Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Thank you for your attendance here today, Mrs. Sorensen, we will be focusing, as you have been informed and consented, on marriage in this series. Some can take this as advice from a married couple. Others can take this as a discussion on marriage between a young man and two married people. Still others, they formulate this as a fun little chat with different views on marriage. To make the long into the short, I am writing for a wedding magazine now. I joke about myself as the ‘Guy-in-Residence’ (also the ‘Canadian-in-Residence’). The team of writers is strong. You two have been married for some time. The title for this series is “The Unmeasurable Genius and the Infinite Jewel.” Many of the best minds in the history of philosophy have died single. Da Vinci died a bachelor; Hypatia died a bachelorette; Mencken died a bachelor; Newton died a bachelor; Sidis died a bachelor; Turing died a bachelor; Da Vinci had a funny line on marriage: “Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.” Of course, the inimitable Socrates said, “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” Marriage is an important topic, always has been a crucial subject. If someone is denying this, they’re simply not paying attention to current affairs or history, or their own lives. Most people consider marriage (or co-habitation) and having children one of the most important parts of life for them. According to Pew Research, these are the reasons considered important for marrying: 88% say for love. 81% say for making a lifelong commitment. 76% say for companionship. 49% say for having children. 30% say for a relationship recognized in a religious ceremony. 28% say for financial stability. 23% say for legal rights and benefits. Stereotypically, in North American culture, I assume other cultures. Men are more passive regarding marriage and weddings; women are more proactive regarding marriage and weddings. One of my colleagues, a woman, at our restaurant, joked, “The guys only have to propose, and then show up.” In fact, more than one woman held this view in a sort of ill-concealed jocular derision. As Mencken opened in In Defense of Women:
A man’s women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them; they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phrase makes it, feminine intuition. The mark of that so-called intuition is simply a sharp and accurate perception of reality, an habitual immunity to emotional enchantment, a relentless capacity for distinguishing clearly between the appearance and the substance. The appearance, in the normal family circle, is a hero, magnifico, a demigod. The substance is a poor mountebank… A man’s wife labours under no such naive folly. She may envy her husband, true enough, certain of his more soothing prerogatives and sentimentalities. She may envy him his masculine liberty of movement and occupation, his impenetrable complacency, his peasant-like delight in petty vices, his capacity for hiding the harsh face of reality behind the cloak of romanticism, his general innocence and childishness. But she never envies him his puerile ego; she never envies him his shoddy and preposterous soul. This shrewd perception of masculine bombast and make-believe, this acute understanding of man as the eternal tragic comedian, is at the bottom of that compassionate irony which paces under the name of the maternal instinct. A woman wishes to mother a man simply because she sees into his helplessness, his need of an amiable environment, his touching self delusion.
There’s a lot to unpack here. So, why not unpack with people more experienced in this endeavour than myself? To those who don’t know, Christian, Dr. Sorensen, is the highest-scoring mainstream intelligence test scorer on the World Genius Directory with a claimed and certified 185+ S.D. 15 intelligence quotient on the WAIS-R. It matters a lot to some, while not at all to others, for different reasons – entirely fair. I frame him here as an “unmeasurable genius”. Mrs. Sorensen, naturally, is his wife. She is the wisest person Dr. Sorensen knows. Someone, who I have on good authority, is a stone from the Crown of God. I framed this as an “Infinite Jewel.” This explains the title of the series chosen by Dr. Sorensen from a few proposed to Dr. Sorensen by me. Dr. Sorensen and I have been writing on a wide smattering of subject matter. It was only a matter of time before coming to the topic of marriage. Who better to have than Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen to discuss this line of thought? Personal stuff first, only have to give as much as you like. How did you two meet?
Mr. Christian Sorensen and Mrs. Sorensen: We met by chance, it could be said, by something divine, since one day, we simply crossed our fates, in a Synagogue, that neither of us frequented. An anecdote, that so far, moves and surprises us, was that some time before, Christian went to that same Synagogue, for Purim, and because he had forgotten his kipa, the rabbi opened the museum’s showcase, to lend him one. What is impressive, was that inside that kipa, it was written the name of my maternal grandfather Z “L, of which we realized, long time after we had met, once that Christian, asked me, about my second last name. In fact, not only was of him, but also, it had been the kipa, of their chuppah, and happy marriage.
Jacobsen: What was the marriage ceremony for the two of you?
Mr. Sorensen and Mrs. Sorensen: We got married, in a private ceremony, under the stars and the chuppah, on a beautiful and exclusive beach, facing the sea.
Jacobsen: How many years have the two you been married? What do you count as the most important moment or variable in realizing this person was capable of the long haul?
Mr. Sorensen: For kabbalistic reasons, there are words, that I’m not going to pronounce, as a way not to overexpose my wife. Regarding the question, we have been married for almost a decade, and regarding my wife, I realized, of what before I could never have given witness, when being together, for the first time, she asked me, what am I to you? Without hesitating even a second, I replied, “My wife.”
Mrs. Sorensen: From the first day I saw him, I knew that our lives, were going to be together forever. It is something that is felt in the soul, and rationally it is difficult to explain, since in my opinion, for each person, before being born, G-d has reserved her someone special, in order to share its life and be a unity. In this sense, I consider myself fortunate, of having by my side, a husband, with an unmeasurable intelligence, who is simply complex, of whom I am lucky to learn new things every day, and who is the most wonderful man. Finding such a man, would be as difficult, as finding a person with his intelligence.
Jacobsen: For men entering into a marriage, what is important for them to consider – unique to them?
Mr. Sorensen: I think the most important qualities, are to be loyal, and to have the ability to listen.
Mrs. Sorensen:From my point of view, I think that men, should consider three fundamental points, that are love, confidence and patience, because if they manage to work on them, then they will be assured, of success in their marriages.
Jacobsen: For women thinking of marriage, what is important for them to consider – unique to them?
Mr. Sorensen: What defines all, because it is above anything, is unconditionality, and as a consequence of it, the capacity to give herself, in soul and body, without ever losing, its delicacy and femininity. I have always thought, in terms of gender, and anatomically speaking, that the man is to the head, as well as the woman, is to the neck, which leads to affirm, that the neck, is the one that allows, the head to move.
Mrs. Sorensen: I would say, the ability to keep the shalom beit, to love and understand the needs of the other, without ever losing respect for his person, and always to feel admiration, for the person who is next to you.
Jacobsen: What are important for both men and women to consider for considering marriage?
Mr. Sorensen and Mrs. Sorensen: We think that all the richness of marriage, is based on differences, and in the complement derived from these, therefore, although we are equal to each other, we are not in an absolute sense equals, but only as people, endowed with the same rights. In consequence, so that the above actually occurs, it is essential, to have the ability to think about the other, instead of thinking exclusively about ourselves, which is equivalent to say, that when you think of yourself, this thought should pass first of all, through what the other has in mind, and only then, towards the decision of something. In this sense, we could affirm, that just as equality is to symmetry, which leads to competitiveness, likewise, differences are to complementarity, which leads to uniqueness. In other words, unhealthy individualism, carries to extreme machismo and feminism, and both, as happens with symbiotic love and hate, are finally, two sides of the same mask. In practical terms, marriage, is how it happens in the chuppad, since the man puts the roof and both build a home.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen.
Mr. Sorensen: My pleasure, and I hope the evidence, leads to idealism, but not to platonic love.
Mrs. Sorensen: Thank you, for allowing me the opportunity, to speak about the man behind the genie.