by Mark Abraham
When considering sex and the humans, all beings generally divide into two major groups of polygamy and monogamy. Disregarding the isolated exceptions of some monogamous beings cheating on their mates aside, all such beings behave one way or another based on their instinct of sexuality. Humans are the only exception to this rule.
Strong evidences unequivocally prove that humans are polygamous by nature. For example, based on the statistics available, a huge percentage of humans commit adultery indicating that humans are not content with a single mate for life. Also, a huge portion of human communities consisting of Christians and especially Moslems openly practice polygamy that further proves this point. In fact, 84% of human communities allow polygamy in some fashion.
Adversely, compelling reasons prove humans to be monogamous by nature. The universal institution of marriage practiced for the entire duration of recorded history is one of such evidences. The manmade rules inserted into all religions and civil laws and social values for thousands of years against infidelity also strongly proves that humans are or at least are supposed to be monogamous. Humans are instinctively polygamous. However, by observing such prohibitive rules drafted through the application of human reasoning, intellectually they become monogamous. Thus, two opposite sexual forces of polygamy and monogamy simultaneously drive humans and this renders our species alone, as being sexually confused.
This self-imposed alienation from one’s true nature that results form this inner contradiction, as a species in time has structured a deep and fascinating human psyche pertaining to human sexuality. The universal induction of sexual fantasy is this human sexual psychology. In that, this inner contradiction is the impetuous for a huge number of people, if not all people from all walks of life to have developed sexual fantasies. Understanding the cause and effect of this inner mental contradiction alone reveals a great deal about human sexuality. And acquiring a deeper understanding of this psychology of human sexuality in turn further enhances our overall understanding of human psychology.
Based on the numerous studies conducted, sexual fantasy is a difficult reality to sort out. Not having a more practical approach to this phenomenon compounds the difficulties. What is worth exploring is to learn about the mental mechanism and the processes that precipitate desire in all adults.
To explore this subject objectively first we need to examine the phenomenon of fantasy in all its realms to better understand what fantasy is and what triggers them, sexual or otherwise. After doing that, then we try to understand the place of sexual fantasy within the larger scheme of all fantasies and the place of sexual fantasy in the larger scheme of human sexuality.
In general, the psychology of fantasy is the psychology of the unattainable strongly desired needs and wants. This comes in very many different shapes pertaining to different human aspirations and pressing emotions as relevant fantasies are entertained, and sexual fantasy is only one of the many. For example, when violated, most people long for sweet revenge. If the victim cannot avenge the to sooth his anger, the frustration compels one to seek revenge in the imagined scenarios in which he successfully inflicts harm to the enemy perfect to his liking.
This produces that hard sought pleasure of getting even, although it is nothing more than a figment of imagination. The source of this mentality is a two-prong mental state. This intense anger induced by being victimized and wanting to get even and the inability to materialize this urge. Achieving in one’s imagination that which one cannot produce in real life pleases this strong impulse and produces a fleeting satisfaction for the dreamer, while the fantasy lasts.
To use another example, a person bent on becoming very rich in the real life, acquires it in his world of imagination and enjoys and enjoys it. To use yet another example, a person who strongly wishes to be powerful in vein, lives this dream in the world of his fantasy. Hence, such desires that cannot be satisfied in real life are partially achieved in imagination for the pleasure they bring without any cost or consequences.
The intensity of the pleasure induced by different fantasies varies, as some are more tangible than others. For example, fancying a powerful emperor for a laborer being totally impossible cannot possibly be as pleasing as fancying a physical relationship with someone at work or in your neighborhood. Such fantasies being more tangible, more readily produce the sought pleasure. Thus, different people might have unique fantasies of their own on a wide range of subjects a certain brand of fantasy, the sexual fantasy, is universal in scope. This is despite the fact that there is a huge difference between the pleasures induced in fantasy as compared to practicing it in real life. It seems as if this instinctive desire being continuously suppressed is eager to find even conditions far removed from reality to experience the pertinent pleasure and satisfaction. To put it differently, this self-imposed deprivation from what one’s natural strong desire in practice is the mental state that urges sexual fantasies.
