by Hans TenDam
The topic of next year’s convention is slowly seeping into my mind. When the most potent therapy known to man is juxtaposed to the most potent pastime of men and beasts, we may expect an interesting brew.
But is sex the most potent pastime? In brain research sex, love and romance – the ancient three – appear to be related to quite different brain areas. And which of the three involves our organism the most? Right – romance!
After all, sex is just physical effort and physical discharge, but romance is that mind-bending, heartrending, gut-wrenching state that is making and breaking people’s lives. I know that very well, as I read it in a book.
In old-fashioned books and movies, romantic involvement after much turning and twisting leads ultimately to the complexities of physical intimacy. Passionate kissing and hugging and stroking suggest that the lovers finally enter the realms of sex. Since about the end of the sixties, that physical intimacy began to be shown in all its nakedness. Somehow the romance usually drowned in all that.
Today, many romcoms have a quite different plot. The protagonists openly engage in free sexual talk and promiscuous sexual behavior, but stumble quite unplanned into the ultimate complexity of sex: the possibility of romance.
And love? In books and movies it is rather suggested than shown. It is by far the dullest of the three. Compared to the high waves of sex and romance, it is rather a groundswell. It is the slowest, the most durable of the three. It is deep and lasting comradeship, or camaraderie, if you prefer. It goes where sex and romance don’t go: between parents and children, between friends, even between colleagues. Comradeship decides if sex without romance is palatable. Comradeship is trust, support, feeling at home.
When all is said and done, when the body is buried in the grave, when the soul returns to its proper world, the mind is too clear for romance and the lack of a body is definitely a bummer for those who want sex. But love remains, more gloriously than ever.
Meanwhile, our clients have still bodies – at least the ones that make appointments and pay our bills. Their minds are usually less than crystal clear, so the lures and the ravages of sex and romance add to the dark, empty spaces of lack of love or lost love or impossible love.
Issues of love, sex and romance pervade much of our life. They pervade our identity as social animals: our femininity or masculinity, our sexual orientation, our self-esteem, our self-acceptance, our inner strength.
Present-life traumas are often about sex and violence. The most common past-life stories are war stories and love stories. Almost all traumas affect the relationship with our body and the physical world in general. Many mental prisons are built around sex, love and romance. Especially about sex and romance, because these tend to complicate the life of the community. Most religions try to tame, curtail and prune the shoots and runners of sex and romance. If they lead to a proper marriage between proper people with proper children, OK, but afterwards they have to be anesthetized. But often, they haven’t.
Our clients tend to extend especially romance into past lifetimes. They seek there the answers to the insolvable questions they experience today. It is sometimes worthwhile, often slippery.
It is not our job to tell people how to live. It is our job to help people to find out what works and in what way and why. We may have them peek into lifetimes of lust and joy, into lifetimes that were dry and cold, into lifetimes in which sex and romance were less important; in lifetimes of love and in lifetimes of lack of love.
Anyway, as a therapist it is helpful when you have pretty much resolved the issues of sex, love and romance, so you don’t need to find them in your therapy room. Even our comradeship with our clients should be temporarily. In that, we differ from gurus, for example.
Prepare yourself for our next convention. Purely by accident it is at a romantic location. Sorry for that. Anyway, let all EARThlings come together. Or something like that.
And by all means, don’t become romantically involved with yourself.