Puslapio vaizdai

In these sophisticated times it smacks of sentimentality. The conventional home is now painted by radical writers as the thing to be avoided by the free primordial mind. They forget that security by means of a home does not mean a house cut in the pattern of a suburban bungalow with its Boston fern in front and Ford garage in the rear. The Australian bushman's cave with its skins soft to the flesh and its fire-wood for the chilly night is as much loved by him as a place of safety and selfexpression, as the cottage described in the familiar strains of "Home Sweet Home."

Say what we will, food, clothing and shelter as the first security of our sense of selfhood are the things men have fought and died for, not merely in the French Revolution but in all times. Did a nation ever revolt for more liberty in sex, or for sex more abundantly? It has of course played its part, for none would relegate sex to an unimportant place in the motives of men. But only in its negative forms-in the crusades for sex purity and sex inhibition, the anchoret mortifying the flesh-has it directly made history.

There are two closely allied reasons why sex has been thought to be the greatest interest in human life. We owe one of them to the creeds of our ancestors and to all of the ignorant taboos which lay behind them. Not knowing what to do, moralists made sex the great secret. They taught an ethics which bottled it up in the social breast. Inevitably this damming inhibitory process resulted in the present flood of sexuality just as certainly as an ice jam leads to a spring freshet. The laws of physics

and those of the human mind are in many ways analogous. We are dealing in the twentieth century with a reaction from that type of asceticism which reached its highest point in Victorian days. We must remember the older theology did not teach us sex understanding. It sought to destroy sex interest and stamp it out of life. It taught warfare with the flesh, not reliant selfdirection. Was it not inevitable, as the pendulum swung, that extremists should exalt this imprisoned interest as the major force in life? When the modern analyst saw that the old idea of chastity was simply sex inhibition, and discovered beneath apparent virtue masses of consuming sex phantasy, it was difficult not to draw the conclusion that here was human nature at last revealed.

If after the moral stricture of the last century the sex bogy was inevitable, then the surest way to dethrone sex is to restore it to a simple naturalness. We are seeking to-day a middle ground between the abnormal celibacy and unnatural asceticism of past teachings, and the blatant sensualism of the present attitude. We are striving for a biologically sound standard where truth and not superstition shall prevail. And this means a radically different point of view. In the older moral teaching, spirituality is held to be a negative virtue achievable only by an abnegation of instinctive and sensory impulses. In the tenets of modern psychology, spirituality is seen as the result of right ethical thought and action on its own plane, not as an abnegation of those emotional qualities which God put in the nature of man.

We are seeking also to answer the real question of the importance of sex in human life. And in order to come to any sound conclusion, we must measure all our present data against the fact that they are taken at a time of flood.

It is probable that one of the greatest causes for the present popular disturbance of modern sex theories, is the single and extreme interpretation given to the word itself by most people. American thought grew out of a Puritan background which preached a constant conflict with the flesh and the devil. In fact Puritan thought was even more sexual than the most extreme Freudian teaching, in the sense that sex was seen as the omnipresent temptation. Freud on the other hand sees it as the unconscious dynamic and uses it as a synonym for love. Thus what he is really doing is raising sex to the higher plane of devotion, while our forefathers lowered it to carnal licentiousness.

As long as analytic psychology is misunderstood and as long as it is believed that the leaders teach that an impulse analogous with lust is the great human motivator, we must perforce utterly misjudge the whole psychoanalytic psychology. Unfortunately this is just what has happened. Both the horror-stricken older generation and the libertyseeking younger generation have made the same mistake. The former finding in it opportunity for censorious tirades, the latter gaining justification for sex radicalism. The Purity Leaguer and the Greenwich Village flapper are in the same boateach fails to know that sex as a central motive is to the scientifically

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Another popular misconception lies in a misunderstanding of sex itself. It has been assumed that the sex relation springs from a single emotion, that it is a unified urge rather than an expression through which other impulses, non-sexual, may play a part. Psychological analysis often reveals that in people's lives sex desire springs from causes that are not part of any form of passion. In other words general motives and reactions from everyday life have their place in its most intimate relation. Thus in analyzing the usual sex impulse we find it may become a means of solace for that injured pride and vanity known as the inferiority complex and that it is often intensified by loneliness seeking for intimacy. In it also is the adventure spirit and the impulses for excitement and for play. Even more than this, a common rebellion at unadjusted environment has its part, and unconscious parentalism is never lacking. Yet all these human motives belong to other aspects of life, to the ego-urge even more than to sex.

