Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I was reading Angels In America during my lunch break today. It's a quick, two hour read, and is soaked through with the author's political opinions, but I do love the characters and the views they bring to the table.

There are several amazing quotes in play. Some long, some short, but things that make you stop and think. I had several I wanted to post here, but I don't have the book by me at the moment, and only one has really stuck with me today.

"The body is the garden of the soul."

That can be interpreted in a number of different ways.

And it's a common sentiment I've heard expressed many times over the years in various fashions.

I've noticed that the people who usually bring up their own variations of this line have fairly similiar ideas of what it means.

On one hand, you have your health nuts. I don't mean that in a negative way, but as that stereotype that it brings to mind. People very dedicated to keeping their bodies in good shape, keeping them healthy, not polluting them with junk food, alcohol, drugs, whatever they deem unhealthy from whatever health philosophy they have picked up.

On the other hand, you have the people that say the state of the body reflects the state of the soul. That a person who does not take care of themselves, or does not appear to take care of themselves, has some sort of unresolved mental issue(s), and those that take care of their bodies are healthy individuals without that inner damage. I can quite easily bring up individuals that both support and refute this claim.

On the third hand (yes, this is a multi-armed creature), you've got this odd combination of the two that comes together in this moral/sexual beast.

Maybe that last sentence should have started with "but in the chest cavitity".

Which sounds amusing, but if you look at it as a centerpiece-combo between the two ideas and then really nail it in with idea idea of the heart being the soul, it makes perfect sense.

Those that believe that, when a person engages in sexual activity with a person they aren't married to or do not love or do not have intentions of marrying, they are soul-damaged, and they are doing further damage to themselves by miring their being in the degradation of their bodies.

That this sexual activity that is not based on love and/or commitment is, essentially, trampling one's garden. A sign of mental dis-ease. No, not disease. It's like "unease" but even better.

So you get the girls that are looking for validation, the girls that hate themselves and are trying to hate themselves even more, the wild girls that will bone anything that moves just to have a distraction from the distaste they have for their lives, or the girls hoping that one night with one man, any man, will keep them feeling not so alone.

This is where I say that I do not believe it is the activity itself that causes the damage, but the social framework we are raised with in regards to sex.

Which means it is not sex that is inherently damaging, but the social values that our social institutions place on sex.

Which, in turn, means that as long as a person finds sex to be morally wrong, a sin, something that gives them value based on desirability, something other than what it is: a physical act, then engaging in sex that does not fill the parameters that a person has for it to be "okay" will have a negative impact on the person engaging in the behavior.

So, if the body is the garden, then it is the "soul" that dictates what grows from what we plant.

The guilt.
The self-loathing.
The internal conflict.
The anger, which flows internal and external.

It is our beliefs, given to us at childhood, that carry this.

It is so easy for some of us to toss off the religion we were raised with because the world has many religions, many belief systems. It's not "dirty" to talk religion. It's not "dirty" to experiment with different spiritualities to find what works for you.

But to question sexuality? To engage and try new things?

Your culture is telling you what is acceptable for you to do with your body, and if you do otherwise, you get poisonous plants springing forth inside your own head.

Saturday night, I was concerned that I was making an unhealthy decision. That I was hiding my hurt over GV8 from myself, that I was looking for that validation, that indication of desirability from two men. Something more. Maybe that I was damaging myself.

And then I realized, afterwards, that I wasn't.

There was no feelings of shame, no feelings of regret, no soul-dirt, no bad aftertaste lingering in my brain. I did not feel dirty or used. I did not feel as though I had done something immoral or gone too far.

I simply felt at peace with myself.

I felt at peace with the act of sex.
I was perfectly content, even happy, with knowing that I had been doubly penetrated by two men.
I was relaxed and okay with knowing that I could have been any of a series of interchangable women for, at least, one of them. Just a set of holes.
Wondering how much effort of logistics it would take to do a triple-p.

Zen. Untangling those last few webs that haunt my garden's corners. When the value of sex comes not from the society around you, but from yourself.

Gorgeous bliss. Finally free. My reality has solidified.

This is who I am. This was always who I was going to become.


  1. The body is the garden of the soul

    Indeed, the Buddha said, "niccam kaya-gata sati", which literally means "permanent body-going awareness". In other words, "your attention should always remain within the framework of your physical body."

  2. No you're wrong.

    Firstly, who planted that desired for monogamous exclusivity in your head? Society? Could it just be possible that your desire for monogamy with the man you love is a natural instinct? Maybe feeling a bit dirty after screwing someone you shouldn't is meant to feel bad.

    Here is a little intellectual exercise I would like you to ponder over a while.

    Suppose you wanted to be a trained killer. But you found that the remorse you felt for your victims hampered you from killing efficiently. Suppose you could find a way where you could have perfect inner peace after murdering a person.

    Would that be personal growth or a falling further into the abyss? Think about it for a while.

  3. Galt,

    Something I'm working on, yes. I feel like I keep shoving my awareness outside of my own skin.

    Social P,

    You know, some people might consider it rude to flat out declare someone is wrong.

