Abandoning Casual Association Between The Sexes
A talk given by Bubba Free John
Bubba: There is something about the social polarisation between men and women that is at the root of all problems about sexuality. The problems seem never to come to an end. They are not resolved in an hour or any number of hours of converation and insight. If something becomes more clarified by our conversation and our insight, you feel more responsible for your problems, but when you leave this room, go out and mingle with others and carry on your daily activities, the same influences and the same tendencies appear. They do not seem to be reduced by your mere understanding. Suddenly, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that the problem is not subject to insight slone. Insight is ony the beginning of a process that must become more concrete.
The root of sexual problems in not internal. In dealing with our human problems we tend to play the old game of concentrating principically on the subjective or internal dimension, expecting to ecome more and more clear in our understanding, andby understanding alone we imagine we are free. But the problems persist. This is the common error. Subjectivity is not senior to the pattern of relations. Rather, it is the other way around. The pattern of relations is reflected in our subjectivity. You cannot go deep into your subjectivity and get to the root of the ordinary things. The root of things is in the process of relationships, or the total pattern of experiencing.
Therefore, we must become aware of the living circumstance of the problem in our sexuality. It is not principally subjective. It is social. If you observe our social order, you can see that the sexes tend to be obliged to associate casually with one another from birth. This permissiveness is contrary to the ancient traditional way of life that pertained all over the world. Traditionally, the sexes were clearly differentiated and formally related, but in our modern technological society the sexes mingle casually, and the differentiation between the sexes is tending to break down. In our own time there is a great social movement toward greater and greater equalization of the sexes. It is not only a movement to acquire the right of women to equal pay for equal work. What is ultimately being sought orotherwise created is depolarization, a quality of equal character and function in both men and women that undermines the naturally polarized play of human life. These social impulses that are at work are a reflection of the casual association of the sexes.
The casual mingling of the sexes is actually an antisexual social activity. It does not take into account, at the level of the social order or the social play, the natural distinction between the sexes. That distinction is not just physical, not just a matter of a portion of the anatomy. We are naturally polarized in our character. Each of us is by birth structurally disposed toward a certain genital function, but also toward a specifically differeniated characer that reflects a specific psycho-physical polarity.
In general, the female character represents what does not move, what is still, what is in place, what is receptive. And the male character represents what moves, what is active. These distinctions are essentially true, though there may be individual variations. Obviously, the male individual can also in fact perform domestic functions within the home, and if necessary, otherwise desirable, the female individual can function in various work roles or professions in the world outside the home. But the variations of character between men and women and the form of their relationship to one another still hold true, in general, to the ancient distinctions. And therefore, as a general rule, the ancient functional roles will likely most often apply - with women at the center or household plane of daily action, and the men at the periphery, outward bound, in the theatre of expansive activity in the common world.
The natural distinction between the opposites in absolute even at the level of the cellular life. And all of the manifest worlds are an expression of the play of duality, of positive and negative. The energy of the manifest universe is not warefare but a play of opposites. Where the sexes are not formally and socially acknowledged in their independence, not permitted to fulfill their uniquely different social and cultural destinies, we see the mingling and diffusion of characters, and the dynamic polarization of human life breaks down and becomes more confused. Women tend to become more and more manlike, tending toward the gesture of transcending the world through conceptualization, and looking to dominate the affair of life through what have traditionally been masculine roles. Likewise, men, through their casual association with women from birth, tend to become confused in their clarity of thought, their ability to consider and make moral and spiritually orientated decisions. They tend to become confused by functional impulses below the mind. The role and destiny of the women thus become part of the male character adaptation, so that men cannot fufill the total psycho-physical role of the true man.
Another result of casual association between the sexes is that people become promiscuous. When the sexes are not differentiated socially, and their relations cease to be essentially formal (or regulated by moral and cultural presumptions), people must defent themselves in their casual meetings from the random intrusions of sexual feeling, or erotic suggestion. This defensiveness produces an inverted view toward sexuality, a sense that it is dangerous, overwhelming, and omnipresent. One of the ways that women reflect this tension that arises from casual association with men to become openly promiscuous, apparently available to everyone. Their availability is a gesture of self-defence to protect themselves from the casual and constant intrusion of men.
