Here and There

I wrote this E-mail recently, and I thought it sums my thoughts about polyamory up nicely:

"I'm learning a lot more about human nature, and how our monogamous society probably isn't actually our true nature at all, in fact, it's the opposite, but socialization is a very powerful thing, and we have all grown up being used to monogamy as the standard. But it seems like so few monogamous relationships are working these days, especially with our generation, so I think there's something to be said for that. And feelings of jealousy and entitlement and that kind of thing which may be our human 'nature' just have to be acknowledged, and talked about, and there has to be a lot of communication. Each person involved has to be honest with themselves and honest with each other. If not, THEN it's cheating ;) Relationships are hard no matter what form they take, and polyamory adds a whole new dimension to it, but I have seen it work. Also, it depends on how you define it 'working.' It could mean that someone is with someone else for the rest of their lives. If could mean that people are together for a time, maybe a long time, maybe not, but they learned a lot and had a really good experience together and got something out of it...That could also be seen as 'working.' So, it's a perspective thing really. It takes time, and practice, I'm learning. :) "

Wow, I feel so mature!!! =D

So, "Sex at Dawn." I just finished a part where they talk about how in many forager societies that exist today, they have found that the men all take care of the children, even the ones that are not "theirs." But, it is also ambiguous as to who the father is biologically, because there are no monogamous relationships. So the whole community takes care of the children as if they were all their own. I think that sounds wonderful. I think about how different I would be if I had grown up in a society like that, with lots of loving people taking care of me and my siblings and friends and cousins, etc. My views on sex would be totally different, I would probably be a happier, more secure person (though, spit me out into the society we have now, and that might have gotten really confusing, but let's assume the whole society is like this in my little scenario here). Actually, they found that children who grew up in societies like that are happy and have no issues with depression, at least in the ways we do in our society. (I'm sure there are times when they're sad, but it's a different kind of cycle than we have in our divided, individualized society.)

It's so fascinating.

I always thought it would be cool to live in a commune. Add a scenario like this, and it might be awesome. Though you'd probably be seen as crazy polygamists or something by everyone else if they knew what was going on. I happen to care about my reputation since I'm trying to have a career and whatnot, I must say.

(Though, I suppose if you live on a commune where everyone does everything together and supports each other through growing food and every other aspect of life, maybe you wouldn't need to have a "career" in the "traditional" sense. And I think most communes these days consist of people who have monogamous relationships, while doing everything else together. I say most. Probably not all.)

Since I have come to a big city with no family close by, I have started to realize just how separate we all are in this society. I mean, I knew it before, and I've lived briefly in big cities and visited them a lot. And I grew up mostly in the mountains in a tiny town, with neighbours who were visible from our house, but not close at all, not like in city neighbourhoods. So I have grown up rather separate from everyone else in society. In high school, I went to a very small school, which was a real community, except we didn't live together. But I saw these people every day, and the collaboration that I experienced there was really amazing and uplifting when I think back.

People needs communities. Dr. Andrew Weil says that one of the best cures of depression is not actually to curl up on your couch and feel sad (though, you should be in touch with your emotions and do that, too, just not on a regular basis), but to go spend time with others in social situations. It's the closest we're going to get in our society to having a community, unless we join a commune or leave the society completely to live with aboriginals in South America or Africa...

There are times when I like being alone, cuddling with my cats. But having a community is very important to me, and I have a few of them, here and back home. It's so important. I hope we can all find communities where we are accepted for who we are and supported in various ways.


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