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Sacred Sex Values vs. Sexual Moralism
When mores are less

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Sacred Sex Values vs. Sexual Moralism    Posted: December 7, 2004 Reply with quote


[This Topic explains the error of false sexual moralism and presents a new, true moral paradigm. While it stands alone, flawed moralism is better understood in the context of the Myth of Evil. That Topic is therefore recommended background reading.]


Values serve society by promoting ideals that nurture, support, and enrich life.

Values are that in life to which we assign worth. They inspire traditions and customs that embody our fundamental moral views. These social conventions are called mores (pronounced 'mor-ayz'). They are the unspoken and unquestioned ways of behaving in society.

Freedom and education, for example, are common social values. We want society to be free and educated. Consequently, unspoken rules bid us to teach our children and respect personal freedoms.

Values are not always what we want; we can also be opposed to certain values. This spurs different behavioral norms, such as avoidance and suppression of certain actions. It may also incite outright opposition to them. They are what society considers 'taboo'.

Certain varieties of sex (such as oral, anal, or homosexual) may fall into this category, as may certain sexual relations (adulterous, premarital, incestuous, etc.). Members of society are not only expected not to act on these values, they are often not even spoken of.

Not everyone shares the same values, nor do values remain the same in every generation. Many ancient cultures viewed sex as sacred; some modern religions see it as sinful. Victorian England had very conservative sexual values; hippies of the 60's had liberal ones. Even today, fundamentalists label it evil; free thinkers call it a pleasure.

Consequently, not everyone follows the same behavioral codes. Conservatives may repress their sexual desires while liberals openly act on theirs. Religious adherents may pray for redemption from lust, while sacred sex practitioners worship through Sacred Union.

Two questions arise from all this: what are true values, and why should we care?

Philosophers, theologians, commentators, and laypeople alike have debated the first issue for centuries. They cite all manner of justification for their views. Some say there is no perfect answer. In the end though, there is -- and it comes not on philosophical, religious, or moral grounds. It is purely utilitarian.

True values are those that fulfill their function: to support, nurture, and enrich life.

While there may yet be debate about which values accomplish that, it at least gives a performance standard for measure. If a value - and the mores it inspires - promotes life, it is true. If it restricts life, it is false. These can be seen by its effects in society.

Why should we care about true values? This answer is also practical, but it affects us in a very personal way.

We care about true values because we want the most from life. We desire the best opportunities for personal and societal growth. False values and the customs they breed stifle the freedom, creative expression, and progress of life. They are especially insidious because values and customs are pervasive, and go largely unquestioned. We unwittingly spread them among family and friends, and pass repressive ideas and habits down to our children. Thus false values stunt our present and future fulfillment as human beings.

Through false values, mores become less.

The Society for Sacred Sexuality promotes true values in every area of life. You can find these among the lessons on this website:Holding and following true values in your own life is certainly vital. To the extent that you live in a free society, you can do so. But social values go beyond personal freedom and the laws of society. They impose unwritten laws on behavior. When values are true, these laws are barely seen, for they are in no way restrictive. Rather, they are helpful guides that shepherd you to success and fulfillment.

False values however, breed social restrictions. The bonds of these moral codes are just as restraining as the physical bars of prison. They may take the form of silent suppression, unspoken acts we must avoid. Or worse, they may bring outright ridicule, censure, opposition, and ostracization. They are closely, though erroneously (as we'll soon see) associated with good vs. evil behavior. In that, mores show their relation to moralism -- the judging of others' behavior.

The error of this, and its negative impact on individuals and society, is the topic of this lesson. This restrictive judgment is called 'false moralism'. By exposing it for what it is, society can more easily rid itself of this pervasive scourge.

FALSE MORALISM

It's important that we define our terms in order to clearly state the case against false social values and customs. It is a deep-rooted issue that stirs up much opinion and passion. So let's continue by defining moralism before rooting out its false expressions.

Morals are much like the values from which they stem, and may be defined in a similar practical way: that which promotes life. Morals are more personal than values though; they apply to our deepest values. We may value education and freedom, but it's not immoral if we don't pursue them. Moralism mainly applies to fundamental values, like human behavior and relations. It covers what we do, and with or to whom.

Therefore, we may define moralism as that which specifically promotes human life, or human nature. By contrast, false moralism denies or goes against human nature. Human nature is what we naturally follow when there is no external conditioning from society, nor self-imposed inhibition. It is our natural human tendency and desire.

Some may question the correlation drawn here between human life and human nature. Indeed, moralists typically argue that these are largely opposed -- that human nature goes against what we value in human life. They make this their basis for the moral conflict between good and evil.

But this is not the true moralist argument. This view, which stems mainly from western religion (particularly Christianity), originates in the idea of man's 'fall from grace'. Our fallen nature, the argument goes, opposes life.

Man, however, was created before any such fall, in 'God's image' no less. Whatever has become of our nature, it is ultimately - and fundamentally - of God. At its heart therefore, human nature aligns with life values, not against them.

A closer look at moralism clears up the confusion. Rather than splitting human nature from God's nature, moralism distinguishes between our higher and lower human nature, and seeks to inspire the higher one. Religion would define our higher nature as spiritual, and our lower one as 'animal' nature.

This certainly fits our definition of moralism: that which promotes human nature. Moralism seeks to raise base human nature to a more godly one. This is true moralism, and certainly laudable. Within this framework, moralism is good.

Where it falters though is when it separates higher and lower nature into two conflicting natures. Then it labels one 'good' and the other 'evil', one right and the other wrong. This leads to a slew of problems that you'll see later.

The fact remains that what we see as two distinct moral states are really two sides of one human nature. This explains why anything that denies human nature is false moralism.

Moralism, as we've defined, promotes human nature. How can something that denies human nature also promote it? False moralism contradicts the very intent of moralism. It is based on false principles.

When we pit good against evil in moral war we only fight ourselves. There is no separate evil to fight. We are waging war on our own lower nature.

Morality is a ladder we climb up, from lower nature to higher. When we mistake it for a fight between enemies, the entire dynamic between them shifts. Instead of inspiring lower nature to rise higher, we assail it, destroying the very rungs by which we would climb the ladder. We undercut the nature we would build on to become better human beings. We battle our own nature rather than bring out the best in it.

Different language may wake up Christian moralists: we create for ourselves a house divided.

The great English poet, William Blake, was an astute observer of religious moralism. Blake was against organized religion, but was not irreligious. He described his personal religion as the ‘everlasting Gospel’, which he saw as the pure teachings of Jesus Christ. Blake had this to say about dividing human nature into good and evil:

Quote:
All Bibles or sacred codes, have been the causes of the following Errors.

1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul.
2. That Energy, call'd Evil, is alone from the Body, & that Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the Soul.
3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


It is not just human nature that moralists split into good and evil. False moralists divide up ALL of life into two camps. Sometimes the language is 'right vs. wrong', sometimes it's 'good vs. evil', and others 'us vs. them'. Regardless of language though, false moralism sees the world only in black and white.

THE FLAW OF FALSE MORALISM

This entire paradigm of divided life at war with itself is false. Like human nature, life is not a battleground of polar opposites; it is a unified spectrum with seemingly opposed qualities at its spectral ends. False moralism rests on the premise of a dualist universe, ignoring that it is a 'uni'-verse -- a unified diversity. An entire lesson is devoted to explaining the fallacy - and perils - of this divided worldview, and the resulting Myth of Evil.

In the end, false moralism is not just against human nature; it flouts all of nature. Human nature is born of the same nature that supports all life in creation. To deny human nature is to deny Mother Nature (both of which, in a religious view, are God's making). False moralism undermines the very nature of life.

The war false moralists wage is the worst kind of war. It is not a war fought out in the open, in plain view, where the merits of each side are visible to all. Rather, it is a silent war, waged in the mind of man -- a war whose main battle was long ago won. From their position of power, false moralists only need reinforce existing beliefs. Because it's not a true victory though - won on true principles - false moralists must continuously beat down the true nature of life.

The main tactic false moralists use in their self-proclaimed war is to suppress and subdue. They place false restrictions on desire, denying their own nature and that of society. By denying 'wrong' desires, they believe, right ones will magically pop up in their place.

