The Challenge of Joy

by Canadian Author, Researcher, Explorer, Producer
Rolf A. F. Witzsche

 


Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer

From Joy does all creation spring;

Into Joy does it progress;

And with Joy it gains its value.

 

A dialog unfolds on the subject of sex high above the city of Moscow, a thousand feet above the landscape of the conventional world, exploring the key human qualities without which we would not have a civilization or even exist. In this context sex unfolds as an honourable word with a significance that the whole of civilization rests on.

- The dialog unfolds in the background to a fictional peace conference, in Chapter 3 of my novel, Seascapes and Sand, of the epic series, The Lodging for the Rose. The title of the chapter is: The Challenge of Joy.



I begged Anton to allow me to meet her again on the next day, in the same place, at the same time, to continue our exploration of the universe of our humanity. I don't know why, but against all expectation she agreed. 

Anton nodded when I asked her, and winked ever so slightly. "You are daring, aren't you?" she said. "That is why you can invite me as often as you like, but let me make the arrangements.

This time she was waiting for me at the restaurant's lobby. She had ordered a drink for me.

"If sex falls out of the framework of grace, people become trapped into orgies of lust, power, domination, slavery, adversity, and whatever else one finds in the sewer of hell," she said as a greeting. Wow!

"But when sex unfolds as love based on truth, or even the sublime, there is no danger in it that should scare anyone," I replied. "If a man buries his face into a woman's vulva for the sheer intimacy and generosity that is involved, the sexual touching then is primarily about relationships, close relationships, relationships without distance, and the sharing of the relationships, isn't it? If we elevate the quality of grace to ever higher levels, why would the result be a tragedy rather being an enriching part of our spiritual journey, that unfolds in the wide sea of relationships in which our spirits blend, in profound experience of our singular all-encompassing humanity."

She waved her finger at me and began to grin. "Don't take us into uncharted lands," she said with a smile, as she handed me the glass of wine that she had ordered for me. But the smile seemed forced. Also the smile didn't really hide the sense of shock that I saw on her face when I spoke about men putting their face into a woman's vulva.

"Should we fear the unknown lands," I countered her. "Sure, sex has been abused, but it can also be a wonderland. For a man, simply beholding a woman's vulva can take his breath away and inspire a glowing kind of awe, and wonderment. Or at the very least it can get a man just plain excited. But there will always be a warm reaction of some sort if it is rooted in an intelligent loving based on certain fundamental truths that one simply cannot ignore. That's just the way we men are, and the statistics prove it. Unfortunately, our relationships rarely extend to that kind of intimacy. We are far too afraid of the unknown. We are small, scared, and timid. That's why men's relationships tend to become 'flat' and strained."

Anton shook her head and now laughed. "Where are you going with that?" she added.

I began to smile. "Did you ever have the occasion to venture into a strip club?" I asked her. "If you haven't, you should, and then look at people's faces. You would think they had never seen a woman's vulva before. You'd be surprised how strongly people react to the sight of a woman's vulva, and whatever else is sexually attractive. They're touched by something that's rooted in their soul. They find great joy in seeing it presented. They find in it an echo of their soul. It seems to me that these places cater to a need in human relationships that has been sadly neglected in general society. Of course the neglected need is being grossly abused by the commercial operations that exploit it. Nor do these strip places really meet the need completely. But they do tell us that there is an element in relationships that is beautiful and exciting that is being neglected far too much, and is swept under the rug."

Anton raised a finger at me again. "You are getting pretty daring, Peter," she said, but she said it with a more natural smile now.

"I agree, I am daring. But why should we deem it daring at all, to talk about something that is so much a part of our humanity that countless people go 'miles' out of their way for it, just to be touched by it in some way, even if it is just in a superficial way that doesn't really satisfy? That's a paradox really, that few people are willing to address. I think it even surprises the researchers. I find it sad when this happens, because sex is an element that has the potential to brighten the human experience in a unique kind of way, that takes us many leagues towards dissolving the countless forms of isolation that is dragging mankind to its knees into the quagmire of division, adversity, war, and even genocide. Whatever can dissolve the isolation of people from one-another should be welcomed, rather than being shunned, even if it is incomplete."

"Sex has the potential to make our world rich, and exciting, and beautiful," said a dark haired Russian woman in perfect English, who was sitting in a sofa facing the window.

Anton had chosen a place for us at a table behind the sofa. She must have felt that the sea of the sparkling lights of Moscow, even when seen from a vantage point nearly a thousand feet above the ground, where the restaurant was located, wouldn't quite measure up to the view that I preferred, where she was the main sparkling attraction. If this had been her reasoning for choosing a table in the back, rather than the sofa by the window, she was right on the mark.

"Vernadski?" said Anton, turning towards the woman sitting on the sofa. "What a surprise! The world is a small place after all. How many years has it been since I attended your class?"

"My name isn't Vernadski," said the woman, as she turned around and saw me sharing a table with Anton. "The students liked to call me that. They did it in jest, because I'm a distant relative of the illustrious Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadski, the revered scientist, who died decades ago. Still the name keeps hanging on and gets attached to those that have some sort of link to the family. I'm afraid, though, that I don't measure up to what the name stands for. I'm not a scientist. I'm only a history teacher. My name is Olga." She reached her hand out to me, then turned to Anton. "You might remember me telling you that what my great-great grandpa stood for has a bearing on history, which also links it with sex. I never imagined however, that I would hear the word, sex, being spoken by you, Antonovna. I had tried to tell you students that sex is an honorable word with a significance that the whole of civilization rests on, including our past and our future, but you students wouldn't listen, and you Antonovna, you would always protest, as I recall. It seemed you had gleamed something, but it angered you."

Anton blushed and looked away. "We are talking about grace," said Anton.

"I hope you can explain what you what said," I said to the woman named Olga.

