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The 12 Books of Abraham

    Email Discussions 8

    A Secularist
    Gives Her Views:
    The Parable of
    the Cartwheel

    The following is an extract from a long discussion between myself and a lady who expressed no belief in God, was sympathetic to polygyny for those interested in it, but also believed in polyandry and other arrangements. The exchange of views occurred on a "God and Sex" Discussion Board.

    Summary of the Discussion

    0. Guest: Hi Stanisław

    Appreciate your taking the time to share your beliefs and lifestyle in greater detail. I do so enjoy learning about the lives and beliefs of fellow human beings. I also appreciate that you respond to my inquiries and differences in view, in a friendly, upfront and informative way, instead of with anger.

      0.1. Stanisław: I have very much enjoyed sharing with you because I like your honesty, respectfulness and directness. As a Messianic Christian I firmly believe that the truth defends itself and that if Christinity is "the way, the truth, and the life" as Yah'shua (Jesus) said, that he has nothing to be afraid of. Our faith is, if lived properly, a self-correcting one, meaning that we are constanly learning. And I have learned - and still learn - from believers and unbelievers alike. As you can imagine, those of us who live polygynously get quite a lot of vitriol both from the enemies of Christianity as well as from those within our faith who ought to be our friends but who like to ignore the plain speaking if the Book we are all supposed to follow.

      I really believe that the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) is the answer to every soul's needs and deepest hopes and expectations in life, and that He is who He claimed to be: the only way to our Creator-Father-God. His witness has, sadly, been somewhat damaged by those who claim to know Him but do not, whose zeal often exceeds their wisdom, but notwithstanding the purity of His truth still echoes down through the ages. I don't know what your experience of Christianity is, whether you have ever investigated its truth-claims, or whether you have even been presented the unadulterated version, but should you ever wish to ever examine - or re-examine - its unique claims I should be more than willing to help you along the way.

    1. Stanisław: Once the wives know they are unconditionally and unreservedly loved, that you are open with them completely, that the goal is oneness, then truly paradise results. But you have to work at it.

      1.1. Guest: Could you elaborate on what is worked at?

      Loving unconditionally and unreservedly is a beautiful thing. It speaks of affirmation and acceptance. But, affirmation and acceptance alone, do not address all the needs of the individuals of the same gender in the relationship and there are times when the needs of two or more compete for priority. Is one person capable of meeting all those continuously and concurrently?

        1.1.1. Stanisław: What is hard to understand for those who do not perhaps accept the Christian/Messianic paradigm, or are not otherwise committed to it, is the fact that the goal of marriage - monogamous or polygynous - is not what one can gain for oneself but what one can give to one's spouse or spouses, and to society as a whole.

 Guest: I can appreciate this point, however, it is difficult to grasp this as a truthful concept when looking at the point that all of the females may need to live with a deeper commitment to the beliefs regarding personal needs as secondary or without justification, while the man is assured needs being meet consecutively and concurrently and without interruption by several. (In the spirit of open communication, quite honestly, the scenario of a person dutifully and righteously partaking of a banquet spread while telling others of the importance and spirituality of lifelong dieting comes to mind.)

   Stanisław: The quality and enjoyment of a meal is not determined by the volume of food or number of times you eat it. A fantastic meal can taste terrible if you are depressed and have no appetite, and a lousy meal can taste divine if you are sharing it with someone special. So I think your comparison to a banquet is unfortunate. What matters in a human relationship is an invisible quality that is independent of time and space. Very often our perceived 'needs' in the temporal-spacial dimsensions are illusiory substitutes for heart-needs which are independent of these things. Thus not atypically a man may go searching for more sex when what he really needs is to be loved for himself - the external, temporal-spacial set of stimulations become an illusiory substitute for the real thing. The fallacy of the banqueting analogy is that it stresses the outer, sensual aspects of life and misses the most important life-giving principle of love-through-trust.

            This is the essential difference between the Christian/Messianic and the humanist approach. We acknowledge that sensual things like banquets are good in moderation (one could argue, using your analogy, that the polygamous man is at a severe disadvantage since he may become desensitised because of the potential glut that faces him) but that that which really matters has nothing to do with things like time and space at all. The issue really boils down to this: What is human need?

            In the Christian/Messianic paradigm, the needs of the human flesh-nature are endless and can never actually be satisfied. Christianity recognises a spiritual nature that is antagonistic to the fleshy one not because flesh is 'bad' per se (there are different Christian schools of thought on this) but because the fleshy nature, when in the dominant position, tends to completely suffocate the spiritual out if allowed complete hegemony. We believe that the spirit-nature was designed to occupy the Headship position of the two and that properly subjugated, the flesh-nature is able to serve constructively, like a broken horse becomes useful to its rider. Attempts to 'balance' the two natures do not, we believe, work, but lead to unresolvable stresses because it is the very nature of the flesh to seek hegemony. Christian/Messianic doctrine teaches that humans are 'fallen', meaning that we are in an unnatural condition in any case, and we believe that the struggle between flesh and spirit is ample evidence of this. Various solutions that people have arrived at is repression of the flesh (Catholisicm - which leads to various psychoses) to denying its existence altogether (Buddhism - which acdtually kills the soul). Others simply try to find a 'balance', in the same way that liberal humanism has tried to find a 'balance' between male and female by eliminating the principle of headship.

            The flesh-nature needs to be tamed rather than repressed (Catholism), destroyed (Buddhism), or given almost free reign (humanism) so that it becomes a servant to the higher spiritual self. Having tamed the flesh (leading to a change in 'needs') the spiritual self must then define itself relative to other spiritual selves, and if it is not careful can begin assuming a 'flesh-type' dominating tendency over them. It is important to insert here that the male and female spiritual selves are different, with different needs and perceptions. Christianity teaches not only that the flesh is an enemy of the spirit when not properly tamed, but that that 'self' is dead - including 'spiritual self' - because spirit is not an independent life-force. The Bible teaches that every man and woman born into the world is given a portion of the "light of Christ" (John 1:1ff), which is the animating principle of both spirit and flesh (giving both life) and is the source of consciousness and conscience. Only the Light of Christ is immortal. It intereacts with our own spirit, offering us choices. The way we react determines whether our consciences remain pure or, as the Bible says, become defiled (e.g. 1 Corinthians 8:7). Thus our spiritual nature may either become leavened by the Light of Christ as a result of making righteous choices (changing our nature into being more Christ-like) or become corrupted through making selfish choices, in turn becoming tainted by the flesh-nature. Our 'needs' will therefore vary both qualitatively and quantitatively in proportion to the way we have responded to the Divine Spirit. (I separate personality from this discussion as this has more to do with the fleshy nature).

            Seen from a flesh-nature point-of-view, polygamy is, I agree, outrageous, unjust, and likely to be the source of more evil than good. But then as a Christian/Messianic I do not argue out of that premis. And unless we clearly define where we are coming from, we will be using the same vocabulary but meaning different things. Of course, humanists and atheists generally do not see the composition of humans in quite the same way as Christians/Messianics: the humanist is entirely material-oriented, and such terms as 'spiritual' usually refer to the psychological or symbolise something else. A Christian/Messianic would, for the most part, look upon the 'psychological' as simply a facet of the flesh-nature, or the interplay between the spiritual and fleshy.

        1.1.2. Stanisław: The sensual 'needs' (real or imagined) that we have - mental, emotional, and physical - are potentially endless. The Buddhist addresses the sensual world by withdrawing from and denying it altogether by a process of emptying. The humanist addresses the sensual world by seeking self-fulfilment in every possible way by addressing the needs of self, whilst trying to find a balance with the wants and needs of others. But the Bible-believing and -implementing Christian/Messianic (as opposed to those who only partly adopt the Biblical pattern) does neither: he is neither out to suppress, and ultimately transcend, his sensual needs by such exercises as yoga or other meditational techniques, nor is he a sensualist out to maximise his sensual experience. Rather, his whole way of viewing things is to completely forget self and serve others, whether within marriage, the Christian/Messianic community, or the world at large. What this means is that his consciousness is focussed away from himself and on the happiness and betterment of others. This, at any rate, is his goal. In this case of that of his wife/wives the goal - in the matter of sensuality (mind-heart-body) - is to give the greatest possible pleasure to his/her partner. Having several partners does, of course, limit him in not being able to address their needs simultaneously but rather concurrently.