One of the favorite targets of false moralism is sex. The reason for this is simple. The mission of false moralism is to deny human nature. Sex is one of, if not the, most potent expressions of human nature. It is a near universal human desire. By subjugating and controlling sexual desire, false moralists believe more lofty human desires crop up.

The intent of false moralism is worded this way to show the error of the logic. Few moralists would actually agree that better desires arise by controlling lesser ones. Weeding a garden does not bring flowers, only planting seed does that. Yet this false logic is implied in any effort to root out 'evil' human nature.

The enlightened Indian poet Kabir exposed the flaw of this denial-based approach:

Quote:
"If someone could save himself by celibacy, O Siblings of Destiny, why then haven't eunuchs obtained the state of supreme dignity?"

-- Poems of Kabir


William Blake wrote of the real effect of such control:

Quote:

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

-- The Garden of Love


Suppressing sex only further serves to keep it in the dark. That perpetuates the ignorance around it, ensuring that we remain enslaved to its base nature. Sex never sees the light of day where we can explore it fully, and unfold its sacred potential.

Not all religious thinkers buy into false moralism, even within some of its strongholds, like the Christian Church. Anglican Priest Kenneth Leech has this to say in his book Experiencing God:

Quote:
"It is through the flesh that salvation comes. And yet so much in Christian spirituality and Christian life is flesh-denying, flesh-despising, flesh-devaluing. It is head-centered, ponderous, life-extinguishing, devoid of passion...."

-- Experiencing God, pp. 250-1 (see endnotes for pub. info)


There is another side to the issue of moralism that throws into question our entire ability to evaluate it. The paradigm supporting contemporary moralism is incomplete. The notion that external action alone indicates morality is false.

An example clearly shows the illusion of judging on external standards alone. Consider the following love poem, written by a man to his male lover. In describing his relationship, he assumes a female gender:

Quote:
On a dark night, with love kindled by yearning - oh joy!
I went forth secretly, my soul at peace.

In darkness and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised - oh joy!
In darkness and in concealment, my soul at peace.

On that glad night, in secret, seen by none and seeing no one,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.

This light guided me more surely than the light of noon
To the place where he (who I well knew!) was awaiting me --
A place where none appeared.

Oh guiding night! Oh night more lovely than the dawn!
Oh night that has united the Lover with his beloved, transforming the beloved in her Lover!

Upon my flowery breast, kept wholly for him alone,
There he lay sleeping, and I caressed him, in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

Dark Night of the Soul, Prologue, stanzas 1-6


Given that these words were also written outside the context of a conventional legal marriage, a typical moral judgment may be harsh. We can run down the list of offenses: love relations outside of legal marriage, homosexuality, gender denial. Christian moralists would likely judge it most severely.

But this poem was written by a devout Christian; his 'Lover' is Jesus Christ. Still, even this spiritual context, most would label it inappropriate by today's Christian moral standards.

Yet these are the words of St. John of the Cross, canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, opening his well-known Dark Night of the Soul.

The point here is that one cannot fully know the morality (or lack thereof) behind a given action. To use a common idiom, you can't judge a book by its cover. Sex is a perfect example of this -- what may appear profane to others, may well be sacred in the heart, mind, and experience of the lovers.

The failure to see past externals, or to see through apparent 'evil' to the underlying good, is due to the viewer's lack of enlightened vision. Life is unified underneath, but the false moralist sees only the surface duality of good and evil. Life is spirit clothed in flesh, but the false moralist sees only the flesh and its doings. It fails to see the inner spirit behind the action.

True vision sees the reality of life and exposes the flaw of false moralism.

FALSE MORALISM EXPOSED

One such flaw is what lies in the hearts of those who denounce sex and other 'evils'. False moralism is a battle against ourselves, and nowhere is this more evident than in the lives of false moralists. They seek to deny the desires of others because they deny those desires to themselves.

A great truism of life is that your heart is known by what you put your attention on. If you give your attention to health, business, family, sports, or some hobby daily, that shows your heart's desire. It doesn't matter whether your attention is for or against the thing. Your obsession against something shows your (frustrated or denied) desire for it.

If you truly don't desire something, you simply don't think about it; it never crosses your mind. But if you spend your energy spouting, 'Thou shalt not..., thou shalt not...' day after day, you show your own fixation on it. More exactly, you show how you struggle, suppress, and deny the desire within yourself. You are just as much trying to convince yourself not to act on the desire as anyone else.

The more moralists rant and rave about the 'sin' of sex, the more they show their own perverted infatuation with it. They vicariously live out the desires they deny themselves by constantly demonizing them in others. This explains why so many 'moralists' are caught in scandals involving the very thing they rail against.

They who most loudly preach from the rooftops about the wages of sin are the ones most violently struggling against it themselves.

There is a related flaw in the method false moralists use to achieve their aims. Regarding sex for example, moralists repeatedly admonish us to 'banish lust' from our hearts. Yet the very thought of banishing lust keeps lust in the mind. Fighting or trying to forget anything holds your attention on it, thus defeating the very purpose. The true way to banish lust is to fill heart and mind with goodness and love. This leaves no room for anything else.

Any religious person would see the truth of this, yet religious moralism typically uses the false method.

Another flaw of false moralism is the need of its espousers to control and subjugate others. If moralism is truly 'right' and best for society, as its proponents believe, then free people ought to choose to follow it of their own accord. We naturally want the best for ourselves; if moralism is best, we should freely choose it. The fact that society must be preached to and restricted by law or social custom shows that it is not our free and natural choice.

The desire to control others further indicates the self-denial of the controller. We treat others as we do ourselves. A person who freely follows his own desires and interests gives that same freedom to others. Only those who deny their own desires seek to deny the desires of others. They project their self-restrictive control onto society.

Regarding sex, there is a further flaw in the reasoning behind such control. Moralists oppose sex (except for procreation in the context of marriage) because it is purely for physical pleasure, and moralism promotes higher values. Such opposition certainly doesn't apply to sacred sex, for it too promotes higher values. But it also does not apply to common sex, for there is value even in physical pleasure. Numerous research studies attest to the health benefits of sex.

Yet another flaw of false moralism is the hypocrisy of claiming a moral society through the policing of action. Adultery, prostitution, and various sex acts are deemed immoral and shunned, presenting a moral facade. Yet many citizens desire these on a daily basis. Society's public face belies its true heart.

Suppressing 'immoral' behavior does not get at the root of the problem. It is like cutting off a tree above ground; the roots continually re-sprout. This is why the problem of immoral behavior (and also criminal behavior) never goes away. We must fight it in every generation.

Suppressing certain acts does little, if anything, to inspire better ones. It only frustrates society's desires, leading to all manner of anti-social rebellion. At best, it creates grudgingly compliant immoral thinkers, who detract from society in more socially accepted ways, like apathy, non-involvement, and irresponsible action. If the aim of moralism is to promote life (i.e. create a moral society), its current methods fail.

NEGATIVE IMPACT OF FALSE MORALISM

The repercussions of false moralism in life are many. They affect every individual and also society as a whole. This negative impact is due to the false principles on which such moralism rests. It is against the nature of life to create restrictive laws and customs.

What is the value of social 'values' that suppress life? Values, and the mores they inspire, are meant to promote life. They should do only that. Values that suppress life do not fulfill the aim of our value system. They should therefore not be called values; they should be called what they are: false values.

The major impact of false moralism, particularly sexual moralism, is that it emasculates people by blocking the creative energy that inspires life.

False moralism denies desire. Desire motivates our every thought, word, and deed. When desire is continuously blocked, the creative energy it fuels runs dry. We move through life without inspiration, enthusiasm, energy, individual genius, and leadership power. We can only follow along, do as we're told, and be part of the crowd. We are victims of whatever life throws our way, rather than creators of the life we want. We become, figuratively and often literally, impotent.

False moralism strips our passion for life. It turns out the light of life within us. With desires denied, people must conform to rules and restrictions that they listlessly follow in order to get by. In its extreme, false moralism reduces adherents to fruitless, lifeless sheep.

Sigmund Freud said:

Quote:
"My impression is that sexual abstinence does not promote the development of energetic, independent men of action, original thinkers or bold innovators and reformers; far more frequently it develops well-behaved weaklings who are subsequently lost in the great multitude."

