Tag Archives: Schopenhauer

Like great art, great sex disturbs.

Great sex great artThere’s a certain kind of sex that is like the best art. The best art expresses something hidden in the artist’s soul, something that calls, that may inspire and torture until it is revealed, borne through the artist’s medium.

Sex too can be the artistic medium, an expression of what is hidden in the soul, shadowy qualities and callings. But this kind of sex is maybe even more rare, more difficult, more demanding than the best art, for two human beings are required; two human beings collaborating blindly, blindly because they do not understand the contents of their soul any more than does the artist.

No matter how good you are at sex, how much “consciousness” you bring, how “sacredly” you view sex… Sex that speaks from the soul, sex that is like the best art, is always a blind or semi-blind invocation because it comes only partly from us and mostly from forces hidden, the soul’s contents being revealed in each moment – pleasure, then terror, then shame, hope, pleasure again – glimpses of understanding through the eyes of Psyche and Eros, glimpses fraught (as they must be, this is art!) with great danger and mysterious blessings.

And oftentimes no one to see. No witnesses. This art is hung in no galleries. It is mostly secret art.

Pornography attempts perhaps to reveal the soul in sex, to bring it out of hiding and into the cultural eye, but it captures only fragments of a particular frequency. Pornography fails to the degree that it does not only because it omits love; anyone who believes that sex is only (or even mostly) about love is missing the fuller soul message of sex. Love is but one face of soul’s desire.

Great art disturbs. And great sex too. Both pull at the threads of the veil that protects us from seeing too much, from going too deep; there’s a veil that protects us from seeing more than we can fathom. As the veil unravels we are confronted with hidden chambers of the psyche. Whether through great art or great sex, what we glimpse down there disturbs us… longing married to repulsion… tenderness mired in brutality. It’s difficult to know, moment to moment, if we are being created or destroyed, healed or wounded. We lose our innocence, so desperately clutched, and we become initiated.

Consider too the words of the 19th century German philosopher  Schopenhauer as he describes his ideas about the feeling of the “sublime” (from The World as Will and Representation) –

  • Feeling of Beauty – Light is reflected off a flower. (Pleasure from a mere perception of an object that cannot hurt observer).
  • Weakest Feeling of Sublime – Light reflected off stones. (Pleasure from beholding objects that pose no threat, objects devoid of life).
  • Weaker Feeling of Sublime – Endless desert with no movement. (Pleasure from seeing objects that could not sustain the life of the observer).
  • Sublime – Turbulent Nature. (Pleasure from perceiving objects that threaten to hurt or destroy observer).
  • Full Feeling of Sublime – Overpowering turbulent Nature. (Pleasure from beholding very violent, destructive objects).
  • Fullest Feeling of Sublime – Immensity of Universe’s extent or duration. (Pleasure from knowledge of observer’s nothingness and oneness with Nature).

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