The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sexual Transmutation

I"m having a bit of a problem with some of the response to Obama's speech last night. I mean--during his campaign, he promised to move our troops our of Iraq and concentrate on Afghanistan. Then when he seems to be keeping his promise, people act as if he is betraying them. That is freaking weird. I can understand that if he BROKE his promise, but what is this? I've been staying away from politics, but would appreciate some feedback on the way you guys feel about this. I see no easy choices here, and the fact that folks on both the Left and Right complain suggest that he is still doing what he has always done--try to find the middle path. Those who thought he was radical were mistaking the FACT of his candidacy for the philosophy of the candidate. Very different things.


Having sushi for breakfast. Left over from last night, of course. Wonder what my stomach thinks about that? Feels a little weird, but can't think of a big reason not to.


Met with some very nice people yesterday, seeking new representation out here in Hollywood. Have a manager, but no agent (and the subtleties of the difference between the two sometime escape me.) But I want to do more animation and television, and just can't make the connections by myself. Need an ear a little closer to the ground.


Actually, the idiots who crashed the White House dinner did us a favor. I'd bet anything that the Secret Service is closing loopholes like crazy right now. If I had bad intentions toward the Prez, I'd be seriously pissed off and discouraged


The questions of sexual addiction and sexual transmutation fly thick and of the 101 students applied some of my techniques in this arena, so I thought I'd share them. The basic thought is that we (guys, especially) think about sex many, many times a day. There are guys who feel deprived when they see a sexy woman walking down the street, and are hit with a giant urge to follow up, become angry with their wives, and sometimes ruin their entire lives chasing tail.

I remember Oscar Brown Jr.'s song "Lady's Man" which was about a cocksman who looks up at the end of his life and realizes he has nothing, not even his virility, and certainly not any of the accomplishments he might have achieved. "What tricky trade might I have tried/had I not lain preoccupied/but then, who's ever satisfied a Lady's Man." Ah the humanity.

One of the brilliant things about Think And Grow Rich, an aspect that it was far ahead of its time, is the entire chapter on Sexual Transmutation. The ability to convert or channel the sex drive into creative avenues seems to have been a consistent pattern in all of the highly-achieving men and women he interviewed over thirty years. Several of them said specifically that when they had an important decision to make, they would postpone the decision until after he had gone home and had sex with his partner.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons:

1) Your Mastermind's "bottom line" is your life partner. You must be totally aligned with this person to create a sort of higher-mind unity that creates genius. Sex aligns us beautifully. It opens our hearts and opens the door to a possible future. Sex tells our hind-brains that we are making a baby, and instantly things get more serious. You aren't talking about ego anymore--you are touching the edge of Forever.

2) The intensity of an orgasm is in direct proportion to the amount of your ego you release at that moment. In other words, if you can remember your name, it wasn't good sex. Your ego wants to believe it is the most important part of your personality. The truth is that it is slow and stupid in comparison to who you really are. You are diving deeply into your essence.

3) Risk of reward means risk of failure. You need to know that there is someone who understands that you are pushing yourself into unknown territory. The unspoken question: will you love me if I fail? If the answer is: "I will love you always" then we have the confidence to move forward. Good sex feels like you are falling in love. It is an affirmation, an embrace, on the deepest and most physically profound levels.

4) Love and fear compete for the same place in your heart. Fear is a paralyzer. When you feel that endorphin rush, it can help to give us courage to act.

There's much more that I could easily do a week-long workshop on the subject. But for those who have the sexual addiction problem...either thinking about it or doing it inappropriately, I suggest that every time you think about sex, deliberately shift your breathing into the spot below your navel, and think about your goal. Be sure that your goal is in alignment with your values and beliefs. See the house, the graduation ceremony, whatever you desire most deeply. Drop your breathing and raise your energy. That sexual urge is a monster if it is inappropriate.

One of the problems is for people who feel trapped in their lives. Another sexual partner is like opening a door to a different reality. Who would I be with Him? Or Her? Especially when people don't take responsibility for their lives, or don't understand that their current partner is a mirror of their own essence. Surely, if they can make physical union with that desirable other, it will mean that they themselves still have hope, and potential. A new lover doesn't see our flaws. They laugh at our jokes, they don't know we can't balance our checkbooks. Finding a new lover is like avoiding actually digging through the debris of our relationship to make it new again.

