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Pecman posed a (perhaps rhetorical) question in the News and Views Forum on the loss of two young people through suicide.

I have no argument with Pecman's post, but I did not want to make the following statement in the News and Views Forum because it might be taken that I was chastising Pecman, which I certainly am not. What I do have to say is somewhat a personal statement, but one I would like to share with you from the relative safety of posting it as an opinion in my blog. Of course you may wish to respond, and consider yourself invited to do so. Personal flames will be deleted. Be warned this is not going to be everyone's opinion.

Pecman's original post is here, and well worth reading. My heart goes out to him for his concern.

Quote Pecman:

Is the world really this hopeless?

It is so easy to say, "yes it is," but it is not just the bullying of the young that invites such a response.

At any moment of our existence, we are in a state of confusion, torn between serving our desire to live loving lives, and fulfilling the social roles imposed on us by our various cultures. Enlightenment can be defined as overcoming one's culture, but that in itself is probably a lifetime occupation.

Blinded by the pressures to conform, we so often do not see that those demands are challenged by our natural desire for peace and love.

We allow ourselves to be swayed by all kinds of doctrine to believe that aggression and avarice are the natural states of human existence.

Those young people, who are exposed to such doctrine, often see no alternative other than to side-step adopting it as their own, by opting out.

They are not yet able to accept that life is a battle, a quest to affirm goodness; they do not yet have the capacity to withstand the onslaught of those who have been persuaded to preach that love and goodness are illusions and that life is about cruelly taking whatever you want for yourself at the expense of others. They are overcome by the feeling that they cannot and will not participate in the hopelessness, in the horror they perceive around them. This is particularly so in the young people (11 years old in the article.)

These sensitive souls are the very ones we cannot afford to lose. They are but a few moments of living away from being able to say. "I love life; I will do all that I can to live fully and completely without harming others. I will do all that I can to fulfil my humanity, I say yes to life!"

But they are deterred from developing this inner-strength of human love, of recognising the power of the goodness of life in themselves, because they have been subjected to, attacked and bullied by, those who have submitted to the doctrines of hate, negativity, guilt and fear.

These young people are denied their natural inclination to access the discovery of truth and beauty, all in the name of subservience to their culture's rules and beliefs in some kind of external salvation.

Love is within, it resides within us. It is not given to us, it is what we are, unless it is taken from us; and too often love is forcibly removed from us, by denouncing it as wicked and that it somehow makes us unworthy, immoral and all sorts of other imperfections. We are made to feel guilty for being creatures of love, when in fact we should be rejoicing the goodness of our love and its expression.

Too often do those, who have submitted to being negative about life, try to force their negativity on others. Too often, love is discriminated against by the forces of fear and guilt. And too often is love strangled in the hands of the bully, just so he feels justified in his denial of accepting his capacity to love. He does not understand it is his own love that he kills.

But a young person just coming to terms with puberty, mystified by developing emotions, discovering the potential for his own capacity to love, will come to think that in the face of all the hypocrisy which abounds in his culture, of all the tragedy which seems to surround life, in the face of his time and time again being denied his own human existence, that it is just easier to escape from a world in which he feels alienated, which is just too much to bear on his own.

Sometimes he will find someone his own age to assist their common survival, sometimes lovingly, sometimes not.

I have at times been asked what a young person gets from a relationship with an older person, because as far as can be seen it seems that only the older person gets something from such a relationship. That may seem true, but only if we consider it in terms of sexual gratification. Certainly there is that horrifying molestation of the young that must rightfully be condemned, but it should not be confused with the transmission of the lust for life that an older person can give a younger.

Such a relationship can give the younger a model of hope, of what love really is, as opposed to just sexual urges. The love of an older for a younger person recognises the glamour of life (as Oscar Wilde called it) in the younger person, it encourages the celebration of life and it shows love as being the reason for sexual expression, rather than the way far too many people think of it today, as sex being the motivation for love.

And no this last statement is not an attempt to justify paedophilia. Sexual relationships before puberty is completed, is definitely not part of this argument. Paedophilia is the negative, the abusive aspect of sexual expression between an older and a younger person.

However, just as destructive is the doctrine of hate which teaches the young and often the very young, to live in fear, with guilt and to deny love by denying the inherent goodness in humanity.

