Wednesday, 16 February 2011

How does sexual ever mean spiritual?

One way in which the relationship between sexuality and spirituality becomes apparent to us is when we consider our ancestors. We all have an unbroken chain of ancestors that disappear over the horizon of the past. We have ancestors in every age that humanity existed. And prior to humanity existing we had some kind of lineage even back beyond that.

If we think of spirituality as a word that refers to our connectedness, it is not hard to see how the sexual animal that each of us is provides us with a connection which roots us into the flow of life. One of our most fundamental connections to the flow of life comes to us via sex.

If we accept that one of our fundamental connections to the past of long ago, to history and even to prehistory comes to us via the sexual connection between our ancestors going back across the generations, it is not to hard to think of spirituality as being a way of referring to our CONNECTEDNESS, or our ROOTEDNESS. We have a relationship with the past, the distant past, and the very distant past. And possibly we have a relationship with the future and the distant future.

If we extend these time-lines of connectedness out even further into the past and future indefinitely we start to see that we each of us have a temporal relationship with the a-temporal. That is to say we have a temporal relationship with the eternal.

Our rootedness in the present moment lies on a timeline that is woven together through sexual intimacy, not just between each pair of parental ancestors but also as Freud pointed out between parents and their children.

And yet this rootedness on our given timeline is only one of the kinds of rootedness that has a bearing on our lives.

We are not only rooted in time, but also rooted in space. Right here and right now we each of us find ourselves in THIS PLACE and THIS MOMENT.

However our connectedness extends far beyond this. The simple awareness of our physical bodies connection to their surroundings is another point of connection, as is the intermingling of our minds with other’s minds.

Indeed the threads that go to make up our rootedness are not only spatial and temporal and sexual. The connections that we have with the people we interact with regularly, our friends and family, our neighbours, our religious groups and community groups, our work colleagues, our old friends and friends of friends, and new friends, and on and on… Even strangers. Like the stranger you met on a train and had a strangely compelling conversation with.

Everything we say to everyone we say it to. Every object in our physical world. Each piece of clothing we put on our bodies. Each action we take to move ourselves through the spatial environment we are embedded in. All of these things, all of these connections, are hinting to us moment by moment regarding the FULLNESS OF OUR CONNECTION with the great totality of everything.

It starts to become apparent how misguided is the identification of ourselves with the extents of our bodies, the extents of our skin, and even the extents of our personal history. Imagine taking the universe away and leaving only your body, or only the time that started with your birth and will end with your death. Who would you be then? Certainly not the person you are now... certainly not the fantastically embedded and connected and thoroughly integrated part of the universe that you find yourself being, moment by moment that you live your life.

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