Sexuality and Spirituality, a Terrifying Truth

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Within the course of the past several hours, let’s say around the past 16 or so, an increasingly horrific realization came upon me.

The first is that I had a genuine sense of the Grace of God descending yesterday, and I spoke to my friend Drew about it. He seemed unclear about what I meant by the “Grace of God” initially, but when I began to explain it with greater detail and point out that it’s largely a sense of peace and relaxation in the body coupled with a great sense of “good vibes” coming down from somewhere else, he understood what I was talking about.

The experience of the Grace of God is not something we ourselves induce; rather, it comes to us, which is the nature of Grace. This is the aspect of spirituality that’s sometimes hard to understand- we can only go so far by our own efforts, and let’s face it, to an American, that’s horrifying. It’s horrifying to imagine that God will determine for us at any point in time if we go any further down the path to enlightenment.

Perhaps not every system uses the Grace of God in this way, but there seem to be references of these things ultimately just “happening.” We can take the initiative and get the ball rolling, but we can’t complete the journey alone.

But then last night, a new aspect of the experience dawned. In the moments when the Grace of God descends, something else entirely is absent, something I had not realized before- the sex drive.

The more I contemplated it, the more I observed, the more I realized exactly to what degree our sex drives cause problems for us. Though the old saying that men think about sex every so many seconds is by no means true, a huge number of our motivations come down to being about sexuality, even in the sublimated forms of relationships and romance.

Think about it- how much do we do to make ourselves look good…specifically, to be sexually attractive….for other people? How much do we work on our personalities so that we’ll be a good catch for someone else? People can say that they do those things just for themselves, but let’s face it, the whole “let’s be happy with ourselves k thx bai” is actually a response to the need for a relationship, which largely, in our world of whores and instant pornographic gratification, becomes unavailable to us.

I am not suggesting for a minute that one cannot be whole and complete and happy one’s self. This is entirely possible, sure, but the caliber of person to whom these Oprah-like platitudes are catering tend to be the ones who are far away from actually getting to that point.

Moreover, so long as the sex drive exists, there will always be a sense of separation, a sense of loneliness, a sense of “needing” someone or something else.

As to whether or not one will experience the same thing in the absence of the sex drive, I cannot say. I cannot say that the need for companionship or intimacy is all completely abolished at this point, as it may not be, but I can say that the overwhelming degree of peace and goodness that one encounters in its absence is by far superior to the emotional entanglements and dances that we do for sexual and romantic encounters.

Some might accuse me of simply being obsessed with sexuality, and to this I answer that I am only diving into the topic to question it, face it, analyze it. In the absence of the sex drive, one can see the number of things that, under typical circumstances, would cause one to think about or notice something sexual.

To some for whom sexuality is their main pleasure in life, the idea of losing the sex drive is likely a frightening notion, and I am understanding of that. The peace, I have found, is superior.

The question now is how to rid one’s self of the sexuality?

The sex drive also seems intimately tied to the ego and to Self. The quiet and peaceful world that appears in its absence is much more appealing. So my question is: if the sex drive were to disappear, and I don’t mean “recede,” I mean to actually be abolished from the human being, what would happen? What would it be like? How would we live our lives? Anxiety and aggression seem tied into sexuality, too, and I know for sure that in the moments of peace I’m far less aggressive and anxious.

If God were to take my sex drive, would I be completely gone, too? Let’s see what happens.

But at the same time, upon further reflection of this, the question arises as to whether or not it is the absence of the sex drive that is causing the peace, or if the reverse holds true- that is, if the peace comes first and causes the sex drive to go into a virtual non-existence, however temporarily.

This is always something to consider, always something to remember, and always something to bear in mind. Don’t assume you’ve figured everything out, because you may indeed be missing some piece of the puzzle, or you may have the wrong explanation to describe a perfectly factual account.

This peace is well worth it. Whatever happens, it is worth it. But perhaps it works either way- the end of the sex drive creates peace, and peace creates the end of the sex drive.

