28 days, and on the 29th day begins immediately for another 28 days. So she tells me. Because of this - and she aplogises profusely about it - we have not been able to have relations for two years. Can you tell me if all women have their period for 28 days, is this normal, or is it just my Chaya Sarah, a blessing on her head?

Please give me your best advice

Shmueli Doskin

On chesed (mercy, kindness) and din (judgement)

On chesed and din
on spirit and form
on water that flows freely
to give life to all
and in which you can drown
if there is no boundary
to contain the flow
and which is only a problem
if drowning is bad

On the polymorphousness of human sexuality, socialisation, repression, taboos and projection

Be warned - here we venture into "dangerous" and uncomfortable territory...but the desire to articulate and free what is left to fester in the dungeons of the insane distraction and avoidance of the self we call "Western culture" is here goes....and please don't shoot the messenger

When a police inspector views child pornography, confiscated from a paedophile ring, a part of him, despite himself, is aroused. His disgust at this part of himself, which almost no-one will ever know about, and might be only revealed in the most unique or confidential circumstance, this disgust is so huge it gets alchemised into a murderous and righteous loathing and hatred for the perpetrator(s), as a way of ruthlessly repressing and suppressing his own capacity for disassociated cruelty….he is frightened by that part of himself, the voice of his education and socialisation warns him of the catstrophic consequences, the burning shame, were that part to live in any way, and so, were the perpetrator of the violations he has watched in front of him now, he would be sorely tempted to take the law into his own hands and beat to a pulp the perpetrator, to silence the deviant without and more importantly within.

Thus would he act out and symbolically sacrifice and eliminate / exterminate that part of himself that is judged dangerous and not fitting to be….. and that is how Western society, and perhaps all human society functions. It is not completely dissimilar to the rage of undepaid security guards who work mindless exploitative 12 hour shifts in South Africa, standing in cold streets next to booms, or in shopping centres overflowing with a plenty that is not for them..and if they catch a thief, or a suspected thief, who has perhaps committed crimes at other times but not this time, or who has perhaps never comitted any crime except the crime of being slightly strange, and he is safely caught ( not a thief on the loose and part of an armed and dangerous gang, on which it is harder to project), then their accumulated rage can come pouring out onto that real or imaginarythief, and if it is in a township or far away from the rule of law, that thief will be lucky if his death is a relatively quick one.

And so it is with animal circus acts and battery hens and cosmetics tested on animals and fur coats and the Holocaust and Rwanda and the Darfur massacres – the human capacity for splitting and disassociation seems sometimes almost without limits. But of course this is only when viewed from Bleak House.

On the male obsession with large penises going into small orifices.....what does it mean symbolically and in the place where analytical thought slows and something else seems to take over????

One school of thought assumes retributive punishment is some kind of prophylactic against other people acting out when all the evidence points to the opposite - it simply drives so called deviant behaviours underground and the lesson learnt is "I'd better not get caught".

Paedophilia is a collective creation to do with our society's constructions of adulthood vs childhood, the things our society represses, the brutalization and disconnection of people - particulary men- as they are socialised into acceptable and insane forms of cannot be "cured" with finger wagging and state sanctioned violence - it can only be cured by increased Krishnamurti wrote "the seeing is the doing" - only when the dtynamics of the problem are fully comprehended does it dissolve by itself.

I think a reading of G B Shaw's introduction to his Joan of Arc is called for here, or Miller's the Crucible...the terrible evil done by the self-righteous and sanctimonious as they persecute "the wicked"....the inqusitions of the "moral" majority who stamp out the sins of heresy on the rack, as if paedophilia, domestic violence, addiction, institutionalised dehumanisation of the other are out there, locatable in someone else rather than in our own thousand daily acts of smug indifference as we turn away from the needy again and again again...spare me the middle class morality play!


