The Marriage Gamble by Roy Masters The entire world system is based on a lie, the lie that the relationship between man and woman is one of "love." In reality, the so-called "love" is nothing but an animal need that man calls "love" is the result of his fall from what love really is. As long as he insists on calling it "love," he strengthens the hold that his compulsive fixation has on him and it becomes the breeding ground of terror, violence, and trouble and woe of every description. To most men, women â€“ even more than money â€“ are the root of all evil. They like to think this, of course, because it constitutes a handy excuse for their own weakness. But the more they think along these lines, the more fixated on women they become. And the weaker they become as they loosen their contact with Him who charged Adam to love and correct Eve. To this day, Adam uses Eve to support his rebellion against the Creator, and he needs her so badly in this respect that he grows ever more fixated to her, ravaging and plundering her for all she has, needing her but certainly not loving her. Love, whatever that is, he has long forgotten. All he knows now is the kind of "love" that makes the world go â€˜round. Marriage should be a holy institution, but it is not. A terrible and wordless intrigue is playing itself out relentlessly and is quietly concealed under the lines and gestures of the actors playing "mother" and "father." Life could be a joyful game, of course, played correctly with love and honor under God; but something has gone wrong. The actors in the marriage game are as phony in their way as the hypocrites of the pulpit are in theirs. Dimly aware that this is so (by the Light that refuses to be put out completely), we throw ourselves into our parts with great zest. The better we play our roles, the more we are admired and applauded by the friends who are caught in the same trap, and we all draw comfort in the thought that "the playâ€™s the thing!" What you are no longer matters. Itâ€™s how you play the part that counts. Actors on the stage are greatly admired for their ability to portray courage and virtue. As long as we are observing reasonable facsimiles in the framework of make-believe, weâ€™re all for them, and we root for the "good guys." Real virtue, in the framework of real life expression, frightens us, however. Just as we give lip service to religious principles at the "right" time and in the "right" place; i.e., on Sunday in Church, yet the physical presence of the Prince of Peace or anyreal person embodying these principles in his lifestyle would make us tremble in our boots. He would unmask our hypocrisy simply by being himself. Our reason for playing games is quite simple. It is one of the ways our vain nature chooses in order to avoid and distract itself from an earnest commitment to God. Games can be won. They are a challenge to our pride. But who could be proud of being good, when to be good is to give up pride? So we play the role of being right, and graciously accept the "respect" of those who are taken in by our play-acting. And by a kind of gentlemenâ€™s agreement we accord the same respect to other actors. But under this blanket of respect we continue to play our dirty little games, feeding the pride of others in exchange for the "respectability" the offer us, doing our own thing and licensing others to do their own thing, with never a trace of guilt. A young mother can accept glory for her accomplishment only because she is proud. The praise she receives makes her feel secure in her vanity. But she cannot be honestly good because if she were, she could not then accept the praise that her ego craves for its glorification. Furthermore, we are all dimly aware of the contempt any hint of real goodness would arouse in those from whom we solicit applause. So the young mother soon learns that "the play is the thing," and playing it, she becomes lost in a web of self-deception. When we play at being good, we receive the acceptance we crave â€“ we never have to experience the humiliation of facing up to our mistakes. And so it is that under cover of the applause our pride receives for its hypocrisy, it gets the support it needs to do the things that nobody could condone if they were done openly. (And seen clearly, of course, by a true light â€“ but whoâ€™s to see?) Friends who play craps together are not really friends. They seem to be friends because they encourage and justify one another, but secretly each is maneuvering for the big advantage. Each personâ€™s desire for advantage justifies the same desire for advantage in others; and thatâ€™s how "buddies" are born. The wrong you decide is all right for you to engage in is invariably justified by the people who take pleasure in joining you in it; the shared wrong shows you to be of one mind concerning a philosophy of life. If you are a band of cheats, your only use for an honest man is to cheat him â€“ the thought of his joining the club is something else, too odious to contemplate. Suppose you decide, as a woman, to make full use of your beautiful body in order to gain certain advantages from men. Now, the men who are drawn to you will not