Thoughts on conflicting values around sexuality
Sexuality can be a vehicle into spirituality rather than an obstacle to it. ~ Peter Rengel
The topic of sexuality is so confused and distorted in our society that most emails which include any form of the word sex in the subject will likely be filtered and sent into your spam folder. The secret obsession with sex by so many people causes innumerable problems, yet also brings huge profits in our world.
As a primal urge of humans, why aren't we talking more about this most vital topic? You and I would not be here were it not for sex. Does it really have to be a dirty word spoken quietly under our breath, if at all? Might it actually be considered a sacred act to be honored? The below essay on sacred sexuality is from lesson 19 of our free online course, the Insight Course. The lesson has drawn strong praise from many course participants. You may find the rare ideas shared here to be quite fascinating and possibly even inspiring. Take care and may we all find supportive ways to bring the shadows into the light.
In our sexually obsessed culture, we are given amazingly little information about how to deal with sexuality in a healthy way. For many people, sex is even more seductive than money. Our media, advertising, and entertainment industries are filled with subtle and not-so-subtle messages about sex. The underlying thrust is all about beauty, sexual desire, and how important it is to buy the products or operations which will make us popular, more attractive, and better lovers.
And even though advertising and entertainment are filled with sexual innuendo, it is rare that you will find anything other than tabloids and women's magazines talking openly about both the joys and challenges of sex. In many communities, homes, and workplaces, serious discussion of sexuality is a taboo subject.
It is also extremely rare that any of society's many sexual messages even hints at the spiritual dimensions of sex. To those who have succumbed to all of these subliminal and overt messages, sacred sexuality might even seem like a contradiction in terms. Considering all of this, how can we transform sexual energy in our lives and in our world to better support the good of all of us?
Almost the opposite of societal conditioning, many of the world's religions imprint negative beliefs of sexuality in their followers. For thousands of years, these religions have considered sex largely to be a base and vulgar act.
Sexuality gets little mention in the sacred texts of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. When it is mentioned, the suggestion is often to avoid it if possible in order to reach greater spiritual heights. Many monks and gurus also teach that we must refrain from sex in order to reach enlightenment. Yet none of us would be here without sex. There is virtually no spiritual instruction in how to deal with sexual urges other than to abstain. As a result, many people experience a split between sexuality and spirituality in their lives.
For a powerful, yet deeply personal exploration of the sexual-spiritual split by a wonderful workshop facilitator who was willing to explore his own wounds with workshop participants, please read the engaging six-page story at the link below.
The exciting news is that, as shown in the above essay, old paradigm beliefs and attitudes around sexuality are clearly changing. Homosexuality, bisexuality, and other sexual persuasions are gradually gaining more acceptance and support, even in the media. Yet common misperceptions around all forms of sexuality continue to exist in many people and places, and very few have even considered the possibility that sexuality can be used to enhance spiritual growth.
While fully honoring and supporting those who choose to abstain from sex for spiritual reasons, for those who choose to include sexuality in their spiritual path, it is important to be open and real in discussing this powerful force and how it can be used to change our lives and world. The term sacred sexuality is now being heard with increasing frequency in certain circles. Please read the below eye-opening article showing how old attitudes are gradually changing.
www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=931 - Sacred Sex
Sacred sexuality is often associated with tantra – a spiritual practice in which sexuality is used to achieve higher spiritual states. Though tantric sexuality was developed in India thousands of years ago, it is recently becoming popular in certain pioneering groups in this modern age. The below article, while acknowledging those who choose a spiritual path of celibacy, describes some of the inspiring aspects of tantra or the art of spiritual lovemaking.
www.personalgrowthcourses.net/stories/re... - What is Spiritual Sex?
And for a couple short, inspiring essays on fostering spiritual intimacy in relationships, follow these links:
www.personalgrowthcourses.net/stories/brennan... - Intimate Relationships
www.personalgrowthcourses.net/stories/cousens.intimacy - On Intimacy
Remember that in matters of sacred sexuality, the energy or essence of the people involved is more important than the physical bodies they inhabit. The seven-minute video below beautifully demonstrates this:
For the second and final page of this essay, click here
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