A loving relationship between an older and a younger person can reverse this hate, this denial of life and replace it with loving goodness and therefore lead the young person to exclaim, yes to life.

To quote Oscar Wilde from the dock during his first criminal trial:

[?]It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so the world does not understand. The world mocks it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.

It is important to understand that many people have imposed a non-sexual interpretation on this speech that any student of Greek Love would patently deny. Wilde was quite clearly defending his love of youth as being worthy, both in the intellectual and physical senses.

Of course, the parallel argument for heterosexual love between a younger person and an older person of opposite sex also holds true, but in practice this has been an instruction in heterosexual sex rather than the noble-minded values described by Wilde. Still I have no doubt the argument is valid regardless of gender. (I also have no doubt that humanity is sexually omnifarious, eventually succumbing to availability and habit, even if influenced by genetic propensity or cultural expectations, which of course cause further problems.)

Rites of passage through loving relationships of differently aged lovers, is part of the human experience, and I would maintain a necessary one if the young are not to find life as hopeless as it sometimes seems.

In historic cultures, both civilised and primitive, and in classical literature such relationships were understood and revered. Then came the puritan dark ages which still influence us today and we wonder why we feel hopeless.


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I understand the confusion Bruin. You have posted your contribution to the discussion, in the correct place in Pecman's thread.I considered my own response as being more appropriate here in my blog as it was really an essay (somewhat related, but also off topic) inspired by Pecman's question on whether "the world is really that hopeless," rather than my post being a response to the tragedy itself. I probably don't expect my essay to be either popular or much discussed, but it does allow me to post some thoughts on what constitutes some of the hopelessness from a not often considered point of view.

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Ancient Greeks practiced it, we now call it pederasty and yes it has no relationship whatsoever with pedophilia. And while in some cases it was abusive and shallow, it was more often a case of an older male mentoring a younger hellion. Underlined by the fact that there is an age limit where the relationship must end and the younger guy must take his place in society (and marry). Anyway, even I find myself attracted to older men at times. I have several crushes with some men in their forties that I know off-site, hehe. Their grasp on the machinations of this little ball of existence is much more firmer than mine and that I guess is what makes them infinitely more attractive than your average emptyheaded twink.But then again, certain factors stop me from pursuing those attractions. One is that society frowns upon it and two is that I really do not want to add further fuel to the Asian stereotype of us all wanting to be 'kept' boys. I certainly don't. *sigh* But sometimes I wish those invisible barriers didn't exist.Gay men particularly have no mentors. No one to look up to. Even their fathers are often distant, mysterious in their heterosexuality, and not someone who can readily understand the struggle of accepting your own homosexuality and the things that follow. Neither can the mothers. Like in my case, I grew up knowing very little about the gay culture. I believed that gay people actually were debased beings who pursued only sex and wanted to be females in dress and mannerism. This partly brought on my extreme near-suicidal depression in my late teens. The internet was crucial in me discovering that it wasn't so. That homosexuality was okay and there were plenty of people who are undergoing the same things I am. Not to mention these writing sites which served as an outlet and you guys who helped me partially on gaining enough courage to come out to my best friend in real life.Anywho, Life can be so cold sometimes. But I've long decided that I'd rather live than cop out because it's too 'unfair'.

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My heart goes out to you, Hylas. Trying to find a mentor of integrity with honorable intentions has in my opinion been made difficult in nearly all cultures. It is something that our era has confused with its condemnation of molestation. Worse still there is little understanding of the deep abiding friendship which grows into love. Despite the age of enlightenment and gay liberation, there seems to be a hangover from the Dark Ages, from times when superstition reigned supreme, which still inhibits the natural free expression and bonds of love between human beings. I doubt the human race can ever find peace until it overcomes its sexual hangups; until it learns to accept that love does not imprison people, but sets them free. Without acceptance of that freedom, our cultures will continue to deny our natural inclination to love each other.That so many people think this is just an impossible idea just goes to indicate how effectively the truth about love has been concealed from us all.The object of Human Rights is not just freedom of expression but ultimately comes down to the freedom to love. We just have to make sure our love, our passion, is always tempered with compassion.

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The real monster is the 'system' which is, by its very nature, inhuman. Wherever and whenever there is a system, there is a loss of love, compassion, and basic humanity.

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