Erle Frayne Argonza
This freethinker-mystic is among those who are very indifferent to many institutional ways of life. Institutional ways are largely meant for the mass-mind herds that need customs or ‘routinized’ behavior to have a semblance of moorings in life. Groupthought, which institutions harness, stifles the creative and the individually authentic, even as it breeds alienation.
As a youth in the late 70s through the 80s, I was very sure of where I stood up in regard to Eros (love between the sexes): I was for free love, I was terribly indifferent to courtship that I despised it to the extremes, but I wasn’t for free sex. Love beyond the entrapments of the normative templates prescribed by society via the institution of courtship is truly liberating, and this is necessarily so: that love must be liberating.
Love that is stifling, encumbering, or love that consigns one to cul de sacs isn’t true love. Love that is selfish, love that is meant to procure the greatest attention to oneself, love that is Attention Deficit gratifying, love that forces one to accept the Self which in effect rationalizes inaction towards the greater goal of self realization or inner transformation, this is the love that isn’t love but domination, manipulation, conceit, abomination.
Love must be free, love must be liberating for both sexes, love must make lovers move forward in soul evolution. I heard the lines first from one my first philosophers in high school life, John Lennon, in his many songs. “Love is free, free is love!” summarizes his philosophy. I couldn’t but agree with this popular bard.
As I entered the halls of the university in the late 70s, Marcuse was the wave and I was drawn into the currents of his thoughts on Eros. Through him I discovered the Frankfurt School thinkers, notably Erich Fromm whose thesis on the ‘art of loving’ got me ecstatically swelling with delight over new philosophical and psychological thoughts about Eros. I was at home with Frankfurt School, and till these days my deep appreciation for its scholars’ thoughts remains. And I owe it so much to Marcuse and Fromm my early comprehension of the rising free love among free spirits.
I was lucky enough to meet early in life girls who likewise hated courtship, the free spirit girls of the 1970s. There weren’t so many of them, and there weren’t so many of us free spirit boys then. But somehow, as metaphysics declared that “birds of the same feather flock together,” we discovered each other’s presence, and were all enabled to discover the new Eros beyond the normative templates of courtship.
From 1982 onwards, the women I met in life were largely the free spirit types. Some of them were involved with radical movements, while some others were simply the unattached free spirits. Their behavioral responses to the call of the circumstance were highly original, indicative of their highly individuated psyche. They were very spontaneous with me as I was with them, from the first encounter through the galvanization of Eros. In my encounters with them, there was none of the rigmarole that marked the courtship practices observed in the Philippines nor anywhere else.
There was openness in expressing feelings. In most instances there wasn’t even a need to say things using the linguistic medium. It was largely body language & facial expression, or non-verbal semiotics, that mediated the interactions. There was symmetry in the interactions and relationship. Without the restraints posed by institutional life, both each partner and me were easily brought forth from Beta to Alpha brain wave, which further permitted us to unlock the meanings behind the signals elicited by the partner.
There was simply Oneness. There was the complete unity of the Yin and Yang. There was a free flow of the love frequency and other beneficial energies across each other’s body and aura. This free flow amid free love had powerful healing effects. Just the presence of a loved one alone instantly dissipates the other lover’s melancholic mood and thoughts.
Incidentally, as I look back at those wonderful moments, being now an advancing mystic, I’ve come to realize that the most sensitive souls I met among the women were the Old Soul types. Being an Old Soul myself, it wasn’t difficult to see that I was drawn to fellow Old Souls among women as they were to me, and so I got involved with some of them. We had the markings of what is now referred to as ‘star seeds’.
We are the types who can never be at home with the circumstances built by mainstream culture and society. We creatively build our own adaptation modalities, even as we are conscious in destroying the foundations of the Old World down to the last embers of its shambles. We are warriors, militants in the true sense of the term who were drawn to and became leaders of advocacy groups and mass movements. We are never parts of the mass, but we came here to lead and shape the mass.
Free love is now rising, and I guess rising rapidly. It rides astride urbanization that is now sweeping the entire planet. Urban life now dominates Philippine society, accompanied by the devastating demolition of many old modes of behavior, including those related to Eros. As I recently read through the pages of magazines intended for young adults, I discovered candid narratives about the greater opening up of feelings and inner intentions beyond normative facades, though the young ones still call this courtship.
Among urban Western peoples, the term ‘courtship’ had altogether disappeared, an indication that the individuated free-love pathway to Eros has become the dominant pattern itself. Only the sociologists and anthropologists now use the term ‘courtship’ in the West, the term reverberating yet in the pages of text books on general sociology and anthropology. My own fellow social scientists just can’t seem to do away with the Victorian orientation of our scientific disciplines, amid the free spiritedness of many of my colleagues.
I declare, at this moment, that the Era of Post-Courtship Eros has come, though its full sway won’t be observed till probably the end of the century yet. More and more ‘star seed’ children are coming to the planet, and with their arrival the old modalities of behavior must simply be totally thrown over to the dustbins of archaic life.
The situation of courtship’s demise is aptly captured by the favorite movie line, when a police officer pins down a criminal nemesis, “it’s over!” The Victorian pretenders and harbingers of the Old World should simply pack up and transfer to some planets where they can live forever in deceit, conceit, dogma and manipulation, and leave the more evolved souls here on Earth to build new worlds and creative modalities of behavior.
Hail to Post-Courtship Eros! Hail to free love! Hail the Free Spirit!
[Writ. 15 November 2007, Quezon City, MetroManila]