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What is fornication?
81,1. One could say here, in the Sixth Commandment, that only "Thou shalt not do unchastity," and that fornication cannot be regarded as forbidden, since in the sixth commandment there is nowhere: "Thou shalt not commit fornication." But I say: What is whoring, of whatever kind, spiritual or carnal? It is a certain accommodation of vice in the following way: One philosophizes about the sinful possibility, places all phenomena in the realm of 'natural needs'. If one expresses to his own being the demand to satisfy them, then, according to his reason and his inventiveness, man does only something praiseworthy and fruitful, so that, for all the needs of his nature which are being demanded, he can bring about means by which the same goal can be accomplished , The animal must satisfy its needs in the most crude instinctive way, because it has no mind, reason, or inventiveness. In this way, however, man rises above the common, natural animal, that he alone can satisfy the requirements of his species in a refined manner. Therefore, the mind of the cultural man says:
81,2. Who can account it a sin to a man if, with the help of his intellect, builds an imposing house for his habitation, and thus exchanges a former burrow or a hollow tree with it? Who can account it a sin to a man, if he refines the tree fruits, and produces from the sour apples and pears, something sweet and tasty? Who can account it a sin to a man if he builds a chariot, tames the horse, and then journeys much more comfortable than with his own weak, troubled feet? Who else can still account it a sin to a man, if he cooks and spices the natural fruits to his nourishment and makes them more tasty? Or create things in the world for another purpose than to be useful to man?
81,3. How much beautiful and useful things have man discovered for his comfort and amusement! Would this be reckoned to be a mistake if he would pay honor to his Creator with his intellect, without which the body of the world would appear as uncultivated as a barren desert on which everything grows together in a chaotic disorder, such as cabbage, beets and stinging nettles?
81,4. If, however, mankind's diverse cultivation of the earth cannot possibly be counted as a misstep, even though it contains no other purpose in itself than a more pleasurable and more comfortable enjoyment of things in the world; On the other hand, a refined pleasure in procreation cannot be attributed to man as an error, for otherwise even the most educated man would be, regarding this act, the least differentiated from an animal. Thus, even this instinct of man must be satisfied in a more refined and cultivated manner, for the same reason why one builds comfortable dwelling-houses, makes soft clothes, prepares tasty meals, and so on. That is, more amenities.
81,5. Just assume for instance that a man of the educated class, has to choose between two female persons for his satisfaction; one is a filthy, mean peasant maid, but the other, as the daughter of a respectablehouse, is a well-bred, very well-dressed girl, flawless in her whole body, and all together lush and charming. Question: Who will the educated man choose? The answer will not cause a headache here; certainly the second one, because the first one will disgust him. So here, too, refinement certainly a most convenient purpose, because man attests to it, proving that he is a higher being, who has everything in his power to purify and dispose of everything unpleasant and dirty and make things clean and pleasant.
81,6. But since the man and the woman in this regard often have a great need to satisfy themselves, and yet cannot always make the demand to produce a child, would it again be their duty to exercise the intellectual powers, setting up the means to satisfy this impulse, be it only by blind intercourse with a woman or by self-gratification or, in an emergency, through the so-called boy's desecration? For this is what makes a man different from an animal in that he can satisfy this most natural instinct in other ways than just that which he has been instructed by rude nature. And so, after all, well-conditioned brothel houses and such institutions are to be endorsed, and can by no means dishonor the intellect of man!
81,7. See, what objection can be raised against this from a natural perspective? For it is true that the animal cannot achieve such cultivations and all sorts of nuances to the satisfaction of its sexual instinct, and so, in a sense, the mastery of the human understanding is undeniably to be discovered. This is all right, the animal has its time in all of this, yet otherwise, it remains dull unto the satisfaction of this urge.
81,8. But what is all this sophistication? It is a quick question, but the answer is big and weighty. Surely this sophistication has nothing to do with basic motives, but with appallingly exasperating lust for pleasure. But pleasure-seeking, we know, is an unmistakable child of self-love, which is quite identical with the lust for power.
81,9. It is true that living in a stately home is easier than living in a lowly mud hut. But let's take a look at the inhabitants! How proud and lofty we see the inhabitants of a palace company, and how humble the simple hut-dweller bows before such a splendid palace lord!
81,10. Let's take a look at the inhabitants of a big city and those of a small farming village. The inhabitants of the big city do not know how to help each other out of sheer lust for pleasure, they all want to live comfortably, they all have to talk, they all shine and maybe they can reign a bit. If a poor country-dweller comes to the big city, he has to address at least every boot polisher: 'Your Grace', if he does not want to expose himself to any rudeness.
81,11. But if we go to the village, we will still find fathers, not infrequently peaceful neighbors, who do not call themselves 'Your Grace' and 'Lord of'. What is preferable: when one farmer says to the other: 'Brother'! or if in the city, a slightly more middle-class appeals to a slightly more privileged: your grace', and 'Lord of' and the like?
81,12. I think it will be barely necessary to go on pursuing such nonsensical offshoots of the sophistication of the human mind, but we can at once make the main proposition: All such pleasure-seeking refinements are, according to preceding considerations, nothing but idolatry; for they sacrifice the human spirit, to the outer dead nature.
81,13. But if they are idolatrous, they are also the hardest whores, and their tendency cannot be accepted into the sphere of chastity.
81,14. Why was Babel called a whore? Because every imaginable finery was at home there. This also includes, the whoring urge in the true sense: unchastity serves all their life force. Thus, a rich husband who, for the sole enjoyment of a sumptuous and randy wife, is nothing but a barbarous fornicator, and the wife, a hard whore. And so here too, unchastity is shown in its foundations, as it is a most base desire for self-service and self-pleasure.
81,15. It was necessary to shed more light on this commandment for you, because man does not pass over any command as easily as he does this one. - Therefore I think that you now also understand this lecture; and so we will immediately go to the seventh room.
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