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The evil female demon

If there is any science man really needs it is the one I teach, of how to occupy properly that place in creation that is assigned to man, and how to learn from it what one must be in order to be a man.

(Immanuel Kant)

There is no doubt that healthy-mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine, because the evil facts which it positively refused to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.

(William James, 1958: 137-138)

I love those who do not first seek beyond the stars for reasons to go down and to be sacrifices: but who sacrifice themselves to the earth.

(Nietzsche, 2007/1908: I, p. 4)

In the heroic world of display, a man has to maintain face and honor, or sink down to another role, that of the coward or ignoble churl. Heroic man is enslaved in a war with his shame. He will fight to the death in order to avoid the fate of the underdog, strike to avoid being in the submissive position. He experiences intolerable feelings of shame when backed into a subordinate position, and is willing to sacrifice anything to avoid them. He would rather die than feel shame, and in shame he wants to die.

For those men whose shame has been denied, frozen in their quest for masculinity, the psychic sensitivity to a “we” rather than an “I” is lost. He is addicted (whatever form that seduction takes) to proving a sense of invulnerability. The narcissism invested in the survival of the ego against shame occludes all empathic concerns for others, and evil lurks where this loss of humanity exists.

Masculine psychology limits a man’s life to a restricted emotional space that makes him vulnerable to temptations present in the situations he meets. Enslavement to the requirement to prove to the world that he is masculine predisposes an individual to certain reactions that make him particularly vulnerable to evil. In not accepting his human limitations, a man becomes vulnerable to the demonic. He is ruled by his psychological needs and cravings; his only self-control is the outcome of the hold which these needs have on him. A man’s engagements, sometimes frantic, do not involve giving, and what he gets out of his pursuits is consumed by the ego, leaving him craving for more. He identifies with an object, an extension of his ego in which he sees an admiring self-reflection. All of these efforts serve the denial of shame.

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