Have you ever considered that there could be a link, something similar even, between our sexuality as human beings, and spirituality?
Western culture today is alive with a variety of spiritual expressions that range from the traditional religions of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism through paganism and Wikka to the more generic spirituality found in many self-help books, crystal shops and newsagents (e.g. angel pins). Sexuality is no longer the taboo subject it once was, with all aspects and expressions of sexuality being accepted and discussed in forums from the schoolyard (where it’s always been a hot topic) through the media and into our parliaments.
Now I’m not talking about sexual preference when I refer to sexuality. What I am referring to is that intrinsic part of human beings that is sexual. We recognise that our sexuality is a driving force in our lives; we joke about teenage hormones (and perhaps bemoan their lack when menopause hits); we find it abhorrent that some people abuse the latent sexuality of children for their own pleasure.
Just as we have an innate sexuality human beings also have an innate spiritualty. It doesn’t seem to matter what culture you look at, be it ancient or modern, there is an in-built desire within people to be aware of something bigger than themselves. There is a desire to connect with the transcendent. This takes many forms, from organised religions through to the “I’m spiritual but not religious” mantra so often heard today. Sometimes a hint of such connection is made when being confronted with a breath-taking panorama. I don’t think anyone would argue with the contention that we are sexual beings, but not everyone recognises the spiritual aspect of their lives, possibly because it is much harder to see, or to pin down.
So is there really a link, or any similarity, between sexuality which is earthy and physical and spirituality which is much more ethereal and aesthetic? I believe there is. For those who have ever had a deep spiritual experience there is an “in-the-moment” quality about spiritual experiences where all the distractions of life and the demands of living fade away. In that moment a connection is made with something “out- there” or perhaps within, depending on your inclination and belief. Sexual orgasm is very similar. One of the most delightful things about sex is that you really don’t want to, and often can’t, think about anything else at the time. It is often one of the closest connections we ever make with another person, an “in-the-moment” experience that is unique and can never be duplicated exactly.
I have a sense that the height of sexual experience can bring a person to the height of spiritual experience in which there is even a sense of connection to the divine. Many ancient religions tapped into this connection with their cultic prostitutes, both male and female.
I‘m not suggesting a return to such practices! However I feel it is healthy for us to acknowledge the connection between sexuality and spiritually so we are able to understand ourselves more fully.