This section is from the book "Free Love: Or, A Philosophical Demonstration Of The Non-Exclusive Nature Of Connubial Love", by Austin Kent. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures.
The reader will find our first extract on page 297 of Mr. Davis' book. We think this the most appropriate, and the nearest related to our subject and argument of anything in the book.
"I have shown," says Mr. Davis, " that man's love-department is divided into six separate actuating life-principles, each having its own independent mode of being and doing. Each has an attraction of its own, and therefore seeks a separate gratification. From these six loves there emanates six atmospheres. Each atmosphere is composed of differently shaped atoms, having, consequently, different affinities and manifestations. But the six emanations, nevertheless, commingle and blend into one atmosphere, which then environs the individual as the air surrounds the earth.
"This aromal sphere of the soul is what sensitive natures feel on the approach of different persons; realising an attraction or repulsion - being affected pleasurably or otherwise, without perceiving a palpable cause. This atmosphere is what a dog smells in his master's path.
"Each love has also a different-colored atmosphere; this fact in connection with the different shaped atoms, constitutes and makes the individuality.
"And each love gravitates to its kind. The particles composing self-love are angular; hence you can feel the nettles of selfishness. Parental love is composed of more spherical atoms; hence children and horses, cats and dogs, feel the presence of its atmosphere. Animals are readily domesticated under the influence of this love.
"Strangers can feel the aroma of fraternal love; its atmosphere is finer and its particles more smooth and penetrative.
"And you can feel, in certain persons, the character of the conjugal love; whether it be on the subordinate scale, or elevated to the higher phases. Its particles are gross or refined in shape and color in accord with its intrinsic growth. Self-love is, in everything, a bigamist; it invariably asks for two pieces, a common expression of selfishness.
"Parental love is a polygamist; it calls for plurality of pets or productions. Its attractions lean towards many children; and embraces many even more rapturously than one. If children are not desired by all, it is mainly owing to external circumstances.
"Fraternal, filial and universal loves are by nature omnigamic in their affinities. They love a countless variety of objects and subjects. In their rapturous and ever-widening sympathies, they encircle millions at once. It will be a glorious era, and exceedingly peaceful, when these "loves" can have a practical development.
"But conjugal love, the marriage principle, when in its juvenile or adolescent stages, includes all the preceeding forms; it is a bigamist, a polygamist, an omnigamist, and is unsteady; but with maturity and with civility of development comes the power to love but one counterpart. And when thus developed, the atoms of conjugal love are spirally shaped; the female interlocking with the male atmosphere; each flowing into the other's being."
The above, we understand to be Mr. Davis' clairvoyant testimony. To us, it contains some of the deepest and most clear mental philosophy which we have ever seen in print; and also some which we think complex, uncertain and erroneous. The entire distinctness and individuality of each faculty, and also their union and harmony, the various shaped and colored atmospheres, all commends itself to our understanding. All of this is very beautiful. It is a real jewel. That these loves in their individuality, are one a "bigamist," one a "polygamist," and three "omnigamist," while the sixth, the sexual, passes through, in its growth, all of these phases, up to, or down to the monogamist, is more doubtful. We do not like to take the room to give our entire objections to some part of it. Why could he not have informed us whether any other faculty changes its form in progression? This is left entirely in the dark for so important a subject. But the question is, what are they, each and all, when acting in the highest state of union and harmony? For they are one, as well as many.
Conjugal love grows and develops to the "power to love but one counterpart." "And when thus developed, the atoms of" this "love are spirally shaped."
Now this is a tremenduous proposition. This is the hinge on which civilization turns. It should not have been passed so slightly - no argument - no proof - but testimony only. We have testified that this love will develop to an ability to love more than one, and we have argued to prove it. But we are glad of so much from Mr. Davis. It seems that sexual love has been right in the past, in its free loves. It was acting to its nature. Children should not act like men. This is quite a step gained.
Progression generally brings enlargement and an increase of power. But we find connubial love contracting in progression, decreasing in breadth and extent of power, as it advances. How remarkable that every man, as he attempts to defend exclusive marriage, reverses the order of every natural law and never gives a substantial reason for so doing. They seldom give us any reason. Mr. Davis, do other loves change their form by progression? If so, in what direction? Do they contract and cen-tralise, or do they expand and enlarge? We are inquirers and learners. As Mr. D. said nothing of their change, we will conclude they do not: we mean, of course, in form of manifestation. We have no evidence of this change in amativeness, in its separate individuality. We admit, that as progression brings a relative change between it and other faculties, so its action may to the same extent change. Admitting the "shape" of the connubial atmosphere does change, how does this hinder its fitting all alike progressed opposites? Does Mr. D. mean to teach us that this atmosphere is so concentrated upon, so confined to, the one, that it has no power to get a release, and so stray elsewhere. We do not believe in any permanent release or suspension.
But we insist, that "to divide is not to take away." We do not withdraw our adhesive love from one in order to love another. No more do we the connubial. Mr. Davis, like others of his faith, does not marry, exclusively marry, all of the connubial atmosphere. He allows some part of it to act in harmony with the laws of the higher loves - with the "universal loves." As a comparatively high mental philosopher, we call him back to this subject. His work is hardly begun. He is bound, on every principle of justice, to give us at least some clue to the law which separates this faculty, and frees a part and confines a part. Show us why some part, (we do not know what part - the distinction is his, and his friends, not ours,) can be non-exclusive, and other parts cannot be. As he has failed to give us any clue to this, we go in search of proof, but we fail to find it. If we take the outer man as an index of the inner, we are not relieved. We see nothing more incompatible in this sense with the omnigamic form in coitionary love, than in any other, any higher. Mr. D. would and does virtually admit this.
We insist, then, that we have a right to call for proof.