In complying with these manmade rules and the deliberate suppression of this strong driving force creates a void that relentlessly desires to be fulfilled. Hence sexual fantasy as a substitute for practicing polygamy and infidelity in real life satisfies an organic desire and becomes more tangible. Numerous studies show that people use sexual fantasies as stimulant to augment pleasure. This mental practice acts as if these imagined fantasies are real and sexually excite those who resort to them. This practice being risk free, many frequent it as a substitute for the real polygamous act. Most people have a variety of sexual fantasies and amongst them many have their own favorites.
This phenomenon of sexual fantasy reveals a good deal about human sexuality and also a fascinating aspect of the mind. The intrigue lays in the fact that the very mind that wills to create fictitious scenarios in one’s imagination, tricks itself to perceiving them as being real. Hence, a very strong connection results between the body and mind, physics and metaphysics in this world of sexuality. That is to say, fantasies by being sheer imagination and totally non-physical entities, by nature become metaphysical. And this metaphysical disposition produces physical pleasure for those who fantasize and corporeal pleasure results from non-material entity as the body and mind interact. One may legitimately ask how does one know this to be true. The fact that people in such a vast number resort to it so very frequently is a clear indication of that. To use an analogy, if everyone likes honey, probably it is because of its sweet taste.
This sort of physical pleasure from imagining something fictitious could never be achieved through any of the other fantasies. Thus, sexual fantasy is universal, but others are individual and conditional. Being practiced universally, many casually talk about their sexual fantasy, especially in the western cultures. Even a prominent and highly spiritual figure such as Mr. Jimmy Carter while competing to become the president of the United States publicly admitted to having such fantasies and it made much noise.
Applying the understanding of how fantasies of any sort emerge to sexual fantasy reveals that the polygamous instinct of sexuality rebelling against pairing off with one person for life in a monogamous relationship longs for more than one sexual …
Because humans are intelligent beings, everything each of us does invariably seeks guidance from our reasoning faculty and intellect at large and we apply the intelligence at our disposal to sort things out. Each of the faculties that collectively constitute human intellect applies itself to cover a different aspect of the task at hand. For example, the faculty of memory contributes everything the person has learned on the subject. The faculty of reasoning assesses to see if the imminent task is conceivable at all to start with. Then it assesses to see even if it is possible, is it worth the cost and efforts. The faculty of calculation assesses both the material and nonmaterial cost and the risks involved. The reasoning faculty also seeks the most practical ways of implementing what needs to be done. We try to take the legal ramifications of the deed into consideration, and so on. Therefore, as this unmitigated and raw instinct induced urge elevates to higher levels, it passes through other mental stages and other elements make their contributions and you try to formulate the whole undertaking from it various aspects. Stating the obvious, the quality of the refinement is directly determined by the quality of the intelligence introduced to the process.
Again, here too, if the original urge is too strong and compelling, the instinct will force the action against all odds, even if after this process our intellect and reasoning calls for inaction. In such cases we are compelled to pursue the objectives of our primitive, stagnant, blind and blinding instincts in action. That is to say, this urge makes a short cut in the process and the aims we pursue become inherently unintelligent. Often this is the process from which huge blunders result in the case of the ordinary people and utterly intelligent humans alike.
However, this is a good deal more interesting and complicated than this. In that, while human intelligence is cut off the process of contributing to pursue or not to pursue a certain objective, human intelligence and reasoning ability is not totally laid dormant. That is to say, while it is circumvented in deciding to act or not to act, there exists another stage in which instinct gives way to intellect. In that, after passing through this above-mentioned stage, if the process evolves into action, either with intelligence’s full participation, or without it, at this stage the human intelligence becomes the sole actor. The instinct having done its job to start the required action to achieve its objective, suddenly disappears from the scene and from then on, sheer reasoning and intellect that each person can muster up leads every step of the action to the end.
This is why we witness how frequently through the current events and also through studying the history humans everywhere so brilliantly execute very stupid ideas. For example, we often see how many truly unintelligent wars have been fought in every corner of the world so brilliantly. Or to use a fresh example to which everyone can relate, we witnessed how brilliantly Bin Laden savaged so many innocent lives in New York City in the 9/11 incident. The same stands for many wars. In that, when you study the details of how many of such wars were fought, you observe profound human ingenuity from both side of the combatants of equal rankings.
