It is becoming obvious that man cannot just avoid passions. Nature made man to live his life in and with these passions that for one to talk of passionless man is to be self contradicting. In short, there is no life without passion. Passion is a fulcrum on which life depends and moves. What is man if not a bundle of passions unfolding? If this proposition should serve as a definition, then it has the tendency of reducing man to the level of animals that are only instinctual in behavioral approach to their passions. There is no doubt hence that man is an animal sundered from the rest by the virtue of his rationality. Rationality makes man what he is. If rationality is removed from man, even for a second, he would definitely return to his animalistic stage where only instinct rules. But despite this, it seems that the animalistic nature of man, most often than not imposes on him the tendency to live beyond the expectations of his rational self. What would have caused this except that man easily succumbs to the dictates of his irrational self? This sometimes happens to the detriment of man’s rational being.
We should not also neglect the fact that passions in man are not only negative or opposing to virtues. They are not totally wrong and misleading. This is a fact. Passions build man, and the same passions destroy him. Passions are like fire. When fire is well guarded and controlled, it becomes the most reliable servant and friend you can ever think of. On the contrary, if you leave fire to grow wild, destruction is imminent. Likewise, guarded passions breed an authentic man. Man devoid of passion is already in his grave. Passions of man serve him better when the man in question is capable of controlling it. Our act of the mind called will-power is therefore essentially needed for these passions to be put in check.
When one’s will-power is weak, passions are capable of playing its destructive games on the person. Will-power is an act of the mind, born out of rationality endowed to man, that enables him to make decision on his own and hold on to that decision no matter the consequences that would eventually follow. Every rational man supposed to have this will-power. It is this will-power that is nursed to control our passions. It tells us when to act, when to withdraw from action, when to react and the manner we must do so.
Some passions are as bad in grade as their being good. They build good and serene human society, but later destroy it. Passion is a servant as well as a master. In either of these two, it goes to the extreme. Man, being naturally engrossed in passion cannot just be liberated from it. Man is ontologically, a product of passion. To this extent, we could remember that even the very semen that produced man was released at the climax of passion. Following this, one could reason with me that it is practically impossible to remove passion when issues relating the whole well-being of man are discussed.
From birth, man moves towards his passions. His passions increase daily as the child is gradually growing into adulthood. The passion to survive moves the child to weep whenever it is hungry or tasty. This unconscious behavior is to impose compassion on those around, for them to satisfy its demands. Passion has led many to sexual gratifications. Sexual tendency as a passion in animal pushes it to intercourse which invariably leads to prolongation of the animal species. Passion has tied up friends in an unconditional love. The same passion has made a mother to offer her own life in order to save her child. Passion to dominate has built up many destructive weapons that keep many weaker societies in great fear of being trampled upon by their stronger counterparts. United Nations for instance is a product such a passion to conquer and dominate. They only come in to decide which passion is good and which is bad. They are just there to check excesses of passion among nations. Passion of anger has terribly destroyed many homes, sent many to their early graves and violated seriously the law of human rights. When passion has nothing positive to contribute to the society and the well being of mankind, such passion is regarded as being erroneous. Many other atrocities committed by erroneous passions can never be totally exhausted here in this book. But by the way of introduction, I just want to create the awareness that the most terrible enemy of mankind has been discovered. It has been eating deep into the marrows of men, undiscovered. I have the intention then to unmask the enemy who is no other person except the unthinking self in man. The irrational self, otherwise called passion.
This passion has many faces, but I would like to dwell on only one of the faces which also serve as a centre of all other passions. Permit me therefore to break the so long a silence on sexuality in a community that holds such as sacrosanct and cultural no-go-area, in short, not a matter of public discuss. Whether we like it or not, sexuality is part and parcel of man. Sexuality defines a man and commands him into and out of existence. Even for a second, sexuality can never be disassociated from man. He lives with it and definitely would die with it. Sex like other passions in man is like a fire which becomes a good servant when well guarded, but turns into a destroyer when not controlled. In man, sexuality is central among other passions. Other passions and drives own their existence to sexuality. They revolve around it and derive their meanings from it.
Sexuality comes to mind in various ways. When a child is born for instance, the first question that normally comes to mind is all about the sexuality of such child. Our people in this part of the globe, due to some cultural values started to attach value to human sexuality. “Is it a Male or a female?” This is most likely question to be followed whenever someone is told that a woman has just delivered of a baby.
Let’s dwell here in various parts that define human sexuality and expose sexuality in terms of its good, its bad and its ugly forms. We all have to know that there is nothing that serves a good purpose that has neither been adulterated nor abused. Sexuality is not an exception. It has use, disuse and abuse just like other vital things that have any importance attached to it. Sexual orientation in man comes as an off-shoot of these three – use, disuse and abuse.
