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.
Again. - "Other loves [than benevolence] are more or less limited and exclusive" - he names "Alimentiveness, Acquisitiveness," etc., etc. I deny the truth of this, in the sense in which I have argued for the non-exclusiveness of amativeness. In that sense they are non-exclusive. Benevolence is the feeling of mercy and goodness towards every object which is capable of receiving such goodness, and being benefited by it. It is exclusive to such objects or to such being, So alimentiveness gives a taste for suitable food, no more. In a healthy state suitable food is the object it desires and takes pleasure in. It may vary its amount of delight in these various articles; but it can never delight in the taste of one article, in exclusion from, or more or less than in another article, which is exactly like the first; nor can the eater be benefited by the one and injured by the other. This is impossible. The same course of reasoning holds good towards every other faculty. So I forbear. I pronounce his statement untrue, if he means it in the sense in which I have argued the opposite in all my letters.
We come now to the argument in Mr. Ballou's reply to our letter on the Fowlers. He states that "Amativeness in man has two radical characteristic manifestations, - a sensual and a spiritual." That the "sensual manifestation is rightful and innocent only in true dual marriage;" "but that its mental and spiritual manifestation, besides having one sacred connubial center, has various legitimate concentric spheres." To prove the above proposition, viz : That sensual Amativeness is not "coextensive with its spiritual," and that the former manifestation can be "rightful and innocent only in dual marriage," he proceeds, as in a former letter, to divorce a fractional part of amativeness, and to put it on the plane with the animal. I give his words: "Amativeness, as to its lower developments and sensual manifestations, is properly an animal propensity. Man has it in common with all the lower animals. Amativeness, in its highest developments and manifestations, is proper to man as a spiritual and moral intelligence. The animals are incapable of spiritual amativeness. The more animal-humans are capable of it only in a low degree, and many have scarcely a conception of it, much less a decent appreciation.
It is plain, then, that sensual amativeness exists and ultimates itself without spiritual amativeness, as in beasts and very sensual humans." Really, if these statements are true, some persons, who are in the form of men. are not, correctly speaking, men. Either they were never finished, or they have become so diseased that their manhood is dead and gone. Nothing but the beast-man remains to animate the material form. The breath of God, which was to stamp his image, is gone. But what has this essence of lust to do with the doctrines of Free Love? Must we come to this for our analogical and arguments? Shall in-humans and beasts be summoned upon the stand to settle the higher law of progressed and healthy humanity? We are convinced that Mr. Ballou is serious in this kind of analogy, and we submit to follow. Such reasoning as this has been so far his first and main argument. We have replied to it in part, when found in a former letter. We will endeavor to do it justice here. First, then, we consent, for the sake of the argument, to the putting away of sensual amativeness. (To do which we believe to be a natural impossibility; and if it were possible, in man, it would be 'adultery, per se.') What does Mr. Ballou gain in this argument? He separates the lower of amativeness from the higher, and puts it under laws inharmonious with the higher, because the former is animal.
If this were proper, it might in part destroy my argument from analogy, but it would prove nothing against my doctrine, and nothing in favor of his. Let us see where his malogy, in comparing man on this point with the east, will carry him. However distasteful this may be to us, or to the more refined feelings of the •reader, it seems to be necessary, and so we hope it nay prove profitable. We consent then, Mr. Batlou, o go with you into the field of animal life. We are ound to look into the nature and order of the love relations of animal; to look into the laws of their marriage. We find here, if we take the whole ange, that variety is the rule of love, and at the most a partial duality is the exception. God has so created, and we will not arraign his wisdom. Rea-ler, we are now in the presence of beasts and birds, - life that walks, and life that flies. There is no adultery here. If any man think evil, the evil is in himself. These, God's creatures, are right. We find amativeness an upper and leading faculty, all right or beasts. So its action is right for beasts. Not to in man. In him it is behind and below in the brain, and so should not lead and control. Then is the analogy we are pursuing truthful? We think not.
But we are pledged to follow it to the bottom of our friend's argument. We press the inquiry, then, upon our friend, Are the love ultimations of animals generally exclusive and pual? We expect a catagorical reply and its proof'. pur opponent, we hope, will be consistent with his animal analogies. Again, are these ultimations of ove or passion less elevated and less proper, when they are in the order of variety, and so in harmony with what seems to be the rule of their natures, than when they manifest themselves in a partially, and perhaps sometimes entirely in an exclusively dual order, and so in harmony with what seems to be at least the law of exception, even among animals? Our friend has insisted on taking us to the animal to settle the laws for man - and we now wish to have full justice done to his arguments, so we urge these questions upon him. If we draw any inference from the animal analogy, it is that man will comprehend all orders, or every variety of order, unless he has outgrown the exceptional law of animals. As a fact, man in his nature does comprehend the entire natures of all below him. So says science. His analogy, carried out, if it were truthful, would favor our views vastly more than his. But we have no felt the need of such aid.
