It has been over a week since I last posted. I think this represents some sort of record but cannot be bothered to check. I do not know how this has happened - it is not as if my life is without incident at the moment. Neither is it that it is just too busy to take time out. It has just happened. That is all.
In my last posting I spoke of Dionysus and he is still fairly dominant in my thoughts. I find that I am still reluctant to speak about him and this is because he is not politically sound. Desire never has been and never will be. I remember long periods of agonising about the inappropriateness of my own desire. It intrudes into all areas of my life. I enjoy the company of women and my chosen - or chosen for me?- spiritual path of necessity involves interacting with women, often very closely. Desire has inevitably been present in many of these interactions. I say "inevitably" because I do not see how, as I am a mainly heterosexual man, it can be avoided. I see the curve of a breast or feel the touch of a hand and find that my desire is present in that moment.
For a while I felt that this was intrinsically abusive. The woman with whom I was interacting had no intention or desire to meet me on a sexual level but nevertheless sexual desire was present - albeit one-sided. I felt a sort of guilt - as if I had intruded my own desire where it was not wanted - as if, somehow, I had assaulted her. There were times when I wished that I were gay and free from such intrusions and therefore able to interact in a more "appropriate" way. There was even an occasion when the discovery of a lump in my testicles caused me to wonder whether I would be required to surrender that part of my being - as the priests of Cybele did.
Absolute nonsense, of course. I know that now. But the fears and the guilt and shame were very present for a while. I had read such writers as Andrea Dworkin and could see the logic of their position - just as I fully accepted the logic of feminist separatism. It seemed to me, and still seems, to have a simple purity - the creation of spaces in which no penis has penetrated and never will. Those women who opt for that have my complete and unequivocal support. I have no desire to be where I am unwelcome.
Such simple purities, however, are not for everyone. Heterosexual women, for example, actively desire the company of men and no amount of theorising or political analysis seems to have any effect on that - apart from inculcating a degree of angst and, I fear, a feeling of inadequacy on the part of women who still desire men. For they are sleeping with the enemy.
Life is not simple. Neither is it pure. Everyday, in so many ways, compromise and imperfection are a necessary part of human existence. And such messinesses occur very often when desire becomes a part of the scene. For desire cannot forever be tamed and domesticated. It will erupt in unexpected and uncontrolled ways. It certainly did in my life - causing havoc and pain, not only to me but those who love me. Castration did not seem unwelcome for a while - I could understand those men who cut off what they saw as the cause of their alienation and confusion and dedicated themselves to the service of the Goddess.
But that path is not for me. i am not transexual. Neither am I gay, although desire for men is not totally absent from my life. I am a lover of women. They are the predominant focus of my desire. And of my delight. This I cannot change.
But neither do I want to. Now. This much has changed in the last couple of years - I am now happy with my desire and accept it. But this is the point - it is MY desire. It is MY responsibility. No-one else's. I feel this is crucial - my desire does not belong to anyone else. If i desire anyone, it is not because of anything she has done to me - it is simply a physical response mediated by hormones etc and is totally mine. She need not even be aware of it if the time and occasion is not right. I can enjoy it without imposing it on her. Then, I can let it pass and just enjoy the company. No strings and no expectation. Desire entered and I enjoyed, now it can go. If that makes sense.
If not, it does not matter. For there is little - if any - sense in desire- it is life lusting for itself and for expression. It is born in the swamps of the primeval and partakes of its nature. It is not for nothing that rationalists of all hues from Plato through Augustine to Lenin have shied away from celebrating it. It does not fit into any theory. It dances in ecstasy - it shifts its shape - disappearing and reappearing in new guises. And disguises. Never is it safe
Which brings me back to Dionysus. He is not safe and never can be domesticated. He dances and does not think - he is not paralysed with guilt nor inhibited by expectation. Neither does he judge - the desire of others must be as free as his. He delights in however it is expressed.
Freedom cannot be controlled. Neither can it be safe. that is self-evident.
It can only be expressed and enjoyed.
Weekly round-up and open thread
1 day ago