The great threat against family life is the menacing rising tide of self-gratification; the modern pleasure mania.
Originally property was the basic institution of self-maintenance, while marriage functioned as the unique institution of self-perpetuation. Then marriage founded on self-maintenance led to self-perpetuation and concomitantly provided one of the most desirable forms of self-gratification, and today is still the only institution of human society which embraces all three of these great incentives for living.
The prime incentive to marriage used to be economic; sex attraction was secondary. Now the accumulation of property is becoming an instrument for augmenting all forms of self-gratification, while marriage is often viewed only as a means of pleasure. Consequently this overindulgence, this widely spread pleasure mania, now constitutes the greatest threat that has ever been leveled at the social evolutionary institution of family life — our home!
Although food satisfaction, play, and humor, along with periodic sex indulgence, were means of self-gratification, it remains a fact even today that our evolving mores have failed to build any distinct institution of self-gratification. And due to this failure of us to evolve specialized techniques of pleasurable enjoyment, all our human institutions are so completely shot through with this pleasure pursuit.
Aside from appeasing hunger, the basic type of self-gratification is sex gratification; and unfortunately this form of sensual pleasure has been enormously heightened within the cultures of our society today.
Pleasures are indeed suicidal if they succeed in destroying the property which has become the institution of self-maintenance; and self-gratifications have indeed cost a fatal price if they bring about the collapse of marriage, the decadence of family life, and the destruction of the home — man’s supreme evolutionary acquirement, and civilization’s only hope of survival.
Vanity and fashion cannot minister to home building and child culture; pride and rivalry are powerless to enhance the survival qualities of succeeding generations.
The hunger of the soul cannot be satisfied with physical pleasures; the love of home and children is not augmented by the unwise pursuit of pleasures. Though we exhaust the resources of art, color, sound, rhythm, music, and adornment of person, we can not hope thereby to elevate our soul or nourish our spirit.
Advancing celestial beings all enjoy rest and the ministry of humor and play; for all ascendent life is divided between work and play.
All efforts by us human beings to obtain wholesome diversion and to engage in uplifting play are sound-refreshing sleep, rest, recreation, in fact all pastimes which prevent the boredom of monotony being worthwhile. And even good food, competitive games, and storytelling may serve as forms of self gratification.
So let us enjoy the fruits of the long upward biologic struggle of the human being. Let us enjoy ourselves and find pleasure in a thousand and one ways. Let us as evolutionary mankind explore all forms of legitimate self-gratification; for our human race has well earned some of our present-day joys and pleasures-but look you well to the goal of your Eternal destiny!
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