The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Thing Itself

How do you begin to combine sexual energy with the energy necessary to power the rest of your life? The first thing you have to do is separate "energy" (and we're not quite using this term in the strict physics sense. Unfortunately, we just don't have the English language to describe these things precisely. We'll do the best we can!)

The search for "the thing itself" separate from its filligree or manifestations, or separate from our sensory or conceptual input about it, has been a central question in world philosophy. Not to get into these things from a Kantian or Buddhist view but rather an experimental and experiential view, what we want to do is extract from the "second chakra" experience of sexuality the experience of an energy that also pops up on the other six levels.

One way to do this is to connect everything with breathing. Almost every profound practice affects or is affected by breathing, in one way or another. It is a lovely unifying activity. Sexual energy is secondary. Survival is primary. Misinterpretation of Freudian theory makes it seem that he felt sexual intercourse was the most important thing in life. First, Freud seemed to use "sex" in the sense of union and passion, a connection with growth, becoming, evolving, and creation. Physical intercourse was just an aspect of this.

Second, if you think Freud actually meant that sexual intercourse was the most powerful motivating force, then you are simply saying that Freud was wrong. Survival trumps everything. Nobody stops running from a forest fire to get laid. Sorry.

The lovely thing about investigating survival and sexuality as aspects of the same thing is that it makes sense on a biological sense (sex is genetic survival, pair-bond partnership, and physical health) and removal of fear from the equation allows deep relaxation which enhances orgasm and makes erections easier to obtain and sustain, as well as allow relaxation of ego walls, leading to more intense experiences. There is simply no down-side.

The personal experiment you can conduct is to use breathing.

1) Go to a quiet place, where you will not be disturbed for 10-20 minutes. Have a clock with a second hand.

2) Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. It is allowable to inhale and exhale through your nose.

3) Breathe deep in the belly rather than high in the chest.

4) Note the number of breaths per minute. Begin to slow your breathing.

5) For most people, when your breaths get down to about 3-4 per minute, you will begin to feel a "tickle" in your head as cardio respiratory distress kicks in--your body's need for oxygen. This is easy to interpret as fear.

6) Stay right here, balanced at the place where your body is uncomfortable, but not in panic mode. Observe your reactions. You are safe, but your mind is reacting on the edge of terror. See if you can separate yourself from the emotional response. What is your mind saying to you? Are there mini-klaxons screaming? Do you tremble? What images or thoughts come up?

7) Now...speed up your breathing until this diminishes. What is your mind saying now? Slow it down again. Go back and forth, tip-toeing back and forth across this line.

If you stop labeling this emotional response as "fear" you will find a feeling that is not just primary to fear, but as we'll discover next time, is also part of the sexual response.

Guess what? You've just opened the door to a fascinating internal world. See you next time!


No comments: