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is far less able to manage her baby
without instruction than is a cat her kittens...
Let knowledge grow from more to
more, but more of reverence in us dwell.
We are surrounded in this world by processes and transmutations so amazing that were they not taking place around us hourly they would be scouted as impossible imaginings.
A mind must be dull and essentially lacking in
wonderment which, without amazement, can learn for the first time that
the air we breathe, apparently so uniform in its invisible unity, is in
reality composed of two principal, and several other, gases.
Much greater is the miracle of the composition
The waves of the sea with their thundering power,
the sparkling tides of the river buoying the ships, are but the transmuted
resultants of the union of two invisible gases.
Ellis expresses the strange mystery of one of the physical sides of love when he says:
To me, however, the recent discoveries of physiology
seem to afford a key which may unlock a chamber of the mystery and admitus
to one of the halls of the palace of truth.
In love it is not only that the yearning of the bonds of affinity to be satisfied is met by the linking with another, but that out of this union there grows a new and unprecedented creation.
In this I am not speaking of the bodily child
which springs from the love of its parents, but of the super-physical entity
created by the perfect union in love of man and woman.
So seldom has the perfection of this new creation been experienced, that we are still far short even of imagining its full potentialities, but that it must have mighty powers we dimly realize.
Youths and maidens stirred by the attraction of love, feel hauntingly and inarticulately that there is before them an immense and beautiful experience: feel as though in union with the beloved there will be added powers of every sort which have no measure in terms of the ordinary unmated life.
These prophetic dreams, if they are not true of each individual life, are yet true of the race as a whole. For in the dreams of youth today is a foreshadowing of the reality of the future.
So accustomed have we recently become to accept
one aspect of organic evolution, that we tend to see in youth only a recapitulation
of our race s history.
While this is true, there is another characteristic of youth: It is prophetic!
The dreams of youth, which each young heart expects to see fulfilled in its own life, seem so often to fade unfulfilled.
But that is because the wonderful powers of youth
are not supplied with the necessary tool knowledge.
But as humanity orients itself more truly, more and more will the knowledge and experience of the whole race be placed at the disposal of all youth on its entry into life.
Then that glorious upspringing of the racial ideal, which finds its expression in each unspoiled generation of youth, will at last meet with a store of knowledge sufficient for its needs, and will find ready as a tool to its hand the accumulated and sifted wisdom of the race.
Then youth will be spared the blunders and the pain and the unconscious self-destruction that today leaves scarcely anyoneuntouched.
In my own life, comparatively short and therefore
lacking in experience though it be, I have known both personally and vicariously
so much anguish that might have been prevented by knowledge.
In all life activities, house-building, hunting
or any other,where intellectual and oral tradition comes in, as it does
with the human race, "instinct tends to die out."
A similar truth holds in relation to marriage.
Though many write on the art of managing children, few have anything to say about the art of marriage, save those who have some dogma, often theological or subversive of natural law, to proclaim.
Any fundamental truth regarding marriage is rendered
immeasurably difficult to ascertain because of the immense ranges of variety
in human beings, even of the same race, many of which result from the artificial
conditions and the unnatural stimuli so prevalent in what we call civilization.
Each pair, therefore, has tended to repeat the blunders from which it might have been saved, and to stumble blindly in a maze of difficulties which are not the essential heritage of humanity, but are due to the unreasoning folly of our present customs. I have written this book for those who enter marriage normally and healthily, and with optimism and hope. If they learn its lessons they may be saved from some of the pitfalls in which thousands have wrecked their happiness, but they must not think that they will thereby easily attain the perfection of marriage.
There are myriad subtleties in the adjustment
of any two individuals.
Sometimes, with all the knowledge and the best will in the world, two who have married find that they cannot fuse their lives; of this tragedy I have not here anything to say; but ordinary unhappiness would be less frequent than it is were the tenderness of knowledge applied to the problem of mutual adjustment from the first day of marriage.
All the deepest and highest forces within us impel
us to evolve an ever nobler and tenderer form of life-long monogamy as
our social ideal.
Disillusioned middle age is apt to look upon the material side of the marriage relation, to see its solid surface in the cold, dull light of everyday experience; while youth, irradiated by the glow of its dreams, is unaware how its aerial and celestial phantasies are broken and shattered when unsuspectingly brought up against the hard facts of physical reality.
The transmutation of material facts by celestial phantasies is to some extent within the power of humanity, even the imperfect humanity of today.
When knowledge and love together go to the making of each marriage, the joy of that new unit, the pair will reach from the physical foundations of its bodies to the heavens where its head is crowned with stars.
NOTE 1 - For suffering and even death of unmated females, see e.g. Marshall, in Quarterly Journal Microscopical Society, Vol. 48, 1904, p. 32.3; Parsons, in British Medical Journal, October, 1904.
NOTE 2 - A frequent mistake (made even by gynaecologists) is to confuse menstruation with the "period of desire" which is generally called "heat" in animals. Even in the most authoritative recent textbooks, such phrases as "heat" and menstruation are very common, thus coupling heat and menstruation as though they were equivalents, while the older books quite explicitly look on the menstrual period in women as corresponding to desire or "heat" in animals. This error has even been repeated very recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine.
(MCS postscript inserted here instead of bottom of page for clarity: Dr. Raymond Crawfurd's mistaken statement that the identity of oestrus, or "heat" in the lower animals and of menstruation in the human female, admits of no doubt. Proc. Roy. Soc. Medicine, vol. 9, 1916, p. 62.)
Some physiologists have studied this subject in
several of the higher animals, and now realize that the time of desire
is physiologically distinct from the phase which is represented by menstruation
(Postscript inserted here: The best modern account of these complex subjects will be found in the advanced text-book The Physiology of Reproduction, pp. xvii., 706, by F. H. A. Marshall. Reference may be made to original papers by I. Beard in the Anat. Anzeiger for 1897; and by Heape in the Philosophical Trans. Royal Society, 1894, 97.)
The most that modern science appears to have attained is briefly summarized in the following quotation from Marshall (The Physiology of Reproduction, p. 69):
In nearly all wild animals there is a definite
period for sexual excitement, very commonly just at that time of the year
which fits into the span of gestation, so that the young are born at the
season which gives them the best chance to grow up.
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[THE END of Marie Stopes' Married Love, published 1918 - considered by most impartial authorities as one of the most important books of the 20th century. Since it was written by a woman for the eventual benefit of women, it has been all but erased from modern reviews.]
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Irene Stuber was the FIRST (1990) to post women's herstory on the Internet and has emailed thousands of posts on herstory and women's lives free to those who have requested placement on her subscription list. WiiN is dedicated to transferring her megagigs of files about women's true lives and accomplishments to the Internet for the free use of women everywhere.
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