Logical and Spiritual REFLECTIONS
Book 6.No to Sodom
Chapter 3.Homosexual tendencies
As we all know, sexual sensations are not only produced by various physical contacts, movements, pressures, temperatures, sights, sounds, smells and tastes – they can be aroused by mere thoughts. Physical deeds and words are the tip of the iceberg of sexuality. Mental imaginings and desires can equally well produce sexual sensations.
Indeed, most (though not all) sexual sensations ostensibly caused by physical phenomena are due to intermediate thoughts. It is usually the thoughts that generate the sexual sensations, by attaching sexual value to the physical phenomena (e.g. a kiss or an odor). In this context, note that the physical phenomena of pornography (magazines, videos) do not cause sexual sensations directly, but by way of stimulation of thoughts and actions that in turn cause sexual sensations.
The question therefore arises: how are we to classify people who are in practice heterosexual or without sex partner, and yet whose thoughts – i.e. whose mental sexual fantasies and desires – are directed (occasionally or exclusively) at people of the same gender? The simple answer is: insofar as such people experience actual sexual sensations directed at people of the same gender, their “sexual orientation” may be considered as homosexual to that extent.
Note well that it is not the content of thoughts that determines sexual orientation. For instance, we are here (writing or reading the present essay) thinking about homosexuality, but if such mental consideration produces no sexual response in us, we are not being homosexual. If, on the other hand, at the very thought of homosexuality, feelings of desire or physical pleasure are experienced by someone, there is a problem.
Even then, such feelings may only be due to the mind’s inherent trickery, its impulse to flirt with contradiction. The fear of having homosexual responses may by itself cause sexual sensations, as the subject’s attention is warily drawn to the bodily location of sexual sensations in search of possible such sensations. In other words, self-doubt may generate test sensations resembling those feared.
Nevertheless, aside from such fleeting distortions of reality, a person may indeed have evident and enduring sexual sensations in the presence of some persons of the same gender, even without ever having engaged in homosexual acts. Such a person may correctly be said to havehomosexual tendencies, as distinct from being a practicing homosexual.
It would be unfair to class this person as a homosexual, period, since he or she does not actually engage in homosexual acts. However, a further distinction must be drawn between two sorts of people with homosexual tendencies: those whoresistthese tendencies and those whoindulgethem.
Clearly, someone with apparent homosexual tendencies whose volition is not influenced by them in imagination or action, is not comparable to someone who mentally flirts with these tendencies even though without actually putting them in practice. In the first case, the one experiencing apparent homosexual lust regards it as involuntary, and does not identify with it, but on the contrary seeks to be rid of it. While in the second case, the lust is tolerated and even positively enjoyed, so that it is effectively voluntary.
Although the two have similar bodily feelings with homosexual orientation, and both abstain from corresponding physical actions, the one remains mentally detached, whereas the other is mentally complicit. A moral distinction between them is clearly justified: the former is effectively innocent, the latter effectively guilty, of blame for the visceral responses. Of course, these bodily inclinations may be due to past thoughts, words or deeds with a homosexual taint – but in one case, the past is mitigated by the present, whereas in the other it is aggravated.
This is said in passing, so as to help people with apparent homosexual tendencies who wish to be rid of them. The method recommended is the same as for any psychological quirk – develop frank awareness of the sensations felt; then, awareness of their eventual sources in unchecked thought, word and deed; then, gradually, through more mindful thoughts, words and deeds, bring your psyche and body under control. This is essentially a meditative method – and therefore a natural, deep, powerful and lasting therapy.
In this context, I would like to draw attention to the intellectual dishonesty of advocates of homosexuality. They deliberately use generic terms like “same-sex attraction”, ranging from outright sodomy to vague homosexual feelings not so far put into action, in order tofudgethe great psychological and moral differences that exist across this broad range. The aim and effect of such neutral sounding vocabulary is to make active homosexuality seem as innocuous as mere homosexual tendency, or the latter as committed as the former. Additionally, it sends a message to the uncommitted that, since they are already equivalent anyway, they might as well put their desires into action.
The feelings are not translated into action merely out of lack of opportunity, or perhaps just timidity (fear of social disapproval), not out of any moral rejection.