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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Sex and Spirituality
Article ID: 12993
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 10th. 2009
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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately as to the nature of faith. Not just faith in general but specifically, my faith. What makes me a Pagan rather than a Christian? I’ve come to know Christ as another version of the dying and rising sacrificial king that is repeated in the stories of hundreds of Gods that came before him. I like the parables that he told to people about how to be better people. And I especially like Joseph Campbell.
More than any authority on myth and legend, he is my main man. In his book “The Power of Myth” he talks about having life experiences that will resonate with our inner most being to feel the rapture of being alive. Myths are clues to the experience of life. He told of Jesus being an example of all people seeking their own individualization. Jesus is an example of one’s own self-transcendence. *
And I feel that way every time I go into circle by myself or with friends. When I seek to be better than I am, I understand the example of Christ in the mythological symbolism. I look to commune with my Gods to understand myself and what makes me who I am. Jesus looks to become one with Deity and he invites us to do the same. I get that.
I’ve also come to a better understanding of the Anti-Deity in the Christian mythos as well. The works of Dante and Milton transformed Lucifer into the perversion of Pan/Dionysus/Herne. (And whatever other God with horns you can think of) Before this, he was simply a whisper in the ear. A stray thought that told you to do the bad thing, but in reality could be easily ignored. This lifted a weight off my shoulder as I was taught that the Devil was always out to get me. He was a bogeyman hiding in the closet.
But I had more to overcome than just the false dichotomy. Part of my anger came from the sense of personal betrayal I’d felt time and time again. “How does a good and loving God allow bad things to happen to good people?” The question crossed my mind as a Christian more than once. I was a good person. Why did bad stuff happen to me?
The revelation was harsh and important. Firstly, I’d given the Christian God too much power to be able to be limited. Secondly, if the Lord had too much credit for all the things that happen then I’d excused myself out of any responsibility for what happens or how I react to it. And thirdly, Bad stuff happens. You can’t help it. Something bad is going to happen and we are to have to deal with it.
With that reset in my brain, I let Jehovah off the hook. He wasn’t to blame for all the horror we see. And along with that, he didn’t get credit for all seemingly ‘good things’. That is to say, I don’t believe in miracles. I believe in magic, but not miracles. (That is a subject for a later post.)
“So, why” I ask myself, “if I’ve overcome these feeling of anger toward the Christian God, (and the Church) do I not revere and worship him? If I’ve been able retool Christianity to work with my own view of the cosmos, why can’t I give Jesus and his crew a little credit?”
The answer is crude, direct, and can’t be worked around.
I DO NOT WORSHIP GODS THAT DON’T HAVE SEX!
It’s that simple. In the stories of all the Gods I hold sacred: men and women have sex, women and women have sex, men and men have sex, and others come together and have sex as well. Some get pregnant and have children. Some appear in the form of otherworldly creatures to entice a lover. Some betray their tribe after good sex. Some go on to make it an annual celebration.
Sex is a common theme in all the mythologies that have touched me. The Gods that I worship and pay homage to (whether I consider them to be actual personalities or Jungian archetypes or even creatures of my own imagination) share this common trait: They all have sex. They do it a lot. They consider it sacred. They encourage their followers to do it.
If you’ve got a God that’s not had any nookie, I’m not interested.
And that’s the sad fact when I reconsider Jesus. Christ loved. He loved with all his heart. He loved enough to heal, teach, share, and eventually die in service of love. But he was not a sexual being. Apart from the apocryphal Gospels that have turned up in the last century, no part of the bible tells of Jesus getting “jiggy with it”. This is what we were taught when I went to Catholic school. And it may be true that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” (or abstinence) but there is no mention of Christ being intimate with anyone in any of the Gospels. Nor is there any word of it in later parts of the New Testament.
The majority of Christians (that I have met) believe that Jesus went from birth to death, perfect. He was uncorrupted by the sins of man and the sins of the flesh. He was a virgin from a virgin birth and went to the cross in a virgin death.
My sexuality is part of my spirituality. A gift bestowed on me and all of us to reach for the part of self that become closer to God. Or more specifically, that allows us to become one with God. In the company of someone you love (even just yourself) sex is beautiful. It’s trusting, open, fulfilling, and true. It allows us to be vulnerable and strong at the same time.
To me, sex is the center where the soul meets Deity. Where male meets female, God meets Goddess, the two halves are made whole. And this is not dependent on the gender of the participants but the willingness to share and work towards that oneness.
Also, sex is magic. Very few things are more magical than giving and receiving the height of all pleasure. And if sex is mixed with love, you can achieve anything!
*Philosophical Comment on Thought of Joseph Campbell---- Michael Mireau
Location: Bloomington, Illinois
Author's Profile: To learn more about STAG - Click HERE
Bio: I am a pagan of 25 years currently living in Central Missouri. I've been lucky enough to have learned from many people of varying faiths. I don't like labels as they tend to pigeon-hole and limit the understanding of what someone hold sacred. When asked, I say that I practice "Epicurean Hedonism". :)
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