This is my theory of sexuality in terms of my figure of the circle with the dot in the middle and a line running vertical through the dot. NO it is NOT that explicit! What do you think I’m doing here, the biological symbols for male and female? Absolutely not, because my main premise is that every human being is unique because we are animals and products of meiosis. “Uniqueness” is the whole point of the process.
These uniquenesses are generally thought of as two entirely separated circles representing sexual identities X and Y, which is a total distortion, but I can admit the idea that they are distributed in a kind of U-shape or upside-down Bell curve, with male on one end and female on the other with -- in the middle-- a few people who are both, mixed some way. (I don’t know where to put “neither.”) If you’re looking at anatomies. But this is also deceptive, because it turns out that people move back and forth on the continuum, depending on their internal chemistry which varies with stage of life or circumstances. In fact, the key to my schema is that the dot in the middle is the upwelling (the well is the bottom half of the vertical) from the immanence of existence, pure vitality coming from the molten core synergies of life itself. The circumference, the circle, then represents the context pushing in to confine and shape identity.
Individuals live on cultural continuums about what X and Y qualities and roles are. Clearly the Y is supposed to inseminate the X and the X is supposed to carry the baby to term, then nurse it. Everything else is negotiable. If the individual’s personal qualities aside from these are a good fit with what the culture expects, everything is copacetic. If not, cacophony.
The culture messes around with a lot of variables. In some, sterile women are discarded. In others, indiscriminate inseminators might be killed. In a more exotic tribe, a man might believe that an ejaculation is the same thing as a nipple exuding milk. In a very sophisticated tribe, nursing a baby through a human nipple might be replaced by a glass bottle. In an EXTREMELY sophisticated and scientific tribe the baby might be conceived in a glass Petri dish. They’re working on a glass uterus, a la Huxley.
In the middle, that dot where the cosmos is upwelling (Is it nursing us in some sense? It is our Axis Mundi and our Umbilicus.) forms an identity that is self-conscious. It (we) can think about the cosmos, so let’s do. The cosmos is the everything we know of: eternal, edgeless, sourceless, goal-less, sometimes perceptible and sometimes not. It has been a shock to discover that it’s not about us. It cares not about us: neither hate nor love, just a fabulous paisley of dynamic implacable pattern. Now go read the books of Howard Bloom who starts with this stuff and brings it up to the present.
Back to me again. While everything happened by mitosis there was no sex except fusion and separation because there was no change in identity -- only in boundaries. But once there was a genome, the possibility of swapping gene formulas was fulfilled in meiosis, the first sex. Again a matter of boundaries opening and closing, but this time with a resulting “new being.” Around the individual cells with their commotion is an environment that stretches out to the boundary around “my” circle. This set of conditions, pressing against the creature, eliminated those examples that didn’t fit but encouraged those who fit a little better than their predecessors. The conditions are climate, other creatures, geology, available foods, and all sorts of other things. The creature (let’s promote him or her to person) does not determine fittingness: it is forced by the boundary where everything else presses in. Evolution is not something a person does -- it happens to them. They can’t go to the gym to get fitter in this sense. That pressing in is what some people feel as “fate” or even “god.” But it is impersonal. It simply exists and if we fit into it well-enough we also keep existing.
Culture is a boundary inside the boundary above. It is a human-constructed and negotiated boundary based on the desire to survive. It can push out against environment. This extends forward in time through one’s meiotic creations, one’s children, and by sharing the children of one’s tribe who carry this culture through memes much like genes. If the memes fit the larger environment and the genetic characteristics of the children well enough, the culture will survive, the species will survive, the individuals will survive.
“Love” is a meme that enables genes. (Okay, you can have lust, if you’d rather.) It’s partly conscious and partly in a “black box.” If one person finds a way to bond with another person and if it fits the culture memes, great. All is well. Unless the particular variations on the culture memes are out-of-sync with each other or the larger culture frowns on them, or when love causes them to breach their boundaries, so they get lost in each other and can’t form a new shared identity, or are alarmed and slam the boundary shut -- I’m talking metaphors here -- love ends. “Smart” (surviving) cultures leave some room for variation because, here’s the ugly truth: the physical environment is always changing. The premises on which food, shelter and other predictabilities are based will not stay the same. Every time they begin to vary, individuals will freak, form groups, try to preserve the status quo by killing others so they can claim their resources and territory. The ethic will shift from “protection of the minorities” (compassion aside, because they might carry the qualities that fit tomorrow) to “winner take all.” This is why poverty makes people so unreasonable. They will not survive and their children will not survive until they take action, culture or no culture. (So far the trump card of the status quo is drugs, both the mental health kind and the street kind.)
Assuming all is well and calm and there is enough for everyone, the gestating fetus learns that the status quo is warm chemical soup full of nutrients with a heartbeat for a drum. Gradually fetuses find their own heartbeat rhythm. Then the shock of birth and the transfer to arms and nipples. The infant unfolds, partly according to the physical environment and partly according to its inner gene plan and partly according to the awakening emotions of human interaction. Not the mother but the primary care-giver, as they say. Your lover is always, from then on, your primary care-giver. Emotionally anyway. This is your first evoker of up-welling.
(to be continued)