 Guest: I am still not convinced. Can you open the window a bit more for me?

   Stanisław: This I have explained in ¶ above. Herein I am refering to 'fleshy needs' which are potentially endless for someone who is centred in such things.

            When the flesh is subdued and being held on a tight rein like a rider on a horse it is able to 'bridle' itself. Fleshy needs may be controlled and released at will by one who is spirit-centred. Furthermore, one who is spirit-centred has a wholly different realm of consciousness and finds fulfillment in that realm above that of the fleshy. Like someone standing in a queue outside a cinema, he (or she) isn't bursting his sides because he isn't inside the cinema at that precise moment but knows he can wait patiently for a quarter-of-an-hour for something he knows he will receive. Fleshy impulses, which seem as though they need instant fulfilment, when under the control of the spirit, discover that the 'need' is an illusion, and that the fulfilment can be postponed in the temporal arena without any kind of loss.

            This, admittedly, is the ideal, but it is not imaginary, because we as polygamist husband and wives are living it all the time. There are times when we are weak, to be sure, when the flesh gets a momentary ascendancy, and that is where the principle of sacrifice comes into play on the part of those who are under control. (That cuts both ways, incidentally). Thus if I am with one wife, and the other is suddenly lonely and needs me, then in our household she has the freedom to 'cut in' knowing that she will not cause offence because we are centred in a non-fleshy dimension of reality. As a family we are, in any case, an organic whole - like the cartwheel (see ¶1.1.3 below). We redistribute the burden of care as we 'move' along the road of our living together.

            Thus it is true if several wives suddenly descend into 'fleshy mode' that difficulties immediately present themselves. Mercifully it almost never happens as we have matured beyond such things for the most part. That such things happen is not desired, not that it is is unfortunate: however, those who enter this practice do so on the basis of certain assumptions of what our priorities are (as is true of any relationship, monogamous or otherwise). That is the "Christian polygamous marriage contract", as it were. Of course, if the "contract" is broken, then you have problems ... inevitably. Again, that is true of any relationship.

        1.1.3. Stanisław: His one enemy is time, but since his and their focus is spiritual, the issue is a secondary one for us.

        Obviously these three views are very different from each other both conceptually as well as in the experience. The Christian/Messianic polygynist isn't out to fulfil himself but his partner(s). Since the partner(s) aren't, in the ideal situation, expecting anything, they do not 'miss' what they do not get because they are too occupied in trying to please the other. This is not, of course, a licence on the part of the man to neglect any wife, nor does he seek to excuse himself of his responsibility. Sacrificing is, of course, required at times. It can't be avoided in any relationship.

        The great purpose of Christian/Messianic discipleship is to therefore remove oneself from an 'I'-centred mentality and to turn towards those in one's immediate reach - spouse(s), children, loved ones, the local Christian/Messianic community, and ones neighbours generally. The locus of Christian/Messianic consciousness is not the central point of the circle of human relationships but in everything beyond it up to the circumference. Though the Christian/Messianic ideal is both cosmic as well as local, the cosmic application mostly belongs to the realm of spirit since by the limitation of time and space we, as physical beings are only able to practically interact with a limited number of people, and intimately with even fewer still.

        The human perception that a husband seems to be 'placating', as you put it, can only really come into being if (a) the husband is impartial; and (b) the wife or wives do not trust his love for them. This is not, of course, to say that either the husband or wives are perfect, nor that they will necessarily even achieve this perfection in this life - at least as far as human relations are concerned. The Christian/Messianic does not, in any case, rely ultimately on his own power to love which he knows only too well is deficient. By vacating the locus of his life to focus on his circle of companions (wife/wives, children, family, church and neighbours) he creates a spiritual vacuum into which he invites the spirit of Christ to take residence. He invites, using Christian/Messianic parlance, Yah'shua (Jesus) into his heart. If you can imagine that the centre of this circle has placed on it a throne which has only place for one person, then in admitting Christ into his life the Christian/Messianic is symbolically inviting his Lord to occupy the throne by directing his every action. But the moment he asserts his ego - his 'I' - and demands that his own will be the guiding power of his life - because the throne has only place for one person, Christ must of necessity be displaced so that he may once again resume control of his Self. This accomplished, selfishness reigns, and demands issued that cannot be fulfilled to his satisfaction, because the perceived needs of the ego - as I have said - are endless.

        In a plural, polygynous marriage, a man's wives are, of course intimately the closest to him. They are all seeking to serve each other, and as a whole, likewise seek to serve those within the circle of their influence. Since that interest and energy, as you put it, is always directed outwards, all references to authenticity are measured in what is being given by the self and not in terms of what the self is receiving. Though the self is conStanisławtly being served by the selfless giving of the others, and thereby being loved and blessed, it is not living in any sort of spirit of expectation, and therefore is not seeking to measure "genuineness" in terms of what it is receiving but in terms of what it is giving.

        True intimacy is, I firmly believe, experienced when you are giving your all and are reciving whatever your partner(s) are capable of giving to you, and to each other. A polygynous marriage is a bit like an old fashioned cart wheel that has not only a hub (to which the axel is attached - the husband) but also an outer ring which is supported by the spokes (wives). Ultimately the strength of a polygnous marriage lies both in the hub and in the outer rim - which is the relationship between the wives. Both the hub and the outer ring are indispensible, having their unique but mutually complementary functions. The fulfillment that is felt by husband and wives is felt not just in the personal satisfaction of being unconditionally loved by the others, but in the love which is generated by the whole. For the sum of the love that obtains in a polygnous relationship is greater than the individual parts.

        The experience of it is, of course, not the same as the theory as I am struggling to express here. But I think the cartwheel is the best illustration I can give of it. The hub, you will observe, is empty, because that is the place which is occupied by Christ. It is He who turns the wheel of our life, giving it momentum and direction. Take the outer rim away and the wheel collapses - take the hub away and the same thing results. The success of a polygynous relationship is therefore every much the individual relationships between the husband and his wives and of the wives between each other, being mutually supportative. The stresses that the wheel experiences as it moves along the ground are shared between the component parts as a whole.

      1.2. Guest: When a man for example, has just invested his interest and energy in one or more individuals and then goes to the next, the energy and authenticity of his words and actions can feel less than genuine and more like placating. That is the beginning of the destruction of intimacy mind, spirit and body. It is a very painful thing for one that has rendered herself completely vulnerable and trusting. From that moment on, all his words and actions become questionable, and true vulnerability and intimacy are no longer possible in her heart of hearts.

        1.2.1. Stanisław: I would suggest, from my own experience, that there are two types of intimacy: (a) there is the momentary form of intimacy, which is temporally-bound, and (b) there is what may be called conStanisławt intimacy, which is not temporal, and which is derived from the spiritual realm.

        All intimacy that is realised, as you rightly say, derives from the woman rendering herself completely vunerable and trusting. It is the nature of the female principle to be as an open door, allowing the male principle to penetrate her mystery. The way he penetrates her being, therefore, ultimately determines the quality of the relationship and the form of the intimacy experienced. If he abuses that trust, she reflexly closes that door and must be persuaded to open it again. Only by revealing to her that he truly loves her and is seeking her joy can she be persuaded to maintain that door in a perpetual state of openness and present her heart and body in a condition of receptivity.

        To be successful in polygyny, and to experience its unique form of intimacy, requires complete openness. For that reason there is no such thing as a "closed door" policy in my home. If I am alone with one wife and another one wants to see me, she knows that she is always free to come into our room. This happened much in the beginning as the bonds of trust were developping, but as time went on and all my wives could see that there was nothing "hidden", that there was no false agenda, that the goal was always giving, such fears as they initially had disappeared and they were able to find rest in their souls and know that they were truly loved for themselves. Most of the problems in polygyny derive from a fear of the unknown. "Does he treat her differently from me?" "Does he like her better than me?" and so on. Once a woman can see that she is loved for herself completely, and that she is not a part of what one might call "serial love" but of a collective love, she is able to find repose and joy - repose, because there is nothing hidden, and joy because she knows that she is, by loving husband and sister-wives, contribting to something that is greater than all the individual "selves". She becomes able in her heart to remain open and vunerable and to experience the heights of intimacy.

