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War and Sex
War and Sex
Sounds like a Woody Allen movie.
The 60s’ line was to make love and not war, and the Beatles said all we need is love, and war is over if we want to, but here we are getting our young men killed in yet another war. Unless you have some sort of Buddhist philosophy, or that special soldier/warrior mindset, I don’t see how we can even begin to wrap our minds around the hell that war is.
I think about the Hunters and Harvesters idea, that men are hunters and women are harvesters, and ergo et sum, that also explains the killing versus the creating dynamics of male and female, and the best I can do irregardless of the Buddha, or God, or Allah, is wish we could come up with a better methodology than taking lives. It’s so painful, so wasteful, so destructive in widening circles of its ramifications.
But this is how it is. This is how we are.
Maybe the knowledge of that about ourselves is so disturbing, to drown out the screams, both inside and outside of us, we have to find some pleasure in life, some damn thing, to keep our sanity. Drugs are typically far too risky, and moderation of alcohol is not as easy as we thought it would be after the Prohibition now that alcoholism’s monstrous reality has matured over the decades. And unless you can drench yourself in an artistic or athletic theta state on a regular basis, sex is just about all there is in the pleasure category. But that, too, is not so easy, with all the taboos around sex socially and what religions have taught us as moral.
I wonder if all the wars around religion ‒ and there sure seems to be a lot of them throughout history ‒ are about in some small part a collective struggle against taboos, especially the sexual taboos. Let me just play with this idea a minute…. We are a species in need of true freedom, free will, we fight for human rights against tyranny in one way or another no matter where we are in the world or what age we live in, although our opinions of what that is will vary from person to person or country to country or age to age. I think that’s a bottom line fact along with the fact that we all bleed: We all want to live our own lives without fear.
Now a taboo is forbidden and to be feared, and so if a taboo is forced upon us, fear is forced upon us. And if fear is forced upon us, we will struggle against it to be free of it.
I think this is why religion, as it is interpreted and practiced (and not necessarily as it was initially taught by a great teacher), have created just as much trouble as they have good, maybe even more trouble than good ‒ because of the fear that is forced upon people, the taboos. Any ideology, of course, if forced upon someone else, is not likely to be received well by virtue of the act of force. We are just not designed as human beings, most of us, anyway, to open our arms to force.
And I don’t know of any stronger taboos than the ones that are around sex.
And if it’s true that the strongest taboos any of us have are around sex, then our strongest fears are around sex.
So our strongest struggles are about sex, aren’t they? It’s a struggle for pleasure. For unity. For freedom. For love. Isn’t it? A struggle for life, and without sex, no life. And as long as we think sex is dirty or bad or wrong or evil, or some sex is good, and other sex is not good, the struggle will continue.
War and sex. Force and submission.
Force in sex is violence, not sex. Sex is about mutual submission, which is the only way to have mutual unity, peace, pleasure, freedom.
Then there’s that weird line between sex and violence, love and hate, isn’t there? Creation and destruction.
The woman and the man, the Harvester and the Hunter. Viva la difference? I wonder.
How long will our differences allow us to live?
p.s. I so appreciate your interesting comments and/or emails; your thoughts widen my brain and my heart and that’s a great gift.
7/6/2006 3:48 pm
Well, I dunno. Religious wars usually involve one group of believers trying to replace the taboos of another group of believers with their own, yes?|
But I suspect you're onto someting with the idea of taboos. The German war theorist Karl von Clausewitz called war "an act of force . . . that theoretically can have no limits," which includes moral limits, of course. And at this point I'll out myself with respect to a shameful thing. Especially when I was younger, I felt an attraction to war. Not at all to the military, but to war itself. I had an urge not just to be in one but to participate. I gave it a lot of thought, and I finally concluded that war seems to be the ultimate test. It tests you physically, psychologically, and morally. When we abandon all the structures of morality, when we free ourselves from what Heidegger called "das Mann," that which is left over must be our true selves. The life we would live in such a situation must be the truth, becausse we have cast off all of society's rules regulations, its taboos and to-do lists. (And now you cn see this as directly antithetical to yet explanatory of the military's fetish for discipline--they don't want their soldiers going all Lord of the Flies.) At any rate, this is how it seemed to me, standing on the before side. But maybe it's so even on the after side. I remember seeing a text by a British woman who served as a nurse in WW2 (sorry, I can't find the source). She wrote of the immediacy of wartime life, especially given that it was conjoined to the immediacy and urgency of youth, for young people fight wars, not the old (they just declare them). Life, she said, had never before seemed so vibrant, so precious, and it never would again. She concluded with the pessimistic opinion that until peace could offer that same cocaine-rush in-the-moment charge, war would probably never be eradicated. I don't know whether she is right, but--though it shames me to admit such a selfish sentiment--I understand why she would say such a thing.
May we all find the wisdom to free us from such nonsense.
7/7/2006 8:51 am
Interesting musings. It's interesting that the current wars involve a religion based upon the notion of submission. Submission to the will of God. This is interpretated by men and as they put themselves in the positions of gods they want submission from us.|
Submission only really works when it comes from a place of love wether it be in the mundane or divine.
