There is research in the west that suggests that men are happier being married than not, and that the suicide rate is lower for married men. And that the reverse is true for women. Please comment.
There is a difference between the male mind and the female mind; their functioning is different. They are polar opposites — never forget that. Spiritually they are exactly the same, but physiologically they are poles apart; they function in different ways.
For example, man is more physical than woman, man is more extrovert than woman. The woman is more psychological and more introvert. That’s why there are so many magazines like PLAYBOY with nude women on their covers and pictures of nude women inside — and millions of copies are sold. So much pornography exists all over the world, but it is all a male idea. The woman is not as much interested in the nude man as man is interested in the nude woman.
When a man and a woman are in deep, loving embrace, the woman immediately closes her eyes. Kiss a woman, and she closes her eyes. But the man watches himself kissing the woman, watches the woman kissed, watches her reactions, watches continuously whether she is getting an orgasm or not. He remains more or less an outsider, a spectator. He is more interested in watching than in BEING in it.
The woman simply closes her eyes. She is less concerned with the man and what is happening to him; she is more concerned with her inner being, what is happening there. Hence, women are not interested in pornography; their real interest is in their inner processes. These differences are so great that they make for different life-styles.
Prabhudasi, you are right: modern research has certainly found a very strange-looking fact. But it is not really strange.
Women are the roots of Men
Men are happier being married than not because when they are not married they simply feel lonely. When they are married, even if the marriage is miserable, it is better than to be lonely; at least there is something to keep you occupied. Misery also keeps you occupied and man always wants to remain occupied — something on the outside so that he need not go in, so he can keep his eyes open.
The woman is not so interested in the outside, so when a woman is unmarried she feels more alone than lonely. And she can enjoy her aloneness better than a man because she is more inner-directed — she is more selfish, in a way. I am using the word with a very positive meaning: she is selfish, she is self-centered. The man is other-centered; he is constantly thinking of others.
The woman is thinking more about herself. At the most, she remains interested in the neighborhood — who is fooling around with whom. She is not much concerned about Vietnam or Iran. She simply feels a little puzzled about why men are so much interested in Vietnam. What have you to do with Vietnam? It is so far away, why be bothered about it?
I have not come across a single woman who has asked me about proofs for God. It is so far away! No woman has asked me whether heaven really exists, is hell a reality? She is not concerned about these things. She is more concerned with things that are close to her; she is more concerned with her clothes than with God.
And man thinks all these feminine interests as stupid: when there are such great subjects, the woman is concerned about her clothes! She will not discuss communism and Karl Marx, Mao and Mahatma Gandhi. She, at the most, can listen to all these things out of politeness. Her interest is about where you got your sari, the texture of your clothes, and who is looking beautiful. She is concerned with that which is close; her concern is for herself.
Hence, she can remain alone in a more healthy way than man; he feels very lonely. If he can’t get his morning newspaper he starts freaking out! He has to know what is happening in the whole world. He can’t be alone. Even in his aloneness he will create some imaginary beings — God, angels — and imaginary problems: How many angels can stand on the point of a needle? And he will be really into the problem; he will waste his whole life counting the angels, and he will argue to no end! The woman simply laughs. The woman deep down knows boys are just boys — let them talk nonsense! They call it philosophy, theology — they are very skillful in giving great names to stupid things.
That’s why man will commit suicide if he is lonely.
Marriage is a must for him; he needs a woman for many things. First, she gives him a grounding — the woman is very earthly, earth-bound. In all the mythologies of the world she has been represented by the earth. The woman gives him roots into the earth; otherwise, without a woman, he is just without earth, without roots; hanging in the air. The woman gives him a nest, the woman becomes a home for him. Without the woman he is homeless, a vagabond, driftwood.
Still, there is going to be conflict, there is going to be misery, there is going to be constant nagging… it is inevitable because they are such polar opposites; their interests never meet. Hence the woman has to nag, otherwise the man will never fulfill HER desires — and the man has to concede. Slowly slowly, if the man is intelligent enough, he becomes henpecked.
