Sexuality and Spirituality

Sexuality and spirituality are two components of human mind. Lower organisms have instinct to survive and procreate. Higher organisms have a little reason to cope with the larger arena of life. Only the humans have spirituality besides advanced reasoning and intuition. Ironically the most endowed Homo sapiens or wise men are the unhappy too.

Spirituality is awakening of soul-consciousness. It is no secret that abstract ideas fall prey to definitions, interpretations and perceptions. Still, defining a term for better understanding is a necessary evil.

Awareness of souls is seen in some other species too, such as elephants, monkeys and whales. But what exactly are soul and its awareness? This is a slippery ground. Soul or Spirit is denied by materialism and idealism denies matter. 

People in love feel soul, first in the object of love then gradually in other humans and lastly in all forms of life. Of course, it is rare and invaluable. Saints and poets who touched the lives of many belong to this class. Lower down the order we have artists, lovers and kids. Lust is guided by instinct while love is intuitive. Let us say that soul or spirit animates the body for a while. And the awareness that we are all same and unique is soul consciousness. Likewise, body consciousness is sexuality. And each human life is a saga of individual struggle between these two components or forces. All other animals are at peace with their sexuality and so are the aborigines who have been spared by the civilization. At their extreme ends people are sex objects or souls in transit on the spaceship called earth.

Though souls enter the human life with spiritual inclination, the body and brain it gets to reside in are more like animals with another subtle difference that animals have seasonal libido. In other words, the humans have all season sexuality with some spiritual sense or urge as a counterpoint. With the gift of the cranium, the top layer of brain, peculiar to us, we are required to transcend the lower reptilian brain and the middle mammalian brain. To minimize the conflict one needs to accept sexuality so that one can grow in spirituality. The benevolence of nature has insured that each soul attains it slowly over many lives. 

Now acceptance of sexuality does not mean license to hedonistic indulgences nor forced abstinence. If I accept my own sexuality fairness demands that I extend the same acceptance for others too. Playing fair and by one rule for all is spirituality. Definitions may change with context. Finally, spirituality is active love for mankind and other lives. Without this vital acceptance sexuality is a drag on spirituality. Acceptance facilitates transcendence of sexuality. The celibate monks and nuns are its good examples. Metaphorically it is like the metamorphosis of cater pillar into a butterfly. 

Establishment in spirituality reveals many secrets hidden by the conventional wisdom. For a starter, it removes the blinkers of prejudices. And at its best spirituality leads one to the most important fact about life and Cosmos that natural laws, both material as well as moral, take care of everything. There is no divine entity sitting on the controls to respond to our wish and prayer. This fact precludes god's intervention in human affairs through revelation or incarnation. 

It is unfortunate for humanity that a majority of people are engaged in pleasing god through a plethora of rituals and competition with other religions and sects. It is relevant here to quote a very instructive story about religions. 

Satan was taking a walk with a friend. A man walking ahead of them stopped and picked something up from the ground and moved on. Satan's friend was perplexed and asked him what did the man pick? Satan replied with a smile that the man picked up a piece of truth just now. His friend, then, enquired whether it upset him or not. The Satan smiled and said that it did not bother him because he will make the man start a new religion.

Coming back to our theme, human life is meant for the transcendence of sexuality and establishment of spirituality. Spiritual advancement, therefore, should be the aim of human society. All aspects of its affairs, economical, social or political must be guided by the spiritual aim and objective. 

It is astonishing that the oldest books of man, the Vedas, exhort the same spiritual vision and ask us to embrace Love, Truth, Justice and Compassion for the maximum good of maximum number of lives.        


More by :  Anand Rishi

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