The woman laughed. "What's there to explain? Sex precedes mankind. It precedes even the dinosaurs. It probably goes as far back in time as half a billion years, to the very beginning of complex life forms. Sex is the most amazing aspect in the development of life on this planet. It's the one thing that assures genetic diversity on a wide and almost infinite horizon. None of us would be sitting here if it weren't for sex. In fact mankind would likely never have developed without the genetic diversity that the sex-process assures. Of course that's just one aspect of the principle of diversity that our existence rests on. It has a cultural reflection too. And you are evidently correct," she said to Anton, "grace is a factor along this line. It enables aspects of sex that wouldn't be possible without it."

I shook my head. "Sex is deemed a millstone around people's neck that weighs heavily on morality and culture," I said to Olga. "It has become a dirty word, so much so that one is deemed daring to even speak it. It has become the greatest factor for division and isolation in the world, to the point that it is threatening civilization. I'm rebelling against that."

Olga smiled. "That's not what I'm talking about. What you are rebelling against, is superficial. You miss the deeper point, the far more dangerous point."

"I'm a rebel!" I interjected.

"What's a rebel without a cause?" said Olga, still smiling. "You are rebelling against the symptom, not the cause. What is the cause?"

I shrugged my shoulders.

"I gave you a hint," said Olga. "I won't give you the answer to the question."

"In this case the hint is that sex assures genetic diversity," said Anton, coming to my rescue. "But what's the point?" Anton added.

"The point is the point that you have always missed in my lectures," said the woman to Anton. "So, I'm asking you now. What is the point?"

"If it's symbolic, then the point is cultural diversity," I said cautiously.

Olga's face lit up. "Tell me more! Tell me more!"

"Cultural diversity is the opposite to monoculture," I said. "Diversity makes culture rich. A mental environment that is filled with controversy and dissent, is a rich environment. It's a scene of dialog, of reasoning and discovering of the truth that one can't see, except with the mind's eyes. A mental monoculture in comparison with this, is a dead scene. It's narrow. It's a scene of consensus. Dissent is deemed a poison to consensus. I would never want to live in such a dead world, where everything is ruled by consensus."

"Listen to your man," said Olga to Anton, "but don't seek a consensus. Seek a dialog. That's a hard one, but it is the gold in relationships. Harmony doesn't come from consensus, but from dissent, and from resolving the paradox if you can."

The woman turned to me. "And you my friend better pray that you won't get trapped into this world ruled by consensus," said the woman, Olga, in a serious tone. Her smile suddenly faded. "I have it from a highly placed and well respected source, that this very trap is about to be sprung on almost the whole of mankind."

"You mean the eradication of the sovereign nation-state as an institution of civilization on this planet? This eradication is already in progress under the rule of globalization," I said to Olga.

Anton said that she agreed with me. "When a people loose their national identity," she said, "a valuable part of their cultural identity becomes lost along with it."

The woman, Olga, nodded. "That's correct! But that's not what I am aiming at, Antonovna," said Olga, and paused. "You should know what I am aiming at here. Think of something bigger, something more devastating, more evil, and something that's closer to the home turf."

The woman looked at me since Anton didn't answer.

I shrugged my shoulder.

The woman looked at Anton again.

"Group psychosis?" said Anton. "You used to refer to that in class."

"Group cybernetics," said the woman. "The plan is group cybernetics. They will call it online social networking, a game that makes relationships without love and witout sex, which are empty relationships functionally, acceptable, even desirable. It's like Satan advertising the "gentle warmth of hellfire" in the dead of winter. The goal of group cybernetics is to get young people tied up into groups of likeminded friends where nothing short of total consensus rules the group, and where the individual's sense of belonging flows from the artificial consensus. The game is built on the unwritten platform of discouraging dissent. And this is called friendship. The cyber project is an imperial project designed to kill dissent against the rule of global empire and its elite reaching out to 'own' every person on the planet. The cyber kids will be induced to join a group of likeminded online friends, but not for dialog. They all join for acceptance, to be accepted by the group, to belong to a group of valued friends whose acceptance they value. To gain this acceptance they will not dream of offering their dissent. They'll shut up. They'll know that dissent is evil. Thus, they comply. They sooner loose their individual identity and join a monoculture of thoughtless automatons, than risking rejection by the group. They plan to use the Internet as a vehicle for this psychological warfare. I've been told that they plan to create several competing social networking sites, each one killing dissent, each one culturing thoughtless consensus."

"This reduces the cultural diversity to zero," I interjected. "It also kills the driving force of the scientific and technological potential of society."

The woman nodded. "Of course it does. That's the policy of intention. Now tell me why this policy is being pursued. They expect to have hundreds of millions of young people signing up, each person fitting itself into one of thousands of special interest groups where consensus is almost guaranteed."

"This would kill the vitality of society," I answered. "It would turn the lights out. It would close the door on the art of making discoveries."

Olga nodded again, as I spoke. "That's the latest project in the war of empire versus civilization," she said quietly. "It is the ruler's intention to turn the lights out in society. They are very close to getting this implemented."

"My God, that goes beyond even religion," I interjected.

"What do you get when you turn the lights out?" said Olga to me. "What kind of world do you create when you take away love and replace it with a consensus for which everything is sacrificed?"

"When you turn the lights out, you end up with fascism," I said quietly.

"Congratulations my friend, you've earned an A-plus," said the woman, Olga, and grinned. "That's the new fascism, which is about to be built-up around the world, the fascism that is designed to eradicate culture, science, technology, happiness, and even living itself. Of course the online groups are 'guided' into the direction of fascism. Doesn't everybody love guns? Doesn't everybody love the gore in video games? These things are so cleverly presented, even when it is done artificially, so that nobody dares to dissent. And those who embrace the smut the fastest, become the role models. The role models are presently intended to become software created in the form of a kind of cyber-friend that doesn't really exist as an actual person, though they may find that they have no need to go that far. Of course there is no dialog possible in such cyber groups, or between groups, unless there is total agreement across the entire consensus. That's all becoming easy to do with the new computer technologies common onto the market. And that's the future in the final planning stages my friends. Of course the ultimate goal of empire is to create a single monoculture right across the world. Towards this goal they plan to publish a single world encyclopedia that will contain all the knowledge that is known, and by implication represent a universal consensus of what the truth is about everything. Isn't that wicked? The elite of empire, of course, will edit the resulting world encyclopedia. Thereby the elite plans to mold and control the world consensus."

