“My endeavor has been to present education as the last and highest form of evolution. . . . By placing education in relation to the whole process of evolution, as its highest form, I have hoped to impart to it a dignity which it could hardly otherwise receive or claim . . . when it is recognized to be the highest phase of the world-process. ‘World process’ here is an echo of Kant and Hegel, and for the teacher to be the chief agent in that process, both it and he assumes a very different aspect.”
—Thomas Davidson, History of Education
Returning to the 20th century history of homosexuality, the Homosexual Law Reform Society was founded in Britain in 1958, publicly supported by Clement Attlee, Isaiah Berlin, Julian Huxley, J. B. Priestley, and Bertrand Russell, among others, with members including Victor Gollancz, Stephen Spender, MP Kenneth Younger, and the aforementioned Antony Grey. Most of the founders were supposedly not homosexual, at least openly. That same year, the related charity the Albany Trust was set up, using J. B. Priestley’s apartment for its first meetings (Grey joined in 1962). The following year, in 1959, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the First Amendment rights of a gay and lesbian magazine, marking the first ruling on a case involving homosexuality. UK’s ITV, at the time the only national commercial broadcaster, broadcast the first gay drama, South, starring Peter Wyngarde.
And then came the sixties, towards the end of which the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. Homosexuality became legal in the UK via Sexual Offences Act 1967, the year I was born. In the UK, the GLF had its first meeting in the basement of the London School of Economics, on 13th October, 1970. Why the LSE, of all places? Apparently it was simply the place to be.
Another chapter in the hidden history of the sexual revolution occurred in Germany during this period. In “The Sexual Revolution and Children: How the Left Took Things Too Far,” published in De Spiegel in 2010, Jan Fleischhauer and Wiebke Hollersenup describe a movement in Germany of the late 1960s that involved schools across the country known as Kinderladen. In a collection of reports found for one of these schools, the Rote Freiheit (“Red Freedom”) after-school center, dated from August 13th, 1969, to January 14th, 1970, fifteen children aged between eight and fourteen were mentioned as being “taken care of during the afternoon.” “The goal of the center was to shape the students into ‘socialist personalities,’ and its educational mission went well beyond supervised play.” There was “a very strong emphasis on sex education. Almost every day, the students played games that involved taking off their clothes, reading porno magazines together and pantomiming intercourse.”
An entry made on November 26th reads: “In general, by lying there we repeatedly provoked, openly or in a hidden way, sexual innuendoes, which were then expressed in pantomimes, which Kurt and Rita performed together on the low table (as a stage) in front of us.”
“In the basement [were] found two rooms that were separated by a large, one-way mirror. There was a mattress in one of the rooms, as well as a sink on the wall and a row of colorful washcloths hanging next to it. [T]he basement was used as an ‘observation station’ to study sexual behavior in children. . . . It has since faded into obscurity, but the members of the 1968 movement and their successors were caught up in a strange obsession about childhood sexuality. It is a chapter of the movement’s history which is never mentioned in the more glowing accounts of the era.”
The aim of the movement was the “sexual liberation of children.” As with the Kinsey Institute, some of the leading German academics of the time were involved.
“[I]t was precisely in so-called progressive circles that an eroticization of childhood and a gradual lowering of taboos began. It was a shift that even allowed for the possibility of sex with children. Sexual liberation was at the top of the agenda of the young revolutionaries who, in 1967, began turning society upside down. The control of sexual desire was seen as an instrument of domination, which bourgeois society used to uphold its power. Everything that the innovators perceived as wrong and harmful has its origins in this concept: man’s aggression, greed and desire to own things, as well as his willingness to submit to authority. The student radicals believed that only those who liberated themselves from sexual repression could be truly free. To them, it seemed obvious that liberation should begin at an early age. Once sexual inhibitions had taken root, they reasoned, everything that followed was merely the treatment of symptoms. They were convinced that it was much better to prevent those inhibitions from developing in the first place. Hardly any leftist texts of the day did not address the subject of sexuality” (emphasis added).
This radical philosophy blamed “The de-eroticization of family life, from the prohibition of sexual activity among children to the taboo of incest,” for people’s “voluntary subjugation to a dehumanizing labor system. [F]or the revolutionaries of 1968, [what is today seen as sexual abuse] was an educational tool that helped ‘create a new person’” [emphasis added].
