Subject: sex, morality, power and love (layer 1)
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 16:24:17 -0800
OK, Kathy Kremer, here goes!
To answer the many questions about sex and love from an anthroposophical perspective requires first peeling away two layers of confusion. Notice I have stuck the words "morality" and "power" in between sex and love in the Subject Line.
The first layer deals with the difference between sex and morality, while the second layer looks at sex and power as veritable synonyms and thus will address the difference between the "will to power" and love. This post will deal just with the first layer of this "lovely, sexy onion."
THE SEPARATION OF SEX AND MORALITY
I really believe that most of us actually do make the proper distinction between sex and love in our daily lives, but we somehow we feel uneasy or guilty about it. That sets up an inner "cognitive dissonance" which motivates questions like: "Should I have sex with someone I hate? Should I be celibate with someone I love?"
The problem is with the first layer of this "lovely, erotic onion," as it were. In our modern culture, we most definitely do NOT separate sex and morality, and until we peel off this thick layer, we will never become clear about the separation of sex and love.
So, Kathy, let's take your first question because that speaks volumes about this issue. When you seriously raise the question about having sex with someone you hate, that tells me two things:
(1) you most definitely DO separate sex and love;
(2) you most definitely DO NOT separate sex and morality.
You're a good Christian girl, aren't you? I mean, insofar as you try to follow Christ's ideal of loving your enemies. We read in the Gospel:
"Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you."
What we don't read is:
"Have nookie with your enemies; go down on those who hate you."
Therefore you very easily CAN and DO separate sex and love. But here you are all in a metaphysical and ethical tizzy about the separation because you fear violating some inner moral imperative. You have internalized some kind of outer behavioral mechanism that COERCES you to worry about doing the wrong thing even when you obviously know that it is the right thing for you not to have sex with someone you hate.
What is the problem? In a word: Lucifer. What is Lucifer's agenda for us? Steiner tells us over and over again: "Lucifer always tries to make us into 'moral automatons'."
Lucifer always wants us to be goody-goody moral beings, but not to be FREE moral beings. He wants us to be as good as possible but to do it in as unconsciously and therefore in as UNFREE a manner as possible. So the source of your inner distress about violating a moral norm you have internalized is the Luciferic temptation to automatic goodness. (Believe me you're not alone, so don't feel singled out).
That is your inner moral categorical imperative, that inner voice that tries to make sure that you never separate sex and morality under pain of guilt, shame and/or moral confusion.
And I believe that this kind of inner coercion is far more paralyzing than the outer coercion of government that Bobby likes to write about.
So why do we as a culture make sexual behavior into such a heavy moral issue?
Let's look at the history of it all. We are a Judaeo-Christian culture and if we look at the Old Testament, we find in Leviticus, for example, that homosexual behavior is a capital offense. Moving into the New Testament we read St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans condemning homosexuality and other sexual behavior outside of marriage.
With the rise of the Catholic Church in the early Christian centuries, we find ascetic practices and finally the vow of celibacy for priests. Even the Protestant reformation did not reform anything about sexual mores--- except to make sexual behavior even more immoral--- if we look at the Puritans. And it's right up to the minute, too. Look at all the inane moralizing about what Bill & Monica did in the Oval Office. Why do we protest sexual behavior so much? Could it be that there WAS a good spiritual reason for the blending of sex and morality, but perhaps now that reason is no longer valid?
Let us contrast Puritanism with a culture that did make a clear separation between sex and morality--- or more accurately, never saw any occasion to blend them together in the first place. That culture reached its zenith in the 4 to 5 centuries before Christ in the so-called Golden Age of ancient Greece.
The typical educated Greek man of Athens was expected to take a young teenage boy under his tutelage. The boy was called his "pedagogue" from the Greek words "PAIDOS" meaning "child" and "AGOGE" meaning "to lead" or "to teach."
Part of the curriculum was to initiate the boy into one of the 7 stages of Platonic Love. Well, what we call Platonic Love today is actually Stage 7 where it reaches "agape." But in order to reach Stage 7 you have to go through stage 1-6, two of which were erotic in nature and one of which was homosexual in nature.