Perhaps the most conspicuous of these allied factors is the inferiority feeling. An injured pride is more completely solaced by the compliment of sex choice than by any other human expression. The writer once knew a roué in constant pursuit of feminine society, but the moment he found some one verbally responsive to him, he was entirely satisfied. Acceptance of an intimate relation gave him the needed feeling of aggrandizement. The sense of in

feriority had been lulled for a time into lethargy and his ego had a real outlet. Expression itself was not at all necessary. In both men and women this element of vanity and pride intensifies sex desire. In some lives the moment sex is legalized by marriage and made a commonplace, it looses its power to bring balm to the individual whose feelings have a neurotic taint of inferiority.

Although it is sometimes assumed that loneliness is sexual, actually it belongs to the herd instinct. We were born to be with our fellows and normal men are as gregarious as a school of herring. Loneliness is an ache which comes to the human spirit when the herd instinct is not satisfied. It is sexual only when the desire intimately to solace loneliness enters as a motivating attribute. There is perhaps nothing that more completely brings balm to the urging herd instinct than the complete companionship which sex implies.

A third aspect which affects what has too long been thought a single consuming emotion, is the urge for adventure. Without this primary incentive there might have been little for history to rehearse. Primitive men and women might still be sitting in the doorway of their caves, going out only for necessary food. Adventure is one of the greatest channels through which the human spirit realizes itself. To be the first to fly far above the earth and water gives a lift to the mind. To map out some tangled jungle, hazard some new form of drama, discover a distant planet or invent a visionphone; these are but a few of the currents of the dynamic urge that is in man. Only the timorous and

pigeon-hearted would contradict the statement that the experience of sex may also be a great adventure. Indeed the romances of history would be deprived of half their charm if the element of adventure were taken out of the sex impulse.

Even more than the impetus for adventure and the impulses for excitement and play, is a deep rebellion in the heart of man against limitation, dullness and pressure. We love this life only because we have no better one of which we are sure, but there are thousands of aspects of it which are almost abhorrent to the human spirit. Thus sex may serve as an anesthetic, a solace for all the dissatisfactions which life brings, serving only as a negative charm. A narcotic for the troubles of life is not a drive which motivates human action. It is possibly one of the great means of retreat from the world but inversely it cannot be at the same time the most compelling of human activities.

That the unconscious urge for parentalism is even stronger than any of the other motives that enter into sex, there will be few to deny. But true parentalism is non-sexual. The impulse is here for the child and the building up of the family, for the making of a home and the generations that will carry on one's heritage and identity. There is an enormous sense of self-importance in thinking of all the little Smiths and Joneses who will carry on the traits and qualities which Mr. Smith or Mrs. Jones failed satisfactorily to achieve. Indeed this drive of parentalism has motivated much in human history. It is one of the elements of sex, but only one, and in its essential

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After all these factors in sex expression have been allocated one might ask, "If so many of its impulses are non-sexual, what then is left of sex itself?" This leads us to the deepest quality in sex expression: the aspect of love. There is a consuming tendency in the human spirit to seek for and give some form of devotion to another, and this is only done in its completeness where the relation is masculine and feminine. But love, like sex, does not express itself merely on one level and in one degree. It functions as a dynamic urge upon every plane of human response from the physical up to the psychical. The materialistic man is capable only of love of a carnal type. His nervous system is inadequate for refinement or response above the sensory level. A higher type of man may find joy through delight in coöperation, responding to the sense of mutual volition, and delight in that he wills in the way his companion wills. A still more subjective form of love is found in the emotional response, the kindred sympathy and interchange of feeling. Beyond this comes intellectual love, that merging of two minds whose thoughts and purposes are Deeper yet is the union of impulse that belongs to the plane of goodness where both individuals are swept by those feelings of kindness that would nurture and protect one another. Again there is an even more profound manifestation where all of the emotional and intellectual has passed beyond the plane of mere


