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Third Way

By Roya Monajem, Tehran

This is the term Shams uses to introduce himself (and his doctrine) to his long-sought disciple Molavi (Rumi). In Chinese world-view, Third Way is called Tao. In Western world-view, it is more known as Mid-Way or Moderation. I think their equivalent in Biology would be Stable or Steady State. Now from what can be understood from all the above doctrines and disciplines, it can be presumed that Third Way should be somewhere Beyond Man Stage. In Old Persian language, man meant 'thought' and from somewhere in the Persian history it became to mean 'I,' and not only to mean I but man is 'I' in Persian. Can this be the root of characteristic Persian 'egoism?' accompanied with a peculiar kind of 'individualism,' and our incapacity to truly listen to other people's points of view? Can this be at least the psychological reason for the defeat of all democratic movements that took place on this land during the past century? Can it be the reason why we have usually surrendered to our enemies throughout our history, or at least since the downfall of Sassanians Empire by Arab conquerors, 14 centuries ago? Was it from this point in our history, which accidentally or evidently was accompanied by many great changes and development of Persian language that man came to be used as I? On the other hand, according to Webster English Dictionary, man means Mind. "I think, therefore I am," says it all, our dear Rene Descartes. That is why it can be presumed that Third or Mid Way should be Beyond Man (Mind) Stage. In Nietzsche's terminology, it would be the "Overman" stage, when not only the English man, (meaning man in English language), but also his 'rib,' his 'entertainer' (in very traditional masculine terminology his servant), i.e. woman also go Beyond Good and Evil. And we can change Nietzsche's Overman to "Over Mind" or in its present Persian equivalent "Beyond I" Stage. This is a feasible presumption because "No-mind" state is the goal of nearly all schools of spiritualism and mysticism. To be more specific, Third Way would be 'Beyond Ego' Stage, in the language of Spiritualism. In the mystical language of the great Persian poet-mystic Atar, it is the seventh City of Love, when Lover dissolves in Beloved, or when 'the drop returns to the ocean' in Molavi's Mysticism. In Zen Buddhism, in addition to 'no-mind' stage, it can be described as the stage of "Awareness of Self" when in the words of the great Persian Mystic, Halaj, that Self screams "I am God" - although the 'I' or 'ego' of that Self may be stoned to death, chopped and macerated by the order of religious fanatic leaders of his/her time like Halaj.

In Psychology, it should be the Stage of going beyond our three selves: "id, ego, super-ego,' or 'child, adult, parent.'

In Biology, it is attainment of the Stable or Steady State. It is that ephemeral moment when the two sides of the balance stand on the same line, only to come out of balance (unstable) once again with the slightest breath or movement of air, or a change in atomic configuration of this or that molecule constituting the two sides of the balance, etc.

In Economy (in its meaning of distribution of wealth), 'Third Way' can mean 'to each according to his/her ability and will in creating beauty, love and compassion in the world.' If it happens, then our politicians would be forced to close down all arm and weaponry industries and come out always with non-violent non-aggressive solutions and everybody would 'love their neighbor in the same way they love themselves.' My goodness, am I showing another sign of Idealist Intellectual Syndrome?" (dealt with in another article)? I don't think so because scientifically and objectively it can not be a form of 'hallucination' 'wishful thinking' 'utopianism.' It is probably none of the above because it is now a known proven scientific fact of quantum physics that 'observer plays an active role in giving shape to what is observed?' Then surely the higher the number of us 'thinking beautiful thoughts,' visualizing a world where the sole goal of its inhabitants is creation of beauty, love and compassion, the higher the chance of its actualization. Up to now from the survival point of view, the main reason for wars has been "access to fertile rich lands and cheap labor power." In addition, like natural catastrophes, wars used to play a secondary role in population control. "Thanks to Imperialism!!!" as from the economic point of view we are already living in one world, no matter where we live. Globalization has already taken place economically in a way. And we no longer need to worry about uncontrolled population growth, as our women are not that 'ignorant' any more. In other words, the objective grounds for outbreak of wars really do not exist anymore. The whole conception of Time-Space has changed. Once upon a time, there were numerous objective reasons for domination of feeling of insecurity, on both individual and collective levels. The world was not as safe as it is today from many perspectives. In other words, many objective grounds for going beyond our Mind- or I-kind (=mankind) insecurity no longer exist. That is why Third Way is no longer 'utopia.' The whole Western and Eastern history of 'philosophical thinking' can be seen as paving the way for bringing Mind-I-Man-kind to its next stage of development, when we perhaps finally start using those huge frontal lobes, that we still know almost nothing about. Perhaps we first need to reach the No- Mind or Beyond Mind Stage in order to discover more about these frontal lobes and how we can start using this mass of apparently 'unused' neurons.

And it is very crucial to start using these 'unused' neurons as our leaders do not apparently use even the ones that now is the norm to be used. Fundamentalism is putting our beautiful planet in a very dangerous situation. The idea of creating beauty, love and compassion is the only safe unifying 'ideology' that needs no guide, master, teacher, leader, doctrine, holy book and thus their inevitable 'evil' companions, judgment, self-righteousness, prejudice, conflict and war which are the things that can definitely lead to extinction of Mankind, if we do not 'wake up.' And the way to determine whether we are coming out of the mental state of creating beauty, love and compassion is to check and see whether we are feeling relatively joyful, healthy and energetic or not. It is enough to look at Mr. Mandela's state of being to accept this fact. Together with Gandhi, they proved that Third Way is not very far from humanity now.

