We have been
conditioned to ache for soul transforming passion.
fulfillment as an individual happens lost in
the bliss of the neural reward of
The idealization of sex
as a force for personal liberation
and self fulfillment would have struck the Greeks,
icons of sexual liberation as
To the Greeks,
Eros was a powerful force of nature,
life to continue but prone to sudden uncontrollable excess.
Greeks invent a repertoire of images to communicate
the violence of war all
expressed the rationality
destroying power of sexual desire.
a soul nurturing flame, Eros is the
conflagration that burns
Troy leaving its plains strewn with
corpses, an inferno lit by the illicit
passion of Paris and Helen.
The inherited imagery of Eros, the Greek
Cupid, has been emptied of its sinister connotations and
signifies instead sexual
The Greeks understood that
cultural controls were necessary both
to limit the force of sex and to exploit its creative energy.
the institution of marriage, emotions like guilt and shame, reason itself, all
were devices for clipping Eros' wings.
Marquis de Sade and
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
explained to us what happens when we
liberate Eros from social
The verbs of "having" and
"getting" so commonly applied to sex bespeak the degree to which
sex has been commodified.
We do not
speak of "giving sex" or "sharing sex" because of our self-definition as
separate, discrete individuals.
The deepest spiritual function of Eros
is to melt the boundaries that enforce separation.
Sexual intamacy, more
than any other relationship, is diminished and debased by its commoditization.
For the same reason, sex has an enormous subversive potential.
The sharing of self involves the dissolution of the separation in which
Ecstasy awaits us when we throw off separations shackles.
regimes have exhibited great hostility toward sexual licentiousness -
a form of repression that George
Orwell identified as a key feature of totalitarianism.
"In what is
considered the "developed" world economies
a new "freedom" of "sexual
expression" has emerged into the international social cultural psyche which
began with the French
Revolution which introduced
sexual "freedom" and
sodomy - the willful destruction of the
large intestine in sadistic rituals.
In this new 'First World' of
the base animal instincts and
unnatural desires are glorified as life
Attempting to excise
the transcendental core of union
between two unique discrete beings of the First World is the goal of
that remains is, depending on
the context, an inconsequential
pleasure, a biological
function, rank animality,
obscene temptation, or
a frightening taboo.
these honors the sacred dimension of sex, which
ancient Taoist and Tantric practice saw as nothing less than
a gateway to the
transcendence of cosmic polarities.
Potentially a touchstone for reconnecting with
the true unity behind our all-consuming play of individuation, potentially
a secret window through the veil of
our illusory separateness, sacred
sexuality has been reduced to a fuck." - Charles Eisenstein
In the Social
Darwinistic way of viewing sex act as
entirly self fulfilling in and of
itself, guilt and shame have been
discarded as hypocritical, reason has
been dismissed as the instrument of
repression and neurosis while
purely physical pleasure is
supposed to satiate the
spirits desire for divine union.
Radical feminists who meticulously
catalog the depredations of heterosexual Eros are silent about the darker side
rhetoric blinds us to poison dripping from the arrows of Eros.
Predators feed off liberated sexuality
as liberated sexuality sells product.
People easily confuse confuse sexual
passion with compassion.
Compassion based solely in
pleasure in another is not compassion at all.
"To be in love is merely to be in a state of
perpetual anesthesia -
to mistake an
ordinary young woman for a goddess. " - H.L. Mencken
Men and women have always depended on
each other for survival.
Hormone fired desire is the human emotion
that bonds men to women.
Rational dissociation suggests rational
mechanisms of mate choice as no single human decision is more important than
the choice of a
While rationality sets a minimum threshold on who qualifies as
a mate, rationality profoundly fails to predict the final choice.
did blind passion - a form of
dementia that consumes
the mind creating emotional dependency through delusional idealization possibly
evolve to solve a problem that might
be better solved by cool rationality?
Romantic passion has a tragic side.
Juliet died of poison.
Romeo chose to kill himself rather than live without her.
Suicides based on romantic passion have pervaded
Japanese culture for
centuries, a final vindication of the intensity of a person's commitment.
When parents and society conspired to keep lovers apart, lovers
sometimes tied themselves together and jump off a cliff or hurl themselves into
The most perilous side of romantic passion, however, comes not
from a folie à deux, but from a folie à un -
the demonic possession that consumes a
person when romantic passion is not reciprocated.
Unrequited romantic passion is
the foundation for fatal attraction
and the experience of unrequited
passion is quite common.
