The contribution of Polyamory to a happy future

Speech at the Mirapuri World Peace Festival 2010, 10.7.2010

If we want to dive into a future that is happy on the long run we have to bring about a total change of social, political, financial, emotional and spiritual climate. This is no small feat to be accomplished and will in time profoundly change our way of life. It will gradually result in the birth of a new culture that is necessarily based on love, trust and collaboration. It will be a reshaping of things and processes and of attitudes. In the course of this work we have to review everything in life and assess its status. Some things will belong to the past and should be placed there to rest in peace. Other things will be found wanting but capable of change, while only few, if any, are already headed towards the future. The future is full of as yet unrealized possibilities, and only if the future lives up to its possibilities will it be a happy future.
One of those many things to be reviewed is the way people interact. This happens on a great number of levels. Interaction takes place whenever two or more people meet, be it physically, on the phone or in the internet. And even if we read a poem of a long dead rhymester an interaction occurs. Interaction is involved in war and in peace as well as in love and in hate. What makes interaction a crucial art in the history of mankind and on our way towards the future is its quality.
On a certain level it can be said, that wars for instance are caused by greed or by the wish for domination and power. But on closer inspection we can see, that the roots of war run deeper. They have their hold in the way we see other people. If they mean nothing to us, or if we are indifferent to them, disgusted by them or if we hate them, war and strife are always waiting to raise their ugly heads. If on the other hand we love and respect our fellow men there is no place for these distortions of true humanity.
Of course, this isn’t war’s deepest root. That would be the lack of contact with one’s soul, because for the soul unity and love is a natural state. An active or prevalent soul would steer the conscious being towards towards love, acceptance and collaboration. So if we all could find our souls the interaction of men would be loving and considerate and wars would be an impossibility.
But this doesn’t mean that we have to disregard everything and only need to concentrate on the uncovering of the soul, though in essence this is right. The process of this unveiling doesn’t run of itself. There is always a constant interaction of all planes of existence, and while a growing soul-personality has its effects on the relationships and interaction of mankind, the opposite also is true. If we meet our fellow men and women with goodwill, compassion and love and shrink back from all dividing emotions we are preparing a fertile soil for the emergence of the soul and for a growing unity of mankind.
Yet brotherhood, unity and love cannot be enforced by decrees and all attempts to do so, like for instance in communism, have failed. These basic sentiments are rather rooted in the individual interaction. If something is to be changed, the foundation has to be changed or rather modernized.
The smallest and most common unit is that of a man and a woman which grows into a family by the birth of children. By the example of their parents and on the basis of atavisms, inherited by our animal ancestors, the children learn how the world works and how all kinds of interaction, like relationships, work. They adapt the forms and often the attitude and unconsciously pass them on to their own children. This has gone on since times immemorable with slight variations here and there due to more or less impelling circumstances of life. Such a variation would be polygamy in martial peoples, where many men are killed in wars to secure the welfare of the widows or in societies with distinct hierarchies for the pleasure of the wealthy and mighty. And polyandry usually exists where life is hard and the ressources of nature are few, so that the population doesn’t increase beyond the capacities of the region. And only in the last few centuries dynastic marriages and marriages of convenience have given way to romance. So there wasn’t much of an evolution of human relationships during a great number of millenia.
The result is a mindset that is based on individual and family or at the most clan egoism. It is always either me or my partner, me and my partner or the clan, the clan or the nation, the nation or humanity. There is always this dualism, that is rooted, though not exclusively, in the way human relationships have functioned. With the high degree of egoism and distrust prevalent in earlier and later societies in spite of religious efforts this was of course inevitable, because it guaranteed some social and emotional security. But on the other hand this need of security reinforced the continuance of old ways and mindsets.
This practice of many milllenia built that which is known as a formation. This means, it is accepted without further discussion as a kind of ground rule, as part of the set of unchangeables of human existence.
But meanwhile some things have changed and the general process of evolution has accelerated and is not about to stop in front of human relationships. It is up to ourselves whether we stick to the old ways or explore the new possiblities that open up before us. The increased social security and equal rights are weakening the traditional bond of marriage. And a greater mobility and more possibilities of communication along with increased knowledge and self-consiousness have lead to a richer circle of friendships and to less interdependence between partners and families. This can and will lead to a greater egoism and non-commitment in a number of individuals, but also opens the door to get rid of old formations and to explore new possibilities beyond egoism, dependence and compulsion. This is the opportunity to overcome the restriction of dualism, this either or, with which we always felt uncomfortable.
By this set of formations and the resulting social rules we feel compelled, even on a subconscious level, to select one single mate, one person, to whom we may give all our unlimited love and with whom only we can quench our desires. This attitude towards our loved one is reserved for her or him exclusively. If we happen to discover in us the same feelings towards another we are facing a dilemma. Society and most often the already existing partner expect us to turn away from those unbidden feelings and remain faithful to our already existing partner. If we cannot reject these feelings of love we have to give them another name like platonic love or friendship, which is the name we already use for our feelings towards members of our own sex as well as for emotions that run less deep.
And if we find ourselves unable to cope with our feelings according to the rules, we are grudgingly allowed to part with are first partner and bind ourselves to the new one. And despite their reluctance to part with old loves, there are many people who continuously find new loves and what thus results is called serial monogamy or monoandry. It is a way to love many people halfway within the boundaries of society. But it isn’t a satisfying solution for neither part of the relationship.
