All living things on earth are born and die in a fashion. During their life, no matter how brief, a thrusting, yearning desire to live on becomes manifest through cell division or reproduction, sexual or otherwise. The scientific view of this is a kind of genetic manifest destiny…survival of the fittest…a fight for winning traits, a fight for a recipe, a genetic recipe of a living being, adapted and changing to the world in which it lives. The biological imperative is that we “live on” through our genes, and that we devote our lives to ensuring not just that we find the right genetic partner, but also the right partner to ensure the ongoing success of that offspring, of that genetic blueprint. [Written about here before in terms of partner selection and in terms of sexual desire here].
But the self has nothing to do with that. And yet, it is the self which assures a successful outcome. When we think of modern humanity, a good deal of energy is expended on self-actualisation, on finding our personal bliss, and “self-help” is and has been, one of the hottest categories in book shops world-wide. And why? Is it because fulfilment of the biological imperative is inherently unfulfilling? Of course, in a mechanistic sort of way, and for most people who are reasonably well-off, the trope of a comfortable home, food on the table, a steady job, and a vanilla life are more than enough to satisfy a frictionless, or nearly so, existence…one where no level or degree of introspection is really required, and the fulfilment of the biological imperative is a natural by-product of a happy suburban life. There have been some wonderful books and movies made about the seething underbelly of the supposed suburban ideal, and lord knows “key parties” and swapping surely form a part of this! And I would tend to agree that we all put a brave/smooth face on things and attempt to convey calm and stillness, and that this is part of living in polite society.
And I have believed for most of my rational, educated, post-teen life that the biological imperative was and is the meaning of life. But I was wrong.
The meaning of life is love.
The kind of love I mean is not possessive love, or love with an agenda. I mean a kind of love that is an expression of Bliss.
I know that many people say they believe in God, and that there are many fervent practitioners via organised religion. I am most familiar with the Judeo-Christian tradition, though I suspect that these thoughts apply to other systems of belief. People who profess Faith are at times mistaking the trappings of religion, its ceremony, the sense of community, song, with its substance, a sense of Bliss when before the Divine. While the institutions of religion do not always act in ways that are consistent with divinity, and are not themselves without sin, the Ritual that they bring can be both healing and act as a gateway to discovery of the Divine.
What is the Divine?
The Divine is love. God is love. Love is a feeling. And it resides in all of us. And we feel the presence of God when we feel love. The Divine is manifest within us. But it takes work to find it, to feel it, to recognise it for what it is, and to embrace it. It is possible that most people go through life and never discover this. Many who look for it never discover it. Perhaps they never realise that it lies inside of them, that they are made of it.
We were not put here to reproduce, to carry forward our genes. That is selfish. In other words, it considers the foolish notion that any individual matters beyond a purely selfish definition of importance. Going back to genetics and looking at your family tree, once you have gone back a few generations, you are just as likely to be as related to a random stranger as you are to a third cousin—one in a million. And yet, the entire family history industry is built on this idea that our family tree is “family”. And the concept of family carries a sense of obligation and a spirit of generosity which is often unjustified. In other words, “genetic family” is pretty meaningless…it is us as a species where community takes shape. And in truth, it is with all living things where community lives. We are all connected to one another, to the animals, to the plants, and recognising that, is the first step towards finding God.
A quick aside. Your genetic pedigree is not the same as your family tree pedigree, because once you go back more than 6 generations, there can be entire direct ancestors who have given you no genetic material.
We do not have DNA from all of our ancestors. So much for the biological imperative. The average Brit, for instance, will have 190,000 6th cousins. They will share DNA with less than half of them. And yet, everyone on earth is a potential cousin via pedigree collapse (which happens when someone more related marries back into the “family”). Intriguingly, one in every random 300 strangers you pass is likely to be a cousin of some kind.
“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” We all know the expression, but it isn’t quite true. And this is fascinating. Our close friends are likely to be more related to us than random strangers. Statistically, our close friends are on average likely to be as genetically close as fourth cousins.
This strikes me as a kind of statistical proof that love is more powerful than genetics. We find our friends, we are pulled back to one another, by forces we do not and cannot understand. We are drawn to each other because of love. And this happens over time, over generations, across families and social structures, because love lingers and it shapes destiny.