"If this isn't a wicket plan, what is?" I interjected. "There will be no dissent possible against the resulting official universal dogma."

Olga nodded with a smile. "If a certain item of perception isn't found in the world encyclopaedia, then by implication, it doesn't exist. That is how the rulers plan to create a worldwide monoculture that is completely dead inside; that is dull, perfectly pliable, a transparent shell without a true self-identity. Such a society is doomed, of course. It is anti-economic in nature."

Olive turned to Anton. "Now tell me again that sex is wicked. We should celebrate our sex as the one thing that reminds us about how vastly important the principle of diversity is."

I nodded in agreement. "The way I see it, sex can play a major role in the process of waking us up," I said to Anton.

"We human beings are primarily spiritual beings on a journey through a material Universe," said the woman, Olga. "Love is a spiritual process, and grace is one of its manifests, like joy. They are all expressions of our spiritual being. Sex fits into this spiritual sphere. It's a mental 'fire,' a passion for living, more than a physical thing. We are all sexual by nature. We respond to a wide range of sexual attractions, both men and women alike, and not just to meet the needs for procreation. We find social closeness in sexual intimacy. We find in it a type of existence without distance, that we don't seem to be able to experience in any other way. This puts sexual intimacies squarely into the realm of our spiritual dimension. It renders it as a kind of spiritual process that brings us together and unfolds with joy. Of course, it needs to unfold with grace, or better yet, unfold from a truth that echoes our soul, thus to be the manifest of our love unfolding into joy. Without grace there is nothing in it, is there? This means that the key-factor is grace. It enables something that is profound, but has otherwise no value. In this sense, there is nothing bad about sex, is there? Researchers tell us the same thing. I have read the reports of researchers who have surveyed sexually active women. The responding women tell us that the enjoyment they derive from having another person's face at their vulva exceeds all other forms of sexual enjoyment by 50% to a 100% in comparison, ranging up to over 400% in comparison with just plain intercourse. So, it is evidently not just the physical thing that is driving the process, is it? When men put their face to a woman's vulva, which most men love to do, there is no physical sexual stimulation involved at all, of the men's sexual organ. The elation is completely mental. It's a closeness that both partners share, which involves aspects that are rooted in the soul or else it wouldn't happen. This means that the statistics can't be interpreted physically. They involve spiritual aspects of human relationships, an intimacy that dissolves the isolation towards one-another, and more so towards oneself. And that is what the cybernetic social networking project is trying to wreck. It closes the door to an existing sense of unity, and induces a feeling that unity must be created artificially, by seeking a consensus that flows from a group that must be maintained at all cost, and must not be interfered with by interjecting dissent, which is deemed a poison."

"There is dissent in sex," Anton interjected. "There has to be a barrier against rape."

"There is consensus in sex in spite of the dissent," said Olga. "The universal consensus is that we need it in some form. The dissent is healthy in that it weeds out what is not truthful and beneficial. In this manner the consensus becomes shaped by what is actually real, whereas in religion the consensus is forced by dogma, regardless of what is real. Religion is an early form of group psychosis. It took us millennia to get away from that, and now we are about to be dragged into the cyberscape of the internet social networking group psychosis that takes us back into this trap, and much deeper into it than ever before. But it remains a part of the war of empire versus civilization. Of course, in the process sex becomes screwed up even more than the religions have done this. Look at Tibet. After the Opium Wars, the British Empire took over Tibet and set up a puppet government centered on the Dalai Lama, with the edict to keep Tibet an absolute feudal State. Thereby Tibet would act as a buffer to shield the colonial structure of India from the republican structure that China was moving towards. In this platform Tibet was kept totally undeveloped, a religious feudal order resting on brutal manual labor and religious domination. The religious order owned all the land, and also the peasants working on it. Before China took over in 1949, as much as a quarter of the population had entered the monkshood, and much of that for sexual reasons. To a large extend, sex was homosexual in the narrow world ruled by the monks. The best looking young boys of about ten or twelve, were 'encouraged' to entered the monkshood. This meant that they became subjected to fierce competition between the organized clubs of monks, called dob-dobs, who determined who would get to use the boys for their homosexual pleasures. The clubs had their own "colors" and costumes. Of course, in order to advance rapidly in the religious hierarchy, a boy would need to be chosen by an older, established monk, to serve as his sex slave, and to service the friends of his owner. It had nothing to do with intimacy and human sharing. It was group psychosis resting on power-driven consensus. Individual identity had nothing to do with anything. It was dead. Dissent of course was totally ruled out anywhere in this absolute decadent society. And there was no justice, no organized system of courts existed. Punishment was entirely at the whim of the nobility. Dismemberment was common. Polyandry was common. When a wife was shared with all the brothers of a family, I don't think she had the option to dissent, and I hate to think of what happened to the children. This is the order that is about to be idealized on the cyberspace, an order of blindly developed voluntary consensus without options for dissent. When this is accomplished, the old feudal Tibet, which is presently idealized by the powers of empire, will appear like a paradise of progress."

"We are already half way there," I said quietly. "The rule of empire, monasticism, pedophilia, sex slavery, and slavery in general, all go together. They are all parts of the same parcel. They always have been and always will be. Things may have changed in Tibet, but in the larger world nothing has changed. Wherever the empire rules, one can see the old colors of Tibet shining through, and one doesn't have to look very hard either. Only the processes have changed a little, but it's hard to hide the truth."

