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.
But coitronary desire, when it "breaks bounds," is "criminal and pestilent, which is not the case with the spiritual loves." So argues our friend, and seems virtually to challange a reply. It shall be coming. It is more true of the spiritual love. There is no faculty or part of a faculty in God's creation of mind, that works evil in a strictly healthy stale, and within its own proper bounds. Sexual love does not, in or out of legal marriage. In an un-I healthy state, and out of these bounds, all sentiments, and all propensities work more or less evil - and are more or less "criminal and pestilent." The higher sentiments have power in man to be more so than the lower. So says nature. So says experience. So says the Good Book. My friend asks, "Is it so with the spiritual?" Most certainly. Nothing can be more true. All the human blood shed upon heathen altars, to appease the wrath of imaginary gods, has been controlled by these faculties in both a diseased state, and widely out of their true bounds. All religious wars have been largely supplied from this spiritual fountain of man's mind. This has been the foundation of the Inquisition and all kindred institutions. The Catholics believed it to be their business to defend religion in this way.
In this the religious faculties were shockingly diseased, and were quite out of their proper bounds, even if they had been in health. So in all Protestant persecutions. All of these were often as truly acting from the spiritual or religious faculties of the mind, in their profess zeal for morals and religion, as is the lustful husband acting from amativeness, when gratifying himself at the expense of another, under tho cloak of connubial love. These spiritual whoredoms, we say, are as truly the fruits of diseased spiritualism, as are the oft repeated sexual rapes, in or out of dual marriage, the results of diseased amativeness. These religious men believed they were acting from love to virtue and the neighbor, and they were doing so in about the same sense, and in no other, that these sexual "criminal and pestilent" acts are from real connubial love. I am understood and challenge a reply. Because one sentiment of the mind is different in its nature from, and perhaps vastly higher than another, it does not follow that such sentiments are not alike non-exclusive. I have "shown that coitionary sexual love " is equally non-exclusive in its nature, as "piety, benevolence and friendship," and that all of these loves are pure and chaste in a healthy and normal state, and that in an abnormal and perverted state, all are "criminal and pestilent." Who will assume to pronounce God's works in nature, or the fruits of his cleansing grace, "common and unclean?"
Mr. Ballou "contends that all coitionary sexual, love, out of true dual wedlock, is, per se, adulterous." I believe he has not argued directly to prove this proposition. He has argued against analogies which he supposed were designed to disprove it. We should like to read an argument upon the nature of the mind - for the mind is God's Book - directly to prove that all such acts were adultery. That an act that would be pure and chaste in dual order, and which act, out of that order, would be impure and unchaste. Can he not make plain the nature of the change which such act would undergo in this change of circumstances? Will Mr. Ballou give us a specimen of his mental logic, in an argument to prove that all deviation from the dual order is,per se, adulterous? We wait for it.
If a man varies from one, or dual marriage, while his one mate lives to her exclusive pledge, his act is, per se, adulterous. But if she commit adultery, then he may get a divorce from her and seek another. He may now innocently embrace another in purity. If this one proves untrue, "he may proceed as before - all in chastity" - and so on indefinitely. He really enjoys a variety through the infidelity of his repeated selections. But his motives are good, and so his act, in its change, is not adultery, per se.
This is civilization, and the extreme doctrine of dual marriage. Mr. Greeley, and perhaps Mr. Ballou, would bolt from this to them apparent looseness in morals, were it not for their great reverence for the Christ. In civilization, death - and many of these are the slow murders of lust - has and does often free men to a great amount of variety in amativeness; but this, too, is not, per se, adultery. Though it be the tenth wife, it is dual wedlock still. But if a man but thrice in a lifetime ultimate his love, and does this in harmony with the Higher Law of Free Love, he is, per se, an adulterer. This is a monster of inconsistency. And we have a right to look for its retraction, or its overwhelming proof, if such a thing were possible. In such a case the proof should come from a source which cannot mislead or be misunderstood, to command respect. If Mr. Ballou does not admit that the motive sanctifies the act in this succession of wives, by what law does he justify these as pure, and condemn a less variety under the head of Free Love? We press this call. He has multiplied his statements that the coitionary act is only lawful and pure in dual marriage, but he has not attempted to give any proof of this except by separating amativeness from the man, and degrading it to the animal.
This manner of handling it, if it were proper, proves nothing as to the order of its manifestations, as to duality or promiscuity.
In the following we come more fully to Mr. Ballou's reply to ours, No. two. "Mr. Kent continues to confound things and terms which ought to be discriminated, as radically dissimilar. I cannot consent to it. He makes no distinction between veneration and benevolence. He talks of loving a person's mentality, spirituality, and morality just as if tins were loving the individual being." Really, reader, Mr. Ballou is too profound for me here. I did suppose that loving all the parts or attributes of a being was loving the individual being. But let us attend to him. "But, admiring, venerating and delighting in these is wholly different from loving the individual being, in the sense of the second commandment." The idea is good and truthful after all. It amounts to this, Benevolence or Charity not like any other faculty in the human brain, as to the object or motive of its desire or love; and that the second command refers directly to this as being the highest moral sentiment of the man. All good and truthful. We have not hinted one word to the contrary. There are no two sentiments of the brain that are alike in this sense.
They are every one unlike another.