The mind and the senses

They had been brought up in a tradition that told them in one way or another that the life of the mind and the life of the senses were separate and, indeed, inimical; they had believed, without ever having really thought about it, that one had to be chosen at some expense of the other. That the one could intensify the other had never occurred to them …

From Stoner by John Williams

Very sad – and, one suspects, all too often so very true.

Why I read the Song of Songs V

Auguste Rodin, Kissers

Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), ‘Kissers’

Many of us will have come across statistics like: the average man thinks about sex every seven seconds. I have always thought this to be a rather timid estimate. My fifth reason for reading the Song of Songs is that it makes me think about sex all day.


I have been seriously tempted to hit the ‘Publish’ button after finishing the previous sentence. Perhaps I should have done. I am rather worried though that I could be misunderstood, that I could be taken seriously. Of course, I don’t buy that statistic. It seems ludicrous to me, and yet I do believe that there is nothing wrong with thinking about sex all day. In fact, given Christianity’s tarnished reputation in this area, perhaps more of us should think about sex all day, provided we manage to move beyond that endless preoccupation with sexual ethics to a simple enjoyment of our sexuality and sensuality. Should that not always have been the starting point, in our thinking and our talk about sexuality? The Song of Songs would seem to suggest so.

So, yes, I read this delightful book because it makes me think about love, sex and sensuality. Nothing wrong with that, is there?