"Don't be surprised," said Olga, "when you see institutions gaining power that ban the criticism of fascism and the criticism of homosexuality, in the same breath. And you will see those institutions hailing the Dalai Lama as the god-king keeper of the feudal Shangri-La and the golden age of monastic slavery, sexual and otherwise. And if you keep your eyes open wide enough, you will see behind them the architects of the coming cyber-Shangri-La of social networking, the super-rape universe of monasticism. You surrender your soul, your private identity, your sense of truth, worth, honor, and humanity, and you get an empty life in return, a life of endless wanting, unfulfilled yearning, and fearing of being rejected. But there is no happiness happening. The test subjects that I talked to all agree that there is no happiness at the end of the line, and the few who are honest and alert enough, feel that by their surrendering to the group-consensus, causes their induction into an ideology that is contrived and contrary to their innermost sense of what really counts. They feel they end up doing what they would never dream of doing. They feel that personal relationships don't happen anymore that involve dialogs, testing ideas, the sharing of daring concepts. Who would test an advanced idea in 'public,' where there is danger lurking that one might be ridiculed? And that sets the stage for a nicely obedient and impotent society with a monolithic primitive world culture that doesn't oppose the rule of empire. I bet that not one Tibetan monk ever contributed a single idea that advanced the state of civilization. Their source of 'spirituality' was orgiastic "enlightenment" as they called it. Maybe they still call it that in the chambers of empire." 

As they said good bye and all left, Anton shook her head, saying, "was that real? I wasn't dreaming that, was I? And here I thought you were being daring when talking so freely about sex, as you seem to enjoy. But when compared with Olga, you're speech isn't daring at all." She began to laugh. "Still, I doubt her statistics. Are the research statistics that she mentioned really representative of society as a whole?" 

"Probably not," I replied with a more subdued voice. "She told us that the statistics are derived from responses that a number of women had volunteered who evidently found such sharing important enough to respond. Obviously those who volunteered in the survey, represent a daring type of people that have not yet isolated themselves from their humanity as sexual human beings. Some of them might also be in the process of rediscovering themselves. In this sense the numeric compilations are probably extensively skewed and might not represent society as a whole. Maybe they are the few daring dissenters who care to stand up for what they have honestly experienced. For centuries, if not millennia, countless preachers from countless pulpits have pounded the notion into people's head, that sex is dirty, and that the isolation of people into the smallest social sphere that is physically possible, is holy. Of course, in this case too, the statistics are likewise skewed mightily the other way. It is hard to tell therefore what the real numbers are. However, if one looks at the exceptions, the few people who are protesting, who stand up for us all, who would rather not rock the boat, then the statistics seem to indicate that the great myth that sex is dirty, shameful, gross, indecent and disgusting, is nothing more than just a myth that has been built up intentionally for isolating society, a kind of artificial consensus that nobody really believes in anymore. I remember reading about a survey of sexually active women in which a full 70% have indicated they had more than one partner in their life. That's a surprisingly high figure. Perhaps it means that the isolation that has been artificially induced ages ago might be melting away. I remember a few other rather shocking surprises, such as that masturbation ranks high on the list, especially in frequency. Almost half the respondents reported masturbating roughly 20 times a month, while only a tiny minority reported that they masturbated only once a month. When asked about their vulva, most of the responding women love their vulva and love the smell and the taste of it, and that most of their men do so likewise. My point is, that if the preachers on all the religious pulpits in the world knew that they have been ranting for centuries against what most people secretly love in their heart..."

"They might have changed their sermon," Anton completed my sentence and laughed. "Such honesty might have reduced rape or prevented it! When the consensus is erroneous, though everyone lives by it, the results tend to become rather tragic, don't they?"

"Olga is right then to point out that when everything that is human and therefore valuable and beautiful to us is stripped away the resulting relationships are forced into empty channels," I said to her.

"It has been said rather openly by some priests in modern days that whoever controls society sexually, controls society," Anton interjected.

"This appears to have been true for millennia," I added. "But all of this can be dissolved with love, and with grace that unfolds from love. The key element is love. Of course that puts a great challenge before us, in cases when love takes on the form of an astrophysical black hole that draws everything unto itself and consumes it. Then sex becomes robbed of its human dimension and is turned into a tragedy that one should be afraid of. But if our love is like the Sun that radiates out-flowing light, which enriches our humanity as we enrich one another, then sex can flow in this light and become a joy together with everything else that is human. It becomes just another color then, of the great light of our humanity that radiates across the world. That is where the real challenge begins. The challenge is to build a platform in our life that mirrors the Sun within us, which enables us be a sun to one-another. And yes, there are many barriers standing in the way of that love. I have to admit that I don't know yet how to step across those barriers, especially the barriers that have caused sexual division that have boxed society in for millennia into black-hole-type little spheres?"

I paused, but quickly resumed my 'chattering.' "How can I prove to you then that I love you in the spiritual dimension mirroring the Sun? I know that this dimension is more real than anything else is. In this dimension love is rooted and nowhere else, where sex is not bad but is a beautiful thing like every element of our humanity, but can I prove it? I can't. Maybe at best I can prove it by not pulling away from it. Maybe that is my way of building dissent. The universal consensus is to stay away from this seashore. The waves are too dangerous. The undercurrent is too strong. The winds never cease. To me, that sounds like a place where I want to be, rather than being put on a meadow, corralled in on all sides so that the world is small and nothing is moving. In a monolithic world life is dull, nothing is moving, and sex has to be tolerated and be 'serviced' to meet a need. But isn't it an element of our humanity that is for living? Our genitals are really no different than any other part of our anatomy. They aren't something to be ashamed of or to be embarrassed about, and be hid in a closet and feared. And so the silent chitchat in the minds of men goes on in the hidden world where shame is not a factor. But why should it remain hidden? In some cultures a woman's genitals are thought of as sacred, as indeed they are in the spiritual sense. Shouldn't they be so honored, rather than be hidden and be enveloped in a veil of shame? Shouldn't we treat them with honor, and let them bring us joy? I don't want to close the door to that. It's been closed for too long, by the forced consensus with a religious doctrine. And so, Anton, by not closing this door I might be bringing that proof to you that I love you. Anyway, this might be the only type of proof that I can offer. That also makes sex an interesting challenge, and a profound one if we can overcome the barriers."

