February 19, 1995
. (Wherein is discussed how sexuality developed with the church and was discarded somewhere along the way.)
David Whyte, the poet, in a recorded lecture emphasized the virtue of accepting both the light and the dark, the good and bad dimensions of ourselves; he councils to exclusively embrace neither one nor the other, but rather 'both." When writers present their particular opinions about matters, they will stress one view and ignore or obfuscate others. "Meaning and interpretation belong together inseparably. Anything which visibly has meaning is in that same instant invested with an interpretation by each and every onlooker."1 A writer with a literary leaning tends to ignore science. Scientists usually ignore poetry, literature, religious traditions. Indeed it is traditional to do so. But we miss much when we perform this trick of avoidance. I take it to be quite unassailable that scientific reporting is a kind of gossip in a tuxedo--the tuxedo being the constraint of formality, also, the characteristic of the academy to filter-in self fullfilling data. The academic, too complicit in Culture, becomes suspect.
This, all this, is human; science is human. It is performed in human ways.
Yet we enrich ourselves when we embrace all sources of human attention. We can understand our nature through rigorous methods of science and through the wisdom of poets, novelists, mystics and religious writers. Both are necessary. Eventually, they blend, for their paths are always seeking the other.
So when we find thinkers who employ pure speculative reasoning and come to conclusions millenia before being corroborated "scientifically," it is worthy of noting this. At the time of Lucretius, 50 years before the Christian era, love was thought to be a kind of fever. A love-fever, an infection of the blood, akin to the "evil eye," for it was initiated by the look, the glance! In Chinese lore, the tsing state is aroused in the beginning by a look and then goes on to spread throughout the blood. From that moment on, the lover suffers his loved one in a certain way:
Lovers language: " I've got you in my blood."
"I've got you, under my skin,
I've got you deep in the heart of me,
so deep in my heart, you're really a part of me,
I've got you under my skin.
I tried so not to give in,
I said to myslef, 'this affair never will go so well."
But why should I try to resist when darling,
I know so well I've got you under my skin.
I'd sacrifice anything, come what might,
for the sake of having you near,
in spite of the warning voice
that comes in the night and repeats and repeats in my ear:
"Don't you know, little fool, you never can win,
use your mentality, wake up to reality."
But each time I do, just the thought of you
makes me stop before I begin,
'cause I've got you under my skin."2
And now, through science, we have come to know that something indeed does happen in the blood. There a local increase in neurohormones within the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, these have been defined as L-dopa, serotonin and luliberin. At the same time, the sexual arrousal that accompanies the changes in neural chemistry affects the secretions of the endocrine organs resulting in a pouring of pheromonically active agents into blood, where they appear at the skin surface, and are exhaled into the breath. Is there any wonder the kiss is so important to humans? The nasovomer organ, vestigial in humans, nevertheless finds some analog in the organs of scent. A billion dollar perfume industry cannot be wrong about this. ". . .[a] Parisienne, at a dance,. . .told my informant she and her friends put a dab of vaginal odor behind each ear before the festivities."3
Overdriven foldouts reek
news stand poison
Charlie and Georgio demolish desire
Message Rings of Benzene:
One molecule in a barn of air
meets its target
Certain as Aphrodite's glance
She holds herself tall like this:
Imagine a thread to the star
small of back, soft C
Guard the vessel of life's longing
Breasts break for the light
Vanilla custard, delight wiggling
behind the beat
Circles in my mind
signal moist lips tongue
Earth black smells carved moist
frozen winter death
Soft moist richly moist delicious moist juicy slippery
February 3, 1993
And we speak of a magnetic attraction between some persons as if that analogy had substance. Yet it might. Evidence from biological research confirms that all organ systems and cells operate in the same way. Those we can readily study, the immune system for example, does indeed behave as if it had magnetic properties, affinities for specific protein molecules which interact and interdigitate as if they were predestined for each other when they make contact.
"In this simulated time series, a DNA double helix (ribbons at top) recognizes a glucocorticoid receptor protein molecule (bottom molecule). In a fraction of a second, they meet, join, and separate."4
For every man there's a woman, for every life there's a plan.
