“The goal of sex is ecstasy.”
Update: I am a 40-year old life coach and team trainer from Amsterdam. I am currently on a spiritual quest around the world: the quest for the 21st Century Warrior. During my stay in Baghdad, Iraq where I gave seminars on inspiring leadership, I received note from my girlfriend that she broke up with me. It broke my heart. But just like in myths and fairy tales, a mysterious helper appeared on the stage. He told me to see a certain movie.
Wow.. I am impressed. I don’t even know where to start. I see things fall into place at a dazzling speed. It is 12.30 P.M. and I am energized and sweating for no apparent physical reason.
I just saw a movie called Bliss, it came out in ’97 and was directed by Lance Young. The story is about a young couple. The man loves his woman dearly but she is emotionally troubled. Their relationship is challenged. They go to therapy but without too much success. Then, the man finds out his wife is cheating on him.
It turns out that the guy she’s ‘sleeping’ with is a sex therapist called Balthazar (played by Terence Stamp). Initially the husband wants to beat the sh*t out the therapist for f*cking his wife. Later, as the therapist explains his work, he becomes his student, devoted to heal his woman.
There are so many layers that speak to me. The movie explains what a tantric path is about, how sex can be a path of healing. Sex is a way to express ourselves but also a moment where we suppress a lot.
For the first time I see that it is not only preferable to be free in bed because it is more pleasurable and fun; but that it can offer a way to healing on an essential level.
Balthazar teaches: “Conscious sex is the greatest healer there is. The goal of sex is not orgasm; the goal is ecstasy. Ecstasy heals the unconscious. Anyone that doesn’t totally accept his body can never experience ecstasy and can never enable another to experience ecstasy. Of course you can change your body but you can better change how you feel about your body.”
It opens up a whole new world to me. I consider myself an enthusiastic and passionate lover (and pretty skillful too, I dare to say). But I have never been really satisfied with my body although I know that from an objective athletic perspective, I have an excellent body. Of course, coming from love, all bodies are perfect.
I don’t feel that. But as long as I don’t feel that, I will never experience ecstasy nor will I be able to enable my woman to experience ecstasy. I must learn that. As a descendant from the acid house generation I am obliged to spread ecstasy with great generosity.
What also resonates is how the man gets stuck in his devotion to heal his wife and realizes that he has to heal himself first. He must realize his own woundedness and learn to love himself. His homework is to make love to himself. Because if you can’t make love to yourself how can you make love to another?
But making love to yourself is something else than jerking off, I can see that. And I can tell you that I never made love to myself. Just the idea gives me a weird feeling. Which means, I have a long way to go.
It blows my mind that until now my sexuality never was a part of my spirituality. How could I not see that? It was connected to love, health and happiness but not to spirituality and healing.
And I didn’t see it because I never held it for possible that bliss is our birthright; I believed we shouldn’t hunt for exceptional states. Now I am not so sure anymore. I see there is a lot of fear and shame around being free.
Notwithstanding his love, efforts and progress in the bedroom the couple breaks up. And it’s a painful break up too. The newfound intimacy becomes frightening, the fear of intimacy starts fighting back. We all have this fear of intimacy. The whole teaching of my French zen teacher Genno Roshi is based on intimacy.
What is zen? To become intimate with oneself. We can’t. We lie to ourselves and we lie to others about ourselves all the time. So I have a spiritual practice that speaks about intimacy often but I never connected that intimacy with the intimacy of the bedroom. As if there were different kinds of intimacy. Of course not.
I don’t want to ruin the whole movie. It is an intense movie and I highly recommend it. I don’t want to suggest that the movie gave me hope, either. I was not left any space for hoping of healing from my previous relationship. But I do know that if I don’t address this intimacy issue and don’t integrate my sexuality into my spiritual practice, I will remain stuck and I’ll keep recreating the same patterns in my relationships.
And I do feel that this has the potential to change my life.
Editor: Andrea B.
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