"I am disappointed in you, Peter," Anton interrupted me. "We've barely met, and already you talk more and more about sex. I've been warned that all the American men are sex-crazy. Maybe it's true."

"As I recall, you brought the subject of sex up, Anton," I countered her. "I merely invited you to dance yesterday, and today we are dancing."

"But you had a different dance in mind, hadn't you?" Anton interjected.

I nodded. "I had a kind of dancing in mind that hadn't been done for centuries, if ever, that only a few pioneers had dared to venture into, but which becomes evermore essential for the survival of civilization and mankind as a whole. So it's not a frivolous issue."

"You men are either disgusting, or are driven by a spirit that's beyond my comprehension," said Anton and shook her head. "I just can't figure out which it is."

"Let me suggest to you that perhaps your former teacher, Olga, had a point when she said that sex is a crucial element in the development of all high-order life on this planet, but it isn't just something that we can turn on and off. It makes certain biological demands on us that we are obliged to accommodate, and those are quite different between men and women as you know. Your uterus requires constantly repetitive cycles of renewal that you have no control over. As old tissues decay they are flushed out through the vagina so that new tissues can take their place in which an egg cell can be lodged and become fertilized. The male biology has its cycles too. The prostrate gland collects certain nutrients and minerals from the blood that it concentrates several hundred times to provide an efficient and nourishing transportation medium for the sperm to reach the egg cell. Evidently, this too doesn't remain useful for long, and needs to be flushed out so that it can be renewed. The most effective way, apparently, is ejaculation. Many of the male's biological responses, and connected psychological responses, appear to be designed to assure that this service cycle happens. It also appears that the male service cycles are generally very much shorter than the female menstruation cycles, extending across a few days instead of a few weeks. Obviously these shorter cycles and their imperatives have a major impact on the male mentality. Sure you can call us sex crazy, maybe we are, but in doing so you should consider what it is that you are trying to slander. I think society has done great harm to itself by slandering a part of its natural characteristic. Apparently this has backfired and isolated men and women and lowered the status of women in society. It created a tragedy that is now reflected in many different ways and is literally threatening civilization. I want to stand out as a dissident in this sea of near universal consent with a status quo that is false, tragic, and dangerous; and that's worse than politics, that actually affects politics in a negative way."

"So you are a self-proclaimed rebel, and you want me to dance with you?" Anton interjected. "You want to change the world, and you want to use me for it?"

"Actually, I don't want to change the world," I said and began to laugh. "Maybe I want to encourage a few people to open their eyes, because what I am a rebel for already exists in real terms. It's just not being acknowledged. It takes a daring spirit to break through this barrier. Unfortunately, there are far too few of those. Most of society lives in a homogenous soup of universal consensus, especially on sexual issues."

"So you say it takes a daring man like you, to wake us women up to something that we are already aware of, but don't want to acknowledge," said Anton and smiled with a wicked look on her face.

"You are getting close," I said and matched her smile. "I know of a woman who was a much more daring rebel than I will likely ever be, who took huge strides against indelible odds to wake us men up and make us acknowledge what we are already aware of."

"Is she a Russian woman?"

"She is American, I think. "She is a great 'dancer.' I can also assure you that the urgency for her kind of dancing was enormously great at the time she made her revolutionary move to wake the world up. Also, what she touched on isn't necessary a male issue. She opened up a seashore for society that everybody had tried to avoid. This makes her in my book the greatest modern pioneer that I know of in the sphere of this kind of dancing. She is the world-renowned artist, named, Judy Chicago. She has changed the world to some degree with her unique kind of dance. She raised the awareness in society of women's issues, and issues of art, and the hypocrisy of society's sexual isolation, and in the lager sense also society's isolation from its own humanity. She raised the self-awareness in society to a whole new level, at least to the degree that she dared to expose the hypocrisy of the sexual isolation that has been built up over many centuries. In this daring intervention, she brought together a team of over 20 researchers. They scoured the pages of history for women of achievement, and selected 999 from a long list. Of these 999, she selected 39 of the most outstanding women and invited them as honored guests in an art installation that she created in the form of a 'dinner party.' She created for them a triangular dinner table. Each side of the table was dedicated to women of a specific period of history that was unique in terms of society's relationship to its women. The first side of the table is dedicated to women of the period from pre-history to the end of the Greek Classical era in which women were once revered, in some cases as goddesses. The second side is dedicated to the dark ages of religious and cultural warfare in which the status of women was trashed. The third side, of course, is dedicated to women of the modern period, from the 17th Century on, when countless women struggled to reverse the dark-age trend of sexual isolation that has been so devastating to women and to society as a whole. The women that she 'invited' to this Dinner Party were pioneers themselves, who fought to get their life back as a woman, including their equality with men as a person, even their humanity as a human being.

