Human sexuality is the physical manifestation of a far subtler yet powerful cosmic energy whose guiding intent is union. At the highest level that union is oneness with God, or the cosmos. At the most basic level, in the human form, it is unconscious instinctive union that results in procreation. One of the greatest challenges for human beings is to reconcile this divine energy with its physical, emotional, and mental energies in the human body.
I opened the Huffington Post the other day to an article entitled: Saudi Historian: U.S. Women Drive Because They Don’t Care If They’re Raped. This somewhat bizarre argument, to justify the Saudi law that forbids Saudi women from driving, does shine a light, however, upon a worldview that acknowledges the power and dangers of sexual energy. The Saudi solution is to overly protect women from the dangers of male sexual energy that loses control in situations of rape. Their solution is an affront to modern sensibility and progress, yet it nonetheless openly confronts the power and potential dangers of sexual energy.
In the West, the assumption that rationality, maturity, love, and respect insure safety in sexuality is blatantly on trial in our age of internet revelation. Abuse of sexual power is evident in our most sacred religious institutions, our schools and universities, and in our homes. It is quite arguable that for all our technological advances we are extremely naive and underdeveloped in our handling of sex.
In old Tibet, children entered monastic life long before the adult manifestation of sexual energy. Celibacy and the refusal to engage in sexual pleasure, even in masturbation, are fundamental to nuns and monks seeking enlightenment. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico discouraged sexual activity, as the energy it exhausted is seen as critical to dream advancement. In these practices we see a respect for the power and vitality of sexual energy, and while it is sublimated it is still utilized, channeled into spiritual advancement. Freud went so far as to suggest that civilization itself was a by-product of sublimated sexual energy.
This scant survey of sexual management throughout the world highlights the power of and the challenge that the carnal and the spiritual dimensions of sexual energy pose. If we can allow the hypothesis that sexuality is of cosmic origin, a blind yet divine energy, sent from “God” to empower union in human form, then it is our greatest human challenge to reconcile this blind, divine energy with full human consciousness. Thus, we can ill afford to lock it away in protectionism, divert it for spiritual aims, or naively assume anything goes simply because we all have rational control.
As humans, we are charged with discovering the full depth and power of our sexual instinct, this divine energy from God, in all its manifestations—physical, emotional, and mental. We are all charged with actively uniting this side of our nature with our consciousness, that which, in our human form, is our ephemeral spiritual center.
This weekend we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day appropriated to pay homage to love in relationship. The intent of this celebration is to merge love—union based on consciousness, driven by what is right—with sexuality, in its most instinctive form, in a harmony that symbolizes wholeness and oneness, as cupid depicts, in divine rapture.
Valentine’s Day is, not coincidentally, the opening day for the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. This movie is based on a highly erotic novel that develops the theme of dominance/submission, sadism/masochism in sexual practices. The novel, with all of its steamy sex scenes, has had unprecedented worldwide success. I suggest this success is due to its liberating effects on the exploration of female desire and sexual fantasy, which have been largely undervalued or “protectively” ignored. However, I don’t feel that this fantasy of female sexuality is fully accurate or comprehensive. It may serve for the release and exploration of a largely hidden topic—woman’s sexuality—but I think it actually mirrors the collective frozen states of women’s sexual pleasures and the relationships that reinforce them.
The storyline of the novel allows women pleasure in bondage. Bondage may indeed be a pleasurable experience, but it hardly touches the depths of real pleasure that a woman is capable of experiencing in a truly conscious, loving relationship. The true union of the primal sexual power with consciousness requires the containment of a safe, loving relationship where these primal energies can play and merge in full consciousness.
Bondage, by design, is the antithesis of true freedom. Nonetheless, bondage might be viewed as a more primitive form of commitment. In true commitment, however, a couple freely bonds themselves to each other in a love that allows the full meeting of two beings on all levels. This deep and freeing union, I suggest, is one realization of the divine intent of sexuality. Issued from the highest spiritual plane, it culminates in full realization of the divine in sublime human form.
Rape, in all its manifestations, is the consequence of an aberrant decision to not take up the challenge of humanness and instead to surrender control to the proclivities of the dark side. It’s inhuman. Bondage, in all its manifestations, is a rudimentary experience of trapping and controlling the divine energy. Conscious relationship is the exact opposite, as it seeks to responsibly unite animal and divine.
The ultimate challenge awaits us in death itself, where we, as individuals, must completely merge our human energy with divine oneness. Notice, this is not union with another person. This is ourselves, as individuals, uniting with the divine.
Our ultimate, full realization of divine sexuality is in the inner union of self, in the wholeness of all energies merged, physical and divine, transfigured into the oneness of all. Will we resist releasing our body and land in the bardos to continue to work through our attachments to physicality? Or are we ready to fully join with the divine light?
Happy Valentine’s Day,