Woensdag 02 Januarie 2013

Sexuality and Spirituality

There is a definite connection between moral values and sexuality. Religious Fundamentalists usually emphasize the importance of monogamous heterosexual relationships. There are exceptions, such as Mormons who previously allowed a man to have more than one wife, and present-day Muslims in some Arab countries for whom it is permissible for a man to have more than one wife, while a woman may only have one husband! It is especially significant that many years ago some communists decided to finally get rid of the institution of the nuclear family. However, they never managed to sufficiently accomplish their plan in any Marxist country - countries such as Cuba, Red China or the former Soviet Union. Even they - as supporters of a Materialist-Atheistic worldview, realized that the acceptance of the institution of the nuclear family by the general community was an excellent method by which they could regulate their subjects' sexual urges. A nuclear family usually consists of a husband and wife with their two or more children. It is based on a monogamous heterosexual relationship between only one man and one woman. The traditional Christian view according to which one man should be sexually faithful to only one woman and vice versa, is based on a literal interpretation of particular verses of the first book in the Bible, viz. Genesis:
  • Genesis 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'”
  • Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Many years ago Gnostics were more lenient regarding sexual relations and there were even rumours that early Gnostic Christians participated in orgies. Roman pagans were known for their frequent orgies. The priest class (French: parfait) of the Gnostic Cathars preferred celibacy to the married life during the Middle-Ages. Contemporary Roman Catholic and Buddhist nuns and monks also prefer that way of life. There is a rumour about some Buddhist monks who are apparently allowed to visit “unsavoury” places once a month to satisfy their sexual desires. Apparently the aim is to get rid of a too strict repression of their sexual urges. It was found that an excessive repression of sexuality could perhaps later lead to an obsession with sex. We are aware of the horrible abuse of children by Catholic priests, which may also be one of the adverse consequences of the unnatural repression of their sexual desires.

Initially I became embittered and disillusioned with Christianity when during high school I had a disagreement with the minister at a Sunday School Camp. He sent one of his sons to search me and my friend's bags. His son had found some library books in my bag that was considered as being “unchristian” during those years, even though the books were legal. That minister of the Church was definitely not impressed with books that I read that uncovered the lies and deception by some religious leaders. One of the main reasons why I thereafter moved even further away from traditional Christianity was their very narrow conception of “correct” sexual norms and values. I started wondering why every person should have a relationship with someone else before it will be permissible for them to have sexual intercourse with that other person. What should someone do who for many years struggles to meet someone else with whom he/she can have a relationship? Is it right and proper that such people should start to develop psychological problems because of the unnatural repression of their sexual desires? Most ministers' inability to answer these questions properly induced me to increasingly doubt the validity of Christian fundamentalists' claim that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that we can find answers to all our concerns within it.

There are mainly three different options with regard to sexual relationships between people. Some people decide to base their sexual lifestyle on a combination of two or even all three of these options:
  • Be faithful to one partner only. This implies that both people should have a sexual and love relationship with one another only. Religious Fundamentalists such as Angus Buchan and Gretha Wiid are notorious for forcing this option down other peoples' throats!
  • The Polyamory option whereby one person has a sexual and emotional relationship simultaneously with more than one person. There are very few people who have successfully applied this option, although many people already tried it without any notable success!
  • The promiscuous option implies sexual intercourse with several others, without the “burden” of being emotionally involved with them. There are many swinger clubs in South Africa which are regularly visited by married couples. Over the years there were thousands of married and unmarried men who often visited prostitutes. Even watching a pornographic movie or visiting a strip club such as Teazers, can in some ways be considered as being part of this option!

Emotional involvement with other people leads to affection for them, which is often associated with increased attachment to temporary material things such as big houses and expensive cars. This in turn leads to increased pain and suffering associated with the loss that people experience when they realize that all contingent things are transitory. The abovementioned first option can therefore sometimes be a hindrance to anyone who is serious about pursuing a “spiritually aware” lifestyle. Because people who choose the third option are usually not so much attached to people with whom they have sexual experiences, it is sometimes more convenient for them to spend time on spiritual and philosophical matters. Because some ascetics and yogis are so focused on the manifestation of the Divine in their lives, they have lost all interest in sexual activities. Maybe their complete abstinence from all sexual acts is even better than the third option and in the end the most “spiritual” way of life which all people should attain?

People's attention is constantly being focused on sex especially through TV soap operas and gossip in the newspapers. In this way their attention is once again diverted from better ways to improve the manifestation of the Divine in their own lives, as well as from more vital issues such as investigating how corrupt politicians are being manipulated by powers “behind the scenes”. Many “spiritually conscious” people prefer to not focus too much on their sexual desires, but rather to focus increasingly on the pursuit of a more spiritual way of life in order to better manifest the Divine in their own lives as well as in the lives of others.

1 opmerking:

  1. "That minister of the Church was definitely not impressed with books that I read that uncovered the lies and deception by some religious leaders."

    Jaco could benefit from reading works that uncover "the lies and deception" in fringe religions (including deism, spirituality and the newest fad of "spiritual but not religious" in general, and his writings in particular.

    AntwoordVee uit