Sexual Purity, Sexual Fear & Spiritual Realization
“There is no need to struggle to be free; the absence of struggle is in itself freedom.”
For millennia, sexual desire has been the dark shadow in the halls of spirituality and mysticism. No sooner than its talked about, it becomes polluted in the energy of shame and disgust. A moment after its awakened as part of our wholeness and an inescapable current in the flow of living energy, it gets cordoned off in domains of “tantra”, “suspicious and potentially offensive content”, provocative and opportunistic. Spiritual teachers dance around the subject, weary of the kvetch response in their students.
The tentacles of sexual energy reach deeply into the energetic contractions of fear (including the great collective horrors of the emptiness: betrayal, abandonment, unworthiness and the inner, all-powerful psychopath – that one we call ‘evil’).
Even the word ‘sexuality’ cordons off the energy and puts it at a safely contained distance – safely buried together with that dirty secret that our whole life and personhood – all that we are in the world of form – was the result of some shadowed act or accident by our parents. In general, spiritual teachers prefer to talk of “desire”. It’s less scary, less limited and above all, less taboo.
Freedom from #desire means this: the compulsion to satisfy is absent.~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
— Non-Duality America (@NonDualityUSA) May 21, 2016
Trust in sexual purity is critical towards our teachers and towards ourselves. Yet the very expression ‘sexual purity’ suggests judgement, condemnation, shame and a shadowy world of secrets we must forcibly face off with our wondrous, non-dual face. Yet what is sexual purity, but the courage to be inwardly honest about the ebb and flow of desire as it moves through us? How could purity meet sexuality unless it is free of the contamination of fear-based judgement? Sexual purity involves honesty about desire, allowance of its unconditional expansion, and also honesty when the sea of desire inevitably retracts, and we feel passion-less, burnt-out, uninspired and empty. Precisely that wasteland is the fertile birth place of the next wave of passion. All we need to do is allow it into our felt sense.
Sexuality, sensuality, desire and passion and fundamental streams through the life-force. Irrespective of sexual activity or degrees to which we manifest our passion into the world, they are streams within an endless power source that through us – a power source called life. When we repress our sexuality (and as with anger, acting out can sometimes be a means of repression), we disconnect from our purity and from the wonder of the living energies that are moving through us, whether or not we choose to acknowledge them.
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear, and after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Desire is Here
Moving with the sexual metaphor, let’s say there is a strong horniness in the physical body. Perhaps the first reflex is to masturbate. It doesn’t really satisfy the sexual longing, but it takes the edge off. In many cases, this is a sexual patterning which is aimed at containing, repressing and getting rid of sexual energy. It can be a form of control that stops life getting in the way of the agenda of ego.
Often, masturbation recruits images of forbidden sexual expression from the imagination, bypasses the heart and also short-cuts the wider sensitivity of the body. The very choice of images are often forbidden content, born of the life force caught in the split from our own sexuality. Masturbating in this way can superficially give sexuality a non-threatening form, a form that remains under control, but it also sustains structures of our own inner oppression.
This agenda of control binds our sexuality, sensuality, and ultimately our hearts to the agendas of fear, which is a reactive energy that when given authority, affirms the illusion of a separate self. As such, routine masturbation can separate, isolate and in a way, reject the deeper, living desire that is seeking to awaken through the body and mind.
What happens if we don’t act out, but stay with the living experience of desire? This involves not especially focussing on it, but also not pushing it away. What does horniness feel like? Where is it hot? Where is it cold? Where is it pleasurable and where is it uncomfortable? Where does it rise up and where does it fall to earth? What is the fire behind it?
Is there any body out there?
Falling into the fire, and experiencing its burning, sometimes a solitary voice can be heard. The voice is softly asking, in purity: “Is there any body out there?”
The still small voice is the searching of life into the physical – firstly into the cells of our own body, but equally through and into the atoms and particles around us – the physical body of the planet. Allowing the energy to move in search of the greater physical body of the planet loosens the contractions around sexuality. The furniture where we are sitting begins to resonate, the body itself begins to readjust to a new kind of vitality. Sometimes, the mind becomes very busy with wants, needs and distractions.
The art is to not do anything: to let the desire move as it chooses without intervention and without lasting identification. The sanctification of form occurs when we can surrender it into life, without the compulsion to immediately release this power, or to project it on another. The art is to be free enough of grasping, in order to observe the transformation that is happening through our sentient awareness.
Of itself, whether we make love in purity to our partner, or whether we do nothing, sexual energy transforms into the finest forms of spiritual energy. It liberates us of entanglement; it has the power to easily expand our consciousness; and it refines our sentient awareness. As this passion moves through the cells, it brings the cells to life, an experience which is blissful, and which is unconditional to any sexual act. At the finest frontiers of this bliss, there is a freedom in releasing it through the experience that bliss moves through us, at the same time that we are not that bliss. We are that which is a continuum of indestructible openness through which all bliss reverberates.
Sexual energy is not to be possessed by our mental illusion of a separate self or our perception that our ‘person’ is a tangible ‘thing’. It is no more ‘ours’ than life itself is ‘ours’ alone. Sexual energy, together with the full life force, move through us. When we manipulate it, we meddle with the global field and interfere with what it needs to do according to its own innate intelligence (which is so much greater than the intelligence the threatened structures of ego imagine themselves to have).
When sexual energy is on the move, it blesses all it touches. It reaches others beyond the mental constructs of time and space. Complications only arise where we feel compelled to interfere with it. Direct action, driven by the agenda of fear or threat is a form of interference with this natural intelligence. Like a blessing, sexual energy should not be forced on another. Attempts to do this will always create a whiplash of dread. Such attempts can only arise out of identification, which when coupled with the living energies moving through the male-female divide, opens a great rift of despair.
Stillness is the default position – through which the active and receptive, and the male and female aspects within us, can find the precise balance and attunement needed in any moment.
In the words of Nisargadatta, freedom from desire is not about rejecting desire. Freedom from desire, is about freedom itself, which is inseparable from desire as an expression of the purity of life.
To live in the known is bondage. To live in the unknown is liberation.
When we deeply and honestly review the nature of the felt sense, as it moves through senses and through the whole physical organism, it can become clear that masturbation (the abuse or division of sexuality) is possible also through using the body of our partner. Sexual purity is about authenticity, not about the physical form through which it is expressed.
The invitation is towards the experience of wholeness. It is towards a real, living, felt-sense, out-of-mind inquiry into the living sensuality of our experience. It is about releasing sexual agenda, in order to allow sexual authenticity to arise of itself, in spontaneity.
Through unlocking the junction between male and female within, and between active and receptive, there is an opportunity to ride and observe the ebb and flow of pure vitality as it moves through us: where it rises and releases in freedom to the heavens, where it meets pressure (reflected through thoughts, imagination, sadness); where it is allowed to heal us, and where we are still reluctant to let it touch home. Our sexuality is at the source of all creation. It’s not separate. The more we realize the nature of our own passion and desire, the less we are afraid of the sexuality or passion of the so-called ‘other’.
Through the non-judgemental realization of how sexuality moves through our form, we can begin to liberate that form. Each such liberation is a sanctification and purification. These are not holy words. They are the building blocks of our being here (for now), physically alive, in creative and destructive unity, in the heart-beat, blood-lust, glorious rhythm of it all.