Archive for lust

Second-guessing sexpots in a hierarchy of modern needs

Posted in Beauty, Happiness, health, love, Reality Bites, Relationships, sex, sex and violence, society, Stayin' Alive, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Many who are obsessed with sex and sexual conquest will validate their own desires by rhetorically claiming that the engagement of numerous successful sexual exploits indicates they possess deeper survival instinct mechanisms, and therefore dominant, superior genes which will be likely extended to another generation.

Ha! Subtle theory. This is a very cynical view because it’s narrow-sighted, based exclusively in boring empirical analyses which assume that humans are moist automatons absent of free will or choice outside of physical drives. In fact, the cosmic view (not the same as ethical view) of sex-obsessed, narcissistic, quickie pick-up types is not far from the party-line agenda of “healthy skeptics” — or whatever other utterly annoying, arrogant label athiests and stage-magicians tend to throw around when describing why they don’t believe in things that are not physically visible and ripe for them to manipulate. (Here’s a hint as to why: stage magicians are so obsessed with manipulating other people because they themselves are deathly afraid of being manipulated. Hence they don’t believe in anything that cannot be “proven” empirically. Nice predictable, self-centered view of the universe you have there, assholes.)

But anyway — why is sexual desire (lust) the thing that yanks us back into samsaric existence over and over again? What is so great about it that it overrides other desires as the focus of our attention? Why are romantic prospects more interesting than career prospects, when we have no control over the former?

A quick hierarchy of the fundamental survival needs could go, in order of necessary (albeit situationally unrealistic) acquisition:

  1. rest or sleep (shelter)
  2. food (sustenance)
  3. physical dominance, or an acquired role in the social order
  4. sexual desire (procreation, in the case of heterosexuals)
  5. everything else (social acceptance, education, spirituality, etc.)

The first two definitely have to be satisfied before the third. The third is sort of a toss-up and could fit somewhere after sexual desire, within social acceptance, as a sort of novelty or luxury of life. In modern post-industrial, capitalist/socialist society our social role is a little more subtly defined than in, say, a tribe of hunter-gatherers, a caste-based system, or a feudal kingdom. For instance, in modern society, most people maintain shelter and food throughout their entire lives, even if they don’t work very hard. There is an infinite spread of wealth between the financially poorest and wealthiest, and there are certainly a number of homeless people, yet most have somewhere to crash and something to chow down on. The quality of luxury varies, but it’s rare that people just suddenly lose access to these basic needs (not to mention the strange preference some women have these days for skinny, weak, whiny, white guys). As I said, one can consider social identity to be a luxury outside that of “citizen”.

Of course, imprisonment is an interesting case. Prison fucks up the entire chain of priorities, because it enforces the shelter and food from above, limiting the freedoms of inmates’ survival instincts to the role of social and physical dominance. Even sexual roles are relegated almost exclusively to status games in prisons (although you could argue that sexual roles are always status games anyway). There seem to be similarities between active military service and certain brands of imprisonment actually.

Back to sex and why it’s important to us: sex is fun because it’s the ego’s ultimate feeling of power, importance, purpose, meaning. Ha! I think Freud wrote something about this. Sex is the ultimate trick of the universe — the illusory notion of self-importance. And of course, when you analyze it, and ask what makes sex, like anything, important or purposeful, you realize there is no purpose. It’s just like when you ask a girl why she loves to dance: “It’s just fun!”

So everything in existence is just fun for it’s own pleasurable amusement. And if you think about it, in society, the ultimate goal is simply procreation. Fulfilling other desires, like wealth, fame, status — these are all secondary or complementary to procreation. A lot of us will disagree with this, but it’s possible that those who choose not to procreate have qualms with the nature of the world or existence (I have one friend who thinks they are doing a better service to the world by not having kids and by allowing the world some extra space). They are a product of modern life, a luxury of modern society, though I would wager some people who choose not to procreate now would have done so in the past.

