Whereas in the past greatness was identified with asceticism and virtue, an ability to resist and will, in our days the ideal has shifted towards a life of entertainment, consumption, and laisser-allez, one identified cynicism and vice. What was admired was the man who was able to raise himself above himself, to overcome and control himself, whereas now, a voice hums in his ear, telling him to suckle all he can from the bosom of this moment, for that is all he can ever hope to have.
The ascetic moralism of religion regarding sex tends to sever it from the sphere of emotions. Sexuality, being repressed, the need for it does not go away, but suffers a degradation and acquires, when it surfaces, an urgency and paroxysm. Much of the modern liberalism in sexuality is precisely such an urgency and paroxysm that does not recognize its origin, is a prolongation of the rift at the heart of the human soul between sexuality and emotion. A man still fighting a ghost who is no longer here.
The morality of religions that stigmatizes certain acts (or ideas of acts) as sin, obstructs the ability of reason to comprehend the dynamics (emotional, social, biologic, etc.) that are affecting the acts and thus hinders any possibility for true understanding and change.
Freedom is not a letting go; it is a feeling of fullness that is only possible for those who subjugate themselves to a strict discipline and a regimen for the soul. Freedom is a feeling of greatness arising from channeling one’s energy into one or two things at the expense of many others. It is saying No to many things that one may wholeheartedly say Yes to the one or two things that one desires to rise through. Otherwise one stays mediocre as much of modernity is.
The most deeply damaging thing one might come out with after reading authors such as Georges Bataille and the Marquis de Sade, is the idea that sexual impulses cannot be controlled, and that we are fated to live in a universe where we either suppress them and become ascetic and puritan morally or where we give them their sway and playful ground thus becoming libertines, and modern. The idea of “control,” which is different from suppression, does not enter the minds of both authors, and why? — because they themselves are the offshoot and a reaction to the morality of suppression, because the ascetic and the liberal are ultimately two sides of the same coin, mirroring each other. Sexuality suppressed kinks the heart, which is why the sexual forms prevalent in the imaginations of both men as seen through their writings is so tainted with darkness; it detaches itself from one’s emotional centers and becomes something cold and almost mechanical. Sexuality cannot be suppressed, but its discharge can be controlled, its form and quality can be given a different shape, and can be branched in one’s heart becoming an expression of one’s emotions and sensuality. Only control can pave the way to a sexuality of ecstasy, of which the former types haven’t got the slightest hint.
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.
It takes more to giving than giving in to the initial impulse of pity. If a man is hungry, instead of giving him food, teach him how to farm, or how to fend for himself. That will be more difficult to achieve than the easy gesture of giving him something of which you have in excess, and which aim is ultimately your own self-indulgence, indulging your own pity. And the opposite to this is true as well: instead of going the hard way, of learning how to fend for himself and controlling his future, a hungry or poor man is wont to stir the imagination and conscience of another into giving him what he needs.
There is no sense perception that does not immediately transfer itself into our understanding and imagination, gaining interpretation through a moral and aesthetical lens. There is nothing we feel, see, or experience that does not call our entire human history and heritage, cultural, moral, and aesthetical. That a flower is more than a flower — and here we disagree with Science that declares the functionality of things their ultimate truth — is so because since times immemorial the human spirit and imagination interpreted it as so, created it as so. A flower is always more than a flower. And the same is true about every other object of the world, about life itself as witnessed and lived in the human spirit, as created by humanity and the human genius.