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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nonsexuality from a Cosmic Perspective

As homo sapiens, we have evolved a neo cortex, the outermost part of the brain, over millions of years to give us the ability to multitask, invent language and compartmentalise both sensory and abstract information. We no longer rely solely on the limbic system, as did previous species of the homo genus. The limbic system is that part of us that operates on emotion and feeling. Having no capacity for language, it is responsible for the adrenaline rush, fight or flight, etc. Though it is no longer the primary force behind our choices and actions, it is residual. For instance, sometimes you have a ton of data in front of you, and though you understand it (neo cortex at work), you may not feel quite right about it (limbic system at work).

Consequently, the fact that the limbic system is no longer the ultimate determining factor behind our choices and actions as a species makes it absurd for one to say that s/he cannot control the body with regard to sexuality and reproduction.

An asexual elaborates:

The key is to understand the true root origin of aggression and conflict in the five evolutionary drives for: sex/DNA reproduction, territory, resources, hierarchical status, and self/offspring/tribe survival.

Even the above root drives have a further/deeper singular drive, which is that all of mammalian life is a war between the sex-reproducing organism and the asexually reproducing virus. The purpose of sexual reproduction is to combine two different sets of genes and DNA which will make the offspring more resistant to viruses than either of its parents. The continuation of this brings ever-more virus resistant populations. However, the viruses themselves adapt to the resistance of their host, leading the mammalian hosts to have to continually sexually reproduce to create offspring resistant to the new and ever-evolving virus. This is why the drive for sex is so all-encompassing. It is mammals' only weapon in their war against the virus. All other drives spring from this original battle. Territory is needed to provide sufficient resources for the mammals to reproduce and for their more virus-resistant young to survive. Hierarchical status ensures that the best DNA donors are the first/only to reproduce, ensuring continued strength and virus-resistance of the species.
The drive for self/offspring/tribe survival is of course directly related to all the above.

But, why the war for resistance against viruses? Why the drive for survival at all? The DNA themselves have an inbuilt, intrinsic 'desire' to replicate themselves. If mammals becomes infected with a virus they do not have resistance to, the DNA will not be able to replicate. In the end, all our needs, drives, desires, fears, aggressions, all of it are a slave to our DNA's innate blind urge to replicate.

Perhaps if the world could understand from a scientific and evolutionary viewpoint why we are hardwired for aggression, dominance, and territoriality, we could begin to take the steps to override the tyranny of our DNA.

Asexuality is actually a triumph over our DNA's blind desire to replicate and the endless - and some would say, pointless - battle between virus vs. host. Having sex or trying to reproduce is just a manifestation of our slavery to our DNA and our continued pawndom in the virus vs. host battle. Anyone who wants to rant about asexuality being an unfavorable evolutionary trait ignores not only the overpopulation and insufficient resources of the current environment, but also ignores the fact that survival and continuation of the species is not necessary or implicitly good by nature. There is no need for species continuation. Our DNA continually try to replicate and so we are in an endless battle trying to outdo viruses to further the DNA's chance of continuing to replicate... ad nauseam. This virus/host battle is going to continue on into infinity unless there is a mass extinction of all sexually reproducing life on the planet. Your contribution or lack thereof towards this battle is inconsequential and unnecessary.

People tend to assume that what is not evolutionarily favorable is 'unnatural' and should die out. What they do not understand is that evolution is not god or the be-all-and-end-all: for millions of years evolution has been the slave of the virus-host war and the DNA's replication drive. In other words the only reason for evolution is to continue the virus/host battle, and even more than that, evolution is just a machine which the DNA use to further their ability to replicate. In this regard DNA actually function like a virus of sorts in the body of mammals (they drive the host to certain behavior in order to further the DNA's own survival and multiplication), except they are a much more insidious and intrinsic virus (because we arise from DNA, we are infested/infected to the core, down to every cell). Without DNA's replication drive and the virus/host war, there would be no need for adaptation/survival. So if something is counter to survival, so what? The drive for survival is a slave of DNA and virus/host. Think about it from a purely logical perspective - there is no reason why DNA needs to or should replicate. Whether there is life or not is irrelevant to the cosmos. And, especially if the multiverse theory is correct, or at least partially correct, to think that it matters a whit whether we continue life on this particular planet in this particular galaxy in this particular universe is illogical and arrogant. Life, on multiple planets in multiple galaxies and in multiple universes, has risen and fallen throughout time and will continue throughout time. It is not necessary. It is simply the inevitable consequence of energy and matter. And to think that one particular organism among all the universes - you - is somehow unnatural because you don't have the desire to replicate your DNA with another organism for the purpose of one-upping the viruses... it's absolutely absurd.

Unfortunately most - in fact virtually all - people who leave behind a religious world view turn to evolution and adaptation/survival as their god and their dictator/arbiter of natural vs unnatural, ethics, philosophy, etc, without understanding the drivesbehind evolution, sex, and survival. They can often fall into a Hitlerian method of thinking, believing that it is evolutionarily correct to rid the planet of those who do not have traits conducive to survival or to furtherance of the strength of the species. What they don't grasp is that survival itself is unnecessary and inconsequential, as is evolution.

The luck of the asexual is to be able to choose how to enjoy the accident of their existence, instead of spending it in slavery to the tyranny of DNA or giving themselves over as a soldier in the unwinnable and endless war between virus/host.

