“The World, The Flesh & Myself”
"... I can see so that this was the beginning of an inveterate 'motherliness', the broody fussiness with which I've coddled all my boys - plaguing them about warm underclothes or changing their wet socks, and trying to 'feed them up' after they were already full.
I suppose every true pederast’s emotional foundation is the maternalism; I know that in all my relationships, other than the most casual, I've been driven just as much by a passionate protectiveness as by sexual interest - the second, for all I know, may be an extension of the first, as a mother gets sensual pleasure out of suckling ...
rather think I was born without the capacity for religion: without the mystical
gift which, surely, is the reality in religious experience. Or else I
believe - and I say it in all sincerity and without blasphemous obliquity - that
mysticism, for me, is a kind of distillation of sexuality; that religion, in me,
seems an atavistic recrudescence of a worship of the ancient; that the deity,
for me, is the principle, the mysterious 'Let there Be', of generation; and
that, for me, its symbol is the phallus.
I'm talking about a fierce and transcending joy of the mind; a kind of spiritual gloating over a unique aspect of beauty; an experience of apprehension that I can only describe as mystical.
"The sorrow of death, anyway, is a milder one than the sorrow of separation from the still-living - the cruelest of all compulsions, perhaps, in this determinist life; and one which people of my sort, peripatetic both in geography and in love, must perennially expect."
"All my life, like a child at a pantomime, I've been so agape at a new episode that I've forgotten the one before - another trait of adolescence, I suppose; and many fine friendships have withered away through my fault - my fondness hasn't diminished, but I've been too selfishly absorbed to look back, to take the trouble to write or telephone; and then as time goes on that awful sense of guilt shuts finally the door."
I suppose, my sexual objective has never been primarily physical gratification,
I've never liked 'prostitutes' - people I mean, for whom the primary objective
"I've seen overt juvenile orgies that would have surprised any of our prevalent fetishists of moral welfare. What surprise them more, is the argument - not perhaps outrageous when solemnly considered - that such behaviour among the young is, in a sense, moral welfare; though doubtless not the etymon from which acquiescent social discipline derives.
exalting freedom of nudity, solitary or in company, releases naturally - not
perversely - other freedoms, of the mind, the spirit and the body. A smooth,
untimid, eruption of these freedoms, as natural as an errand-boy's whistling,
surely must lead to moral health (if that's what moral means); their
constriction, to deformities of the spirit.
"I wanted Arcadia, an idyll of unending tenderness; and thought that 'we' - I and a boy, any boy - had merely to live together in sunlit candour for life to flourish and happiness to be infinite.
I hadn't yet learned, of course, what every paedophile has to learn - that the lifetime of his loves, if he gets any, endures no longer than his boy's beardlessness; they pay the penalty of a butterfly's freedom and, as a child out of last year's clothes, grow out of themselves.
Ideally, if one can use the word in so reprobated a context, the pederast is, as the Greeks knew, a pedagogue: his loves should pass in succession through his life as pupils progress through a master's class; and like the master he should see that each owes him at the end some mental or spiritual growth. But this is an ideal scarcely possible to attain, in this prying world, outside parts of Asia and the Mediterranean."
"I went to the man only once; and consciously, lying on his sofa, refrained from exposing my unconscious. Deliberately, I edited my answers; for I knew I didn't want to be cured. I don't think, through all the ups and downs of my life, despite all its humiliations and futilities, I have ever wanted my fundamental emotional nature to be different - not even when I went to prison on account of it; because if that nature, the essence of myself, were changed, than the 'I' that I know, the 'I' that is myself, would cease to exist - I'd be somebody else, a notion which is inconceivable.
One may despise oneself; one may regret one's incapacities, ugliness, weakness of mind, deformity of character; and know oneself to be rotter; but one cannot contemplate surely being a self that isn't one's own self.
I have often, during 40 or 50 years, tried to see myself as 'normal'; but the attempt has been as ineffective as searching for the end of infinity. 'He's a poor creature who does not believe himself to be better than the whole world else,' Samuel Butler observed. 'No matter how ill we may be, or how low we may have fallen, we would not change identity with any other person.' So I gave that psycho-analyst no help."
"In London came a tiny occurrence, silly in itself, which gave another warning of what my heresy must bring; or rather, which made me a stage more sensible of that tumour of furtive 'guilt' that my unconformity with society was ineluctably planting in my soul - guilt, though, that I've never correlated with ethics, but with the anathema of one's fellow beings."
"I've always considered that most of the sexual actions one's nature drives one unreasonably to perform are too silly for words. Why, I ask, does one want to do such pointless things? Yet at the moment, nothing in life seems so important.
When these things are publicly described in the nerveless tone of a dusty solicitor from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and publicly ascribed to oneself, sitting in the dock under the public's goggling eye, they make one feel not only an imbecile but also a monster; in his mouth things which seemed to one perfectly natural become horribly deformed. And that, evidently, is what's intended."
"It seems remarks like this are prompted more by hatred and fear of heresy than by a heart sorrowing for the countless innocent souls waiting to be corrupted. Sexual heresy must seem to the unswervingly loyal member of the sexual Establishment like an affront to his most recondite and 'sacred' sentiments; and at the present time particularly, when the public has suddenly become aware for the first time how widespread and various these heresies are, he must feel that they constitute a positive danger to the rightness of his sexual simplicity.
This is why, I suppose, a greater sanctity than ever seems to be given nowadays to the word 'innocence' - both by those whose blood boils when they hear of it being corrupted, and by others who confuse childhood with the first snowdrops of spring.
'As innocent as a new-laid egg', said Samuel Butler somewhere; and that's nearer the mark than the usual comparison - the new-born babe's innocence lasts as long as its elders can artificially and unnaturally keep it swaddled, and often not nearly so long as the elders suppose: the young creature’s own bodily senses and instincts will sooner rather than later 'corrupt' it.
Sexual 'innocence', as ordinarily understood, is manifestly unnatural - true innocence, I suppose, is the natural progression of knowledge and experience with the creature's growth and understanding. But 'purity' artificially maintained by prohibition and insulation against knowledge is really disciplinary device invented by adults: and can, I'm fairly convinced from observations of its opposite, be a contributor to England's psychological chaos."
"Love, which should always be kind, can be as cruel as torture when arbitrarily wrenched apart."
"A few, perhaps, privately commented: 'Michael really is rather the limit' ; but these people were too humane, too intelligent, to look down their noses at me or treat my business as theirs; they were among the best friends I had."
"I've hardly any regrets; my unhappiness were inherent in my nature. I wouldn't have been different, not for ten City directorships; because without my unnumbered faults, I suppose, I wouldn't have had my few qualities ..... I don't believe anybody's been unhappier for knowing me, and perhaps some have been even a little happier. If that be true, I couldn't wish for a better epitaph."