Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To Hades With the Science of Sex!

Oh, you do it too, so don't act so demure. Tell me, if you are flipping through the channels and you see a show with "sex" in the title, you don't stop at least to see what it is. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

Well, I stop. Sue me. The problem is, I only usually wind up watching for a minute or two. Usually, these shows are about the science of sexuality. (If they were not, I suppose they wouldn't be allowed.)  I couldn't be less interested in anything in the world.

So, here's what I see, last night, when The Discovery Channel pops on: Two professors in lab coats are watching a monitor, standing in the room three feet from a couple (in strategically-opened hospital gowns) who are...occupied in the act. The couple are engaging in conversation with these professors, as they...go. The camera is carefully handled to avoid showing the naughty bits. (Naughty bits that are apparently okay to show on an ultrasound machine, in full motion. [Backward ethics?])

The two doctors (lab coats and all) are engaged in an intense conversation about the stretching of this and the contracting of that and the location of this and the undulating of that and the other. They are transfixed by an internal view of the goings on. They tap on iPads and scribble down notes, falling to more intense scribblings when the girl informs them that things are going, uh, well...

I have to tell you, there are a list of things I want to accrue very little scientific information about. Included on this list are: love, creativity, inspiration, and sexuality.

Maybe it is because I am one of the world's few Catholic Taoists. I believe in succumbing to a certain flow with things. I don't want to demean anyone's scientific interests. For me, though, I just don't want to know the details of certain processes. I don't want to know the sequence in which my synapses fire when I write a song. I'm not interested in the chemistry of love and I certainly don't want to think of something as profound as sex in terms of moving parts and minute functions.

Here we are again at the break between the scientific and the spiritual. I have explored this idea a number of times, but, right now, I feel a little like a truly inclusive and enlightening idea is hovering over me -- like I'm standing in the shadow of a blimp that hovers above my head, but I can't, for some reason, manage to look up to see it in its entirety.

A few posts ago, I referenced the idea that science is becoming the new religion because it turns us into the gods (and, these days, we are all about us): we make the answers; solve the mysteries. As a result, we pull ourselves out of the old ways of thinking; of putting ourselves into the hands of something greater; of lying back to float down The River of What Is.

I've tried to write about this without being embarrassing, and I will attempt to keep to that. But, I have to tell you: there are certain things we should just feel -- things we should see as "magic," even if there might be a (for lack of a less suggestive term) nuts-and-bolts oriented explanation for them.

That moment in music that makes me feel dizzy and "high"? Magic. I don't want to hear otherwise. In fact, I am not convinced a scientific explanation makes it less magical; it's just that I don't want to know the science of it any more than I want to learn a beautiful woman's process for putting on makeup. It's a distraction from the profundity of beauty, whether natural or humanly-assisted.

Wordsworth once said this:

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man…
Than all the sages can.

Impulse can teach us things thought cannot. There is understanding and there is knowing. We know things about our partner, though the magic of sexuality, that neither lab reports nor mere words can express -- more important things than function and form.

Anyway, I watched the Phillies game, instead.

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