“In the wake of the emerging gay movement, so-called Pedo groups soon appeared. Taking their cue from homosexuals, they also claimed that, as a minority, they were entitled to certain rights. . . . The Greens were not long immune to the argument that the government should not limit the sexuality of children [and] argued that ‘nonviolent sexuality’ between children and adults should generally be allowed, without any age restrictions.”
As with the Kinsey affair, and as with PIE in the UK, this chapter in German history has been all-but stricken from the record. It is generally assumed that these movements “petered” out because they were aberrational, a symptom of the times. But what if, like the New Criticism, they simply became the norm, and hence culturally invisible?
In 1973, The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders, and in 1974, Paedophile Action for Liberation (PAL) developed as a breakaway group from South London Gay Liberation Front. It was the subject of a front page and centerspread article in the Sunday People, leading to some of the people exposed losing their jobs. In 1975, PAL merged with the Pedophile Information Exchange, a special interest group within the Scottish Minorities Group, with founding member Michael Hanson (a non-pedophile), as the group’s first chairman. As already mentioned, PIE grew out of The National Council for Civil Liberties (now simply Liberty), originally formed in 1932 as a response to the National Hunger March 1932. The first Secretary of NCCL was Ronald Kidd, and the first President was the author E. M. Forster. Vice-Presidents were the politician and author A. P. Herbert and the journalist Kingsley Martin of The New Statesman. H. G. Wells, Vera Brittain, Clement Attlee, and Harold Laski (of the LSE) were also founder members.
Since the majority of inquiries were from England, PIE relocated to London in 1975, where 23-year-old Keith Hose became chairman. The group’s stated aim was “to alleviate [the] suffering of many adults and children” by campaigning to abolish the age of consent and legalizing sex between adults and children. PIE spokesman Tom O’Carroll (in his 1980 book Paedophilia: The Radical Case) advocated the normalization of adult-child sexual relationships. Each stage of the sexual relationship between an adult and child, O’Carroll claimed, can be “negotiated,” with “hints and signals, verbal and non-verbal, by which each indicates to the other what is acceptable and what is not. [T]he man might start by saying what pretty knickers the girl was wearing, and he would be far more likely to proceed to the next stage of negotiation if she seemed pleased by the remark.”
By his own account, O’Carroll was not a homosexual: “I didn’t feel gay at all, and although Quentin Crisp is firmly in my pantheon of twentieth-century heroes, I felt as out of place in GLF company as I would sipping tea with Mary Whitehouse.” (Quentin Crisp was also one of my brother’s handful of acknowledged role models.) O’Carroll describes attending the early meetings of PAL:
“It was at these meetings that I first met other pedophiles, and experienced the sheer exhilaration and joy of suddenly finding a whole new social world—a world in which the Great Unmentionable was all at once the thing to talk about, a source of instant, garrulous rapport, between the unlikeliest combinations of people: at my first meeting there were maybe a dozen, all male, mostly young not easily pigeon-holed—by either dress, accent or manner—into any obvious social class stereotypes. Among them were a naval petty officer, a motor mechanic, a former child welfare officer, a medical-research technician, a high-ranking administrator and a bus driver. At a later meeting a middle-aged man introduced himself as the headmaster of a boarding school for boys.”
O’Carroll quotes a letter published in PIE’s magazine, Magpie, from someone reluctantly leaving the group, stating, “some of the finest people I have ever met in the gay world are PIE members.” Even more tellingly, Tom O’Carroll writes about how he was angrily criticized for his involvement with PIE—not by offended parents but by fellow pedophiles—for not being subtle enough. A professor at the British Psychological Society’s conference on Love and Attraction, in Swansea in 1977, accused O’Carroll of trying to be a messiah. “He had wanted to introduce to an academic audience some ideas about paedophilia and child sexuality,” O’Carroll wrote, “that were quite as ‘advanced’ as any I had to offer; but his ideas were to be safely couched in academic language, with an air of tentative, disinterested objectivity. Thus, carefully sown, the seeds of his radicalism would be nurtured in good soil, and would in their own good time propagate themselves more widely.”
