These pictures weren’t chosen randomly. They’re (very cropped non-explicit) pictures from the 1975 Hustler Magazine pictorial spread that motivated the white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin to shoot and paralyze the infamous porn publisher Larry Flynt. Flynt died this week after a long life of being disruptive, professionally lewd, and unapologetically doing his thing (like it or not). The news of his death made me think of this spread, and Larry being shot and living the rest of his days in a wheelchair, never ceasing to advocate against censorship and for freedom of all forms of expression. The spread enraged Franklin because it depicted a young white woman being sexual with a young black man. Compared to other content in Hustler, the spread is very tasteful photographically. But the interracial depiction was just too much.
*Note – Larry Flynt is not my hero. And much pornography is a kind of violence toward women. The fight against systematic oppression of women and patriarchy is not the repression of healthy sexuality. There is a difference between erotica and pornography and the trigger potential of using Hustler images is not lost on me. Read on.
Sex is a very charged topic (to say the least). Many of us have a split-screen relationship with sex – kind of like we do with God. These two three letter words cause more drama than just about anything.
Sex is taboo in polite society, but it is the procreative source of society itself. Explicit sexual imagery is heavily regulated, censored, and banned, but non-explicit sexual imagery is omnipresent in advertising, social media – even in the news. Of course I’m speaking mainly of heteronormative sex. Homoerotic content – or erotic depictions of older people or disabled people – these represent whole other levels of “too much” for most of polite society. It’s so bizarre. And it’s no wonder we’re so jammed up in our sexuality. Sex is everywhere but real sex is nowhere.
It really is like God in many ways. God and religious crap is all over the place and causing so many world events and responsible for all kinds of human oppression, but “real God” – like real authentic spiritual experience is relatively rare.
Sex is also like God in the way its earnest mention is taboo. Imagine saying “I really love God and want more of God’s love in my life!” to someone besides your pastor or spiritual advisor. Now imagine saying “I love sex and want to have much more sex in my life!” to anyone aside from your closest confidant. Now imagine making it specific “I love oral sex, or anal sex, or rough, gentle, kinky or gay sex and want more of it.” This kind of declaration is hard even for lovers to say to each other. It would also be hard to tell a lover “I want less sex with you”. Explosive. Too much.
As It Is There, So It Is Elsewhere
I once worked with a teacher who was fond of saying “how you do anything is how you do everything”. In the Shiva Sūtra, there is an aphorism that states:
यथा तत्र तथान्यत्र॥१४॥
Yathā tatra tathānyatra||14||
As there, so elsewhere.
Our contraction and expansion “spiritually” translates to the expansion and contraction in all areas of our lives. Our hangups, our wounding, our exploration and freedom in our sexuality isn’t just about our sexuality. The energy that is tied up in our sexuality is very akin to the energy that is tied into our creativity and our spirituality. It’s so crazy-making that in most “spiritual” and religious systems, sex is a verboten element. And it’s also no wonder that sex, sex scandals, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct is at the heart of so many downfalls of spiritual teachers and religious movements. When we look at our “spiritual” selves, our angelic selves, we must not skip over our animal selves, our existential selves. Our spirituality and sexuality don’t need to live in different time zones. To be healthy and happy, it’s important that we have all of this open and free and conscious and healed and intentional.
Kundalinī Shakti and Sex
This month we’re focusing on the all-powerful inner power known as Kundalinī Shakti. In this week’s Monday Masterclass, the second in a three part series about Kundalinī Shakti, will delve into the connection between our spiritual power, our sexual power, and our creative power.
These are all divinely and profoundly interconnected and each is an essential element in our pursuit of a robust and holistic human life. We all have sexual healing and reclamation to do, we all can expand our creative powers. The Kundalinī Shakti within us is the key to these movements while it’s also healing the divide in us between ourselves and our true divine nature.
In these Monday Masterclasses, we’re reclaiming and redefining the ancient universal principle of Kundalinī. It’s not a “yoga brand” and really has nothing to do with the controversial and problematic movement started by Yogi Bhajan and 3HO.
If you want to watch last week’s class first just let me know. Each class is 75-90 minutes and includes dharma talk and guided meditation, as well as frank, no BS discussion.
PAY WHAT YOU CAN.
Mondays 2/8, 2/15, 2/22: 10 am PST.
Come to one or all.
All sessions recorded for playback.
Signup info is below.