Off the subject of war - with it's reproductive imperative - my genes reproduce not yours.
There also seems to be a struggle, in this country at least, as to the moral implecations of sexual expression and it's legitimacy in a consenual union. Defining morals seems to be defining sexual behaviors not how we treat each other - this seems backward to me.
Stealing, physical abuse and lying are not taboos although not condoned. Taboos seem to be kept to the sexual realm for the most part in our culture.
Someday - perhaps when I am able to do it on a regular basis too - people will stop trying to control or dictate to others what is none of their business. Someday, if I submit to God's will, I too can keep from judging others, especially concerning things I don't really find wrong or offensive.
7/15/2006 8:05 pm
Nancy, Might I please have my brain back when you have finished with it! I have expounded similar opinions on many ocassions. But not also the hypocracy within society overall (not just limited to ours here in the west) It is condoned for our friends to commit the horor of war on those whom we disaprove as a nation yet we abhore any retaliation. the current situation in the Lebanon is such an example . It is ok for Isreal a state bourn of terrorism to "arrest" arabs but if arabs "arrest" Isrealies then it is wrong and is called kidnapping and requiries the all out use of the nations force of arms ,killing and maiming who knows how many inocents on both sides of the border in the resulting tit for tat attacks. But the arabs started it we are told , did they? How short are our memories. Do we not remember the late 1940s when the Zionists took over Palestine (an arab state for more that 3 thousand years)by terrorisum and war.|
Do we not therefor see the similarity in our hypocracy over sexual tabboos. Are our memories so short. Two hundred years ago it was advantagous for a woman to have children out of wedlock as they were her dowery and helped support her and any prospective husband. But in the protestant west and Islamic middleeast this is officially frowned upon as the religious leaders dictate the morals of society. I used the word dictate as there is no democracy or freedom in organised religion.
So in a land that officially praises the upholding of freedom we have continued dictation of morals and hypocrasy in social acceptance of true freedom. We allow the dictators the enforce hypocracy at every turn and allow our young ones to expend their lifes blood in that task believing that they are defending freedom and democracy.
We enforce "moral" values in a similar manner most particulary were sex is concerned. It is illegal to be naked in public ,yet we allow our city aithorities to trash a homeless persons clothing.
The hypocracy is never ending!
7/27/2006 7:56 pm
OK "trimleyman"....let's get our history lesson:|
remember the late 1940s when the Zionists took over Palestine
The arabs NEVER wanted that forsaken land until the Jewish people were GIVEN it. Get your history correct. AND it was never an arab state. The Jews did not use terrorism to establish Israel. The UN established the state of Israel.
AND UN directive 1559, in the year 2000, told Hezbollah NOT to have any missiles in southern Lebanon. The fact they DID is an act of war.
Any sovereign state has the right to defend itself from an act of war. International Law clearly spells this out. Israel has this right. And I hope they annihilate Hezbollah and wipe them from the face of this earth.
How would ANY American feel if Mexico came across the border, kidnapped two of our soldiers, ant took them deep into Mexico??? We would do just like Israel did and attack Mexico.
Please don't try to rewrite history....
P.S. Your spelling is atrocious!!! It's worse than the Queen's english! lol
12/11/2006 5:45 pm
I'm enjoying your blogs and find your thought process quite fascinating. Not sure that I always understand your thinking, but it's a tough forum to ask followup questions and discuss in real time. I don't agree with you about all that you've said, and the part about religion and wars between them being about sexual taboos (even in part) seems to me not very valid.
First, I agree that conflicts between religious groups and religious prejudice and hatred are a major cause of war throughout history. For that and other reasons, I am not a fan of organized religion. But I think the cause is each religion believing that it has the best - or only -God that that the fight to make one religion dominate another is considered a holy cause...one fought on behalf of God. My difficulty with that concept is what kind of God would be one that believes that those who think differently and do not worship him (or her) should be annihilated?
I had an interesting experience with that concept several years ago when a Jewish friend of mine and a woman who was a born-again fundamentalist Christian fell in love. During dinner with them one night, I asked if they were going to get married. She stunned me with the answer that she could not marry my friend because he is Jewish - and because Jews do not believe that Jesus was the son of God, he could not go to heaven. That was very crucial to her because she wanted to be with her husband forever, including in heaven.
Now regardless of whether I believe that there is a heaven and hell (I don't), I asked her if she thought my friend was a good person and had lived what she considered a virtuous life. She agreed with that. Then, I asked, what kind of God does she worship that he or she would condemn a Jew to hell, no matter how he lived his life or what kind of person he was. And how could she worship a God who would condemn a good man to hell simply because he did not believe Jesus was the son of God? She had no answer to that.
Wars are often brought about by ignorance and, as the warden who operated the prison camp in "Cool Hand Luke" said, "a failure to communicate." I would add ignorance, prejudice, and fear.
As a nice romantic postscript, the Jewish friend and fundamentalist married about 6 months thereafter - and have been incredibly happy together over the last 6 or so years. She has become more sophisticated and broadminded, particularly when he encouraged her to pursue her faith and even went to her church a few times to learn about it. And she has learned about his.