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Polyamory: A Facet of Human Diversity

In his groundbreaking book, “The Soul's Code,” Jungian psychologist James Hillman claims that we are all born with a blueprint of who we are here to be. He likens this phenomenon to the tiny acorn that holds within it all of the information of the oak tree it will eventually become. There are forces in life such as synchronicity, he states, that help guide us along on our path to our authentic self.

I believe this is true. I also feel that our blueprints are vastly diverse from each other, including the realm of how we express our love and sexuality.

For many millennia, human beings had little time for self-expression. Life was largely about survival, and each community had its own “best way” to hunt, gather and/or grow food. It used to serve a human well to conform to time-tested behaviors to increase the likelihood that they will survive in a given environment. However, in the present, as humanity continues to evolve into post-survival concerns, there is an ever-increasing amount of room for diversity in how we express ourselves.

Sexuality is no longer important in relation to “saving the human species.” There are more than enough human beings on the planet for our species to survive disease outbreaks, famines, and natural disasters. In fact, it is Earth's over-population that causes the greatest threats to our survival. Therefore, the purpose of sexuality, and the varied forms that it takes, has become more about personal satisfaction than how to effectively perpetuate life on the planet.

When humans originally became more civilized, laws and religious beliefs were instituted to make sure our “animal instincts” did not get out of control. These various tenets crept into the realm of how people should love each other, with monogamy becoming the most acceptable standard. Clearly, the contemporary prevalence of divorce, infidelity, codependence, and long-term bitterness experienced within many monogamous relationships illustrates that monogamy doesn't work for everyone. However, the idea that we are free to express ourselves with great sexual diversity is still very threatening to many who have been indoctrinated with the concept that there is “one right way” of being.

The challenge of diversity is that it gives the ego something to “fight against.” As we continue to grow beyond racism, sexism, and homophobia, the ego continues to scrounge around for something to make itself larger. More subtle forms of “I am better than you” occur in the contemporary realms of: what types of food you should eat, what brands you should prefer, and what events will make you cool. In the realm of the ego, it is not enough to attend and enjoy Comic-Con, Maker Faire, Burning Man or a Renaissance Festival. You must use your attendance to enhance your egoic sense of self through a defense mechanism known as “identification.”

Identification operates in the realm of polyamory by not simply being content when finding congruence with your lovestyle, but by elevating it to a level of superiority. Therefore, if you desire no sexual limitations whatsoever, you may judge both polyfidelity and monogamy as inferior, inflating your sense of self. Additionally, reverse discrimination is common amongst groups who have felt oppressed. Because monogamy is the most accepted form of lovestyle in the world, polyamorists may be tempted to “judge them back” with labels such as: fear-based, limited, or unevolved.

The only way that humanity is going to truly thrive is through a widespread acceptance of diversity. Due to the Internet, we are no longer limited in the resources to which we have access (at least, not in countries that don't censor the web). Greater access to information makes it easier to be exposed to an incredibly diverse number of perspectives on how to “be” in this world. Although the web is filled with petty arguments about which way is “better,” you can navigate your way around all of the chatter and find beliefs that resonate with your personal blueprint.

When you discover your preferred way of expressing yourself in the realm of love and sexuality, it feels deeply congruent on the level of your body. Embrace the warmth and excitement of finding yourself, and allow it to be your path without being influenced by the rigid judgments of others. Concurrently, don't allow the thrill of finding yourself to be co-opted by your ego. If you begin to proselytize to others about the one true way in which love should be expressed, you can be fairly certain you've slipped into “identification” and have lost touch with empathy. However, there's no reason to feel ashamed. Temporarily disconnecting from our empathic essence is a common occurrence, and can easily be ameliorated by simply practicing humility, and embracing the beauty of the diverse world in which we live.


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