O’Carroll also describes attending MIND, the national mental health organization, where it was suggested that PIE should submit evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee on the age of consent. O’Carroll writes that the report “caught the imagination of no less a figure than the Home Secretary of the time, Roy Jenkins. He is said to have been impressed . . . but added words to the effect: ‘Of course, it hasn’t a hope in hell.’”
Roy Jenkins is an important figure in this narrative. In Jenkins’ obituary, Labor MP David Marquand claimed that “Jenkins did more than any other person to make Britain a more civilized country to live in,” that he played an “indispensable part” in taking Britain into the European Union, an “equally indispensable part” in paving the way for the single currency, and, by forming the Social Democrat Party (with the afore-mentioned David Owen) and “breaking the mold” of British politics, Jenkins created New Labor. Jenkins, who became Home Secretary in 1965, was “convinced that the ‘permissive society’ was the ‘civilized society.’” In 1967, Jenkins embarked on what The Telegraph called “the most radical program of penal reform since the Second World War. His Criminal Justice Act of 1967 said very little about the victims of crime, but plenty about the perpetrators.”
Other leading Labor figures more directly connected to PIE are Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, who first encountered the group when they were working in the National Council for Civil Liberties. According to a Daily Mail piece from 1976, “the NCCL filed a submission to a parliamentary committee claiming that a proposed Bill to protect children from sex abusers would lead to ‘damaging and absurd prosecutions.’ . . . . ‘Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage,’ it read. ‘The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage’” (emphasis added). In 1978, Harriet Harman became the NCCL’s legal officer and promptly wrote its official response to Parliament’s Protection of Children Bill, which sought to ban child pornography. Harman argued that “a pornographic picture of a naked child should not be considered indecent unless it could be proven that the subject had suffered.”
Patricia Hewitt was part of the NCCL before PIE was formed and continued there throughout its existence. She stuck up for Tom O’Carroll after he was convicted in 1981 for “conspiracy to corrupt public morals” over the contact ads section of Magpie. “Conspiring to corrupt public morals,” Hewitt wrote, “is an offence incapable of definition or precise proof.” She argued that O’Carroll’s involvement in distributing child pornography had “overshadowed the deplorable nature of the conspiracy charge used by the prosecution.” I spend so much time on these characters because many of them show up again in the 2000s, as part of Tony Blair’s “Brain Trust,” a New Labor incentive that included Rupert Murdoch, two of Jenkins’ devotees David Marquand and Peter Madelson, Patricia Hewitt, David Puttnam, Melvyn Bragg, and—my uncle, Lord Haskins.
While it would be premature to suppose that everyone operating inside these circles of power is necessarily implicated in the sexual abuse that clearly proliferates within them, at the very least, it seems almost unthinkable they would not have known about it.
 Alexander Schuller, a sociologist, was one of the pioneers of the movement and founders of a Kinderladen in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf neighborhood. “Like Schuller, the other parents were academics, journalists or university employees—a decidedly upper middle-class lot.”
 At his blog, in a 2013 post, Tom O’Carroll mentions PIE treasurer David Grove (a.k.a. Robin Brabban), whom O’Carroll worked with in London in the 1970s. Grove was at Oxford during the same period as Alec Horsley, and according to O’Carroll (who refers to Grove as a “colonial boy-lover”), Grove “served as an assistant district commissioner in Nigeria from the 1920s. Alec was assistant district officer in Nigeria in the 1920s, so it seems more than likely he would have known Grove. Like O’Carroll, Grove “was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and would have been tried alongside [O’Carroll] and others at the Old Bailey but for the fact that he was gravely ill by then and died before the trial began.” O’Carroll writes that “Old David used to talk with great affection about the boys in Africa—hordes of little kids who were not banned from his verandah, nor from his heart or his life. He loved them dearly and they, I am sure, would have loved him. He was that sort of guy.” https://tomocarroll.wordpress.com/2013/05/
 In the late 1950s, Jenkins wrote a tract entitled Is Britain Civilized? in which he attacked Britain’s “archaic” laws on censorship, homosexuality, divorce and abortion, and argued for changes to the country’s “Victorian” criminal justice system. Jenkins’ progressive views on social reform were still in the minority in the Labor Party at that time, but by 1964, when Labor regained power, a “group of middle-class, mainly Oxbridge-educated ‘intellectuals’ had risen to prominence in the party and, for these ‘modernizers,’ led by Jenkins and his Oxford friend Tony Crosland, the main aim was the social, rather than the economic, transformation of Britain.” Link
