Ever since the enlightenment, sex & sexuality have increasingly become the lens through which we evaluate and judge the world around us. This is most clearly seen currently in our debates over sexuality. In times past framing, one’s identity so closely to their sexual impulses would not have only been unheard of , but would have been thought foolish. During these ancient (and dare I say wiser) times, one’s identity was more likely to be rooted in the way they directed their naturally arising passions rather than simply the passions themselves.
Let me illustrate one example to you before I commend the wonderful video below.
Let us suppose there is a knight who has gone out to slay a dragon. The knight, having successfully, slain said dragon, returns to his kingdom to inform the people what he has done. The people, upon hearing of this knights deeds begin extolling the knight for his bravery and courage. The knight, upon hearing these praises, immediately begins to tell the people to quite down & explains to them that he is not brave or courageous because he was actually afraid and scared the entire time he was fighting the dragon.
Now, how do you think the people are going to respond to this knight who claims that he is actually a wimp because he was afraid while he was slaying a dragon. Any logical response to the knight would explain that it is not the presence of fear (a passion) that causes them to identify the knight with bravery and courage, but the fact that he subdued and bridled that passion in spite of its presence.
At its core, the Enlightenment believes that man can create legitimate meaning of reality starting with himself about the world around him. Because of this, modern thinkers struggle with the thought that Man should therefore bridle or direct any passion that naturally arises from himself by some law higher than Man.
This is exactly what C.S. Lewis explains in his essay on “Sexuality Morality”. The following is one of those cool illustrated videos where someone draws images that correspond to the words of the essay. It is very neat and extremely informative on this topic. Enjoy!
Let me know what you think!