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Hegel, Sex and Marriage



..Slavoj Zizek

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The Philosophy of Government

To Those Who Think…

Introduction to Encore

Psychoanalytic Cities

Tarantino's Girls

Saint Simeon

Hegel, Sex and Marriage

Richard Phillips

raskin Image […] Why is Christianity opposed to sexuality, accepting it as a necessary evil only if it serves its natural purpose of procreation? Not because in sexuality our lower nature explodes, but precisely because sexuality competes with pure spirituality as the primordial meta-physical activity. The Freudian hypothesis is that the passage from animal instincts (of mating) to sexuality proper (to drives) is the primordial step from physical realm of biological (animal) life to meta-physics, to eternity and immortality, to a level which is heterogeneous with regard to the biological cycle of generation and corruption. (This is why the Roman Catholic argument that sex without procreation, whose aim is not procreation but the fulfillment of lust, is animal is wrong: the exact opposite is true, sex spiritualizes itself only when it abstracts from its natural end and becomes an end-in-itself.) Plato was already aware of this when he wrote about Eros, erotic attachment to a beautiful body, as the first step on the way towards the supreme Good; perspicuous Christians (like Simone Weil) discerned in sexual longing a striving for the Absolute. Human sexuality is characterized by the impossibility to reach its goal, and this constitutive impossibility eternalizes it, as is the case in the myths about great lovers whose love insists beyond life and death. Christianity conceives this properly meta-physical excess of sexuality as a disturbance to be erased, so it is paradoxically Christianity itself (especially Roman Catholicism) which wants to get rid of its competitor by way of reducing sexuality to its animal function of procreation: Christianity wants to "normalize" sexuality, spiritualizing it from without (imposing on it the external envelope of spirituality (sex must be done with love and respect for the partner, in a cultivated way, etc.), and thereby obliterating its immanent spiritual dimension, the dimension of unconditional passion. Even Hegel succumbs to this mistake when he sees the properly human-spiritual dimension of sexuality only in its cultivated / mediated form, ignoring how this mediation retroactively transubstantiates / eternalizes the very object of its mediation. In all these cases, the aim is to get rid of the uncanny double of spirituality, of a spirituality in its obscene libidinal form, of the excess which absolutizes the very instinct into the eternal drive[…]

Art: Jimmy Raskin.
jobadzek, 2011

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