Thursday, September 11, 2008

And Down Came The Steel Wall...

Last night I attended my first class (St101A) through GWU. I wasn't excited, I wasn't nervous. I went not knowing what to expect or even if I was prepared.

Attending this type of liberal arts focused university is not a "normal" experience. I am programed for sitting down and being lectured at with occasional questions extended to the students. Last nights encounter was based upon our reactions to the reading of The 5,000 Year Leap; what principles influenced or moved us.
In the beginning we had to divide into groups of 4 and where given one minute to prepare a teaching principle. We were then given one minute to present that point. I thought I was going to totally freeze up.
Just prior Dr. Schulthies spoke about listening. How our minds are either in the past, present , or future. It's easy to be thinking about what you are going to say next and really not be there in the present listening to what is being said. You end up not connecting via listening when you let your mind go else where. When we went into these groups I wanted to find my point before the first person started talking in order to be mentally present.

I admit to you now that I am ashamed to say that my mind is often in the future when it needs to be here in the now with my child talking to me. This principle, although not in the book was taught to me last night.

Anyway, I said my one minute point, well almost said 1/4 of my point. It's hard to think and present in such a crunch of time. I wasn't always sure what everyone meant. We are at different levels of education some having read more then others.

I also learned this morning that I did not understand what it meant when I said I'd give 100 percent of myself for this learning experience. What is 100% anyway? Compared to what or who.

I tell you I was hit with self doubting this morning I started to cry. Am I kidding myself. Can I related or experience epiphanies while trying to understand and gain meaning for me from the selected reading from the O.T. and John Winthrop?

I don't know. All I can do is try. Actually it more then try. I can pray for an open mind to what God would have me to learn. I can exercise my faith.

I yelled out last night, NO! when the question of memorizing the 28 principles of freedom from the 5,000 Year Leap book was suggested by our mentor. What is the deal with that?! I felt so hostile towards the idea of having to memorize. This sound so elementary to me. What is this fear or better I feel like it's a steel wall crashing down in front of me when ever I thought of having to memorize these points. I don't want to feel this way. Education requires hard work and memorizing is part of that work. I prayed in my mind a lot this morning.

As we left just after 9am for the State Fair, I decided to take my copy of the 28 principles. And as I entered the roundabout to go westbound I felt a change in my mind and my steel wall was lifted. I said to myself that I want to learn these fundamental principles of freedom. And really, this angry resentful feeling has now subsided. This is a spiritual blessing for me. I see this as God hearing my cry and wanting me to learn.

On the trip to and from SLC, I memorized 1,2,3,26,27,and28. Divine Nature, Virtue/Moral Strength, Elected Leaders, Core Unit, Debt/Subjugation, Manifest Destiny; these are my key trigger words.

The second principle that I was taught last night also did not come directly from the assigned reading. I had mentioned my theory which I posted yesterday, and then how de Tocqueville said in his Democracy in America that the family unit in 1830's was so organized, strong, and a desire to be with. Yet in Europe at that very time he said the disconnection of family had been going on for some time. I wondered if there was any connection to my thought process with the I.S.S. of 1905.
Dr. Schulthies didn't say yes, but he processed to read from the second vol. of de Tocqueville about the placement of man and women. I felt like I have never been told or rather understood and frankly I still don't understand the greatness it is to be called WOMAN. I learned that I and my daughters need to know this value. It's more then just saying you are a daughter of God. It's nice, but it's not fulfilling.

Epiphanies to explore: 1. Listening in the present and 2. Beautiful Womanhood.


Dezra Helegson said...

I have been thinking about this statement you made in your blog, “I felt like I have never been told or rather understood and frankly I still don't understand the greatness it is to be called WOMAN. I learned that I and my daughters need to know this value. It's more then just saying you are a daughter of God. It's nice, but it's not fulfilling.”

