As this writer argues, Modern Gnosticism is a problem.
It is a point I have touched on myself at this blog previously.
I have also recently commented on the fact that a mixture of puritanism and feminism seems to have entered the thinking of ordinary Christians; which I diagnose as a form of the ancient Gnostic heresy.
A quote from the first-named blog post:
“We’ve lost the pure mammalian reality of life in flesh suits – we don’t know how to touch other humans in non sexual ways, so we keep animals so we have *something* to touch, and our sex drives go off their rockers. Women used to groom one another, men used to roughhouse. Simple touch – a country dance, the rituals of chivalry, a game of tug of war – those things used to remind us (delightfully) of the difference between the sexes. And humans need touch, from cradle to grave. But we lost that casual touch, and now we don’t know how to touch at all. Suddenly you have to give consent for a kiss…”
I think that is an astute set of comments.
Modern Westerners have rather few what I call “elemental” experiences. That is, genuine, unmediated contacts with human and animal nature, and with the elements. An elemental experience that I have always remembered was being on a commercial fishing boat about to leave port in the evening, with the engine thumping beneath our feet, the glare of the decklights, and the ancient scene being played out of deckhands saying goodbye to the girls on the wharf.
But most of the time these days we are paper-pushers of some kind, and the experiences we have tend to be “canned” for general consumption.
As the above writer implies, sex, typically unconnected to childbirth, has become one of the few elemental experiences left for modern man and woman. The writer also mentions folk dance, as something that used to allow for a certain amount of elemental feeling, of connection with previous generations, of a suitable environment in which to touch other people, especially the opposite sex, with no harm taken.
I think this is part of the charm of this video, which I have posted before. There is an elemental, yet innocent, aspect to this. These days, all of this would be politicised through the lens of gender (or even transgender) politics. But there is a forgetfulness of self about this spectacle, which must have taken the dancers out of themselves and put them in contact with an extensive “folk memory”.
This seems appropriate as well as seasonal:
Here is another nice video I just found: