An ancient controversy surrounded a Christian apocryphal book called Acts of Paul and Thecla. While St. Thecla was revered a great deal in the past, she’s become less recognizable among Christians over time. Many know the Apostle Paul and his companions mentioned in the Pastoral Epistles well, and the popularity of those books may have something to do with why Thecla is relatively unknown today. Studying the interaction of these texts reveals a struggle for orthodoxy that many never knew took place.
What does Acts of Paul and Thecla say? Are the Pastoral Epistles a forgery? Was Acts of Paul ever considered New Testament canon? This video attempts to answer these questions and more.
Dr. Ian Mills
Driving school where you have to put an entire car together, piece by piece? That is INSANITY!That’s so sad, I felt deeply for those girls around the world who doesn’t have any power over themselves. Keep doing you amazing work and be the voice for those there were silencendAs a Hongkonger, you’re an absolute inspiration to those living under authoritarian systems. I also greatly respect and admire your courage to speak up against not just North Korea but also China. Please stay safe and take care.It sounds like it’s both a blessing and a curse to be born attractive. On one hand, you may lead a fairly decent life. On the other hand, you may end up in servitude for most of your youth. Either way, no one is free to lead their own life.
What is muscular christianity and what does it have to do with Joe Rogan? We were joined by Derek Beres & Julian Walker of the Conspirituality podcast who are working on this very issue.
Christian nationalism has always been extremely obsessed with masculinity and extremely “muscular” for over two centuries. How prevalent it is in mainstream American culture ebbs and flows as times change, but especially during periods of crises (say a pandemic) it has historically tended to reemerge as a dominant political force. A lot of folks truly want to take us back to the Dark Ages.
Joe Rogan, in all of his 5’8” glory, is apparently the archetype of the kind of figure prized by this political and cultural movement. He professes self reliance, is already extremely wealthy, juices all the supplements all wrapped up in the American flag. If Flat Tummy Tea influencers are the people who attract women to these conservative cultish ideologies, Joe Rogan and folks who model themselves after him are the male equivalent. And while he used to have more left leaning guests on, lately under Covid-19 he’s made a hard and sad right turn.
Derek Beres is a fitness and yoga instructor and author based in Los Angeles. He is the Senior Editor at Eco & co-host of the Conspirituality podcast. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/derekberes
Julian Walker has been teaching yoga in and around LA since 1994 . He is co-host of the Conspirituality Podcast. Julian also writes extensively on the intersections of cults, trauma, new ageism and yoga. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/embodiedsacred
Recorded January 02nd, 2021
“Why do the vast majority of Russian young women look like models?”
Not sure about the “vast majority”, but the short answer would be the following.
The immaculate looks of a Russian lady say this to men, clear and loud: “I invest a lot to be my better self, and I expect at least that much of you.”
Russian women—not only those who look like models—are generally high-maintenance. At least, this is what Russian men most often complain about.
If you as a man can handle that, big rewards come to you. This made Russian girls world-famous (What is Russia’s greatest cultural export?). Many outstanding foreigners opted for our girls as life partners. A few years ago, someone counted that while only 15% of the world’s oil comes from the former USSR, we account for half the catwalk models in Paris and Milan.
Being around you, they require a lot of you. Not necessarily money. Attention. Emotional support. Time. Availability. Housekeeping. Million things ladies may be in need of.
For a regular Russian woman, in Russia, only the best of men is good enough. (Which is why we’re leading the world in divorce stats, looks like.) And if she wants the best, she knows she needs to work for it.
The most massive of the effort goes of course during the age bracket after the teenage The effort begins to taper off when humans are programmed to start getting old, around 28.
However, the new affluence, technology, and unparalleled comfort that Capitalism brought to Russia in the last decades made it possible for Russian women to pursue perfection far into their middle age. You won’t believe how much silicon there is in the faces of Moscovites these days. And I don’t mean President Putin. Regular people in the street.
Why all the struggle?
In Russia, we had a difficult history. We live at a far, cold, vast end of human habitation. A lot of bloody-minded strangers whizzed through our cities and villages with infernal frequency, pillaging and burning everything in their path.
Hundreds of years of imperial wars are no joke. We won quite a few of these, yes. But we Russian men don’t seem to win battles without a whole bunch of us getting killed. Those who come back are utterly depressed by our rulers, our work, and life generally. Many went about killing themselves by heavy drinking, acting stupid, beating sh1t out of each other.
