July 24, 2004

Spiritual Eroticism

I drove to Pittsburgh and stayed the two weeks in order to peruse my Varnastrama Journals, now in The Professor’s care, the son of a (expletive deleted)! I photocopied sections to bring back to Lancaster with me because I wanted to look back at the spiritual component that runs through my sexuality as evidenced in those journals. You see, dear (new) journal, I think that most of us have a spiritual strand that runs through our sexuality whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or heterosexual. In our culture it is not proper to think of our sexuality as containing a spiritual component, much less having experiences that are spiritual when we have sex. At the same time, I have often thought -- this might be disturbing to some Christian persons -- that the “Martyrdom of Sebastian” by Antonello da Messina demonstrates a spiritual ecstasy based in pain that resonates with (perhaps more appropriately, projects) sexually erotic tensions. In fact, when I searched Google for the image, I turned up a series of art works that implies a tradition that includes erotic tension to the point of being denied access to some of the images without a requisite password. Additionally, I believe that one who lacks the spiritual component in his or her sexuality is not quite human.


Martyrdom of Sebastian

This last demands the understanding that I separate the terms “spiritual” and “religious,” as I should. The terms “religious,” and “spiritual” are related, but are not synonymous. Spiritual feelings and understanding can pertain to any religious practice. So, it is possible to be spiritual without practicing a particular religion.

I have touched on this subject in the past, for instance on September 7, 2003, when I wrote about my love for both Rebecca and Peter in the entry titled, “What’s That Have To Do With Love Anyway?” I wrote more specifically about “Love, Spirituality, and Sex” on September 9, 15, 19, 21, and 23, 2003. The section quoted below is from my journal entry dated September 9, 2003.

To clarify my thoughts about sex - in this case, having it - It does consume one’s physical and emotional person at the time. I’ve even been transported outside self-awareness by incredibly good sex. That is, at the moment immediately before and during climax I have lost the sense of ego. During such an orgasm, the “I” does not exist for seconds. Strangely, those seconds are empty. I can not describe them for there is nothing to describe. At such moments, sex has approached the spiritual. Perhaps this is what some persons of the fundamentalist persuasion are fearful of. Heaven forbid that sex isn’t just for procreation. Not only can it be fun, but it can be spiritual as well. Oh, and an old queer man has discovered the spiritual part. Egads!

* Even More Boys in Fine Arts, “http://kevinclain.20m.com/moreboys.html,” (Saturday, July 24, 2004, 8:58 A.M. EDT)
I will find other images from the visual arts that resonate with this idea about erotic spirituality and use them for each entry on the topic, dear Journal.

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