This is kind of pathetic. A Rabbi named Shmuley Boteach has a piece in the Huffington Post this morning called "The Centrality of Marriage in a Cynical Age."

The post starts out with some simple facts, which caught my interest. Here's the Rabbi:

"So forty percent of Americans in a Pew Research and Time magazine poll think that marriage is caput. And who can blame them? Marriage in our time is such a bore that eighty percent of married couples use their one date night a week, usually a Saturday, to go to a movie. Here they have an evening to finally get to know each other again as man and woman rather than Mom and Dad and the silence is so deafening that they require Hollywood noise to fill the empty spaces."

Keep going, Shmuley. You seem to be on some kind of track:

"Then there's marital sex, which has become so pathetic that, as I reported in my book 'The Kosher Sutra,' one out of three American married couples are entirely platonic while the remaining seventy percent have sex once a week for seven minutes at a time, which includes the time he spends begging. Passion in marriage is plummeting while divorce is skyrocketing. Visit the average American master bedroom and you'll see a giant, cathedral-like TV. Husband and wives have exchanged erotic desire for HBO because at least the people on the screen are doing it."

I know. I know. Obviously the Rabbi's old school perspectives come screaming through - by taking it for granted that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and who have kids, and that the set-up is that the man has to "beg for it."

But let him ask this question, anyway, before I jump in:

"Does it matter that marriage is dying? Isn't it enough for people just to commit and love each other outside the framework of any institution?"

Okay, that's my kind of question, but unfortunately, after that question, Shmuley really goes off the rails into some antiquated ideas about "what women want," and why the solution to the death of marriage... is marriage! Yep. No joke. You can read about it here if you want, but don't expect much enlightenment.

So, let's get real and let's get down to it.

Most people I know who are married, and most people I know who aren't married but know people who are married, all speak to the facts at the beginning of this piece.

Marriage. for most married people, sucks!

Say it. Look at it, because if you don't, one day you'll be looking in a mirror asking: "WTF happened to my life?!" (Oh, and as far as the kids you're supposedly staying together for as your excuse? Well, let me put it even more bluntly - For most kids, parents suck! But that's another article.)

Now, lest you think I'm just being overly negative for some unresolved reason in myself, I again refer you to the facts above. Happily married people are so rare that none of us really know any, or at least certainly not many. And for definition's sake, by "happily married" I mean passionately, joyfully, erotically so in love with someone that you so deeply desire to be with that HBO could never come between you.

You see, unlike the Rabbi, I don't think we are living in a "cynical age." I think we are waking up. We are beginning to search for the real things in life, rather than facsimiles of the real things. Just as we are more and more choosing to eat fresh, whole foods instead of processed, fake "fast foods," and we're more and more looking for creative work that fulfills our souls and not just our wallets, we are also more and more looking for genuine human connections that lift us up and make our hearts soar.

I know that love, Eros and sex when combined bring us closer to experiencing the true nature of spiritual existence while still in a physical body than almost any other experience we can have. So much of my writing and my work as an holistic psychotherapist is about how to help people open up to the capacity for Eros, and to take the delicious, powerful ride that its wave offers. Do a search on this blog for the word "Eros," and you will find many entries by me on this subject. Being in love is one of the highest highs human beings can know.

And marriage has nothing to do with it.

Marriage is an "institution," and as such, it was created for a societal purpose. It didn't develop organically out of human nature. Marriage, and the nuclear family, came about to serve the masters of sexual repression and economic consumption. Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx both wrote about this at the turn of the last century. (I won't go into it here; you can look it up.) Marriage for love is historically a relatively recent phenomenon, and that is why it is falling apart - because you don't need to get married for love to thrive. In fact, many of the societal proscriptions around marriage are the very things that cause the demise of Eros in a marriage.

"In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, until death do us part?!"

Do you get what those vows actually mean? Try saying them this way:

"Even if we are no longer in love, even if there is no passion between us, even if I refuse to love myself and stay healthy and take care of my body, you have to stay with me!"

Yeah, who wouldn't want that deal? Pour me a scotch, will ya?!

Anyway, in closing, folks, let me implore you: pursue your joy, follow your passion, seek out Eros, and you and all in your life will benefit enormously. It doesn't matter if you get married or not when you're pursuing those things. You will blossom. You will grow. And so will your kids. I'm not against marriage. What I know, though, is that what most people use marriage for undermines love. And in this age, when we are collectively working to raise our vibrations to a 4th dimension level, we cannot afford to diminish love.

Have a great weekend!

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