And Blake observed:

Quote:
"Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer of reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.

"And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire."

....

"Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity."

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Not surprisingly - but perhaps ironically - one of the places this lack of passion shows up most is in religion. False moralism dampens the very zeal religion would have us show for God.

Thomas Moore, in his book The Soul of Sex, says it well:

Quote:
"When we divide sex from holiness we may feel that sex is separated from our high spiritual aspirations and even from our intelligence. At the same time religion becomes a sexless mental exercise in dry understanding and the splitting of theological hairs, instead of a passionate engagement with the mysteries that surround every aspect of life."

-- The Soul of Sex, pp. 141-142 (see endnotes for pub. info)


This emasculation of the human spirit leaves a vacuum that false moralism fills with debilitating emotions. As beaten sheep, we are open to all manner of doubt, fear, guilt, and shame that may be heaped upon us. These emotions cripple all efforts for growth in life.

Full of doubt and fear, we lack the conviction of inner truth. Covered in guilt and shame, we never even imagine that we deserve better. Doubt, fear, guilt, and shame weaken any resolve to question the shackles placed on us. They even sap our very will to live.

It's no coincidence that false moralists rely on these scourges to goad others into following their ways. They keep us weak and compliant, in need of control and guidance. False moralists so heavily rely on these stifling emotions because reasoning is baseless. They cannot defend their stand against human nature, so they strike fear in the hearts of any that listen. Religious moralists are the worst offenders, proclaiming openly 'the fear of God' and the shame of 'Original Sin'.

These words stick in the minds of believers, haunting them with fire and brimstone images. We self-judge our every move. With life energy all but extinguished, doubt, fear, guilt, and shame leave us as mere shells of the vibrant human beings we are meant to be.

If there is any doubt that these castrating methods are false and against life, ask yourself whether guilt and shame are positive life values. If you are religious, ask whether they are spiritual values. If they are not - and they most certainly aren't - why are they the weapons of false moralism?

Christ said:

Quote:
"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

-- Matthew 7.16


That these debilitating emotions are the fruit of such moralism shows it to be false.

By denying human nature, false moralism damages the psyche yet another way -- it divides heart and mind. This is easy to see in anyone who buys into false moralism: what the heart desires, the mind denies. This division, and the inner conflict it spawns, plays its own role in weakening the human spirit.

This inner division further explains the double lives moralists often lead. Their public life doesn't satisfy their private desire, so they create a private double life. Such a life may be their own private fantasy, lived out in their hearts, or it may be a true double life.

Fighting against our own nature has a far worse repercussion than this, however. Repressed nature rebels against life, bursting into destructive, antisocial behavior.

When desires are allowed to flow free, they come up naturally, are fulfilled, and we move on to new, higher desires. Repression bottles up the energy, leaving it to fester beneath the surface of life. From there, it either surfaces regularly in some aberrant form, or if not periodically vented, pressure builds until it explodes violently.

This backlash often takes on a degraded form of the very thing morality seeks to control. A general (non-sexual) example of this is seen in ethnic and race relations. When a majority group views itself as morally superior to others, suppressing minority opportunities, those minorities lash out at the majority society. They may periodically vent their frustrations through protests and labor strikes. Failing those, they damage society more directly, taking by criminal force what the false moralism denies.

Sexual moralism has similar effects. Repressed sexual desires may vent in the form of deviant, obsessive, or abusive sex. Unvented, they blow up into rape and other forms of sexual violence.

To see that such behavior is linked to repressed desires, we need look no further than the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church. The Priesthood, which demands celibacy, allows no outlet for sexual desire. It is not surprising therefore, that this long-repressed desire surfaced in this disturbing way. That this was a widespread, decades long habit indicates that it is no aberration. Rather, it is a symptom of the belief structure of its perpetrators.

This, unfortunately, is only the tip of the iceberg.

Sexual moralizing creates a sado-masochistic response to our natural sex urge. While that is admittedly harsh and blunt language, a simple look at how we respond to sexual desire under the shackles of moralism shows it to be so.

Sexual desire arises with the basic urge to act on it. If we are bound by false moralism though, we must fight that primal urge. Anyone who responds this way knows what a conflicting and torturous battle this is. Indeed, many religious writers (St. Augustine, for example) have testified to this very struggle. Those who subject themselves to this find their only pleasure in the moral victories of the resulting internal war. This exactly defines masochism: gratification gained from pain, deprivation, etc., imposed on oneself, especially of a sexual nature.

But this is only half the story. The pent-up frustration and anger of suppressed sexual urges erupts into the various forms of sexual abuse and violence described above. To that list we may add the more hidden domestic abuse and violence, and societal devaluation of women.

Sadism is defined as 'sexual gratification gained through causing pain or degradation to others'. While we may stop short of claiming that all such offenders find pleasure in these acts, it is certainly often true. From rapists who delight in forcing women, to sex abusers content they will not be turned in by defenseless victims, to everyday moralists smug in their demeaning of women, many qualify as outright or subtle sadists.

Perhaps the saddest point of all this is that the sado-masochism described above is not even a choice like the S&M fetish moralists no doubt scorn. Whereas the fetishist freely enters into activities with consenting adults for purposes of mutual pleasure, false moralism drives offenders to their deeds by uncontrollable subconscious urge. Their repressed inner conflict compels them to acts they themselves often abhor. Thus they violate the very control their own moralism seeks to impose.

Thomas Moore, in The Soul of Sex, makes a deeply insightful comment about how we create repressive ideals to sexually frustrate ourselves. Moore, who was a monk in a Catholic religious order, and who holds a degree in theology, uses similar language:

Quote:
"In our society sex is wounded by a deep-seated masochism, which finds distorted satisfaction in the suppression of desire. This masochism is a symptomatic and destructive form of surrender. Instead of giving in to our passions, allowing emotion to course through our bodies and psyches, and generously offering ourselves to intimacy, we surrender our joy in life to any authority we can find, and we find many authorities willing to condemn us for our longings and pleasures."

-- The Soul of Sex, pp. 16-17 (see endnotes for pub. info)


The damaging impact of false moralism on the individual lives it controls is clear. Much of this directly spills over to harm society. We can extrapolate more social wrong simply by summing the individual ravage. But there is one specific social impact of false moralism that deserves attention.

Like much of the individual impact, there is irony to this social plague, because moralism is found to contribute to the very problem it aims to control. On the social level though, this irony is magnified, because of the pervasive sex culture it creates.

Sexual moralizing and its allied repression contributes to our pornography culture by provoking a starve & gorge mentality. Like caged animals denied food, we let loose whenever we escape for a night of gorging. Natural urges become obsessive when denied.

Blake discerned these ironic undesired effects:

Quote:
"Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion."

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


If appropriate outlets for sexual desire are always there, sex remains what it truly is: a natural act.

There is a very simple reason why America - the supposed land of freedom - is at the center of this porn culture. Our laws do in fact guarantee the freedom to create and distribute explicit material, and also to openly advertise sex, literally and figuratively. In stark contrast to this legal freedom however, there is a deep strain of moralism that suppresses open sexuality. Our sexual desires therefore find the most open legal channel for expression.

Other countries may have the same legal freedom, but the moralizing is not so repressive, so sex is not funneled into this fantasy outlet. Still other countries have the repressive moralizing, but along with it are repressive laws prohibiting pornography. Only in America are the conditions ideal for this commercial sex culture. False moralists have only themselves to blame.

Blake said bluntly:

Quote:
"He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence."

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Our look at sex in society today sheds light on why false moralism is such an insidious blight. It is not a legal problem, but one of values -- it is all in our minds. If it were a legal issue, we could change the law and be done with it. But it is something we all believe. It is a vague, pervasive social conditioning we don't even realize is there. It is an unspoken law. This silent, formless, mental prison is far more enslaving than any external law. For we impose it on ourselves without question, and without rest.

We have divided, fought, and oppressed ourselves for so long, and typically on such high (religious) authority, that from within our current life paradigm, we cannot see our way out. It is like extricating ourselves from a box that we stand in.

