Re: Celibacy and psychic energy

Eugenia M. Moreno (gmoreno@NOVA.UMUC.EDU)
Fri, 15 Dec 1995 22:21:17 -0500

> psychic energy like "limited goods," to be carefully apportioned?"
> wide-spread belief in the 19th Century. "Precious bodily fluids" were
> the visible symbol of even more precious psychic energy. Mssrs.
> Kellogg, of corn flake fame, and Graham, of the crackers, both claimed to
> have invented their "new" foods as anti-aphrodisiacs. They said that if
> you fed these foods to boys, in particular, they would not fritter away
> either precious bodily fluids or psychic energy, and hence would be able
> to make better contributions to the general welfare . . .
> activity, but it has the advantage of generating endless jokes. God
> knows what you can generate with cornflakes and graham crackers.

OK, I have lurked this thread long enough! As a recovering Roman
Catholic, I would like to comment on the observations that Mike makes, as
well as those proposed by others.

In my pre-college days, I worked at a grad school that conferred masters
degrees in theology. The students were mostly male, mostly from
religious communities and on an "ordination track" of studies for
priestly ministry. Celibacy was a hot academic and personal topic. From
what I learned through osmosis, Catholic celibacy is rooted in politics
and economics. However, celibacy itself is a life situation which
despite authoritarian manipulation, has brought contentment and even real
joy to many men and women in CHurch history. Its manipulation and
arbitrary enforcement have also brought much tragedy....

What I have experienced is my own life and have observed in others- both
religious types and agnostic types- is that celibacy is a situation that
most men and women encounter sometime during their lives. I would want
the definition of celibacy to include acknowledgement that celibacy
(abstaining from "partnered" sexual/genital expression) *is* also an
expression of sexuality. In the case of religious or spiritually based
motives from abstainence, I would suggest that spirituality is the
flip-side and equally powerfull *AND* complementary side of human
sexuality. Celibacy to me implies a voluntary condition, not merely
absence of a partner. Resenting lack of a human partner for sex does not
seem in the same league as actively choosing to forgo (for any number of
reasons) participating in a sexual partnership.

Lastly, may I say to Mike that when I learned of the origins and motives
behind graham crackers and corn flakes, they were banned from my home for
quite a while. Such miserly attitudes about sexual expression seem very
sinful to me! ;-)

Cheers(or Cheerios, as the case may be!)!!