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Can sex and spirituality go together?

We all know the familiar story about Creation. God created the first human beings called Adam and Eve, placed them in a beautiful garden called Eden or Paradise, and told them they could eat everything that’s there except one fruit. Eve was tempted by the Devil and ate the forbidden fruit, and asked Adam to do the same. As a consequence they were both banished by God from paradise.

But if you read Genesis in the Bible, you won’t find any reference to an apple or an actual fruit that God forbade them to eat. What God said was this: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).

There has been a lot of speculation and controversy about what really happened in Eden. What is this “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” really? Surely it does not refer to an actual tree. Eating the fruit of the tree of apparently led to divine knowledge that God alone knew and man was not yet to know. Adam and Eve defied God’s command, so they were severely punished by being driven out of Eden.

But let’s go back to the original question. What really was this “fruit” all about, if it was not a real or an actual botanical fruit? Some esoteric schools say it referred to “sacred sex,” the correct practice of which can bring about supernatural knowledge, or opening up to higher states of consciousness for which Adam and Eve were not ready.

In Mathew (1:25) we find the following passage: “and he (Joseph) knew her not till she (Mary) had brought forth her firstborn.” It is clear from this passage that the term “to know” a person means having sex or carnal knowledge with another.

The new living translation of this passage needs: “But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.”

The old mystics and mystery schools of the East have always maintained and taught that there was more to sex than merely joining two sex organs together and achieving orgasm, for even lower animals can do that. Sex must have a higher, more mystical purpose than that. Let us explore this revolutionary concept further and see whether modern people like us can understand it.

Millions of sperm

The great physician and Nobel Prize awardee Alexis Carrell, in his classic book “Man, the Unknown,” posed the question of why it needs millions of sperm to impregnate one egg. He said since nature is not capricious and does not produce anything in excess of what is necessary to achieve its objective, then there must be a reason for such overabundance of sperm in man. And he felt that the answer to this is to ensure the preservation and continuation of the species.

The Russian mathematician and mystic P.D. Ouspensky, who was a follower of Gurdjieff, went even a step further. He said that the hidden and ultimate goal of sex is the “transformation of man into superman,” something almost divine or godlike. For this to happen, sexual energy must be transformed into a higher energy that opens one up to higher states of consciousness. The great secret of secrets is to cultivate sexual energy to reach such states.

There are many roads to higher consciousness, to divine knowledge. The route through sex is the most powerful one and, therefore, it is the most suppressed and the most misunderstood.

Instead of trying to understand its true nature, man has relegated sex to the background, hidden in closets under lock and key. The result is a very superficial understanding of sex that is limited to the mechanical enhancement of the sensual, to mere sexual techniques, rather than to the transformation of the sex energy. But, as the well-known but controversial Indian guru Osho pointed out in his book, “From Sex to Super Consciousness,” “Even after a lifetime of experience we never reach anywhere near that supreme stage, near that divinity. Why? A man reaches a ripe old age, comes to the end of his life, but he is never free from his lust for sex, from his passion for intercourse. Why? It is because he has never understood nor been told about the art of sex, about the science. He has never considered it, he has never discussed it with the enlightened ones.”

And that’s why sex has remained, for the majority, merely a biological act, rather than the spiritual or sacred one that it was really meant to be.

Act of worship

Ouspensky pointed out that in those cultures that have not come under the influence of Western ecclesiastical authorities, this hidden purpose of sex had always been known by initiates and their priests. In such societies, sex, rather than being condemned, is regarded as “the expression of the Deity in man and is an act of worship.”

In Khajuraho, India, there is a temple in which all positions of the sex act are sculpted on its stone façade. Western Christian eyes looking at these fully exposed genital anatomy cannot help but be shocked at the sight. They are not used to it, and their whole cultural and religious orientation goes against such public display of intimacy. But to the Tantric practitioners of yoga, these are natural expressions of the basic human emotion and there can be nothing morally wrong with it.

In fact, the Western way of suppressing sexual expression has led to so much perversity and criminality unknown to the ancient Orientals, who do not regard any natural expression of the sexual act to be immoral, perverted or wrong. Those who see the naked statues in Khajuraho experience two wonderful phenomena, according to Osho. First, they will not feel a sense of vulgarity; neither would they see anything ugly or bad in the copulating images. And second, they will experience a sense of peace. A feeling of sacredness envelops them. According to Osho, “The visionaries who created these statues were people who had seen and known spiritual sex intimately.

“They had one aim, and it was that if people would sit in front of the statues and meditate on them, they would be freed from lust. For thousands of years these images have been objects of meditation. It sets a wonderful example for the oversexed to meditate on the temples of Khajuraho and lose themselves in them.” INQ

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