We Have Done to Eros What We Did to the Rivers

What have we done to the rivers? We have done two things to them: we have pumped our sewage into them and we have straightened them, both of which we have also done to Eros. And in both cases we have achieved the same result: we have taken away the natural beauty and healing power that was originally present.

We have pumped our sewage into the rivers and we have pumped our foul thoughts into sensual love. Our parents were outraged by sexual matters, which, as I discovered, was because they themselves despised sex, they have defiled and degraded it with their flawed thoughts, and then they said it was the sex that was tainted, not their thoughts. They simply poured their own sewage, in the form of foul thoughts, into their sexuality and confused it with true sexuality. Continuing with our metaphor, they said the river is dirty, and were thus outraged by it, instead of seeing that they themselves had made it dirty. The sexual morality of “decent” people has always functioned according to this principle. And since all of these millions of parents, teachers, priests, etc. were never able to recognize their own tricks, this forgery has continued until today. They say, ”that’s filthy and disgusting”, and do not notice that the filth only exists in their own thoughts. It’s like pouring hydrogen sulfide in your coffee and then afterwards complaining that the coffee has a fart-like smell to it. By such diligent and persistent reversal of the facts it is clear that you will eventually observe the phenomenon that is known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. When it is claimed that sex is vulgar and dirty, for example sex without heart, sex without love, sex only for lust, sex as a purely physical urge, etc., in the end that is what it becomes. For no human being and no sublime stirring of life, no love and no natural desire can preserve its beauty when it is continually forced to hide itself.

Every energy has its natural flow, its natural direction and its natural rhythm. This applies to the energy of water and to the energy of sexual love as well. If we disrupt the natural flow, we cause disorders in the overall functioning of the organism in question. If we disrupt the natural flow of a river, we can expect corresponding disruptions in its biotope. A river follows the energy of water and its natural and oscillating movements as it flows through the landscape. This oscillating and meandering nature of water provides the river with its momentum and the power to cleanse itself and endows the water with its healing capacity. Human beings, men in particular, orient themselves bravely and vertically according to the linear elements of life and perceive swinging elements as disruptive and resistant. They have straightened out the rivers and placed them in pretty little concrete basins. With this, they have destroyed and polluted the rivers, robbed them of their self-cleansing power, wiped out their biotopes, and poisoned the natural arteries of the Earth.

The concrete bed is to the river what marriage is for Eros. We have interfered with the organic processes of nature in exactly the same way and “straightened out” the situation, i.e. we have relieved it of all its swinging fluctuations, its side-steps, and its waves of joy. Eros swings and dances like the water of a river. The water flows to the right, it flows to the left, then it flows backwards, then it whirls around and flows in another direction, but it is always the water of the same river. We can always rely on this water, its healing power, its suitability for drinking, and its transparency, as long as we do not disrupt it. We can rely on the potency of love as well, its warmth, its charm, its beauty, and its healing power, if we do not disrupt it. But we must not try to fasten it and restrict it to a single person. We must not dictate to love what it may do and what it may not do, we must not force it to conform to our own egocentric desires, and above all we must not reduce it in order to make it fit into our own little world. If we make its bed too tight as in the case of the river, it will sooner or later break the dam by force. As is often written in the newspapers, it happens that “conventional family fathers and respectable colleagues” suddenly have “unexplainable” bursts of hatred, murderous blowups or are involved in other acts of violence.

Bertolt Brecht asked the question: which is more violent, the current of water that breaks through the flood gates, or the dams that restrict the water? Which is crueler, the act of violence of a madman who runs amok, or the moral law that compelled him to do it?

A nonviolent, ecological culture will restore to nature its own forms of motion, to the river its meanders, to all creatures their wildness, and to love its dancing. It will be a great journey of discovery, because everything, including the so-called dead matter, contains a strong impulse to move. You only have to take a thin piece of sheet metal as an example, cut it open, and it uncoils with a sudden movement. The world is full of motion. Theodor Schwenk wrote a very informative book on the subject called “The Sensitive Chaos” which also includes many good illustrations of these movements. Do we want to continue excluding the energy of sensual love from the universal dance of energies? Do we want to continue cementing it into claustrophobic marital cages and making it play dead in its sterile riverbed?

You read an excerpt from the book “Eros Unredeemed: The World Power of Sexuality” by Dieter Duhm