This made our women pure survival machines. The hard knocks of life taught them secret knowledge that’s passed down from generation to generation and help them survive and win the mating game.
This made Russian ladies what they are famous for:
- They have the looks
- They know how to look good whenever and wherever they don’t look good
- They consider looks as a major factor in what makes a woman an attractive human being
- They are willing to invest the best part of their lives and effort into looking good
- They have the discipline and determination needed for the brutal and tedious routine of being a walking dummy. I would have dropped dead on the first day. They go on for years.
Below, a snapshot by Instagrammer David Grigoryan from one of the stations of Moscow Metro. You won’t see stations like that in NYC, London or Paris.
These Russian girls know this is a man’s world. They know the rules of the game. The height of their heels shows the level of their ambition.
They go for a win.
Photo (c) David Grigoryan18.1K views824 upvotes16 shares98 comments
Are they feminine? Or do different societies and cultures have different definitions of masculinity and feminity?
Western (more specifically American toxic) masculinity is usually about physical powers and the willingness to use violence to solve every problem, you know, your typical macho man.
The entire idea of Chivalry was originally a kind of code of conduct for warriors, soldiers.
East Asians, and in particular, Chinese society value a different kind of masculinity.
I wrote about it here:What has the ideal Chinese man been like throughout history, and how have preferences changed?
Chinese concept for a gentleman is quite different from the west, what we called “君子”. “君子” is the “ideal man” in Confucius teaching, a standard for every literati or layman to achieve.
The flip side of 君子 is 小人, which literally translate into “little or petty man”. The ideal of “君子”, or a true gentleman was defined by Confucius as the following:
A true gentleman does not rush into action, every thing he does must have a good reason, or serve a higher purpose. This also implies that a gentleman will always evaluate the consequences of his action before he make a move.
A true gentleman does not speak empty words, he does not gossip, he does not lie, he does not curse. When he does speak, he will always speak out of reason, his words should carry weight, should come after consideration, should be graceful and merciful.
A true gentleman does not covet, may it be money, power or fame. When he does go out and pursue something, it must have a higher purpose, what he’s after should benefit his country and fellow men.
A true gentleman believes in justice and honor. Everything he does should follow his ideal. He will not do things that goes against his principle, and he will always consider the consequence before taking action. He should not go with his heart and do whatever he likes, this will damage his reputation and honor.
Other “gentlemenly” characteristics often mentioned are humble spirit, peaceful mind and tolerance. A true gentleman would not fuss over little things, they will not get angry over meaningless insults or being offended by careless mistakes. We often say ”君子坦荡荡，小人常戚戚” (A true gentleman has a magnanimous heart, while a little man always worr about every little thing).
So as you can see, the recurrent theme in Confucius “君子” is
Honor, caution, justice, and a higher purpose.
Bravery, defending the weak, and fighting the evil, martial prowess, these western chivalry values don’t really matter much for the Chinese. In fact, traditional Chinese value looks down on physically powerful fighters. 武夫 (martial person) is considered a derogatory term. Chinese ideal men are intellectuals who change the world for the better through policy and administration of a country. What we’re looking for in a Ideal Man is more spiritual than physical, more about honor, justice, every action should be for a higher purpose, for the greater good.
We don’t talk about 君子that much nowadays, but the concept has always been part of Chinese culture and our collective psyche as a people (if such thing exists). It’s not to say Chinese are not brave or don’t have passion, of course we do, but culture wise, we don’t encourage such passion. A true gentleman is a peaceful intellectual, a capable ruler who always cares for his people, and he writes beautiful poems, and play instruments. (probably have 3 wives, sleeping with the servant girl, and courts the most beautiful courtesan, funny the principle of a true gentleman mentions very little about being faithful…)
Originally written for: What are the archetypes of masculinity?
Although, I’d like to add that the ideal man, the concept of 君子, was surprisingly consistent through out Chinese history, with the exception of Yuan and Qing dynasty (both were non-Han Chinese dynasties). Since Confucius formalize the this concept of “gentlemen”, it had been promoted by all Han Chinese emperors afterwards regardless of which dynasty. Even Qing Dynasty with Manchu rulers who might have favored horseback riding and martial prowess more than Han Chinese culture, they don’t think martial arts was higher than intellectual pursuit, they just didn’t think it’s that lowly an activity.
