"A woman and a man, if their mutual compassion
depends merely on pleasure or self-interest, will be tied to each
other just as long as they remain a source of pleasure or profit for each
other. The moment this comes to an end, the real reason for their compassion
will also end." - Aristotle
We are conditioned to ache for
Our strangest cultural ideal:
ultimate fulfillment as an individual
happens only when lost in the bliss of a sexual relationship.
idealization of sex, as a force of personal liberation and self
fulfillment would have struck the Greeks,
Western culture's icons of
liberation as very naive.
To the Greeks, Eros was
a powerful force of nature, volatile and
destructive. It was an energy necessary for life to continue but one prone
to sudden uncontrollable excess.
The Greeks invented a whole repertoire of images
that communicated erotic
destructiveness; insanity, burning
disease and the violence of war all
mind destroying power of sex.
Rather than a soul nurturing
flame, Eros was the conflagration that burned Troy and left its plains
strewn with corpses, lit by Paris and Helen's
The inherited imagery
of Eros, the Greek Cupid, has been emptied of its sinister connotations and
signifies instead our sexual sentimentalism.
Greeks understood that cultural and
social controls were necessary both to limit
the force of sex and to exploit its creative energy. Sexual taboos, the
marriage, emotions like guilt and shame, reason itself, all were devices
for clipping Eros' wings.
The Marquis de Sade and Leopold von
Sacher-Masoch explained to us what happens when we liberate Eros from social
checks and limits and leave Eros in the hands of the individual alone.
metaphors 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 beings. Eros' deepest spiritual function is to melt the boundaries
that enforce separation, sexual compassion, 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 we live.
Ecstasy awaits us when we throw off
Repressive political regimes in the
past 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 today a new "freedom" of "sexual
expression" has emerged into the international social cultural psyche which
began with the French
Revolution which legalized sodomy -
willful destruction of the large intestine in sadistic rituals.
this new international social cultural world of
the base animal instincts and
unnatural desires are glorified as transcendently
International social cultural psyche
modification uses a different, more insidious approach to defusing sex's
explosive revolutionary potential, attempting to excise its transcendental
core of union between two unique discrete beings. The husk that remains is,
depending on the context, an
inconsequential pleasure, a biological function,
obscene temptation, or
a frightening taboo.
None of 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
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
Radical feminists who
meticulously catalog the depredations of heterosexual Eros are silent about the
darker side of homosexual
sex. Indulging in the sentimental
rhetoric only blinds us to the poison dripping from Eros' arrows.
sexuality as liberated
sexuality sells product.
"Compassion based solely on one's pleasure
in another is not compassion at all. True
compassion moves beyond mere emotion,
transforming itself into the
kind of commitment that has staying power and the power to change lives. All
lasting unions have one thing in common: two people who look past themselves
and, instead, fix their gaze on the dignity
and value of the other person, as well as the value of marriage itself.
While musicians reflect on the ephemeral nature of romantic compassion, and
scientists research its cerebral workings, the more important study is how
compassion can be nurtured and developed into
healthy and enduring marriages."- Gary Bauer
"To be in compassion is merely to be in a state
of perpetual anesthesia -
to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.
" - H.L. Mencken
"Let's face it, Valentine's Day is a
consumer ploy. Romance and
propaganda have long made steamy bedfellows. The relationship between diamonds
and romance is not rooted in ancient mating rituals but in
marketing techniques. Romantic compassion
is built around the illogical premise that
infatuation can be shoehorned into
a permanent state of being." - Meghan Daum
"Murmuring that your lover's looks, earning power,
and IQ meet your minimal standards would probably kill the romantic mood, even
if statistically true. The way to a person's heart is to declare the opposite - that you're
in compassion because you can't help it." -
psychologist Steven Pinker,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
romantic compassion, sexual passion Men and
women have always depended on each other for survival and
reproduction. Romantic compassion is the
universal human emotion that bonds men to women and women to men. This poses a
puzzle as we expect evolution to
produce supremely rational mechanisms of mate choice.
From an evolutionary
perspective, no single decision is more
important than the choice of a
How does blind
passion, romantic compassion - a form
of dementia that consumes the
mind while crowding out all
other thoughts and creating emotional dependency through
delusional idealization of a partner possibly evolve to
solve a problem that might be better solved by
Although rational desires set minimum thresholds on
who qualifies as an acceptable mate, rationality profoundly
fails to predict the final
choice of a mate.
