When we say that something or someone is pure, we are saying that within a certain category of being, they are consistently of one nature and have no other added components, elements or aspects. The notion of purity has been particularly used in two unrelated areas: chemistry and morality. In chemistry, purity is frequently a good thing. We like the drugs that we use in medicine not to have impurities that can prove to be dangerous. Users of recreational drugs definitely do not like their drugs cut with other chemicals that can make the drugs highly addictive and even fatal. On the other hand, pure gold is too soft to be turned into good jewelry, and needs to be alloyed with other metals to make it workable.
In morality, purity is frequently used to indicate innocence. In many traditional societies, purity has been used to indicate that a person is a virgin. Purity is also used to indicate everything surrounding the whole traditional sexual experience. To further explore this, I am going to draw upon ideas from my theories regarding organic imprints. There are basically three areas where the traditional sexual initiation, in particular, has to be pure. Some of these explanations may sound highly impersonal, but I don’t know how to get around that for the purposes of this discussion.
So the three areas where the traditional sexual initiation is required to be pure are the surfaces on which the first organic imprints are made (namely, the bodies of the participants), the social template which allows the sexual process to take place and the imprints to be made (namely, the parents of the bride and groom, who give their approval and support for the marriage to take place) and finally the general atmosphere which allows the template to function properly (namely the larger community, both past and present, which acts as the keeper of the laws of purity and the witness at the wedding, which, in turn, gives the public community authorization that the bride and groom are married and may engage in sex).
Why is all this so important? Traditional societies evolved in more organic natural living environments, where people were constantly confronted with the rotting, the perishability, the undifferentiation of living matter, all of which was part of the natural order. These processes occurred because the imprints they attacked and destroyed had been only imperfectly protected and preserved, if at all. In order to preserve their legacy on the earth, people, in many cases, developed societies where they transcended above the processes of perishability through a series of laws of purity.
The key was to create rules that would allow them to maximize their capacity to preserve the organic imprints that they made. This concern with purity of imprint related both to the desire to leave an exclusive deep psychological imprint on one’s partner as well as the desire for certainty that the child the wife was giving birth to was truly sired by the husband. The search for purity in this situation was a search for a guarantee for the authenticity of a preserved imprint that was being created.
So why has this concern for moral purity in the realm of sex not carried over to the same extent in modern technological society? I would submit that it is because we are living in a totally different kind of living environment. It is one that is filled with the surfaces of modern technology and the products of modern technology. Hard ungiving surfaces that do not yield to new organic imprints of any kind. So many defined discrete entities. So many entities that are pure unto themselves. Little or no opportunity to get one’s hands dirty literally or figuratively. But it’s very hard to make imprints if it becomes impossible to interfuse with elements outside of oneself because of a lack of natural surfaces in one’s living environment. These surfaces provide places to impress imprints and a whole environment of these surfaces provides a template for organic interactions. In today’s world, there is a lack of variety of organic stimuli and therefore potential received imprints to help make one feel vibrantly alive.
So what is a person from modern technological society, who is searching for surfaces on which to make his organic imprints and for sources of potential received organic imprints, going to do. He is going to go to the one large source of varied organic stimulation available: potentially sexually active human bodies. Particularly with improved forms of birth control like the pill, sex with a lot of different human bodies becomes a relatively easy means to both make and receive a lot of different organic imprints from a lot of varied sources of organic stimulation. People in this situation choose sexual variety over moral purity in order to pull themselves away from their experiential vacuum and out of their numbness in order to feel fully alive. In other words, impurity becomes the desired state of affairs.
In a field of experience with a scarcity of organic stimulation, having to make and receive organic imprints becomes more important than having opportunities to preserve them. The modern technological world is filled with preserved imprint products and surfaces that block people both physically and psychologically from making and receiving organic imprints on and from inanimate sources. That is why access to a variety of human bodies becomes the major sensory outlet for people in today’s world. The need to prepare for death with strong preserved imprints through moral purity becomes less of a prior than the need to feel experientally alive.