Ending Sexual Violence Requires a New Culture

It’s time for a global movement working for the healing of love at the core of a humane revolution.

Dara Silverman, October 27 2017

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“Humanity has wrongly organized love and sexuality, locked them into narrow cages of possession and fear, which is why they so often turn into anger and hatred. The global epidemics of violence ravaging this planet result from a culture that has inhibited love. The healing of love isn’t a private, but a political issue of the highest priority. We must find a new concept for love if we want decent survival on Earth.”
Sabine Lichtenfels

Eros is a superpower. Sexuality drives us human beings and is omnipresent in so many of our thoughts and actions, whether we’re aware of it or not. Eros is a gift that has the power to generate life energy and even bring forth new life. Fearful of this immense power, patriarchal societies have pervasively turned to mass suppression, ushering in an epoch of lies, deceit, betrayal and abuse.

Yet it’s not sexuality in itself which is violent, but its suppression. Dieter Duhm writes, “Violence is the eruption of blocked life energies.” After a long history of patriarchy, it’s difficult, in fact, to distinguish the distortion from the truth of Eros.

In light of the Weinstein case and the #metoo campaign, the massive reality of sexual abuse teeming in the substratum of our polished so-called “civilized” societies is finally rising to the surface. I also could post #metoo – and not just from one or two experiences. One in three girls and women will be abused in their lifetime – from rape, trafficking and forced prostitution to being attacked with acid or stoned to death. While confronting such a reality it’s illogical and absurd to continue thinking privately about this issue. This isn’t the individual story of a victim and a perpetrator. It’s way beyond anyone’s personal guilt. And it isn’t a collective perpetration of men and victimization of women either.

Ending sexual violence will require nothing short of creating a whole new culture; a culture that enables us to heal the collective wound we all carry.

Eros is like water. Both are untamable anarchistic forces that long to flow freely, to meander, to come into contact with elements in their surrounding and move on. Our dominant culture has dammed up our erotic powers by forcing them into the constrictive cages of sexual morals and marriage in an attempt to keep them under control. Floodwater that breaks out of a concrete mega-dam is not in itself violent, the violent consequences of the flood are due to the immense pressure the water has been placed under. Likewise, it’s the suppression and narrowing of channels for Eros to flow freely that causes people to break out in violence.

Male rulers needed to break and domesticate the wild and free power of sexuality, female sexuality in particular, so they could build their empires and turn people into obedient followers. Patriarchy has neuroticized humanity by dividing Eros, our very sensual life force, into an acceptable and an unacceptable part; glorifying compassionate and romantic love while demonizing our wild sexual nature. The ten commandments teach us not to lie, yet they also tell us not to desire our neighbor’s wife. But who has ever been able to comply with both precepts at once?

Here we face a point of collective trauma in humanity. Sexuality in its origin is one of the most beautiful things we can know in this human experience. But we have ingested the belief that sexuality is only allowed in the context of monogamy, or else it must be hidden in the dark corners of secret affairs and brothels. We have culturally banished this life force, tearing it away from its spiritual and social source. At the core of all perversion lies an original, pure erotic impulse. It is through our inability to express it that this impulse becomes twisted, distorted, perverse. It festers in the substratum and eventually breaks out in violence.

This is a cultural, societal, historical and systemic question for humanity. The answer can only be found by establishing new forms of living together as humanity and with all of life: a new culture based on trust where people can openly express their sexual impulses in freedom, dignity and mutual consent, without fear and without having to lie to or to violate one another. This would mean establishing a larger vessel than the nuclear family model – a communitarian way of life able to hold the intimate questions of our times. The mega-systems no longer function. As with water: we need decentralized systems to unfold our life energies in a healthy way.

Imagine living a life where these immense, innate longings don’t need to be hidden. Where they can be seen, supported, celebrated. This is at the core of the work we’re doing in the Tamera peace research center with the Healing Biotopes Plan – shining the light of truth onto the inner workings of the human being in the most intimate, core areas of life. We are creating societal structures that allow for the healing of sexuality and love. Where there is truth and transparency, trust arises. And where there is trust, there can no longer be violence. It’s time for a global movement working for the healing of love at the core of a humane revolution.

There cannot be peace on Earth so long as there is war in love.