Sex and spirit start (in English) with the same sinuous letter. But otherwise most people feel that they aren't, well, bedfellows.
Spirituality usually is considered to have something to do with rising above, or beyond, carnal desires, while sexuality is all about down and dirty bodily goings on (and pumpings out).
But the current issue of EnlightenNext magazine focused on the relationship between sex and spirituality. Per usual, the articles came to a predictable conclusion that nonduality is the key to understanding (the magazine is a sometimes annoying mouthpiece for Ken Wilber's philosophy).
I enjoyed learning what's happening in the world of sexual enlightenment. The One Taste movement is on the cutting edge of orgasmic satori.
Orgasmic meditation sounds a whole lot more fun that the variety I've been practicing (meditation, I mean).
A New Age pickup line can't be far away: "Hey, baby, want to come back to my place and help me achieve enlightenment?"
The most intriguing article in the issue was about David Deida, though. Some feel he is a disturbing guy who encourages pick-up artists in the "seduction community." I don't know if that is true. I did find quite a bit to like in his philosophizing.
Here's an excerpt from Ross Robertson's piece in EnlightenNext:
Men tend to have a stronger masculine essence, he explains, and women a stronger feminine, but it doesn't really matter which partner assumes which side of the polarity in the end.
The main thing, according to him, is not to suppress this masculine-feminine, ravisher-ravishee dynamic for the sake of equality but to embrace it as the root a relationship's authenticity and interpersonal magnetism.
This rings true to me. Integrating male and female energies is a foundation of ballroom dance, as I wrote about in a Tao of Tango post.
But there's a difference between "masculine/feminine" and "dominance/submission." In ballroom dance men lead and women follow. However, this is entirely voluntary, unforced, natural (mostly, at least).
In a guru-disciple relationship, by contrast, often there is more than a little tinge of master-slave roles, as I showed in this post. This is part of the reason why I didn't feel comfortable with all the talk of "surrendering to the beloved guru" when I was an active member of an Indian spiritual organization.
The guru even is called "Master." Admittedly, this also is done in martial arts schools, among other places. But not with the same fawning submission or uncritical acceptance of someone else's orders.
David Deida seems to recognize the inherent powerful polarity of masculine/feminine energies that can be experienced outside of conventional religiosity. Having a decided existential streak myself, I resonated with this passage in the article.
His basic philosophy -- that God and sex, death and life, consciousness and energy are all part of one divine play, and you never know when you might be run over by a truck or struck down by lightning, so now is the time to worship at the altar of life, love, and orgasm as if this was your last day on earth -- has garnered him a great deal of attention over the last decade.
On his website I browsed through some free chapters from Deida's books, including "Stop hoping for a completion of anything in life." Right on.
It's never going to be over, so stop waiting for the good stuff. As of now, spend a minimum of one hour a day doing whatever you are waiting to do until your finances are more secure, or until the children have grown and left home, or until you have finished your obligations and you feel free to do what you really want to do. Don't wait any longer. Don't believe in the myth of "one day when everything will be different." Do what you love to do, what you are waiting to do, what you've been born to do, now.
I also enjoyed "Unclench as if asleep," where Deida talks about the fear that underlies, to one degree or another, most people's lives. Then I listened to "How to party," an important subject that gets short shrift in most religions.
At the end of that talk he says that nothing matters is masculine, and everything matters is feminine. Yet masculinity also is presence (heaviness, mass), while femininity is love (opening to the universe).
In the end, there's no end. To sex, spirituality, exploring the mysteries. Just jump in. And do it.