Only very stupid and stubborn people never become henpecked. A little intelligence and the man understands it: that it is better to listen to whatsoever she says and follow it. Otherwise twenty-four hours a day she will be after you. She will not leave you any rest. It is better to do whatsoever she is saying and be finished with it, so you can read your newspaper!
All that nagging and all that misery can be tolerated because the woman fulfills a certain very deep need: she makes you earth-bound and she takes care of your body. She is not much concerned about your soul — that she leaves for you to think about — but she nourishes your body. She nourishes, she cares, she loves; she makes you feel loved, needed — she gives you a deep contentment. Without her, you simply don’t know who you are. Without her you are always a lost child. She mothers you.
Men feel Lonely; Women feel alone
Hence it happens that married men are happier than unmarried men. It should not be so, because the unmarried man has no problems. The married man has problems, so logically it seems very strange that the married person should be happier than the unmarried. But life does not follow logic; life has its own strange ways. The unmarried man is without roots, without nourishment, without warmth. He is cold, living in a cold world; he goes on shrinking and dying. The woman gives warmth, gives life, makes him feel at home, helps him to remain together. Without the woman he starts falling apart.
But the woman can be more happy alone than married, because she can make herself rooted without the man; the man is not such a great need. She can be more independent than the man — she IS more independent.
Just because the woman is more independent, down the ages man has tried to make her dependent in other ways — economically, socially. Naturally, she is more independent and that hurts the man and his ego, so he has tried to make her dependent in some way; artificial dependence has been created for her. Economically she has been paralyzed, she has to depend on man. This is a consolation for man: if he depends on her, she also depends on him. It is a compensation and a consolation.
Politically, socially, she has been thrown out of the society; she has been forced to remain in the home so that man can feel that “I am not the only one dependent, she is also dependent on me.” This is a psychological strategy of the ego, of the male ego. Otherwise, if the woman is given total freedom — economic, social, political — man will look really poor compared to her.
In matriarchal societies, man IS poor. There are a few tribes still existing on the earth which are matriarchal, where woman rules; the women are stronger, more confident of themselves, and men are weaklings.
Strength of Women
Certainly the woman is stronger than man in many ways. She lives longer than man, five years longer than man. If man’s average lifespan is seventy, then woman’s will be seventy-five. She lives five years longer than man — why? She must have more resistance. And after giving birth to ten, twelve children…. Just think of a man giving birth to ten, twelve children — he will be finished long before! Just carry one child in your womb for nine months and you will commit suicide! Or if that is difficult, just try to bring up a child — and either you will kill the child or you will commit suicide.
The woman has great resistance, great tolerance of things. The woman is more balanced; physiologically, chemically, she is more balanced. That’s why she looks more beautiful — her beauty has roots in her physiological balance.
It is like this: if people are created from two cells, one from the mother and one from the father — each cell consisting of twenty-four smaller parts — then man has two cells, one consisting of the full twenty-four while the other contains less. And the woman has two cells, both consisting of the full twenty-four, equally. The woman is more balanced.
Man has an inner imbalance, hence goes berserk more easily, goes mad very easily. Any woman can drive any man mad, it is such a simple phenomenon! Women are ill less than men; men are ill more, they suffer more illnesses. One hundred fifteen boys are born for each hundred girls, and by the time they reach the age of marriage, fifteen boys have disappeared. By the marrying age there are one hundred girls to one hundred boys. Nature also gives birth to fifteen more boys knowing perfectly well that fifteen are going to die sooner or later. So by the time the boys and girls come to the marriageable age, the proportion will be the same.
Political and Economical dependence of Women
Unmarried women are more at ease with themselves. If politically and economically they were not prevented, they would like, they would love to remain unmarried. Maybe that is one of the reasons why man has made them so helpless politically, socially and economically, so that they HAVE to decide for marriage; otherwise many women would like to remain unmarried. Even if they would like to become mothers they would like to become mothers without marriage. Yes, there is a great need to be a mother in a woman, but there is no great need to be a wife.