 The death penalty had already been suspended, and Labor supported bills to decriminalize abortion and homosexuality, relax censorship and make divorce easier. Jenkins also embarked on what The Telegraph called “the most radical program of penal reform since the Second World War. His Criminal Justice Act of 1967 said very little about the victims of crime, but plenty about the perpetrators.” It introduced the parole system of early release for offenders serving three years or more, and the system of suspended sentences. “The legalization of homosexuality has not been the end of the chapter, but merely the beginning, with an aggressive ‘gay rights’ lobby demanding more and more concessions. The policy of early release of prisoners has had a catastrophic effect on the safety of the general public: 14 per cent of violent criminals freed early are convicted of fresh violence within two years of their release. As The Sunday Telegraph’s Alasdair Palmer states: ‘Scores of men, women and children have been assaulted, raped and murdered as a result of the policy of releasing dangerous criminals before their sentences are completed’—a policy initiated and endorsed by Jenkins.” Debatable rhetoric aside, it does tie in to my grandfather’s interest in and sympathy for violent offenders. Link
 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/blairs-brains-trust-1525441.html Also implicated throughout are British intelligence services MI5 and MI6: On the 19 July 2015, Australia’s “60 Minutes” broadcast an investigation of an alleged pedophile ring which was supplied children by PIE founder, Peter Righton, former director of education at the National Institute for Social Work and legal aid to the British government. The ring allegedly included senior politicians from all three main parties, naming Leon Brittan, Greville Janner and Cyril Smith, alongside British diplomat and long-time deputy director of MI6, Sir Peter Telford Hayman. Hayman also went to Worcester College, Oxford, where my grandfather majored.
Do you see a connection between the rise of GLF and pedophile-friendly groups, and the simultaneous rise of militant feminism? (I do). Were certain men reacting to the decreased availability of women-as-sexual-objects, by eroticizing one another, along with children? All under the big umbrella of universal ‘liberation’ —
Make perfect sense….
Fast forward to “The History Boys” which no on even seemed to notice was extended endorsement of pedophilia and the great fun of revising history. Even after it was a big hit on Broadway and then a big hit on the screen. Sheesh. i was dumbfounded. Or was I Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered.
I don’t think one simply decides to be attracted to men (or children) because women aren’t available.
While identities around sexual orientation are likely socially constructed, the orientations themselves are, to a large degree, much less so.
For some that I remember, changing sexual orientation was a gradual process. It could take months or years. If you are continually being (or feeling) rejected by the opposite sex, while finding consolation with fellow rejects of your own gender, you might (not in all cases, but some) begin to reconstruct your sexual orientation in alignment with prevailing ideologies. If you’re sensitive and vulnerable, it doesn’t take that much rejection — a few times are are traumatic enough. And it’s so easy, when you’re young, with a change of clothes and some friendly encouragement, to change your lifestyle.
You can always justify your choice with a new ideology, and membership in a movement. Even if that movement turns out to be headed by CIA agents — by the time you find out, it’s too late. Your life has been spent debating ideology, or buying the latest cause for cynicism. By the time you’re 50, you’re starving for something innocent to destroy.
Speaking of social engineering — it doesn’t take much to change behaviour. In the 1970s I learned to say No to all kinds of male advances, from wolf whistles to offers of marriage. The men must have moved on to other women, or other men, as we all collectively licked our wounds and waited for directives from our gurus, who changed with the decades. I think all this was planned — we were being programmed to drain our private lives and pour ourselves into the public arena,
Didnt see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_Boys
Not sure what a fictional play about a boy’s school says about sexual orientation. My experience, and those of most or all gay men I know, is that sexual attraction to men arose organically. In addition, I’ve conversed with a great many straight men who felt rejected by women in their youth, and simply kept trying until they were successful. Female sexuality may be a bit more fluid, but my (admittedly not-systematically-researched) experience suggests that male sexuality is fairly fixed, but I do think that the actual research backs that up (I realize this series of posts calls some of that research into question). Social identity is a different manner: I’ve known a number of men (a couple of them in the biblical sense) who socially identified as straight or bisexual, had the trappings of a conventional middle-class heterosexual life, but absolutely were sexually attracted to men.