Society needs a new paradigm of life to reconcile morality and human nature. We must find the common ground between values and desire. Indeed, we must put desire back in our desire for a moral society.

Our current moral system fails not because we've failed to win the moral conflict. It is not that there is a true conflict between human nature and morality, and that our 'task' in life is to 'win' this conflict.

Our moral system fails because its paradigm of conflict is false. Our current system fails because life is not designed the way false moralism sees it.

TRUE MORALISM

True moralism operates on a whole new paradigm -- the true paradigm of life.

The truth is that desire and morality do not conflict; we are moral beings by nature. Our moral task - if we can even use that language, because it is our natural birthright and destiny - is to rise to that awakening.

The truth about human nature is what most of us, deep in our hearts, believe and wish it to be. Despite the problems and conflicts of life, and how life appears to be on the surface, we see ourselves as fundamentally moral beings and our desires as basically good.

The truth is that human nature and morality, desire and values, do not conflict. There is value and morality in ALL desire, simply to varying degrees. All of human nature is infused with spiritual value and morality; we simply express it to different degrees.

The way to moral life and moral society is not to deny desire, but rather to infuse more spirit into desire. The way is to breathe higher nature into our lower nature.

Moralism must not shun material progress, wealth, comforts, and pleasures. It must infuse higher values in them. The problem is not that we desire money; it's that we don't do enough great things with our money. Our bane is not that we build monuments to materialism; it's that those monuments don't often enough memorialize the best of the human spirit. We don't build enough great pyramids and temples, or even beautiful cities, homes, and parks. Instead, we too often memorialize war and suffering, and build paltry homes and desolate urban landscapes, as if to intentionally remind us of our pitiful, fallen state.

The problem is not that we have too many material comforts, or lust after too many pleasures; it's that we don't see comfort and pleasure as the glory of God. It's that we don't elevate pleasure to its spiritual peak, transforming it into the rapture and ecstasy of divine communion.

THIS is a morality all humanity will truly desire. It needs no preaching and moralizing about it, for everyone will freely choose it of their own accord.

This is the true morality that sacred sex offers. This is the new paradigm.

This new, true morality unites value and desire in a sacred marriage. What we value in life - our life values - is none other than what we want. Values are what we desire.

Desire is not to be quashed; it is to be brought to supreme fulfillment in the highest value of life. Desire is always for more and more. It is the vehicle by which we evolve to higher states and higher values. Desire seeks out the most. In humanist terms, it aims at our highest human nature. In religious terms, the 'most' is God. Desire leads toward God, not away.

Blake opined on this point too:

Quote:
"Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have curbed & govern'd their Passions or have No Passions, but because they have Cultivated their Understandings.

"The Treasures of Heaven are not Negations of Passion, but Realities of Intellect, from which all the Passions Emanate Uncurbed in their Eternal Glory."

-- A Vision of the Last Judgement


This is such an important idea that an entire lesson is devoted to it; see Sacred Desire.

You may have already noticed a new emphasis with this paradigm. The old paradigm, in which human nature conflicts with life, impels us to harsh judgment and ascetic denial. Our new, true paradigm inspires natural desire for higher values. It evokes a positive, not negative, response to life. It sparks a constructive, not destructive, approach to dealing with morality. Rather than focusing on right and wrong - good vs. evil - we work to increase value and worth.

Let's take a closer look at this new paradigm.

The truth of life shatters the entire foundation of false moralism. False moralism rests on the notion of an inherent 'good vs. evil' conflict in life. The truth is that there is good in everything, just to varying degrees. There is therefore nothing to fight or deny, only the task to bring more good to the situation.

The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote of transcending common morality:

Quote:
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.

"I will meet you there."

The Myth of Evil fully explains this underlying good in everything.

Christian moralists can better understand Christ's own moral perspective from this. Seeing the truth of life, Christ took a loving, accepting, and forgiving approach to 'sin'. Indeed, his entire earthly mission is defined this way:

Quote:
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

-- John 3.17

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world."

-- John 12.47


Such a view is only possible through a paradigm that sees the good and the value in everything, even that which man calls 'sin'.

There is a popular phrase Christian phrase, 'What would Jesus do?' Christian moralists would do well to follow his example in this.

True moralism also awakens us to the inner reality behind outer action. Flesh does not oppose spirit, it merely covers it. Flesh hides spirit.

Life is spirit clothed in matter. Therefore our task is not to fight or deny the flesh, but rather to dig beneath it to uncover the spirit within it. Thereby we infuse matter with spirit and live spiritual values in our material life.

This shifts the aim of moralism from judging external action to awakening to this inner spiritual awareness. The idea that external action alone shows the morality of a man is false. There is a pure, sacred level of existence behind all worldly life and action, which is untouched by any judgments of it. That is the moral standard to be attained, not some mere good behavior in this world.

Christ, who himself broke the sacred Sabbath code, and others, said:

Quote:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but Judge righteous judgment."

-- John 7.24


That pure moral state is attainable by any path, 'good' or 'bad', because it underlies all. It transcends every path, and so is untouched by moral judgment. It is beyond right & wrong.

There is an old adage, 'all roads lead to Rome'. It applies to religion in that all paths lead to God. He is everywhere and in everything. God can be found through any desire if approached a true way. Desire is simply a vehicle that takes you somewhere. If used properly, any desire can take you to the eternal, omnipresent truth of life. See Sacred Desire for more on this.

People who know and follow this inner truth are not bound by moral codes, and 'break' them when higher truth dictates. This is often to the surprise of observers who can't fathom their ways.

Knowers of truth are neither shocked nor puzzled when, say, Jesus breaks the Sabbath or prefers the company of prostitutes to that of religious leaders. Or when the Hindu God Krishna weds and beds 16,000 wives. Or when enlightened Indian ascetics wander naked through the streets. Or when a mystic like Rasputin drinks and womanizes when not healing the heir of the Russian Czar. Or when the modern Tantric master Osho includes sexual practice among his methods of spiritual awakening.

Blake keenly saw this in Christ:

Quote:
"....hear how he [Jesus Christ] has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbath's God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defence before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules."

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Knowers of truth see the moral soul behind the action. It is an entirely different moral standard.

Together with the rest of our true life paradigm, we now have a whole new moral landscape. Here are its details:
  • human nature is fundamentally good & moral
  • our inner moral state transcends outer action
  • there is moral potential in every desire
This adds new dimension to moralism. But what does it mean for action itself? Let's look now at how the true paradigm redefines moral action.

TRUE MORAL ACTION

When we accept human nature and desire as good, and support rather than judge them, everyone is free to follow their own path. Individual human nature blossoms.

Every person born on earth is unique, with his or her own nature and desires. By following, evolving, and expressing our personal nature, we attain to the highest human ideal. We realize our full potential in humanist terms. In religious terms, our unique human nature is part of our gift from God, and it is our moral duty to act it out.

By following our true inner nature in every way, we awaken to the inner truth behind our actions. We see the inner spiritual impulse that inspires every thought, word, and deed. We gain that true moral state that underlies all action. Moral action then is not so much about puritanical codes of behavior, but rather fulfilling the life purpose for which you were born.

Rigid, universal moral codes turn individuals into clones, confining them to group behavioral norms. True moralism recognizes that each individual has their own truth to live out, their own destiny to fulfill. That is their personal moral code, which no other can deny. For more on this, see Follow Your Heart and Sexual Enlightenment.

Restrictive, blanket moral codes do not promote values in life. Rather, they devalue life. This defeats their entire purpose.

Traditions, social custom, and law are there to support life, not suppress it. Moral codes should serve us, not enslave us. Christian moralists should know this better than any, for Christ said as much when challenged about breaking the Sabbath law:

Quote:
"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath"

-- Mark 2.27


For a full discussion of how social customs should support life, not suppress it, see the Role of Tradition.

Even true moral codes are only ideals to strive for, not excuses to condemn and beat ourselves up over. They are fine as guides and general standards for living. But we should not be so bound by them that they stifle the very life they aim to uphold. They most certainly should not be passed into ironclad law.

For all the freedom true moralism gives, you may wonder how it inspires moral action by today's standards. It does so both by supporting moral action and rooting out immoral action.

