Is Good Will Our
by Nancy Huntting
From the Women Are Various
Seminar at the Aesthetic
Realism Foundation, New York
that every person has
the possibility of two kinds of power—the power that arises from good
which is equivalent to our deepest desire to like the world; and the
comes from having contempt for the world, hurtful to our own and other
people's lives. For the first time Aesthetic
Realism has shown
that good will is not the self-sacrificing thing most people have
thought, but the greatest power
a human being can have.
"It is only when good will
is seen as aesthetics
that its strength is seen," explains Eli Siegel in The Right of Aesthetic
Realism to Be Known #121:
Good will can be
the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful, for this
oneself stronger and more beautiful.... Good will is a true mingling of
and exactness or severity; in other words, good will is aesthetics....
Aesthetics is the original engineering of the
The conscious idea of having good will for people never occurred to me. "Contempt is a sign of strength to
people," Eli Siegel said in an Aesthetic Realism class in 1974, "it
is synonymous with strength. Is that so
with you?" Mr. Siegel asked me. Yes, it was. But
I learned through my study of Aesthetic
Realism that the chief reason women feel bad is because they don't have
What I present tonight is about
the power a woman can have if she has good will for the first
representatives of humanity she meets—her parents—and how this is crucial to having
the power as human
beings we were meant to have. I will be
speaking about what I learned, and about what a woman is learning now
Realism consultations. I will also show
how a daughter in history wanted to have good will for her father. I came to know of the importance of Sara
Coleridge, the daughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, through two great
Eli Siegel gave about her in 1971. I
will be presenting only some aspects of a life that was very full and
valuable. And her power for good arose centrally from the choice she
made about her
father. Women today can learn from her and how
Eli Siegel saw her.
I. Where Our Idea of
As a little girl I remember feeling
powerful getting praise from my parents and other people, and thinking
smarter than anyone. Mr. Siegel explains
in his lecture Aesthetic Realism and the Past,
a child has more power in the
family than he has elsewhere....a
child...thinks it runs everything and the rest of life is spent not
up, and being miserable and still preferring not to give it up.
Thinking you should run everything is awfully conceited
and is also contempt for everyone else, yet women
go after this kind of power, and I did.
early I felt I succeeded in
outsmarting and managing my mother. At
night I made her chase me to get me to go to bed. Then,
the lights out and everything quiet, I
would call her and insist I had to have a glass of water.
My father would praise how pretty I looked,
and take me on his lap to eat an orange together, but he was mostly
his work and didn't wait on me. I let
him know I preferred him to my mother, and I felt he preferred me. When I was 13 he bought a horse for himself
and me, and the two of us would go riding together; yet we couldn't
to talk to each other.
In an Aesthetic Realism class in
1974 when Eli Siegel asked me what was the saddest time in my life, I
was when my father died of cancer at the age of 56.
With tremendous kindness, Mr. Siegel enabled
me to see a purpose I had with my father which was hurting my life
Mr. Siegel asked me if in my
with men I had wanted a man to feel dependent on me? I said I wasn't
men I liked were very independent. "Did
you want to change that though?" he asked me,
you angry at Mr. Reynolds because he declared independence?" Yes, I was.
Eli Siegel. Did
you feel you'd been unfair to
Nancy Huntting. Yes,
wasn't interested enough in him.
were you so sad, if you weren't
NH He was
ES Do you see that's
contradictory? Did you
want him in some way subservient to you?
ES Can the
words "not interested enough" mean "I don't have enough power over him?"
realized that Mr. Siegel was right, and it was a
revelation to me: I'd felt my father was too independent--not enough at
my beck and call. The power I wanted over men, I
saw, had begun early. I wanted to be everything
to a man, I was in competition with anything else he was interested in. I learned from Aesthetic Realism it was
because the power I wanted was contempt—to have a man subservient to
me—that I could never feel I deserved to be cared for.
"The greatest suspicion of men," Mr. Siegel
explained in this class, "is that in some way they don't understand, a
woman is trying to have them weaker."
Mr. Siegel was enabling me to change
my purpose with men from one of ill will to good will.
He asked me to write "A Day in the Life of Donald
Huntting" for the purpose of thinking about my father more accurately,
with good will. The thought we've had
about a mother and father is where our thought about people as such
began. When we see what's wrong with it,
and what kind of thought we can really respect ourselves for, we can
Thought About a Father
Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting. All rights reserved.