see what it is you stand to gain from them, as they will be too preoccupied with the pleasant prospect of all they expect to gain from you. As long as each has hope of gain, the illusion of sweetness and light is practically perfect. Each takes the other at "face value" and tacitly agrees to overlook the secret maneuvering that is going on both sides. In fact, we are so good at overlooking our own skullduggery that when something goes wrong, all we can see is the other personâ€™s part of the blame. When we get away with something, our very success proves us right; but when we fail, itâ€™s because that "dirty so-and-so" tricked us. Hisinjustice is immediately obvious to us â€“ not so, our own. Whether we look at gamblers or at lovers, we can see the same principle in action. Each justifies the otherâ€™s larceny, each is fair game, and each seems to like the other just the way he is. But then the battle is joined, and the winner emerges feeling glorious and perfectly justified in his victory, while the loser burns with the judgment he pronounces on the winner. Neither sees his own mistakes, and therefore, can learn nothing from them. The winner feels encouraged to win again, and the loser burns to get even. Neither sees that in the game for selfish advantage, the stakes are really health, sanity, and life itself, and that the winner is also perforce the loser. Wherever we encounter this uncorrected desire for power or selfish gain, to be acquired through "love" or money, we also encounter a blind spot in respect to our "friends," the people we become entangled with. The problems we all encounter in life are evidence of the fact that we all have this blind spot, and until we learn our lesson, trouble and woe will follow us the rest of our days. All the intrigue in the world originates in the close "friendship" of man and woman. In the delirium of this relationship we learn tricks that run the gamut of all that a sick, fevered mind can conceive of. From the day we are violated, the day of our birth, we are seeking to get even at the expense of the unwary. In marriage we find our best, and bloodiest, battleground. Many men, frustrated to find that they are losing their lives and advantage to their wives, become enraged and begin to cheat their fellowmen, if only to win favor with their powerful wives. They justify the game they start to play on the basis of getting even â€“ like the man who feels justified in stealing because he himself has bee victimized by a thief. The prevalence of this attitude may account for the apathy of most citizens toward the law. They donâ€™t really want honest law, or law enforcement, because it would force everybody to be honest, and that would spoil their own little games. To get back to marriage, the game we are playing (whether we know it or not) for an empty jackpot called "despair," could it be that we are married to the right person for the right reason? Theoretically, it could be, but chances are against it. For one thing, you donâ€™t really want a "right" person, because a right person would hold a mirror to your real motives and expose you for what you are. No, you need someone to make you feel right the way you are, complete with the uncorrected selfish ego that you brought into this world, and that counterpart must be just like you, philosophically speaking. Many women enter into marriage with great ideals as to the sanctity of marriage, and soon they are to be seen wringing their hands and wailing, "How could I have been so blind? I thought he was such a wonderful man who would make a fine father for my children, and now I see that all he was interested in was sex." Now, depending on the turn their false idealism takes, they will either stick to their bargain and play the part of "good wife," or they will run, clamping the lid shut on the past by saying, "I loved you once, but itâ€™s all over now. It wouldnâ€™t be fair to hold you back, so goodbye." Of course, this attitude reveals the fact that they had no love to begin with, for love "suffereth long," is patient, endures all things, and after everything else is gone, still stands. In other words, love is not a "sometime" thing. But our idealistic woman magnanimously frees the man to marry again, causing him to commit the sin of adultery and making sure that she will not have to suffer the guilt of doing it first â€“ all in the name of "love." The fact is that a truly honest man or woman can not possibly be deceived by another human being. You donâ€™t find an honest man in crap games or in false churches. There is nothing in those places to appeal to him. He already has the "advantage" he needs, and he is not seeking to take it from anyone else. He simply cannot become involved with dishonest people. You cannot cheat an honest man. From your own personal pedestal of camouflaged dishonesty, you may often have observed the foibles of others and wondered how they could have been so blind as to get caught up in their unsavory involvements. From your vantage point, you can see how stupid they are, but they canâ€™t see anything, because they have been blinded by the "romance" of the prospect of "getting." You may try