A pious Christian once said to me: "I find it hard to reconcile sexwith the purity of Providence." He never could understand why Godarranged for sex anyway. Why something else might not have been done.Why children might not have come in some other fashion.
Look at the harm sex has involved. Most all the deviltry of historythat was not done for money was done for sex. And even the deviltrythat was done and is done for money had, and has sex back of it. Takesex out of man and you have something worth while. God must have beenshort of expedients when God, in sex, conceived sex. It certainlylooks as if the Divine fell down this time. As if infinity was atthe end of its tether. As if the adept creator for once was caughtnapping, or for once botched a job.
So we had my pious friend. And we had medievalism. And we had theascetics. And heaven knows what else. Too much sex some places. Toolittle sex other places. Some people swearing on and some swearingoff. The prostitute giving away that which was meant to be kept.The virgin keeping that which was meant to be given away. A forcecontending with a force. Drawing in opposite directions when theyshould be pulling together. Through it all, motherhood misunderstood.And fatherhood misunderstood. The body cheapened to the soul. And thesoul cheapened to the body. Every child being a slap in the face ofvirtue.
Have you ever tried to see what this came from and goes to? Thisphilosophy of vulgar denial? This philosophy of wallowing surrender?
The Christian stream has been polluted. It has gone dirty in the ageof hush. We are supposed to keep our mouths shut. We are not to givesex away. We breed youngsters in fatal ignorance. They are alwaysasking questions. But we don't answer their questions. The churchdon't answer them. Nor the state. Nor the schools. Not even mothersand fathers. Nobody who could answer answers them. But they don't gounanswered. They get answered. And they get answered wrong insteadof right. They get answered, smutched instead of washed. They getanswered blasphemously instead of reverently. They get answered sothat the body is suspected instead of being trusted.
A boy who knows nothing asks a boy who knows nothing. A girl who knowsnothing asks a girl who knows nothing. From nothing nothing comes. Menwho have been such boys know nothing. Women who have been such girlsknow nothing. From nothing nothing comes. They have become familiarwith sex circumstances. They are parents. They have done the bestthey knew how. But they never learned sex. They never realized itsfundamentals. They never went back to, or forward to it. They werelost in a wilderness. They existed without living. They took sex asthey took whiskey. They breathed an atmosphere of hush. They had gotpast the ascetics. But they had not got to be men and women. Theydidn't refuse sex. But though embracing its privileges, they stillseemed to regard it as something not to be gloried in. The leastsaid about it the soonest mended. Mothers and fathers would say tochildren: "You'll know about it soon enough." Teachers would say:"Ask your questions at home." Home would say: "What ever started youthinking about such things?"
The child goes about wondering. What's the matter with sex thateverybody's afraid to talk about it? What's the matter with my bodythat I dare not mention it? My body seems very beautiful to me. I liketo look at it. I like to feel it. I like to smell it. But I'm alwayshurried into my clothes. My body is so mysteriously precious I musttake care of it. But how am I to take care of it if I don't getacquainted with it?
I find that having a body has something to do with being a father anda mother. I want to be a father. I want to be a mother. But how canI be a father or mother if some one who knows doesn't tell me whatprecedes fatherhood and motherhood? I should prepare for it. How canI if all the books are closed? How can I if I am blanked every time Iexpress my curiosity? Is there no one anywhere who'll be honest withme?
If I look at sex right out of my own soul, it seems like somethingwhich God didn't fail with, but succeeded with. Like something notpolluted, but purified. Like something having everything, instead ofonly an occasional thing, to do with life. But the world shakes itshead. The world is nasty. But it puts on airs. The world has eaten.But the world says it's best to starve. Folks will say they've got tobe parents. But they say they will regret it. They say sex is here.They say we're up against its mandates or its passions. But let'sbe as decent as we can with the indecent. Let's not linger on itsmargins. Let's not overstay our dissipation. Sex is like eating. Whowould eat if he didn't have to? To say you enjoy a meal is carnal. Tosay that you derive some sense of ecstasy from paternal and maternaldesires is a confession of depravity. Sex at the best is a sin.
Sex at the best is like stepping down. That sex might be an ascent.That sex might be the only means of growth and expansion. You neversuppose that! You only assume perdition. You are afraid to assumeheaven. I may take pride in that which I may abstract from my anatomy.I must not allude to my body as frankly as to my soul. I must withdrawmy body from the public eye. From discussion. From its instinctiveavowals. Our bodies must be coffined. Treated as dead before they areborn. Regarded as conveniences. Not as essential entities. The body isonly for a little while. The soul is forever. But why is that littlewhile not as holy as forever? They don't say. They cavalierly settlethe case of the body against itself.
So it goes. Endless vivid portrayals could be made of the anomaloussituation. The more you look at the mess we've got sex into the worseit seems. _Someone's got to peach._ Someone's got to tell the truth.In a world of liars who are hushers? In a world of hushers who areliars? _Someone's got to tell the truth._ Someone's got to give sexits due. _You can't give spirit its due until you give sex its due._You can't accept one and cast aside one. They go together. They areinseparable.
You refer to body and soul as if you knew just where one stops and theother commences. Maybe neither stops and neither commences. Maybe theyare not two things but two names. Maybe when you put a body into agrave you put a soul there too. And maybe you put neither there. It'snot so easy to say.
I can't see anything in the things you call spiritual more marvelousthan what you call the physical birth of a baby from a mother. Maybeyou know all about it. I don't. I know nothing about it. To me it'smysterious. To me it's the supreme demonstration of the spiritual.
How that a baby comes from a man and a woman. I want that kept clean.It starts clean. Why do we corrupt it? You who disparage it corruptit. You ascetics anywhere. You libidinous roues anywhere. You corruptit. By your excesses. You who never say yes. You who never say no. Youcorrupt it.
You parents. You professors. You prudes. This is addressed to you.What have you got to say about it? You have tremblingly closed thequestion. I would coolly open it. You have rebuked God by silence. Iwould praise God by speech.