        In the early stages of a polygnous relationship everyone is measuring words and actions because Self is afraid of yielding sovereignty. One must be converted as much to the principle of polygyny as one is attracted by one's husband's and sister-wives' love. One treads circumspectly on new territory, even in new monogamous relationships.

        Whilst the rim of the cartwheel must bear the wear and tear of the road, and must therefore be reinforced, for example, with metal plates, the hub must bear the full weight all of the time and must be regularly greased.

 Guest: I think the cartwheel is a great visual to explain the concept. I am not sure where the wheel is going or what its purpose is if the objective is to realize/share/create a mutual, selfless paradise in the here and now.

   Stanisław: There may be said to be three objectives, and in the following order: (a) Realising/sharing/creating a mutual, selfless paradise in the eternal worlds between all the redeemed of God in a spirtual, non-sexual sense; (b) Realising/sharing/creating a mutual, selfless paradise in the eternal worlds between husband and wives in a spirtual as well as sexual sense; and (c) Realising/sharing/creating a mutual, selfless paradise in the here and now between husband and wives in a spirtual as well as sexual sense.

            The cartwheel is therefore moving in the here-and-now, with a view to moving in the eternal worlds, and with an ultimate view to moving in one giant, living, bio-spiritual clock-work mechanism (don't take the analogy too far!). The heavenly fellowship, which is realised to some degree in the here-and-now in the local church, is a spiritual association of singles with monogamous and polygamous families all united into a spiritual whole as the metaphorical ribs of a giant cartwheel in which Christ is the hub with God the Father in the Centre. The polygamous family is not therefore its own end, but is a part of that end together with monogamous families and singles.

 Guest: I don't know. The hub and the whole concept of the cartwheel could also be used to illustrate one's "self" in a selfish sense, with the "hub" being one's ego. Convince me othewise, please.

  ław: Yes, of course, we must be carefull in not pressing analogies too far. However, I still think the cartwheel is a valid model because the hub is, at its centre, empty (a hole), being occupied by someone/something else. Thus the hub is not the ultimate symbol of selfishness, since it is, in the Christian model, occupied by Christ, to whom the husband is subjected.

            But my reason in choosing the cartwheel was to show that it is greater than its individual components. Whether one is located at the hub or a spoke is immaterial since all play a vital rôle for the whole. The apostle Paul taught that men can't exist without women, and vice versa, because they are natural compliments. We are incomplete without them. The fact that they have different rôles is again immaterial, and since it's the whole that finally matters, which rôle you occuly doesn't ultimately mattar. The Christian picture of the Final Consummation is a Wedding Feast in which the redeemed are the metaphorical polygamous bride of Christ - men and women alike.

            There are different stresses, burdens, and blessings in different rôles, and on occasions the rôles can, and should, be reversed. As psychologists acknowledge, men have a smaller female side (anima) and women a smaller male side (animus). Thus there are times when I take a submissive/pupil rôle before my wives. We call that the 1-in-7 principle. In Christianity we work six days (male principle) and rest on the seventh (female principle).

            For a really deep theological treatise on this principle, I warmly recommend one of our revelations called the Cosmic Principle which will give you the "big picture". I think you may find it insightful and better explain where I am coming from. This is not, incidentally, a "traditional" Christian model which has been somewhat corrupted by anti-sexual, aesthetic Augustinian ideas, in my view.

 Guest: Wear and tear ... could these be other words for unrealized "abuse" of vulnerability and trust? Reinforced how? With more wives? Please explain.

   Stanisław: The wear and tear of life. The hub gets wear and tear too, you know! Men and women bear different stresses in life, which is probably why on balance women live a lot longer than men.

            Vulnerability and trust cuts both ways, you know. I know what it is like to be abused by a woman whom I have opened myself up to completely, in whom I have placed my trust. Perhaps I am a bit more sensitive than your average man - to be a polygynist you need to be. Men are not made of rubber, though anyone who denies his heart and centres on self and lets it get calloused gets rubbery.

            There is wear and tear on the outer rim as well as the hub (but let's not press the analogy too far). The outer rim in olden days would be reinforced by metal or new layers of wood. But my purpose was not to focus on detail, merely to point out that life in this world exacts a price on mortals. It's the way we work together or not that enables us to get through it better or worse. The cartwheel is simply about mutual cooperation in a way that is (from the Christian's point-of-view) in harmony with divine law.

        1.2.2. Stanisław: The pressure on each of the spokes (wives) is different depending on the position of the wheel. The experiences of the woman may therefore be said to be cyclical, which harmonises with her created nature, which is likewise cyclical (as, for example, with the monthly menopause). The husband is not biologically built on this cyclical principle, which is why in the relations between the sexes, he occupies a position of headship.

 Guest: I find this interesting considering sexuality is of least importance in this lifestyle choice. When I refer to sexuality, I am not speaking only of achieving orgasm, but all aspects, including the basis of the reasoning stated above. I would imagine that at least for a man, sexuality is easy to be of least importance with the potential for conStanisławt fulfillment, just as hunger is not of importance at the times that one's fields are abundant with fall harvest.

          Some scientific studies have concluded that a man's testosterone levels will become cyclic, adjusting to his mate's sexual/reproductive cycles, offering a couple the possibility of deeper compatability, physiologically and emotionally.

   Stanisław: This is an interesting observation, illustrating how a man may adapt hormonally to one or more women. Yet the woman's menstruation cycle remains conStanisławt (basically), testifying biologically of the truthfulness of the polygyny principle. I never maintained, as you know, that man was only made for polygyny, but that he is just as able to adapt to monogamy. Whether your conclusion that these hormonal changes thus may lead to greater compatibility is, however, more to do with the flesh than the spirit from the Christian point-of-view. That such harmony can be found is, of course, desirable. My experience, and that of other Christian polygynous friends, is that the same may be obtained (from the man's point-of-view) with many as well as with just one. The point is that the man is not built around fixed cycles whereas the woman is, and continues to be reproductive long after the age of the female menopause.

            For a man who is centred in the spiritual realm, he faces problems completely different to the woman. Whilst for the woman there might be said, on the fleshy level, the possibility of not getting enough, for the man, on the fleshy level, there is the possibility of having too much! I know of plenty of men who have burned themselves out living a serial type of polygamy because there was no control.

            It is also a truism that modern-day expectations do not reflect the sexual proclivity of earlier generations. Sexual consciousness has occupied a much higher position in social consciousness and so demands for more have concommitantly grown. There are many, like myself, who believe that the modern man is sex-mad simply because he keeps fuelling his expectations, and so his fleshy "need" grows exponentially.

            There are many ways to keep a fire going - you can either keep throwing log after log on the fire and letting it burn furiously or you can control the oxygen flow, and make the wood last. Christian sexuality is like that: it teaches you (if you yield to the truth-principle, that is) to carefully regulate your sex-life and so create a habit. So long as there is quality sex, quantity doesn't become so important, especially if you are successfully diverting your physical energies to other activities. It's the twin principles of transformation and conservation.

            Christian polygyny is both of these. With several adults working in close proximity there are other outlets for sexual energy. We have our sexual "on/off" cycles too - no sex during menstruation and often none for one week afterwards. The effect of this is to enable the body to recharge itself as well as to encourage one to focus on quality rather than quantity.

     Guest: Speaking for only myself, I think I would be a bit unpleasant to be around in such a lifestyle. It is during those two weeks that my body and mind feel supercharged and in great need of release! LOL Focusing clearly on anything can be a real challenge when one is feeling supercharged and in need of expressing that with a partner.

       Stanisław: lol - I think I could manage you ;-) Actually, your experience is not uncommon in women, as you must know. There are ways to release such energy without full intercourse for women who especially "suffer" from being supercharged, as you say. Part of the exhilaration of truly fulfilled sex is actually mastering/mistressing it and learning how to transmute it. It's a force that can have a thousand applications and we are not always best served in the passion of sensual release. Indeed, as you must know, each time we have an orgasm a little bit of us dies - which is why God has given us warnings in nature to observe, such as the the death of certain species immediately after mating (e.g. salmon, certain species of butterfly).