Many perversions take place openly, for example warfare, factory farming, horse and greyhound racing, trophy hunting,

Thoughts at a meditation session

"He has cracked heels like a dry river bed...she's got BIG to get my lips on those and have a good suck...mind you, no correlation between how much the nipple projects and breast size....remember Yael's....maybe I can chat to her at tea afterwards...if she's alone."

people dancing naked around a tennis court
stopping at stations
to give and receive what they like
without shame or fear of censure
but be careful
AIDS, STIs and the reproductive powers of the universe
are no child's play

older men
including me
fantasise about having sex with younger women
on occasion
how could we not?
but this is tempered by
life experience
and the bigger picture

On Bullying and "Bullying"

The other day at school we had a lecture - as part of professional development and school compliance with legislation - on bullying. According to the speaker almost everything can constitute bullying, and he did not address the subject very sytemically, focussing exclusively on the role of the perpetrator, and ignoring the role of a possibly co-dependent victim, an the role of the general environment with its built in blindnesses / taboos and inability to provide support or eliminate the secret and hidden spaces where such behaviours usually manifest.

Some of the staff quietly sniggered at some of the exampls of bullying given - for example sitting too far away from a lecturer or teacher at the far end of a hall or classroom as a form of bullying. I quietly protested against much of the discourse too - in it sledgehammer to pea crudity and lack of subtlety. Many comic scenarios suggested themselvs as he spoke, and I reframed the scenarios he was presenting, and creatd my own visuals to accompany them. For example, he labelled as a form of harassment or bullying, an employer who 'isolated' an employee at work; so an employee who always sits alone, or doesn't get the same emails as everyone ele, is being bullied. All true, and all noble in intention, but picture the unkempt employee with bad BO and very few social skills who interrupts, smells, is tuned out and oblivious..or an employee whpo moans and groans and dumps his/her troubles in an unboundaried and inappropraite way on anone who happens to wonder within earshot - who is creating the isolation in these latter cases??

It could lead to cases of two "bullees" (not bullies!) outclaiming each other:

You're bullying me
No, you're bullying me
But I feel humiliated and powerless
Not as humiliated and powerless as I feel

Of course saying someone is bullying is adding an interprative layer to a set of actions you may or may not like: for example someone may be red faced and waving their hands. they may have raised their voice by several decibels and moved several steps closer to you. This is the data (or some of it as all data will always be incomplete) By calling this 'bullying' you are adding an interpretive and loaded lbel to an already volatile and murky dynamic, and so instead of clarifying and truth telling, will simply drive something underground to fester in another form.

No one can humiliate you without your consent Ms Rossevet is reported to have said, and the role of the bullee in the equation cannot be omitted from any serious look at the phenomenon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My dad's a where woolf

At night our dad turns into a where woolf. During the day he's sweet and gentle with us, but at night, especially after nine o clock if we stand by his shoulder reading what ever he's writing on the computer then he begins to snap and growl at us. If we run up and down the passage or giggle as we slam cupboard dorrs or toss underpants at each other he shouts, snarls, his eyes blaze, and he's just not the dad we know in the day. Can anyone explain why this happens? Is it just our dad or are all dad's like this after nine at night?

Plis hulp
Guy and Daniel Suttner

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where in consciousness is memory?

If the body is just a series of discontinuous sense - ations

(for example we are often only aware of our left knee or our scalp if they hurt or itch, but otherwise its as if they're not there because we don't give our attention to them - which may mean they don't exist when we do not create them by giving them our attention)

and the illusion of a continuous existing entity called a body is only maintained by memory, then where in consciousness does memory exist? Where is it located? Because it seems that memory it is a vital component of creating an illusory sense of a seperate and vulnerable self that exists independently of the all, and that must protect and defend itself, often in the process hurting illusory others...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ki beyti beyt tefila yikarei lechol haamim

How might the third temple In Jerusalem look? It could have a kodesh kodashim - a holy of holies - which is empty and bare of all symbols, as a central circular space, rather like in a Bahai temple, but with no calligraphy or symbol of any sort (Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, Latin) that might identify it as belonging to any particular faith tradition. Leading off from this central circular chamber would be eight themed halls for contemplation and reflection - one with Bhuddist motifs (how much would each stream of Bhuddism be acknowledged??), a second with Hindu signs and symbols, a third with Islamic (Sunni, Shi'ite, Sufi?), a fourth with Hindu, a fifth with Christian (again, how to acknolwedge Greek Orthodox and Catholic and Lutheran and Presbytarian etc etc in the same space??), a sixth with pagan and animist symbols, a seventh with Jewish, and an eigth with Confucian and Shintoist elements.

ki beyti beyt tefila yikara lechol haamim - because My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations