On human relationships, love and sexuality
Many books have already been written, by all kinds of authors and from nearly all possible points of view. Everybody seems to be on a Crusade to save Couple and Family from disaster. Songwriters, sociologists, priests and ministers, psychologists and even politicians are doing their best in that regard. I think that we should first make a fundamental distinction between Couple and Family: the Crusade to save Family, as we know it, is clearly an attempt to perpetuate an Archetype that has been alive in humanity in varying forms for many millennia. Everyone, whether for or against, sees clearly the dire peril it is going through, and many doubt that it will survive the next 3 or 4 generations, especially in the Occidental Civilization. Family is identification with genetic survival through a particular means. It is an essential part of Patriarchism, a trial to ensure the genetic identity of children from the male point of view. It is also security and love, at least ideally. Its’ main redeeming aspect might be the fact of each member of a family having a place of unconditional belonging. One might imagine many other, non-patriarchal, ways to achieve similar results, and, in the U.S.A., dozens of Science-Fiction Authors have done so. It is immediately evident that women, for obvious reasons, have had no such problem: they have always known whose child it is! However, the invention of artificial insemination and of surrogate mother-wombs for humans has destroyed women’s total immunity to this problem, in the long run. Family is also the main basis of property ownership and transfer in all of our societies, except for the small minority of humans who still live in tribal forms.
As for the Couple, through the last three or four millennia, we have been evolving from Tribal organization, through different degrees of extended families, all the way to the nuclear family that we know today, based on the Couple, rather than the three or four generation model that was dominant until very recently. Of course this evolution has to do with the Industrial revolution! It has been accelerated as we have evolved from an agrarian to an industrial, even a post-industrial civilization. I’m not going into this in any length, since literally thousands of studies, books, theses and articles have been published on this subject by historians, theologians, sociologists, economists, philosophers etc. etc. What I will go into is something different: the Couple as an Ideal of Love. This is very recent in human history. I don’t mean that men and women didn’t love and lust for each other since as far back as we can recall. They and we did. That’s not the point, here. What the Middle Ages came up with, romantically and sexually, was a Couple that was:
a. Permanent: once formed it was seen as not-to-be separated, ever, “until death do us part”, and even beyond death.
b. Exclusive: The love experienced was conceived of as total, fusional and eternal, self-sufficient and self-fulfilling in and of itself. In many cases, and still today, it was seen as the right stuff of Life itself.
c. Conditional sex: in a culture that condemned the flesh and sex, a Couple’s Love was the Savior of sex and flesh. It should be remembered here that marriage as a universal social institution did not exist until the XVIth century. Before that, it was reserved first for nobility, then for the middle classes as they began to exist.
d. Love: The Romantic Couple (different from the Nuclear Family was seen as the privileged vessel of the force of Love in this world. It was seen as different from family, and even seen as being destroyed by the fact of having children. If you don’t believe me, listen to any dozen love songs.
e. Completeness: The Couple was also understood and wished for as a kind of True Being, Complete for the first time since the division of humanity into dual sexes. In other words this Ideal can go (and has gone) so far as to state that the True Complete Being is neither a man nor a woman, but a Couple. Many books have been written on this subject. In recent times a man called Sabbato has written extensively on this ideal. This is the true source of the concept of Sister (or Twin) Souls. The most accepted view is that we used to be complete beings that were destroyed by being divided into male and female, and that our other half is still out there somewhere trying to find us to complete itself, and vice versa. The Greek Philosopher Plato was the first to introduce this concept as an Ideal, but the firsts to try and actually experience this are historically known as Abelard and Eloise, in the Middle-Ages. The Cathars of Southern France and their successors the Troubadours actually formalized this, by clearly distinguishing between the social institution of marriage, and all the genetic and economic energies that go with it, and the spiritual Couple, going so far as to institutionalize the fact that any person could have a Spouse, and a Lover, if and when they found their Other Half. Until then they were encouraged to engage in a search for it. They introduced the concept of loyalty in marriage, as distinct from fidelity. This concept of completeness went so far that it was conceived that once Fusion was truly achieved nothing could destroy it, and after both partners death the completed being remained complete and went on to live forever in some other realm of reality. One consequence of this was the necessity of dying while still fused, even if doing so was sometimes acrobatic. If physically separated, the two parts had to remain True one to another until death, and do anything to maintain communications. This happened to Eloise and Abelard, who were forced into separation for more than 20 years, yet remained true to each other and wrote each other letters that are still today the model of perfect love. On the darker side of things, it has been known for young couples in love to suicide together to make sure their fusion didn’t undo itself throughout life. It still happens today, once in a while. To say it all in a nutshell: Love is as the Ultimate Redeemer of All and Everything, through the Vessel of the Couple.
So, that also answers the question about Soul Mates. But what if we aren’t only a half of a long broken something? What if each of us is (potentially) a whole and complete person in and of ourselves? (This is my own conclusion.) Then what? Conversely, we know of persons today who fear Love (in the sense of the Couple) because they think that this will hinder and block the achievement of their own individuality. In modern society, this position is best known in some feminist circles, but many males, past and present have held the same thoughts. We can see that this position is a reaction to the Fusional Couple.
In our modern society, Family and the Ideal of the Couple have borrowed from one another to strengthen each other. And we see many people desperately trying to achieve Romantic Fusional love at the same time that they become a Family. I suppose this isn’t impossible, but any degree of social observation clearly shows that it is very difficult to manage for any length of time. Still, the question remains: if Family is slowly foundering on the shores of a changing civilization, if the Ideal of the Savior-Couple is breaking up on the rocks of personal completeness, of individuation, what then? What happens to love, to couples, to family? What happens to sex?
The sexual relationships
If each of us can become a completeness on our own, if we’re not just a half of something that has to come together to find itself whole, how come we’re male and female? Aside from making children, is there any reason for us to exist in two quite different varieties that we call the sexes? Is it possible for each of us to be complete in and of ourselves, and yet to need something the other sex has that we couldn’t have in ourselves? The answer to this one is YES. At the very least, aside from all the ordinary human emotions and needs that we spontaneously seek to fulfill with the other sex, there is a crucial stage of development, for each of us, that can only be found in a relationship with a person of the other sex that allows us for personal completeness and self-realization, on the one hand, and allows the correlation of sexual forces with spiritual development on the other hand.
I’ll state immediately that, in theory at least, what we need from the other sex is not necessary sex. To be more precise, we need something that is more easily found through sex, but could be found through other types of relationship. Each of us carries the polarity of the other sex within us. A man has Yin somewhere in himself, and if it isn’t very developed at first, at least it is conceivable that he might. The reverse is true of a woman: she has a potential for Yang, so that although men and woman are equal in this regard, they also are very different in their processes. But the Yin of a male is NOT a woman, and the Yang of a female is NOT a male! So that although men and women are equal in the fact that they both can become whole persons in and of themselves, they will still remain different.
Sex is important for our energetic and spiritual development. Youth sex can develop our chakras and subtle bodies and in adulthood, personal completeness and self-realization are achieved through a particular form of Conscious Sex with no barriers that includes Energy Circulation practices and Kundalini raising meditations. (See meditation on sacred sexuality and how to raise the Kundalini Energy at the end of the Book) Some individuals who are not in relationship with each other can have sex with each other for purely spiritual reasons and self-realization. Trust and Unconditional Spiritual Friendship and Love are required for these kinds of spiritual sex.