Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Excerpt from my book, THE DESIRE.
“Look at that teenage couple,” she pointed towards the right side of the pine forest. “They must be in their late teens. Look at that boy holding the girl tightly, trying to close his lips on her. Look at that young married couple,” she pointed in another direction. “They must be on their honeymoon trip. They look so happy. And look at that old man, sitting near the statue. I have noticed that he has been sitting alone for the past half an hour. A question has come to my mind and I’m thinking about this, while you were busy with your camera.”
“And the question is?” Rohan put his arm around her.
“That what a man needs, a woman has and what a woman requires, a man has. At the end, it’s all about sex, right? And because their union is essential for this; to reproduce, to ensure the continuity of humanity that they have to endure so much of pain to impress the other sex, just to mate.”
Rohan gave a blank smile, trying to adjust his sunglasses.
“What made you think that at the end, every relationship is all about sex and reproduction?” He asked.
“Because that is the reason why a man has to endure the tantrums a woman throws and a woman has to live with the immaturities of a man. Without the other, one is so helpless. Otherwise both men and women were happy with their dreams, sports and gossips. But because god wanted us – the man and the woman to be together – he took away the most important thing, without which we are incomplete,” she replied.
“But isn’t it beautiful, the flirting to get attention of the other sex, the fight over petty issues, the romance, the feeling of being desired by someone, the satisfaction that you can make someone happy and then, the most beautiful creation humans are capable of – children?”
“Of course, these are beautiful feelings,” she said, “and I do feel the same, but you aren’t getting my point. Why did god make us intelligent when we still need the opposite sex to fulfil our obligation as a species? Why do we get satisfaction from another person?”
“Well, I understand your point, sweetheart.” He said. “In fact, I can relate something to your question with a speech given by the Greek writer Aristophanes, who delivered it at Plato’s Symposium. His speech was about love – the origin of love. He said that the original humans were not like the present form we know. The primeval humans were of three different forms: man-man, woman-woman and man-woman. They were conjoined – one head with two faces, looking out in opposite directions; they had four ears, four arms and same number of legs, with two sets of genitals and everything else in two sets. They were strong and could move very fast, both forward and backward. And in the arrogance of their power, they decided to attack the gods and tried to scale their abode – Mt. Olympus.
“When gods came to know about the foolish plan of humans, they decided not to annihilate them with thunderbolts because that would end the sacrifice and worship that humans offered them; instead, Zeus – the father of gods, planned to reduce their strength which was the source of their arrogance. And how was that possible? He decided to cut the original humans into two halves because then they shall walk on two legs, instead of four and shall reduce their speed and strength greatly. And confidence as well. And when humans were cut into two halves, Apollo – the god of healing, healed the two halves into distinct individuals that looked like us; thus creating the present day men and women.
“Though, this didn’t lead to any war but the half creatures that humans became began to look for their respective lost half. Whenever they found their actual other half, they embraced, trying to rejoin together. But, this was not possible. They lost themselves in intimacy, in each other’s arms, never letting the other half out of sight for a moment. They passed the remainder of their life together. And because, these humans in their despair of losing their other half again stopped doing anything, they began to starve to death. Their desire to become whole again until death was called love. Thus, love was born.
“Zeus, who was mindful of his desire to be worshiped, wanted to stop the death of humans. So he sought out a way to revive the desire for living among humans. He knew that in order to rekindle that desire, humans must be able to rejoin temporarily with their other half. Thus he asked Apollo for a solution. Apollo did this by turning the genitals to the front side of the body from the erstwhile downward position to facilitate copulation, a temporary bridge to connect with the lost half. Thus began sex between man and woman. Irrespective of what different societies think about sex, that was how humans regained their lost strength, glory and the desire to be great.
“Hence, it is not all about sex, as you have said, Tanya. Love is the desire to be together, without an iota of idea why, even that leads to death. And sex is the medium of love which enables us to unite with our lost half. Sex, in this sense, is regarded as a spiritual experience.”
“But are sex and spiritual experience same?” She asked.
“Well, spirituality is all about total surrender to wisdom; so is sex. And it is only through total surrender that a soul becomes free. Only a free soul can connect with the wisdom of the universe. But sex, when done with fear, guilt and doubts, instead of liberating, confines the lovers in a cage of uncertainty. For, the sex that liberates, there is no place for ego and without ego, we experience a different person growing inside us with a wise soul. Sexual energy is sacred in this sense. And that is why, higher species reproduce through sex, making the world a lively and vibrant planet in the universe. Sexual energy is divine because to give life is an act of divinity. Imagine a world without sexual energy, and the earth would be like any barren place of the cosmos. Without love, the cosmos would be a vast empty space. This explains why humans fear solitude. Our genes which have been passed onto us through DNA of our ancestors know the agony of frantic searches they had to undergo, to meet their other half. Maybe, that old uncle, sitting by the statue is feeling the same solitude. And without sex, love stops evolving. Maybe that young couple is trying to evolve. Perhaps, that honeymoon couple has already evolved their love.
“Love makes us complete and that is why a woman has what a man needs and a man has what a woman requires,” he said.
Excerpt from The Desire, an unpublished fiction written in 2013.