Many cultures believe in reincarnation, and many religions have incorporated the concept into their teachings. Buddhism, the world’s 4th largest religion, springs to mind, but it is a common thread in many of the Asian religions, particularly those from the Indian sub-continent: Hinduism (world’s 3rd largest), Sikhism, Jainism, but also Taoism. While the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) believe in the afterlife as a destination, they also incorporate common beliefs:
- That the body is a vessel for the soul
- That how we live on earth determines our afterlife or (what we are reincarnated as)
I don’t want to dwell on the specifics of religious doctrine, their specific teachings, customs, whether any is more right than any other, but simply to note that these two core beliefs are common to all humanity (excepting of course the 7% of us who are atheists). Belief is not proof, but given the infinite variability of culture and circumstance to personal belief systems, it is rather remarkable that over 90% of the people in the world, no matter who they are, or where they are from, and no matter how they got to this belief, share those two basic precepts.
The genetic lottery, the biological imperative, well, that is simply a fight between vessels. Some people drive a Cadillac and others drive a Ford. It is the essence of nature that this process takes places as a means to aid in adaptation to the environment, to assure the continuity of life, of the appropriateness of the vessel to its time, place, and circumstance. As such, it is beneath us. We are not here to polish our cars. The vessel we inhabit is simply a vehicle. Our life force is our soul. When we love, it is our soul that is speaking, and it is speaking to the soul of another. The meaning of life is to find those connections and to make them, and to feel love in its purest sense.
Becoming aware of these things is the essence of Consciousness. Feeling the souls around you is finding consciousness. Recognising them, connecting to them, feeling them, loving them, experiencing them, relishing them, revelling in the connectedness, that is the essence of humanity, and it is the purpose of life. Being aware that this is why we are here is being conscious. We are here to connect to other souls, and to express our love for them. And how well we do that, how deeply, is a direct correlate to the joy we find in life. That is what Bliss is.
My journey to self-consciousness has only just begun. I am no guru, nor ever will be. But I do love, have always loved, and am learning to love in entirely new ways. I have written about the connections between BDSM, D/s and Faith, and I ask that you not make a judgement about kink as a pathway to enlightenment just as I would not make judgements about the practices of any religious group.
Mistress taught me a word, Compersion, which comes from the polyamory circles. Compersion is meant to be the opposite of jealousy. It is the “wholehearted participation in the happiness of others. It is the joy we feel for somebody else, even when that positive experience does not involve or benefit us directly.” I first discovered the concept last year when I began reading of the adventures of a particular slave and the Domme who owns him, and he remarked on the joy he had in her financial success and the total lack of jealousy he felt towards her work. And it made me think at the time of my relationship history, and how I had looked with my GFs over time for reassurance, and how keenly I felt pain when I was not validated, especially in public. Thankfully I outgrew that. But meeting a dominatrix has been a totally different experience of this.
In my very early experiences with her, I began to identify feelings of love in me that I described as feelings of ecstasy. Those feelings have only intensified over time, and begun to take shape in the ways we interact with one another. And to think we have only just started, and the feelings not only being with her, but contemplating her and how she makes me feel fills me with so much energy and life force it is like being high. People love to label things and put things in boxes, and one of those is sub frenzy, which several people online and offline have suggested I am experiencing. I don’t really mind, and don’t fear or embrace labels [as a non-binary why would I after a lifetime of shaking them off].
I mention these things for two reasons in the context of this post. First, from the moment I met her, I have been overwhelmed by a desire to contribute to her happiness, success and joy, and have not for a moment felt the slightest pang of jealousy, even when something arose that impinged on our interaction. I feel nothing but joy that she is so profoundly impactful in the lives of so many people—and that goes for the kink world and for the vanilla world.
Second, by accepting and channelling my love, and by teaching me how to cultivate it, and to wrestle with it, she is teaching me where to find bliss. It is inside of me. My submission is simply my search for Bliss. True submission is the sublimation of self. True love is the sublimation of self. Faith is the sublimation of self. Finding God is the sublimation of self. By and through loving her and expressing my submission to her, and with her leading me into deeper and deeper (less and less ego) submission, I am finding little by little how to live and love without language. And while it is her that I serve, whom I submit to, that is only superficially true. Finding my soul’s love for her soul, is finding Bliss, is finding the essence of Being, to be in love and capable of love, and ultimately that takes me to one place, submission is the ultimate act of self-love. To let go is to touch the Divine.
On a practical day-to-day level, the transformative power of submission is absolute, even if I am only at its first stages. I learn more and more to live with intent. I learn to live in an increasingly selfless way, in all aspects of my life. I learn to express joy and love in so many new, rich and different ways…and all of these things enrich my life.
The purpose of my slavery is, has, and will be to experience God. To be able to truly see myself and say, “I love me, and I’m proud of me. I love my uniqueness. God is manifest within me.” And if it takes a whip or some other means to replace the words and the whirligig of my mind with pure animal feeling, pure spiritual connection between two people, then yes, please.
Could anybody ask for more?