Love’s Magic

This post continues the discussion on our need to love and be loved. I advance the notion that there is magic and power in love. There is actually scientific evidence that people who say they are experiencing love have a dopamine increase. I understand that a life without love is a cold, empty, and lonely existence. I now believe that no love = no life! It was V. E. Frankl who maintained that, “the salvation of man is through love and in love. I understand how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”(1963) Lou Marinoff  suggested,  “having led a decent life, having loved and been loved,  having tasted what life has to offer, and having mattered to someone is as much as anyone can expect.” (1999) Our need for love is an essential task for us that we must satisfy at some level. At some level all humans have the capacity to love. The question for me became, “How do I spend this capacity?” The capacity to love is a matter of what, why, when, where, how, and with whom we spend this gift. I have been on a lifelong journey of learning about love, trying to understand love, and attempting to more intimately experience its many dimensions and depths. Over my life there are those times when it seems just when love is in my grasp it disappears, and there are those times I know I am truly experiencing love. Many people have traveled in and out of my life, but only those who I have deeply loved, and they have deeply loved me have left an indelible footprint on my heart. For me you see, love surely concerns matters of the heart. I know all of us have love-stories that are unique to us, and maybe it is a good idea from time-to-time to tell them or put them to paper. My love story continues . . . . . . .  I welcome readers to discuss their life journey’s love-stories . . . . . . .

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Human Love Need

In recent posts I discussed how the Theory of Balanceology maintains that we humans have inherited needs that must be satisfied, to some degree, in order to live a life in balance and one that is healthy.  The theory suggests that we have the Basal Self-Needs for safety/security, worth, empowerment, and enjoyment, and also the Basal Belonging Needs for interpersonal and social contact (review if needed).  The more the basal needs are satisfied, the more the stage is set to satisfy our deeper needs for sex, love, morality, emotions, and consciousness. In previous posts, I discussed the deeper need for sex (review if needed).  Over the next several posts I will discuss our need for love. What I write is based on research related to love, my understanding of the human condition, and my own experiences related to love.  I invite readers to share your own experiences and understanding of love.

Thus, the posts to come concern our innate need to love and to be loved, and loves potential to reach the depths of intimacy. I have asked many times, “What is love?” Amore is assuredly one of Nature’s special gifts. I joyfully proclaim that, “love is one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer!” In the posts that follow, I will share some of my deeper journey into experiencing and understanding this love-gift. We humans are amorous and amative creatures. I have a deep hunger in my heart to love and to be loved. I deeply desire heart-to-heart intimacy. I know that love is a primal need, a higher calling, and an essential mystery. Pool maintained that love is “an instinct rooted in our physical constitution.” (1966) Whether acknowledged or not, all of us need to love and to be loved. Unimpeachably love seeks love. Sigmund Freud said a mature person needs, “lieben und arbeiten—-> to love and to work. I know that love is a natural awakening primary energetic and life-force for humans. I unquestionably state that it is essential that we experience the nature of this love and life-force.  I have come to appreciate what Albert Camus meant when he said, “without love this world is a dead world,” (1947), and Oscar Wilde saying, “who, being love, is poor.”

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Celibacy vs. Sex

In the Theory of Balanceology, sex is valued as an inherent need that humans at some level must satisfy. I am  going to get myself into trouble here from some of the readers, but being an ex-Catholic I need to say what I need to say.  What I am about to say I should have said a long time ago. I start by asking the question, “What does it take to live a truly celibate lifestyle?” According to Bishop Spong, “those who know anything about celibacy know that true celibacy is a rare and unique vocation to which few are called.” (1990) First, a celibate lifestyle is an unnatural lifestyle. Period! In order to live such a lifestyle, a person is repressing their natural primal need for sex. Attempts to live a celibate lifestyle is the pride of battling Mother Nature, and I  assure you that in one way or another Mother Nature always wins this battle. The Catholic Church’s rule of celibacy for its priests, monks, and nuns has profoundly crippled it morally, spiritually, and financially. Celibacy is one reason the Catholic Church is internally ripping itself apart. To think that at one time, during my early forlorn sexually repressive and obsessive younger days, I seriously thought of becoming a priest. To have become a priest I would have entered a repressive rat hole that would have sadly robbed me from the great gift of sex. Such an unnatural lifestyle would have robbed me from exploring, experiencing, and connecting with other human beings my deeper needs for sex, love, morality, emotions, and various levels of consciousness. Referring to Ancient Greek mythic character Orpehus’ decision to take a vow of celibacy, Barnard Simon said it was “an unfortunate act of self-denial that opened the door into darkness.” (2004) A celibate lifestyle makes for a benighted darkness related to intimacy, morality, emotions, and psychological functioning. A denial of our sexuality is a denial of our humanity. The developmental delays generated from a celibate lifestyle sets the stage for a priest, monk, or nun to have a lifetime of juvenile sexuality. Sex affirms life – celibacy avoids life. Really, the fictionalized vow of celibacy places a person in a no win situation: 1.) breaking the vow of celibacy often makes for guilt, shame, and self-loathing. Those priests, monks, and nuns who respond to their primal sexual need, either periodically or continuously, it surely must take a huge amount of cognitive dissonance to continue their “celibate lifestyle,” and  2.) keeping the vow of celibacy,  in my estimation, is by far  more tragic for it means a life of repression, preoccupation, and permanently delayed sexuality. Psychologically and emotionally, a tremendous amount of a defense mechanism such as regression, acting out, displacement, denial, substitution, etc. must be taking place in any attempt to dampen this human  primal  need.  For example, and trying not to be too offensive or Freudian, I suggest that the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan’s excessive obesity is probably related to an oral sexual fixation that he attempts  to satisfy through excessive food intake. I strenuously argue that those sad repressed individuals who have never  explored and experienced their sexuality for themselves, and with another human, for at least some period of time in their life, that  it is impossible for them to be emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, and yes spiritually healthy.  Impossible!

