By Mikaya Heart
This is the first in a series of articles on how sex can help us to understand the nature of reality, first published on cherrygrrl.com
I dislike that word spirituality because it is so greatly misunderstood and unpleasantly loaded for many people. But there are things I need to say in this article that require its use, so – in the hope that I have not already lost a number of readers — let me start by defining it.
I do not mean religion; all experiences of spirituality, whether experienced in a group or not, are deeply personal, whereas religions are institutions with a certain amount of dogma. While dogma can be interesting, it rarely facilitates a deep individual understanding of truth, and it sometimes discourages the seeking of truth.
Although spirituality is based on the belief that there is much more to reality than meets the eye, it is akin to philosophy. If philosophy is a study of the nature of reality, then spirituality is a study of the nature of reality based on the premise that there is some force at work that is much greater than the physical laws we constantly see in action around us. However, that understanding varies enormously from individual to individual because the nature of reality encompasses such vastness that there are a million different paths and angles from which to view it. Very few people manage to investigate very many in one lifetime, and besides, our physical brains are not equipped to encompass and grasp the true vastness. Indeed, it might be a prescription for a person who is “spiritually advanced” that she has grasped a method of understanding that is far beyond the abilities of the brain. More on that in another article!
This greater force I have referred to above is often called “God.” I don’t use this word as it is far too loaded. If I had to define it, I would say that everything and everyone is God; it is the energy of life-force itself. Energy is everything, everything is energy, which can be more or less intense, more or less concentrated. Now let’s define spirituality as the study of the nature of reality with the basic premise that everything is manifested from energy; everything is energy in one form or another. Most of us will find that to be a concept that has been made acceptable through the study of physics. People assume that spirituality is about the study of spirit, which could be defined as that energetic part of ourselves that has not coalesced in physical form, or that is left after the physical form has died. Philosophy could be defined as questioning why energy takes a particular form in a particular situation, whereas many forms of spirituality (shamanism, for instance) are about learning how to consciously work with energy. My interest in spirituality stems from my belief that understanding our place in the cosmos and learning how to work with energy – which encompasses a huge range of activities — can make us much happier beings.
Now: sexuality. I consider sex to be a very shamanic activity because it is about working, or rather, playing with energy. It’s fair to define sex as concentrated energy which, when it flows through us, gives rise to very pleasant sensations – that might by some people be called ecstasy or bliss. You’d think from this description, that we would all want to be having sex all the time. Yet many people, women especially, have placed a lot of restrictions (conscious and unconscious) on allowing sexual energy to move freely. Is it simply socially imposed conditioning, or does it go deeper? Do we have the same ambivalence about allowing other kinds of energy to flow? I would say we do, and that is a problem we need to address, because if we want to shape energy into forms of our own choice (that’s what manifestation is) then we first need to allow it to flow. Perhaps allowing a flow of energy is not as simple as it sounds – and perhaps there is something very profound to look at there.
Ultimately, given that everything is energy before (and after) it coalesces into a physical form, the art of being in physical form is about allowing energy to flow through us and manifest in the ways we choose – coalesce into the kind of form we want, that is, whether a physical thing or an event or a particular state of mind (such as happiness). In other words, when we are really accomplished at allowing energy to flow, we choose something, and it happens. Most humans have become very adept at blocking energy flows because it can be a very alarming sensation, so intense that we are afraid of being overwhelmed and out of control. An intense orgasm, especially when we are not used to it, can be quite shocking, taking over our bodies, and shaking us from the inside out, bringing up feelings that we would prefer to ignore. All powerful flows of energy, whether sexual or not, can have this effect, and so most of us become very accustomed to blocking them. Even when the attempt to block the flow is producing very uncomfortable pains and illnesses that western medicine struggles to diagnose, we still do it because it is familiar. We don’t know how to do otherwise. Ever remember being told, “Now, don’t get carried away!” by your parents or friends? Yet that is exactly what a powerful energy flow does. Like sexual desire, it carries us away out of our staid, limited, rational personas, into a reality which – once we’re used to it and have stopped trying to resist it — is blissful, delightful, and very much removed from the average daily life.
This is what sex can teach us. In circumstances that aren’t sexual at all, allowing a flow of energy can produce sensations very similar to orgasm. When we transpose that letting go, based on a foundation of trust, into our daily lives, we can learn to let energy flow through us freely and manifest in whatever ways we choose, rather than letting it take form by default. It is our fear of the flow, not the flow itself, which causes discomfort. Sex is a metaphor for life. Learning to be an adept in the art of being human is about allowing a flow of energy, learning to remain relaxed, trusting that the outcome will be beneficial. This kind of allowing cannot be forced. It cannot be artificially induced in any way. It cannot exist in an atmosphere of lies. It is absolutely real, and we must be willing to be absolutely authentic to allow it to happen. That means, being exactly who we are, nothing less and nothing more.