Sexuality is well used when it follows the natural pattern designed by divine intelligence to accomplish a particular purpose which is prolongation of animal species. Here a natural passion attracts two complementary sex, and engross them in unexplained union. During this union, divine intervention comes in to use that their moment of passion to create another man. The seed from the man in form of semen is then sown in a ‘fertile land’ which is the womb of a woman which might before then be housing a fertile mature egg cell produced during ovulation. This simple union of just a sperm cell out of millions from man and just a single egg cell from the woman then results in incarnation of another human person – a developmental process that takes place in time in the womb of the woman. This is the crown of the sacredness of human person, and good reason why any thing that should make man to go contrary to the use of sexuality should be totally avoided, if not for any other reason; let it be because God the creator is always waiting during any sexual activity of man to have a medium for procreation. It sounds then like a big slap in the face of God of Creation when a perfect medium for this procreation is not well provided before undertaking the sexual ventures. This is a serious argument on the side of the advocates of heterosexual as only means of expressing sexual union.
On the other hand, advocates of homosexuality as another sexual option, vehemently shun the idea that sex should only be expressed through heterosexual union. They argue that in every onion of two rational beings, what matters most is the presence of love. Therefore, it is pertinent then to note that homosexuality with love is better off than heterosexuality devoid of love. Thus, gay advocates insist that it is better to engage in love-filled homosexual relationship, than to engage in heterosexual relationship without love. Love defines the pattern of the relationship, and attaches goodness to it. The question they always ask their counterparts is whether the society should then accept rape, for instance as good simply because it is heterosexual. Every sane mind should answer “no” to that. In rape, there is no love. Humanity is just being reduced to object instead of being subject. Consent of the other person is never asked for in a matter that demands full consent of the two people. These advocates of homosexuality as another sexual option then maintain that if two adults consent to have affair in any form they wish it no matter the genders involved, there is nothing illegal or sinful about it. For this group, illegality and/or sinfulness comes where there is no consent between the two.
Advocates of heterosexuality, as the only alternative in sexual orientation then wants us to recall that God is a perfect creator and has just a purpose he wishes to fulfill with sexual union. Thus, anything that goes contrary to His divine will for man should be shunned. He is ever present in every sexual activity, and is constantly waiting for man to use the sexuality properly so that he should use it to fulfill his divine mandate “Go ye into the world and multiply”. Any sexual behavior that was not intended to achieve this divine mandate is erroneous, a digression and abuse of passion.
The question I often ask some people who care to listen is how they perceive sexuality individually. But the most basic general answer I would get is rather how his or her society regards sexuality. Discuss regarding certain kind of sexual behaviors are better kept in a chilled cooler than one to open his or her mouth to talk openly about them, yet they ravage our society daily. If you must muster courage to talk about it, then you should be ready to talk only want the societal and religious doctrines say about it. This is one of the major reasons that till today many tribes have never thought of inventing vocabularies to qualify certain sexual behaviors. Most of our people approve or disapprove certain sexual behavior simply because they grew up with societal norms that are silent about it, and some others, because they adhere to a certain religion that condemns it.
The question should now be more particular than general. What do you say about sexual behavior which you are part of it, and in other word is also part of you? Can there be sexual behavior that can generally be condemned in its entirety, and why should such behavior receive such condemnation?
Let us remove our argument from religious perspective which we all know that most world religions (especially Judeo-Christian belief) abhor sexual activities outside heterosexual marriage and regard such as sinful. Let us look at sexuality from natural perspective.
Sexuality is a drive in man, and every drive must have a destination. If one then is moved from a certain point to a certain destination in nature, there must be a purpose or a goal for that, because nature can never go against itself. Sexual drive is not in any way an exception to this natural law. It is a drive towards prolongation of human species. It is in-built in man, designed by nature, and therefore, man can never be dissociated from it. Why then do larger society keep silent when issues bothering them daily is brought to a limelight for some brainstorming discuss, and probably solution to ones that are most likely to be solved? We all should take note that one can never be saint when he or she keeps quiet when issue that leads multitude to sin is being discussed for probable solution. No one becomes a saint alone; rather, it is the society and the people in it that canonize a saint. Thus, the common adage “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
Another question on this issue is why talk about sex should be avoided while the act itself remain an open secret venture that society experiences daily. More than 90% of the society can never boast of never being engaged in sexual exploits in whatever form they come, one time or the other in their life. We then have to ask ourselves whether we are just being fair to sexuality and humanity in general by keeping mute lips and watching while this trend is continuously sweeping through our society without any positive harassment.
Sexual behavior in man therefore takes many dimensions. We can witness the behavior in masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism, adultery, fornication, incest, harlotry, rape, exposure, pornography, bestiality, etc. We all have to know that all of the above activities have sexual connotation attached to it. Each of them is then defined by the way, where, and with whom the act was done. Then, if a partner in the act is human, another question that must arise is the issue of consent. This is to ascertain whether the two sexual partners consented to the act. In subsequent chapters, we should find space and time to look into these sexual behaviors one after the other to know what they mean, what to encourage and another to discourage. I believe that it is only when all voices are on one microphone that we could discourage some aspect of sexual behaviors ravaging our society today silently like a virus, especially those that happen without full consent of the two people involved.
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