It is the love relations of man which we wish to elevate and harmonize, and we think this should be settled solely by the laws of man's mind. Any truthful appeal to the analogy of the law of animal creation, can never favor exclusive dual marriage, but its opposite. We pledge ourselves to sustain this proposition when it is further called for. I return now to say to the reader, that this whole argument of two radical and diverse manifestations of amativeness in man, is unphilo sophical and absurd. If such a separation were possible, it would leave the man in a perverted and abnormal state. But it is not true that any man ever ultimates love entirely disconnected with its spiritual element. I will demonstrate this statement. If God had made this possible - the race in her propagations might so retrograde as to become beasts, or something like them, and so on still lower. In this case there would be an absolute law of retrogression, instead of a law of progression in man. The offspring of such coition could not be human; as like will beget its like. Does the reader ask for more? We are most glad to know, for the hopes of humanity, that such a separation of a faculty, or of the faculties, is impossible, and so the idea is most absurd.
We proceed in our quotations: "Sexual coition is the natural, universal, uniform and inevitable ultimate of sensul amativeness." "But how is it with spiritual amativeness? It may descend into, blend with, and santify sensual Amativeness as in the case of the true dual marriage. But sexual coition is not its own proper and inevitable ultimate.'3 We wait almost impatiently for proof that this spiritual love may not sanctify the non-exclusive manifestations of this sexual love. In every reply Mr. Ballou assumes the only point to be proved on his part. We tell the reader that this higher love will more fully sanctify the lower, when the lower acts behind and in harmony with the laws of the higher, and we argue directly to prove it. We let the lower strengthen the higher, and receive its blessing by its absolute submission to the laws of the higher, and not the higher come down to bless the flesh, by submissionn and conformity to the lower law, or to the supposed lower law. We now come to deny our brother's main proposition in the quotation. We contend that coition is a natural ultimate of spiritual love. That the leading attribute of conjugal love, in a healthy state, is spiritual; that it is non-exclusive, and that it is naturally coitionary in its ultimates.
Sensual love is sometimes and in some cases partially satisfied by various little love manifestations short of coition. It often is comparatively so, without any material manifestations. It is in youth. So spiritual love is often comparatively satisfied without the act of coition. But no sexual love in any of its phases can be full and complete without its coitionary ultimate. Without this it never attains to its hight, perfection and entireness. Mr. Ballou represents the spiritual as descending to bless and sanctify the sensual in dual marriage. Will he deny that the spiritual love is at home in, and is a leading attribute in the conjugal? Will he deny that spiritual love is its very essence and inner life? His language plainly conveys this idea; that it is not. This is a vital point. Wo hope our friend and the reader will bear with the closeness with which we pursue this subject, if it does occupy some space. We have meant to so write our proposition for this discussion that we and our opponent should be obliged to grapple with the very heart of the whole controversy, with the age, and with reformers, touching this subject of subjects - marriage. We must not pass it superficially.
We certainly understand our opponent to deny the vital and essential relations of spiritual amative-ness, in constituting the leading substance of coitionary and so connubial love. I think he does not harmonize on this with the Fowlers; with Sweden-borg he does not, and many others of his dual order, but much nearer with the Shakers. No matter. What is truth? With us, connubiality is not synonymous with sensuality. We promise the reader that when we are converted to this doctrine, we shall join the Shakers, at once, on this subject. But in the name of humanity, we protest against the whole of it. Coition, for its most material object - the procreation of offspring - should be, in its leading substance and features, spiritual. As man is a unit, and as he is more spiritual than animal or sensual, so in his act to beget his like, it should be more spiritual than sensual. I speak of the true man, and I still insist on the analogy, that the lower man should keep behind, and harmonize with, the higher.
If Mr. Ballou still insists that my human analogy is false; can he not give us a better substitute in disproving it than his analogy of man and animals in common? We have read his replies with our utmost care, and read them again and again, and we affirm that there is not one word of direct argument to prove the impropriety of a variety in connubial love. He repeats the statements of his belief that coitionary love should only be in true dual marriage; and tries to destroy my analogy by introducing another. But were I to admit the force of his animal analogy, and every word of real argument in his letters, even then he has not taken the first step to prove his proposition, and his exclusively dual order. Where is the proof of his "adultery, per se," in a variety in love ultimates? Not a line can I find. In behalf of the friends of Free Love, whose doctrine and practice he has formerly declared to be the foulest of the foul, and adultery by itself, I ask him to prove his position in season for a reply before this discussion closes. In view of his past relations to this subject, and of his present position, as an opponent of Free Love, it is not enough that he satisfy himself in simply replying to my arguments.
The discussion was proposed as a mutual affair, between friends, to promote the cause of truth, each of us believing, as I trust, that truth would be elicited by it, whether our opinions were all saved or not. By proof I mean more especially direct argument from the laws of mind, not mere inferences from history. I have not troubled the reader with the foul history of dual marriage, as a presumptive argument for the trial of Free Love.