Maybe here, when I say sex drive, I ultimately am referring to “desire” and “craving” in the same basic sense that Buddha meant. There’s not exactly a lot of certainty here, but if things continue, maybe there will be a more definite explanation of what’s happening.

Also, I’m going to point out that as of late, I’ve been doing a lot more meditation, typically guided meditation and chanting. Chanting is a natural method of transmuting sexual energy, so perhaps my sexual energy is being transmuted. But, so too, I have chanted in the past and not encountered this kind of Grace of God and peace, so I’m not sure if those are related to one another. I’m attempting to be open-minded and making the best attempt to be more objective about this.

Something else to point out- in no way, at any point in time, do I intend to demonize sexuality or advocate celibacy. Please; this is the 21st century, we can move past that mindset and into a greater one of wholeness. But there is something to be said for expressing sexuality in a manner that is beyond mere ego-gratification. For me, sexuality with a companion has been more about a communication, a sharing with that other person, a bonding with them, and not about just feeling good and getting off. That kind of sexuality won’t necessarily cause you to feel irritated, but mere self-gratification will almost necessarily lead to it.

This blog has been rather lengthy, but I hope it’s worked to elucidate people about the nature of sexuality and peacefulness in the mind-body.

Beaux

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Betrayal

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Through deep introspection, I came to a particular insight in the past few days: a common theme of my trust issues is the degree to which I’ve experienced betrayal in my lifetime.

Even in the past few years, even in this year, I have experienced betrayal by people I thought I knew, people I cared about, and people I trusted.

This experience seems to have occurred far more frequently when I was a child.

In essence, I feel betrayed from a number of directions- by my society, my family, by my culture, by people I once called friends, and by my religion.

An ever-present thing that seems to be a the very root of all my anger at people in general is that even when I was young, I hated for people to tell me things that made no sense. The society around me did and said things, held certain attitudes, that even as early as age five I could see made absolutely no sense, and this irritated me to no end.

As an adult, I can now look back to that pent-up aggression and remember always that I am not beholden to follow the rules of the society around me just because everyone else does. I can observe the local customs, see what makes sense, and go from there instead of mindlessly parroting others, which seems to often be the case.

Too many times as a child, I experienced being told that I was smart and THEN ridiculed when I gave my opinion on matters. This happened too many times to recount.

Now, that doesn’t mean that one should not repeat or act like anyone else whatsoever. Give credit where credit is due, and if you sincerely arrived at similar conclusions to someone else, especially independently, then by all means embrace those conclusions.

There are people in the world who are trustworthy. No one is 100% perfect, and anyone can be mistaken and let you down; however, there are people who are truly dutiful and guard their own darkness to keep it from hurting others. Don’t worry- not everyone is going to betray you.

These are just some thoughts that were on my mind.

Beaux


The Great Nothing

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this a few days ago, then decided not to publish it because it was so late. But here I am now, publishing it, so it isn’t quite as current as it looks. That doesn’t undermine the importance of it.

An experience I’ve had but twice happened upon me today, and this was the second time said experience happened.

The first time, it happened like a crack of thunder due to a synchronicity, and I was catapulted into a no-man’s land of voids.

This time, it crept up on me, over the course of a few days; the preceding days have seen me somewhat irate, so it was good to know that the irritation was ultimately indicative of something happening.

When this experienced happened the first time, I had a synchronicity dealing with an old lover, a statement made by Meister Eckhart, and a song in which that quote was found. At this point in time, I had been interested in Gnosticism/Catholicism for almost two years, and in the course of a few seconds, my entire world view came crashing down around me in shambles.

Suddenly, there was no God, there was no Christ, there was not value in anything- with the exception of that one person I had loved. This experience continued for a few days, I came out of it, and went back to my spiritual pursuits.