In traditional orders of the past, people have taken care to maintain the social division of the sexes. In many cases the motivation was anti-sexual, as in certain social levels of Hindu India, and other cultures where the body and its ordinary life are inherently in doubt. But in the most ancient orders, in India and elsewhere, the absolute-division between the sexes was not a reflection of an interest in depolarizing life or suppressing sexuality Rather, it was an acknowledgement of the profound force of the character play of opposites, the play out of which human life is made. It was because people valued that play that they maintained a social differentiation of the sexes.
We must also discover ways to minimize casual association between the sexes and to develop natural formalities for our relationships with members of the opposite sex and when we are required to meet them. The games of superficial familiarity and erotic playfulness to which we are now accustomed must be eliminated from the context of our social life, particularly within the cultural context of the community. In the past, a woman would never look into the eyes of a man who was not her husband or her Spiritual Master. This formality was not just a social nicety, but an acknowledgement of the natural polarization of the energies of Life. A kind of rigidity may appear when we become so formal, and I am not suggesting that we exaggerate our formality with one another. However, we must acknowledge the play of Life and value it, not suppress it. We must develop natural formalities, and we should avoid casual contact with members of the opposite sex entirely. If you can realize the logic of this consideration and have a positive feeling for it and begin to practice it - with a certain level of insight, of course - the whole dimension of sexual problems and obsessions and problems of character will be minimized and even disappear altogether very quickly.
In the play of worldly life, at work, for example, we consider it to be economically necessary and politically appropriate for everybody to have optimum freedom to find work and establish a career.
At the worldly level of life we should, therefore, not make distinctions of sex, race, age, and so forth. But in the culture of our truly human and spiritual intimacy we must choose a way of life that takes into account the polarization of sexual characters. We will choose not to promote casual associations between the sexes, because we regard the human play of life and character to be a very profound matter. The polarized play of human characters is the dynamic Play of Life itself. Thus, there is no justifiation for casual associations. We want the meetings between the sexes to be mutually full within marriage, and we want to formalize the relations between the sexes, and between human beings in general, outside of marriage. Some may think it is suppressive to prohibit or to fail to instigate casual flirtations. But the need for such casual associations is a sign of subhuman immaturity. It is casual association that is suppressive. When casual eroticism is the norm, individual tend to be always sexually concerned, defending themselves, 'looking good', always making sexual gestures with someone of the opposite sex, and never truly entering into the transcendental and spiritual functions of consciousness.
Having heard this argument, you must realize the actual culture of this understanding in your daily life, and especially in the company of your own sex. Men, when they are not casually related to women, know how to make demands on one another. They demand responsbility from one another, as women do from one another in their own circle. Men cannot and should no make that demand on women. Nor can women demand that men be responsible. It is not their business to do so. Men and women must no longer defend themselves against one another. There should be no war between the sexes. There should be no mutual self-defense between the sexes. And there should be no casual association between the sexes. Rather, there should be union between the sexes in appropriate intimate relationships, and the contact between the sexes should be formal on all other occasions.
Women must realize a culture among themselves. They must be free, from childhood, to realize an essential feminine character that is entirely that of a woman, and one that is free to be responsive to husband and to men of spiritualized consciousness. A man must also be free, from his childhood,to realize the male character. We can only realize our true sexual character by entering into the culture and trial of our own sex. Men must learn how to be men by association with men. Women must learn how to be women by association with women. Casual contact between the sexes, even between children and parents of the opposite sex, qualifies and limits our development.
Your own life histories are the proof of this. Consider your past. You are troubled,dominated by your casual association with the opposite parent. There are cases of feeling rejected by the parent of the opposite sex. A sexual orientation, at least through character play, with the parent of the opposite sex, was even quite common. Your lives commonly describe premature involvementwith sexuality, as well as obsessive erotic and degenerative involvement with sexuality. None of this would have occurred, nor would your character development have been made ambiguous, if there had been a formalization of the relations between the sexes from your earliest experience. Having observed this now, in this moment, in your maturity, you must allow it to make a difference in your actual practice. Mere insight is not sufficient, if, after this consideration, you return to a pattern of living in which you survive only through old adaptation. The problems are not arising from within. Internal or psychological problems about sex are fundamentally a reflection of wrong adaptation within a chaotic social order.
Excerpt from Love of the Two-Armed Form by Bubba Free John