When people can fulfill their desires in life-supporting, moral ways, they freely choose to do so without oppressive control. They lead natural, happy lives that contribute to the moral good of society. They act morally because it is their higher human nature, not out of obedience to restrictive moral codes.

At the same time, true moralism roots out the basic cause of immoral behavior: inner dissatisfaction. People act out against life and society because their desires are not satisfied. True moralism satisfies the desire of your true inner nature. This brings lasting fulfillment, which roots out immoral action.

Sacred sex practitioners are a perfect example of this. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that sacred sex promotes many of the same positive values as those moralists who condemn it. Sacred sex encourages love, truthfulness, self-responsibility, personal growth, social harmony, and recognition of mankind's spiritual essence. Any Internet search of 'sacred sex' turns up numerous examples attesting to this.

SACRED SEX
AS A TRUE MORAL ACT

How does sacred sex promote these positive values even when some may label it immoral? It's because sacred sex is a perfect example of true moralism. It promotes positive values without restrictive and repressive control.

The very name 'sacred sex' says how it does this -- by adding sacred value to sex. True moral acts infuse higher values into lower ones. They take our base human nature and raise it to a high ideal. Sacred sex takes everyday sexual desire and transforms it into spiritual experience.

Rather than fighting and denying sexual desire, sacred sex uses it to gain something better. Desire then becomes a vehicle for personal growth. It promotes human values, not degrades them.

Sexual desire is among the most powerful and universal of human desires. False moralism fights that in the name of moralist ideals. The damage to the human spirit from that endless war is incalculable. In contrast, sacred sex both satisfies desire and moral ideals. It offers a win-win solution.

Sacred sex also verifies the other main facet of true moralism -- that inner morality supersedes the outer act. It is not the physical sex act that promotes high values, but the sacred method behind it. Common sex has its own value in accord with the act, but sacred sex completely transforms the inner sexual experience. This inner dimension is what makes sex sacred, not the outer act.

The best way to see the value of sacred sex is to compare it side-by-side with the common moralist view of sex. Both by their attitudes toward it and their practical effects, the two moral systems show their colors. By the time you finish, you should have no trouble picking out the true moralism:

TRUE MORALISM
what sacred sex does
FALSE MORALISM
what sacred sex does NOT do
see human nature as goodsee human nature as evil
magnify the goodpit good vs. evil
accept human naturedeny human nature
work with human naturefight human nature
uplift human naturesuppress human nature
accept desiredeny desire
use desire as a spiritual toolsubjugate & control desire
spiritually satisfy desirefrustrate desire
unfold the spiritual potential of sexkeep sex base through suppression
see the spirit behind the sex actsee only the sex act
reveal the sacred in sexbury sex in guilt & shame
make sex a spiritual communionmake sex a dirty act
unite mind, body, and souldivide heart & mind
infuse flesh with spiritdeny flesh, in the name of spirit
use sex to spiritually root out lustdeny sex, while lusting in the heart
create a healthy, natural attitude toward sexcreate a starve & gorge mentality toward sex
create healthy social attitudes
toward sex
create a society that sweeps sex
under the rug
create a sacred sex culturecontribute to an obsessive,
porn culture
cultivate life energyblock life energy
encourage
individual expression & leadership
encourage
conformity & subordination
empower peopleemasculate people
free peopleenslave people
create a free moral societycreate a controlled, false moral facade
celebrate & glorify lifestrip life of joy
promote human values of love & joypromote fear, doubt, guilt, & shame
promote social harmony,
tolerance, acceptance, & peace
promote social apathy,
intolerance, division, & conflict

The stark contrast between true and false moralism is most evident in their extreme effects. Surely most people will even prefer true moralism at its worst to false moralism at its best.

TRUE MORALISM
Sacred Sex
FALSE MORALISM
Sexual Repression
at its worst:
same as conventional sex

at its best:
sacred sex union;
spiritual communion with God
at its best:
joyless sex only for procreation*

at its worst:
masochistic denial;
outbursts of sadistic violence
* (This 'highest' ideal comes from religion, which promotes sex for procreation only, without deriving pleasure.)

THE SACRED SEX IDEAL

Sacred sex is not against morals; it is for true morals. It stands for morals that accept human nature and elevate it to its full potential, not ones that deny and suppress it, and keep it base.

Sacred sex upholds holistic values that integrate all aspects of life -- mind, body, and soul. In that sense, sacred sex promotes more values, not less. Sacred sex values desire. Human values should not deny vital parts of human nature. Thus sacred sex promotes truer, more complete, and more integrated human values. These fuller values enrich our quality of life.

Sacred sex is also not at odds with religion. Religion may see itself at odds with sacred sex, but there is nothing in sacred sex that contradicts religion. In fact, sacred sex not only satisfies religion's aim of spiritual life and experience, but also it resolves many of the mysteries of life left unanswered by religion. The moral link between human nature and God's nature is but one of them. Finding the Sacred in Sex discusses others.

Sacred sex can be practiced within the context of any religion, and adds to its spirituality. It does not contradict, nor is it in competition with existing religious values. It is simply a practice that applies to one area of life - sexuality - that together with others comprises a complete spiritual life. In the same way that religion sanctifies everyday eating by adding a blessing before, and by seeing its purpose to nourish the body to serve God, so it should see sex. In sacred sex, religion has the opportunity to make sex a sacrament, not a sin; a communion, not disunion. It offers yet one more way to bring religion into the everyday lives of the people.

This complementary view of sacred sex is not entirely foreign to western religion. Jewish Kabbalah accepts the idea, and its main text, the Zohar directly refers to it. Several Christian saints and mystics - like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, and Meister Eckhart - spoke of unio mystica, or mystical union, which they described in love-filled, even sexual, terms. Sufi mystics like Rumi, Al-Hallaj, and the female Rabia Basri also wrote of mystical love and union. (See Sacred Sex from Mid-East to West for a discussion of all these.) It is only for mainstream religion to rediscover this original understanding of sex, and integrate it into its practice.

In many ways, we can better understand sexual moralism when we see it in its broader, non-sexual context. It again shows how sacred sex satisfies religious values, not opposes them.

Sexual moralism is part of a larger false moralism -- that opposed to worldly desire altogether. It challenges the view of the world as an object of desire. Some moralists no doubt directly relate this to seeing the world as a sex object, which we lust and desire after. But in this broader context of worldly life, we see why sex itself is not the problem.

Worldly desire is not the bane of life, for that is the life we are given and we must make the most of it. Problems arise when we don't also have spiritual desires, for life is both -- spirit and matter. Spiritual life is lived in the material world. It's not that we see the world sexually that drags us down, but that we don't also see it spiritually. We lack what lifts us up. Sex isn't the problem; it's the absence of sacred sex. Sacred sex infuses spirit into flesh, the aim of religious life.

The sex act itself is a physical reflection of this spiritual infusion. In sex, the lingam (male organ) fills the void of the woman's yoni, symbolically representing the infusion of spirit into the manifest world. Sacred sex makes this symbolism real.

Earlier we saw how false moralism devitalizes people by suppressing their life energy. Desire motivates life energy; by inhibiting desire, false moralism weakens our energy. The converse is also true. Desire - particularly sexual desire - fills us with passionate zeal for life. True moralism uses that vital energy to achieve the highest human ideals.

In denouncing sex, religion belittles the best way to inspire spiritual practice among its followers. Religious leaders urge their flocks to pursue spirituality with fervor and passion. Yet how many are truly passionate about their current practice? Religious interest is at a low, and many of the faithful only follow out of religious duty, for reward in the afterlife, or due to family or social pressure. Few do so in real joy, and even fewer in true passion. Sex on the other hand, inspires universal desire and passion on a daily basis. Everyone zealously wants to participate. What better way to achieve spiritual ideals than through sex?

This is not meant to dishonor common religious practice. It merely points out that sacred sex has the potential to reach and spiritually uplift many people; religion should therefore embrace it as a companion spiritual practice, not denounce it as irreligious.

Some say religion fears sex because of its power. They see its hold on desire and attention to be in competition with spiritual attention. But rather than fear that power, why not use it for good? Use sex as a means to spirituality, rather than let it distract. What more powerful spiritual tool could there be?

