Some thoughts on sacred sexuality

I join the camp of those persons who have come to the conclusion that our sexuality is for much more than conceiving a child, although at a certain point in our lives that might be the major purpose. I believe sexual energy, when correctly understood and worked with, has the potential to be an important part of our spiritual learning on the physical plane, not least because the states of consciousness we’re capable of attaining during and after a sexual exchange are so much more subtle and significant than our ordinary state of awareness. By joining together at the level of heart, body and mind, lovers can access the Infinite. This is one of the goals of a tantric sexual union, which is something much more encompassing than the mere satisfaction of lust or the release of pent-up sexual energy. “Sex must not remain sex; that is the Tantra teaching. It must be transformed into love. And love also must not remain love. It must be transformed into light, into meditative experience, into the last, ultimate mystic peak.”[1]

Andre van Lysebeth suggests that human beings have two sexual poles: the species pole located in the genitals, which is associated with the urge for procreation that’s visible in many life forms, not just humans; and, the individual pole located in the brain, which is specific to the human race. [2]  By connecting at a heart-level with our lover, we can bridge the gap between the species (body) and individual (mind) poles: “…the aim of Tantra is to experience the merging of the acme of the species pole […] with the cerebral ecstasy of the individual pole, involving feedback between both poles. That is why in Tantra, the genital area is deliberately stimulated, in a conscious and controlled way. Upon being awakened at the species pole, the kundalini is then mentally guided up by the thought process, through the rachis to the cerebral pole (sahasrara chakra), where it encounters the heavenly centers of the brain setting off ultimate ecstasy.”[3]

By bridging what van Lysebeth calls the species pole and the individual pole, we can facilitate the integration of various fault lines that exist within us as human beings: the body-emotions-mind fault line, for example; or the more encompassing body-emotions-mind-soul fault line; or perhaps even the ultimate body-emotions-mind-soul-spirit fault line.

Taoism has a similar concept to the tantric idea of the species/individual poles. Mantak Chia speaks of “a method of ‘steaming’ the vital energy up from sexual centers to the brain and higher organs such as the heart and crown of head.”[4] There are clearly many similarities between tantric and taoist approaches to sex and sexuality. Both point to the need to balance the male and female principles – within oneself and between men and women generally – and indicate sex as a medium through which one can achieve this. Furthermore, Tantra and Taoism see the body as “the crucible for [spiritual] transformation”[5].

Excerpt from “Looking for Tantra – living the tantric dream”

[1] Osho. (2010) The Book of the Secrets. St Martin’s Press: New York, p.114.

[2] Van Lysebeth, A. (1995) Tantra – The Cult of the Feminine. Weiser Books: Boston, pp.135-142.

[3] Van Lysebeth, A. (1995) Tantra – The Cult of the Feminine. Weiser Books: Boston, p.139.

[4] Chia, M. (1984) Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, p.2.

[5] Chia, M. (1984)Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, Introduction by Michael Winn, p.19.

4 thoughts on “Some thoughts on sacred sexuality

  1. Dear Sam, thank you so much for posting another superb excerpt from your latest book, ‘Looking for Tantra.’ You’re positively giving me a new language for personal experiences that I’ve never been able to find words for before. I’m so pleased to be slowly yet surely learning more about both ‘Tantra’ and ‘Taoism.’ This is the first time I’ve ever read about these two sexual ‘poles’ and the bridging of them, very intriguing! Somehow it feels relevant that my partner gifts me this volume. Ha-ha! Now I’m patiently (hmm, well mostly!) waiting till Mother Christmas delivers your latest book … I really can’t wait!

    I absolutely love this quote:

    “Sex must not remain sex; that is the Tantra teaching. It must be transformed into love. And love also must not remain love. It must be transformed into light, into meditative experience, into the last, ultimate mystic peak.”

    Wow! For the practice of being wholly coupled, in a beautiful ceremony of bliss-filled ecstasy fills me with deep happiness … such are these spells of mind-body-spirit elevation! I appreciate that these feelings are awakened both inside and outside the bedroom … for me, most especially while we (me and my partner) walk in Nature together and in those moments we both sense like we’re being initiated into the deepest of all feminine mysteries … an alchemical process which reaches into (and beyond) the very cells, souls, of our beings, bodies and boots. Blessings, Deborah.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Deborah, thanks so much for your beautiful feedback. Wow, warms my heart to think that “Looking for Tantra” will be in your Christmas stocking 🙂 Yes, totally agree that “spells of mind-body-spirit elevation” can also be experienced when one is out with Mother Nature. After all, it’s all about Energy – the same energy that flows through our bodies flows through the Earth and all that lives on Her. Blessings, always, Sam 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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