Whatever men insisted women should be or are feminism insisted that women should be its opposite, or that the power relation should be inverted so as women gain the upper hand — this reactive stance as much as it is lauded and needed (we’ve been waiting for it for millennia) will not take us beyond the dynamics of the power relation, the dreadful either/or so entrenched in the breast of culture and the shaping of men and women. This reaction should, instead, grasp itself differently, channel its energy differently — rather than being a reaction it should affirm itself, it should be an affirmation and an affirmative act — women are women irrespective of men and the will and desires of men; woman is woman not as an act that is directed against men, but as an affirmative act of herself and her own being, her own life, aspirations, and embodiment in the world — a creative act and a first act. That is essential, since only this will suspend the opposition struggle of men and women and allow each to find itself entrenched in the other — the woman in man, and the man in woman, and their struggle together in the creation of a new culture that goes beyond the limitations of the old. This will truly be the blow that dismantles the gender dynamics that have governed culture since millennia, giving men and women the space needed to discover themselves and each other anew and in a new light. The relation no longer power-centered, its destructive edge will be replaced by a more supportive and mutually understanding spirit that refuses to slide back into the old modes of relating even when conflicts and tensions arise. What will it look like, this culture? What will its men and women be? — it and they are flourishing right under our eyes, they are coming and will come at a quicker pace in the coming decades. The love-flower that daring spirits dreamed a thousand years ago — we are the witnesses of its coming of age.
A man who can only love or hate a woman, or a certain kind of woman, suffers an impotence of will. What leads him to her and what in her cripples him is a certain lack in his emotional and sexual life. His maturity is the maturity of his will, his ability to choose, and be aware of the moment where his choice is made, and his will to go one way or another activated.
The sorrow, greatness, and foolishness of the poet — the compulsion of his instinct that wills him to unify the poetic and the amorous acts; intimately, poetically, amorously, he is dumb otherwise.
The power play in sex is one of the most difficult things I had to come to term with. This being said, to make a fetish of the power play, to make it the focal point of the relationship is to miss out on the spiritually interpenetrating aspects that truly form the throbbing core of why two people are together, and what makes them expand and grow together into that which is held above them. The power play is a form of expression, this character or that being suited to this spectrum or that, this essence or that. On its own it does not supersede or form the essence and budding center of the connectivity.
After reaching his peak in orgasm a man will feel either one of two things: he will be repulsed by himself, the world, and his lover (in case he wasn’t alone), he will feel himself withdrawing from what he just experienced and by effect withdrawing from his world and lover and will hate himself and the world for it. This, by far, is the most widespread reaction, and this reaction is usually kept at bay and hidden, rationalized and left without recognition as men waft themselves out of the moment in one way or another. The other reaction which is much rarer is one where a man will feel at rest and at ease in himself, in his partner, in the world and in what just happened. He will feel that he actually gave something, that something rose out of his soul and flowed outward unifying him in the most ecstatic and happy way with his lover and world. He will feel an openness in his soul. Alas, so much, oh so much is required of us men in order to be able to hold ourselves and arrive at this moment.
Men’s inability to devote themselves to a single woman and their insistence on a continuously varying excitement is telling in one fundamental way — they have failed in unifying their energies which peak in reason and love. Hence, the need which drives them like a moth to a flame to viewing women as sexual objects that are to be pursued in such a manner is a result of a fragmented and diffuse psyche and energetic flow that are in constant need to discharge in order to maintain their modicum of inferior dis-unity, a way of achieving a certain harmony in the internal economy of the being that enables it to thrive and struggle through life. The sexual act impoverishes them since it is not the crowning point of their energetic alchemy but is a tension suffered by a diffuse and disorganized creature, one that is bored and does not know what to do with itself; the climax is not followed by joy and a certain sense of hilarity and lightness but is experienced with a foretaste of sadness and depression, self-hate and a hate of the “object” used. A man’s inability to unify and peak his energies is consequential in another fundamental manner — he is unable to penetrate and engage his woman emotionally and intellectually; he thus fails to unify himself in her, through her, and through her with all of life. His life is lacking, as he remains motivated by a lack instead of an overfullness and abundance. He needs, and is driven like a slave to his fateful end.
The way into the arms of grace Rumi points at in his verse, “The kernel of true manhood is the ability to abandon sensual indulgence.” Rumi, in his simple manner, wants to nudge the will, not to repress but to attain control and mastery. Being in control means precisely being in unity; a critical edge where the impulses and faculties of the being are brought into harmony, are willed into harmony.
And a tantric verse, to echo Rumi’s, “One who, possessing desire, represses desire, is a living lie.”
Libertinism (polygamy) and its apparent opposite, asceticism’s abstinence, both have repression at their roots — a diffuse being struggling to maintain itself.