Sexual desire, being among our most potent desires, can best satisfy the evolutionary purpose of desire -- to attain to the highest human ideal. It therefore should not be restricted in any way, either by social or religious norms, or self-created inhibition. Rather, we should use it to achieve our ideals.

Rasa Devi, a fictional sacred sex teacher in the movie Kama Sutra, spoke this truth:

Quote:
"Passion remains the spirit behind existence. Nothing will ever change that. It's how we use our passion that's of essence.... The true union between man and woman can take us beyond this animal lust into total trust and merging with the other where each becomes both. Imagine such bliss."

Religion should already know of the connection between sex and spirit. Religious seekers have long sought to channel their lust and sexual energy toward God. Why are other desires not so passionately redirected? Christianity has countless examples, such as the famous letters of Abelard and Heloise, two medieval lovers who struggle to direct their affections for each other toward Christ; why do people not struggle to direct business, sports, political, and other desires toward God? It is because the link between sex and spirit is deeper than with other desires. Religion must acknowledge and use it.

Nowhere is this connection more evident in religion than in the lives of saints and mystics who lived it. Indeed, the very words that describe exalted religious experience - rapture and ecstasy - are identical to sexual experience. It is no wonder that saints and seers even of sexually repressive religions describe their experiences in sexual terms.

Earlier we heard from John of the Cross. Here is more, from his Spiritual Canticle:

Quote:

"The bride has entered
the sweet garden of her desire,
and she rests in delight,
laying her neck
on the gentle arms of her Beloved.

....

"Our bed is in flower,
bound round with linking dens of lions,
hung with purple,
built up in peace,
and crowned with a thousand shields of gold.

....

"There he gave me his breast;
there he taught me a sweet and living knowledge;
and I gave myself to him,
keeping nothing back;
there I promised to be his bride."

-- Spiritual Canticle, stanzas 22, 24, & 27


St. Teresa of Avila used no less amorous language. Here are various quotes from her diary:

Quote:
"I began to experience true ecstasy, which I believe to be the highest form of prayer.... My soul was truly Christ's bride, and this was the ecstasy of the nuptial bed."

"I wanted to clasp him to my bosom, to embrace him and kiss him with my lips. But I was in such rapture that I could not move...."

"Good Jesus...Fondle me with your divine hands, cover me with divine kisses, that I may give to you the fullness of my love.... Clasp me to your bosom, hold me tightly to your body, that I may always be faithful and loyal in my love for you."

These quotes clearly have sexual connotations, yet were both written by spiritual souls of the highest order. Moreover, both individuals belong to a faith that typically views sexuality as opposed to its religious morals. Yet despite that adverse context, these two canonized saints saw their experiences as a marriage of sex & spirit. The experiential truth of that union must be exceptionally strong to outweigh the stigma that their peers no doubt applied to such a relation. This in itself speaks to the truth of the union of sex & spirit.

Interestingly, another quote, this time from an ancient sex manual, flatly states the connection between sex and spirit. It admonishes the reader to see both:

Quote:
"Finally, let it be understood that every [stanza] of this work has a double signification...and may be interpreted in two ways, either mystical or amatory."

-- Ananga Ranga, Introduction


Sacred sex opposes neither religion nor moral ideals. Quite the contrary, it fulfills the highest moral ideal by leading to the experience of Sacred Union, which in religious terms unites the individual soul with God. It is an experiential sacred marriage in the same sense used by Christian saints. Thus sacred sex - and all true moralism - not only fulfill our moral ideals, but also our highest spiritual ideals.

MODERN MORAL CHALLENGE

Morality today is at a crossroads. We can continue in our old ways of judgment and repression, dividing and warring against ourselves; or we can seek a higher ground, above self-denial and destruction, and elevate base human nature to exalted human nature. The direction we take from this crossroads largely depends on how we choose to view desire.

The greatest moral challenge of our world today is to bridge the gulf between good and desire. Modern society, if it is to evolve freely and naturally, must reconcile these two. Any distance between them means we must sacrifice one for the other. Either we do good by controlling desire, or follow desire by ignoring good. In our current worldview, freedom of desire and moral goodness do not go hand in hand.

The result of this narrow vision is a choice between two abject societies: a controlled and repressive 'moral' one, and a hedonist, anarchical 'immoral' one. Neither are desirable, and both are beneath our human dignity.

The reason for this challenge is our misconception of both sides of the moral chasm. On the one hand, we see desire as hedonistic, selfish, and degrading to life, yet appealing, pleasureful, and satisfying. On the other, we view good as selfless and denying, while beneficial to all and for a higher purpose.

Sacred sex spans this chasm, as do other aspects of a Sacred Sex Society. It is both morally good and greatly desired. Sacred sex offers a pleasureful, satisfying way to achieve real goodness. It raises 'good' to a higher standard that transcends external judgment. It presents a positive path that people freely choose to follow, without the need for harshly imposed control. Everyone's own inner desire spontaneously follows the natural moral good.

Sexual moralism - and all false moralism - center on denial and sacrifice. The argument is always the same: forego what you want for a higher good. Never does it consider that what we want may just be the highest good.

A society that openly honors sexuality encourages a citizenry that honors all its desires. Honoring sexuality in this highest way inspires the highest desires in all areas of life. Individuals who honor their sexual desire establish a pattern or habit of following their heart to what they want. This creates a happy, peaceful, and fulfilled society.

The Christian St. Augustine famously said, “Make me chaste and continent, Lord, but not just yet.”

We shouldn't have to make that choice. Can we really fairly say Augustine was evil or fallen before renouncing his sexuality? Clearly his heart was in the right place; he lacked only awareness of how to reconcile it with his spirituality.

The world doesn't need less sex, it needs more -- not in quantity, but in quality. We need deeper, more meaningful sexual experiences. We need sacred sex experiences to bridge the gap between the worldly and the divine, between spirit and matter.

TRUE MORAL SOCIETY

True moralism is our birthright and our destiny. We are created in God's image as moral beings, and naturally desire to embody that high birth. We do so through the natural harmony of spirit and flesh. Through every desire we seek lasting happiness. That search for eternal peace is our unconscious yearning to find the spirit within matter. It is our desire to unite the spiritual and material worlds. All desire - whether we realize it or not - aims to find the sacred within the profane. Thus every desire is moral. All that we need is true moral wisdom to lead it to its goal.

A true moral life is a natural life. In its daily expression it is simple and straightforward. We objectively view situations, explore our options, consider effects, and choose the most desirable course of action. The result is life as we most want it to be. That brings maximum happiness and satisfaction for both the individual and society as a whole.

True vision is not colored by restrictive morals. There is no internal division and conflict stemming from 'I want, but I can't have'. There is no split between human nature and social values. There is no societal conflict of people telling others what they should and shouldn't do. And most of all, social values never suppress personal growth and happiness.

Life progresses on what we want, not what we think we should have. Thus we build the civilization we desire. True moralism never creates the condition so prevalent today, where everything is as it 'should' be, but not as we want it. Society reflects our true heart.

A true moral society is a free society. It is the ONLY true free society. A society that proclaims freedom, yet self-imposes repressive morals on its members has but sham liberty. Its citizens are imprisoned by the shackles of its own collective mind. This mental bondage is in many ways worse than political chains; victims of the latter at least know their plight and eventually rise up against it. But slaves of the former believe themselves to be free, and so never seek true liberation. For them, the Declaration of Sexual Independence is written.

Citizens of a true moral society freely choose moral action -- that which unites spirit with matter, not which denies human nature. They do so because it satisfies their desire, not to obey rules.

While a true moral society is our natural, free state, it would be unwise to blindly throw off our current familiar chains. Just as false moralism should not be thrust on society, so complete freedom must not be either. We have grown so used to functioning in shackles that the tendency is to run wild when free. Our escape from moral prison must come with a key. We must learn to function morally in freedom.

We have created our moral prison because we lacked the wisdom to morally satisfy desire. We can't remove the prison without rising in that wisdom. If we want moral restrictions on sex removed, we must learn & practice sacred sex. The same applies to all moral restrictions.

In the past, we always chose between morality and desire; that was all we knew. Either we chose 'good' and denied desire, or enjoyed desire while sacrificing good. If we want a true moral society, we must learn to satisfy desire while promoting good.

