In the morning I was down near the creek. I suddenly heard a deep, dangerous sound like a thunder clap rising out of the earth. I stood still and peered in the direction from which it came. As I watched, just eight or nine meters upstream from where I stood, rooted to the spot, an eighty year old cherry tree cracked in the middle of its wide trunk, and came ripping and crashing down onto my bank of the small river. Then all was silent and sunny again. Although it was rather a sad and shocking sight to see this old, proud member of the forest lying there, fatally broken, never to enjoy the water in her roots and sun and birds in her branches again, I understood that nature had run her course and that the saplings sprouting out of the rich earth nearby would rise up to take her place.
The same is true in the world of humans. It’s not a shame to pass away and be born again as something higher – someone richer in love and experience – but it is regrettable to shatter one’s inner foundations through frivolous free will, thereby scarring the face of future possibilities.
I recently read a reader’s short statement in a city newspaper, written by a simple, sensible woman, pleading for a move to balanced sexual relations between human beings in our modern society. It was a refreshing plea. We tend to be a society of addicts. Whatever feels good is used and abused to extremes until – like a drug whose effects we numb to, forcing us to take more to feel it – it dominates our senses and our true freedom. I imagine that this concerned citizen caught a distinct glimpse of this break down of common sense, and wondered why two people united in mutual, collectively sanctioned love, could not share this sacred and magical experience privately, without hearing and seeing the topic advertised around every corner like a circus event. Not all that is natural and personal should be hung out on your front door. There is sublime dignity, and there are deep, natural guidelines to a thriving existence, rooted inside each of us.
Back in the early twentieth century, someone* came up with an absurd, twisted theory about sexual feelings between children and their parents (recently exposed as being unfounded) and certain followers of this concept, certain of their cause in making sex an open forum (in effect, watering down the potency of this special, intimate act) shouted from the roof tops that, because there are the nazi-like, or old-fashioned minded who try to repress us in our natural expression, we must run full speed in the other direction to avoid disaster. The individual and collective damage done in such a misguided venture is mostly subtle, but there appear obvious signs of weakness and decline which we tend to ignore. We, as a race, are very slow learners.
It’s time to adjust to the center and rebuild our inner foundations. The experiences of the left and the right extremes are sensational, but not sustainable, and certainly not constructive in the long term. Maybe we’re conditioned now by politics, believing that the ‘center‘ represents a sterile, diplomatic void where nothing concrete can be achieved. The inner center is actually the source of power and creativity. It is the eternal present, abundant in joy and resonant experience. It is built into our subtle beings, and easily accessible through spontaneous self-realization. There springs the love and innocence that make sex, and all other tender exchanges in a dedicated relationship, fulfilling.
Okay, we’ve tried all the cheap extremes. Now let’s get to the potent essence.
(*One of his students, Carl Jung, went on to discover more realistic and helpful facts about the human psyche.)