    I am unable to convince myself that with all of the types of relationships, sexual dynamics, sexual activities, moral values, societal institutions regarding sex that have been in place over the thousands of years we have been in existence, that only one is correct. That all other societies, all other civilizations and religions have been wrong.

    There are no universals.

    Raise a child without the sexual influences we receive and see what makes them feel "wrong" when they engage in sex.

    The abyss is relative. Growth is relative. Murder is not universally wrong. Motive behind murder, victim, morals, all flexible and judged depending on the society that the killing takes place in.

    We are so incredibly different.

    And I cannot fault that, as social homogeny is weakness.

  4. I think society gets a bad rap. A lot of us have the same attitude towards society and its various institutions that some guys I've seen have towards women --it either gets put on a pedestal to be worshipped or blamed for all our problems.

    I don't think that's entirely fair. I also think its a convenient way of ducking responsibility for our choices.

    Ultimately, society is made up of people. Social norms, institutions, and conventions grow to fill human needs for order, community, etc.

    It's when people start making those institutions (or in some cases, tearing down those institutions) more important than the human beings they are there to serve that trouble brews.

    Sexually or in any other area, we are responsible for ourselves. Society can take care of itself, and I will take care of me.


  5. You know, some people might consider it rude to flat out declare someone is wrong.

    There is no other way to put it. You're either right or you're wrong.

    Moral relativism is self justifaction. You need to think about it some more. Hitler thought he was right, Pol Pot thought he was right. They all went to bed at night at peace with themselves. A man with a dead conscience is a dead man walking.

    Go over to the In Mala Fide blog today. Interesting discussion about, violence as a form of entertainment. When you can laugh as gets (raped), you're seriously damaged.

    Substitute your favourite vice into that parenthesis, you'll see what I mean.

    You're a person who has found peace in the darkness because you've convinced yourself there is no light.

  6. Sorry dyslexia again.

    When you can laugh as gets (raped)..

    Should read

    When you can laugh as someone gets (raped).....


  7. "Hitler thought he was right, Pol Pot thought he was right"

    Then it looks to me like the three of you have something in common.

  8. Social P,

    I don't know why my worldview seems to bother you so deeply. My conscience is not dead, in fact you'll find my morals to be quite close to a retarded Disney mentality that I have been mocked for repeatedly in the past.

    But I don't believe my morals or ideas or more right or more wrong than any others.

    Darkness? Light? There are more ways of being and thinking than you or I can grasp. Why define other people's world by one's own terms?


    I think I may love you forever. Don't forget to send me your address so I can mail you a christmas card.

    Also, yes, we blame society for a lot of things. I realize that, often, when it comes to sex, I am one of those damn people that calls society the root of all evils and I sound like a crazed hippy.

    I hate how people use the morals and beliefs they were raised with as the ultimate measure of truth.

    I hate how people get so twisted up in sex, get so damaged because of how they are taught to view their bodies and their desires.

    I hate how people think they have a right to interfer in others sex lives because of moral grounds.

    It drives me up the wall. And I blame much of it on our society and the distribution of self-responsibility versus internal issues manifesting externally.

    Rant rant rant rant rant.


  9. POF

    You're view of life doesn't bother me at all. After all, I'm just a bunch of characters on the other end of the screen(and so are you).You and I both lived without each other in the past, and I imagine without each other we'll do alright in the future. I don't think my life will anyway be diminished if you don't accept my point of view.

    You seemed to be in a bit of personal hole. I thought you might like to know the way out if it. It was some free advice. And you're free not to take it.

    And no, I don't think your conscience is dead. I actually think you're quite moral, even if not philosophically sophisticated. Your screwing around has a certain moral purity. I'd like you to remember that some of the great saints started off as pretty profligate sinners.

    I'll ask you again, is a person who feels no shame or remorse at at some wicked act, healthy or not? I know you know the answer to the question but just don't like what the answer implies. And if you want to know the source of your problems, it lays in the origin of that refusal.

    Orwell, who in no way shared my religious views did recognise that truth was not relative. 1+1 always equals 2. There is no discussion on the matter. Stealing and murder were always wrong, no matter what the justification. You see that's what moral relativism is, justification for everything.It silences conscience. It allows you to slit a mans throat.....and feel at peace about it afterwards.

    Also don't assume that people with morals are programmed robots. Some of us may have thought our way into the positions we have taken.

  10. I know you're just offering advice when I stop to think about it, but your use of language is so aggressive and definitive that it immediately raises my hackles and I respond aggressively in turn.

    I sincerely believe that no act is innately wicked. I've believed this for years, long before I ever took up my wild ways. Moral relativism is what I've always believed, something I will likely continue to believe for the rest of my life.

    I know you're an intelligent and experienced man. I know you've likely thought your way into your moral position. It's just not mine. How you live is, I imagine, not how I would wish to live. I've spent so much of my life fighting my own nature, my own desires, getting tangled up in the expectations others have of me, and I truly wish to find out and be the best I can be... but in the way I define that.

  11. I sincerely believe that no act is innately wicked

    I don't think you seriously believe that.

    Listen, you and I have both got other stuff to do. You are a long way down and things are gonna get worse, still while you can breathe there is a way out. Just remember that.

    As for my life. No, you don't know my life.