True moral freedom must come gradually, along with the wisdom of how to use it, so that society freely makes the best choices for progress. This transition formula is fully laid out in the Global Transformation Forum.

This gradual transition is not only practical, it is also the way of natural evolution. Nature evolves gradually, when conditions are ripe for it. Even evolutionary leaps come only when all is ready. And though theologians may not immediately recognize it, it is also the way of religious evolution and of God's Will.

Religious moralism tends to see itself as an eternal, never-changing truth. But while its source, God, may be never-changing, His Will in this world is. It evolves with creation and the evolution of His created beings. God gives man what he needs and is ready to hear. Our own Judeo-Christian history proves it.

God revealed Himself to Abraham when the latter and his people were ready, and not before. If that covenant was eternal, why did God not give it to Adam? Christ came with a New Testament that for Christians supersedes the old. If that were true for all men in all times, why the Old Testament? Or why did Christ not come forth with Adam? Both Judaism and Christianity (and nearly every other religion) also have a messianic creed involving a Golden Age, when presumably new moral codes will guide life.

Everything has its time, even the unfolding Will of God. (For a full discussion of this, see the Changing Tradition & Understanding History Forums.)

Strict Bible injunctions were given in a time when humanity was not very enlightened. Firm laws were needed to guide people because that was all they understood. Religious moralism has been a right teaching for its time; if we don't know how to fulfill desires in a positive way, it is best to restrain some.

Today that is changing. We are more aware, integrated, socially conscious, and spiritually awake human beings. We are learning to fuse high human ideals with mundane ones. The growing awareness of sacred sex is but one example of this. We can begin to lift our restrictive chains.

This should open the eyes of religion to change. Such change does not always have to come as a bolt from God. We have a role in triggering that change. Religion has been exhorting us to higher ideals for millennia; here is a way to live that. Here is the opportunity to show God we are ready for our 'Golden Age'.

The natural transition to a true moral society is an example of true moralism at work. It accepts our current state of human nature and evolves from there. Thus we rise to the highest human ideal. We live out the meaning of social value.

The blueprint for a true moral society is drawn. The moral foundation is laid. The construction plan is set. All that remains is to build it.



Copyright 2007, Society for Sacred Sexuality - all rights reserved.

============

Endnotes for quotes:

Kenneth Leech, Experiencing God: Theology as Spirituality (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989)

Thomas Moore, The Soul of Sex (New York: HarperCollins Publishers (HarperPerennial), 1999)

Spiritual Canticle excerpts by St. John of the Cross translated & © ICS Publications, 1991


_________________
Sexual union is a mirror of Spiritual Union, and a gateway to direct experience of it.
rahasya
Rising Contributor


Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Johannesburg

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Ethics, aesthetics    Posted: February 27, 2006 Reply with quote

A long time ago, one culture got the idea that all other peoples should do it their way too. That culture now dominates the planet. Signs it can be known by are: Ice in your drink, a state religion, money-at-interest and ownership of women.

Most of the great spiritual masters had something to say about the situation. Jesus forgave the adulterous woman and whipped the money changers. Mohammed spoke against alcohol, and banned his people from getting involved with usury. Stories of him and his nine wives also hint that he was more or less a tantric adept.

This doesn't make Christians avoid banks (though Muslims don't do too badly there) or forgive adultery of course, because the religion is subordinate to the culture which has absorbed and edited it to suit.

Seekers, artists, poets, mystics, tantrikas and free-thinkers reach a point in their lives where they are repelled by the culture's way, particularly how it attempts to regulate ownership of sexuality. There's a tendency to assume that everyone would be able to enjoy freedom if social constraints were removed. That's why anarchists bombed police offices and assasinated politicians. Also why communists in some places still make a ritual out of having sex in a public place on May Day.

My suggestion: Most people go along with the culture's way, and howerver much it may be out of unawareness, they are choosing it. It's an irritation to the seekers in the population, but has the positive effect of making us aware of our own urge to truth, more aware that the answers aren't likely to be found in the culture's institutions. The culture, I suggest, is useful in that it forces those with the potential, to wake up, and helps us recognise our peers by contrast with the pasha (pasha = old sanskrit, meaning those who are not due for awakening, for a few lifetimes yet).

People who will take direction from today's (or any other era's) politicians, who'll buy into the standard mainstream media's crap without investigating alternatives are not equipped to deal with existence, life, as it is. They don't want the truth, and will even kill in order to keep their point of view in line with what "everybody" knows, to hold on to the thin comfort of knowing that they are doing what they "should".
Noam Chomsky makes the point that fewer Americans at present, proportionately, access alternatives to the mainstream media than the number of Russians, under a totatalitarian regime, that read just one of the illegal counter-revolutionary publications.

I suggest to seekers that there's no point in getting into annoyance with the culture's way, no real kindness in telling those of a fixed mindset that they've got it wrong. To rub it in, I point out that seekers are numerically inferior, are disturbing to the culture, and are quite legitimately destroyed by it if they give offence. I tell them to drop their ideas of what "should be" and accept that what is, is. There's possibilities for influencing the culture, maybe making improvements, but only within a framework that the culture can accept.

When it comes to trying to get the culture to accept that a fundamental axiom of it's credo should be scrapped, it's not likely to be an easy process, and any gains will always be subject to conservative "snap back". This is why some of the culture's members react so badly to the sacred sexual. We challenge, just by existing, the basis of all ownership - ownership of the woman, and through that, her offspring. By twisting sexuality the way it does, the culture makes a lot of "productivity" and "consumption" happen. How many people buy a car, or clothing because it'll help them get laid - a male making it clear that he can pay - a female making it clear that she's "premium goods". If you look closely, you'll see that the fuel the culture runs on is sexual frustration. The culture is never going to appreciate any effort to attack it at it's base.

The zen guys knew this, and elegantly expressed it in their story of the lion, living among the sheep, believing it too was a sheep, until another lion saw it and helped. There's sheep, there's the wolves who herd them and prey on them, and, occasionally, there's lions. The sheep have a perfectly good place in the scheme of things, being what they are, and if you're a lion, only gratitude that they make fellow lions easier to spot is appropriate.

Those of us who have the potential for awakening, Samhadi, Moksha, whatever we call it, escape cultural control. We reject it's fundamentals, and don't easily fit in well with the "sheep". We're in the minority, severely so, and are marginalised by the culture in many ways. It sees us as "enemy" and it's not wrong. I believe it is a valuable lesson for us to pass through the culture's training, both by way of us discovering strength we'd otherwise never know about, and by way of developing a burning desire for truth. The sacred sexual path is the fastest path, but one has to go through what one has to go through. Faster doesn't mean easier, or less thourough.

Once awake, no variation on the main cultural theme is really more bother than any other. For an ahrat, there's the bliss of his own attainment, and scant regard for the body's comfort or survival, because it's purpose is complete. For a bodhisattva, the cultural background helps him notice who's available to be helped.

Things that are especially ugly, exploitative and cruel in the culture do annoy the enlightened masters, even the greats, but attempts at rectifying things are often messed up by their followers later, or get absorbed into the culture, which simply censors out whatever's threatening or neutralises the threat with childhood training. Christian sunday schools for instance, leave most kids with the impression that Jesus was pissed off at the market stall holders for trading on a Sunday, when good people should be in Church. Also the emphasis given to the adulterous woman story is not the forgiveness, but the "go and sin no more" line at the end of the story, implying, "I'll stone you myself next time, woman".

The cultural cycle of liberation and repression is just a couple of generations thing, with regional variations in which parts of the woman's body are covered from public view, giving even reproduced images of those parts "value".

That I'm currently taking full advantage of a liberal constitution to practice sacred sexuality openly, have a website to help those interested to find me and so on is fortunate, and may be a symptom of a general awakening in the culture itself. More likely, it's a temporary situation, and we'll be doing the secretive mystery school thing again some day.

We can tinker with the way the culture does ownership. It's probably more pleasant to be a regular modern American woman, with a repressed sexuality, convinced that her daughter should be socialised likewise, than a Muslim woman, represed sexually, that takes her daughter for a clitoridectomy. We can tinker with it, but the fundamentals will remain. What will be there, as long as the culture as such endures, is some way to prevent the woman's energy going beyond chakra 1 (a fear in the area of survival, associated with sex works well), a retail woman market (sex work, prostitution) and a wholesale woman market (marriage).

