Sexual desire, social appearances, and the accompanying view of the self

THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2004

22:22

I have just had a telephone discussion with an old friend, and I shared some of my most recent thoughts with her – on appearance, desire, embarrassment, failure, self-perception, and so on.

After the call I thought to myself that I may have said that people should rather be celibate, or if they can eliminate sexual desire from their social appearances it will dramatically change their views of themselves and of other people.

I don’t think I totally meant to say celibacy is better than having an active sex life. I just wanted to draw attention to the possibility that a change in sexual desire, or sexual behaviour, or expectation, will fundamentally affect your social appearances, and with that your view of yourself and of other people.

22:47

The situation was such that I experienced a sensation that I can describe as regret that I had shared those opinions with her.

Her response made me think I bowled her over, so to speak, that she was deeply impressed by the profoundness of it, but that she also felt as if she was out of her depth – and that she therefore had to cease her appearance to save face.

Needless to say, I was aware of the possibility that I had once again managed to alienate someone with my so-called insights.

My life, my struggle.

22:53

Am I saying people should stop mingling with one another and enter the wilderness one by one, or rather, enter their own private wildernesses lest they bump into each other?

Not necessarily.

All I am saying is that solitude and loneliness have fertilised my own tree in such a way that it has borne very unique fruit.

00:36

A brief overview of European and Asian civilisations reveals the existence of a very old tradition of men and women separating themselves from the rest of society. The fact that you will hear of some of these men and women or read about them implies that their isolation had led to above-average insights about life, and/or that they had undertaken actions after periods of isolation that immortalised their names in the annals of the history of humankind.

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