"The 39 women that Judy brought together in this manner to be honored at her Dinner Party, where all seated at a common table that spans those three ages. The party itself was designed to be a celebration of their individual achievements, and the achievements of women in general. The end result was a huge work that was designed to have a huge impact. It certainly wasn't hidden away in some dusty gallery basement. It was displayed in many galleries around the world, especially since it was designed to be a party primarily created to uplift the modern society, which was therefore invited to come to the party in great numbers. In staging the party Judy Chicago created a unique place setting at the dinner table for each of the 39 women. Each place setting highlighted the specific woman's nature and significance in the images of a symbolically painted porcelain plate. The resulting art installation thereby presents an open invitation to modern society to 'eat' of every one of the individual woman's plate, to 'taste' of her achievement, inviting the visitors to let themselves be 'nourished' by the women's greatness and their contributions to the advance of civilization and mankind as a whole. And it is here, against this background, that Judy Chicago becomes really daring, because all the images that she painted on the woman's plates were designed to be symbolic not only of the woman as an achiever, but also to be symbolic of a butterfly and of a woman's vulva. The complexity of the resulting symbolism evolves throughout the series, from plate to plate. It begins with a simple vulva-image to represent the primordial goddess, and ends 38 images later with a deeply sculpted and anatomically expressive image of the vulva at the final place setting for an extraordinarily outspoken artist in the fight for society's recognition of the equality of its humanity. In this sense, Judy Chicago invites society to not only to 'nourish' itself with the profound achievements wrought by those women, but to also to 'eat' of those woman's vulva, of their womanhood. In doing this, Judy Chicago invites society to acknowledge to itself that it already does this very thing in real life in its sexual practice, as Olga had pointed out. Judy Chicago thereby invites society to acknowledge that the entire social practice that relegates women into isolation and forced into the background, is a myth conjured up by a lye, for which a consensus was created for some political intention. Judy Chicago is saying that for centuries nothing more than a lye has isolated women and men and has pushed the women into the background."

"In this case, the artist broke the consensus by exposing the lye," said Anton and nodded. "She became a saint of dissent indeed, and said no the consensus by calling it a lye. That takes courage. Maybe that is why there is so little dissent. And maybe that makes you a hero with her."

I shook my head. "Judy Chicago is the hero. I'm just a little dissident. She demonstrates in a big way the isolation of women that has been practiced for centuries upon centuries to be a myth by the simple fact that countless people throughout society lovingly and joyously 'eat' off the vulva, both men and women. This fact evidently stands confirmed in many surveys. As Olga said, according to the submitted survey ratings by sexually active women, 'eating' of the vulva is the most enjoyable sexual interaction they know, and by their admission the most widely practiced. In other words, the self-isolation of society that has been engineered over the centuries, which has resulted in the deeply cutting sexual division that is still tearing society apart, is all happening over something that isn't true, and never was true. If Olga is right, and the ruling empire is trying to resurrect the dark-age mentality, that Judy Chicago fought against, which the masters of empire are now trying to resurrect on an even larger scale, by cyber-victimizing the kids of society at the most vulnerable age, God help us all. The outcome, if they succeed, might be unimaginable."

"The uncovering of the myth, by this woman artist," said Anton, "renders every other form of isolation and division, likewise a myth, including our political, ethnic, and religious divisions."

"The world's prevailing divisions belie the fact that we are all human beings together, and share universally a common humanity and a common universal human soul," I interjected. "Judy Chicago demonstrates that society's countless forms of isolation and division, no matter how time-honored they may be, are basically nothing more than just hypocrisy. She is also demonstrating that there is no such thing as a chronic history. She seems to say, that when a long train of tragedy pervades history, then the tragedy is recreated anew each single day, and therefore it can be stopped in one single day by the simple refusal to renew the tragedy."

"Ah, so you are telling me that it takes an honest woman to teach you men that you are hypocrites and simple minded liars," Anton interjected. She began to smile. "Of course you would call her doing this, daring. How dare she expose your hypocrisy!" Anton began to laugh.

"Judi Chicago isn't only challenging us men, Anton, but the whole of society together," I countered her. "She is challenging everybody, because woman too have fallen into the trap of becoming isolated from our common humanity by their self-isolation. They have fallen into this trap just as much as men have. It appears that Judi Chicago is challenging the whole of society together, because everybody, woman as well as men, have been caught up in the game of a self-isolation that has led to ever-deeper divisions throughout the world, many of which have been carefully cultivated in all layers of society. It is now deemed socially normal for human beings to live in private isolation, and to practice this isolation also politically, and so on. Judy Chicago is challenging the entire huge scene of the self-isolation of society from one-another, much of which is rooted in imperial motivation. Her Dinner Party started a quiet cultural uplift, and not just for women. I read that her work on the Dinner Party unfolded during a time when it was most needed, politically and culturally. It began to unfold in her thinking as far back as 1971. That was the time when banner headlines were strung across the world that proclaimed that the Earth has cancer and that this cancer is mankind that needs to be cured by depopulation. The image of the human being was being trashed at this time, as never before. The year 1971 was also the year in which the Bretton-Woods world-finical system was wrecked. It was wrecked by imperial demands in order that all the nation's national currencies could be used as private gambling chips by an imperial oligarchy, who over the years leached enormous profits out of the currencies of the nations, causing deep social consequences. The world became isolated by this fast trend of privatization, and became looted in their isolation while the image of mankind was being trashed. Judy Chicago might not have been consciously aware of this larger political and economic trend that began in the background, almost in parallel with her unfolding idea for uncovering the growing isolation of mankind from its humanity. The trend that she opposed with her unique art contribution might have been deterred to some degree by her effort. Unfortunately the trend to hell wasn't defeated. It remained and is now wrecking our civilization. The needed victory remains yet to be won. 

"The physical work for The Dinner Party project itself began in 1974, Anton. The project took 5 years to complete. Those years were years of intense creativity for her with the glow of an unfolding universal love that is evident throughout the project. The same timeframe from 1974 on, also brought to light a number of political movements that were pushing the world into the very opposite direction. Maybe she counter-acted these movements too, to some degree, though the real work needs yet to be achieved by all of us for one-another. One of these isolating trends of the two-pronged travesty was the call for depopulation. It was thrust unto the world scene with the first ever world population conference held in Bucharest in 1974. The conference was focused on depopulation. The second prong of the travesty that began in 1974, was America's NSSM-200 policy that is likewise focused on depopulation. The Bucharest conference had been built on the notion that the human population is a cancer. The American NSSM-200 policy went one step further and defined Third World population growth as a security thereat to the USA, on the premise that the developing nations would be using up their natural resources, which the imperials claim to own and might require for their future needs. And so, Africa became one of the first major targets for controlled depopulation. AIDS erupted in Africa a few years down the road in the shadow of this policy. While it is impossible to determine if and to what extend Judy Chicago's effort to counteract the isolation of society from its humanity has had an effect on thwarting the depopulation travesties, it is nevertheless interesting to note that her healing effort coincided with the emergence of these extremely dangerous political trends. Had her efforts been 100% successful to the fullest possible extend, the NSSM-200 policy for the destruction of Africa might have been avoided, by which the 25-million AIDS deaths that occurred to date, the great deadly rape of mankind, might not have happened, as well as the future deaths that are yet to come until the disease is arrested. But neither can we say that her efforts had no effect at all? I don't think we can say that it has some effect, and was an invitation for society to become human and defend itself. Judy's efforts might have had a major effect in spite of it all. Whatever counteracts the isolation of society from its humanity, does have an uplifting effect on civilization, and those who have seen her work generally said that it was a joy to behold.