And wise men know it was ever so, since the world began,
woman was made for man.
Where is she, where is the woman for me?
For every prince ther's a princess, for every Joe there's a Joan.
And if you wait you will meet the mate, born for you alone,
happy to be your own.
Where is she, where is the woman for me?
Find the one, find the one, then together you will find the sun.
For every heart there's a moment, fore every hand a glove
and for every woman a man to love.
Where is she? Where is the one for me?5
You go to my head and you linger like a haunting refrina,
and I find you spinning round in my brain,
like the bubbles in a glass of champagne.
You go to my head like a sip of sparking burgundy brew,
and I find the very mention of you,
Like the kicker in a julip or two.
The thrill of the thought that you might give a thought
to my plea casts a spell over me.
Still I say to myself,
"get a hold of yourself, can't you see that it never can be."
You go to my head with a smile that makes my temperature rise,
like a summer with a thousand Julys,
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes.
Tho' I'm certain that this heart of mine
hasn't a ghost of a chance in this crazy romance,
You go to my head."6
Some enchanted evening
you may see a stranger
you may see a stranger,
across a crwoeded room.
Andsomehow you know,
you know even then
that somewhere you'll see her again and again.
Soem enchanted evening,
someone may be laughing,
you may hear her luaghing
across a crowded room.
And night after night,
as strange as it seems
the sound of her laughter will sing in your dreams.
Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
wise men never try.
Wome enchanted evening
when you find your true love,
when you feel her call you
across the crowded room.
Then fly to her side
and make her your own,
of all of your life you may dream all alone.
Once you have found her,
never let her go.
Once you hve found her,
never let her go."7
". . .those who are themselves in love; . . .cannot give precise motives for their love and, if they are questioned, bring forth a set of allegations . . .which cannot be articulated. A man does not love a woman because she is beautiful, pleasing, intelligent, or charming, nor because she is likely to produce an exceptionally strong sensual feeling. All these explanations are only given to satisfy ordinary logic . . . .He loves because he loves, quite apart from all logic, and it is precisely this enigma that reveals the magnetism of love."8
He loves her because he is smitten by a recognition process within himself that he has no access to nor control over. It is a membrane phenomen, most likely, acting in a way analogous to the immune system.
I told her this:
Struck me (like an a r r o w)
October 7, 1991
The last secret
Break the gift
Get the gift
thread. October 6, 1991
Toynbee, in the 1950's, describing how Western culture had been packaged for export, suggested that the culture's religious center had been removed, replaced by romance mythology. Romance, love, and sex are inseparable. Western Christianity (and all other forms of religious worship) began as sexual celebration, with recognition of the generative powers of sex and sexuality's relation to the fundamental fact of being.
If we look only to early writers for our understanding of love, we find poets and philosophers who are ignorant of modern brain chemistry. In our seeking, we must take care to include both modern and ancient knowledge. The academy--in this case the fundamentalists of all religious faiths--by choosing only aged writing and avoiding modern knowledge to support their opinions, displays a kind of desperateness. Religious faiths project their own blind hope to explain the feelings and desires they experience. I hear the hope I carry in me: "I wish things were as religion has constructed them, but they are not. For me, they are not."
It is to invent an elaborate Ptolemean scheme of wheels within wheels, to cause love to become defined as another metaphor for God. For then, love's pursuit is justified as a reason to force conformity to a socio-political construct (Catholicism/Judaism/Whateverism) which has as its goal the control of humans. I am attracted to Vonnegut's view9, a Bokanonistic view: "Whom do you love?" "Humanity, just humanity."
The gods and the kings of earlier civilizations, gods who lived their existences 'out there' somewhere, have come to earth, have become "incarnated, inserted into flesh" And because they have come to earth, so to speak, and have taken a human form, that trip also raised the level of expectation for human behavior. After all, if what we are told by religious lore is true, that we are gods and goddesses, then we need behave as such. This might help to explain the incredible proliferation of social laws and regulations which have been let loose upon us--an attempt to enforce in us godlike behavior, even if it requires a big stick to make us do it.
Political utopias that are founded on ancient traditions, on church lore, have failed to present a convincing argument. Their reactive and petulent behavior serves only to fan the flames of enmity.
