Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Sex Problem

No easy solution to the “sex problem” has ever been discovered and none ever will be. From the foundations of the world it was ordained that this problem should be difficult to the sons and daughters of men. Nobody has yet been able to circumvent nature at that point. Socrates seems to have recognized this when he replied to the young man who consulted him about getting married, “whether you marry or refrain from marrying, you will regret it afterward.” Should we not all be in a better position for dealing with the sex problem if we frankly recognized from the outset that we were up against “a very difficult affair” and that a short and easy cut to the solution is impossible for everybody ? Here, if nowhere else nature seems to have resolved that mankind shall struggle till the end of his days. There is no escape for anybody. The self of a human being is a complicated and many-sided affair, in which the sex element, though always present and unquestionably important, is only one of a thousand demands which have to be satisfied before anything worthy can be attained.
Man, by nature, is a skill hungry animal. His nature is defined by his function; and his function, as revealed alike by the structure of his body and his mind, is the exercise of skill. Taking the “self” all round, it seems to me that its hunger for skill is the most important and universal feature of it........... Here it is [in skillful activity] that the self most completely attains the joyous satisfaction of its deepest needs, while satisfying at the same time the needs of the social environment, with which it is integrally one. Without some form of skillful activity on lines that are socially valuable, self-expression is impossible.
L.P. Jacks -turn of the 19th century.

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