"The timeframe in which Judy Chicago's artwork, The Dinner Party, was created, also covered the period in which the DDT ban, and the manmade-global-warming hoax, were unleashed. That DDT ban was imposed for purely political reasons and no scientific imperative at all. It is now killing more than a million people a year in Africa alone, most of them children. While this horrendous death toll is nevertheless small in comparison with the global death toll from imposed poverty, the genocidal effect remains in effect and continues to decimate society. The second horror that came out of that timeframe is the manmade-global-warming hoax that promises to be far more deadly than both horrors combined. It promises a horror show beyond anything we've ever seen or imagined. The manmade-global-warming hoax has been perpetrated in order to prevent a new renaissance from emerging that would result if society would prepare itself for the return of the Ice Age that looms like a dark shadow over mankind's near future. And so, without perhaps being consciously aware of any of that, Judy Chicago has put her art on the line in a powerful manner to help roll back the increasing isolation of society from its humanity that we find so deeply reflected in all of these areas. What she did now stands before us as a monumental challenge. She was almost 'shrieking' then through her work, to the blinded eyes and the deafened ears of society, saying, You fools, can't you see your hypocrisy!

"Well, Anton, maybe a few people saw what she had laid before society. Evidently some people did see something, but far too few did. And so, because of society's general lack in its response to her outcry, the collapse of civilization that began in those very days, continues unabated and is accelerating. Judy Chicago had invited mankind to 'dance' with her in celebration of our humanity, but far too few have heeded her call. Thus we all remain increasingly isolated from our humanity, more so than ever, which makes the resulting divisions in our present world evermore severe. The current world-financial system is already bankrupt and is hanging by the finest thread, bulging with debt. The debt stands as a liability against the western economies that no longer produce much of anything, but have become a liability themselves. We need a global bankruptcy reorganization before the house falls down, in order to keep people alive, pensions paid, wages protected, industries operating, and to give ourselves the needed credits to rebuild our lost industries that we must have back in order to get society on its feet again with universally affordable housing, transportation, clothing, food, and so on. Unfortunately nothing of the sort is happening, is it? Nobody cares about the other person's humanity, even their own. Society has become isolated from itself. And an end to this tragedy won't be happening for as long as society remains isolated from its humanity as human beings. Judy Chicago invited the world to dance with her as human beings, and so do I invite you for that urgent task."

"But you had sex in mind when you came here and asked me to dance, and you still have that look, Peter," Anton interjected. "You show it in the way you are gazing at me so intensively. And then you are trying to excuse it all by calling it a spiritual quality, and pretend that it is something noble, and difficult, and enriching. This hasn't been my experience. The woman that you speak of that has put the vulva on women's plate, is disgusting and degrading. A woman is more than a vulva." 

"Of course a woman is more than a vulva, Anton. But it is at the vulva where were men and women come together most intimately. If we can admit this, we might be able to admit that the whole construct of division and isolation is a myth too, that society likes to maintain. Sex is where the division of mankind is presently the deepest, with the greatest isolation coming from it between people that supercedes the worst of what we have in politics. So, where is the core? Isolation is wrecking us from the inside out. It's strangling our humanity wherever we turn. Were does the healing need to begin? Does it need to begin in politics, or at the home gate? I think what we see in politics reflects what we entertain at the home gate. I think Judy Chicago paints the truth before our face and yells at us in the most powerful manner that art can apply, that our isolation at the home gate has no real foundation. She demonstrates for all the world to see, that we are hypocrites, and that we know that we are hypocrites, if we are honest with ourselves. She challenges us to accept that our unity is not lost or is a myth, but is real and is powerfully immediate in our hearts if not in deed, as it is already demonstrated by our sexual desires that bring us together deeply and intimately. Sex is a powerful factor that draws us towards one another. It is an impetus that we are responding to as human beings in the best way we can, even though a lot of healing is needed there too, and which gives us joy if there is an honest response happening. Judy is telling us that far more people in society are responding to this imperative individually, than society admits, and this on a wide platform. She asks us one question that the politicians have never asked. She asks us, why can't we acknowledge that the universal division of mankind that we bow to with so much pain, is a myth? Why can't we be honest with ourselves and with one another? The isolation that we got dragged into as a society, socially and politically, over centuries and millennia, is now destroying us from within. How long shall we wait then before we change course and bridge the isolation and begin a healing in our lives? Sex can help us with that. It challenges us to scrap the isolation, because we don't have it in our heart for the simple reason that it isn't real. We only pretend it to be real. The way I see it, Anton, sex has a role to play in creating a new renaissance on this planet."

"It is what it is," said Anton quietly. "I can't change that."

