Connecting the dots

Submitted by Discordia on
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I realized that the comment I posted on Thursday evening about my accomplishments this week was quite a leap from my last post. I had written about a very traumatic experience, then disappeared, then reappeared talking about activism and public speaking. Even reading that myself, I get confused. So I wanted to post again to explain how these things are connected, all things being relative to the work I'm doing now within this community.

I think I explained it pretty well in an email I sent to a friend the other night, so I'm just going to repost that here:

[quote]This whole activism adventure has been such an incredible experience. Most of the stuff I've done has been pretty scary for me. I'm not that outgoing of a person. But when I get into the room with these people, I feel so inspired, it gives me the strength to put my fears and inhibitions aside, at least temporarily. It is pushing me into parts of myself that I didn't even know existed. There is definitely a very healing aspect about this, almost like a spiritual awakening. This is incredibly ironic, however, seeing as how it is happening within a highly secular organization. I don't really have anywhere to comfortably express what this means to me, seeing as how it involves controversial ideas on both sides, but I'm just really grateful that this is where my life has led me.

Tonight, we had a meeting about women's rights in honor of International Women's Day on March 8. We are going to be participating in a demonstration next Saturday, and after the mass anti-war demonstration is over and done with in a couple weeks, I'm going to be working on organizing a women's conference here in Los Angeles to be held in April. I'm sure you know what I mean when I say that this topic definitely strikes a chord with me. I have given my feminine power away for so long, and this work is helping me to recognize it again, and take it back. This overflows into every part of my life, but most especially into my attitude about intimacy and relationships.

I get so terrified when I think about going into another relationship. I am scared of talking about my past, about the mistakes I made when I was young and hurting and sexually irresponsible. I'm also really scared about presenting these ideas of non-orgasmic sex to someone that I really care about, and being rejected again. I have a lot of work to do to overcome these fears, but first and foremost I need to build confidence in myself. I need to feel in my heart that I deserve to be loved for who I am. I guess that's why this week was so monumental for me, because I felt it for awhile, and it felt really good.

I think that means that I'm on the right track. So, I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing, working hard, blogging, and see where it takes me. Sound good?[/quote]

I think that's all for tonight. Thank you also to everyone for their supportive comments about the work I'm doing. The encouragement of others here really means a great deal to me.


It's worth a lot!

However, you make an interesting point. I'm not so sure how much longer I can keep up this pace, or whether it's actually healthy for me to be taking on as much as I have. A couple months ago, a friend of mine suggested that maybe the reason I was trying to do so much was because I was running away from something. Of course, I adamantly disagreed with him. Writing here over the last few weeks, though, has brought to mind some of the things that I could possibly be avoiding with all my extracurricular activities. As much satisfaction as my work has been bringing into my life at certain moments, I admit there are days when I question the purpose of it all.

That being said, though, I should also add this: aligning myself with what I personally feel to be a worthy and higher cause has made my current path of celibacy a great deal easier. It's been four years since I discovered the devastating impact that orgasm was having on my mental and emotional health, and three-and-a-half years I spent trying to understand that idea of transforming sexual energy. I read and read and read about it, thinking the answer lay hidden somewhere between the pages of some mystical book or website. Much of that time I was simply repressing that life force, not knowing what else to do with it. But when I started doing this work, I finally understood the idea that Marnia presents about "relaxing" into it. This doesn't mean that I'm relaxed, to the contrary right now, actually. But the shift of my focus and the ability to transform that energy into something productive was nearly effortless when it finally happened. I just needed to get out of my head, get out of my house, and put my heart into something I really care about.

I know for those of you here who are struggling with the painful reality of addiction may not relate to this at all, at the moment. I am in no way trying to demean your struggle by saying that "it's easy." I've never struggled with pornography addiction specifically, but I've struggled with addiction to masturbation, as well as to a long list of illegal substances. I know the crippling effect of these things, so again, I'm in no way saying "it's easy." I'm just saying "it's possible."

Okay, that's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Calls to mind

that story from Karezza: Ethics of Marriage about the advice given to the young woman missionary addicted to masturbation *rolls eyes in absolute horror* Wink :

I don't know about "relaxing, " but I do think sexual energy can often be re-channeled fairly successfully into creative efforts, passionate causes or service to others. It's almost like we have a choice between procreation-style efforts and creation-style efforts. I'm glad you're finding this to be the case. It's kind of empowering. Not only that, the world benefits from our energy, so it's definitely a good thing.