It’s common knowledge that men and women who dress in intentionally revealing clothing often suffer from insecurities about their own self-image and self-esteem in general. It’s also mentioned that men and women who have excessive sexual relationships suffer from devalued notions of self-worth (although folks like Ikkyu or Baudelaire or Austin Spare could hardly be considered guilty of such things, so it makes me wonder if some people aren’t just unemotional and have inflated self-worth and excessive boredom).

So my fundamental question: those who have the viable option to procreate or have sex, and instead opt not to — do they have the greatest self-love of all? What do you think?

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Innocence Faded

Posted in Beauty, Fighting, Happiness, health, love, martial arts, Reality Bites, Relationships, society, Uncategorized, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Most of us, in our youth, are in pretty good health. But our bodies fall apart as we age. And this is another reason martial arts are so stupid — they speed up the injury process. Everyone who really invests something in the martial arts gets some kind of permanent injury. It’s really dumb.

As our bodies age, so do our perceptions of life, the world, society. Hormones, man… In our pristine youth, we see various aspects of our community — firemen, policemen, doctors, garbagemen, construction workers, teachers, etc. as these pure bastions of social well-being. They represent some upstanding portion of our community. They are our friends — people to be trusted.

But with age we see the frail humanity inherent to every person. Our community is made up of people, who are subject to emotions, corruption and disease and bias. It may not all be bad, but should we get caught in the jaws of the system, usually due to an absence of money or opportunity, the tide of society works against our favor. This is something that is hard to grasp for the wealthy, who may not understand the despair felt by those who are continually looked down upon by the society they live in. The disenfranchised of society are jaded very quickly.

This emotional despair is much like the melancholy and hopelessness felt when our bodies are first permanently damaged or injured. Injury is very upsetting, and in some ways I wonder if this isn’t the point of the martial arts: to injure you and then teach you how to keep practicing regardless of this injury. A perverse conscious idea, but a prevalent theme nonetheless! Anyway, it’s a matter of still living as a good person despite the terrible misfortunes that fall upon you. This is not possible for some people.

And perhaps worse, or just as bad, is the pain we feel when hurting another. Injuring another person is a terrible feeling and excessive damage to others creates a terrible catatonic state in oneself. In ways, this is like when people become corrupted by the corruption they see in society. Or when people become like the things that have abused them: parents, gangs, fraternities, cults, etc. I would like to think that I have devoted my life to not becoming like those negative people or things which shaped who I am. I could never write off hurting other people.

I don’t know if people are inherently good or bad, but some people have very big problems. Greed, anger, lust, laziness, anxiety and aversion — these things overtake the mind and isolate us from others. I really wonder if loneliness isn’t just a result of an emotionally consumed mind.

Bag o’ bones

Posted in Asceticism, Beauty, Buddhism, Monasticism, Reality Bites, Relationships, Religion, sex, Uncategorized, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Old Man Smoke’s got a nasty sore throat today. I suggest you stand back several feet (or a couple of metres, for you non-Yanks) as you read this post. You don’t want to catch what I’ve got… *gurgle* (insanity) *gurgle*

***

At random moments, like today when I was walking up some steps, I am overwhelmed by direct awareness of the coarse nature of the human body. The human body is so… icky. It’s all slimy with its mucus membranes, full of gelatinous and soggy liquids, smelly organs, dry skin, tepid hair, and so on. It’s raw and globby (not a real word, but the onomatopoeia works, doesn’t it?), lacking any real solid substance. Objectively, the body is so unflattering.

And the body is so ephemeral — in a constant state of decay. If you really listen, you can feel your cells shedding, splitting and regrowing. You can feel that the body actually sprang forth from the earth. It’s totally wild that we look at some creatures, like insects or animals, as being dirty or disgusting.

