|The Idea: As regular readers know, I have occasionally published articles on this site from people who do not have their own weblogs. This will mark the third time I’ve published the work of Glenn Parton, best known for his wonderful eco-philosophy/ eco-psychology essays The Machine in our Heads and Humans in the Wilderness. His essay Love Politics was published here last year, and Part 1 of this three-part essay, entitled Exterminism, was published here in January. As I mentioned in Part 1, the ideas in the essay are Glenn’s, not mine, and you can tell him what you think through the comment facility below, or e-mail him directly. I’ll add my two cents at the end of Part 3. In this part, Glenn moves from criticism of Western culture to mysticism in support of a polyamory life:
Free Love, by Glenn Parton
Look up at the clear night sky! The free play of two cosmic forces, Eros and Thanatos, Love and Hate, Attraction and Repulsion, Intimacy and Distance, sustains harmony among the heavenly bodies and evolves the beauty, wisdom, and goodness of the universe. What is the message or lesson for human association or society that is written in the cosmos? We know that human society is a microcosm of this great celestial order, and that we have fallen out of balance with the rest of Nature. What must we do in order to become part of the Universal Harmony again?
Everyone recognizes that friendship cannot be mandated or legislated, that it arises naturally, spontaneously, one person at a time, and that it is possible and desirable to have many friends, on different levels of communication, conversation, and commitment. The hope of peace on earth, and peace with the earth, has a lot to do with spreading friendship around the world, but I do not believe this ideal will ever be realized (enough to save the world) until we acknowledge that Yin and Yang, the feminine spirit and the masculine spirit, are also cosmological principles and/or forces, which change the balancing point between men and women by adding sexuality to the mix. We should not pursue a vision of worldwide peace and friendship that ignores, minimizes, or misunderstands the sexual-polarity of human association.
My heavenly vision, and long-range political solution, is Free Love between man and woman. By free love I mean sexual love that does not restrict itself to one person at a time. It means holding oneself open to the possibility of sexually loving more than one, and taking that voyage when the opportunity arrives; it means taking each man/woman relationship on its own terms, as far as it will go, as far as it wants to go, including sexuality, until it finds its own point of equilibrium between Love and Hate, Intimacy and Distance. That is the Way to reach the proper balance between men and women. The message of evolution is that each being finds its balancing point with all other beings, according to the laws of nature, including Yin-Yang, creating a self-balancing dynamic whole in which each being is what it is in terms of the totality of its relationships.
Human beings must freely associate, form, and bond, including Yin-Yang sexual energies, or we disturb the natural order of human society, our alignment or agreement with the logic and love of the cosmos. Human society, with its sexual-polarity, must freely arrange itself, or we will not achieve a harmonious community, and without a harmonious community we will not reach consensus on the political level because sexual frustrations, conflicts and hostilities spill over into the major areas of life, work and government. In other words, the ideal of friendship will remain an empty ideal if we do not understand that free love is part of the original architecture of human togetherness, and that we must allow sexuality between men and women to work itself out, according to inherent interests and desires, or we will never build good government, real democracy, or a true Republic because if we do not first put our sexual lives in proper order, then politics will collapse on a faulty foundation. Out of the fundamental harmony of a sexually balanced civil society will come political intelligence and wisdom.
Respond, as much as you can, to all heavenly bodies orbiting around you. Thatís how the suns and moons and planets behave toward one another, pushing and pulling everything into a vibrating, pulsating, interconnected totality. Of course it is not possible to love everyone with the same intensity and completeness (with some people a simple nod or smile, or even silent toleration, is enough), but each man/woman relationship has its natural sexual closeness and distance, and we must have the courage to seek it, and go there, without interference from custom, convention, or imposed morality. Friendship is always, at bottom, a relationship between two people, but everyone knows that it is not socially desirable, not community-building, for each person to have only one friend. Rather, each person is permitted and encouraged to have a diversity of friends, each one created on its own unique terms, as deeply as possible, with no outside direction or definition. If sexual love was free to follow this path, like friendship, then we would have discovered the secret ingredient in a self-balancing social constellation (of friends and lovers), and secured the social foundation for rational discourse and action.
If there was only Love, then the Big Bang would not have occurred, and the world would collapse (into undifferentiated Oneness), and evolution would have to begin again; if there was only Hate, then the world would fragment, scatter, and fly apart. The Great Harmony is a balance between the forces of Attraction and Repulsion, Contraction and Expansion, Integration and Disintegration. Free Love is the mystery of the universe, and if human beings would learn to sexually love who we want, when we want, in the way that we want, as much as we want, instead of imposing artificial constraints, or false morality, on love, then the gravity of love would create a tight and intricate web of human connections in which we would not have to struggle for political consensus because we would already basically have it.
The first and foremost criticism that is raised against free love is that it harms children, but actually it is best for children because the nuclear family is too small a world for the development of the vast potential of children. The nuclear family limits childhood reality to the overbearing influence of two adult perspectives, making it nearly impossible for the child to escape from prejudice, ignorance, narrowness, and parental unconsciousness. The wounds of the parents are visited on the children, and the cycle of the neurotic family is perpetuated from one generation to the next, which slows down the evolution of the human species tremendously. Free love makes intimate communities (like tribes), rather than isolated families, the center of childhood upbringing, exposing the child to many viewpoints, expanding his/her consciousness, increasing the opportunities for sanity and self-realization.
A second objection that is raised against free love is that it will not work because human beings are competitive, jealous and possessive creatures, but actually it is monogamy that causes these problems because it makes us fearful that if s/he loves someone other than me, then s/he cannot also love me. If your concept of love is limited, then that creates jealousy and possessiveness because you are afraid of loss, abandonment and loneliness, but if you ìseeî that it is possible to love more than one, then you will not fear abandonment and loneliness when love overflows to include others. Free love makes intimate networks (like tribes), rather than fragmented couples, the center of personal life and love, exposing the adult to a diversity of potential lovers, broadening the horizon of intimate contact, communication, and knowledge, increasing the opportunities for security and happiness.
Another criticism leveled against free love is that there is not enough time to love more than one, but of course love concerns quality, not quantity. Eliminating the boredom of monogamy alone would provide more than enough time for at least a few additional lovers, and then there are those habits, routines, hobbies, and fantasies that could be replaced, for almost no money, with deep and thrilling real sexual love adventures. There will never be enough time for co-dependent individuals because every gesture or sign of independence is seen as a minimization or devaluation of their relationship, and there will never be enough time for someone who is waiting for the one and only perfect lover. Such people cannot get enough love no matter how much they get because they misunderstand free love. To these people I say: contemplate the heavens and let your personal life become a feeling and thoughtful expression of the Will, intention, and intelligence of the Universe!
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My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 100 Posts --
Preparing for Civilization's End:
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
The Boiling Frog
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self:
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
The Wild Man (Short Story)
Flywheel (Short Story)
The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
The Horses' Bodies (Poem)
Distracted (Short Story)
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