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Sexuality as a political, economic and cultural force - Part Three PDF Print E-mail
Life – Consciousness

cycSexuality as an antidote to fear
It is apparent from the first, obvious, function of sexuality as an act of perpetuation that this is linked with the fear of death as a pole of antithesis to it. This sexuality is used unconsciously as a means of dealing with fear, either by the birth of offspring, or, in itself, as sensitivity to life and to contact with other human beings.

 

Nevertheless, the natural functions of life - however correct and necessary they have been - have never been able to deal effectively with this fear, because this issue cannot be dealt with directly and totally at their level, but only indirectly and subsidiarily.


Further, fear, on the other hand, leads to marriages for reasons of psychological, social, or economic security, demanding a role and a sterile fidelity, which is sterile because the dedication is not based on other more substantive principles, such as love and a wider and deeper affinity between the parties to the relationship. Here 'love' is seen as lukewarm, a matter of friendship, without passion and without value by young people, and as a simple need by the old. This, of course, is an error, but it is so widespread as to constitute a 'fact'. This supposed love is not love. (Relatively) true love has a different passion, of greater depth, intensity, and duration, which dissolves the deceptions of distorted sexuality, or, at least, their terrible power.

But who needs it, or, rather, who wants it? Almost nobody, since this love cannot be the result of a reflex of the instinct in the face of organised, formal behaviours or conventions, such as fascination or need. It is the result of free will, which can be activated only through a complex of many abstractions or forms of rejection of the errors which have to do with the relation between the sexes, with the self, and with the environment. But this will is opposed to desire, or, rather, to the imitation of desire which runs through all these relationships.

Thus, through all this way of thinking, marriage often becomes the garbage-bin of fear and insecurity, or, perhaps, also of sexual desire (gradually degenerating, however), and desire at the same time is pushed outside this social framework (which is distorted) because of its intensity, and because of the fear of personal devaluation which advancing age brings about. The notorious crises of the different ages are familiar and require understanding and prudent handling, not in order to preserve at all costs ruined marriages, but so that people are not led from one mistake to another, and are faithful to their obligations.

Sexuality, because it is associated with youth, creates the illusion that by retaining your sexuality, you remain young and, thus, exorcise death. Of course, this is a deception, because physical death will occur anyway and death in the consciousness (which is the real death) has already occurred with this image, as stagnation. Man, in his fear of death and the future, prefers to put himself to death in order to deliver up to death something which is dead already, and so conquer it. It will be wondered: why does man do this thing? The answer lies in the fact that the process of self-knowledge is a painful one and is not accomplished immediately; it requires effort over a period of time, resulting not in information, but an in-depth experience both of fear and of the required fearfulness which will temporarily leave a person suspended in a vacuum in order to deal with it. Here fear of fear insinuates itself in terms of exercising power, and cuts off any possibility for an endeavour to achieve self-knowledge and self-transcendence.

In this way, sexuality becomes a tool for the transformation of fear of death into a frenzied imitation of youth and vitality, covering over fear with oblivion. It is not a matter of chance that old people at all periods have always lived with memories of their youth, as if life after that was insipid and pointless. This tendency to nostalgia was unhealthy and, usually, revealed nothing significant as an act of life, but merely youth as a value in itself.

Furthermore, sexuality is used as a simulacrum of human relationships, given that genuine relations require the process of self-knowledge which we have spoken about above. Only, such relationships are feigned and opportunistic, and even the supposed great passions die out easily and remain as memories, full sometimes of the illusion that they had hidden within them something great which circumstances extinguished.

The issue of fear, in whatever form, is man's central problem, and he is called upon to deal with it. But dealing with it must not take place in the field of results, but in the field of causes. The field of the result is that in which difficulty is experienced - for example, the fading of youth brings wrinkles, and efforts are made to eliminate these wrinkles, so that the individual appears young and 'sexy'. This, however, is not a real management of fear.

Inadequacy and failure, moreover, in forming personal and interpersonal relations is not dealt with by ease in sexual relations. Human relations must take on the necessary pluralism - that is to say, they must be relations first and foremost with the self, and not a forgetting of it, with other people and with the environment. And these relations present difficulties; but we are not going to have true relationships if we do not undertake this at the level of consciousness and not of ease. Furthermore, this ease in reality leaves us ourselves untouched, in spite of the difficulties caused, which still remain on the surface of the consciousness and do not touch its depths in such a way as to bring about the necessary reversal.

Dealing with fear is not achieved through external actions which eliminate the result, but by internal actions which elucidate the cause and deal with it by means of transcendence of consciousness, regardless of the external results. Transcendence cannot be either fatalism over the past or cynicism, but the joyful and creative discovery of the value of life in itself regardless of appearances.


You may also read: 
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART ONE -- Introduction -Sexuality as inequality and as a means
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART TWO -- Sexuality as self-definition
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART FOUR -- Sexuality as socialization
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART FIVE -- Sexuality as freedom
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART SIX -- Sexuality as seduction
SEXUALITY AS A POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FORCE - PART SEVEN -- Sexuality as seduction in marriage


Ioanna Moutsopoulou, Lawyer

Member of the Secretariat of Solon NGO

Photo from Wikimedia

 
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