By the age of 25, most people have
experienced unrequited romantic passion at least once, either as a would-be
lover whose passions were rejected
or as the object of someone's unwanted romantic desires.
One of the
great romantic passion stories is that of Nicholas and Alexandra.
Nicholas inherited the Russian
throne at the end of the 19th century.
During his adolescence his
parents started looking for a suitable mate.
At age 16 he became
obsessed with Alexandra, a beautiful princess living in England with her
grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Despite parental objections,
cultural chasms, and a
separation spanning thousands of miles, Nicholas was determined to capture her
Alexandra, however, found him a bit dull and did not relish the
thought of moving to the harsh climate
of Saint Petersberg.
1892 Nicholas turns 24
and, having been obsessed with Alexandra for nearly eight years, resolves to
make one final effort to win her
Given this state of mind, he is devastated when she writes
saying that she had definitely decided not to wed him. And she asks him not to
contact her again.
after becoming a stalker, eventually wins her love.
Bonds forged with
romantic passion require protection.
To understand sexual passion look
at human reproductive biology.
To produce a single child, women bear the burden and
pleasure of nine months of
pregnancy - an obligatory parental investment men cannot share.
produce a child men need only devote a few hours - or a few minutes.
Over time the strategy of casual mating proved to be more
reproductively successful for men than for women.
An ancestral woman,
even one having sex with multiple partners in the course of a single year will
still produce only a single child.
Men therefore evolved a desire for
sex with a variety of women.
Evolutionary reasons for the desire for
sexual variety suggest universality.
realities provide compelling evidence.
First, the existence of male
Male jealousy is an evolutionary response to a loss of
Infidelity is known in all cultures, including
tribal societies, pointing
to the universal prevalence of infidelity.
Prevalence rates vary from
culture to culture (high in Sweden and low in China), but infidelity occurs
Sexual infidelity causes divorce worldwide more than any
other marital violation, being closely rivaled only by the infertility of the
No Evidence for Sperm Wars
choose healthy sexual partners.
benefit from multiple sexual partners in countless ways.
have sex with different men produce more genetically diverse children,
providing a "hedge" against environmental change.
Some ancestral women
purchased mate insurance, a backup replacement in the event that something
happened to her regular partner.
Women are five times more likely to
experience sexual desire when they are ovulating than when they are
Women tend to time their sexual liaisons to coincide with the peak
of their sexual desire, when they are most likely to conceive.
with husbands is most likely to occur when women were not ovulating, a strategy
aimed at keeping a man rather than conceiving with him.
experience sexual desire when they are ovulating, and if they have an extra
martial sexual liaison partner, have urges to have sex with him.
experience a signal detection problem.
The signal detection problem is
not merely about picking up accurate signals in the face of an uncertain and
ambiguous welter of information.
It is also about making correct
inferences about the cause of the signal.
As sexual infidelity is
invariably secret, signals emited are intentionally muted.
many couples referred to him in which one of the husband experienced "morbid
Most of his cases were husbands who he felt had delusions
their wives were sexually unfaithful, and these delusions destroyed the fabric
As he believed that
morbid jealousy was a psychiatric
illness that could not be cured, his most common recommendation was that
the couples separate.
Many couples followed his
As he was keenly interested in the subsequent fate of
his patients, he routinely contacted them after a number of months had passed.
He discovered that many of the wives had subsequently become sexually
involved with the very men about whom their husbands had been jealous!
Some of the women actually married the objects of their husbands
The husbands were
signs of infidelity.
wives proclaimed innocence and
declared that their husbands
jealousy was irrational husbands were decieved - and so was the
Jealousy is a part of
human nature because of the threat of
Evolution has forged elaborate defenses to detect and
fend off threat of loss.
develop elaborate moral codes to
reign in muderous passion.
Jealousy can be emotional acid
that corrodes marriages, undermines
self-esteem, triggers battering, and leads to
the ultimate crime of murder.
Jealous men are more likely to preserve valuable commitments to their
own children rather than squandering them on the children of their rivals.
As descendants of a
long line of men who acted to ensure their paternity, modern men carry with
them the dangerous passion of jealousy.
Jealousy can destroy previously
harmonious relationships and is not always a reaction to an infidelity that has
already been discovered but may be an anticipatory response to intutive
feelings of infidelity or lack of loyalty.
"Labeling jealousy as pathological simply because a
spouse has not yet strayed ignores the fact that jealousy can head off an
infidelity that might be lurking on the horizon of a relationship." -
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