Thursday, November 14, 2013

On alien marriage, sex, and Mind Over Psyche

Recently, I had a reader express some concern because two of my characters in Mind Over Psyche "had sex when they weren't married."  The fact it, that's not actually the case--in fact, the two were more married than any humans can be, just not in our human sense of the world.

In Mind Over Psyche, my main character, Deryl, a psychic from Earth, falls in love with Tasmae, an alien from Kanaan. The Kanaan are a psychic people, and I had a lot of fun exploring what that concept means. This is a world where people don't need to explain--they share their knowing.  Those Kanaan with names (like Tasmae) get them only from other species (like humans) and only use them for others' convenience.  You don't have to explain what a person looks like to identify them; you don't give directions.  You just open your mind to the concept of that person or place and the other can know it as you do--or at least, with as much detail as you want to share.

Falling in love isn't the same process of meet, get to know the person, discover compatibility, take the plunge that humans do and sometimes fail at.  When you meet your potential mate, you simply know.  And once you give into that knowing, marriage is an inevitability.  When you bond with that person, it's not just relationship or physical mating--your minds join as well.

So, the Kanaan would never understand casual sex because they don't separate physical and the mental/emotional.  So when they mate, it's the whole package and it is for life.

Further, when their minds have joined in the mating process, everyone will recognize it.  On a psychic level, your mate is with you all the time.  (Secrets are not easy to keep.)

Finally, the Kanaan have a different relationship with God than we do.  It's more direct and more natural.

So what this means for a Kanaan marriage is there's no need for a ceremony.  They don't have the need for a contract, public display of their promises, or even a sacrament as we understand it.  God has made them to join together for life, and when they have joined, it's mind, body, and soul, and everyone knows.

Deryl is human, but psychic, and wants to be part of Tasmae's people, even without being in love with her.  As a psychic, he feels that same pull to bond completely as well, and, as Tasmae tells him before they join, "You are Kanaan now."  He's gone native.

The entire "sex scene" consists of four words: The Two were One.  It's true on a psychic level.

I explore this a little more in Mind Over All, when Joshua and Sachiko, both human, visit Kanaan to help with a small problem of stopping another planet from crashing into Kanaan without killing everyone on both worlds.  (Heckuva vacation, huh?)  They're engaged and going through some rocky times, and the Kanaan just don't get why they aren't mated already, which is really frustrating to Joshua because if he had his druthers, they would be.

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Virginia Jennings said...

Awesome concept!

Fr Jim Tucker said...

How do you account for the public witness that marriage is supposed to be in this alien world. For us, two people (man and woman) get married in a public ceremony (read Sacramental) because they realize that their union is not just about the two of them, but extends far beyond the couple?

Karina Fabian said...

Hi, Father, I thought I'd covered that when I said these people are psychic. They just *know.* Bonding (marriage to us) becomes so much a part of who you are that it's not not be obvious to them. Since when they communicate about a person to someone else, they communicate the essence of that person, the fact that they are Bonded (married) is as much a part of that person's identity as the color of their eyes. So a Kanaan who's never met me, for example but has had me described to them by another Kanaan would know I'm happily married to Rob.

In your case, they would see and recognize you have been given a special relationship with God. They don't have priests a such, since their own relationships with God are more direct, a la Adam and Eve before the Fall. If I ever write another Kanaan book, I might have to bring Josh's friend Fr. Enrique along for the ride.