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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

CHAPTER IV. 

 

THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 

 

The Conception of Sexual Love--The Attitude of Mediaeval Asceticism--St. 

Bernard and St. Odo of Cluny--The Ascetic Insistence on the Proximity of 

the Sexual and Excretory Centres--Love as a Sacrament of Nature--The Idea 

of the Impurity of Sex in Primitive Religions Generally--Theories of the 

Origin of This Idea--The Anti-Ascetic Element in the Bible and Early 

Christianity--Clement of Alexandria--St. Augustine's Attitude--The 

Recognition of the Sacredness of the Body by Tertullian, Rufinus and 

Athanasius--The Reformation--The Sexual Instinct regarded as Beastly--The 

Human Sexual Instinct Not Animal-like--Lust and Love--The Definition of 

Love--Love and Names for Love Unknown in Some Parts of the World--Romantic 

Love of Late Development in the White Race--The Mystery of Sexual 

Desire--Whether Love is a Delusion--The Spiritual as Well as the Physical 

Structure of the World in Part Built up on Sexual Love--The Testimony of 

Men of Intellect to the Supremacy of Love. 

 

 

It will be seen that the preceding discussion of nakedness has a 

significance beyond what it appeared to possess at the outset. The 

hygienic value, physically and mentally, of familiarity with nakedness 

during the early years of life, however considerable it may be, is not the 

only value which such familiarity possesses. Beyond its aesthetic value, 

also, there lies in it a moral value, a source of dynamic energy. And now, 

taking a still further step, we may say that it has a spiritual value in 

relation to our whole conception of the sexual impulse. Our attitude 

towards the naked human body is the test of our attitude towards the 

instinct of sex. If our own and our fellows' bodies seem to us 

intrinsically shameful or disgusting, nothing will ever really ennoble or 

purify our conceptions of sexual love. Love craves the flesh, and if the 

flesh is shameful the lover must be shameful. "Se la cosa amata e vile," 

as Leonardo da Vinci profoundly said, "l'amante se fa vile." However 

illogical it may have been, there really was a justification for the old 

Christian identification of the flesh with the sexual instinct. They stand 

or fall together; we cannot degrade the one and exalt the other. As our 

feelings towards nakedness are, so will be our feelings towards love. 

 

"Man is nothing else than fetid sperm, a sack of dung, the food of 

worms.... You have never seen a viler dung-hill." Such was the outcome of 

St. Bernard's cloistered _Meditationes Piissimae_.[45] Sometimes, indeed, 

these mediaeval monks would admit that the skin possessed a certain 

superficial beauty, but they only made that admission in order to 

emphasize the hideousness of the body when deprived of this film of 

loveliness, and strained all their perverse intellectual acumen, and their 

ferocious irony, as they eagerly pointed the finger of mockery at every 

detail of what seemed to them the pitiful figure of man. St. Odo of 

Cluny--charming saint as he was and a pioneer in his appreciation of the 

wild beauty of the Alps he had often traversed--was yet an adept in this 

art of reviling the beauty of the human body. That beauty only lies in the 

skin, he insists; if we could see beneath the skin women would arouse 

nothing but nausea. Their adornments are but blood and mucus and bile. If 

we refuse to touch dung and phlegm even with a fingertip, how can we 

desire to embrace a sack of dung?[46] The mediaeval monks of the more 

contemplative order, indeed, often found here a delectable field of 

meditation, and the Christian world generally was content to accept their 

opinions in more or less diluted versions, or at all events never made any 


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