The Feminine Temptation
The hart he loves the high wood;Human nature doesn’t change, no matter what the social Darwinians try to foist on us. It is always the same old story, a fight for love and glory… And nothing is more eternal than the feminine. But whether the female of the species is a Florence Nightingale or a Lady Macbeth is largely determined by whether the male is a Sir Galahad or a Macbeth.
The hare she loves the hill;
The knight he loves his bright sword;
The lady – loves her will.
There is one evil, hatched by the post-Christian technocratic Macbeths, that transcends every other evil ever visited upon Western man. That is the evil of demonic feminism. And white males came to the point where they ceded all of Christian Europe to the feminists by turning from the quest for religious truth to the quest for gold. St. George was forced to give way to Bill Gates.
The female of the species needs certainty, or if you will, security. And that need for security takes precedence over any other consideration. But the male needs the quest. He needs to find out the truth of things, even if finding that truth leads to a loss of security, for he needs the quest more than security. Women have a right to be women, and they have a right to feel secure. But at what cost? Certainly the right to feel secure should not come at the cost of the quest. If we, as men, in order to make our women comfortable, are to avoid all attempts to arrive at the truth of things, what happens to religious faith? It becomes not, “What is true?” but instead, “What is the most secure?” This is the accusation Doystoevsky hurls at the Catholic Church. Using bread to symbolize security, he claims that the Catholic Church exchanged bread for faith in the God-Man. I would agree with Doystoevsky, but I would not exclude the Orthodox and Protestant from the same accusation he hurls at the Catholic Church.
What the bread-for-faith exchange entails is an alliance between the security-conscious female and the practical man. “I wish I had a man who was handy around the house.” Well, enter the Practical Priest, St. Thomas being the ultimate practical priest. Using his Summa as an owner’s manual and his catechism as a hammer, the Practical Priest gives the daughters of Martha and the sons of St. Thomas the metaphysical security they seek. But we pay a terrible price for that security.
Do you recall the tale, told by Thomas Mann, of an appointment in Crete? A man of ancient Athens sent his servant to the market place to procure a bottle of wine for him. While in the market place, the servant saw Death. Death looked at the servant with a threatening look. The servant returned to his master and told him that he could no longer serve him, as he had to flee to Crete that very day. His master asked the reason for such a hasty decision. The servant replied that he had seen death in the market place and Death had given him a threatening look. So the servant took off for Crete. The servant’s master then ran to the market place to confront Death. When he found him, he asked him, “Why did you look at my servant in a threatening manner?” Death replied, “That was not a threatening look, it was a look of surprise. I have an appointment with him today in Crete.”
In trying to gain security, we have lost it. By settling for a false but secure faith we have lost the God-Man, who alone brings genuine security. Letting go of the seemingly secure lies we have been told about God is essential if we are to see through that dark glass to the true God. But the inquisitors will not allow it. “Quests are poetic whimsy and very impractical. Why do you need them when the men of wisdom, at the behest of the dark lady, have put the secrets of the universe in a silver rod?” Is it any coincidence that the hard-eyed enthusiasts, the men who worship the savage God, men like Father Feeney, always have a cabal of devoted female followers? No, it is not. Women are attracted to strength. And dogmatic, inflexible, pagan theology seems like the ultimate in strength. The gospel of Christ seems, when compared to the writings of Aristotle or St. Thomas, to be a ‘weak sister’ philosophy. But the ‘weak sister’ philosophy has a deeper strength that will ultimately defeat the seemingly superior and stronger pagan creed.
Christianity survives only where Christians have refused to make it into a philosophy. There are only remnant bands that have resisted the Gnostic temptation. And it is the old temptation of Adam that has made us so susceptible to Gnosticism. On the female side, it was Eve’s desire to acquire the strength and power of God, through knowledge, that led to her downfall. And on the male side, it was Adam’s acceptance of Eve’s limited vision of God that led to his downfall.
A thoroughly Christianized woman is an inspiration, but if we follow the lead of those “practical” women, we will be repeating the original sin of Adam and the sin of Macbeth, but our sin will be worse because we have their sins before us as a warning. How do we know when a woman is an inspiration and when she is a daughter of Eve? That’s easy. A Christian woman won’t try to impede the quest; she’ll inspire the quest. But every time the man, having been vouchsafed a capacity to see beyond the horizon, makes the women’s desire, for what her limited vision sees as a secure resting place, the sum total of his striving, he creates a little mini-hell on earth, giving vixen free reign and plunging himself into Merlin’s oblivion.
For Merlin, overtalk'd and overworn,
Had yielded, told her all the charm, and slept.
Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm
Of woven paces and of waving hands,
And in the hollow oak he lay as dead,
And lost to life and use and name and fame.
--Idylls of the King by Tennyson