So--- how can I put this delicately so as not to offend the sensibilities of those of you who grew up conditioned to moralize about sex? As part of the Platonic love curriculum, the Greek teacher would place his erect organ of fructification into the anus of his "pedagogue" and that behavior became known as "pedagogy."
Imagine if a modern teacher were to do that very same thing to a high school boy today.
So, there are two very contrasting graphic pictures of the relationship between sex and morality, one in ancient Greece and the other in our Judaeo-Christian culture.
Now, let's get anthroposophical and look into the spiritual/historical roots of this phenomenon. What was the mission of the Hebrew people? Among other things, it was to provide the physical blood line for Jesus and to provide the physical basis for abstract thinking. But more importantly, the 10 Commandments were given in order that the Hebrew people could begin taking INDIVIDUAL responsibility for their actions.
So the moralizing about sex and a lot of other human behavior was done in order that individual responsibility for one's actions could become a principle in human evolution. Well, another way of saying that is: the 10 Commandments were given so that people could begin to build and enhance their individual ego consciousness. A natural consequence of enhancing ego consciousness is that people became more and more materialistic. They then get to be more and more grounded on the physical plane as individual ego beings.
So let's look at the correlations. When sexual behavior becomes ruled by moral commandments, then ego consciousness is enhanced and a strong materialism results.
Let's recall the quote of Steiner's I posted a few days ago, where he says that "sex and love have absolutely nothing to do with each other." Why does he criticize so strongly the fact that people blend sex and love together? He calls it "the worst expression of materialism."
But what is the "worst expression of materialism" today was in the past an important part of our human development. Gavin Ziegler put a Steiner quote up a few days ago which seems to contradict my Steiner quote. But I've found that 90% of the seeming contradictions in Steiner's statements have to do with something that was important and right in one epoch which becomes trite and wrong when applied to a later epoch.
Look at the "Mission of Alcohol" lecture, for example. Steiner tells us alcohol was an important substance to imbibe 2,000 years ago because it helped implant stronger ego forces. But today, alcohol is a problem because we have over-developed the ego forces and alcohol now provides COUNTER-ego forces which displace our normal ego.
Now, back to sex and morality. The mixing of sex and morality started 4,000 years ago when Moses got the 10 Commandments from Jehovah. Our entire Judaeo-Christian culture has evolved on the basis of keeping sexual behavior within strict moral bounds. Fine! That helped us all to get down to earth, to get grounded in these physical bodies and become at least materialistic enough that we learned how to value the physical plane.
Of course, we've become way too materialistic now so that is the reason why it's so important to start separating sex and morality now. (I think separating sex and morality is 90% of the struggle to separate sex and love).
But there is a great complication in this for us in 1998 as opposed to Steiner in 1919. In his day, materialism was hard-core, pretty unmistakable, but he warned that materialism would transform itself in our time. He said that at the turn of the Millennium, 2000 AD, "materialism would take such a form as to deny itself as materialism and masquerade as real spirituality." (from "Karma of Materialism" lecture cycle.)
In other words, our greatest threat is not the hard-core materialism of the late 19th century, but rather this very pernicious form of materialism that passes for spirituality today. It's obvious to see this form of materialism in many New Age movements, in channelling, etc., but it's also right here in anthroposophy, too. And if I were to administer a litmus test, to see if a person is a spiritual materialist or not, I would ask that person if he or she thinks that sex and love have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Now, Kathy, maybe for your particular life situation, you need to be more materialistic. I can't judge that. But if true, then you should keep on moralizing about sexual behavior. Keep that hair shirt on and don't wear a bra. Scratch your delicate skin! But if you feel ready to start overcoming this spiritual materialism, then you can start by --- oh well, I'll say it--- stripping the heavy, scratchy moralistic clothing off your delicate, alluring, smooth, sensuous sexuality. (And if so, be sure to post a detailed progress report).
The point is, in the case of Christian Funny-mentalists, for example, maybe they need their spiritual materialism at this stage in their development. If so, they need to keep on condemning homosexuals or condemning Bill Clinton for adultery or remote control sodomy with a cigar.
I don't know if I've covered enough with this post on the separation of sex and morality, but it's a start. Let me know if you come up with any more questions. Meanwhile, I'm going to work on Layer 2 which involves the "will to power" as the deeper archetypal phenomenon behind erotic behavior.
Further Pontifications from Father Tom
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