                What's important for us, at any rate, is knowing the secret of transmuting this divine power so that it may be used for regeneration as well - to balance out the huge energy losses and replace the millions of lysed cells that result in that "blinding flash". But this is somewhat of a large subject that is perhaps not related to the nature of your enquiry. Suffice to say that it is no accident that Yahweh, in His great wisdom, has ordained mating seasons in nature so that this energy may be conserved and recycled. The act of blossoming in a cherry tree, for example, is one of the must energy-consuming processes for that species, that takes the rest of the summer to replenish. I believe that the monthly cycle, with the mandated periods of abstinence, are a sexual health code, that far from being limiting actually enhance the sexual life and give it greater meaning and a richer expression. It is intereresting, I think (as a Scientist), that the organ which suffers the most from cell destruction in orgasm is the brain (only loud music like rock does comparable damage - 100 times worse, in fact).

   Stanisław: By very nature polygyny expects a certain kind of sex - it has its own cycles, rules, and habits, and provided this is what the parties want, it works very well. It all ultimately boils down to consent. You could, if you wished, question my wives on these matters, though I know what their sentiments are in this regard. Your hunger analogy is a good one. The question is, how much food does one need? Does one need as much as the average American eats (which is three or four times what someone in a Third World Country eats, and twice as much as a European like myself eats)? How much sex does a person "need" to be satisfied? There are many related questions. When I visited America I was shocked by the amount that Americans eat and could barely eat half the portions I was served in restaurants. And I suspect similar observations could be made about sexual appetite.

            My point is that one can be satisfied by changing habits through self-discipline. The Christian is bound to see things differently because his equation is balanced differently.

        1.2.3. Stanisław: Because the husband is the head - occupying the central position of the relationship - he must bear the pressure of the whole conStanisławtly. To do this alone would be a thankless task which is why, in order to be successful, he must be energised by a power that is greater than himself. That power, which is Christ, is dissipated outwards to the spokes and to the hub, there always being an interplay of active and reactive forces in the relationship. It is for this reason that I believe that polyandry is not "natural" and why God, in His wisdom, has not permitted it.

    2. Stanisław: Most (wrongly) assume that sex is the biggest problem, but it's only a problem for those who are centred in that. If you place sex at the bottom of the heirachy of marital values (after spirit, mind, and heart) it settles down.

      2.1. Guest: It is human nature to be sexual. The very idea of one man and many wives puts into question the statement. How many wives are truly needed for homemaking tasks, childbearing and rearing? Is it possible that for the man it IS about sex, while convincing the women otherwise? If sex is valued as last on the list in these relationships, then why one man with many women? Why not a mix of male and female genders in the relationship?

        2.1.1. Stanisław: Sexuality is only one kind of intimacy and by its temporal nature works in cycles. You cannot live in a perpetual state of excitement or the consummation of that particular kind of intimacy (orgasm) otherwise you would burn yourself out. It is a complex force which has as much to do with stillness as activity. Men and women by their very composition react to sexuality differently. Men are stimulated more by sight, women by touch. And whilst the woman is consciously, or unconsciously, seeking intimacy for intimacy's sake, men more generally are seeking to realise and fulfil what we as Christians call the "dominion mandate". Very often women fail to realise this basic moving force in man. Translated, what that means is that whilst intimacy is very important to the man too, the impelling goal is multiplication of the species and the expansion of the community. Our view of marriage and sex is therefore, from the man's point-of-view, also coloured by this underStanisławding.

        Polyandry, and especially homosexuality (which is sterile in terms of the dominion mandate), work in the opposite direction. Whilst polygyny is able to sustain and help women realise their own needs for intimacy, based on the Christian giving-first principle, polyandry places the woman in a dominion position she was not created for and effectively castrates a man in terms of his basic driving principle. So the issues surrounding various lifestyles are, in my view, intimately connected with the whole vision of what the purpose of life is for the sexes. I can't help but notice that modern feministic concepts have tended to defeminise women and make men more effeminate, thus making the sexes less attractive to one another, and thereby encouraging homosexuality and lesbianism which then become closer sexual cousins as a result.

 Guest: So, the whole concept of polygamy is essentially rooted in sexuality, isn't it? ;) Seems to be a duality ... to find the physiological/ spiritual basis for the lifestyle in sexuality, but that basis is of least importance. How does one close the divide here?

   Stanisław: Yes, and no: yes, since it has a physical aspect; no, because this is a principle, from the Christian perspective, rooted in eternal spiritual principle, of which the Wedding Feast of the Lamb is an example - this is a metaphorical, non-sexual wedding, teaching us about the order in Creation.

            But perhaps our problem is a semantic one. If you think sexuality is a spiritual thing, then I must agree with you - it is ultimately sexual.

     Perhaps the problem is semantics. Yes, I do think sexuality is a spiritual thing, as I think all experiences of life and living are. In my view, each motion we make, each thing that we do or say, each breath that we take, are expressions of living ... of spirit. What strikes me is the idea that sexuality seems to be considered of least importance and because of this, it seems to be used in some way to determine one's spirituality, instead of as a free and genuine expression of one's spirituality in the moment it is felt and needing to be expressed.

       Stanisław: Yes, but with an important qualifier: sexuality is ultimately spiritual, but spirituality isn't ultimately sexual. By that I mean that sexuality has a spiritual root - it isn't 100% physical even though it has a physical manifestation which we colloquially call "sex". There is a time, after death (and before the resurrection when we receive our physical bodies back in an immortal state according to Christian belief), when we are no longer physical being - "spirits" - and are only able to interact in that dimension. There are also times here on physical earth, during sickness, work, or separation of spouses, when physical sex just isn't possible (except, by Christian terms, in an immoral and unacceptable, as well as spiritually destructive, way).

                I hope that in saying that physical sex is "least important" that you will not think I am saying it is "unimportant", for that is not my sentiment at all, anymore than you would think that eating and drinking, being more important to life functions than sex (from simply a survival point-of-view) means that sex is therefore "unimportant". I think most Christians would accept Maslow's hierarchy of values, at least on the physical plane.

                My observation, confirmed by the Bible, is that important though sex is, it is limited in its variation [I will not discuss fidelity in marriage which I take for granted]. As the doctrine of Christian polygyny maintains, a woman cannot find wholeness in more than one partner, nor a man in more than a certain number of partners, without spiritual disintegration taking place. God's laws are intelligent and purposeful. There is a wider, non-sexual social need that humans have built within them. I know that were my social intercourse to be limited to my family - wives and children - for the rest of my life, I would go insane, because the family is, a multiplation of your - and your wife/wive's - own images.

                Let me explain. It is undeniable that when you are around someone you are united to physically, or with whom you share a genetic affiliation, that you come to resemble one another far more than you would friends with whom you are not sexually united. Sexual intercoure (and its result, biological recombinant copies/children), results in a partial exchange of personality, modes of feeling, and life-force itself (the bible calls this nephesh). When a man and woman have intercourse they create not just a spiritual bridge across which they can meet and commune in an intimate fashion but they actually initiate a spiritual process which, though not visible to the physical eyes, brings about the union of Adam and Eve before they were separated. That is what is meant in the Bible by a husband and wife becoming "one flesh" (it's not any resultant children). The bonding that takes place leads to the formation of a completely new spiritual entity - a "third part", if you like. 'Bill' and 'Sue', whilst remaining 'Bill' and 'Sue', also become a third entity called 'Bill-Sue'. (In the polygynous situation you get a fourth entity also called 'Bill-Sue-Jane', which is the wonder and glory of this principle ... ). This "third entity" (which is very definitely a persona in its own right) is the result of sexual intercourse on the spiritual plane. What is created is an invisible, yet tangible, vessel into which the 'personas' enter. Perhaps the best analogy would be an invisible envelope around the two sexually united persons.

