Saturday, May 06, 2006

Information Request

[Image is from Integral Naked]

I am beginning research for an extended series of posts on sexuality in Buddhism and integral sexuality. If any of you have information or can point me toward a book or website that might be helpful, please leave me a note in the comments or email me from the sidebar.

I think that as we look at integral relationships, how we view sexuality must change accordingly. I also believe that the Buddhist stance on sexuality is the product of Iron Age thinking (Red to Blue transition) and needs to be adjusted for the dawning Integral Age (emerging Yellow and Turquoise).

We do not lose our bodies simply because we transcend ego. Further, I believe that sexuality can be a vital tool toward our efforts to transcend the ego -- if approached with the proper intent.

AND, the big AND, even for those of us who want to use sexuality in its higher forms, sexuality can still be FUN. Part of the wonder of working toward second tier consciousness is that it allows us access to all the lower memes as we deem appropriate. So one day we might come together with our partner in pure presence, just sharing the energy of sexual exchange with no goal, no need. But the next time we might choose to experience the raw animal energy of sexual exchange, complete with power hierarchies. It's all available to us in an integral model.

So now you know my agenda. Any help you can provide will be deeply appreciated and (if needed) highly confidential.


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Anonymous said...

A very interesting topic! I don't know how deeply you care to research the topic (or in which directions you care to go) but I can make a few general suggestions and at least one specific one.

Most of us are pretty clear on sexuality as it's view by the lower memes (red, blue, and orange) but there's been some extremely sophisticated inquiry done into sexuality by green meme writers. Foucault, for example, pointed out that our notions of sexuality are historically grounded (e.g., heterosexuality and homosexuality, as identities, came into being in the 19th century). I just don't think one can write on this topic seriously ("quadratically"--can I use that word to mean "with respect to the four quadrants"?) without a strong sense of the historicity of sexuality and sexual identity. and the implications of that. Now, having raised the issue, you're on your own as to seeking out a specific book!

One extremely eye-opening book for me (a biography, of sorts, of the Indian saint Ramakrishna) was Kali's Child by Jeffery Kripal. This book dealt in the most spiritually and intellectually engaged manner imaginable with the intersection of sexuality and spirituality and how they compromise, pollute, empower, and enhance one another (within a tantric framework). The book does not treat Integral relationships per se, but I think it can be hard to grasp in an immediate sense how the funkiness of human sexuality relates to sublimity of God: this book was illuminating.

I hope this helps some.

Kai in NYC

Tom Flowers said...

You may be interested in knowing how Marty perceives his sexuality . . .

william harryman said...

Thanks Kai,

Yeah, I'll have to look at the history a bit as well. Foucault is a bit of a challenge, but there are some good resources online. I can find the needed book that way.

I'd like to hear what you think on the subject -- any aspect of it that speaks to you -- either in the comments here or by email. I really find your point of view valuable in thinking about these things.