I have a dream

(Extract from my unpublished memoir)

I have a dream…

One of the major themes of this book, is the lack of quality information about love and sex, the conspiracy of silence, the guilt and the shame surrounding it that blocks intelligent conversation and real solutions.  I am not really a conspiracy theorist, believing that the culture – that is, all of us – act as we do out of ignorance rather than a deliberate attempt to suppress anything or maintain the status quo at any cost, the military-industrial complex or whatever.  But whatever the causes, the suppression of good information and intelligent conversation through internalized oppression – the shame and guilt that is put upon us for being human, for having human desires and human needs, including sex – is tangible and disastrous to our happiness, fulfillment and well-being.

Sex and love are not the only areas of out internalized oppression, far from it.  The culture and the media try to paint a picture of “the good life”, the “American dream”, that only 10% of us (if that) will be able to achieve, leaving the other 90% of us feeling inadequate in some nameless way, blaming ourselves for our failure to be happy or successful.  This fantasy-picture of “the good life” was invented and perfected by the advertising industry in America between the wars, in order to get us to buy more stuff. This is a fact, for more information on this watch the amazing BBC 4-part series The Century of the Self, or else read my mentor Mike Jay’s book, @F-L-O-W, Find, Design, Use Talent to Emerge Happiness & Success in a Post-Modern World.

And so, while I am not a conspiracy theorist, exactly, we can easily discern a secondary function of this media-created fantasy (in addition to getting us to buy more stuff): it is to distract us and pacify us from the callousness with which they kick us through their so-called educational system, bend us to fit into their heartless industrial machine, and then send us off to be butchered and poisoned in insane and unnecessary wars.  The purpose of the fantasy is to hold at bay our natural existential anxiety under these conditions, the conditions of modern life, so that we play willingly into this inhuman treatment.  We are complicit in this, full partners and guilty as charged.  We are unthinking and unconscious victims, but this does not exonerate us or clear the responsibility that we have for participating in this insanity.  This fantasy of the happiness and success that is available to us by “playing the game”, or buying into the system, is extremely seductive, because it does work for 10% of us, as I say, with the remaining 90% of us aspiring to be like the 10% and then imagining that there is something wrong with us that we can’t be as happy and successful as the people in the ads, the movies and the celebrity sound-bites.

They say to us: you must try harder!  You too can be happy and successful!  Your problems are all in your head.  And this argument is hard to counter, because it is true, we do have a problem in our head.  What we fail to understand, is that any normal person would have a problem in their head, under the conditions of modern life.  “Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” [R. D. Lang].  Of course we are crazy!  We are being kicked through schools, denied human needs, and bent to fit into heartless business and war machines. If we did not feel crazy, this would be deeper proof still of our insanity – if that makes sense.

This is a terrible problem, but not an unsolvable problem.  The solution is quite simple, and it is to understand that we have been duped.  We have been given false values, and have adopted a lifestyle that does not meet real human needs, our needs as social animals who really seek nothing more than to love and be loved, make some kind of contribution, and to reproduce.  That is all we want, really.  And frankly, what more is there to want?  Simply learning to love and be loved is enough work for a lifetime, for most people.  It’s not that easy. Particularly when we have to first unlearn everything we have been taught.  Particularly when we have to shed decades of emotional armor, learn how to feel and how to cry and how to love again.

And so, I have a dream…

…the possible solution to this problem.  It is perhaps delusional, but it is the deeper reason for all my writing. Listen to me please, bear with me, this is important.

I hold this truth to be self-evident: that men and women want some good sexual loving more than they want to be kicked through boring and oppressive schools or bent into heartless industrial machines – regardless of the promised rewards.  And some of us – especially feminine people – want some good sexual loving more than a big house, a secure retirement fund, or even the most interesting and prestigious job in the world.

And so here is my dream:  Imagine that men and women could learn to speak each other’s language.  And from there, that the fights at home stopped, for maybe the first time in human history.  As Victor Baranco said: you are either fighting or fucking.  Let’s imagine a lot more fucking and a lot less fighting in the bedrooms of the world.

And if that happened, what impact might that have on the fights in the schools, workplaces, parliaments and even battlefields of the world?  Maybe they would stop too, duh?  Or at least quiet down a bit? More fucking in the parliaments and on the battlefields might be a bit too much to hope for, initially, but maybe we could try for a bit more civility, fewer insults and bullets, yes?

And from there, once people found what they most deeply wanted – that is love – and started putting their resources where their hearts and minds truly were: can we not imagine that the oppressive schools and the industrial machines would empty, and the big expensive houses all go up for sale? And who would grieve any of these things, really? We might be poorer, but we would make do. We would have fewer physical comforts maybe, but more time to enjoy the comforts we had. As everybody knows, the best things in life are free: time, freedom, play, creative work, music, peace of mind, and the company of our loved ones.

Could this be the next revolution of humanity?  Beyond religion, beyond democracy, beyond communism, and beyond “economic progress”?  The world’s first true revolution of the heart?

Could we be heading towards the kind of world described by Werner Erhard:

“We can choose to make the success of all humanity our personal business. We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us now has the opportunity, the privilege to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution, it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. You have the power to ‘fire a shot heard around the World’”

A world where the greatest aspiration and focus of our efforts would be, indeed, our “love for the world”, our desire to make a difference to other people and to our loved ones?  Could we?

I personally believe so.

This revolution, of course, has many dimensions, many ramifications. But it can begin, as far as I am concerned, with men and women learning to love each other.  It’s really quite doable.

Furthermore, that act alone may be sufficient to start the ball rolling.  It might drag everything else in its wake.  Men and women were actually made for this; they are perfectly designed to teach each other how to love.  The proof of this, paradoxically, is that they are also perfectly designed to torture each other.  They would not be able to torture each other, if they did not care.  It is time they accept the great work and get on with it, get on with the job.  It’s no longer just for fun and pleasure – although that too – it has become a survival need for the planet.

One can dream, that this could happen.  That the men and the women of the world, would finally understand that they are on the same team.

Perhaps the great tragic flaws in men’s and women’s psychology, the cause of enormous suffering to both sexes over millions of years, has a reason after all.  Perhaps God has a plan, and maybe it is not a bad one.  He wanted some good sexual loving to happen, and the only way He could do this, was to create men and women so that they were optimally designed to torture each other.

One can dream, that this was God’s true intention, and that what He did was not some tragic error or oversight.