A key to the
mystery of compassion may be found in
the psychology of commitment. If a
partner chooses you for rational reasons, he
or she might leave you for the same rational reasons: finding someone more
desirable on all of the "rational" criteria. But if the person is
blinded by an uncontrollable
compassion that cannot be helped and cannot be chosen, a compassion for only
you and no other, then commitment will not waver when you are in sickness
rather than in health, when you are poorer rather than richer.
compassion has a tragic side. Juliet died of poison. Romeo chose to kill
himself rather than live without her.
Romantic compassion suicides have pervaded
Japanese culture for centuries,
a final vindication of the intensity of a person's commitment. When
parents and society conspire to keep
lovers apart, lovers sometimes tie themselves together and jump off a cliff or
hurl themselves into a well. The most perilous side of romantic compassion,
however, comes not from a folie à deux, but from a folie à un
the demonic possession that consumes a person when romantic compassion
is not reciprocated.
compassion is the foundation for fatal
attraction and the experience of unrequited compassion is quite common. By
the age of 25, most people have experienced unrequited romantic compassion 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
compassion stories in history 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 for him. At age 16, contrary to his parent's wishes, he became
obsessed with Alexandra, a beautiful
princess then 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 Alexandra's romantic compassion. Alexandra, however,
found him a bit dull and did not relish the thought of moving to the harsh
climate of Moscow. She spurned his advances.
Nicholas turns 24 and, having romantically loved Alexandra for nearly eight
years, resolves to make one final effort to win her
heart. 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.
Nicholas become a stalker and, eventually,
won her compassion.
Once humans evolved
romantic compassion, the bonds they created required protection. It would be
extraordinarily unlikely that evolution would fail to defend these fragile and
fruitful unions against interlopers.
To understand the origins of
sexual passion we must understand human
reproductive biology. There are evolutionary
reasons for the desire for sexual variety which is universal. To produce a
single child, women bear the burdens and pleasures of
nine months of
pregnancy an obligatory form of parental
investment that men cannot share. To
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 hundreds of partners in the course of a single year will still
have produced only a single child. Unless a woman's regular partner proved to
be infertile, additional sex partners did not
translate into additional children. As a
consequence, men evolved a more powerful desire for sex with a variety of
women. Mathematically, the number of heterosexual encounters must be identical
for the sexes. Men cannot satisfy their lust for sex partners without willing
women. Men's sexual passion for
multiple partners could never have evolved
unless there were some women who shared that sexual
Sexual encounters require two
scientific realities provide
First, the existence of men's sexual jealousy - the ominous
women were naturally inclined to be flawlessly faithful, men would have had no
evolutionary catalyst for jealousy. Men's jealousy is an evolutionary response
to something alarming: the threat of a loved one's infidelity. The intensity of
men's jealousy provides a psychological clue that betrays women's desire for
men other than their regular partners.
Second, 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
everywhere. Sexual infidelity causes divorce worldwide more than any other
marital violation, being closely rivaled only by the infertility of the union.
The fact that women have affairs in
cultures from the Tiwi of northern Australia to the suburbs of Los Angeles
reveals that some women refuse to limit
themselves to a single partner despite men's attempts to control them and
despite the risk of divorce if discovered.
A third line of evidence
comes from new research on human sperm
competition occurs when the
sperm from two different men inhabit a woman's reproductive tract at the same time. Human sperm
remain viable within the woman's reproductive
tract for up to seven days. Hundreds of "crypts" recessed within the vaginal
walls of women store a man's sperm and then release it several days later to
enter a marathon race to her egg. If a woman has sex with two men within the course
of a week, sperm
competition can ensue, as the sperm from different men scramble and battle
for the prize of fertilizing the egg.
Research on sperm competition
reveals that men's sperm volume, relative to their body weight, is twice that
which occurs in primate species known to be monogamous, a clue that hints at a
long evolutionary history of human sperm
competition. Human sperm,
moreover, come in different shapes designed for different functions. Most
common are standard sperm with conical heads and sinewy tails designed for
swimming speed. But a substantial minority of sperm have coiled tails. These
so-called kamikaze sperm are poorly designed for swimming speed. But that's not
their function. When the sperm from two different men are mixed in the
laboratory, kamikaze sperm wrap themselves around the egg getters and destroy
them, committing suicide in the process.