Other forms of politics, those not borrowed whole from religious dogma, do no better. We see, or suspect we see, hidden by great Chinese walls, iron and bamboo curtains, others like us who bleed when cut, who hope and feel. The complex construction of tautological human board games behind these barriers has not served humanity. Borges: "I read not long ago that the man who ordered the building of the almost infinite Chinese wall was the first Emperor, Shih Huang Ti, who also decreed the burning of all the books that had been written before his time. He built the wall because walls were defenses; he burned the books because his opponents were invoking them to praise the emperors who had preceded him."10
Present day neo-religious reconstructionists are attempting another kind of run at Galileo. That may be what my fellow human beings want and need. I know it is not I who does; I do not try to speak for anyone else. It is hard enough to know 'me' let alone try to understand someone else, surely not a whole society.
But in seeking myself, I have not been dispossessed at discovering the absence of things; rather the richness of what is fills me with endless wonder and joy--and I too have in me a kind of hope, blind, the gift of Prometheus, which propels me along, usually with the same optimistic spirit of one consumed by bumper sticker rapture or the love of Jesus.
The trick in this 20th century life is in letting yourself be fooled by hope, a little, but not too much. For me, the playground is the mind; it is such a wondrous toy--and I agree with Borges, no work of fiction, including a god, can be conceived by the mind of man that is better than man himself. And no toy.
The origins of the Christian myth were borrowed from the kingly myths of Egypt. Indeed,the story of Christ's birth seems to have been lifted whole from the story depicted in a sculpture on a wall of the temple of Luxor. Here we see explained the miraculous birth of the kings of Egypt--specifically king Amunothph III. In this sculptured pictograph are the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth and the Adoration, as described in the First and Second Chapters of Luke's Gospel. And as there is historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew's gospel, which contain the miraculous birth of Jesus, are a later addition, not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that the two poetical chapters in Luke are unhistorical, and are borrowed from the Egyptioan accounts of the miraculous births of their kings. Egypt was colonized by India; in the Indian artefacts and stories, we find the same events.
The cross originated as a symbol of life and regeneration. It was seen in India long before it appeared in Egypt as a marker of the height of water in tributaries of the Nile river. If, in a given season, water did not reach the level marked by the cross, no crops and no bread was the result. In India, I have seen the symbol of the cross in the Elephant caves outside of Bombay.
"The cross or crucifix has a sexual origin. India, China and Egypt have furnished the world with a genus of religion. Time and culture have divided and modified it into many species and countless varieties . . .the animus of . . .religion was sexuality--worship of the generative principle of man and nature, male and female. The cross became the emblem of the male feature, under the term of the triad--three in one. The female was the unit; and joined to the male triad, consituted the sacred four. The figure shows a device denoting the cross or triad connected with the angular yoni. It is a favorite figure placed upon steeples and prominent parts of church edifices; the lower part is often formed by a circle or ring.(see example left)
Worn as part of the dress it is called the priest's pallium. It combines the cross and the yoni--the prelate's head is passed through the yoni! (example right)
The phallus (Sanskrit = phal "to burst," "to produce," "plowshare") was the ancient emblem of creation. The creative organ became the symbol of the Creator and the object of worship among all nations of antiquity. It was claimed as a sign of the covenant between himself (God) and his chosen people in the rite of circumcision. Nothing could render an oath more solemn in early days than touching the symbol of creation, the penis.
"We can compass some idea of the esteem in which people in former times cherished the male or phallic emblems of creative power when we note the sway that power exercised over them. If these organs were lost or disabled, the unfortunate one was unfitted to meet in the congregation of the Lord, and disqualified to minister in the holy temples. Excessive was the punishment inflicted upon the person who should have the temerity to injure the sacred structure. If a woman were guilty of inflicting such an injury, her hand should be cut off without pity (Deut. XXXV, 12).It was an unpardonable offense, a sin not to be forgiven, for it was a calamity that humbled their God and made him of no esteem. When his ability failed, respect for him failed. Such a man was "an abomination."
