I had a dream last night, one of those dreams that seems to go on for days. I dreamed that I went to a retreat center to get away. I discovered, much to my surprise (and maybe delight?) that through a set of doors in the retreat center was a porn shop filled with pornographic movies, toys etc. I was shocked! As my retreat went on, it’s like the other people there on retreat were oblivious to the fact that through that set of doors was a porn shop! I also discovered that the retreat center was run by a group of gay guys. I got to know them over time and they were the most wonderful group of guys; kind, generous, spiritual and integrated. Perhaps this pointed to the real desire to connect with other gay men who are into spirituality. Perhaps I also had this dream because last night I watched a program on Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. Naked bodies all over the place! Adam, so wonderfully magnificent, his body and beautiful face stretched with longing – reaching for the hand of God. I remember being there in person some years ago and feeling a sense of sexual – spiritual integration in the presence of this masterpiece where naked sexuality was brought in harmony with the Divine!
I hope that my dream was an indication of my sexual – spiritual integration; or perhaps it was pointing to a need for further integration. Whatever the case, I awoke thinking about sexuality and spirituality. For many people they are separated, at two opposite poles of experience and never the twain shall meet! This I believe causes problems and ironically feeds the porn industry. If we were more sexually/spiritually integrated we would have less desire for porn. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that, but I believe a great use of pornography both points to and develops within us an affective disconnect and a lack of sexual integration. The ego wants more and more images, but over time I believe it removes us from the connection that we are ultimately seeking. The same goes for promiscuous sex. There is a passion in sex; but if this energy is dispersed all over the place, without the under girding presence of spiritual/interpersonal connection, passion dissipates. At least this is my experience. Again, believe me, I am no prude – but I know when my sexual energy is lacking integration and too dissipated and when it is not. And I wonder if many of us in the gay and straight worlds short circuit this deep sense of connection by chasing it in porn and random sexual experience.
Sexuality is a spark of the Divine within us and need not be separated, but integrated. There is a wholesome energy that I feel when I am sexually/spiritually integrated. Can we begin to think of our sexuality and our bodies as sacred? Instead of keeping these two aspects of our lives at opposite poles or overemphasizing one aspect or the other, can we begin to integrate them? Sexuality and Spirituality are not two separate energies that are opposed to one another, but one energy. I sometimes pray and meditate naked and these have been profoundly integrating experiences. As I meditate I breathe through my brain right down to my genitals. If I am not able to feel my breath go all the way down, I know I am blocked somewhere. When I am able to breath through the core of my body and feel my head, my heart, my torso and my genitals all connected, then I know that I am in a place of integration. It might sound crazy to you, but try it. Get to know your body/spirit and, like Michelangelo’s masterpiece, come naked before the Divine.