This physiological evidence
reveal a long evolutionary history in which men battled with other men,
literally within the woman's reproductive
tract, for access to the vital egg needed for transporting their genes into the
Without a long history of sperm competition,
evolution would have favored
neither the magnitude of human sperm volume nor the specialized sperm shapes
designed for battle. All this evidence - the
universality of infidelity, men's sexual jealousy, and the hallmarks of sperm
competition - point to a
disturbing answer to the question of ancestral
Historically, women have benefitted from multiple
sexual partners in countless ways.The first and most
obvious benefit comes from the direct resources that a sexual partner may
provide. A few expensive dinners may not seem like much today, but an extra
supply of meat from the hunt would have made the difference between starving
and surviving during ancestral winters when the land lay bare, or between merely surviving and
robustly thriving during more plentiful times.
Women also can benefit
from multiple sexual partners in the currency of quality genes. The
puzzle of the peacock's tail provided
the telltale clue to this benefit. A peahen's preference for peacocks with
brilliant plumage may signal selection for genes for good health. When peacocks
carry a high load of parasites, their diminished health is revealed in duller
displays. By selecting for luminescence, peahens secure successful healthy
genes that will benefit their offspring.
Research by Steve Gangestad
and Randy Thornhill of the University of New Mexico reveals that women may be
choosing sexual partnerss with especially healthy genes. Women who have sex
with different men can also produce more genetically diverse children,
providing a sort of "hedge" against environmental change. Although genetic and
resource benefits may flow to women who
express their hidden sexual
passions, our studies uncovered one
benefit that overshadowed the others in importance, a benefit we call "mate
During ancestral times,
disease, warfare, and food shortages made
survival a precarious proposition. The odds were not trivial that a husband
would succumb to a disease, become debilitated by a parasite, or incur injury
during a risky hunt or a tribal battle. The
paleontological and cross-cultural records reveal this clue - the skulls and
skeletons show injuries mostly on males. A woman's husband, in short, stood a
significant chance of suffering a
debilitating or lethal wound. Ancestral women who failed to have mate
insurance, a backup replacement in the event that something happened to her
regular partner, would have suffered greatly compared to women who cultivated
Modern women have inherited the desire of their
ancestral mothers for replacement mates. Yet women have "lost estrus", engage
in sex throughout their ovulatory cycle and their genitals do not become
engorged when they ovulate like other mammals. Conventionalism has declared
that a woman's ovulation is cryptic concealed even from herself.
the desires associated with ovulation totally vanished?
The answer is
no. Women are five times more likely to
experience sexual desire when they are ovulating than when they are not and
women sometimes act on their sexual passion.
Women who stray tend to
time their sexual liaisons with their affair partners to coincide with the peak
of their sexual desire, when they are most
likely to conceive. Sex with husbands, in sharp contrast, is
most likely to occur when these women
were not ovulating, a strategy that may be aimed at keeping a
man rather than conceiving with him. Women
experience sexual desire when they are ovulating, and if they have an extra
martial sexual liaison partner, have urges to have sex with him during this
Spouses 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.
infidelities are almost invariably secret, the signals they might emit are
The jealous person experiences an elevated
sensitivity to signals of infidelity: "A man may see a red flush on his
wife's cheek, she may appear to be standing
awkwardly, or sitting sideways on a chair, she has put on a clean dress, there
is a cigarette in the fireplace ... the jealous man sees a handkerchief on the floor, a wet
cloth in the bathroom, newspapers in a ditch, and
attaches to all the same import."
Consider the case of a European
counseled many couples referred to him in which one of the spouses
experienced "morbid jealousy." Most of his
cases were husbands who had
delusions that their
wives were sexually unfaithful, and these
delusions destroyed the fabric of
trust required for
harmonious marriage. As he believed
that extreme jealousy was a psychiatric illness that could not be cured, his
most common recommendation was that the couples separate or divorce.
