"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Sunday, 18 September 2011

SEX and SPIRITUALITY: Healing With Sexual Energy

 SEX and SPIRITUALITY
Healing With Sexual Energy 
By Walter Last


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Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. 

In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.The idea of celibacy for priests, nuns and monks is to spiritualize sexual energies as in meditation, rituals and other devotional practices. While this generally involves conscious exercises as in yoga, Christian mystics commonly transformed their energies without conscious awareness through intense devotion. If religious celibates fight to suppress their sexuality, they misunderstand the deeper reason for the practice of celibacy, and block their spiritual evolution on that level. If devotional practices do not lead to the transmutation of sexual energies then it is much better to find a natural outlet. 

Suppression always leads to problems.  There are hundreds of different Tantric, Taoist, yogic and meditation techniques to transform sexual energy into kundalini or spiritual energy. Sexual energy is a denser part of our general life force energy, which can be liberated as kundalini energy and led upwards. Its ultimate purpose is to facilitate spiritual growth by developing our chakra system and higher energy bodies. 

 


What is Spirituality?

In this context ‘spirituality’ means to me an effort to speed up our evolution of consciousness, which then becomes manifest in the functions of our energy bodies and the formation of higher energy bodies. I see the next stage in the spiritual evolution of humanity as forming a society based on cooperation, love and compassion. In some way this is a high ideal of all religions, but especially expressed in Buddhism and Christianity. Love and compassion are the expressions of an opened heart center. Therefore the practice of Karezza is especially relevant at this time. Tantric, Taoist and yogic methods try to go further by fast developing the whole chakra system and a higher energy body, which Taoists call the immortal body, and which may correspond to the light body of New Age philosophy. 

However, apart from achieving various temporary states of bliss and psychic happenings, few seem to be really successful in this way and also so-called brain or spiritual orgasms may still be related to dopamine activity. 

Tantra and Kundalini Yoga

Tantra and kundalini yoga originate from the Hindu tradition. Both methods aim to lead sexual energy upwards, Tantra in ritualized male-female interaction, and kundalini yoga in strict individual practice; both methods entail semen retention. As a reward there may be a brain orgasm and various states of blissful conditions. Traditionally Tantra was seen and used as a method to enable men to achieve enlightenment, while women were only used as tools, even if they were ritually worshipped as Goddesses. This has changed in modern western practices where women are now complete equals of men. 

I see the main problem with these methods as being one-way streets of energy flow from the base of the spine to the top. This tends to lead to unbalanced development by over-stimulating the head centers at the expense of the heart center. Furthermore drawing up too much sexual energy may in time deplete overall vitality. Also I am not impressed with the abilities of practitioners of these systems to rejuvenate. There is probably no problem with these methods for beginners, but various reports indicate problems may result from continued over-stimulation of the brain. This seems to be increasingly acknowledged by modern Tantra and kundalini practitioners who now have added the Microcosmic Orbit to their practices. For an interesting overview of the modern Tantra, kundalini and Tao scene see The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm by Michael Winn (http://www.healingtaobritain.com/p67magazinequestforspiritualorgasm.htm).

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Enlightenment is in the Vagina 

You may think I try to be cheeky or provocative with the statement: ”Enlightenment is in the vagina”, but this is one of the authenticated sayings of the Buddha, and it leaves us with the problem of how to understand or interpret this. It seems to turn our usual understanding of enlightenment on its head. The actual phrase in Sanscrit is: "Buddhatvam Yosityonisamasritam."  This may also be translated as: ”Enlightenment is in the female sexual organ(s)”. This same view is expressed in various sacred Tantric texts. 