News flash--

Speaking of old books, in response to Hotspring's tip a few weeks ago, I ordered Heredity by Riddell. I just picked it up from the library. It's definitely a product of its time (1915). Its goal is to advise parents on how to produce ideal offspring. It emphasizes continence and chastity for both sexes - as well as careful mate choices, temperance, and never making love to a pregnant or nursing woman. It's somewhat reminiscent of kosher sex rules, although different.

Masturbation is never directly mentioned, while authors like Stockham ("Karezza") and Noyes ("Male Continence") took it on when appropriate - to their credit. I still chuckle whenever I think of John Humphrey Noyes' remarks in 1870 about the popular principle that men should ejaculate into their wives to avoid the horrors of masturbation - no birth control back then, folks. He said that was akin to firing one's blunderbuss at a friend in order to clean it.

I'm happy to report that Riddell extols sexual magnetism as a beneficial power for achieving goals. Yet, though sincere, the book strikes me a recipe for hypocrisy due to all the emphasis on "moral character."

I find it so much easier to relate to careful use of sexual energy in terms of our mating neurochemistry and its perception-shifting tendencies...and how they fit in with evolution's goals. Riddell also acknowledges the perception distorting potential of magnetic attraction, but thinks it can be overcome with certain rules for the engagement period - to weed out the potential mate of bad character. I'm not so sure.... Anyway, here's a sample:

The subtle passion between the sexes exerts a controlling influence over all the other feelings, faculties and sentiments. ... Where this feeling is strong and active it subordinates every other power to the gratification of its own desires; it makes and unmakes character; it is highly misleading to judgment, blinding the eyes of the most rational and silencing every voice that would oppose it.

...Unfortunate as is this condition, it is not always avoidable: (1) Because we have no infallible rule for determining the character of a person's love and (2) because very few persons are able to exercise a normal judgment when influenced by the seductive power of their own and another's affections.

Sounds like Riddell has been there.... Yet it doesn't seem like he realized that character is not fixed - or that our mating neurochemistry can actually make us behave in ways that are very out of character. In short, I don't think figuring out another's character is the key. Sexual-behavior choices can actually shape character - for both ill and good.

You should be very proud of

You should be very proud of yourself, Mari! I think it's truly great that you are headed into a direction that you like! I hope that you find it as rewarding as I think you will. I wish you well, and good luck!

Thank you!

Thank you very much, Justin. :) I do feel good about it, although right now the only thing I'm feeling is exhaustion. I'm sure you can relate when I say that it is really tough to take on extra stuff when you are trying to get through school. I also work, and I'm in the process of getting ready to transfer like you, so I'm a bit overwhelmed. I think the key is finding balance, but you know, that is much easier said than done.

And Marnia, I did actually think about that letter from Stockham's book while I was writing that. It's been a while since I read it, but it stuck with me. I'd like to think the difference between myself and the missionary woman is that for me, the celibacy period is not permanent. That's what I'm hoping, anyways. :) I did find that example very useful, except for the fact that it took me over 3 years to get it right, and now that I've got it, I might actually be TOO good at it. But, alas, that is why I'm here...

Have you Found Peace

Mari you have an incredible story and I salute you for how you have managed to progress. There is just something that gives me the feeling of reservation about the passion of your involvement in activism. You remind me so much of a friend of mine who is almost a career activist. She has been taking on causes for years and is very acomplished at getting results. The trouble is that sometimes she doesn't and then she gets very emotive in the process. She is a dear soul, but frequently when I meet her she is distraught. She has been sworn celibate for years.

So you could ask yourself whether it is really the activist issues that you really care about or whether there is something in you that has an axe to grind. Please forgive me if I am making a wrong judgement you are the only one who really knows. I hesitate in making this post and if I am wrong, please disregard me. My bad judgement happens frequently.

I love this piece by Osho called "a Man of Peace".

'A man of peace is not a pacifist, a man of peace is simply a pool of silence.
He pulsates a new kind of energy into the world, he sings a new song.
He lives in a totally new way his very way of live is that of grace, that of prayer, that of compassion.
Whomsoever he touches, he creates more love-energy.
The man of peace is creative.
He is not against war, because to be against anything is to be at war. He is not against war, he simply understands why war exists.
And out of that understanding he becomes peaceful.
Only when there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, understanding, will the war disappear.'

As far as I am concerned he uses the term "man" as meaning mankind. Its not a gender thing. If you tried to express all this in non-gender terms it would not work.