And the problem isn’t only society but the unsuspecting partner as well, who most often has made society’s expectations his of her own, at least until he or she gets into the same predicament. All of a sudden one is loving not one but two or more persons and has to choose one of them. One may have a heart of compassion, another the heart of a warrior or a protector, one has humour, the other intensity… And every single one makes our hearts yearn for union and all-embracing love. And thus we find it unjust to be forced to make an either-or-decision when the obvious and natural solution of our heart is “as well as”.
And there already exists a concept for this solution – it is called Polyamory, the many-love. It means that love may be given and taken freely where and whenever it may spring forth and blossom into an all-embracing wave of love. Polyamory distinguishes itself from Polygyny or Polyandry in that there usually is no alpha-man of alpha-woman who dominates his or her partners who are always of the opposite sex. In Polyamory there is no exclusiveness, as everyone is free to form new partnerships which may vary greatly in their nature, their depth, their expression and their commitment.
So far Polyamory has no great history and is just starting its first steps like a little child, but it will grow in momentum as more and more people realize that a marriage or similar form of relationship is not the only way to follow one’s heart and discover that there already is a word and a drawer for their secret yearnings, that there is no need to sacrifice a partner, provided he or she is willing, for the next one. So instead of experiencing a mixture of love and sorrow they can add more love to an already happy life.
The concept of polyamory is still at the beginning of its journey, but it has the potential to lead us into a happy future. The first step on this journey is to free ourselves from the accumulated burdens of a long dead past and from the atavisms of our upbringing. We will have to deal with feelings of loss, of jealousy, of claim of ownership, of rejection, of fear, of defiance, of hurt, of betrayal, of lack of appreciation… but once we overcome these obstacles in ourselves and in our partners we can experience a greater love, happiness, freedom, wideness, closeness, solidarity, oneness and peace.
And while learning to overcome the usual obstacles we will begin slowly, according to our abilities, our possibilities and our growth of consciousness to explore the continuum of polyamory. Most of present-day polyamourous relationships are formed by a man with two women or a woman with two men. And most of them do not live together as a threesome, because they still feel uncomfortable with this new, strange and unprecedented and yet appealing concept. Foursomes are already fewer in numbers and fivesomes exist only rarely.
But as these relationships are not closed ones, the individual members may have additional relationships and thus may be part of several poly-partnerships. In this way a loose network is forming and the first delicate notion of a kind of community may make itself felt. When such networks are consciously perceived and acknowledged they grow in strength and further the solidarity with members who are not directly related with one another.
In a next step this web will be strengthend partially by a spatial condensation, that means, that more than only two or three mebers of the web live together and generate a new intensity of nearness. These resulting knots resemble early neurons of the human brain. But to add a new depth to the process, to enhance the maturation of a new kind of brain, like a global virtual brain, an expansion of the concept of Polyamory is necessary that will give to the already not so loose network and especially the familiy-neuron-knots a greater strength, more links and a higher degree of integration.
Up to this stage the majority of relationships is presumably of a heterosexual nature. With the formation of greater units a lot of people of the same sex will be living together. The ensuing relationships among them will probably be of a cordial and collaborative nature or even close friendships as their connection with each other is mostly based on the partner of the other sex or through a chain of relationships. But for the evolving of a true Poly-Family, a fully functional neuron of the global virtual brain mere acceptance of the other family members of the same sex is not enough, otherwise the poly-community will split into a male and a female side. It is certainly not mandatory, that all people of the same sex must form a relationship with each other, which is consumed sexually, but for a greater degree of integration ALL members of a poly-family should strive to love most or better yet all of those who are not immediate partners, regardless of their gender. With this step some reservations and obstructions will give way and a multitude of new links will be established and the poly-community will become strong and whole, because they will grow closer together and form a strong unity, a real entity.
Limitations then will drop and we will become truly free. The complex poly-family-neurons will establish and strengthen numerous links all over the world and a virtual global brain will ensue. Our emotions will no longer be restricted and we will feel wide and free and conneted to the whole world. This step will help greatly on the way to a global consiousness.
With the growth and establishment of polyamory a part of the basic mind-set of man will probably be altered. So far this mind-set was dominated by egoism and dualism. But when polyamory begins to blossom and becomes a recognized value of human life, the grip of these old impulsions loses power and is replaced by a new force in life. Polyamory means that we relate to others in a new and much more open way than the usual egoism allows. This new interconnected relationship means that we relate quite naturally to a great number of people instead of the old solitary partner. We will be used to see ourselves as a vital part of a greater community, which, as we know, is part of the active global community. This basic understanding and attitude will further a global consciousness and a rather natural caring and loving global collaboration as well as the thinking in terms of connections instead of dualisms.
Love is said to be the only thing on earth that grows stronger the more one gives. So without the limitation to love only one person, our love can grow indefinitely. Without the limitation of formations it is easier to explore and unfold our true nature and to find our soul and let it grow and develop in us. With new insights and new realizations our consciousness will grow and expand. So Polyamory opens up for us a wide field of discoveries and possibilities and potentials. It is up to us to form them into a street towards the future that can lead us to peace, unity, love and happiness.

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