Tag Archives: men

Chuck’s Place: The Divine Power Of Sexuality

Accessing the divine cosmic... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Accessing the divine cosmic…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

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.

Trashy Barbie... - Trash Art by Jan Ketchel
Trashy Barbie…
– Trash Art by Jan Ketchel

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.

Will we go through the bardos into the light this time? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Will we go through the bardos into the light this time?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

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,

Chuck’s Place: New Models Of Possibility

The answer is true connection... - Art by Jan Ketchel
The answer is true connection…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Having read the synopsis of Don Jon, I was curious as to how the movie might address a major relationship challenge of our time: addiction to internet pornography.

The movie was energetically rajasic, difficult to stomach, however, it managed to realistically offer an insight into the core challenge of porn addiction and how to go about addressing it. The main male character, who had a very active sex life, even a relationship with Scarlett Johansson—who I later learned has twice been announced the sexiest woman on earth by Esquire magazine—preferred pornography to an actual flesh and blood person because it allowed him the freedom to lose himself in masturbation rather than have to face the challenge of intimate connection. The antidote to his fixation was to learn to actually look into the eyes of his partner and feel a genuine connection.

When I recently spoke with my daughter, currently completing her graduate studies in Social Work, I suggested that she view the movie as part of her own clinical education. She called me the next day to inform me that her boyfriend had preferred to see Gravity, and so they saw that instead. “Dad, why didn’t I go into science… there’s so much more out there,” she expressed excitedly. “We’re just a tiny part of it all!” She went on to share a dream she’d had after seeing the movie.

“I was with friends at the ocean,” she said. “We wanted to create a whirlpool. We started making the whirlpool. I was the furthest out in the ocean. Remember, Dad, when we were in the Hudson River and we struggled with the current. You always warned me about the undertow. Well, it got me in the ocean. I was pulled away. Suddenly a voice inside me said, ‘Just let go,’ and I did. I let go and I was fine.”

I was so struck by her experience and dream that off we went to see Gravity the next day. I have never seen a movie where the lead actor is a woman astronaut in space. What an amazing experience! And I could see the impact such an image could have on a young woman’s imagination of what she might really do in this life. Just a week before, I had been drawn to read an article in the New York Times—Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?—lamenting the paucity of women in science. One causal suggestion from this article was the lack of female models that one would feel comfortable realistically identifying with. Sandra Bullock’s performance may open a new era of models for girls and women to free themselves into new vistas of possibility. Had my daughter been a child today, she might actually have chosen to go into the sciences after seeing this movie with this strong female lead.

The lessons of Don Jon may offer men, as well, freedom from the stuckness and control of two-dimensional images as they challenge themselves to open to the immense possibilities of real life intimacy. These two movies, as diverse as they are from each other, hold similar messages: don’t ever underestimate the possibilities!

Enjoying the movies, and the possibilities too,