The honor we pay to fictional ideas about love and sex is simply customary, like the undeserved deference our ancestors felt they must pay to king and clergy. These ideas, even when false, have real power. Some of our forebears undoubtedly believed in the truth, importance and obligation of their beliefs. Many people were cruel, destructive and willing sacrifice their own lives to undeserving authority because they thought it good to do so.
“Men—not saints or philosophers, but common herds and crowds—are constantly frenzied into fantastic follies, reckless of all else, by abstract ideas. Abstract ideas are, in fact, the only things—except love—that will induce men to lay down their lives. The motive power of ideas, their efficiency as modifiers of action, does not depend upon their being concrete or abstract, but in the degree in which they are believed.”
Robert Briffault, Psyche’s lamp, G. Allen & Unwin ltd.
We have no reason to think our current powers of imagination are somehow weaker than that of our ancestors. Many unfounded or false ideas are dear to both traditionalists and non traditionalists alike.
If we reason from the facts around us, we have ample cause to doubt many popular ideas about relationships and sexuality including both monogamy and the security of commitments and rules.
Why limit our choices to modified versions of old relationship mythology handed to us from more ignorant and superstitious times? Let those who would dare, derive choices from the facts of their own life. This we can call the adventure of trial an error. For those who make the attempt I suggest they avoid deceit, coercion and recklessness. Here are three other mistakes to avoid,
- Do not mistake emotional emphasis for evidence.
- Do not confuse strength with cruelty.
- Do not confuse kindness with weakness.
We cannot fuck our way out of being prude but we can understand that some of our beliefs contain flaws or falsehoods and are not adapted to the world around us. Sexual experience and wisdom are two different things. A fool can fuck and stay foolish and repeat this experience many times, let’s be careful where we give merit. We can embrace our lovers in discovery. We can use the knowledge handed to us from our culture without imprisoning ourselves in the ideas. Knowledge is a tool but that does not mean we must live in the tool shed nor are we bound to old tools when we can invent better ones. Remember the alternative to discovery (being in the unknown) is to limit ourselves to imitation, routine or deference to authority. That strategy based on the past, is the death knell into many love affairs, including those people who refuse to separate.
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Painting: Tomás de Torquemada, grand inquisitor in Spain, urges King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, right, to expel the Jews, kneeling at left, in a painting by Solomon A. Hart.
TY – ADVS T1 – Ferdinand II Y1 – 08/18/2014 SO – Britannica Online for Kids UR – http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-147255 ER –
Edit Grammar 10/11/2014