Putting the X back in Xmas by David Steinberg
Sex should be all over the place as part and parcel of the Holiday Season, but sadly it’s not.
What could be more holy? More wholesome? More whole-making and soul-affirming? Maybe if Jesus had been a woman, if the culture of our roots had seen fit to offer the role of Messenger of the Holy Spirit to someone of the female persuasion, things would be different.
But our culture sets ascetic mind the task of triumphing over the sensuality of the body, rather than the goal of uniting with it. In our culture, the voice of reason takes it upon itself to conquer mystery, rather than embrace it. In our culture, being holy is defined as restraining and restricting sexual ecstasy, rather than finding ways to expand and enhance sexual pleasure and joy.
In our culture, as we know so well, sex is feared as a threat to our ability to control everything around us, rather than welcomed as an opportunity to find our way home to our most wonderful, most transcendent, most uncontrollable, god-like selves. In our culture the angels do not worship each others’ nakedness when they proclaim the spirit of holy communion — as do the voluptuously entwined Tantric gods and goddesses whose carnal energies bring sculptured blessing to temples all over India.
Home is where the heart is, where the genitals are — all together, inseparably united and bound. There is more soul, more comfort,more holy spirit, more union with God, to be found in the intricacies of one small touch, electric with sex, than in a year’s scurrying for material frills, or pious denunciations of “improper” sexual desires.
“We have all been intimate with the deepest creative experience: we’ve all been born,” says Berkeley poet and author Summer Brenner. “I think people who are lost, that’s what they’re most lost from. And sex. Well that is one of the simplest and most thrilling ways to get it back again.”
Catholic theologian Kevin Regan agrees. “It is the function of sexual union to celebrate the fullness of the Incarnation, God in our flesh,” he writes. “It is the purpose of conjugal love to realize the Spirit’s life-giving action… in the spontaneous ecstasy of sexual embrace at the point of sexual union.”
“The phallos is holy,” advises Brother Antonius, also known as William Everson. “And holy is the womb.”
San Francisco poet Lenore Kandel, perhaps the most lucid voice ever when it comes to sacred sexuality, puts it like this:
“I am naked against you and I put my mouth on you slowly… I have longing to kiss you and my tongue makes worship on you you are beautiful… your face above me is the face of all the gods and beautiful demons your eyes… love touches love the temple and the god are one”
So set out the frankincense and the myrrh; it is time to worship at the temple of the body, to pay homage by offering ourselves up to the paradoxical, sacred mysteries of being truly and fully and sexually alive.
This we ask in the name of the Mother, and the Daughter, and the Ecstatic Spirit. Amen.
Written and shared with permission by David Steinberg – www.davidsteinberg.us
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