                Casual sex, divorce, etc. wreck havock on these entities. Indeed, those who have multiple short-term partners create these entities which REMAIN because they come into existence on the basis of immutable spiritual law. Though time may give the illusion of their passing away, they remain there, to haunt. I am not speaking of a psychological phenomenon here - it is like a physical body into which our spirits dwell, only this 'body' is co-inhabited by the persons who have united as "one flesh". The soul (body and spirit), having sexually united with a person in the past who is no longer their partner, continues to subconsciously wish to unite, but obviously cannot. To deal with this, the mind tries to compartmentalise its previous sexual experiences, and in the end creates numerous subpersonalities, leading to a fracturing of the soul, and making the quest for wholeness illusive. Often people try to deal with this by saturating their life with more sex (with their current partners) in a bid to somehow 'drown out' what they think are mere memories but which are, in reality, living entities.

                Since their origin is divine - brought into being by celestial processes - they may only be dissolved by the same power. I work in this kind of ministry a lot and have witnessed numerous liberation-transformations caused by the power of Christ dissolving these entities created by illicit sex. This is a big subject but a very important one, I feel. This is why God has such strict sexual laws - not to deny humans sexual pleasure but to show them that ultimate fulfillment lies in a very special kind of union which is only partly sexual. The ultimate "high" (I dislike the term but I use it since it is understood) is a non-sexual union between all those united in Yahweh-God which, though transcendant of sexuality, does not obliterate the sexuality of the marriage union. That is, this 'Cosmic Union' (not actually a Christian term, but again, convenient) is a non-sexual binding of married men and women as the allegorical Bride of Christ.

                One could argue (returning to your original question), I suppose, that the act of Creation on God's part is "sexual" in some way, and that this 'Cosmic Union' or 'Marriage Feast of the Lamb' is "sexual" in some way too, but not in the same way as pertains between man and woman in the flesh. There is no such thing as spiritual homosexuality or lesbianism. The semantic problem is actually solved, I think, by the biblical terms we have given which 'divide' love up into different qualities or essences (especially in Greek) - eros (sexual love), philadelphia (brotherly/sisterly love), and agapé (Christ-like spiritual love) being the main three (there are two others describing parental and sibling love). There are important distinctions between these. The bonding between believers is called Agapé love, which may be described as totally selfless love, devoid of all content of what "I" want or need on any plane of existence. This is, the Bible tells us, the "ultimate" love, that Stanisławds above all the others. It is a love shared by all without any kind of barrier whatsoever, and is energised - not by man - but by God Himself. And for that reason, it may only be obtained from Him on the conditions which He has laid down, viz. faith in His Son and obedience to His ways.

                I am all for open sexual expression between those who are married according to God's love. Practically, full intercourse is not always possible or desirable even if our heart is pounding for it, but there are other releases. Long intimate hugs, kissing and other expressions of closeness and tenderness happen between me and my wives all the time, whether they are menstruating or not. Sex is in any case only one expression of what one feels for someone else, pleasant though it is. The ultimate, for a Christian, is Agapé, and there is no sexual high that can remotely compete with it. As a polygamist I have much sexual experience but I can truthfully say that the most powerful, intimate and meaningful experience of my life was the day I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. It made all sexual 'highs', by comparision, pale into insignificance.

   Stanisław: If you think it is a purely physical phenomenon, then, no, ultimately we are not talking about sexuality at all. When I speak of sex being 'of least importance' it is with the physical in mind. That it may have a spiritual counterpart is another story altogether ... and I tend to think that somehow it does. Stanisław: The issue ultimately is not for us how many wives are 'needed' for homemaking tasks, childbearing and rearing, but on what particular lifestyle best fulfill's the Creator's purpose in us. Sex, I hope you will now be able to see through the small window I have tried to open for you, is not the primary reason a Christian/Messianic polygamist man wishes to marry more than one woman, but in order to fulfil a whole set of interconnected purposes. It is my belief - and the belief of my wives - that polygyny reveals and materialises a way of being that is the 'ultimate' in terms of the full expression of masculinity and femininity, for those who wish to seek after that 'ultimate'. Polyandry, polyamory, and homosexuality by contrast, are movements in the opposite direction, and lead to the blurring of the genders and ultimately to their extinction. Polygyny preserves and enhances the core of male and female principles, juxtaposes them in a way that enables maximum fulfillment to be obtained by a means that those who have not met Christ find hard to understand and accept: namely, by means of giving unselfishly within the matrix of Christian/Messianic polygyny, one is able to expand the same principle to the community as a whole, and so lead to society's redemption. For the core problem that lies at the heart of modern Western society is, in our view, the total absorption of self, that focuses on human rights instead of its responsibilities. When the individuals in a society forget their own 'wants' and 'needs' and instead voluntarily focus on serving their neighbour (instead of expecting the state to do the job for them), then I believe that Paradise will result. Therefore for us polygyny is a type of the pattern for world redemption and peace.

    3. Stanisław: Would be interested in learning more of your own personal beliefs, lifystle, etc., should you care to share..

      3.1. Guest: My own personal beliefs have evolved considerably from a childhood of very staunch, antibody, anti-pleasure, fundamentalist teachings. I spent many adult years exploring and experiencing other religions, cultures and customs, which I immensely enjoy! I hope to continue a lifelong adventure in learning with this way. My beliefs include the idea that there is a living energy that flows in and through all things and that all things are interdependent. So that I do not limit my ability to recognize and experience this energy, I do not assign it the label or definition of 'God' that I once did. For me, it just is.

        3.1.1. Stanisław: You belief sounds to be to, if not actually, the New Age concept of pantheism - the idea that there is a collective organism, of Gaia, or perhaps something akin to the Jungian idea of a collective subconscience? I once entertained such ideas in my spiritual journey (from agnosticism > New Age > Christianity), and was very much into the ideas of Carl Jung, himself influenced by Eastern Mysticism, Stan Gooch, etc.. My journey was abruptly halted when I began a study of the scientific evidence for the age of the earth and examined the claims of Darwinism. Inasmuch as a doctrine of evolution underpins all religious doctrines except Bible Christianity (as well as Orthodox Judaism and Islam), from the moment I figured the scientific data contradicted any notion of an old earth or evolutionary processes. As an Engineer evolutionist myself (raised in communist Poland), the forced paradigm shift was quite tough. I thought I had everything neatly figured out. But once you can show that the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against evolution - whether atheistic or theistic - then all spiritual doctrines, experiences, etc. have to be re-evaluated. (See, for example, Evolution: A Doctrine in Search of a Scientific Theory).

        That there is an 'interpenetrating energy' of some sort is almost certainly true, but that it, of itself, has the intelligence to organise life in someway - if it is no more than the collectice life-force of all living things (implied by pantheism and related teachings) - is scientific hog-wash, in my view. For energy to be constructive it must have a directing intelligence or program, otherwise it is destructive of life. This must be true of both the physical as well as the spiritual realms. The delight of the Christian/Messianic paradigm - for me, at any rate - is that the scientific facts fit it. The history of our earth supports catastrophe theory (e.g. Noah's Flood) rather than evolutionary uniformitarianism (or the modern intellectual cop outs, the 'Punctuated Equilibrium' of Gould or the 'Hopeful Monster Mechanism' of Goldberg). The pantheistic idea of an interpenetrating cosmic 'Force', popularised in the Star Wars books and movies, which is the source of all life, strains all credulity, since it does not address how life began in the first place: it must somehow presume its pre-existence, without an intelligent creator, or that it just spontaneously arose out of nothing all by itself like the scarab beetle's spontaneous generation out of dung (according to the ancient Egyptians).

        Life itself is mute witness of the fact that there is ordering intelligent principle behind it. The human brain, the plant chloroplast, the interrelationship between complex bodily organs for which one destructuve mutation would result in the complete collapse of the whole system all testify of this. Any speculative interpenetrating force (which I don't, incidentally, deny) must have a source, particularly if you ascribe to it the creative power of life and living organisms. Furthermore, the evidence that there are both good and evil powers - if one accepts the proposition of a supreme Intelligence - ought to make us cautious in ascribing purely benificent qualities to this 'energy'. Our subjective experience of it may not necessarily always be the real thing especially if there are warring powers that are both able to influence its effects on us. Recognising that such an energy as you describe exists is one thing, but understanding the implications of the origin of its existence is, in my view, far more important. A dolphin with electrodes in its brain, receiving pleasant stimulations in a psychology laboratory when it successfully completes a trick, may think that it understands the Pleasure Principle when in fact its perception of reality is artificially contrived by the laboratory scientist. I for one discovered subsequently that the forces which I had experienced in my life were not all all what I had supposed they were, and that much of which I thought was working for my fulfilment was, in fact, working for my very destruction.