to warn them, but they wonâ€™t listen, and when you try to help them they only take advantage of you. They sense, perhaps, that you are seeking the advantage of the glory of "saving" them, and this observation justifies them and hardens them in their course. The only advice people seem to listen to is the advice that will show them how to get even with their sparring partners. But what kind of person is it that will give that kind of advice? Only a person seeking his own advantage, if only to justify the follies of his own miserable existence by making you as wrong as he is. My dear idealistic friend, that contemptible man in your life was just what the doctor ordered to wake you from your self-deception. Your life is not ruined â€“ your virginity, perhaps â€“ but not your life. Every person comes into this world egotistical and vain, and each of us must discover for himself the meaning of egotism, and come to repent of that egotistical nature that we cannot of ourselves change. When you were a child, your father did not love and correct you properly. Perhaps he "loved you too much," spoiled you to need the things he needed, and built up your ego, so that now you must find a man to sustain the distorted image you have of yourself, and justify the things you want. But your ego will still be dodging real love, real correction â€“ for the love you will receive will be for being what you are â€“ neatly justifying what he wants out of life. Or perhaps you had a mean, contemptible father whom you secretly hated, so you set about to find a man who could "love back into you" the image of a woman that you lost by hating your father. Or you may determine to remain pure, to differentiate yourself from the unprincipled parent you hated, but cannot admit to having hated for fear of marring the image you have of yourself. However you arrived at your worldly ideals, you were impelled by the desire to maintain a sense of original purity that a doting parent, needing your approval, imparted to you, or to regain the sense of purity that you lost at the hands of a man as the result of a proud ambition that made you vulnerable. You did such a beautiful job of looking like an angel from Heaven, and a man pleaser, that you managed to frighten away all the honest men. And the love (lost advantage) you needed so badly "perfectly" justified the sinner you got involved with. He did seem to be a wonderful person â€“ otherwise, you would not have married him â€“ but so did you. The "advantage" he gained from you went to his head â€“ it frightened and frustrated him and made him do foolish things. The criteria you used in picking your man were all based on superficial prejudice and unconscious need, the need you had to use another person to lift your spirits or maintain the illusions you had about yourself. And when you saw the one you needed, the kind of "love" you had to give him, unmodified by the presence of God, helped to make him into the pig he gradually became. If you are still married to one after forty years, you may still not realize what a big nothing he is. He has appeared great only because your "love" has supported him and made him into a "good" man â€“ to you, but a good-for-nothing in the eyes of Reality. When death claims him, your life will be a big, bottomless hole, and in that hole you will go around muttering about what a good man he was (could you admit otherwise?), and friends will nod their wooden heads in agreement. And all the while, the grave is waiting for you also. Take care that you do not enter it as self-deceived as ever, having paid for the false consolation of friends with a wasted life. Marriage has become a giant "put-on." Of course, we all want to believe that there is nothing in this life but boys and girls: girls for the boys, and boys for the girls. If we did not believe this and encourage one another along these lines, we would find ourselves alone with the truth that every ego seeks to avoid; namely, that there is something in life other than boys and girls playing games together. We just donâ€™t want to know about it. All we want to do, perhaps subconsciously, is to make life serve "our" purposes, "our" goals. People who pride themselves on their rational approach to life are fond of saying that there is no purpose or aim in life unless we make it ourselves and then strive toward it. But then, to have the incentive to do so, boys need the needling of girls, and girls need the strong backs of boys. So, willfully or unwittingly, we all join the crap game of life in the time-honored tradition of "boy meets girl." High on the ambition we generate in one another, we claim to be "working together" for a "better world," but actually each is trying to outwit and use the other, and we are not really as unconscious of what we are doing as we like to pretend. Challenged, weâ€™re right there with the excuse: "Why not? He would have done it to me! Thatâ€™s the way you play the game, isnâ€™t it?" For both sexes, it would appear that the game is everything, but there is something about the way a woman plays it that is hard for a man to understand. Women are certainly a mystery, but part of the reason