What’s that saying, correlation does not equal causation? Feminism, homosexuality, and pedophilia (and sex magick) can be connected and seen as correlating aspects of a larger social and psychological emergence (and/or engineering plan), without needing to posit one as causing the other. Regarding the difference between so-called “organic” sexual preference and socially conditioned, I cant see any way to make a separating line between the two, even without bringing epigenetics into the picture. The notion of a biological basis for homosexuality makes little sense to me, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. What absolutely DOES exist, IMO, but that is no longer really allowed into the debate, is the emergence of homosexuality as what Kunstler called a developmental issue, resulting from a male child’s early sexual imprinting ~ just as all forms of sexual “preference” do, to one degree or another.
If you propose that there is no biological basis for sexual orientation, then the implication is that there is no biological basis for gender identity, and I don’t see that as being the case (I’m talking about “normal”, i.e. cis-gendered identity). I think it is not unlikely that development of nervous tissue and neural connections is highly dependent on the in utero environment, and not much is really known about those processes. Sure, sexual identity is an evolving processes, somewhat dependent on social signals, but also somewhat dependent on biology as well. It’s both nature *and* nurture, evolving in an iterative fashion.
If there is one single “cause” that drives correlation across these different domains, I would say that it is the undermining of fatherhood. (Certainly that has played a role in my own sexual attraction to men who are older than myself.) There’s plenty of research that shows that children who grow up with single mothers are substantially disadvantaged in a large number of areas; to the extent that fathers’ involvement is weakened even in families that superficially seem to be intact, the same disadvantages would exist across society, in a dose/response pattern. If there is any social engineering involved, the most obvious and mundane is the undermining of social networks leading to social atomization, for purely economic reasons (the more human interactions can be monetized, the more it’s possible to centralize and concentrate the resulting “profit” … there’s your LSE connection.)
If there is a biological basis for gender identity, what is it? By which I mean, what is the source of identity if not the body? The soul?
The way the fetus develops in utero is also a “developmental issue,” and pertains directly to the mother’s own behaviors and internal processes. This raises the question of whether biology can be separated from conditioning, at all.
I agree about the undermining of fatherhood as being central to the proliferation of identity-crisis-violence (inc. the violence of self-mutilation). In tandem with this is the child’s remaining “hostage” to the mother’s psyche (lacking an individuated sense of self outside of her gaze).
Everything is biology. I don’t refute the concept of a soul, but to the extent that there is such a thing, especially a *gendered* soul (the existence of which I doubt), it is mediated in this plane of existence entirely by biological mechanisms. Therefore, gender is definitely a developmental process. While it is true that the concept of gendered brain (in terms of strict dichotomies) has now been refuted, it is still the case that in a statistical sense, females tend to have certain brain patterns, while males tend to have a different pattern. This is almost certainly the result of developmental processes in utero (e.g. see the work of Gerald Edelman), although it is certainly also modulated by social processes in early childhood.
In any case, whether it is formed in utero or in early childhood development, sexual orientation is almost entirely outside the realm of conscious choice. If you want to make the argument that homosexuality is the result of social pathology rendering its imprint in very early childhood, fine, but it’s very easy to misunderstand the intentions of this argument, and to shift blame for the pathology onto individuals who (by this model) are actually the victims.
Thanks. Glad to have your nuanced and informed responses here. I am very aware of the danger of equating homosexuality with pathology, as well as the risk of being misinterpreted while mapping the many overlaps between pedophilia & homosexuality. Sexually interfering with children, we can mostly agree at this blog, causes harm and has long-term consequences for the child in question. Yet there is a growing incentive to overturn this understanding and, in a way that seems to follow the blueprint of homosexual liberation, to reframe child sexual abuse as consensual sex, and/or as basically non-harming and non-pathological.
