Sex and Spirituality
(Author's Note: This article is not for adolescents and children. Before one can advance to this stage, one needs to experience keeping the Ten Commandments.)
"Your sexual organs are instruments of love." Years ago when I began to walk the path of spirituality I heard Jesus say this to me. It shocked me as it has shocked many people since. Down through the centuries culture and religious faiths have classified anything sexual as evil. Recently, a woman of the Southern Baptist tradition was heard to say that sexual relations between a married couple were evil, but since children had to be conceived, it was an evil that people unfortunately had to live with.
Even though this may be an extreme belief, our culture and religious feelings in general about sexual activity is very poor. Many wish that they never were born with sexual organs. They and others for various reasons carry a lot of fear, hurt and anger towards their sexual organs and its feelings.
If our hands, our tongue, our eyes, our lips, our minds, that is, all parts of our body, can be used as instruments of love, then it has to be accepted also that our sexual organs can be instruments of love. As human beings we, the person, dwell within our body. We need our body in order to communicate with others. We need our hands to give and share things. We need our tongues to share our inner thoughts and feelings by words. We need our lips to share affection and love, and we need our sexual organs to share profound and deep inner affection and love.
Our bodies have been given to us as a gift from the Lord. Our bodies are to be dwelt in with love and affection. They need to be taken care of, fed, exercised, cleaned, protected, rested, reverenced, caressed, love. Our bodies are the home in which we, the person, dwell as long as we live here on earth. They need to be respected and loved.
We abuse our bodies when we use them to express a lie. A handshake that is not from a loving heart, a friendly heart, is a lie. A kiss that is not from a loving and friendly heart is a lie. Words shared with another that do not truly express our inner feelings, awareness, desires and knowledge is a lie. An embrace that does not flow from a loving and friendly heart is a lie. A sexual caress that does not flow from a loving and friendly heart is a lie.
All these actions that are not truthful are using the body in an abusive way. This abuse given to our own body is also shared with the bodies and spirits of others. Even when we use our bodies openly in ways that are not lies, we are still abusing them and the bodies of others, whenever our actions do not show love and respect for ourselves and for others. The body is the instrument for actions, be they good or bad, be they actions that use the body to share love and respect, or actions that use the body to share abuse, hatred, manipulation, control, deceit.
We have only three commandments: Love the Lord our God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Love God, love neighbor, love self. These three commandments explicitly exist for Christians, Jews and Mohammedans because they are written in the Bible/Koran of each.
Any action that does not express love and respect towards self, neighbor and God is evil, is abusive. This is true even if the law says we have a right to a certain action. Law cannot give permission to someone to be non loving, abusive.
A married man cannot force his wife to have sexual relations with him, and still use his and her body as an instrument of love. Such an action is not an expression of love and respect. Even though according to the law he has a right to intercourse with his wife, he does not have a right to force her to comply. Such force is evil, abusive, sinful in marriage, even though it is not forbidden by the law. It is not a loving action.
Likewise, a single man caressing tenderly, even sexually, his friend, sharing his love and respect for that person, sharing actions that are truly loving, actions that are not manipulative and controlling, is using his body as instrument of sharing love. If these actions are sharing love, then the law cannot forbid them. The law cannot forbid the sharing of love, provided that the person receiving the love is open to receive it.
When sexual actions, be they with self or with others, are accepted in the heart as instruments of love, then one is open to a growth that will be deep and profound. When one shares love on this level, doors of fears, hurts and anger are opened - doors that lead to these fears and hurts which do not want to be accepted and embraced in healing love. It is precisely these fears and hurts that push us into abusive acts or into expressing conditional love.
It is not easy to accept a 'no' when we desire to share intimate love with another. It is not easy to accept the invitation of another wanting to share intimate love with us when we are not 'in the mood.' It is not easy to ask for forgiveness for a hurt given earlier to the other before seeking to share intimate love. It is not easy to forgive the one who has hurt us so much and now wants to be intimate, giving us the impression that 'nothing happened before.'
It is not easy to compromise. It is not easy for the man to be willing to allow the other to come to orgasm before himself. It is not easy for us to be contented in caressing and sharing intimate affectionate sexual love without the crashing, pushing desire for orgasm and intercourse. It is not easy for the man to allow the woman to 'raise' him up first, rather than he 'raising' himself up. It is not easy for the man to be the passive agent, giving the active role to the woman. In other words, it is not easy to let go of desires filled with a conditional love for desires filled with an unconditional love.
All these things are examples of how we must be willing to let go of our own desires to manipulate and control a situation. The basic principle of spirituality is the 'letting go' of pushy, controlling desires, and learning how to 'let oneself be.' Sexual activity, be it caresses or intercourse or both, does not excuse one from following this principle. In fact, the very intensity of the relations demand that one walk this path. Without it, there is no further growth as a human being, and no growth as a spiritual person, no matter what religion or faith one follows.
If it is felt that the above is advocating free sex, then what has been said was not correctly understood. In no way is free sex advocated. That which is expressed above is a way of living as a sexual human being that is far more difficult to follow than what the present day cultural and religious beliefs give.
The one who lives in love fulfills the law. The law does not touch him/her. Love dwelling within the heart will not allow one to use their body, mind or spirit to bring disrespect and irreverence towards the other and towards self.
To walk this spiritual path of love is difficult. It is a path of death to self so that one can be reborn again, or reincarnated as a loving sexual human being. It is a path worth walking no matter whatever it may cost! It's rewards are the fullness of life abundantly here on earth and eternally in heaven, a life that essentially will not be asexual. Consequently, sharing love by using one's sexual organs is not a hindrance to spiritual growth. In fact, when it is shared as expressed above, even in the beginning of our walk, when we are still filled with fears and hurts, it becomes a powerful means of growth. And as one grows in loving self and another human being, one also simultaneously grows in loving their God. It is impossible to grow in one without the other being present.
We are not called by our creator to be angels here on earth. Even after
death our spirit will not be asexual. We are called to be beautifully
integrated human beings, men and women who are filled with love for ourselves,
each other and our God both here on earth and in heaven. So glorify God with
every part of your body. (1 Cor. 6:20) With that call comes
the power to achieve it to the fullest, the same power that raised Jesus from
the dead, the Holy Spirit's power. May that power of the Holy Spirit be
poured out abundantly upon you now and forever.