men cannot understand them is that women have managed to keep the men asleep, perhaps compulsively, prompted by that secret drive in women that has never been fully explained. It seems reasonable to assume, at least, that women are more aware than men, as they are more prone to guilt and anxiety feelings than men. Most women understand the games they are all playing with the menfolk, even though they never discuss the subject with one another openly â€“ and certainly not with men. A guileful womanâ€™s "security" and "advantage" lie in keeping her mouth shut and playing her cards close to her chest. And she might as well, because if she were to hand the truth to most men on a silver platter, they would prefer not to believe it, and their own kind of women would back them up in their denial of truth. Fortunately, a small minority of men and women, by virtue of their true desire, do not engage in the unspoken conspiracy of the game-playing multitude, but they sense the difference between themselves and the vast majority of people. As a result, they often suffer a kind of compulsive curiosity on the subject of that difference. They cannot be so hypocritical as to join "the opposition," but they are acutely aware of the loneliness of their position. These are the people who are going to be greatly relieved by my letting the cat out of the bag once and for all. When they see me saying what they have really always known, they will be able to take a firmer grip on the courage of their convictions, realize that they have not been left out of anything really worthwhile, and proceed with the business of living happily ever after. For them, the war of the sexes will be over. And let me assure you, until the war of the sexes is over, man will be at enmity with God. Now, let us explore some of the dangerous psychophysiological "misconceptions" current among men, such as 1) sex is love, 2) sex is manly, and 3) women like sex, too. We may start by asking what a woman is to a man. Is she the object of his love? If she is, then what is "love?" Is love "sex?" If love is sex, then monkeys are better lovers than men. To most men, a good woman (actually, a bad one) is "cooperative." From her he may draw ego reassurance, relief, stimulation, pleasure. She will do anything to keep him "happy," and when he makes a mistake, she will be his scapegoat. She is servant to his lust and cheerleader to his ambition. She is the necessary evil that his male ego thrives on, but he will "love" her only as long as she continues to play her part and follow the script. At the risk of laboring the point, I must repeat that a manâ€™s "love" is not love at all, but a demand that a woman be evil as a prerequisite to being "loved." If she does "well" in his eyes, he "loves" (needs) her again. Meanwhile, his male need "justifies" her existence as a fellow egotist, and if she fails to see through the charade, she may become dependent on his being the way he is. A manâ€™s claim to "love" arises from one central need: the need to remain asleep to the Truth. He is a veritable drug addict, dependent on Eve, "the pusher," his source of supply. When a vain woman sees his ego helplessness and his strong back â€“ well, the "pusher" sees that she has a pushover" and she gives him the needle. His sexual overeagerness betrays his spiritual weakness, and his spiritual weakness is just what she needs to make her dreams come true and give security to her failing as an uncorrected person. That is a fairly clear picture, at last, of the way ambitious women look at ambitious men. They cheer the men on from the sidelines while the men go out and do the dirty work ambition demands of them. The women derive a great feeling of security from this arrangement, and they feel like queens as they bless their subjects and nod their approval. They are the aristocracy, and the men are the peasants who serve them in the fields and on the battlegrounds, bringing back the fruits of their labor and the spoils of war and placing them in their lily white hands. For this, the men are dubbed "superpatriots," which, freely translated, means "demented nothings who will do anything at all to be considered important somethings." But just let something go wrong or get out of hand, and the adoring subject does a "double take." Suddenly, the beautiful queen becomes the wicked queen and gets all the blame. Little children are especially familiar with this type of relationship. Their friends are great pals while they are providing them with the motivation to do something naughty, but if they get caught in the act, they put all the blame on the erstwhile friend. "Itâ€™s all his fault; he made me do it," they scream. Of course, it does take two to tango. Eve didnâ€™t hand Adam the fruit of desire (ambition) because she thought it would be good for his health, but Adam "bit" because he interpreted her act as a form of consideration for the condition of his soul. In other words, he had already tempted her in a subtle way to light a fire under him. He did not correct her when she did, and she knew that he would not. She knew he wanted and needed to bite into the apple when she offered it to him. And