Exploring this snake pit has meant looking at and reevaluating some of the enculturated beliefs and assumptions about homosexuality, I would hope in a way that the more discerning and identity-fluid practicing homosexuals can share in, and perhaps already have thought about much more than I have. Always the aim of any arguments made here is understanding, not addressing or correcting supposed “problems.” IMO, it is not actually possible to know what is a problem until there is a full understanding of all the variables. So for example, I can’t say that pedophilia is a problem, only look at it as a social phenomenon and discuss the sort of effects it has and the ways in which these effects may intersect with what most of us consider problematic. The same is true of homosexuality or, for that matter, any sort of sexuality. It’s a spectrum and much as we might wish there was a clear, unmoving line been a healthy sexual expression and a pathological one, there isn’t.
Great comments. The mystery and paradox. On a more mundane level- I’m sure you guys have seen this: Homosexuality and Fascism http://aqueertribe.tribe.net/thread/baa10a48-8a0a-4d1f-90f2-7da4ed59d1be
Weren’t the Templars gay? Were your father and grandfather Freemason’s Jasun? Weren’t many of these characters mentioned? Just curious.
As far as the HIstory Boys- it is a lite highbrow mainstream hugely popular apologia for pederasty, apparently based on a real teacher at a British “public” school, where pederasty and child homoerotica are rampant. So it fits with the education theme of this series. How does that correlate with the insane, ingenious and unmatched imperialism of the Brits? Imperialist and Rosicrucian Francis Bacon was a pederast. Shakespeare? And if you read “Conjuring Hitler”, by Guido Preparata many more dots connect between the occult homosexuals of Albion and the current state of world affairs.
I had not seen that, thanks.
I agree that the analogy of pedophilia with homosexuality as “just another sexual preference” is disturbing. However, the issue of mutual informed consent is a major litmus test for what should be considered taboo in a society. I think it’s fairly obvious that an eight year old cannot consent (although of course there are people who would argue against this, but I very much believe they are wrong in just about every sense). A twelve year old very likely cannot consent. It’s more gray around the ages of fifteen to eighteen, and probably very dependent upon the individual. This is where the issue of fatherhood comes in, because while a sixteen-year-old can likely consent to a sexual act (and enjoy it in most cases), they would be profoundly unaware of the downstream psychological consequences. [The German novel _The_Reader_ is an interesting fictional studyof this issue.] Thus, adolescents are dependent upon their adult mentors for protection against bad decisions that seem like good ones in the moment. We have lost this important inter-generational transfer of moral knowledge, and that is the backdrop behind all of this. It may even inform views on male homosexuality, because while there are no obvious and immediate harmful effects among consenting adults, public health consequences become obvious when one considers the collective patterns of male sexuality within a larger system of interacting sexual agents. There is also the life-course trajectory of gay man, who is at risk of being alienated from the life-stream of a community by virtue of having no direct connection to the next generation (assuming that he is exclusively homosexual throughout his life and does not father children). Thus, there may be reasons to prohibit male homosexuality, when taking the long view. I say this as a middle-aged gay man who has been “out” since I was a teenager.
You already know my views on feminism. The surface/obvious issues, focused on by earlier feminisms, are no-brainers: obviously there should be no gender-based barriers to property ownership or to entry into any profession, save those that are highly relevant to the performance of required duties. However, the third-wave “you go girl” attitude towards sexual liberation of women ignores some fundamental, biologically-based patterns of sexual behavior, and removes all of the necessary social negative-feedback mechanisms that protect society from runaway processes. Thus you have runway sexual promiscuity, the resulting victim/grievance culture, etc. Here is a medical/public-health result: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/gonorrhea-s-resistance-could-soon-make-it-untreatable. The social ills include all the familiar baleful consequences of single-parent-families.
I’m not suggesting that the “good ol’ days” were a utopia, or that dense social networks aren’t sometimes very suffocating. However, the opposite extremes of sexual libertinism and social atomization hardly represent human progress, and will lead to some kind of social collapse that ushers in something very dark and spiritually oppressive.
The question of consent is really a key isn’t it? While we can agree that children do not have the internal development, understanding, or self-awareness to give consent to an act that they have no clue as to the meaning or consequences of, most of us would balk at the suggestion that we, as adults, might be lacking to a less severe degree in the same way.
