ANDROGYNOUS


Plato on Sexuality

If you're experiencing Gender Issues and are having problems trying to explain your sexuality to your parents or mayhaps to your friends, I suggest you point them to Plato. Yes, Plato - the old Greek guy who most people consider intelligent and sophisticated. Believe me, you're parents will open their eyes wide when you tell them to read something from Plato. Direct them to his 'The Symposium', and the piece you want them to read follows Aristophanes' myth about the origins of human beings.

According to Plato, each of us is a matching half of a human whole and we are always seeking the half that matches us. He said that there were three types of people originally created - one male, one female, and one androgynous. Each of these "originals" was split in half to begin the human race.

This means the male split is looking for another male, the female split looks for another female and the androgynous male looks for his counterpart female.

Plato states that those split from the same sex, two males or two females, "are quite satisfied to live their lives with one another unmarried." He points out that they are, "lovers of love, always rejoicing in their own kind."

However, he clarifies saying, "When a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation, then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don't want to be separated from one another, not even for a minute."

He goes on to say, "These are people who finish out their lives together and still cannot say what it is they want from one another. No one would think it is the intimacy of sex - that mere sex is the reason each lover takes so great and deep a joy in being with the other. It's obvious that the soul of every lover longs for something else; his soul cannot say what it is, but like an oracle it has a sense of what it wants, and like an oracle it hides behind a riddle."

Plato imagines God asking them, "What is it you human beings really want from each other? Is this your heart's desire - for the two of you to become parts of the same whole, as near as can be, and never to separate, day or night?"

Now imagine you and your lover being told by God, "If that's your desire, I'd like to weld you together and join you into something that is naturally whole, so that the two of you are made into one. Then the two of you would share one life, as long as you lived because the two of you would be one being and by the same token, when you died, you would be one and not two in [the grave] having died a single death."

Plato concludes by stating, "Surely you can see that no one who received such an offer would turn it down; no one would find anything else that he wanted."

Now if people could understand this simple dialogue concerning human love, affection, sexuality, and marriage back in 400 BC, why do people have such a problem with it today? Why can't people see that we're all the same when it comes to what we desire? Remember, it's HUMAN rights for all that we seek.

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