Episode:Marriage and Family—The Origins (Part 3)

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[Paper 82:3.11-5.10]

Primitive marriage was an investment, an economic speculation; it was more a matter of business than an affair of flirtation. Woman started out as the property of her father, who transferred his title to her husband. The chastity taboo had its origin as a phase of the property mores, and virgins later became valuable commercial assets to their fathers.

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Note: Brad Garner was present again as a co-host, alongside Ann Garner.

Summary by Kermit

82:3.11 Early Marriage Mores (cont.)

Marriage practices among some tribes involved the marriage of young men to widows and older women. Upon becoming widowers, these men would be allowed to marry younger women in an attempt to ensure that at least one member of a married couple would have some degree of maturity. Conversely, some tribes limited marriage to similar age groups. Age group restrictions in marriage led to ideas of incest. Most interesting here is the revelators’ use of the word “incest.” Incest, originally and fundamentally means unchaste. Further, chaste originally meant conformity to marriage mores. Thus, violating the marriage mores regarding age restrictions gave rise to ideas of being unchaste or out of conformity with the marriage mores.

The lesson here is to encourage us to distinguish between mores and morals. As it is, what many consider morals, are in fact mores. The evolutionary path from folkways to mores marks the beginning of the transition from purely subjective consciousness towards objective consciousness. As illustrated by the tribal examples presented being virtual opposites, mores evince considerable subjective thought, while morals are purely objective. Genuine moral consciousness requires objective consciousness. As is oft repeated here, it is sad to record that reflective thinking and objective consciousness are in relatively short supply today. Even the mindal domain wherein mores take origin, by itself, is insufficient to lead to objective consciousness. Encircuitment in the Holy Spirit enables us to develop genuine objective consciousness. A major purpose for having this information is to encourage us to reflect and attempt objective awareness of our mores, past and present. Such is illustrated in the following example.

A primitive practice of trial marriage until pregnancy is achieved, or the first child is born, whereupon the regular wedding is performed is contrasted with a modern marriage practice of de facto trial marriage with the idea of a convenient divorce in case the couple is not wholly pleased with their married life. The so-called primitive trial marriage represents an honest effort to advance self-propagation, while the modern practice represents the less noble pursuit of self-gratification.

Today the mores pertaining to sex and marriage are viewed either as commandments from God, or the natural consequences of our biology. In fact, they are products of the adjutant mind and stem from man’s urge for socialization.

Genuine morals concern matters of right and wrong. Mores are the agreed upon behaviors and practices adopted by a particular society. Mores are irrelevant with respect to sin and righteousness. But in terms of civilization mores are most relevant. We are challenged to attempt the discrimination between mores and morals though the lens of the revelation, and in so doing, reform our worldview. It is only upon the foundation of a right worldview that we can advance civilization. Sex and marriage issues are particularly suited to attracting and holding our attention in the clarification of mores and morals.

A point repeatedly made in this material is that the term marriage is to be considered in the context of its role in producing offspring and establishing family and the home, the nucleus of civilization. Considering today’s controversy with gay marriage, it was suggested that in keeping with this idea, that the term marriage might be reserved for couples (gay or straight) who raise or have raised children (biologic or adopted), And the term domestic partners be used for couples without children.

Among the ancients, self-gratification was not the primary motivation or expectation in marriage, which led to somewhat greater stability of the home and family. In [81:6, p. 906] the revelators cite fifteen points essential to the maintenance of civilization, the last point entitled “prevention of transitional breakdown.” They earnestly encourage us to go forward when letting go of current usages and not regress to previous failed practices.

4. Marriage Under the Property Mores

Property and religion have always served to stabilize and moralize marriage. Marriage was more of a business opportunity than a source of emotional and physical satisfaction. The effectiveness of the property mores in the stabilization of marriage is borne out by the fact that marriage was more permanent among the early tribes than it is among many modern peoples.

Because of the property mores association with marriage, adultery was not recognized as such, apart from an infringement of a husband’s property rights, a form of stealing. This explains why did not find specific mention in the earlier codes and mores. Interestingly, it was noted that in the Dalamatian, Edenic, and Salem commandments, adultery was specified as a taboo. A girl was recognized as the property of her father who transferred his title to her husband. All legalized sex relations grew out of these pre-existent property rights. The Old Testament and Koran both refer to women in such a subordinate role.

What may come as a surprise to many, sex jealousy is not innate, but a product of evolving mores. Any doubts as to the power of mores to influence emotions and behavior should be quashed with the recognition of the extremes to which men and women will go when fueled by jealousy.

In our discussion it was suggested that folkways and mores operate primarily on the first two levels of meaning, the flesh and the feelings, where we seem to have stalled out. This is testified to by the glorification of feelings in so many areas of our lives. Recalling in [101:1.3] where we are told, “It is your thoughts not your feelings that lead you Godward.” Feelings are operational on the 2nd LoM. As such they can only move you horizontally on that level. Thoughts have a hierarchy of meaning and as such a vertical directionality, from the level of the flesh up to the level of love, hence Godward.

Even the chastity taboo arose in the context of property mores. Virgins were commercial assets to their fathers and extreme measures were employed to safe guard these “assets.” That the idea of female chastity took such hold on the races caused us to question its universality and power. We speculated that with increasing spiritual consciousness came a quest for purity and caused man to put a high premium on it. Thus, came about the professional prostitute class, the would-be brides rejected on the basis of their not being virgins.