People aren't necessarily very receptive to learning about virus vs. host or to how evolution is a slave of DNA, because it turns everything they know on its head. Also they may be resistant to the idea that everything is 'pointless' or that there is such a think as ethical nihilism. Growing up in a religious society people -even secular ones- are raised to believe that there is a purpose for their life and for every action and every event in the world; that everything is part of an ordered greater whole, and that we are all striving towards some great end goal. People, even hardcore atheists, like to hold on to this idea very tightly; it gives them a sense of self-worth, and makes them feel like they 'matter'. We have all been raised that it is very important for us to find 'purpose' and that it is important that we 'matter'. They cannot accept the idea of the fact that all of life has no purpose and is inconsequential from a cosmic perspective. The mistake they make is assuming that meaning in our lives has to be given by something outside of ourselves, and that if we do not have some great cosmic purpose, then all is lost. This is because we've been taught that we are supposed to have cosmic purpose and meaning and that the human race is supposed to be striving towards some great cosmic or evolutionary goal. These people would do very well to read on the philosophy of Taoism - no striving, no goals, no purpose, just peace and enjoyment in every moment and in our wandering through our brief moment of existence. Why do we need a greater purpose to justify our pleasures, hobbies, etc? It does not have to be worth anything or have a point. We, by accident of our evolution, have the ability to experience, and so really, the only thing there is for us to do is to experience what we would like to and to take pleasure from the experiences we have. We don't need to have a family or get married or be successful or do anything out of some misguided sense of duty or obligation to religion or evolution. All we need to do is BE, in whatever way we find most enjoyable. If we find it enjoyable to be successful, etc, or it allows us access to other things we enjoy, then that is fine. In the end, we choose what matters to our life and what we want to do, and there is no great overarching purpose or point which we are bound to. We are free. And, just because the cosmos, viruses, and DNA have caused a purposeless and pointless evolution does not mean we have to decide everything is worthless and get depressed and kill ourselves - this is just another case of letting some outside force dictate to us. So our existence is pointless according to the cosmos... and? So? Since we are the ones experiencing our existence, we are the ones who determine how and why we want to live, irrespective of the indifference of the universes.

Another point people are probably getting hung up on is population control itself. So many people absolutely refuse to believe that the world is overpopulated or that we should have less people (if you want to go by a purely evolutionary/survivalist standpoint), because they are so ingrained to believe that every human life has 'worth' and 'purpose' and 'should be here'. They don't understand that nature has methods of keeping every population in control in order to achieve livable balance. This includes death, predators, disease, natural disasters, asexuality, etc. Without these things earth would not survive, because overpopulation of plants, animals, organisms, etc, would kill off every living thing. We've been so busy inventing cures for diseases and trying to cheat death that we've gone outside of nature's balance. Anyone with a remotely religious worldview abhors the idea that humans are in fact subject to the same laws of nature as the animals and that there is no such thing as the sacredness or sanctity of human life (we love to believe we are so very special and important. We have no more sacredness or sanctity than a bacteria.) And this view is so ingrained in even the non-religious that it's taboo to mention population control. Yet many forward thinking scientists, researchers, philosophers, and others have embraced this as a part of nature. However, from the DNA/virus vs. host perspective we have to remember that neither evolution nor survival are 'necessary', so from that standpoint neither is population control. But, we then run into another perspective - which is that perhaps things do not need to be necessary, purposeful, or have a point and that that is the wrong way to view and judge things. In the end it's up to each person to decide whether they favor human or global survival or not.


"Sex is a drug. A rushing, crescendoing, dizzying, psychedelic, sacred high. Bodily ecstacy. (At least so far as I've heard.) Marcus Aurelius said it like this: "A sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer."

I've heard it called a warm bowl of mashed potatoes, a rollercoaster, a chocolate fountain you never want to see go dry. The orgasm has been compared to holy communion, rebirth, being in the middle of a supernova. It sounds like the most exhilarating, electrifying, exquisite experience ever conceived by Nature.

Heroin, too. In the film, Things We Lost In The Fire, Audrey (Halle Berry) asks addict Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), "What's heroin like?", and he replies, "Do you hear that expression, being kissed by God?". It's been said the heroin rush is orgasmic, that sounds take on an angelic quality. And, as the rush fades, the high envelopes you, like being wrapped in a warm blanket. Like laying in the most perfect field, in the most perfect weather. Like being carried in the creator's hand to the pearly gates of heaven.

I don't know what I'm missing, people would tell me. Sex is the ultimate life experience, to which there is no equal. It's something I have to do before I die - without it life is a barren wasteland. How can I say I don't want it, if I haven't tried it?

I haven't tried heroin either, and yet I hear that the first ten seconds after the needle are ten times better than the best orgasm you've ever had in your life.

And I'm okay, and content, and completely satisfied with life, without having ever experienced heroin's moments of sheer glory. I find ecstacy and euphoria in so many other things - in morning birdsongs, in thunderstorms and the smell of fresh muffins in the oven and the prose of Ray Bradbury.

I could let a penis be inserted in my body, like a syringe in a vein, to experience the drug of intercourse's pleasure.

But, I'm attracted neither to the insertion of needles or penises, and slowly licking hazelnut ice cream from an italian gelato cafe comes as close to an orgasm as I could ever wish for."

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