A person named Rachael saw my last letter to you – I posted that letter on my web page, and after reading it Rachael asked the question I suggested for you to pose – about the mystery of “knowing” in reference to sexual relations. So, I am going to answer early in anticipation of your request for this. That previous letter I titled “Yes or No” on the web page, though you have the original text.
Human acts are “human” because of a knowing about the act. The act is not “complete” simply because of its material presence. Some of the things we do are simply “animal acts”, such as blinking, where we do not imagine blinking as a thing to accomplish, nor do we regard it as a successful accomplishment when we actually blink our eyes. But a human act is when material being is ordered to match an “idea”.
An architect has a plan for a house in his “knowing”. Then he builds the house (via a contractor). Finally he sees the material and sensible house in front of him and “knows this sensible object of a material house equals the planned and intelligible object of the house in his imagination or plans.
A person imagines the satisfaction of eating an ice cream cone. This is an “intelligible object of knowing” that is not materially present. Then she drives to Dairy Queen, orders a cone, and brings it to the car to enjoy. The enjoyment of the cone is more than just the flavors. It is a satisfaction of a knowing that the material and sensible reality of this consumption matches the anticipated consumption and satisfaction.
Just as with the “passion” to go and get ice cream, or the “passion” to see the finished house, a man and woman joined together by God move in passion toward materializing something they both know internally and individually as an idea. The passion of the man is to give something, almost violently, to his wife. The passion of the woman is to receive or take in something, almost violently, from her husband. It is a treasure given, and a treasure kept and used. In the aftermath, it was not the good feeling that is the satisfaction – it is the knowing and the sharing of the knowing. This is what makes us human – that we “know”, that we understand.
The words of satisfaction, and at the instant of pleasure, whether verbally spoken or silent, are, from the husband to the wife: “I did it, I am giving you this treasure,” and from the wife to the husband: “I am taking and receiving it, I treasure and am using it,” as they lie side by side. And then a mutual satisfied rest: “We succeeded.” They “know” together, and they know from the confirmation by the other. This is the only human act where the knowing of another human depends on the other’s knowing of you. The satisfaction is in the other.
This completeness of this act cannot be human, and cannot happen, this Knowing with One Another, when using contraception, nor in the imitation of sexual activity in any kind of other union or self-“satisfaction”. Why? Because the real satisfaction, the “knowing” is missing.
With contraception, or with any sexual activity apart from marriage, the “success” of the union is defective, such as the following attempts at a knowing:
“I gave you a treasure, but now don’t keep it because I don’t want you to use it.”
“I received and took it but now I am destroying it, because it is no treasure to me or I do not want to participate in this for a lifetime of raising a child.”
“I gave you a treasure, but I know that you are not capable of any use of it. The passion is useless.”
“I have no treasure to give for you to use, nor do you have any for me. The passion is useless.”
“I imagined giving/receiving it and imagined a willing counterpart, but now there is no imaginary love and I am here alone”
Apart from marriage there is no full and complete satisfaction, but sex is limited to a physical action and pleasure with no human satisfaction in the mind. Rather, the mind is knowing that, “now it is time to clean up the result, to flush it.”
These imitations seek to find a justification of physical pleasure as equaling satisfaction by governmental legislation, thinking that knowing it is approved by society will satisfy the need to ‘Know’ which haunts and taunts. But this legal knowing is generic, while the real human desire is actually to Know in this actual and immediate union that “You and I gave and received and treasure and keep our union in this moment and until we see our treasure (him/her) care for us in our old age as we lie dying before our LORD.”
A legalization cannot give this knowing. Contraception, same sex pleasure, self-pleasure, etc., introduce defect into whatever could be known, and cannot give this love and knowing. These do not satisfy the full sexual desire, therefore are un-ordered toward the real goal, dis-ordered to being an end in themselves.
We husbands and wives know this is true, that we work in full passion in our union with each other. However, there is something mysterious about this that the non-married, in whatever sexual activity, cannot attain in fulfillment. [Do not confuse “legal marriage” with marriage, but know only what you were taught by authoritative teaching.] The non-married, in whatever sexual activity, believing they understand the goal of sexual expressions as pleasure (reserved historically for husband and wife) are attempting to find satisfaction in the pleasurable sensations with affirmation returned: “It was good for me, was it good for you.” Pleasure only as the result, but there is no intended use for the objects of the union – nothing was known as given and received and used as the goal, with pleasure being only the means of recognizing that this giving and receiving have happened in order that each may tell the other of the giving and receiving.
Eve knew Adam – he exclaimed to her as he collapsed in her harms: “Success, I gave you this treasure.” Eve “knew” Adam, believing him.
Adam knew Eve – she exclaimed to him as she collapsed in his arms: “And success, I took and received, I treasure and am using it.” Adam “knew” Eve, believing her.
“We succeeded.” They “Know” together, and they know each other from the confirmation by the other, but not from the pleasurable feeling – that was the signal to reason out the result and make it known to one another.
Mary had this knowing in a singular way, not out of passion, but prior to any passion. Her LORD, ‘I AM’, knows eternally. And temporally by Gabriel, her LORD shared his knowing with her, concerning her conception and concerning His Son being conceived as her son. In that instant there was a joint knowing – Mary knowing what the Father was doing in her, and Mary in material reality conceiving what her LORD knew in eternity. Apart from passion, yet in the intense operation of Love (“Love” is another name for the Holy Spirit) there is a knowing with the LORD and Mary that is prefigured with a husband and wife knowing.