Free Love

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Free Love

Postby LD330 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:26 pm

What do you guys think of free love? Are any of you in open relationships?

I've been thinking a lot on this topic lately: mostly not on free love as an alternative lifestyle, but on if anything else is even possible or desirable.

Everyone's individual relationship with every one of the other 7 billion + human beings on Earth is unique. I don't relate to your friends or my mother or Barack Obama in the same way that you do. This is the natural way things are: defined human relationships (like marriages) are secondary.

Next, any relationship a human being has with another human being exists on many different levels, including emotional, sexual, physical, and the whole gamut of possibilities. These happen unconsciously. Most humans do not have the ability to control their emotions, let alone their physical bodies.

Given this how can one restrict themselves to one person or try to restrict another person to themselves?

To do so seems to be a disavowal of the truth, of trying to make believe that someone could only ever "really" love you. Which is true in a sense. They can only ever really love you in the sense that you are the only person able to be yourself. But they could just as easily love someone else too. And that's okay. Every love is different and unique.

I don't know too many people into the occult but I've asked those that I do know about it and found they were relatively traditional, wanting monogamy and all that.

I guess my view is nontraditional. But 'enforced' monogamy seems to me to stem from jealousy and to be unenlightened. I don't take the Book of the Law that seriously but I really like this line lately:

"There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell."

I'm sure my view is affected by my never having been in a long-term relationship. Maybe someone can provide a counterpoint from that perspective.


What do you guys think?
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Re: Free Love

Postby Takamba » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:37 am

I'm 47 years old, so I've had the experiences of a 47 year old man (to quote Jim, "thus, your mileage may vary"). Over the years I've tried that notion of defining my romantic opinions one way or another; it doesn't work for me (again, "YMMV"). I tried the "I'll never do that when I grow up" (only to find myself wanting to do that), went to "it must always be like" (only to find that I myself didn't always want it to must), tried the "there's less trouble with fewer ropes" (only to rope myself into never wanting to let go of someone), managed to move on and did the tramp act for a bit after that, went celibate for a number of years, and now just take things in stride.

Some magicians I've known have been serial monogamists, marrying one woman then the next. Some have don't seem to have "relationships" but always manage to have a date. Some have been with the same spouse since college. I've seen "til Death" do they part.

I don't think love can be conquered; and the kind of definition you're aiming for, that's conquering and multi-definition thing
"If we are to have Beauty and Love, whether in begetting children or works of art, or what not, we must have perfect freedom to act, without fear or shame or any falsity."
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Re: Free Love

Postby gerry456 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:08 am

Is this about"gathering store of women"? Or men?

Check out the holy book.

Verse 61 of chapter 1 of The Book of the Law.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=331&start=125
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: Free Love

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:27 am

LD330 wrote:What do you guys think of free love? Are any of you in open relationships?

That has been "the rules" in most relationships I've had, at most periods of those relationships, for my entire life from age 19 onward. At the risk of drawing the ire of knee-jerk Thelemic fundamentalists who don't ever want anybody to be able to say that anybody else is, or isn't, a Thelemite, I'll say quite boldly that you just can't be a Thelemite unless you accept ideas consistent with no ownership of another person, and especially (especially!) no ownership in love and sex. (You caught the spirit exactly with the passage you quoted.)

All I'm really saying, though, is that an unbounded area of choice has to remain - that there be no outside rules imposed by society, social rules, etc. But people can make their own choices, and make agreements within a particular relationship. For example, you might choose to be with someone in a relationship where your agreement is monogamy - that's cool, too, if you enter into the agreement freely. However, entering into such an agreement (or its reverse) under duress will screw you up psychologically. Choice has to be free.

For example, in the many years I've been with my current mate, our rules have always been sexually free. However, neither of us has chosen to "take advantage" of that rule. There are no walls on the issue AND we both just want to be with each other (and that has lasted for years). See, it all comes down to choice.

I will say that in society's move from a mostly monogamous model to something more varied and free, there have been a lot of growing pains. Figuring out how all this works, from the late '60s and early '70s forward, has been a huge challenge, but, as a community, we've been doing it. Different models and approaches and ways of framing things have emerged, been tried, worked for some, been discarded by others. Decades later, society overall has become more accepting, and people (at least in some geographic areas) have more freedom from old expectations. Along the way, I've caused far more emotional pain than I like to think about, and I've been put through some emotional roller coasters of my own; that's just been part of the journey.

Today I need not be a sexual freedom activist (which I pretty much have been my whole adult life), because (at least in Southern California) a majority of the social barriers have been blown away.
Love is the law, love under will.
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"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Re: Free Love

Postby gerry456 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:46 am

South Cali, here I come! :angel:

In the UK, particularly amongst the young working class, marriage contracts are just becoming obsolete. So many children are now raised out of wedlock and my grandmother's ghost is wagging it's finger.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: Free Love

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:41 am

I was monogamous for 7 years. I was pretty unhappy. Not because I couldn't have sex with other people, but because there was a sense of ownership and guilt. I found myself growing more shy and introverted, avoiding even non-sexual connection with others because I didn't want to risk making my partner jealous.

Eventually, we opened up our relationship, which helped me feel more able and willing to connect with others. But we still had our other relationship incompatibilities/problems. Eventually I realized that the two of us weren't really good for each other, and it would be best to part ways. Our (amicable) divorce should be finalized soon.

I will never go back to strict monogamy. I discovered that I am not a possessive lover (I don't get jealous, and I am happy for my partner experiencing connection). Being "monogamish" (similar to what Jim describes, a situational monogamy, with the freedom that one doesn't necessarily act on) is about as far as I would ever be willing to compromise in the future.

I really don't think all this is about sex, per se. I think it's about connection and human touch. And I think our culture creates a scarcity of love and touch that is really unhealthy for people.

This has been highlighted for me the last two months, when I took up Argentine tango. Despite its' American reputation as being a sensual, quasi-erotic dance (a reputation stemming from stage show performances which are designed to amp up drama), the dance in it's social context is not really a pick-up scene. It's much more about gentle connection. It's essentially a 10-minute-hug with a stranger on a crowded-but-moving dance floor. There is a whole set of social codes that are designed to make it more predictable and ritualistic. You can easily dance with a 5-10 different people over the course of the evening.

What I've seen in all of this, is that (a) it's a really healing, therapeutic experience to create such an intimate moment with another person (b) having these sorts of connections happening in so many permutations between different members is a really community building force.

This experience has just cemented some hunches I've had for a while. I think humans do better when we can safely, comfortable touch and connect with each other often. I think strict monogamy is an Osiris-age pragmatic choice that leads to disconnection and more predatory sexual behavior. I think our porn-obsessed hyper-sexual culture is just the flip side to our prudish restrictive culture.

So yeah, I believe in free love.
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Re: Free Love

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:07 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:...But we still had our other relationship incompatibilities/problems. Eventually I realized that the two of us weren't really good for each other, and it would be best to part ways. Our (amicable) divorce should be finalized soon.

If this had been public, I'd missed seeing it. I'm not sure what balance of congratulations (for freedom) and condolences (for loss) to extend. I like you both a lot, and it's not surprising that, if you're doing this step, you're doing it well.

I really don't think all this is about sex, per se. I think it's about connection and human touch. And I think our culture creates a scarcity of love and touch that is really unhealthy for people.

Amen!

What I've seen in all of this, is that (a) it's a really healing, therapeutic experience to create such an intimate moment with another person (b) having these sorts of connections happening in so many permutations between different members is a really community building force.

Amen!
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
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Re: Free Love

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:32 am

Jim Eshelman wrote: If this had been public, I'd missed seeing it. I'm not sure what balance of congratulations (for freedom) and condolences (for loss) to extend. I like you both a lot, and it's not surprising that, if you're doing this step, you're doing it well.

Thank you on both counts.

It hasn't been public, but will be soon enough. Like all change, it's traumatic for the bits that are ending. But I'm happier already, and I know it will be for the best for everyone involved. As with most of the initially painful changes I've known, the scale tips further towards congratulations each passing day. :lol:

I guess I'm an adult now. :)
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