General12 Nov 2007 04:55 pm

In the last post I mentioned that I felt that modern society has a tendency to deny our humanity. This is not to imply that previous societies have embraced our humanity, but only that our current structure denies and denigrates our human experience.

In many of my recent posts focusing on male sexuality I’ve talked at length of how we have tried to hide and oppress the male sex drive. We treat the male sex drive as something to harness and if possible to overcome. We contrast love with sex and state that the male sex drive is animalistic and blind to the higher nature of man.

In these posts I’ve also discussed the drawbacks to treating the male sex drive as an evil or an obstacle to love. There is much logical and practical evidence to prove that repression of natural instincts leads to unhealthiness and deviancy. It would seem that embracing and understanding the male sex drive would go along way to having men be more healthy emotionally and psychologically. It would also be logical that men who have had their needs met would be more sensitive and open to the needs of their partners and people in general.

Yet, the denial of being human isn’t relegating to just the male sex drive. There is very little in what is natural or truly human which isn’t denigrated or looked as an obstacle to be overcome.

We have been made to feel that our bodies are something to be ashamed of and to be hidden. This is not to say that I’m promoting nudism, but it would be nice if people were able to be proud of their bodies and to view the human form as a thing of beauty and wonder.

Woman in our culture are encouraged to alter their looks and cover their faces in make-up from a very early age. It is hard to imagine women feeling good about their natural selves when they are expected to “improve” their looks and “hide any physical weaknesses” through cosmetics and fashion.

The human scent has likewise been deemed to be disgusting and in need of constant alteration. While good hygiene makes sense and a body awash in bacteria can be quite aromatic, the onslaught of deodorants, shampoos, colognes, etc. leave the human body smelling like an orchard rather than a human being. In days past a person was able to remember their absent lover by smelling their clothes or their pillow nowadays one has to go to a fruit stand to help rekindle the lingering memories of a lover.

Human experience has a long history of being denigrated or viewed as an obstacle to happiness. In most religions and spiritual practices our senses and experiences are viewed as a danger at best and an illusion at worst. Eastern mysticism considers our ties to our senses and external reality as being the cause of all suffering. While this may harbor some truth it also misses the fact that our senses and experience are the cause of almost all of our joy and sense of satisfaction.

Our unwilingness to accept and embrace our mortality has led us to create concepts such as god, the soul, and eternal life. In the religious spiritual world the mundane world of human experience is reduced to the profane and all manner of meaning is placed outside this life into the realm of the sacred. Everything human is reduced to painful trivia and all that is divine and supra-human is the source of “human” joy and salvation.

Likewise, in modern psychology, the human ego is viewed as a relatively blind and foolish thing, in need of help from the unconscious and therapeutic objectivity to get over its natural state of suffering and self-loathing.

I, of course, take issue which most of these view points. Though human life is far from perfect, I find it worthy of being embraced and praised. Human existence and experience is truly amazing. All of the critics of human experience make many valid points, but growth and human development should be seen as goals and not as a sign of an inherent evil in being human.

In the next post I will take a few minutes to reflect on what makes human experience a thing of beauty worthy of praise and admiration and not an obstacle or illusion to be overcome.

Jim Guido

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