Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Demian

This is an excerpt from Demian by Herman Hesse.

"The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental--true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of the world, this entire half is suppressed and hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it's all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshipping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half!"



This is one of the main problems I have when it comes down to sincerely participating and believing in organized religion. Things that are natural and beautiful and meaningful, like sex, are pushed down deep into repression as the work of the devil. Sex is the most natural thing on earth for humans to do. It's a means of bonding deeply with the person you love. It's a means to releasing the natural desires that all human beings have. We've seen exactly what happens when those desires are repressed on an extreme level with the horrific instances of child molestation by priests in the Catholic church. The instances are widespread throughout this country. These men are not inherently evil; they strived their whole lives to be holy. However, when sexual repression runs so deeply and is ridden with the most shameful connotations, these men turn to the most evil of deeds.

I just don't understand why we haven't been taught to love our bodies, to embrace sex as God gave us the means and the will to do. Obviously, sex can be dangerous. Kids are becoming sexually active sooner at younger ages, and irresponsible or unsafe sex can have devastating consequences. Nobody wants their child to have to go through the pain, heartache, and humiliation of contracting an STD or, even worse, getting pregnant. But, I believe that these concerns and issues arise from the same problem. If kids are brought up to understand, appreciate, and have reverence for sexual activity they'll certainly be more apt to respect it and to respect themselves. What normal kid is going to listen to their parents when they say "don't do it" or "it's not the Christian way"? Glossing over the issue or just forbidding it outright isn't enough. You run the risk of your kids growing up fearing sex (you may think this is a good thing now, but it will eventually impede them from having healthy intimate relationships) or jumping in the other direction becoming sexually active too soon in an unhealthy emotional and physical environment.

I'm not here to knock anybody's spiritual beliefs. I just want to encourage those out there who do live by the church to really think about where the rules come from. Do they come from God, or do they come from man? If they come from man, what is their purpose, where are they rooted?

1 comment:

jimmyjampot said...

Hi there, interesting thoughts. I think it is the work of social engineers during biblical times when there had to be some kind of control of human natural urges. Protection of children, creating a firm foundation for society through family structure. Also, I guess there were no cures for veneral diseases so sex outside of marriage was discouraged.
I think I'm right in saying that the word religion means re-legion. To reunite all the components of self. This is a journey for all of us and it has to recognise acknowledge all of the elements that make you, you and me, me.
To me religions like Christianity have some wonderful insights, however, the feminine is missing and also projecting evil onto the devil is a bit primitive. Our journey is to realise and acknowledge the good bits and the bad bits within us. Once we take responsibility for this we no longer project the evil onto the Hitlers and Sadams of this world. This leads to a state of relaxed acceptance that we are all capable of doing bad things but choose not to.
Sex in itself is not bad, it's perception is still in the dark ages. I think it can be bad if it is hurting someone, otherwise the guilt is just a complex which is such a waste of energy.
Sorry I'm going on a bit, I hope I haven't intruded.