With a people enslaved to such groveling tenets, it was an easy and natural step from the actual to the symbolical; from the crude, and perhaps, to some offensive, to the improved, the pictured, the adorned, the less offensive; from the plain and self-evident, to the mixed, disquised and mystified; from the unclothed [penis] to the letter T, or the cross; for these became the phallic analogues. The lingua is the symbol of the male organ and Creator in Hindostan. It is always represented standing in the yoni [vulva] (see figures). Obelisks, pillars of any shape, stumps, trees denuded of boughs, upright stones, are some of the means by which the [penis] was symbolized. Siva is represented as a stone standing alone."
What is the origin of the trinity? The "three persons in one God," derived from a metamorphosis of the cross. The triad, in early religions, belongs to the male. In the analysis of Rawlinson, the three persons in one god consisted of Asher, the phallus, Anu, the right testis, and Hea the left testis. It was believed that the right testicle produced masculine seed, and that when males were begotten they were developed in the right side of the womb. Benjamin signifies "son of my right side;" . . ."In statues of males from that period, especially Apollo, one detects that the right testis on a higher level that the left. The left testis, which is named Hea, a diety which corresponds to Neptune, water, feminine, generates females.
The resultant construction is thus:
"The triad is the parent to the idea of the trinity. It is met with the the most distant countries, and is traced to Phoenicia, Egypt, on eht west, and Japan on the East, and to India. The triad and the yoni [penis and vulva] formed the basis and spirit of religious observance. . . . Thus we find the cross is the Ethiopic and ancient Hebrew "tau" T. T is the triad, the triad is Asher, Anu and Hea--the male genitals deified--the sign of a man-God. "This is not all of the cross. In ancient days it had a natural counterpart little suspected by moderns. This essential opposite was denominated by the Yoni.
Yoni is of Sanskrit origin and means (1) the vulva, (2) the womb, (3) the place of birth, (4) origin, (5) water, (6) a mine, hole or pit. The female organs of generation were revered as the generative powers of Nayure or of matter, as those of the males were of the generative powers of God.
One of the images, technically known as the sistrum of Isis, is the virgin's symbol. The bars across the opening are bent so they cannot be taken out and indicate the door is closed.
Thus the foundation of the world's modern religions is the very sexuality from which modern religions shy. For the interested reader, one finds the early Christian church ripe with sexuality, the origin of the convent of female religious servants can be found as a repository of virginal young women who were offered for the use of priests. Modern religion has not only divested itself of the ceremonies of such sexual celebration, but has taken the extraordinary step of ridding itself completely of any sanctioned sexual behavior. This highly unnatural act has brought forth an alternative energy expressed in other and sometimes less than socially acceptable ways. The church, instead of utilizing to its own advantage the marvelous powers of human sexuality, has instead tried to avoid it completely. It has not been a successful experiment.11
If religion is to be of continuing value to modern humanity, it must be willing to embrace all of humanity: the artisitic and hopeful along with the ploddingly scientific, the ascetic and ripely sexual, the traditions and the modern discoveries; the churches need both.
1. Towards Deep Subjectivity, Roger Poole, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1972.
2. I' ve Got you Under my Skin, words and music: Cole Porter c 1936 Chappell assigned to JF Wharton trustee Porter Estate
3. Max Lake, "Start to Taste - People" National Library of Australia
ISBN 0-959 1048-2-8, 1985, p 42.
4. Richard Lipkin,"A Look into Life's Chemical Past,"Science News, Vol 147, p 200, 1995.
4. For Every Man There's a Woman, words: leo Robin, music: Harold Arlen
c 1948, 87 Harwim Music
6. You Go to my Head, words: H. Gillespie; music: J. Fred Coots c 1938 Warner Bros renewed
7. Some Enchanted Evening, words: Oscar Hammerstein II, music: Richard Rogers, c. 1949 Rogers nad Hammerstein, renewed
8. C. Mauclair, La Nagie de l'amour, p. 55.
9. Kurt Vonnegut, someone of his novels???
10. Jorge Luis Borges, "Other Inquisitions" 1937-1952 p3
11. Ancient Sex Worship, BY Publishers, Geneva, Ill. 1977