      3.2. Guest: My views on relationships have changed also. I think the concept of monogamy offers many challenges to adult individuals, both psychologically and physically, while offering a viable economic and educational environment where children may be raised.

        3.2.1. Stanisław: Mine have changed enormously too. And you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Biblical view of love, sex, and marriage wasn't 'anti-body' and 'anti-pleasure' as the Catholics and many fundamentalist Protestants teach as well! It was a simple matter to trace the origin of this anti-biblical Catholic heresy to Augustine whose anti-body and anti-sex views were evolved on the rebound from his earlier life of profigate sin in the Manachean sect. He successfully twisted the Bible doctrine of these things by effecting a blending between Biblical Hebrew thought and Greek aesthetic neo-Platonism, and destroyed Christian sexuality for over a thousand years. Worse than that, he and his adherants have given Biblical Christianity/Messianism a bad name, creating a stereotype of the Biblical faith which isn't true. Christ came to give life, and to give it more abundantly, the Bible teaches, not be repressing the Elohim/God-given forces in us but in directing them in the post positive, upbuilding and fulfilling way possible.

        So whilst I am a polygamist I am not necessarily against monogamy, for to me both are the same kin. The astonishing thing about Christian/Messianic polygyny is that it actually obviates the need for polyandry or polyamory, a proposition which many find quite preposterous. How so? Because a woman married polygynously is participating not only in the union with her husband with his unique character traints, but with a husband who is being constantly changed into a different person by his interaction with all his wives.

        Let me illustrate with a true story from my own life. I was, for a number of years, estranged from one of my wives who was unable to come to the peace and happiness my other wives found. When we were finally reunited a year ago she was astonished because of the enormous changes that had taken place in me - changes not occasioned by the natural passing of time, but by the enormous changes in by habits, aura, etc., caused by my union with the other wives, for I had taken on board many of their characteristics which she had considered dificient in me before. She was, in her turn, able to bond with the 'new me' far more easily than before, find herself attracted to qualities I had acquired through the leavening of my other wives to which she had been attracted platonically. What I am saying is that polygyny actually equips a man, simply by intimate interaction with other wives, to enable him to interface with many different kinds of women (all of whom, incidentally, are astrologically-speaking completely incompatible with me ... which is why I have no truck with astrology) and to satisfy each with the several needs they have. I say this not to boast of anything I have 'achieved' to enable me to do this, for in truth it is mostly the achievemment of my other wives.

 Guest: I think the same could be said about a woman exposed to more than one man. I would be interested to learn what you found attractive in each wife. What did they each find attractive in you? What did they find attractive in each other as friends? Or are the relationships a result of an attraction to a set of beliefs alone, perhaps an environment, rather than individuals? Do each of them have what you perceive as 'deficiencies'? If not, why the need for more than one wife?

   Stanisław: The cluster of qualities that attracts one person to another is usually complex. It certainly was not the same set of beliefs alone though that played a critical part to be sure and was at the top of my hierachy of qualities. As a Christian/Messianic I am under a divine manadate not to be unequally yoked to an unbeliever for reasons which, even excluding the issue of salvation, should be obvious on a practical level. (Though love alone may overcome all differences it doesn't guarantee that you will walk the same path. Then there's the thorny issue of defining what love is - in my view, it can only be defined by Truth, which leads you inevitably to a set of beliefs of some sort). On a personal level, I was personally looking for two qualities: (a) loyalty/constancy; and (b) warm heartedness/heart-love. These three, then, were my personal guading stars: TrueFaith-Constancy-Lovingness. I believed - and still believe - that with these ingredients you not only have a solid foundation but can deal with all the other inevitable problems as they crop up.

            As a polygamist man I was not, however, just seeking for loyalty and warm-heartedness with respect to myself, but also with respect to the other wives and their children. The marriage vows we take as polygynists include not just the usual covenants between husband and wife, but also between wives - to love and cherish them and their children too.

            As we all unquestionably have 'deficiencies' of one sort of another, this is not the motivation behind polygyny. I still think you are fundamentally not understanding WHY we practice it. I have not entered polygamy because one wife (or more) can't 'satisfy' or 'fulfil' me since, as I've tried to hint above, in truth no human being can ever in reality completely 'fulfil' or 'satisfy' another. If there is an 'egotistical' motivation behind our form of Christian/Messisanic polygamy then it lies not in what the 'others' can 'give' me but what we can all 'receive' from one another. And fundamental to our belief is that what one receives in this relationship is greater than the sum total of its parts.

        3.2.2. Stanisław: The process is synergistic and stable, because it is a godly, cosmic pattern. The 'need' which some women claim to be intimate with many men is, I maintain, a complete illusion, and is usually the abortive working out of unaddressed psychological and spiritual needs that can only be fulfilled in Christ apart from marriage and intimacy in general. I realise this is not a popular claim to make in a society which has a philosophical world-view that is rabidly anti-Christian but it is one which both my wives and I believe is completely sustainable on the spiritual and physical fronts. No doubt you read the Cosmic Principle revelation which I cited above which gives the 'Grand Unified Doctrine' of our beliefs. The beauty of it is that it works fantastically in practice.

        I believe that monogamy provides the ultimate need for most but that polygyny offers a challenge and its own special rewards for those who are adventurous enough to discover and experience for themselves the very fabric of the created order. I believe that within its core lies the very essence of the mystery of Elohim (God), the Universe, and all that is.

      3.3. Guest: At this point in my life, my beliefs include the idea that the 'guidelines' of marriages or relationships, mandated by some religions and laws of society, have potential to create many problems. Inflexible rules, quite honestly, don't seem to be compatible with human beings that naturally learn, grow and change. I think monogamy may not be compatible with the nature of human beings. I see many rules as being justification for one to control and own another in the name of righteousness or law, while preventing growth, learning, living and spiritual expression (creativity).

        3.3.1. Stanisław: I have to agree with you, though by now you will know that it is for slightly different reasons to yourself. There are many different types of 'rules', and in my mind, they fall into two categories: (a) man-made (or demonic); or (b) Divine. As we look at the verious religious and atheistic philosophies we find that sexual relationships broadly fall into three categories: (a) Monogamic - the 'traditional' Catholic/Protestant paradigm; (b) Polyamoric - the Wiccan-Occultic, Humanistic 'alliance'; and (c) Polygynic - the Hebrew, Islamic, Biblical Christian/Messianic view. The latter two categores may be broken down further - (b) the difference between the 'occultic' and humanistic views (recognising, of course, that humanism has sub-types too) being that most occultists (particularly Wiccans) believe that everything - including the sexes - must be 'balanced' in a kind of multiple-monogamous or 'polygamous monogamous' Yin-Yang (if I can coin those terms) as compared with humanistic secular liberalism which advocates a 'free for all' approach without checks and balances; and (c) the Hebrew-Christian view, which hints at a cosmic foundation to polygyny, and the Islamic for which polygamy is mostly practical and temporal.

        As for 'growth' and 'change', we must know first what we are growing and changing into. Many paths are dead-ends, leading to the fracturing of relationships with all the pain and suffering that brings to adults and children alike. The human spirit is so fragile and so easily hurt and damaged that I dare not tinker around with the divine law. It is bad enough when adults break up but far worse for the children. Having been divorced once I never wish to experience that again nor see the harmful effects it brought on my eldest children.

        I recently read an article in a liberal newspaper by some people who experienced the 1960's sexual revolution and who were looking back at what had transpired in the past 40 years and the effects on society as a whole. Their conclusion was that the experiment had been an unmitigated disaster, and recommended a return to the type of monogamous nuclear family that they had so eagerly set out to destroy when they were younger.

        There are no other lifestyles to be explored that humans haven't already tried out before. But people forget history, or otherwise haven't bothered to study it. The Bolshevik Republic (USSR) abolished marriage in the 1920's and created a social disaster - they were forced to restore the institution of marriage. Since the 1960's the West has been trying to erode the nuclear family with fatal consequences for the stability of society emotionally and economically.

