Current research in quantum mechanics shows us that modern conception of “freedom of choice” is a actually a quite limited perspective. The idea that we must choose between two things is a monumental mistake based on earlier theories of mathematics and reality. While many of us were learning our basic math, quantum physics was just a wild little dream in a few physicists’ kinky little heads. We were all taught to view the world in terms of up/down, in/out, either/or, if/then. (1.) This view, while useful in some situations, doesn’t even come close to encompassing the vibrant multi-faceted, mufti-dimensional reality that we actually inhabit. Nowhere is this injustice more poignant than in the realm of love, spirituality and relationships.
Everyone at some point faces the painful “realization” that they must choose between one or the other. It’s broken up marriages, slave contracts, businesses… almost anything you can name comes to a dreadful end when one person desires something outside the context of their relationships and then feels they must tear the whole thing down in order to taste this new thing.
It’s natural to desire variety. Some evolutionary biologists argue that it is a driving force of evolution, for men, and women, to seek the “strange”. It’s been shown that women are most attracted to males with the genotype must unlike their own. What happens in a long term relationship… you come into accord, and that drive for something unique kicks in. It’s not a moral problem, it’s an issue of species survival. Even if we have had a successful procreative experience with someone, eventually our mind turns towards variety, the option of greater success through a varied gene pool. (2.)
Modern religious doctrine is deeply opposed to this behavior… in fact, it has also been argued that religion sprung up as man’s answer to needing to control this natural tendency… By shrouding this behavior in guilt they sought to deter humanity from their naturally roving ways. This was accomplished by selling people on an off-planet salvation if only they deny the urgent messages of their genes. (3.)
By breaking out of the head trip of a black and white worldview (either/or), we allow ourselves the delightful option of “yes, and”. Taking a look at relationships, with a 40% divorce rate for marriage (after taking sacred vows in full view of family, I might add), and an even more abysmal rate of failure for non-religiously sanctioned relationships, we must acknowledge the fact that monogamy does not work. Less than 3% of the mammals on this planet practice lifelong monogamy. (4.)… and among humans the percentage is likely less. According to current genotype research among humans up to 10% of all children are *not* born to the stated father. Obviously all the church in the world ain’t gonna cure man and woman’s need for variety. The craving for strange, new genotypes to mix with is a gene-level survival urge, which can’t be silenced and can only be ignored at great cost and pain.
What is the way? I believe it is emerging in polyamory. The truth that we are capable of loving more than one person seems self-evident. Do we not love our husbands and our children? Our girlfriends and our lovers? But taking that into the realm of intimate relationships makes people a little more uncomfortable. Most acknowledge that they would love the chance to “fool around” with others, if they wouldn’t get caught. Having a lover on the side is a formal European institution. But when it comes to allowing our partner that same freedom people grow squeamish. Jealousy rears its ugly head. And rather than face the unfaceable people choose to clamp down and attempt to control the very forces of natural selection Herself. What an utterly foolish illusion, to think you can control a genetic imperative with your pathetic small emotions and unnatural religious doctrine. Thus, the LIE is born into relationships. People do things, and they undermine the most sacred of institutions in a relationship… Trust… all because they can’t face their own desires, their partner’s desires… and their own painful jealousy.
Once you lie, you are forever separated from the love of your partner. They love your mask, the illusory self that you put up to hide your shame. This mask weakens the flow of love from your partner to you, it weakens the bond.
I have news for you. Jealousy is really uncomfortable. It borders on excruciatingly painful… for a few seconds… like getting a shot, having a tooth pulled or getting a bee sting. These are truly minor aggravations when it comes to losing your family over the need for the loving attention of an outside man or woman.
When we look at the concept of sharing our partners affection and attention with another person it actually brings up our cultural and personal baggage. This is what people really seek to avoid. The pain of facing their own shit. Their feeling of being unworthy, not important, not included, not special, not worthy… All these nasty little ego trips that catch ahold of us and keep us from enlightened satisfaction and truly fulfilling love relationships. How delicious it is to be loved for who you really are. This is simply not possible once you start lying about your needs, desires and wants. (5.)
Imagine if you could have your wife, your children, your lovers, their lovers, their lover’s children… all in a circle of love, care, well-being and shared resources. Imagine how much easier to find childcare in a tribe where half the people are lovers. Imagine how much easier it is to get laid when all your friend’s marriages are open, and everyone wants a little something different occasionally. No more trolling at bars… no more wondering if they’ll call. It’s all about finding that group of people you can really open up to, and letting the tribe form.
The dream is yours to have… when you can face your fear. That lonely feeling when you partner is out on a date… You can sit at home and stew, get in a fight when your partner gets home… or you can shift your focus to something you enjoy and allow them to get what they need. And if you do that with grace and love, then they will do the same for you when you go out roving. You can sacrifice a little bit of comfort for ultimate joy for yourself and your partner. You can sacrifice the need to be right in order to have freedom and truth in your relationship. Imagine being able to say what you really want, and get it. Imagine being secure that you are loved by your partner even as they know you just gotta have some playtime with that blond from the party. This is what polyamory offers us. This is what we get when we sacrifice the illusion that there is “only one person” for us… when we sacrifice the endless demands of our “little self” our ego, and see things from a wider perspective. We can get what we need from the variety of archetypes present in our circle, rather than forcing ourselves into a one dimensional paradigm.
1. Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson, Chapter 3
2. Sperm Wars by Robin Baker, chapter 7
3. Not In His Image, all of it, but starting w p.38
4. Sperm Wars by Robin Baker, just read the whole thing
5. Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt, Conclusion: Slut Utopia
Originally published February 18, 2011