“Sexuality was not the hoarded, jealously guarded commodity it became later”: The Planetmates on sex, happiness, the tribe, the nuclear family, and the “intensity of experience” of life

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“…there was much more happiness attendant upon the state of being a child — being free and open, not just to the awesomeness of the physical world and world of Nature, but to the love, pleasure, fun, and interactions of the social world, as well, with its fascinating array of human behavior and emotion, and the brilliance and marvel of its “magical” members.

“Correspondingly, as nomadic humans, while there was marriage, you were less monogamous. You had various forms and varieties of sexual interactions and marital arrangements. Monogamy was most common, but even then it was less constrained. Sexuality was not the hoarded and jealously guarded commodity it became later for you. Marriage ties were more about the children — their care and the primary responsibilities for them. Additionally, it had to do with societal and cultural concerns, such as expanding kinship opportunities for the relatives of the married couple, and maximizing the circles of sharing and reciprocation. It had virtually nothing to do with establishing lines of heredity or kinship. For owning little (and needing little), you had no concerns about passing possessions or property along. And the mother being the child-bearer led most often to lines of descent being calculated primarily through her, and there was no need, or desire, to upset that natural configuration.

“At any rate, you had much freer ideas about sexuality. Not only did this contribute to the spice of life and the intensity of human experience in general — for women as well as men — but it contributed to the caring of children. Let us explain:

“By “intensity of experience,” we mean that with the excessive stipulations and pressures upon your personhood that came with hierarchical societies, including today’s, your experience — along with your needs, emotions, and aliveness — became muted, dampened. Repressed and numb, your experience lacks the color, the extra flavors and magnificence, and intensity of our lives in Nature. You have no idea what you are missing in your lives. You have not an inkling how you cuddle with your chains and contribute to your increasing numbification over the course of your lives.

“Yet for most of your existence, which preceded your controlling-conforming-sedentary times, your experience was much more intense, alive, and interesting than it is for you now. And what added to that intensity and color, that exquisiteness and pleasure of your experience, was a freer and less constrained sexuality … among many, many, many other things, by the way.

“And how it contributed to the care of children is that it allowed — in that there would be no deprived party — for those times of sexual abstinence after the child was born and during the pregnancy itself. This kind of sexual abstinence would be a product of the sexual disinterest the mother often had while engaged in devoted attention to a young child. The mother derives much sensual satisfaction and emotional fulfillment from nursing, which for one thing pushes other kinds of sensual desire to the side. Other aspects of motherhood and the caring and nurturing of children are also both pleasurable and desirable as well as completely engrossing. So sexual disinterest is much more likely to happen for the mother in the period after childbirth. And as we have said, this contributes to a longer interval between births, and therefore an exceedingly needed and beneficial attention to the most recent newborn.

“Freer sexuality and looser or nonexistent constraint on sexual partners contributed to human satisfaction and social/marital stability for another reason. For sexual disinterest leading to sexual abstinence also occurs for humans for many other reasons: It often occurs during the times of and in the course of spiritual pursuits — not as a result of intention, for as we have said, self-denial is counterproductive to spiritual progress, but because of the degree of engagement and immersion in other-than-bodily pursuits at those times. A person might feel a pull toward taking on something with the total engagement of self that occurs, for example, in a vision quest or walkabout. A looseness of constraints on sexual partners can only facilitate the ability of tribe members to take such things up, being as how it leaves no sexually deprived other, so there is no pressure from another to refrain from following one’s spiritual or creative inclinations.

“Similarly, sexual disinterest occurs, sometimes, during periods of personal transformation, which occur naturally and spontaneously to Authentic humans in the course of their lives. For these might require their full engagement and attention. Other times disinterest might occur is because of ritual or cultural involvement, during periods of grieving upon the death of loved ones, advancing age, sickness, and simply the changing feelings of the partners toward each other over the course of time.

“For all of these reasons and in all these instances, the loose constraints on the sexuality of your earliest forebears and the relative non-exclusivity of sexual partnership meant that the individuals involved were not pulled away from total immersion and focus on these experiences because of a sexually deprived and demanding spouse. In addition to the examples given, consider how, freed from sexual obligations, one could allow oneself to fully and thoroughly grieve, when needed, or allow complete immersion in any comparable emotional experience. This, in its own way, and being at the core of mental health and personal growth, contributed to greater overall happiness, life fulfillment, and expansive abilities to experience life.

“All things considered, more free flowing attitudes toward sex allowed for amplification of life experience, greater spiritual and personal transformation, overall greater happiness, less personal conflict and neurosis, and, importantly, benefit to children. Not only were children helped by the care and attention they wrought of mothers who were not having additional newborns requiring their attention until they, the older ones, were much less emotionally needy, but they were better off due to the fact that they lived in family and tribal groups which were composed of more loving, giving, happy, and affable human adults, because of their overall better fulfillment and experience of life.

“But then you became sedentary and lived in hierarchical societies and all of this changed. With agrarian economics, suddenly, there was more focus on the immediate family. Living permanently on land that one claimed ownership to and which one farmed separated your tribal human group of before into nuclear family units. You did not own the land in common and farm it in a communal style. No. For part of this war against uncertainty and increasing fear of deprivation, which manifested in your having become agrarian and sedentary, was mistrust and fear, not just of Nature, but of each other. You had increasing alienation from each other, greater possessiveness of all things, and increasing greed. What came of such inner forces was that the nuclear family established borders around the land it cultivated and built walls of emotional avoidance between itself and the rest of the community.

“It was families against the world….”

numbed,unfeeling

[Pt 5 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”. More coming….

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in late March, 2014 ]

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

Invite you to join me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sillymickel

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About sillymickel

Activist, psychotherapist, pre- and perinatal psychologist, author, and environmentalist. I seek to inspire others to our deeper, more natural consciousness, to a primal, more delightful spirituality, and to taking up the cause of saving life on this planet, as motivated by love.
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