        There is, in any case, no such thing as 'ultimate freedom of choice' if you believe that we have responsibility, so there will always be different kinds of 'control'. Christianity teaches that if you wish society to prosper as a whole, then the individual has to be self-limiting to some extent. Elohim (God) in His wisdom knew of all the social experiements we would get into and the mess that would result and ordained from the beginning a lifestyle that would bring prosperity and happiness to all concerned. He called it 'Marriage' and defined it as one man married to one or more women. He knew that men, who are more calloused by nature than women, would not respond to truth as easily as women, and that righteous women would outnumber righteous men. So He created polygyny. The Bible prophesies that when Christ returns women will outnumber men seven-to-one. Already in Canada the ratio is three-to-one, and in some communities as high as four-to-one. And I believe, that in time, it will get much worse. In the end, polygyny will be seen to be the only viable alternative to monogamy both in terms of the numbers of the different genders available as well as in terms of spiriutal and emotional needs.

      3.4. Guest: I do find your lifestyle interesting as it has potential to meet the nature of humans with regard to relationships, while also offering a potentially stable educational and economic environment for children to be raised in. I am biased however, as I am female, and as you can see by the questions I have asked you previously, my interest is in how the females in such an arrangement may address the possible need for more than one mate in their lives. And if so, what would that need be based in?

        3.4.1. Stanisław: You know, of course, what my answer will be to your last two questions. I am glad you called it a 'possible need' for in truth I believe it is largely ficticious. Of course, if she has a bad husband, then what is needed is a reformed man. Then it boils down to whether you repair a damaged house or buy a new one?

        I believe that the reason women feel this wander-lust is ultimately the responsibility of the men who have abandoned their Elohim/God-given responsibilities.

 Guest: Yes, I can understand this point, however, 'responsibilities' sounds like duties to be fulfilled, instead of natural, free-flowing expressions of the soul. If so, it sounds like there is potential for a loss of authenticity of expression, perhaps even a pretentious overtone to the relationships. I guess what I am looking at more deeply is the human touch -- the human factor, beyond the set of beliefs.

   Stanisław: Because of my belief structure and my observations of human nature I do not believe that responsibilities come 'naturally' to man but must be taught and instilled. If these responsibilities are taught when we are young, then they naturally flow out of our conscience. If they are not taught, then in many respects they must be imposed. This imposition takes two forms: (a) External civil laws designed to protect the rights of the public in general; (b) External spiritual laws which have yet to be voluntarily 'inernalised'.

            You seem in some respects to be advocating a kind of spiritual anarchy - 'if it doesn't flow naturally, then it isn't right'. I think it reflects a kind of existentialist naïvity. I agree that the BEST kind of relationship is that which flows 'spontaneously' and 'naturally"' but reject the idea that the kind of spontaneity and naturalness which you speak of is automatically 'built in' because they are undeniably derived from the set of values we inherit as we grow and mature. Given that conscience is 'formed' by our experiences and the values we choose to accept, it follows that 'spontenaity' and 'naturalness' will vary from individual to individual. This is my clear experience as a polygamist man as I must interact with all kinds of perceptions based on upbringing.

            To have complete unity of body, mind, heart, and soul you have to have a common set of values. That there is something which one might call 'the human factor' which we are born with and to which we can all 'naturally' flow into in our intimate relationships is, I believe, a myth.

            The Bible teaches us that we are born with two natures (a) a sin-nature, which is craving, egotistical, selfish and discordant with the higher nature that Elohim (God) wishes us to make the centre of our being; and (b) a nascent spirit-nature, a primordial holiness, if you like, which in the opening verses of the Gospel of John is described as the Light of Christ - an illuminating beam, as it were, which isn't ours but which, if allowed to play on our own spirits, will transform our spirits into a replica of the Light itself - meaning, we become more Christ-like. But we can choose whether to allow our spirit to be illuminated or not, or whether we will seek stimulation from our sin-nature. Because the gravity of the sin-nature is so strong, it automatically brings our sin-nature into its orbit, subverting its impulses and, if left unchecked, overruling and extinguishing them altogether.

            When people are 'attracted' to one another sexually it is usually to a particular spiritual state in another - that is, the fleshy-spiritual mix. They thereafter seek a 'natural flowing' that compiments their own. Whilst they may find certain point of identity and certain bridges over which they may cross together, they inevitable find areas of one another's personalities which do not resonate together. This often leads to a quest for new partners in order to be 'fulfilled' in those areas which the previous partners have failed.

            The search for the perfect mate becomes, in the end, hopeless, because there are no two identical egos. What happens is that in order to survive the partners separate and continue pursuing their illusion of the 'perfect match' or they arrive at a compromise, acknowledging that certain chasms can't be bridged. So certain aspects of self are compartmentalised off, allowing for interactions in those areas where there is a harmony.

            But this is not natural. The soul wants complete union with its opposite(s) and so stresses and tensions result. The spirit cries out to be free. Civil war results, with violent suppressions and compromises being reached between the sin-nature and the spirit which are often graphically displayed in our dreams.

            The founder of our Order tells of a dream he had of an old man who begged a little boy to carry him. So the little boy picked him and carried him until they came to Bethlehem. Then the little boy put the man down. The man was angry, then sorry, then started begging to be carried further. But the little boy said that he could not carry him further, that now the man was on his own. The man broke down crying.

            The old man is emblematical of our sin-nature, always demanding. The little boy represents the spiritual-nature, which must bear the burdens of the sin-nature until it reaches a point where the sin-nature must die. Bethlehem is the birth of the Messiah, Yah'shua (Jesus), the Light of Christ within everyone. There is a point when the spirit will rise up in revolt and refuse the lures and appeasements of the flesh-nature, saying 'No more'! because now he is standing in the full blaze of the Truth.

            I say that what you are searching for - 'the human touch' - is a myth, because it can mean almost anything you want it to mean. To you it means spontenaity - the spontenaity of your flesh-spirit mix, and you want another person(s) with the same mix who can be spontaneous and fulfill you. But so long as the flesh is in that mix, you will never find fulfilment. It is a dead-end, even though there may be intermittant 'highs'. But they too will die out, especially as you grow older, and the flesh simply isn't able to give you what you want any longer. Then the little girl will either die or so say 'No!' and put the old woman in you down. She will face a choice: to follow the Light (of Christ) or go to the grave with the flesh-nature.

            It is not pretentious to say 'No!' and begin a spiritual reformation of the soul. It is the most genuine act there is because it is acknowledgeing the INsufficiency of the flesh in giving us the deep, deep union we all want. The only union between finite man is finite. The vacuum in men's hearts is infinite and it is Christ-shaped and nothing will fill it except Christ Himself. Only He, in my humble opinion, can finally fill us and make our marriage unions complete, because only He possesses the component of infinity. It was He, as Yahweh, who took Eve out of Adam, and it is only He who can reunite the two. And in the case of polygyny, Eve is many, just as the ribs of man are many.

            I have sought for what you are looking for which is a kind of infinity and self-fulfilment without Elohim (God). The end of that path is the grave and dissolusion. The 'human touch' waxes old and vanishes for ever, and that which is eternal is not of man at all. There is that small Light of Christ in everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. But if that Light has not been turned onto the spirit - if it has been pushed to one side - then the soul will remain unleavened, as bread without yeast remains flat and hard. And when that Light is removed at death, then all that is left of the spirit is what it itself has received. And if it has not received the Light, which is Christ, or the resurrection power which confers immortality, then it will descend under the gravity of its own darkness to the place of ultimate darkness - naturally, spontaneously, and in complete accordance with cosmic justice.

            The message of Christianity is not, alas, popular because it proclaims a single path to life eternal. It says that to be fully human - that which we were originally created to be before we sinned and added a dark side to our natures - can only come about through an EVENT and a PROCESS. The EVENT is personally trusting Yah'shua (Jesus) as Lord (Master, Commander) and Saviour (Deliverer from sin - the jurisdictional deliverance, or divine Pardon); and the PROCESS is the life-long delivery from sinful tendencies called SANCTIFICATION (literally 'making holy'). That occurs as the sin-nature (which is still there) is properly addressed and worked with. This is where the 'discipline' and 'responsibility' element comes in that you queried me about above. I will explain.