In fact, aren’t animals just a more pure manifestation of beauty? Not that they’re perfect; animals are funny in that they represent some kind of pinnacle of aesthetic beauty and then possess no reason (for better or for worse). Animals are like the purer manifestation of mimbos/bimbos. That’s why people love animals so much — they want a stupider creature to feel sorry for. That’s what it means to call something cute — to condescend towards it as its “protector.” (Hrmm… I wonder if people have sexual relationships based on these condescending perspectives…)

Viewing the body in this way, I am reminded of a meditation (and chant) from certain Theravada forest traditions of Thai Buddhism (students of Ajahn Chah and so forth). It involves meditating on the “32 parts of the body” — the various individual organs and so forth. It’s sometimes prescribed when a student has trouble overcoming sexual lust and desire for the human body. I’m not sure if there is ever a complete remedy for that, except the arising of wisdom and the developed will to give up sexual desire. As they says, when we identify with defilements, it is just the defilements talking. But all thoughts that sail through the mind can be dropped.

Certainly there are folks who are not remotely bothered by the disgusting objective nature of the body. The body is attractive for all due to inherent, violent, exploding cosmic drives — given a doorway through the alignment of the physical sense and mental worlds. I have a different problem though. I admire certain insect bodies too much. Because some insects have mandibles!

Ah… to be a spry, young, mandible-laiden imago in the springtime of his youth…

I <3 the Beast

Posted in Reality Bites, Relationships, Religion, sex, sex and violence, society with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Why are parents so proud when their kid likes the same thing they do? Does it reinforce their egotism or does it fool them into thinking their loves are more righteous than those of others? Whenever my dad would catch me reading books as a kid, he’d say periodically that he was proud of me. He’d say that it was good that I was reading books. Okay, but why is reading or writing good? I ask in the ultimate sense. Because aren’t the things in life that we deem to be “good” just those things we happen to love? The things we think are good are the conclusions or experiences that we attach to for ourselves and as ourselves. It’s problematic though, because how much of what we experience and attach to actually has anything to do with free will? How much of it isn’t just emotional or samsaric brainwashing?

Another thing I thought about as a kid (this is turning out to be quite the autobiography!) was how society views its carnal passions and goals. You know, the crazy fact that everyone is not-so-secretly an animal in origin, but we like to think we’re more than animals. Men and women hang out together and act all formal, but then they go home later and behave like animals! Not that people should publicly do this, but every member of humanity is trapped upon the gradient of animal life to some degree. It’s not like the aggression of wall-street investors or business majors are much different from that of wolves and gangsters. They’re just wearing a different mask, playing by society’s rules and formalities, and appear more sophisticated. And maybe they are, since they fool (some of) us!

Surely I am not so base as to advocate that people just embrace their animal instincts, being violent or aggressive or giving into desires whenever they want. That would be kind of dumb because it would make us blind. That’s like, stuffing the eyes and ears and forgetting those senses exist.

And yet everyone does that! Seriously, our society profits off of this kind of thing! Funny how the message to the masses back in the day was, “shut up, do your work, don’t ask questions, don’t desire much” but now it’s “follow your nose to all the power, money and sex you can accumulate!”. The new ideal is stupid because it totally blinds people to everything but their own carnal drives.

At some point, society used to agree that power, money and sex were unwholesome life pursuits, but now that everyone in power loves those things and thinks they’re “good” and wants their kids to pursue them too (they want them to be just like Pops!). Ah, but I guess people have always done that, it’s just that at some points in prosperous nation’s timelines that the masses don’t publicly/openly venerate the concept of striving for power and sex. Uh-oh, now I’m making generalizations I’ve been known to criticize — talking about the existence of some ideal past civilization. Never happened!

Hence I am left to wonder: why do people get so emotionally attached to their animal drives, and why are we so afraid to give them up? The difference between humans and animals is that humans try to reason out some emotional or intellectual virtue (ha!) behind following these drives, and they thus believe they have some modicum of control over them too. But isn’t the only real control — real freedom — not giving into them? And how do we escape this conundrum of imprisonment?