Here are the musings that the above statement has brought to my mind:

I do not believe it is great to be called Woman; anymore than I think it is great to be called Man. If, as mothers, we instill in our daughters the belief that being a woman is greatness, will we make sure our sons know that being a man is also greatness? I believe if there is any greatness to be ascribed to us mortals, it is in our decision to follow the plan of salvation; to accept the challenge of coming here to earth, to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father that we will do all commands us to do and then to return to Him and live as He does. Greatness comes when we live the life God means for us. That means living the commandments, finding and fulfilling our missions, serving others and so on, regardless of our sex. I hope to instill in my children the knowledge that they truly are offspring of deity, with all the hope, responsibilities and requirements that entails. The proclamation on the family tells us “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” All of my children will be taught to embrace their roles given them by their Father in Heaven. Isn’t it enough to know that our identities are God-given without having to ascribe a loft adjective to one or the other?

I think a lot of this “it’s great to be a woman” is stemming from the (erroneous) belief that we women need to have something to make us feel better because we don’t hold the priesthood (in the church. Outside of the church there is a lot of this going on, too, to make us feel better for the centuries of “patriarchal oppression”). To which I say, sarcastically… “oh, boo hoo.” Perhaps you have heard this one, “we may not have the priesthood, but we are given the important role of bearing children.” Some have taken this statement to an extreme, elaborating on how we have a greater role than men because as child-bearers we are closer to God. Oh, puhleez. How can one role be greater than another if “one is not without the other”? The priesthood is a role, not a designation of greatness or superiority. Bearing children is a role, not a sign of greater goodness or importance. If women had the priesthood and men could bear children we wouldn’t need each other and the plan of happiness would be thwarted. Heavenly Father intended for us to work together as husband as wife, complementing each other’s nature.

So, why all this talk about the “greatness of being called WOMAN?” Sometime during the sixties, or earlier, scientists discovered that men and women are the same, except for physiological differences. The differences in male/female behavior stems from their socialization. Meaning that if infants were socialized differently, little boys would nurture dolls and girls would play rough with trucks (You may have read something about this in How Children Learn by John Holt). So far, this hypothesis has not been proven, but that doesn’t stop people from teaching it. But if we accept it as truth, as so many have, it is easy to see why the feminization of boys is a top priority to some. You see, if boys acted more like girls there would be no war, there would be no violence, there would be no poverty and we would live in a blissful Utopia. So, the idea that female nature is superior to male nature has to be pushed so that the correct (read feminine) socialization of boys can be assumed en masse. To a large part it already has.

I found this statement at

“In our experience it is evidence that most of what is being called ADD today would not have been called ADD fifteen or twenty years ago and that much of it falls within the range of normal boy behavior.” – Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., from “Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys.”

I wonder how many years it will take for society to realize the harm these beliefs have caused. How many normal boys will be taking medication to make them act “female?”

I’ve gone on long enough. As you can see, your blog entry hit a nerve. My response may be way off the mark in regards to your comment, but at least you know someone is reading, and responding to your words.

Nickie said...

Hi Dezra,
I don't think I was writing about the worldly greatness of one sex being greater then the other. When I wrote this I was thinking about God seeing me and my daughters and every humane as a little something of geniusness. I don't mean worldly knowledge either. It's something totally not of this world. Yet without understanding for this god given geniusness I think I end up hurting my children, myself, and other humans that I devalue. Womanhood is great and wonderful as I progress spiritually. It doens't have anything to do with world views in my mind. If I am a daughter of God then I need to act and improve as as his daughter. Maybe it is peace I'm looking for.
So, it's not world greatness. But it's greatness that with my Heavenly Father's help I can be inspired to greatness, my daughters, my son, my husband , and those we are to come in contact with at sometime in our lives can also be inspired to try something new, to turn to God with a more willing heart to say Thy will be done not my will.
This is rally greatness in my mind. I am thankful to my Heavenly Father and to His Son to begin to see this a little. I want to be great for my God not for myself.

Nickie said...

BTY, Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. I appreciate that you are considering what I said and that I need to clarify myself which seems such a struggle often times.