To assess the full capacity of intelligence, we need to observe it at two stages; first what we choose to do and second, how we do it. Together, they determine the rate of the over all success. To use and exaggerated example, suppose a serial killer is utterly intelligent despite his evil spirit who leaves no traces and does not get caught for a very long time, or ever. Thus, being intelligent, the steps taken devised by his intelligence produces him a great success in what he pursues. However, because the original intent, probably caused by an excessively potent instinct of aggression, is stupid, even the objective brilliantly executed produces no meaningful success at the end. From this perspective, therefore, for an objective assessment of one’s intelligence it needs to be observed from different stances.
At the risk of going tangent, a basic mark of intelligence is to be found in one’s keen awareness of his limitations, just as one also needs to be aware of his abilities. Just the same way, another obvious mark of intelligence is recognizing the quality of intelligence in others in general, and in one’s opponent, in particular.
Any reasonable person would be savvy enough not to overestimate his abilities or the means available to him to engage challenges beyond his means. To do otherwise, one would start a project or a task, whatever they might be, with a huge handicap and the likelihood of failure becomes far greater than succeeding at it. Hence, depending on what instinct is active at any given time, it precipitates different intensities of its own needs, wants and desires and that becomes the germ behind thoughts, discourse and ultimately, the deeds.
Taking clues from normal living, it does not seem too difficult to make successive links among these stages of development from instincts to urges and desires, and then to thoughts and then, to action, if this process goes through its complete course. If we can find the physical roots of instincts in man in this process would provide us with sufficient reasoning required to suggest where the roots of instincts are planted is where the connection between the body and mind is to be found.
Let us forget about the roots of instincts for the time being and follow instincts and see how they develop into action. If we are to imagine a physical shape that depicts this process it might look something presented in the figure bellow. These raw instinct induced urges pass through the different stages, get refined in an upward motion to reach to its pinnacle when the urges transform to acts of different sorts, perceived as behavior. It needs to be qualified that here we are strictly talking about the manor, in which humans behave themselves, and not how a person achieves an objective. For instance, we are not talking about how a pilot flies an airplane or a scientist conducts a complex test in a laboratory to reach a scientific conclusion of some sort.
Thus, one end of this metaphysical instinctive entity is rooted in human physical anatomy and the other end of it manifests itself in human conduct. This renders instincts as the most logical link between the mind and the roots from which instincts emerge. Whatever the root of instincts are, on one hand it molds the nature of each instinct into shape as each of them drive a particular brand of human behavior, and on the other hand it energizes and transforms such instinctive energies into action.
Each instinct induces universally uniform spontaneous inclinations in all humans and some times they even join forces on what they pursue and the drive becomes much stronger. As it was alluded to before, in this upward development of the urges into action thinking gets involved to provide guidance. Yet thinking implies the unified application of all human intellectual faculties to avoid mistakes and to achieve the result. Thus, raw impulses surface in the vacuum of reasoning and only later engages intellect.
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Not understanding the proper functions of these two potent mental forces is what puts us in awe each time we observe preventable huge mistakes. This happens when we grossly discount the power of instinct induced delicious temptations that distorts our reasoning abilities. It is through this mechanism of mind, so to speak, that many not only do what they readily know is wrong, unwise or bad, but also engage in self afflicting acts and suffer the consequences. Indeed, our mind is not totally under our control as many of us think it is. This holds true not only for the ordinary man, but also for profoundly strong historical figures have felt overwhelmed by it.
To understand the enormity of this power better, a quote from, Spirit Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaya produced in old English might help. He reproduces what Apostle Paul, a prominent Christian religious figure once had said pertaining to uncontrollable temptations and irresistible drives. “…for to will is present in me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” In the portion where he says, “ it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me,…” The sins are the deeds driven by the selfish instincts and the strong temptations each leads to action that continues to be the theme of this text. Thus, he was aware of the inner driving forces, but maybe could not make the connection to the different instincts that manufacture them.
Another prominent figure, Aristotle, also had something to say in this regard. Paraphrasing him, he once said, when you order your arm or leg to move, it obeys at once. However, when you command your mind, it disobeys you. What he found so disobedient in the mind were these unruly, primitive, blind, blinding and rebellious instincts. And this is why some thinkers rightfully claim that the hardest battle to win is the battle against oneself. Again, what is meant by, “oneself,” are these almighty instincts.
© Copyrights 2012-13 Mark Abraham