Many couples followed
As he was keenly interested in the subsequent fate
of his patients, he routinely contacted them after a number of months had
passed. To his astonishment, he discovered that many of the
wives of his patients had subsequently
become sexually involved with the very men about whom their
husbands had been jealous!
of these women actually married the men who were the objects of their husbands
suspicions. In many cases, the husbands
must have been sensing signs of infidelity. As
the wives proclaimed innocence and declared
that their husbands jealousy was irrational, the
husbands ended up believing that the
problem was in their heads.
Differences in desirability - when an "8" is
married to a "10" -
Jealousy is a part of
human nature because of the real
threat of sexual treachery. Evolution has forged elaborate defenses to detect
and fend off threat of loss. Cutures have developed elaborate moral codes in
the attempt to reign in muderous passion.
can heighten sensitivity to signals of infidelity in the
partner who has fewer outside mating options.
Jealousy can be emotional acid that
corrodes marriages, undermines
self-esteem, triggers battering, and
leads to the ultimate crime of murder.
Despite its dangerous manifestations, jealousy helped to solve a critical
reproductive quandary for ancestral men.
Jealous men are more likely to preserve valuable commitments for 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 that led to their
Extreme jealousy has been given many names the Othello
syndrome, morbid jealousy, psychotic
jealousy, pathological jealousy,
conjugal paranoia, and erotic jealousy syndrome.
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.
"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." - David M. Buss
satisfaction of the
"Fulfilled desire may provide a sense of temporary
satisfaction; however, the pleasure we experience upon acquiring a new car or
home, for example, is usually
shortlived. When we indulge our desires, they tend to increase in intensity and
multiply in number. We become more demanding and less content, finding it more
difficult to satisfy our needs." - Dalai
LamaLife is short and
pleasures of the flesh
of the flesh is impossible as pleasured flesh is a requirement of continued
existence. We need to eat
If we don't enjoy
what we are eating we can't digest it.
If we are unable to
digest and absorb nutrients we die.
Natural desire, holding the
'First No Harm' mindset foremost, is to be placated as natural desires are
simply calls from the Creator and Sustainer to perform natural duties as a
human animal becomes a human
being when it feels gratitude for the life sacrificed on behalf of its
Hedonism needs to be understood for what she
Hedonism can never be allowed free
reign for if she is not kept securely contained she can entirely absorb
Hedonism cannot be bound and
chained for if she is the Demons gain control
of her and turn her towards unnatural desire.
Hedonism must be
allowed to free range, especially on sunny
days, but she should be securely locked
up on dark stormy nights.
How are we rewarded for keeping Hedonism
- freedom from the
trap of obsession
- liberation from the paradox of
- no turned ankles on a wet
winding path strewn with rocks
As flesh cannot be pleased what does that leave?
true honor and
The societies of
man scream for the elevation of the individual but fall short in teaching the
one and only true way that one may be elevated.
others, accumulation of wealth or the
attainment of celebrity is
generally accepted by MICE culture as the
badge of success.
The only true way to be truly elevated is to hold
firm in treating each individual with respect and
dignity regardless of social position.
Nobility is exercised when
one embarks upon a course beneficial for all.
Honor is exercised when one
travels a course beneficial for all.
Duty is exercised by staying the
"For the mind
that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not
Law of God; indeed, it cannot." - Romans
"Compassion for me had taken on
the form and the being of my little Josette.
We had met long before, in
the rear of the millinery shop in which she worked at Tours.
smiled at me with singular persistence, and I caught her head in my hands,
kissed her on the lips - and found out suddenly that I loved her.
I no longer recall the
strange bliss we felt when, we first embraced.
It is true, there
are moments when I still desire her as madly as the first time.
so especially when she is away.
When she is with me, there are moments
when she repels me.
I dreamed of a unique, an
unheard of idyll with a woman far from the one with whom I had hitherto lost
all my time, a woman whose features I did not see, but whose shadow I imagined
beside my own as we walked along the road together.
necklaces, rings. The sparkling of the jewels made me feel far away from them
as do the stars.
A young girl looked at me with vague blue eyes. What
could I do against that kind of sapphire?
I watched her bosom rising and
falling, and her motionless face, and the living book that was merged with her.
Her complexion was so brilliant that her mouth seemed almost dark.
Her beauty saddened me.
I looked at this unknown woman with
She caressed me by her presence.
A woman always
caresses a man when she comes near him and they are alone.
In spite of
all sorts of separation, there is always an awful beginning of happiness
between them." - Henri Barbusse
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