            The ideal, complete man is described by the prophet Jeremiah as one who has the New Covenant Law of Christ written in his mind and heart so that nobody needs to teach him anymore. All his thoughts, feelings and actions are SPONTANEOUSLY and NATURALLY righteous, and therefore FULLY HUMAN. The realisation of this state is not, however, instantaneous: in the same way that a child doesn't have to be taught to be naughty but how to be good (naughtiness is derived from the inherited, but not fully unfolded, sin-nature), so adults must be taught the principles of righteousness. This occurs on two levels: (a) INTERNAL IMPLANTING by the Holy Spirit and (b) OUTER CLOTHING, or imposed self-discipline. The two are mirror images of each other. Though it is the internal implanting which may be said to 'naturally' unfold into the full measure of righteousness/goodness, it needs a 'vessel' to contain it much as wine needs a cup. The externally-imposed self-discipline (our 'responsibility') protects and shields the inner spiritual seed until it has come to maturity, after which the outer vessel may be discarded completely, must as a wine fulfills its function once the wine has been drunk. The apostle Paul calls this 'putting on the CLOTHES of righteousness'.

            The CLOTHES may be described as 'belief', and in this case, 'correct belief', for if you believe in the wrong thing, then the seed will either not come to fruition or will not even grow in the first place. This principle is true not just in the spiritual dimension but in every area of life. Making mature love is not something that happens spontaneously but is a serious of acquired skills which, once mastered, may be said to 'naturally flow'. Responsibility, until fully internalised and made habit thereby, must first (in most instances) begin by external self-imposition.

            That is what I mean by responsibilties. If you wait for responsibilities to magically 'appear' from within when there is nothing there, then you will wait forever. That is why society must have restrictive external laws to contain those who lack self-discipline and any sense of responsibility. It is not the most 'natural" way because the 'way' has not yet been planted and cultivated within. If you want nice people in society 'niceness' has to be implanted and cultivated within them by parents and others when they are young.

            So my point is really this: 'what' human touch are you looking for? The word 'human' is sufficiently vague as to mean almost anything you want it to be - from a permissive libertine to a monstrous torturer and murder. Who will define 'human'? In the end, what happens, is that we define 'human' from our own subjective, existentialist point-of-view, and the 'human touch' you are looking for is basically 'the-human-touch-like-me' or some imagined idea (realisable or not). And since what we are is conditioned by our beliefs - for we make all the choices that form what we are by our beliefs, whether spelled out or not - it is impossible to separate beliegs from the 'human touch'. The 'human factor' is, from my way of seeing things, simply an illusiory concept - unless it is the irrational, unpredictable, or whatever you are referring to. Which is my point - for these things stem from a particular nature which, though composed of basic selfish and evil impulses, interracts with our spirits and is directed by our choices into a personality-entity which is entirely unique to ourselves.

            Of course I understand by 'human' you probably mean that which distinguishes us from innanimate matter or from nature's other living beings. Using Christian/Messianic verbage, that means our capacity to create good or evil, connected to our intelligence, spirituality, etc.. And that, as I have tried to explain above, is best explained in terms of our dual nature and the need of spiritual redemption to (a) put the flesh in a subservient position to the spirit; and (b) leaven the spirit to make it into an eternal entity. Once done - or at least once 'in the process', we become more and more human - more senstitive, more loving, and more like the divine nature which is Christ.

            Responsibility in the sense that I have described does not, therefore, result in a loss of authenticity. Far from it: it actually enhances, protects and nurtures it as a nanny or a mother takes care of a child. Once old enough, the nanny and/or mother aren't needed anymore in the process of 'humanising': The human has become fully human.

        3.4.2. Stanisław: That is not to say all the blame must be laid at their feet, however, for both have been running away from their naturally created callings. And there is only one solution: a complete spiritual reformation of humanity. Many religions have offered solutions, all of which involve people doing something in the first instance. Christianity teaches that the power we need to effect this inner transformation is available free by placing our trust in the Elohim/God-Man, Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah). For the hindrances that prevent the kind of personal and social revolution that is needed to heal society of its numerous ills is not latent within man himself, but is external to him. Elohim (God) offers that power in His Son, and Satan, the Adversary, offers several counterfeits which apprear appetising at first sight and seem to offer the desired result after the first few experiences but which in truth lead to complete spiritual disintegration in the end.

        This will, of course, sound dogmatic and possibly intolerant to those opposed to such a world-view but I suggest that this is no more than the patient reacting negatively to a strong spiritual antibiotic that is going to at first make him feel a lot worse than he already is now before it makes him better. Spiritual surgery is not painless. The pain-free religious therapies invariably cut corners, including the corner that leads to healing. Our fundamental problem is a sin-nature which knows of no remedy save that of the Son of Elohim (God), specifically commissioned by the Father to effect a major spiritual operation to remove a cancerous growth which in the end takes away your very life in the eternities. If you have a gangrenous leg that needs amputating, a stimulating massage that makes you feel better in the short term isn't going to do you much good. Desperate illnesses requite desperate remedies.

        The remedy, viewed so sceptically by a world steeped in its vain belief that it can solve its own ills through technology, meditation, ecology, and the like, is nothing short of death. Just as dead viruses are injected into us as vaccinations to stimulate the antibody production to fight the live infection when it comes, so it was necessary for the Incarnate Elohim (God) to die in the flesh in order to destroy the death that is already in us, and which is killing us for sure. Just as the antigen of the dead virus leads to life, so the death of the Son of Elohim (God) leads to Eternnal Life - not some vague theological proposition (though in truth much of its fulfilment certainly lies in the future, much as we have faith that the vaccine will serve us when the real infection comes along), but a power which is immediately available. It is called the resurrection power of Christ - not the energy that interpenetrates all living things which is on a much lower plane of existence and which is not immortal, but the Holy Spirit - immortal, invisible, and eternally energising.

        Couple this to polygyny, and you have the ultimate union of the sexes, which lasts forever.

        However, perhaps you should talk to my wives? They would be happy to share their experiences with you.

    B. Another Response to
    the Cartwheel Analogy

    B1. Guest 2: I thought we were all spokes on the wheel, and that the hub is Christ; which would support polyamory more than the ego-centered polygamy you describe, wouldn't it? Why not group marriage? My daughter attempted to enter into a threesome marriage with a previously married couple, but each person in the threesome saw themselves as the 'hub' or center of attention. The wedding date was set, but after many battles involving assault charges between the husband and his pre-threesome wife, and vice versa, everything was called off.

      B1.1. Stanisław: Unfortunately there isn't even a whiff of a hint of polyamory in the Bible in any of its many parts if it's a Christian/Messianic point-of-view you're arguing out of. You will search in vain for any definition of marriage in the Bible other than one man being married to one or more women. In view of Yahweh's clearly stated Law on the matter, searching for other paradigms is surely a waste of time.

      Of course, if you are not a Christian/Messianic, then one cannot make that assumption, in which case we are approaching it from the wrong angle.

      I am truly sorry to hear of the bad experience your daughter had. There are bad polygamous arrangements as there are bad monogamous ones. It sounds from your brief description that it all started off in the wrong way. Though from a gut-level I can understand how your daughter's unhappiness would prejudice you against polygyny, I think you will have to be honest in admitting that what was at fault was not the principle but the way in which the people handled it.

      As to the question 'egotism', I think this is a relative term. Using your logic you could claim that Christ is the ultimate 'egotist' for being the allegorical Bridegroom of millions of Christian/Messianic 'wives'. We know that is preposterous, though, simply because the motivating power of Christ was love-through-attraction and not force. A polygamist man who tries to force his wives into building up his own power-base would indeed be called an 'egotist', but if he is truly submitted to His Lord, and full of love for his wives, then to call him an 'egotist' is no different from calling a monogamist man an 'egotist' for truly loving and cherishing his properly submitted wife or for calling Christ an 'egotist' for truly loving and cherishing His properly submitted and obedient Wife, the Church (Messianic Community).

      Seen in that light - which is the Biblical light - I really can't see any grounds for your objections.

      And if you're not a Bible-believing Christian/Messianic then we shall just have to politely agree to disagree

    Author: SBSK

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