Yet, when I look back on my use of sexuality, I would have to say it was uninformed, lacking in awareness, and irresponsible, and to that degree, also quite harmful to myself (and possibly to others). And I am someone who didn’t have penetrative sex until my late-20s ~ due to a combination of lack of opportunity with lack of confidence/capacity to perform. I know others who were sexually promiscuous and it was almost certainly as a result of early sexual abuse, but, even if not, who see it as a deleterious misuse of their life-force, and as a kind of unconscious self-abuse.
In many ways, this is what I’m exploring here, sometimes directly but mostly not so directly: the ways in which our ability to give consent, to make choices that come from our own centers, not just around our sexual expression but that of our life force generally, how that ability has never been allowed to develop, due to the various factors, social, cultural, domestic, paternal, maternal, and so forth.
You say that everything is biology, but the soul, or the psyche, is not biological. I think if we are going to posit a use of the life force, and of sex that is not procreative, then we have to start speaking of the soul. In our current (I would say socially engineered) culture, of which we are the products as well as the bearers, the notion that recreational sex is healthy and normal, and even essential to a good life, goes largely unquestioned. Hence the promotion of the idea of homosexuality as, on the one hand, just another lifestyle choice, and on the other, as a natural biological phenomenon (in other words, nature condoning recreational/non-procreative sex!), may be just the tip of a much larger “push” towards divorcing sex from both biology and the soul. Unless we think the soul is just here to have a good time and party, in which case it wouldn’t be any different from a horny teenager!
Jasun, you touch on a number of very subtle points, and it becomes very delicate to discuss them. (For example, Josef on another thread seems to be misunderstanding much of the intent of this conversation, at least so far, seemingly choosing to register offense rather than look into the depths of the arguments.)
On the subject of consent, it is absolutely true that it is questionable whether a young adult can be sufficiently aware of all social variables to issue fully informed consent; this is why I keep bringing up fatherhood and inter-generational transfer of information that might, more-or-less, be considered “moral”. I began having sex with other men (often men who were much older) at the age of 16. It is true that I typically sought out these relationships, usually enjoyed them physically, and often benefited from them socially. However, the kind of intimate emotional experience we as humans need for proper spiritual development eluded me for a very long time. In the process, like you, I did a fair amount of emotional damage to myself, and probably others. As a bystander and witness, I watched the slow disaster of HIV infection work its way through the gay male community, and am currently horrified that not much has seemingly been learned (e.g. see the current collective behaviors in reaction to and resulting from the advent of PrEP therapy). As I advance into middle age and senior citizen status is on the horizon, I note that I have no progeny to carry on my genetic and intellectual heritage (not that, in this society, heterosexuality is any guarantee of legacy either). I made the choices I made, and likely did the best I could with the social and emotional resources available to me, so I will confront whatever fate awaits me with as much spiritual dignity as possible. However, I do wonder about the very long term collective consequences of the liberal morality that has become the baseline for our society. Acknowledging of course that some of its alternatives are equally spiritually constraining but in fundamentally distinct ways.
Regarding biology vs. psyche vs. soul, I tend to downplay discussions of “soul” because it is difficult to make empirically verifiable statements about the soul. Or, rather, I should say that it is difficult to make assertions that can be *collectively* verified empirically. (It is possible to verify any number of statements about spirituality on an individual basis, which is why I still use the word “spiritual” even when it is very difficult to define.) That said, the soul operates in this world via biology. I’m willing to posit the existence of a metaphysical soul, which functions as a kind of awareness that uses biology to watch/experience the physical world, and that intentions manifest by navigating the probability spaces that describe the intrinsic randomness of the physical world at both the quantum and thermodynamic levels. But whatever the soul is, our souls have chosen (at some level) to incarnate in this time and place, and so the lessons we are learning (or the experiences we are experiencing or the games we are playing) are right and proper for whatever development (or play) we are engaging in at this meta-moment. I don’t think we’re going to “fix” society in this conversation, and even if we had the power to change society according to our wills, we would likely create some other kind of monster. So the best that we can achieve here is a deeper level of spiritual understanding, which (I hope) each of us can port to our “soul”, wherever/whatever it is.
Regarding biology vs. psyche vs. soul, I tend to downplay discussions of “soul” because it is difficult to make empirically verifiable statements about the soul. Or, rather, I should say that it is difficult to make assertions that can be *collectively* verified empirically.
And let’s hope it will always be that way, since what can be verified can be mapped and controlled.