In order to prepare and pave the path of the Third Way, the first step in this great task of creating beauty, love and compassion in the world is to turn into a beautiful loving compassionate person. Or to be more exact this is at least what is in everybody's power in life and perhaps the only thing that is in our purely individual power. For an ordinary simple citizen of this blue planet in this unknowable universe, what else is in one's power? Since at the moment we are dealing with the individual, and how we can actually achieve the above goal, we are thinking in terms of psychology. And the Third Way in psychology, as mentioned above, is to go beyond Freudian id-ego-super-ego, or its development, 'child-adult-parent.' If we take Id-child as our collective unconscious, the super-ego- parent as the sum total of our religious, cultural, social and familial conditionings, then ego-adult can be taken as consciousness. The Third Way is then awareness of this state of self-consciousness which can be defined as the state of accepting full responsibility for the quality of our being in this world. From our child and collective unconscious, we need non-judgment attitude, spontaneity, healthy adventurousness, letting go of anything that no longer satisfies our basic needs and curiosity.

From our super-ego - parents, (i.e. all our knowledge, memories, experiences), we need the true wisdom, common sense, consciousness of basic laws of nature.

Then with our ego, we will respond spontaneously, wisely, consciously to both our inner and outer needs which can be boiled down internationally to our needs for beauty, love and compassion.

As an adult, the next level of our interaction is with our mate. It is our most important interaction which can empower or weaken us in responding healthily to our needs of beauty, love and compassion. So let us explore what the Third Way can be in this mutual interaction.

As in any case of study, here too we need to start with the origin, background, history of our case. But before going further, let us first replace the word man in its meaning as the name of the hairless, furless, wingless, bipedal bisexual creature with two well-developed frontal cerebral hemispheres, to Man-I-kind, as I do not wish my feminine, passive subtlety to escape facing her responsibility in the fate of our species, with the excuse that only men in its meaning as the opposite sex of women have been responsible for the past history of Mankind and Humanity. The fact that the word even remained in the sphere of biology and other sciences in spite of their claim to maintain a fair, just, unprejudiced, non-racial, non-apartheid, non-sexual position, in one word 'impartial' position is itself a proof for the overwhelming rule of masculine mind even after the advent of the Age of Reason. It also points to an important historical mistake of taking masculine conception, evaluations and world view as the norm. Yes, it is the norm for Mind-I -kind, but not for No-Mind, Over-mind, non-egoist kind.

The human feminine - masculine gender dichotomy appears to have started from the biological sexual dichotomy which as in animal kingdom determines the responsibilities of each sex in relation to the task of 'survival of the species.' In other words, the first 'division of labor' according to sex then leads to psychological and mental sexual divisions. This is where we should look for the emergence of feminine and masculine characteristics. So the first level or basis of this division can be described as hormonal. Testosterone, estrogen and progesterone are the molecules and thus the means or instrument of carrying out that biological division of labor, in the same way as for example, endorphins are the molecules of 'pleasure' and thyroid hormone is the molecule governing our metabolism.'

One of the first results of the secretion of the above hormones is the weaker physical constitution of women. And here lies one important fact that I have been repeating in my recent articles just to attract as much attention as possible, because to me the key to find the Third Way in the man-woman mutual interaction lies here.

Due to their weaker physical constitution, women have been suffering from two primal fears: fear of rape and unwanted pregnancy. Fear creates insecurity and insecurity is the cause of conflict, antagonism and war which up to now demanded tremendous physical strength. So naturally women had to develop other ways of self-defense. On the other hand the task of motherhood first dictated only by our physiology demanded the development of another set of required psychological mental characteristic. In other words, womanhood-motherhood instinctively drives women to develop the so-called feminine characteristics with the help of specific hormones (more patience, subtlety, caution, prudence, politician-like quality, receptiveness, humbleness, passivity, submissiveness, devotion and...) which were then maintained by religious, social, cultural laws and regulations.

Human males, on the other hand suffer from the primal fear of failure in attracting a female, and inability to defeat other males for this purpose. Among his natural duties is protection of his territory. Thus manhood-fatherhood drives human males to develop the so-called male characteristics with the help of their hormones (more activity, courage, imprudence, aggressiveness and...) which later received religious, social, cultural acknowledgment.

Now all this belongs to the past. Again as stated several times before to attract attention, it is the first time in our Mind-I-kind history, we are already transcending this gender dichotomy, no matter how hard the remaining patriarchal traditional conservative institutes (from religious to ideological) try to postpone it. A glance at the relative change of mentality in the last part of 20th century is a living proof of it.

The first step of Third Way in this relation is this very awareness; the awareness of the fact that there is no longer any objective need for persistence of those characteristic masculine and feminine insecurities. If until recently women needed a man for support and could not afford to use 'masculine' aggressive approaches, now they can equally sit behind machine guns and kill. The presence of female soldiers in armies can have at least this one 'beneficial' result that defenseless women of the enemy will not be raped and misused as much!

In other words, the less the sexes 'need' each other for the fulfillment of their immediate requirements, the more independent they become. The more independent they become, the less they fear losing each other. And remembering the fact that fear and love are the two sides of the same coin, the less fear we feel in our interaction with the opposite sex, the more we are capable to come out of the state of love. This added to the fact that we have already started the Third Way at the individual level will help us to stay in a loving state for longer and longer periods of time. The more love we feel within and without, the healthier, the more creative we will be. Then in whatever we do, we automatically create only beauty, love and compassion. This is the natural consequences of being in love, is it not?

... Payvand News - 2/23/05 ... --

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