That time, in a way, I fought agains the experience with an intellectualization of it. This time, I didn’t fight it- I simply embraced it, knowing that it wasn’t the end, that this Great Meaningless Void is more like a veil, not an end in itself.

The Great Meaningless Emptiness just suddenly happened upon me, and all the friendly and beautiful notions and abstractions about spirituality and mysticism fell away. And I let them fall away. I let my concepts of God fall away, all those things.

Slowly, they’re returning, but not because I’m forcing them to. I’m just riding with my feelings, with my emotions, with my thoughts, and seeing what happens. I am merely an observer in all this.

The Great Dark Meaninglessness isn’t hurting my feelings or bothering me, either. It’s simply there, and I’m slowly moving inside it and then away from it again.

What does it all mean? Maybe I’ll find out, maybe I won’t.

Beaux


Mytho-Location

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Have you ever watched a movie with friends, and you were all able to declare which character you were in the movie? Or have you read a book and found yourself identifying heavily with one character or another?

Now, let’s take this a step deeper: have you ever read ancient mythology and felt this kind of kindredness to certain characters?

What about the Bible?

I think it’s an experiment worth trying.

I call this process of identifying one’s self in a story as “mytho-location.” That is, the locating of one’s self inside a myth, legend, novel, plot, and what have you.

In Christianity, I daresay the vast majority of people might then read the Bible and identify most heavily with the various Apostles and disciples of Jesus. That is, they are the spectators, the informants, the confidants, of Christ; they pay attention to His Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, but they themselves do not go through it.

Few of us would dare go to the extent of identifying with Christ Himself. Most would shy away from doing this out the outrageous notion of one equating one’s self with God, and others would realize that though this isn’t what one means, identifying with Christ in the Gospel narrative would entail also suffering as He did.

Perhaps we can gather that this is precisely what the Apostles realized later on, as each one of them was martyred- they accepted their identification with Christ and His Passion and endured a fate similar to His.

So anyone who is insane enough to embark on the mystic quest of the good Christian understands that he, too, will be crucified in spirit, and that is not a path for everyone to endure.

Where do you locate yourself in the Christ narrative?

Beaux


Debbie Ford and Shadow Work

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For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, Debbie Ford is the author of a series of books that deal with working with one’s Shadow, the part of our psyche that we have neglected, repressed, or forgotten. To my understanding, she’s in league with The Omega Institute, and she might be labeled under “New Age” to some degree.

Her books are, on the one hand, a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the “happy thoughts thinking” fluff that exists in the New Age community. Though I tend to be rather idealist and think that most religious movements begin as a heartfelt reform or as a matter of Truth Seekers, I’m also realistic in pointing out how quickly movements can devolve into drivel that benefits few people, if any.

Debbie’s premise is largely that the Shadow can usurp you, and that thinking only about positive things ignoring the dark side of life can lead to devastating consequences. This, in accordance with Jungian psychology and my own observation about the world, seems to be fairly accurate.

Yet I still feel that something about her method is incorrect. Something strikes me, intuitively, as being wrong about certain aspects of what she says.

I’ll first consider that it’s quite possible I’ve misunderstood what she’s saying. Ford seems to be under the impression that if you see a trait in another person that you do not like, that ultimately it is merely your own projection of your Shadow onto that person. This seems to almost be THE rule of thumb in reading The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Now, it is always reducible to traits- so, for instance, it isn’t about whether you’re a cold-blooded murderer, it’s about the characteristics of a cold-blooded murderer- someone who is callous, uncaring, hateful, unable receive or give love, and that there is such an aspect of this in ourselves.

But something about this doesn’t mesh well with me; the first response people will give is that I’m just now owning that dark part of myself.

At this point, I would like to defend myself and express that yes, I’m constantly working with my Shadow and am aware of the Darkness that exists inside of me. I’m, to the best of my ability, making friends with it, as it were- learning its depths, its power, its secrets. So to say that I am not owning my Shadow would be incorrect.