goodness into that sense of creative idealism where two individualities are one in their pursuit of beauty, are together in their awe at the vastness of truth and the majesty of creation. It was on this plane that the love of the Brownings found expression. Indeed wherever great creative minds have loved, it has been in this way. This does not mean however that they have not needed and been capable of other aspects of love.

Lastly comes what we might call that sense of psychic merging which brings the completeness of love, that quality of spiritual union which has made great seers and poets dream, since time was, of two individuals as but half of one complete whole, the masculine and feminine as two parts of the single human individuality. This highest aspect holds in its breast the consuming flame for complete spiritual union, that greatest delight of losing identity in becoming one with another.

The true sex impulse may express itself in any one or in all of these planes of human emotion. Where it exists in its fullness, however, it requires a complete merging upon every level of life from the most physical to the most psychic. From this point of view, sex is a glorification of the human spirit and far from the purely animal impulse which the mean minds of a censorious philosophy have made it. It is the anathema of lust and the opposite pole from that low plane on which the little-souled Puritans placed it in their incapacity to conceive the lift and reach and flame of the human spirit.

Understood in this way, sex becomes a personal and almost nonsocial impulse, a means by which mankind pulls away from general life and finds his own intimate individuality and experience. Sex enhances and enriches life when it takes its proper place and does not interfere with human activities. When it becomes an over-dominant interest it is evidence of emotional maladjustment, leading to a blockage of usefulness and creating nervous and physical disorders. When an individual transfers to sex those forces of his being which properly belong to life accomplishment, he has become neurotic and has allowed an intimate expression to distort his will to achieve. As he becomes emotionally ingrowing, his development ceases. And this is no less true of a people than of an individual. Scientifically the modern bogy is easy to define: the mass mind of the present decade has sex neurasthenia.

The hope for the future with regard to this frenzy is first to understand that in itself sex is not a force but a means of expression. It is one of the ways by which we release ourselves. More truly we might say that sex has no drive. Man makes a drive for it, just as he does for food, for comfort, for pleasure. In all of these he finds satisfaction, and in this he is not unlike any mammal. Students of animal psychology have found that a rat will face death for sex, just as he will for food, for protection and security for himself and his young. His impulse follows his lure for life. This is true also in man. The power then is not in sex, but may express itself through sex. Blockage of other

expression may create an exaggerated tendency to follow the sexual channel. Appetite becomes centered upon sexual satisfaction and directs hunger to this means of consummation. But the power itself lies in the hunger, the drive for expansion, the impulse for a conquest of the earth, the urge for self-expression. In other words, when the powers of personality are not allowed to manifest themselves satisfactorily through social ways, man seeks the obvious solace of sex.

As individuals, opportunity for full self-expression may have been ours from childhood. But few will maintain that society has as yet learned to adjust human nature to life. The average man suffers a more or less conscious congestion of his personality. Such blockage, in a hypercivilized world is on the increase. Ignorance in the past of man's real attributes wove our social fabric without the least regard to its fitness for men's natures. Hence we are but beginning to learn how environment may be adapted to character and self forces given normal expression. Until this is done hypersexuality must be a conspicuous phenomenon.

Our thesis then is that the drive of human nature is for self-expansion and from this has come all the drama and mystery of man's civilization. Because of it man turns his thought to world accomplishment. But if many of his channels become blocked he personalizes the flame of his interest into passionalism. Thus sex is central in the individual consciousness only when it has been forced into a conspicuous position by the congestion of other impulses.

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