Spirituality and Sensuality: Nature's Lessons
I have coined a new term: maxecstas. It refers to the height of spiritual and sensual experience. Spirituality and sensuality have more in common than many admit, and in nature we'll see luscious beauty that effervesces with a profound spiritual meaning. From American Natives using peyote to achieve transcendent states of mind to the Romantic search for extremes of feeling as a way to achieve high spiritual awareness, sensuality has been used as a gateway to spirituality and to the magickal place of sentient life where the two intertwine.
Spirit without body is ghost, and body without spirit is robot. But the intersecting set between the sensual and the spiritual is the body of life; and many areas of intersection are not where one would expect them to be. It is not a triangle going over another triangle with predictable placement; instead the set is disjunct and consists of many small but not exclusive areas of intersection. Thus, some life can be had in areas that have more spirituality than sensuality, and in other areas where sensuality is the greater. The more intense the sensuality or the spirituality, the more the area is conducive to life. Similarly, in many cases, the more intense either the sensuality or the spirituality, the greater the other as well.
The trees have many levels of intersection. Some (such as roots and stem) are harder, others (such as leaves) are softer. Each has within itself both a function and a meaning. Leaves, stem and roots all are there to do their jobs. But with paying attention it becomes possible to see something more: Spiritual lessons that are encoded in each and that may have relevance to human life.
A tree needs to have strong roots and strong trunk in order to survive. Similarly it needs to have gentler sections - the leaves - to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar and thus to continue the flowering of the tree. The seed is tiny and deeply buried but contains the DNA for the whole structure, and where and how it got there means everything for whether or not it will germinate. And nuts, cones and fruits that the tree produces are of course the path into the future - path that is encoded in a small and young bit of biomass that, once again, depending on where and when it reaches the ground, will either grow a new tree or become an indiscriminate addition to soil.
Similar spiritual lessons exist in behavior of animals - another part of nature. The lions, the tigers, the bears, the dolphins, the wolves, and further on, all have different ways of doing things, and all of them work. We see Muslim-style polygamous patriarchial households among lions and single-working-mom model among tigers. We see the behavior of bonobos being predictable according to the Game Theory. The species existing in nature all have vast differences among each other, and yet they manage to remain in place without waging wars of extermination among each other. If nature is smart enough to do this - to achieve this vast diversity and co-existence - then how much more so should man.
Distinctness is just as important when it exists among people as it is in nature. Different people have different things to contribute, and their propensities and their qualities all add to the world. People who are like one another will fail to see what each other doesn't see and will fail to understand what each other does not understand. Whereas with a meaningful distinctness we will see people with all manner of understanding enriching each other's comprehension of things and coming up with much more informed analyses and much more informed solutions.
The people who see sensuality in a low light don't generally achieve spiritual awareness either. Imagine how hard it will be, for example, to appreciate beauty in nature if one believes that the world is fallen. Whereas when one opens his heart to spiritual experience and the rest of himself to sensual experiences, one has access to two ways that heigths of maxecstas are realized, which two paths then feed into each other to achieve more than either would be easily able to achieve by itself.
The biggest obstacle to that is of course the beliefs that want to claim spirituality and sensuality to be things hostile to one another; and it is these people that have destroyed the best spiritual accomplishments that have through human history taken place. Whether it be the Muslims destroying the Pala Kingdom that practiced tantra, or the Christians converting and subjugated the Pacific Islanders who practiced unbridled sensuality, the separators fought against any practice in which spirituality and sensuality are combined. But thanks to contemporary rights and liberties, it is possible for an individual today to take part in practices that existed among the unifiers of spirituality and sensuality. And in doing this the white culture is enriched with wisdom not its own and one that can solve a lot of problems associated with the white people's traditions, from anhedonia to stress.
The civilizations that believe nature to belong to man and the civilizations that believe man to belong to nature are both part-right. Man and nature belong to each other. Even the most anti-natural people have trees in their yards and grass on their lawns, and people will continue to make demands for preservation of nature and for transition to technologies that are less destructive and less polluting, because man needs nature and loves nature as his past.
In fact, many of the solutions that have been invented in places that see themselves as being above nature are overkill. There is no reason for there to be for example celibate monks, priests or eunuchs; the nature has already provided for that through homosexuality. With homosexuality, some specimen fulfil their sexual needs in a way that does not produce offspring, freeing these specimen to dedicate all their energies to tasks that benefit the species or the tribe. With there being homosexuality, who needs celibacy? But the anti-natural ideologies that see nature as fallen do not give nature credit, nor do they get to reap its gifts.
Spiritual lessons can be gleaned from anywhere in the universe, in the same way as the universal laws can be observed in their effects from every place in the universe. With nature and sensuality, there is a vast storehouse of lessons for us that can be useful in any number of areas of endeavor or behavior. Collect these lessons, pass on these lessons, and then the meaning will continue even if the species in which these lessons are contained were to die out. That is the least we owe the future generations of humans who stand to inherit the earth.