There appears to be much hidden sexual activity involving female consorts in some Tibetan Buddhist Sects. Western Buddhists, on the other hand, apparently do not know what to make of this saying, and therefore tend to ignore it, although I know of one Western Buddhist in Thailand who took this to mean that lots of intoxicating orgasmic sex is the road to enlightenment. But there is also another Buddhist saying that refers to orgasms as killing the inner Buddha.My understanding of the first saying is that it refers to female sexual energy which is required for a male monk to become androgynic, meaning that male and female energies become balanced in an individual. This may be achieved by dual cultivation as with Tantra or having a female consort, or by single cultivation as with energy meditation. This is really the same process that we also see in Taoist practices and in the Gnostic Gospels. It has nothing to do with surgical or hormonal gender changes. The second saying simply means that by wasting our sexual energy with orgasms we do not have enough left over for enlightenment. In the eight century, a female Buddha, Lady Yeshe Tsogyel, achieved enlightenment through mutual Tantric practice. She explains that women must control their sexual energies just like men need to control their ejaculation if they would cultivate spiritual enlightenment. “If there is leakage of sexual energy, the Buddha Unchanging Light is slain...Therefore, with the power of retraction, drawing up 'love' with the base energy of life-force, I held it in the pot of my belly, and maintaining the recollection of pleasure uncontaminated by lust, divesting myself of mind-created Samadhi, yet not slipping into an instant of torpor, I experienced the ascent of Awareness.”This passage explains in beautiful simplicity the process of Taoist internal alchemy: produce a feeling of sexual pleasure, draw this feeling from the sexual organs into the abdomen, continue to increase it with mindfulness, and at the same time lead the feeling of meditative bliss from the head into the abdomen. Energy flow then follows the feelings. In the abdomen the heavenly or male energy from the head centers interacts or copulates with the female earth energy of the sexual and base centers. The ultimate goal of Taoist energy cultivation is the formation of an immortal body. This is not a physical body but a higher energy body, a light body. In the same way as in esoteric Buddhist practice this is achieved by combining male and female sexual energies so that the practitioner becomes androgynic. This takes place initially in the area behind the navel where the converted sex energy has been accumulated by practicing the Microcosmic Orbit or an equivalent method.  Our major male-female poles are at the top and the bottom of the spine. This is like an energy axis between two spinning vortices with a secondary male-female split between the right and left side of our body. The internal alchemy or inner copulation of these poles then creates the divine child or immortal light body. To be successful we need not only a strong sexual pole but also a strong crown or heavenly pole formed by regular meditation and a spiritual attitude.Lao Tzu explained the immortal light body thus: It is self-aware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a biological body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can never die.However, Edgar Cayce warned that if you raise the kundalini before you can control your sexual energy it simply inflames your sexual desire and causes problems on your spiritual path. As a general advice this means practice Karezza or the Microcosmic Orbit until you can use your sexual energy without being confronted with uncontrollable desires.  

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The Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber

A similar picture emerges from the Gnostic Gospels. Apparently these gospels by the disciples of Jesus have been rejected by the official Christian churches because they imply that Jesus had secret teachings for his disciples. These teachings seem to have been the basis of Jewish Christianity under the leadership of James the Just, but were lost with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.  Western Christianity is based on the doctrines of Paul who did not know Jesus personally and therefore did not receive these teachings. Most great spiritual teachers reserved advanced teachings for those who could understand them. So we read in the Gospel of Thomas: (22) "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, ….. then you will enter (the kingdom).”

 This basically says that we must become androgynic to enter the kingdom of heaven. There is no chance that the general public would have understood this. Also consider the following:(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of (eternal) life." 


Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." This, too, refers to androgyny. The means to achieve this is the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. It is alluded to in various Gnostic Gospels. Jesus taught various sacraments, the Gospel of Philip, states that there were the holy baptism, the holier atonement, and the "holy of the holies," the sacrament of the bridal chamber, in which participants "put on the light" or "chrism" and return to oneness. 

Androgyny is also a central part of other religions where deities in Taoist, Hindu and Buddhist art are often shown as part male and part female.There are no direct descriptions of the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber, but it is clothed in sexual symbology and seems to have been practiced as a sacred male-female union without orgasm, also described as pure embrace or undefiled intercourse. Possibly both methods were used as in Tao and Kundalini-Tantra practices. Dual cultivation appears to be by far easier for equalizing male and female energies. However, there is also the following description of it which may indicate single cultivation: 

Epiphanius mentions a Gnostic writing called "The Great Questions of Mary" where Jesus gave Mary Magdalene a revelation on a mountain. According to this Jesus produced forth a woman from his side, akin to the generation of Eve in the Garden of Genesis. Jesus had sex with her, and then consumed his own semen. (novusordoseclorum-oai.org/documents/magdalene.htm). 

This description is interesting as not only the mythical Eve was created in this way from the androgynic Adam, and together they populated the world, but also in Hindu mythology Shiva produced his consort in the same way and they then copulated to produce the world. All of these describe a male-female split of the divine androgyne, and the sexual union of both parts then produced an immortal light body, the human race, or the world. It is clear that descriptions of secret teachings such as the above are disguised so that only the initiated understand the true meaning. 

From what we know now we may assume that Jesus demonstrated to Mary how to focus sexual energy into a male and female energy pole, and then unite these polarized energies to create a higher energy body. The swallowing of semen is symbolic for retaining his seed and actually not ejaculating.Here a final quote from the Gospel of Philip: “If anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light. If anyone does not receive it while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place. He who will receive that light will not be seen, nor can he be detained. And none shall be able to torment a person like this, even while he dwells in the world.”According to the Gnostic Gospels the main purpose of Jesus was to teach eternal life by re-creating the divine androgyne, and thus overcoming the separation of the sexes in the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. Being born again in this way with an immortal light body, any successful follower was no longer a Christian but became a Christ (Gospel of Philip). 

The real significance of the crucifixion and the crowning achievement of his life was the reappearance of Jesus and his continued teaching in the materialized form of his immortal light body. This was to demonstrate to his followers the truth of his teachings about the divine androgyne and the eternal life. Therefore, the real basis of the teachings of Jesus is sacred sexuality, the same in Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist teachings. 


Part 1: THE NEUROCHEMISTRY OF SEX
Part 2: SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Part 3: BIO-ENERGY AND SEX
Part 4: SEX AND HEALTH
Part 5: SEX AND REJUVENATION
Part 6: SEX AND SPIRITUALITY 


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