If the culture gets to accept sacred sexuality on the basis of how it's regulated, that regulation itself will entrench the culture's way and will mess seekers around by fooling some that the culture has a home for them. I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of certification or "qualifications" in our area. One knows a teacher by the movement one sees in the students. Some are teachers because they have great personal challenges in some areas, and supporting others in those areas advances their own healing. They teach best that which they most need to learn. (Buddha: If you would really learn a thing, teach it.) Others teach because they have completed the path, and have been persuaded (or it's in their aesthetic) to help. The first flavour is more helpful for 99% of the journey. The other fellow's generally the finishing school. Niether can in truth be assessed by "qualifications" or what their "peers" say. In the Buddhist tradition, the way "regular people" recognise the tatagata (enlightened being) is by his "marks". These are things like his stillness, grace, very pleasant body odour and so on. Addressing an awakened disciple, Buddha says “Wherever there is possession of marks, there is fraud ; wherever there is no-possession of no-marks, there is no fraud. Hence the Tathagata is to be seen from no-marks as marks.” Every "condition" one could come up with to test can be learned just as a trick, with the right training. There's the fellow that can sit and watch outrageous hot xxx porn, tailored to his sexual history and be unmoved by it on account of his attainment, and there will be the fellow who is unaroused because he's managed to torture himself, twist his sexuality into compliance. Someone seldom ejaculates, even after prolonged coitus, comfortably choosing how the energy in his body moves, and someone else has developed his musculature to the point where he clenches up and semen is retained, erection is maintained.

Qualifications based on data-retention of a curriculum are just silly, in all fields, but especially in ours. A medical degree doesn't make somone a healer. Niether will passing some examination - written, oral or genital - make someone a tantrika.

The general population could benefit from some of the techniques that we use, but it's seekers that we're here for. Learning discernment, developing a bull**** detector and maintaining an openness to truth are skills they need to develop in order to find us. In business terms, our market is around 2% of the general population. Most of that 2% aren't on a specifically sexual path, and need relatively little work, mainly release of repression.

Seekers will always need to develop a centered will and a degree of awareness in order to find their teachers. The journey through the distractions of the "world", the help found in others on the path, and finding their teachers are wonderful archetypal struggles, great preparation. I believe we may have to be careful not to be too available! Historically, Tantra schools tended to get in trouble when they got into the business of dealing with the general population, simply providing a healthier and more enjoyable experience than "regular" sex workers. What's done them in is a combination of their sudden wealth (attracts insincere friendships and greedy, insincere disciples, provokes jealousy from once friendly religions), the angry brothel owners' association (obviously), the police (they miss their quid pro quo badly, one of their very few worthwhile perks), and the culture's elite (the "market value" of their daughters is ruined).

The only successful "deal with the culture" that I've heard of was the Indian Tantra Temples being available to heal soldiers physically and emotionally after battle. I wouldn't be comfortable with healing anyone's soldiers these days. I believe that trauma needs to get back into the population, so they feel some of what they politically support. Good feedback.

Maybe sports? Can you imagine what a few Dakinis could do for a team's motivation, their focus, their totality! It would be the mother of all distractions, a perversion of what should probably be our principles, but fun, and coaches in the major sports have big budgets when such a powerful advantage is available.

Another very profitable area could be the world of "personal coaching". Dakini empowered executives... we could have the corporations destroying the planet at twice the rate they are going now, thereby hastening mankind's next maturity test. I don't know if this would be a good thing or not. There's also the strong possibility that the Dakini in question would get the exec's heart all open and vulnerable and quench his repression-driven greed. This may mean it wouldn't be that good for business.

If seekers are really our only legitimate market, it may be useful to take the approach of being a persecuted religious movement, that we have a different sexual way from the culture at large, and just want their passive tolerance for what we do with "each other", not everybody, generally. It's true that to be available to "our" 2%, the 98% get to be aware that we exist. Maybe we need to explain that we'll only do these strange things with "our people", however we define that.

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Love, however it looks.

Rahasya
advaittantra.com
Gary Joseph
SSS Founder


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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enlightenment vs. culture    Posted: February 28, 2006 Reply with quote

Some very perceptive points.

My take on it is simply that everyone can only to do what are destined to do, led by their own level of awareness. The enlightened cannot help but to work to awaken the world, and all too often the world cannot help but to fight them.

I heard a story about a saint in India who kept trying to remove a bug that was trying to cross the road in heavy traffic. Every time he took it aside, it crawled back in the road. When asked why he kept at this futile act, he replied simply, "It's his nature to destroy himself, and mine to save him."

It's fine to say we should or shouldn't try to awaken society, but when it comes down to it, it's in our being.

Jesus didn't stop, despite knowing they would crucify him for it. Everyone follows their own nature, and the chips fall where they may.

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rahasya
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Joined: 23 Feb 2006
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Re: enlightenment vs. culture    Posted: February 28, 2006 Reply with quote

GaryJoseph said:


It's fine to say we should or shouldn't try to awaken society, but when it comes down to it, it's in our being.

Jesus didn't stop, despite knowing they would crucify him for it. Everyone follows their own nature, and the chips fall where they may.


- quite so. I'm personally on full throttle. Just I don't want anyone getting involved thinking it's all a bliss-walk. I'm trying to encourage resolve, resolute acceptance of death, and open eyes.

I use the Pasha description in a similar way to Gurdjieff's way of talking about the soul. It's something that's true early in the journey, a useful rough guide (like Newton's gravity theory. Wrong, but it will still more or less get you to the moon). By the end of the path, it's been revealed as not actually true. Buddha, when pressed on the subject of "now, we've heard you say all sorts of things, now tell us, what is Truth?" said "Truth is that which is of use".

Even the story of heaven and hell is spiritually useful for a bit of the path, but, like all these "spiritual lies", it must be discarded when it's served it's purpose.

Pasha means "noose". The pasha in the population are caught in a noose. Teachings that they are in some way not quite the full human potential (very insulting to the ego-mind) are designed to sting them. Provoke their awareness, get them to see how they are controlled, bound by the culture. Get them to make that first effort of their own. Vital.

I am suggesting that trying to get the culture to accept us in a legal sense is at it's best (and I'm not running it down - it's a GOOD best) a way of scratching the culture, irritating and prodding it in a useful (in the way Buddha means it) direction. Notice I say the attempt - not necessarily anything that looks like "success".

If a legal challenge is on account of us feeling threatened, wanting the culture to be "fair" with us, wanting things to be more convenient - if it's out of any flavour of fear, then I find it deplorable if "sacred sex work" is legalised, and "non-spiritual" forms of sex work aren't.

I'm happy to take advantage of sex work (our new politically correct term which replaces "prostitute") freedom, and though what I do isn't, as you rightly say elsewhere on your site, the same. Just, to the culture, it is the same, in exact definition (coitus happens, or it doesn't).

Personally, I'd prefer you to be trying to legalise ALL sex work, sacred or otherwise, because it's from the "mud" of real base, root chakra sexuality that the "lotus" of the higher forms grows. Sex, at any level, however it looks, is the seed, and is sacred.

I applaud your efforts to make the various distinctions of sexual work clear, it may well support the current thaw in cultural attitudes. Also the awareness that's sure to be provoked in seekers visiting here - that's beyond conventional ideas of value.

_________________
Love, however it looks.

Rahasya
advaittantra.com
Gary Joseph
SSS Founder


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 863
Location: SSS Home

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Re: enlightenment vs. culture    Posted: March 1, 2006 Reply with quote

Yes, we do what we do because we love doing it, whether it brings "success" or not. True success is measured by following the Truth in our own hearts. That alone has all positive outward effects, whether it 'looks' like success or not.

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[ MODERATOR'S NOTE: The last portion of rahasya's post above has been copied to the Legal Sacred Sex Forum for its relevance to that Topic. A reply is posted there. The post can be viewed here. ]

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Sexual union is a mirror of Spiritual Union, and a gateway to direct experience of it.
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