An old medieval axiom says “the corruption of the best is the worst.”
While our last essays have been celebrating our power of Eros as wisdom and our experience of sexuality as an experience of God along with other natural ecstasies, it is also evident that sexuality can be abused and abusive. The brighter the light, the greater the shadow and our glorious and powerful sexuality can become a weapon or a tool to dominate or even abuse others.
When our sexuality becomes less than a mutual exchange of love or friendship it can demean ourselves or others. Of course our second chakras are very special and amazing since through them we bring new human beings into the world—what an awesome possibility! Through them we share our deepest Christ-selves, Buddha selves, with another as we have indicated in the previous essay.
The news from the me-too movement, from the recent revelations of billionaire Epstein’s abuse of young girls, from the sorry tales of priestly pedophilia and its cover-up by the hierarchy, all bear testimony to the dark side of sexuality and how important it is that we be vigilant and self aware as well as protective of the most vulnerable among us. It is important also to stand with sexual minorities be they gay, lesbian, trans, intersex, or nonbinary, for homophobia too is a powerful and dangerous disease that often ends in violence towards others.
It is also important that as individuals and as a culture we find a balance between masculine and feminine energies and this balance is another way of preventing sexual abuse and hatred of others.
Consider for example the following teachings about sexuality from various feminist philosophers:
Be one’s own subject and not a doormat.
Create peace, not war.
Experience Divinity’s immanence, not distance or transcendence exclusively.
Become an agent, become empowered
Be Life-oriented (Eros), not death oriented (Thanatos).
Be creative and birth-oriented, not stagnant.
Be nurturing, not noncaring.
Consider healing as a value, do not be value-free.
Be mystical, not just rational.
Let solidarity be your goal, not obedience.
Let Love be mutual cooperation and sharing, not coercion.
Be wild and innately spiritual in your center, not powerless.
Be playful and not overly serious. Fun can be a virtue.
These lessons from feminist teachers clearly apply to men as well as women. They are applicable in our many expressions of Eros and our many dimensions of sexuality.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 243-247.
Banner Image: Historic photo of The Block on Baltimore Street. Photographer unknown. Posted in Reddit.
Queries for Contemplation
Can you, whether man or woman, incorporate all the teachings above from feminists into your personal philosophy of love and relationship and love-making? If not, what is holding you back? What are the biggest obstacles to you doing this?
Can we as parents and elders and as a culture incorporate these values into our world views and actions? If not, what is holding us back?
Fox makes the point that religion has so often oversold the concept of “sin” that it has left us without language or power to combat evil. Through comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.