The other day a good friend suggested that sexual desire and sexual urges are from our ‘lower’ or ‘base’ nature.
Or sometimes we hear it described as our ‘animal’ nature.
I think this is a pretty common view in our culture.
We hear constantly about “our obsession with sex”. The word ‘obsession’ delivers the same message, that sex is a human urge out of control. It sends the negative message that we have let our lower nature overpower our higher nature. And most people seem to agree this is true, based on the proliferation of porn online, the popularity of behaviors like ‘sexting’ and sending naked ‘selfies’, the use of sexual imagery in almost every form of advertising and entertainment and the constant stories of sexual crimes in the media.
Welcome to the human ‘Catch 22’.
On the one hand we are constantly told, in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that our sexual energy is a low, base, animalistic urge that must be controlled, yet on the other hand we are born with a built in ‘furnace’ of sexual desires—urges that want to be expressed and fully experienced.
Kim Anami, noted life and sexuality coach, describes it as our bipolar attitude towards sex. I like that analogy. We fluctuate between engaging willingly in sexual energy and then attempting to transcend it, riding the rollercoaster of opening up, then shutting down, opening up, shutting down, etc.
Even if we find a sexual partner with whom we are able to experience true sexual bliss—a partner who has given the space and safety to allow us to be fully open and vulnerable—we often subtly censor, or ‘make private’ that experience, as if it is something special we can’t share. This censoring more accurately reflects a learned discomfort about revealing that we have given in to our animalistic nature; knowing such behavior within our culture of ‘transcendence’ will almost surely lower other people’s view of us.
So how do we escape this sexual energy ‘Catch 22’?
In any process of inquiry, I love flipping things upside down to see if the reverse view holds a revealing perspective.
The common cultural view is that we must elevate ourselves from ‘unconscious’, animal body urges and desires into a state of spiritual consciousness, free from the physical world.
The reverse view would be this: we must elevate ourselves from ‘unconscious’ spiritual urges and desires into a state of body consciousness, free from the spiritual world.
Does this statement make sense to you, on any level? It may sound odd, on first reading, but if we dig into it a bit, I think it does make sense. Profound sense, actually.
First, we are definitely part of the physical world. We share energy within the physical system we call planet Earth. When we die, the energy that comprises our physical human body gets returned into the system.
Second, because of our ability to be conscious of our actions, thoughts and emotions, we almost intrinsically ‘elevate’ ourselves above the rest of our energy system (including all other living beings). We also naturally question everything. We wonder about the how and why of our existence. So we have this unconscious, intrinsic urge to be spiritual.
Third, many people on their path of enlightenment say the moment they “landed in their body” was significant. Truly landing in, accepting and rejoicing in our body, and its connection with everything else, seems consistent with the reverse view; that we need to elevate ourselves into a state of higher body consciousness.
Fourth, one of the reasons we use the word “lower” for sexual urges is because we consider our genitals (or root chakra) to be physically below our brain (or crown chakra). But I have no problem considering the reverse. If you think about it, there is no up or down in the universe. We tend to think up is into the sky and out into space. But the Earth, which we are part of, could just as easily be up. Our planet is round, so there is no empirical up or down. We are simply attached to the Earth. Who is to say our genitals don’t actually reside in a physically higher position, in relation to our source?
Fifth, the last phrase, about us becoming “free from the spiritual world”, is for me a truism in the sense that we need to be freed from the notion of transcending the physical.
So, perhaps our way to escape our human Catch 22 is to understand that we have things backwards.
What we call our lower nature is actually our higher nature. Instead of transcending FROM our lower selves to achieve a closer ‘walk with God’, we need to elevate our consciousness INTO our higher, creative, sexually-energized selves—the physical world—where ‘God’ actually resides.
Sexual energy is life energy, after all. There would be no life without it. Sexual energy is creative, generative ‘God’ or ‘Source’ energy, right inside us, and in all living things. Sexual energy is what makes us, and all facets of the beautiful planet we live on, tick.
And once we understand this, an ironic transformation takes place. Elevating ourselves into body and Earth consciousness actually elevates us into spiritual consciousness—the very thing we unconsciously desired in the first place. We don’t need to transcend our lower nature to achieve spirituality. Instead, we need to transcend into it, to embrace our true spiritual connection to the Universe—to God, Mother God, Source, or however you refer to the Creator of all things.
Truly understanding that sexual energy, and the love that it generates, is spiritual, causes us to honor our sexuality, instead of hiding and shaming it. We would honor one another—and our whole planetary system—much more deeply with this perception firmly embedded in our consciousness. In this respect, there would be no need to control or constrain sexual energy or our bodies. We would not be afraid of sharing sexual energy freely as a way of deeply loving and honoring ourselves and others.
What a joy it is to know that we can openly embrace and stoke the furnace of sexual desire inside us, surrendering ourselves to the total bliss of divine, healing, creative, loving sexual energy.