It is avoidance of adulthood, death, responsibility. And ultimately, an avoidance of life, substituting the illusion of passion. It is tragic. Listen: I've made that mistake. I'm not pointing fingers. I am saying that dreaming about great sex is the best way to avoid actually having it. Whether you are in a relationship or not, channeling your sexual energy rather than allowing it to dissipate into daydreams or worse, betrayal of your heart and vows, is one of the most intelligent things you can do.


Steve Perry said...

Normally, President Obama hits a homer every time he makes a speech.

Last night, I think he hit a single.

In trying to offer something for everybody, I think he wound up pleasing almost nobody. We're sending in more troops ... but we're gonna bring 'em home in eighteen months. We can't afford to send them ... but we can't afford not to send them.

Our partners are going to step up and help.

Really? Like they've been doing? The broad mandate seems as slim as when Bush was waving it to justify Iraq.

Yeah, he inherited Bush's War, but he's the guy on the hot seat now. Country's economy is in the toilet and people are wondering if they can buy Christmas presents and oh, by the way, it's going to cost us X-billion more (30-90, depending on whose numbers you like) than we are spending now.

Sometimes the middle of the road is the place to be. Sometimes it isn't.

Three empires before us got bogged down in Afghanistan -- why on Earth would anybody believe we have something they didn't?

Foxessa said...

It has a great deal to do with the fact that the administration is propping up a blatantly notoriously corrupt election and government and figurehead, i.e. Karzai. At least from the progressive side. The rightwing is actually in favor of Obama on this.

Check out this:

Former White House staffer Cathy Hargraves and Robin Givhan totally pimp slap Desirée Rogers, in so many ways, using the crashers as the pretext. I.e., the thrust of the article is that it wasn't the secret service at fault here, but the glamorous former Zulu Queen, Desirée Rogers, who got in Vogue -- and the they didn't ....

Love, C.

Marty S said...

The real problem here seems to me to be a lack of clarity on what we are attempting to accomplish in Afghanistan. Are we there to build a better nation of Afghanistan. If so I believe its as foolish as the Iraq war was. On the other hand if were are there to deny the terrorists a base for building their forces against us, then it seems to me it is futile to attempt to do this in Afghanistan alone. If we are not prepared to carry the fight to the terrorist in Pakistan, whether Pakistan likes it or not then we should pull out because their is no hope of defeating the terrorists. No matter what force we send against them they will employ hit and run tactics from Pakistan until we get tired and leave like we did in Vietnam. Then the terrorists will reestablish themselves in Afghanistan.

Scott said...

Right; you can be victorious in Afghanistan, sure... if you're Genghis Khan. Or Tamerlane.

Otherwise, reconsider your intentions; the Soviets lasted ten years. The Brits lasted longer, went 2 and 1, sort of, but it was bad for them, really.

Shady_Grady said...

Antiwar people will not be happy with an escalation. It's not just about Obama; it's about the war.

Yes candidate Obama did talk about Afghanistan as the right war. Perhaps those who were antiwar and voted for him hoped that this was a promise he'd NOT keep, like his promises on FISA, or repealing DADT, or allowing the release of photos of abused detainees, or withdrawing combat troops from Iraq or several other things.

It's not just that President Obama is doing things differently than from what candidate Obama said he would. All Presidents do that. It's that there is a growing weariness with the war and increasing skepticism over the goals and costs. How will this escalation be paid for?

The justifications for the war do not make sense. Although the "Left" has been stereotypically more antiwar, there is also an antiwar "Right".

Unconvincing Flop

If the US is trapped in perpetual war, no matter who the President is then something has gone very wrong in the body politic.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"the administration is propping up a blatantly notoriously corrupt election and government and figurehead, i.e. Karzai."

Unabashed corruption's the enduring norm in Afghanistan. It's best that policy makers discard Bush era delusions of transforming the Muslim World into a political clone of the Beltway. We're not going to find an Honest Abe to steward Kabul. What's practical and vital is that our Satrap's loyal to his American overlords and firmly directs Afghanistan pursuant to US interests. In the time-honored ways of The East, let Karzai reward himself with handsome baksheesh for grinding Al-Qaeda and the Taliban into the dist.

Reluctant Lawyer said...

