The subject that I would like to discuss with you tonight is important. It's important because it reflects our world and the understanding that our world has.
We live in a world that is very, very out of balance. I don't feel that any of us will necessarily correct that. I do believe, though, that if we sincerely want to, we can bring about a balance in our own lives. When we do that, we inspire others to do the same.
Integrity begins with oneself. To some this might seem a slow process. They feel that it is better to run off into the world and proclaim new ideas and philosophies to the multitudes. I would remind them of a Mister Gandhi, who managed to bring about sweeping changes in a nation and a world and still serves as an example of such, whose primary focus was himself, believing that integrity begins with oneself and that when your home is in order and your life is in balance, that balance will reflect and radiate to others. Whereas to attempt to put the world in balance while you yourself are in a state of imbalance will produce results that ultimately will not be lasting.
The imbalance I speak of in the world, which we see manifested in wars, violence, poverty and other depressed social conditions, stems from a lack of knowledge. We call this lack of knowledge "maya" or "illusion," meaning that we don't see the truth as clearly as we should. We speak of enlightenment, meaning that we see the truth. We live it, breathe it and understand it. The process of moving from maya, a condition of partial knowledge, to illumination, enlightenment, a condition of endless knowledge, is the pathway to enlightenment that we call self-discovery.
In order for a woman to attain enlightenment, she has to undo and dispose of the very things that have helped her to survive.
In addressing this particular topic tonight, you might say I'm addressing all topics because I feel that all topics are found in any singular topic. Once you've learned the art of problem solving, for example, you can solve any problem. The method is transferable. So I feel if we can correctly understand this one subject, we will understand all subjects, whereas if we fail to understand this one subject, we will fail to understand any subject because I feel all subjects in our world are predicated upon this subject. I feel it is that important.
Why don't more women attain enlightenment? Why don't more men attain enlightenment? More men than women attain enlightenment. This suggests an imbalance. I would like to address the question - why don't more women attain enlightenment - this evening. But in addressing that question, I'm also addressing the question, why don't more men attain enlightenment? Why don't we live in an enlightened and happy world? Because I feel one is wrapped up in the other and one cannot be separated from the other, but there is a greater imbalance reflected on one side of the question than on the other. I'd like to look at that side. Why don't more women attain enlightenment?
There are many, many reasons why more women don't attain enlightenment. In presenting my theory to you, I would like to first look historically at a few important items or consolidated histories, because without an understanding of what has been, it will be very difficult to understand what is.
It is equally easy, initially, for either a man or woman to attain enlightenment, what we call liberation or self-realization. Ultimately there is no sex. The jiva or soul, the principle within us that is existence, is neither masculine nor feminine. It composes both. Structurally we know there are obvious differences between the male and the female body. There are also differences between the subtle physical body, the luminous body, of a man and woman. But beyond the physical and the subtle physical bodies, what we see is that all of us are androgynous. All of us really contain both sides, or it's even incorrect to say that there are two sides because that implies that there is a difference, and there is no difference. We are one integrated reality, but we live in a diurnal world, a world of duality where there's dark and light, good and bad, heat and cold, relative pairs of opposites. That's how a fragmented consciousness sees reality, in pairs.