to this very day men tempt women to tempt them by signaling their animal needs, except that now they do it tomaintain (not to originate) their pride. Like Snow White, Adam fell asleep as a result of the evil queenâ€™s charms, and his sons, having inherited his stupor, will sleep on until they are awakened by Loveâ€™s first kiss. There is quite a difference between the kiss of love and the kiss of death, or eternal sleep, the one that is most familiar to us. When the first man fell from Love, he literally lost control over his mind and body. The woman, on the other hand, gained power through the increased physical influence of her attractive body. The guileful woman is instinctively aware of this power and makes the utmost use of it. If man were sufficiently awake and aware to see how the woman is using sex to control him, he would be literally turned off by her ugliness and her antics, but as long as he needs womanâ€™s support for his ego, the last thing he wants to be is awake and aware, so he tacitly insists that she continue to play her quiet little games with him and never drop the bomb of an honest word that would shatter the serenity of his "slumber room." And yet, though man appears to give woman the upper hand by insisting that she keep pulling the wool over his eyes, she would do well to remember that the pride she feeds as a puppy will grow into a vicious dog that will not hesitate to bite the hand that feeds it. Occasionally, a woman comes along who seems to have been left out of Eveâ€™s secret, who is relatively guileless, and yet manages to attract a man by the sheer beauty of her body. Starry-eyed and romantic, she sees her own ego need as a large white canvas on which her man will paint a stunningly beautiful picture, warm and rich in exquisite detail. What she gets, of course, is simple uncomplicated sex, and this may be something of a shock to her. The realization of what he had in mind all along comes to her slowly, like falling downstairs a bump at a time until she hits bottom and discovers that, to Prince Charming, love is sex. If you happen to be one of these "innocent" women, let me point out to you before you allow yourself to get carried away with self-pity that you were not really "innocent" enough. Had you been filled by the Light of God, you would not have been carrying around that void, that ego need, that large white canvas waiting to be completed. You would not have been right there to guide Adam, the sleepwalker, back to bed so gently that wakefulness never for a moment threatened to overtake him! It does behoove you not to hate Adam for taking away the innocence that you never really had. Usually, woman inherits a power over man that she is powerless to give up, but is driven to exert compulsively, even as man is driven to give her that power and is powerless to prevent her having it until he himself falls under the power of the saving grace of God â€“ in other words, gets off her hook and begins to look to his Creator for the impetus to live. Until that time, the power Eve has makes her feel either beautiful or ugly, depending on the degree of her guile. If she is egocentric, ambitious, and full of guile, the sexual needs of an ambitious male will excite her to tempt him, and to feel like a million dollars while she does it (and before she becomes aware how ugly she has become, she finds herself temporizing the beast). A seductive woman broadcasts two ideas: 1) Keep trying, and 2) Donâ€™t worry about sex â€“ itâ€™s great. That is the image of woman that advertisers use to sell everything from soup to speedboats. Itâ€™s the womanâ€™s form you see on the billboards, but itâ€™s the men that put them there â€“ and without much objection from women. Generally speaking, women identify with that high place of glory, whether itâ€™s a magazine ad, a poster, a billboard, or neon lights against the night sky. All symbolize her omnipotence, her power, and superiority over men. The men, however, see the picture from a different vantage point. They are delighted, stirred to life, encouraged to strive in the ancient way of proud men, by the vision of beautiful women they surround themselves with. Then too, they are the power behind the throne; they can learn to "manage" women in their various roles of seduction and reap profits from other men who need women. Tyrants use the same principle when they see to it that their masses are surrounded by blown-up portraits of themselves, like an environment, to justify the people in their failings and keep them in line. And of course, tyrants are basically "female" in their orientation toward, and dependency on, their subjects. But men do not really look up to the dictator with love and respect any more than they really look up to the women that they surround themselves with, much as tyrants and women would like to believe otherwise. In reality, they are engaged in a giant put-on. Hitler, like a larcenous female, made his countrymen feel like supermen and superwomen on a grand scale; and as I mentioned above, dictators are always female-exchanged males, men who have acquired and evolved the guile and the ways of woman, usually their mother.