The Pale, Sexless Life: Chapter 1

There is only one way I know of that is a path to success in life: delayed gratification. Freud considered psychological sublimation the only positive defense mechanism. The channeling of  carnal desires into socially acceptable works is not instinctual, but the result of years of education and practice. Every possible path of enjoyment that is tolerated in youth gradually narrows in adulthood, and the avenues for outlets converge into society’s norm’s and expectations. The developmental stages of youth can often be stunted, and result in maladjustment, preventing one from utilizing ones’ greatest talents and achieving one’s highest ambitions.

The long view is valuable in analyzing the true depth of delayed gratification, because the more delayed a reward is, the greater reward can be. With the exception of delaying gratification to the point of never being able to enjoy something, delayed gratification is a sound practice. It is also the only style of writing that I don’t consider smut. Delayed gratification is both extroverted and introverted- the stoic, cold confidence of a laconic writer may attract the anxious, whereas an enthusiastic and wordy writer may attract a sentimental reader. In either case, the laconic and the voluble reap the fruits of their labor, and the unclear fall behind.

Writing can be both social and personal, but seems to always an attempt to connect and establish an understanding with the outer world. The “inner world” could be a way to explore the mind’s deep psyche, in the form of an epic diary, and could also be a constructive way to identify oneself, by contrasting with the outer world.  The “sexless” life is cerebellum, the home of the inner world. While the brain experiences all of what the nervous system communicates, and while the brain determines when endorphins are released to appease the body, the logical center of the brain is the true ledger of one’s outlook in life. If one were to calculate each short-term gratification as a sum on an accounting book, one could say that each nerve is a both a wallet and a stomach. A nerve can spend its anatomy on stimulating the brain, at the expense of emptying part of its stomach. The physiological term is an action potential, where a signal is transmitted to the brain  to communicate a stimulus.

Sensory deprivation is a form of delayed gratification, if only it is used in moderation and rarely, is it actually experienced in its purer forms. Social isolation, alienation menial labor, are all forms of sensory deprivation, however this is often not necessarily a bad thing. Many people understand licit labor bears licit fruit. But few would word it in that way-someone who works in a greenhouse gets to enjoy ample window light compared to a nondescript office cubicle. The cubicle job could pay more, whereas the greenhouse job may have short term benefits such as happier work environment.  A creative balance of supplementing a spartan work environment with plant life and blue light could have a comparable quality of life index to that of a greenhouse job that is perhaps (not always) less lucrative.

Sensory deprivation is also in the eye of the beholder. One person’s sensory deprivation is another person’s sensory overload. One person may have a poor sense of smell, and be oblivious to bad odors in their wardrobe. Another person may think they have a pleasant voice, whereas others may consider it extremely irritating. The sexless life is the life of not spending the many wallets from the body’s many nerve endings, however they can be re-sensitized. The body learns and desensitizes where excesses are sought, and the brain adjusts and persuades the mind to tap other renewable nerve resources. The sexless life is the hermaphroditic life- feeding the body and allowing it to renew its cells, only for self-preservation, rather than for genetic recombination.  It is in this plateau stage that the adult body is free from the stresses of posterity. It is a way to focus on accomplishing goals. However, this is not to say that this the only stage where one can achieve. After all, delayed gratification is only practical if gratification is eventually redeemed or at least passed on to a loved one. Therefore, it must contain sometimes as a minimalist pit stop, or an oasis, in the middle of long journey.



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