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Sexual Healing

In the Theory of Balanceology, I advance the notion that sex is a human need that we try to satisfy.  I propose our sexual need can go beyond the mechanical aspects of sex and go to deeper levels of intimacy and connection with another human being. Thus, I theorize that deeper sexuality includes deeper levels of fulfilling our Belonging-Need. Deeper sexuality connects sex with love at more intimate levels. Deeper sexuality goes beyond sensorial pleasure —> sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. It includes the sensorial but it is also involves sensuality, intimacy, and love. After years of struggling with depression, drug addiction, and sexual promiscuity Marvin Gaye wrote and sang Sexual Healing. It is a song about a sexuality that intimately connects and heals. I say sexual healing is a bonding that involves sex + love + morality + emotions + consciousness. Sexual healing involves deeper sexual experiences. A healing sexuality is a bio-energetic force of its own —> there is biological energy in sexual healing. A sex that heals includes a post bio-energetic organismic response. During orgasm there is a release of the hormone dopamine that gives great pleasure. But shortly after the orgasm there is a mind-body return to a hedonistic status quo and equilibrium. However, sexual healing includes a post-orgasmic touching, kissing, holding, cuddling, caressing that releases oxytocin (the cuddle hormone).  I propose that this pre/post orgasm continuity is a significant bonding factor between two individuals.

Post coitum omne animal triste est

In recent posts I have been discussing that we humans our born with  a desire to experience. express, and satisfy a  sexual need.  However, I suggest this need cannot be satisfied by promiscuity.  Mindless sex (endless obsessive and compulsive sexual expression) might give temporary sexual release and relief but it probably isn’t the best path for true sexual fulfillment and satisfaction. I profoundly agree with Mark Epstein that, “sexual passion must be lived to understand its limitations, fantasies of gratification of unfulfilled needs must be understood as fantasies in order for actual gratification to be appreciated.” (1995) Otto and Mann refer to the commodity-oriented person (1976) In a sexually repressive, yet pornographic culture such as ours sexual wants can be easily obtained. For the commodity-oriented person the goal is self-gratification and sexual relief. However, this relief is only temporary and is followed by another, and another, and yet another round of sexual  expression and relief. Ultimately, most individuals will come to the conclusion that with mindless-endless sex something is missing. Unbridled sexuality is usually about trying to fill an unbearable void in one’s life —> some need is not being satisfied. For mindless-endless sex the saying, “post coitum omne animal triste est,” or “after sexual intercourse every animal is sad,” seems to apply.

For Erich Fromm, “the search for the sexual organism assumes a function which makes it not very different from alcoholism and drug addiction. It becomes a desperate attempt to escape the anxiety engendered by separateness, and it results in an ever-increasing sense of separateness,  since the sexual act  without love never bridges the gap between 2 human beings, except momentarily.”  (1956)

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Sexual Orientation

To be different brings prejudice and that difference applies to race, various ethnic groups, the mentally ill, the physically disabled, and LGBTQ individuals.  A lot of prejudice and discrimination is related to ignorance and fear of the unknown. And, a lot of  prejudice and discrimination is related to power, dominance, and control over others. This control can emanate from various political, judicial, medical, and even religious communities. Much of this prejudice is tied into our human nature and cultural values. That is, the reality of various minority groups being different from my reality and values makes their reality wrong. The end result is the demonization and dehumanization of people who are different. This post addresses LGBTQ individuals. There has been a long machinational process based on animosity and repulsion towards the LGBTQ Community. Doesn’t prejudice towards LGBTQ individuals seem to carry additional hypocrisy when it comes from the religious community? Instead of trying to understand LGBTQ individuals, the religious community has been more one of “peccatum illud horrible inter christianos non nominandum,”  or, “that horrible crime not to be named by Christians.”  I wonder if Rev. Carlton Pearson is correct when he contended that“I would say that the more a preacher or moral leader talks about the evils of sex or homosexuality, the more likely it is that he’s engaging in exactly that behavior in the shadows.” (2010)

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