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Dreamed 1996/5/1 by Chris Wayan

At first, I'm just reading a novel about another world. Mentally, I journey from a human kingdom on a warm rainy eastern peninsula, northwest across a huge, complex continent mostly covered by a nonhuman empire. I'm not clear what sort of creatures the people evolved from--they're big, tough, smart, and a little scary. Feline, canine? Bear, raccoon, otter? Some shaggy mammalian carnivore or omnivore.

The author seems to have modeled their culture on Tibet. Interesting inversion--China Europe and India are marginal; a majority of the world's population lives in this strange heartland.

I travel through it having adventures. No one minds, humans are welcome here, they're not racists--they don't need to be. A very confident people. Their empire has steadily pushed back human kingdoms, outperformed them fair and square.

Even the surviving human cultures have been deeply influenced by the Empire. I meet a human couple with kids. Dad tells his daughter, who's about nine, "Your mother and I are considering having sex, since, as you know, a spirit has been calling us for some time, wanting to be born through us." He describes their opinion of the spirit's character, and asks "Since she'd be your baby sister, we want your opinion. Should we let her into the family?" Kids here can always veto potential siblings. They meet them in their dreams and conduct job interviews.

Sex is always for procreation--no one expects to have any sexual interest unless a spirit's asked to be born! The strange part is, it seems to be real, not just a cultural convention. No one shows any sex drive. Sex is a pleasant rarity, not a daily experience. People's behavior is subtly different from what I'd expect if it were just repressed--I wonder if this is more than cultural influence! Have humans' genes been altered so they mimic the dominant species' mating pattern? And if so... who altered them? Did the nonhumans do it, or did we, out of shame?

Oh, we'd never do that! We'd never sacrifice something as deep as sex for mere respectability!

Except for puritanism... circumcision... clitoridectomy--


I used to see sex ONLY as play, fun, affection. The dream inverts that: sex only for procreation! Is this my soul's austere view? How extreme. And I'm austere about more than sex: I sing, dance, paint, or even party only when the spirit moves me--despite the deep pleasure I feel when I do.

I haven't been moved toward sex lately. Been pouring all my energy into learning to sense, voice, and act on other desires. Sensuality felt stale--it's social courage that felt exciting--sexier than sex! Sensual pleasure is just no challenge, not where my growth-front is, right now...

Wait a minute! So every single moment must be a step into new spiritual territory?

Have I gone too far, lost touch with... well, touch?

LISTS AND LINKS: other worlds - shamanic dreams - animal people - austerity and asceticism - souls - sex - healing from abuse

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