Off-topic: Just tried your recommended combination of 5 minutes of Turkish get-ups and 12 minutes of the bodyweight fundamentals program. Feels good, not a smoker yet - I started as recommended at the lowest level of exercise. wouldn't mind seeing videos of some of the upper level exercises.

Lynn said...

I agree with you totally on the reactions to Obama. I decided that I would vote for Obama as soon as I realized that he is a moderate and he hasn't betrayed me yet.

Lynn said...

By the way, I haven't been around for a while but it's mostly the political commentary that I'm interested in. I shy away from most political blogs but your political posts are different and so are your regular commenters.

Literary Consultant said...

Obama did what he had to do to get out of the classic Catch-22. If he goes in and stays indefinitely the enemy lays low and bleeds us dry financially, waiting for the inevitable administration change/American public to protest. Pull out immediately and the Taliban run around shouting about how they won. The genius of what Obama did is that he put a cap on the financial drain while simultaneously vowing to sweep out the trash. Once that's done its the Afghan's job to protect their own. And if Kabul falls to the Taliban in 2013? Well...let's just say I am a huge fan of drones.

Marty S said...

I think Obama sometimes has a problem that we discussed a few posts ago. On some issues his heart thinks one way and his head thinks another way. The Afghanistan solution seems like a compromise between the two when going all the way with either would have been better.

Mike said...

Talk of "can't affording" or "bleeding us dry" due to the Afghanistan War is pure hyperbole.

According to this;

The cost of the war in Afghanistan is currently;


for basically eight years.

By contrast, according to

"Each year, alcohol abuse costs the United States an estimated $185 billion, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism."

So a single year of alcohol abuse in the US is almost as costly as the entire 8 years we've been fighting in Afghanistan, and of course there are far far more American deaths from one year of alcohol abuse than we've suffered in 8 years in Afghanistan.

Now, is alcohol abuse "bleeding" us dry? No. Can we afford alcohol abuse in America? Yea, we really can when you get right down to it.

Realistically speaking, we can afford to stay in Afghanistan for the next 100 years at the rate were spending (or at the increased rate proposed) and the average man on the street wouldn't notice the difference, financially, between that and if we left tomorrow. 233 Billion, is just not that large a % of an economy that produced over 100 TRILLION, during the same period.

For Pete's sake, the cost of the war in Afghanistan is only a little bit more than double what the US spends on PET FOOD during the same period (11 Billion annually, according to my quick googling).

What people are really saying is, "I'd like that money spent on other things." Fair enough, but whether that expenditure is a wise use of our limited resources (and all resources are limited) is a separate question from if we can afford it or not. And we can. Indefinitely.

Mike said...

Doing some further googling, I find that;

"The American Pet Products Association, a trade group, estimates U.S. spending on pets will rise to $45.4 billion this year, from $43.2 billion in 2008.

The total includes $17.4 billion for food and more than $22 billion for over-the-counter medicine and veterinary care."

So it turns out that we've almost certainly spent LESS on the Afghanistan War than we have on our pets (food & medicine) during the same period. Feeding Fluffy will not bankrupt the Republic, and neither will Afghanistan.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"So a single year of alcohol abuse in the US is almost as costly as the entire 8 years we've been fighting in Afghanistan"

Rich nations like the USA typically spend astronomically more on frivolities than on supposed vital interests. I recall David Gerrold writing in Starlog back in the 80's than the American public spends far more courting stokes and heart disease at MacDonald's than on space exploration. As with WW2 rationing, crises only really earn their names when dire necessity forces shuts down the buffet. Ditto for Afghanistan, a classic colonial conflict wherein the populace of the wealthy world-straddling power watches the action with mild interest as they would a sporting event.

As for solutions to the Afghanistan quagmire, the Powers That Be would do well to seek advice from Jerry Pounelle's Chaos Manor. Using Pournelle's analysis as the starting point, I purpose that we needn't conquer Afghanistan, just control it sufficiently. Through Karzai or another suitable Satrap, the USA can maintain control of urban centers such as Kabul and their proximate hinterlands. From there we can launch attacks on the countryside to pulverize the Taliban and their supporters as need be. Like the British did a century ago, we can even bribe the warlords to maintain tenuous influence over these lawless regions. As Pournelle says, Afghanistan produces nothing of value for the USA. Apart from keeping the Jihad out, we can leave the Afghans to their medieval. barbarism.

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