Chinese culture traditionally values intellectual pursues more than physical ones. A real man, or in this case, a gentleman (君子) is defined by his character, his intelligence, and his willingness to build a better society for the lesser men (and women) using his pen (instead of his sword).
That is not to say that Chinese style masculinity is not toxic. We have our own toxic masculinity all the same. It’s just we don’t particularly value aggression in men.
I have had many comments (usually from men) talking about how toxic masculinity is BS. And I shouldn’t use that word.
Let’s talk about toxic masculinity.
The most common rhetoric is that while the idea of masculinity is fine, some aspects of masculinity can be toxic. For example, in the US, boys are allowed, sometimes even encouraged to resolve issues using violence. Men are not allowed to express or discuss their emotions, except anger. Men are expected to deal with their mental issues on their own, with alcohol. Pop media glorify the “alcoholic lone hero” stereotype.
I think we have progressed enough to realize that those stereotypes are damaging to men. But people would argue, what is wrong for men to be strong, brave, protecting the weak, stand up for what is right?
Well, nothing wrong with that. But none of those features should be “men only”. Everyone, regardless of their gender, can and should be strong (in character), brave, willing to stand up for what is right. It is not masculinity, it is being a decent human being.
Similarly, I don’t think any of the traditionally feminine characteristics such as “detail orientated”, “caring and loving”, “good with children”, should be women-only traits.
So if you ask me, the moment you assign a certain aspect of humanity to a certain gender, it becomes toxic.
The moment you start measuring men and women with traditional masculine or feminine features, the moment you start talking about people are not man enough or woman enough because they didn’t do this or that, the moment you assign a gender to a personality trait, it becomes toxic.
So yes, the entire idea of “masculinity”, that somehow you need to behave a certain way to be considered “man enough”, that entire idea is toxic.
People came to me saying “well, I play music and I read books, how dare you tell me I’m not man enough?”
I’m not telling you anything. If you get so triggered by the mere word of “toxic masculinity” and you have to write a 10-page essay telling an internet stranger how manly you are…
well, you’re an example of toxic masculinity.
The notes of this answer are longer than the answer itself… but I need to explain this shit.
I got quite a few of you “Chinese experts” telling me that recently Chinese government had been pushing this “against feminine men” propaganda movement.
And yes, from the surface, it seems that the Chinese government is promoting a certain type of masculinity that is compatible with the traditional western “macho man” stereotype.
But the propaganda movement is not about pushing men to be more macho. No. The movement is about pushing people (men and women) to get married and have children.
China is facing populating aging problem. And their 30 years of single-child policy made the situation a lot worse. They recently had loosened the policy and allowed families to have two children. However, contrary to what they must have expected, single women do not want to get married, mothers with one child do not want to have a second child.
And about the same time, social media and public opinion started to talk about Chinese men being “gigantic babies”. After all, all the marriage age people are from single-child families. Men are considered to be irresponsible, selfish, didn’t care about the family, “never growing up and take the responsibility”.
The government started to create public opinion against the popular “youth” culture, which was led primarily by Korean boybands.
Of course, the actual reason that a lot of women do not want to get married is that getting married means giving up their careers, having children even more so. Those who already have one child do not want to have a second child because raising one child is already hard/expensive enough.
But all of these are difficult social issues without simple solutions.
Now keep in mind that the Chinese government was dominated by economists and mathematicians. That’s why they’re very good with economic policies and very very… very bad with social progressive changes.
Remember that time when they banned game consoles for 15 years because they thought kids might get addicted to video games?
It’s this level of stupidity and ignorance of sociology that get us policies like this. They don’t understand large-scale misogyny is the real reason women don’t want to have children, but sure let’s write some sensational articles about how the younger generation lost their manhood. That will sure get men to become responsible adults.
And you lot reading translated articles from CNN or whatever, thinking you
Suzanne discusses fives reasons women don’t get what they need from their man. IN THIS EPISODE:
3:30 Suzanne reads from her client intake forms to describe the current state of their marriages
6:00 Reason #1: Women have their guard up
7:20 When women don’t trust and have their guard up, her man can’t step into his natural role
9:00 Women are the relationship navigators
9:55 Reason #2: They micromanage.
11:10 Reason #3: Women’s inability to “let go” and learn to receive
14:00 Reason #4: They complain and/or nag
17:30 Men will act in the opposite way of their true nature if women do/are all of the above