I think that on a reasonable level, I can’t buy that every single time we have a problem or dislike something about another person, that it’s merely and only something about ourselves that we don’t like. Now, I’m not denying that this is sometimes the case. But…it makes more sense to say that sometimes, if not most often, other people actually embody traits that have negative effects on us, and we don’t like them because it makes sense to stay away from people who might hurt us.

These are just some thoughts for the moment.

Allow me to also say that despite my criticism, I would still recommend reading Debbie Ford’s works. She has exercises and meditations written to do with Shadow work, and, in my own experience, they can be enlightening and informative.

She does offer some good explanations, too, about the Shadow- one’s flaws are actually one’s greatest strengths whose “volume” is just turned up too high. (I’m pretty sure Neale Donald Walsch says this in the forward of the book.) That can make sense to a degree…but sometimes some people’s flaw-volume is so loud, turning it down still might not repair our character-eardrums.

Just sayin’.

Beaux


Holy Sophia and the Blessed Virgin Mary

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An interesting observation made itself known to me earlier yesterday concerning Holy Sophia and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This observation is somewhat abstract, so please attempt to bear with me as I try to express it.

The basic pattern is this: Holy Sophia, who is an Aeon, an emanation or aspect of God and therefore Spirit, gives birth to the Demiurge and to Matter. The Demiurge causes the “Fall” of reality.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, who is human, gives birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God and Man; He redeems the Matter that is the universe and triumphs over the Demiurge and Archons; Christ redeems reality and Creation from the Fall.

In this, the Blessed Virgin Mary reflects and corrects in the earthly realms what happened in the pleroma.

So, what we see is that SPIRIT gives birth to MATTER; MATTER gives birth to a fusion of SPIRIT and MATTER, whereby MATTER is REDEEMED (and returned) to the SPIRIT.

This is by no means an in-depth explanation, but it is something worth noting and has several implications psychologically and spiritually. More than anything, the connection struck me as an interesting one.

Beaux


The Experience of Identity Loss

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Under everyday circumstances, we talk about the loss of one’s identity. Often this is tied to something such as the loss of one’s career or a partner, something that definitely put you in the realm of social affairs and distinguished you in relation to other people.

However, the week before last, while journeying with Tyler and my friends somewhere, I had a more frightening version of losing my identity.

Without warning, suddenly I was quite confused as to who I was and how it was that I came to be who I am. No doubt, I could identify things such as my name, age, all the usual things; instead, there was something more crucial that suddenly seemed odd and strange and completely out of place in the scheme of reality.

This is certainly an “awareness of being aware,” a strange state of affairs where one’s own awareness stands in contradistinction to one’s personality and identity, a separation of Mind and Name might be a way to explain it better.

The first time I recall ever having such an experience as this was when I was a child, sitting in the bathtub. Suddenly the same oddness and out-of-placeness of myself hit me, of who I was, of my distinction as a person as opposed to other people in terms of individuality.

I do not mean to state that I was unaware that others exist; of course I was aware of that, and of course I am now aware that others are aware. This is a wholly different experience, one that is confusing at best and likely anxiety-provoking at worse.

Perhaps one might call it an awareness of being who one is. Perhaps it is the remnant of a child-like impression of who I was, an outside imposed notion of who I was as opposed to who I really am on the inside.

I realize that stating all these things is quite subtle, and only those who have been through the experience can begin to fathom and relate on what I mean.

The truth is that experiences that others have not had, perceptions and differing degrees of awareness, are ultimately the very “business” I’m in, for want of better terms. Mysticism revolves around this sort of ineffability.

I do want to make it clear that what happened was not the same as the disappearance of the Ego, which is the sudden and blatant absence of the “I” that normally resounds most loudly in the mind. That, too, is an experience that mystics all the time mention, and yet until one encounters it for one’s self, it sounds like pure rubbish.

Perhaps someone out there can give insight into what exactly this experience means or refer me to others who have had it.

Beaux


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