Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Sex As Metaphysical"

Sex, in Ayn Rand's identification, is "a celebration of [one]self and of existence"; it is a celebration of one's power to gain values and of the world in which one gains them. Sex, therefore, is a form of feeling happiness, but from a special perspective. Sex is the rapture of experiencing emotionally two interconnected achievements: self-esteem and the benevolent-universe conviction.

Sexual feeling is a sum; it presupposes all of a rational man's moral values and his love for them, including his love for the partner who embodies them. The essential meaning of such a feeling is not social, but metaphysical; it pertains not to any single value or love, but to the profound concern involved in all value pursuit: the relationship between a man and reality. Sex is a unique form of answering the supreme question of a volitional being: can I live? The man of self-esteem, using cognitive, conceptual terms, concludes in his own mind that the answer is yes. When he makes love, he knows that yes without words, as a passion coursing through his body.

Sex is a physical capacity in the service of a spiritual need. It reflects not man's body alone nor his mind alone, but their integration. As in all such cases, the mind is the ruling factor.

Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 344.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sex And Morality

Note how dreadful the general attitude on sex is: since all [the accepted] philosophies damn man, his life, and the earth—men's attitude on sex is a degrading, ugly, corrupting evil, in all the many variations. And this is another proof that sex is the expression of one's entire philosophy and attitude toward life. Since most people's philosophy is a hodgepodge of contradictory bits, so is their attitude on sex. But man cannot exist without a basic philosophy, from which all his actions, emotions and desires will come.

The cheap little schools of "free love" attempt to glorify sex on a silly sort of materialistic basis—simply glorifying physical joy, considering themselves "vital as animals." They are unable to discover a moral, spiritual premise to justify sex—so they try to enjoy it without any morality, and, of course, it doesn't work, it doesn't bring them any sort of spiritual happiness, and not even much satisfaction.

This is the same mistake as that of the materialists who—in protest against mystical morality—declare that existence on earth has nothing to do with and requires no morality. This attitude merely drives people back to church, to mystical morality—and people drag themselves back to it regretfully, reluctantly, knowing that it is unsatisfactory, that it cannot work—but knowing also that they cannot exist without some form of morality, some code of values. This is another example of the vicious cutting of man in two—and setting his spirit against his body

Ayn Rand, The Journals of Ayn Rand, p. 609 - 610.