This is a follow up to the previous article as I felt it needed further clarification. I wanted to begin this article with the expression “a struggle for existence” used in different ways and taking rather aggressive overtones which enflame a confrontational attitude towards the other. The phrase at its face value seems to be a legitimate argument for self-preservation. This attitude is becoming essential in the way groups and individuals deal with the other. At this point we need to ask ourselves about the affinities between the principle of struggle for existence and the principle of domination.
Let us first begin with a quick look at our biological system to determine its major aims. The prevalence and continuous existence of the system is based on the principle of responding to and catering for basic biological needs such as food, water and sex. There is no doubt that such necessities in their essence all come down to this principle of satisfying them but at a later stage they become more selective and more sophisticated in their quest for heightened affects to achieve more enjoyment beyond the basic aim of sustenance and survival. This stage however requires a developed degree of consciousness expressed by individuals.
This is why it is possible to say that the struggle for survival is but a satisfaction of basic needs in order to reach the highest level of pleasure and enjoyment. But the principle of domination managed to transform pleasure into a continuous struggle between groups and individuals. More than that, it managed to enflame an inner struggle between the individual self and the accepted values in the external environment. The individual is then lost in the labyrinths of religions and morality. Initially, he/ she subjects his/her own instincts to the most advanced forms of torture to later extend this self-censure to others. This is best observed in the various forms of restrictions placed on sexual drives which will then become more generalized as a repression of the very idea of pleasure. According to Wilhelm Reich, sexual drive is not something looking for pleasure, but it is its very engine.
Ferenczi has found that the diminishing of the satisfaction of certain sexual drives is achieved under a given number of pressures exercised on individuals by their cultural environment and incites them to give up on pleasure in the name of self-preservation (here understood as the conservation of sexual energy). We must not forget, to use Reich’s phrase that climaxing during intercourse is all about the ability of the eruption of that hidden biological energy without any moral restriction or restraint. Orgasm is about the emptying of all contents manifested in sexual arousal. That’s why Reich believed that the harmonious relation with the partner helps both parties to achieve their pleasure. The ego must not be involved in a conflicting relationship with reality or seek to limit itself to its constraints and demands while disregarding sexual drives. Masculine ejaculation or partial pleasure in female sexuality when not in accord with their respective sexual drives as a result of continuous arousal does not necessarily mean that they will get to a point where sexual energy is emptied completely, they will not reach the point of orgasmic satisfaction which is crucial to the development of a healthy existence at a psychological and physiological level.
Let us go back to the influence of religions on sexual energy through the ways in which they seek to organize and structure this energy in a collective unconscious way in each individual. It prevents them from reaching psychological maturity, and from acquiring a responsible sexual experience so that they learn how to get their pleasure in a satisfactory way. It is only then that individuals can regulate sexual relations in a responsible and individual ways. Such cultures built on the model of a God ruling over slaves can only wear the same mantle of its god and reflect through its moral codes that same image of an impotent being who knows nothing of pleasure and enjoyment.
I come back to the results of repressing individuals. It makes them lapse into delusions and fantasies as a mechanism of compensation for unrealized pleasure. According to some psychoanalytic schools, such acts of repression cause individuals to lapse into an infantile stage with the most characteristic mental features of a human’s infancy. Sexuality as understood by men with a macho cultural background very common in all cultures whose laws and principles are grounded in religious teachings; is always focused on the image of invading and penetrating the female body. This very image is in turn based on an unconscious rapist mentality. In psychoanalysis this expresses men’s desire to prove a lacking masculinity caused by their psychological regression to early infancy. Such regressions rekindle in them the desire to overcome the trauma of castration and the old feeling of a lacking masculinity in the presence of the paternal prohibition. The repression of these sexual energies finds the wrong outlet in perverse practices, it also accounts for infantile regression and a return to infantile fantasies and irrational imaginations.
Let us come back to the principle of domination which, as explained above, is not in line with the struggle for existence, because the sustenance of the biological system happens when it responds to and satisfies its needs. Domination is there only to replace individual pleasure and to transform it into an energy that benefits the group at the expanse of individual interest.
Delgado establishes a relation between aggression and the feeling of pain experienced by subjected individuals through a mechanism of reward and promotions. Religions are based on the same principle of punishment and reward. It promises a heaven which tickles the fantasies of individuals. It promises them in another life what it took away from them on earth. This immaterial and phony pleasure derails individual pleasure from the path it should take and prevents it from the imperative of letting sexual energy out in order to reach enjoyment. It replaces it with an immaterial pleasure and this causes severe biological disturbances in the functions of sexual organs.
Finally, I can only add that the principle of a god who controls instincts and drives is in disagreement with our endeavor to achieve a better awareness which will allow us to have enough sexual intercourse based on mutual desire in order to achieve an intense orgasm and to give us a healthy biological system. This can be possible only when our instincts are in agreement with our convictions. A religious person who practices abstinence and self-restraint knows nothing of enjoyment because he is constantly under the unconscious impression that he is committing a sinful act forbidden by the gods.
The aim then is not to condone the unrestrained practice of sex, but the idea here is to reach a point where we can reconcile our thoughts with our instincts and drives, this is how we can push the exercise of thought forward and get out of the maze of sterile and constant arousal. Perhaps one day we can reach the most advanced level of harmony with nature so that we can reach out to all that surrounds us, sail in its wide extent, and prevail over all our residual fears, travel towards the no-place, the a-temporal, and the no-thing where our separate and divided beings reach a level of absolute freedom.