Men’s needs are more physiological; women’s needs are more psychological. Hence the woman always feels as if she is exploited in marriage. And her feeling is true, because man’s interest is sexual and the woman’s interest is far more total; it is not just sexual. Sex may be a part in that totality. But man’s interest is basically sexual; everything else is just decorative, it is not essential. He is continuously interested in sex…. The simple reason is that their sexualities are very different.
Man has a local sexuality; his sex is confined to the genital organs, it is not spread all over his body. The woman is totally sexual, her whole body is sexual; it is not genital. Hence a woman needs longer foreplay before she can go really into lovemaking.
And the man is always in a hurry; his love is nothing but a hit-and-run affair! The woman is not even warmed up, and the man is getting dressed and going away! The man is finished. His sexuality is genital. The woman is more total; her whole body has a deep sexuality in it. Unless her whole body becomes involved she can’t have orgasmic experience. And if she can’t have orgasmic experiences she becomes disinterested in sex. So wives are disinterested in sex. Man’s whole interest is in sex…
Their understanding is different. The woman always feels cheated, used, as if she is a machine. She feels used as a means; it is humiliating. Hence marriage is very humiliating to the woman. It seems only a permanent kind of prostitution, nothing else. She feels as if she has been sold forever. And in the bargain what does she get? A repetitive life, with no creativity, with no joy, with no exploration; a slavery, a constant slavery and the constant humiliation of being used as a means.
Of course, if more married women commit suicide that is natural; more married women go mad, that is natural…
Need of deep understanding in difference of Nature
For men, sex is not a spiritual phenomenon but only a physiological release. For women it is a spiritual phenomenon. Hence the woman always feels offended; unless love happens as part of a great spiritual experience she is unable to cooperate in it. Yes, she can be part of it in a cold way. It is because of this situation that millions of women have completely forgotten what orgasm means; they have become frozen. It is due to man’s non-understanding about the difference.
Each man and each woman needs a great education about it — that they are different; their physiologies are different, their psychologies are different. And they have to understand each other’s psychology, each other’s physiology. They have to be taught. Each university should help the students to understand each other’s biology, spirituality. But nothing is being taught.
Sex is taboo: don’t talk about it. People act as if we are born with all the knowledge needed. That is sheer nonsense! You may be able to produce children, that’s possible, but that is not enough.
Sex has a far deeper significance. It is not only for reproduction; it has a multidimensional quality to it. It is also fun, it is play, it is prayer, it is meditation, it is religion, it is spirituality. Sex has the whole spectrum; it is the whole rainbow, all the colors from the lowest to the highest.
A great education is needed so that man can understand the woman and can help her to move towards orgasmic peaks, and the woman can understand the man and can help him.
Marriage right now is based on ignorance, and it has been so for centuries. All knowledge about sex has been repressed. It has been discovered again and again, but it has been repressed again and again by the moralists, by the puritans, by the priests, by the politicians, because they don’t want you to become orgasmically blissful.
There is a danger for the politicians and the priests: if people are orgasmically blissful they won’t go to the churches and to the temples because they will know a far higher and deeper form of prayer in their own lives. And if people are orgasmically blissful they won’t follow stupid leaders into war. They will love life so deeply, they will not be so ready to be killed or to kill. Their respect for life will be so tremendous, their joy of life will be such, that they will feel grateful to God. They will not be in such a hurry to throw away life at any stupid excuse: Mohammedans fighting Hindus, Hindus fighting Mohammedans, killing each other.
The politicians and the priests both are agreed upon one thing: don’t allow people to have orgasmic joy; otherwise they will no longer be slaves. It will become impossible to manipulate them; it will become impossible to reduce them to sub-human, mechanical persons. They will have a spirituality of their own and they will have such a rich life, they will not be ready to lose it so easily.
These priests and politicians have created such a repressive society and such a repressed man that the whole humanity is ill and abnormal.
[ Dhammapada: Way of the Buddha, Vol.7, Chp # 8, Q.5 ]