The nature of the soul is and must be a wholly individual/subjective affair, just as we can all of us only know our own interiority (and our own interiority is the only thing we can know for sure)… Yet, the unconscious is both apparently collective and empirically verifiable, if only by its effects. I can experience the reality of the unconscious in something as simple as a memory resurfacing after a period of amnesia, or when I realize that my conscious motivations for doing something were actually secondary to a deeper motivation that only becomes conscious after having seen its effects (i.e., my own actions and the consequences).
This seems to be what we’re addressing here also in terms of consent, and what constitutes a pathological expression of sexuality. We both agree that we only discovered years later that certain behaviors were harmful to us, due to our becoming over time more conscious: of our motivations, of our true desires, and of the consequences of acting unconsciously, being driven by unconscious patterns or wounds. I am thinking “out loud” now (writing without knowing what will come out), but there’s a symmetry here in that, while an awareness of the reality of the unconscious leads to an experience of the soul, the harmful nature of unconscious behavior seems to be largely in how it prevents the soul’s true expression by repeating the original wounding that caused a soul-body disconnect to begin with.
I think many of us misguidedly believe sex, and lust, is a way to experience the soul because sex seems to be a pure expression of the body, and it’s via the body, as you say, that the soul operates. Trauma, sexual abuse, and even everyday negligence and/or parental possessiveness (emotional incest), hijack that process and sexuality becomes a means to unconsciously reenact the trauma/seek revenge for/resolution of it.
Society may not be fixable and although it’s generally assumed to be the best or even only reason to discuss these things, it’s not mine. Becoming fully aware of the reality of the soul and fully identified with it (and not the mind or even the body) seems to me realizable, and realizable through dialogue with others seeking the same “marriage” ~ the fulfillment that no quantity or quality of fucking can provide.
So why would there be such elaborate and ingenious secret mechanisms involving deceit and depravity (secret social engineering) to deny one the experience of soul? Does calling it satanic suffice? Hatred of beauty? Was Milton the closest to grasping it all?
Do you really not want to make society better? “Fix” is too broad a term. Isn’t that a true objective of a soul, to help society or at least help others, which is incredibly difficult and fraught with multiple dangers to the soul? In other words a worthy heroic endeavor? Can the soul even be separated from society? As with all questions it’s yes and no. Making you not want to ‘fix’ society is exactly the objective of a Laurel Canyon type psy-op. Fuck for freedom and truth, that’s all ya gotta do! Or Enochian magic, or Kabbalah or hermeticism or journeys out of the body or Eckhart Tolle even or Freudianism, so apolitical. It’s hard to go to community board or school board meetings after tripping or meditating or fucking for 7 days. Or being told you are just a conflicted jumble of primitive desires. Or having an operation to change your gender.
Aren’t most humans inherently fair? Don’t most of us believe in social justice inherently, a priori? In some of the most just and fair societies of all time (Iroquois and Cherokee for instance)- what were the sexual practices? Rape was non-existent in the eastern woodland Indians, attested to by many stunned observations of early invaders. A society with no kings or jails and no rape. Presumably pedophilia was non-existent as well. Homosexuality was probably incidental and rare. Everyone was married with the occasional extra wife, but the power was matrilineal. Divorce was possible. And the Iroquois were not just a tribe- so Jared Diamond’s assertion that the state is always coercive is bunk. They inspired American democracy as much as the Greeks did if not more- only their democracy was consensus, so it moved slowly, making in inherently conservative. See “In The Absence Of The Sacred” by Jerry Mander. Meaning the sacred is absent from white society, so the Indian society, built around the sacred, had to be destroyed.
We are now colonizing ourselves. Or should I say “they” are now colonizing their own. Again.
Do you really not want to make society better?
It is not a priority.
^^^ I don’t think it’s even possible.
It’s also not possible not to have any effects on our environment. So participating with one’s community in a way that benefits others, which may be essential to individuation, isn’t a million miles from “making society better.”
“In the UK, the GLF had its first meeting in the basement of the London School of Economics, on 13th October, 1970. Why the LSE, of all places? Apparently it was simply the place to be.”
Snort. “The Place To Be.” Idn’t tho’? hehehehehe…Makes a person wonder what exactly is envisioned Economically for all of us plebes?
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