My son told my wife that he had a dream I was selling my genitals for gold. There’s a lot of Freudian bullshit to unpack there, but I won’t here. Instead I’ll tell you that if I could exchange my genitals for gold, I would. Not because I want gold, but because I don’t want my genitals.

I hate being an animal. This is to say that I hate both not having control and wanting to have control. This is to say that genitals are a trap in the same way logic is a trap.

We dress our sexuality much like we dress our logic, in the saccharine nonsense of anthropocentrism; human sexuality is beautiful and complicated and our logic is the pinnacle of the evolution of mind. Sexuality is stupid, and in this I mean you stand no chance against a waterfall. The amount of hubris required to see two pieces of mechanized meat squirting their juices into each other as advanced, or nuanced, is staggering. Likewise, for all our golden logic, how are we doing, as a species?

If your glass is half full, I’ll assume your into asphalt and strip malls.

Let none of this lead you to believe I’m a prude. I love fucking. I made two children by fucking. I’m not looking for a medal here, but to say I acknowledge the value of sex. The value is pleasure and propagation.

I love doing lots of things that result in pleasure. This doesn’t make me special. Nor does having children. As an undeniably smart person once told me, even rats make babies.

I want to say what makes me special is my capacity for love. And as beautiful as this sentiment is, it’s not exactly honest. Almost everything’s capable of love. Almost everything is made of love, even the stupid parts.

What would make me special is if I could find a way to balance my desire to transcend being an animal and maintaining my compassion for all living things. I’m working on this.

Finding pleasure in the dream is part of what keep us in it, part of its design. I’ll never know if I’m waking from this dream or not, until I make it to the next one, and maybe not even then. But in trying, it’s hard not to let go of all concerns.

I was Facebook friends with an exalted mystic artist for a few years. He was the favorite student of masters from traditions both eastern and western. Once he messaged me to ask Do you realize this is all illusion? Of course I do, I responded. Then what’s up with all your social activism? He asked.

I think this exchange demonstrates the negative side of transcendence, and this is something we should be vigilant of. We need to go beyond, but not beyond compassion. We need to wake from this dream, but we need to bring others with us, and not just the sangha.

Maybe my animal logic is getting in the way of something. Maybe I’m pointed in the wrong direction, but what I can tell you about my dream is that fucking’s caused as much harm as the pleasure it’s brought, and this is coming from someone that exists on the privileged end of the continuum.

In a way maybe what I’m looking for in transcendence is the ultimate fuck; I want to squirt my mind out of this meat into some dimension devoid of negativity. That seems pretty reflexive under this fluorescent lighting.

But I won’t stop trying to convince you that it’s all a dream. I won’t stop telling you to have compassion for everything and everyone. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll never know.

What do you think?


About Adam Tedesco

Adam Tedesco is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH, a journal of new poetics. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Laurel Review, Gramma Weekly, Prelude, Pouch Powderkeg, Fanzine, Fence, and elsewhere. He is the author of several chapbooks, most recently HEART SUTRA, and ABLAZA (Lithic Press), and the forthcoming collection Mary Oliver (Lithic Press, 2019). View all posts by Adam Tedesco

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