"I think we need to do more. We need to try to make sense of it without denying it and let it help us to get us out of our dangerous mess. And why shouldn't this healing be possible. For us human beings, sex is something spiritual. It is more that sensual ecstasy. That much appears to be true, because the unity that we find in it is a spiritual quality, especially the intimate unity, and the acknowledgement of one another that is built into our makeup as human beings. Why should we deny to one-another what we are, and thereby force ourselves to live in isolation? Sex is evidently far more to us than just a mechanical thing for procreation. Love is a spiritual quality that embraces our humanity for its riches, and sex is a part of that. That also includes our intelligence, our beauty, our integrity, and so forth. We are what we are. We are sexual human beings, and thank God we are that, instead of being some sexless uniform worms. Yes I admit that when I look at you, I look at you with love and with a smile, like a gardener looks at a rose. And the joy and love that I feel is a spiritual quality that is anchored in our humanity far more than in our physicality. Should I not chitchat about that in my mind and admire you in this context? I would even say that everything that makes us distinctly human is ultimately a spiritual quality. Just look at this place that we are in. We are sitting in a richly beautiful citadel, exquisitely decorated, located high off the ground on a tower that stands like a needle 1,700 feet tall, that is looming over a city that is one of the most beautiful in the world. What a marvel we are living in, Anton! And it is all an expression of our spiritual humanity that values beauty, love, generosity, and aspirations. Building a beautiful world for one-another is one of the aspects of the elevating spiritual relationship that we have with one-another as human beings. This makes us the greatest marvel of life in the Universe. Nothing comparable to us exists anywhere far and wide. Just look at yourself. What a wonder you are to behold! What a smile do I see that touches me deeply, and what beautiful hair graces you. Should I not love this great marvel, and the way you dress and speak and look? You are a marvel beyond marvels. We all are. How many quintillions of miles would one have to travel into the far reaches of the Universe to come across something comparable to what we have right here? Seeing you, and being with you, inspires a joy that nothing in the Universe can equal. Shouldn't I embrace you for that? Shouldn't we all do so likewise? We should be dancing constantly for the sheer joy of what we have before us, and in us, to bring to light. If we all did so, we would scrap every single one of our nuclear weapons with the greatest of haste, all 65,000 of them. But we say it is too difficult to love, because sex stands in the way, as well as many other factors. We say that a spiritual quality cannot be trusted. We say that our sexuality, which exists primarily as a spiritual quality in our thoughts, is a shameful thing. But to be honest, I can see no shame in beholding you as a woman. In fact, I rejoice over it. If you want me to deny you as a woman, I won't do it. I would be denying an aspect of myself and an element of love. To deny that would be too costly. History has shown that it is always too costly to deny love. Love is our light. Love is a spiritual process that is born out on strands of love that bind us together. Sex unfolds in the flow of it. You are right. It is what it is. It comes as a part of the package. So, how can I single it out and deny it without starting the breakup of the package of our humanity and our civilization?"

"I can't deny that this breakup is routinely pursued and is almost universally on the agenda," said Anton quietly. "That's what we find in sex without grace and without humanity. That's what sex usually adds up to when the spiritual aspects are stripped away."

"If that's what I think you fear, let me tell you that you should fear it," I said to her. "But I won't cater to that fear by denying what sex really is. The cost would be too great. Nor would I want to. I love and value our humanity, and in this context I love and value you. I won't deny you. Yes, you are in my heart as a woman, and as a beautiful woman at that, even as an exquisite 'rose' in the highest sense that this metaphor inspires. Yes, I treasure you for that. That is not mythical, Antonovna. This part I can prove. This is what dancing is all about. It is the celebration of our community of principle, a celebration of what we cherish as human beings. We unite in this dance of principle as we cherish in one-another what is rich about our humanity, rather than what is fake. That's the music for the dance, Anton. In this dance, and in the music, all the aspects of our humanity become drawn together and mingle, and become one. Isn't that proof to ourselves that we are human beings; the proof that we call love?

"But where is the substance of the proof, Peter?"

"The substance of the proof of my love for you is in my commitment to fight for your life, Anton. Isn't that what we have come to this conference to fight for, to fight for one-another's life? What else can love inspire, but to fight for one-another's life when life is in danger, and to enrich it? True peace is something that is profoundly rich. It is an active thing. Peace is far more than just the absence of war."

"But dancing with me isn't fighting for my life, Peter."

"Oh it is, Anton. It is! It is a daring commitment to the Principle of Universal Love, especially for us who have no other platform to love one-another than our humanity. We have no marriage bonds, no relationship bonds, no bonds by social conventions, or even political affiliation, to ease the way. All we have is our humanity, and that's the real issue in love, isn't it? In fact, the Principle of Universal Love can't stand on any other platform than this fundamental honesty with ourselves. And as for sex, I don't think it is even a big part of it. It has a dimension in the sphere of love with its own grace that needs yet to be explored and its color added to the great light that flows from our humanity, if we let it be what it is. Right now we've made sex a stumbling block, or even a barrier behind which everything becomes bottled up and for which we become isolated from one another. How silly we are to have inflicted on ourselves such a deep wound! We have disgraced ourselves, Anton."

+++

The cathedral far below us was a marvelous sight, I agreed, although it didn't compare with the splendor right across the table from me, especially when were close to one-another, close enough to kiss, though neither of us dared.

A kind of magic unfolded in this closeness with a sense of grace that seemed to have been taken directly from an old Russian fairy tale that was suddenly unfolding right in the middle of Moscow. It was as though the tale of the Nutcracker was beginning anew, and that I was becoming the prince in the tale. I told Anton that she was the princess, and that the fairy tale was coming true by the magic of her grace.

She grinned, embarrassed. "No, this is not a fairy tale," she protested. "Grace is something real, even though it's hard to live up to and much harder to step even higher into the land of joy. Nor am I alone in this predicament. I suppose that this universal hurtle might be the reason why society tells fairy tales to each other. People like fairy tales, so that they can talk about something that is real, without being forced to become too deeply committed to the challenge involved, which they might not have the strength to see through to the end, supposing that there is an end to this tunnel."


We left late that night, arm in arm, and as we did, she allowed me graciously to invite her for yet another dinner at this place a thousand feet in the sky. I said that the place was a perfect metaphor for the high-level explorations that we had started, though it seems that I had so far done most of the talking. I suggested that we should meet in two days as I had a date with Ushi planned for the next evening. Of course she made the arrangements again.


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