Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Very Partial Truth

If you're a gay or bi man who's never put your arms around a two-foot phallus under the open sky, I suggest you give it a try. You might be surprised what it brings up. So to speak.

I'm not being coy in saying that I have no idea what it could call forth in you. But I'll go so far as to suggest it may prove powerful.
If you're doing it somewhere you might be seen by others--like the public park where I lead a (relatively discreet) Lingam Puja ritual about once a month--it may elicit a very understandable unease. ("Oh, my God," a friend told me, recounting how he'd felt the first time he attended, with a succession of dog walkers passing on the footpath near the oak under which we gather. "I'm going to fly apart now.")
It may be a way of saying no to shame.
You may be repulsed, if it represents for you yet another expression of commercialized gay male culture's obsession with cock size and impersonal sex for its own sake.
Or it may feel like you're embracing an energy that informs your whole life, and that somehow is far, far vaster and more substantial than your own sexual experience, an energy that flows though you and unites you with all of nature, with your male ancestors, with your brothers, friends and lovers, with your sons and your sons' sons, with the sons of the men you love, that offers healing and regeneration and reassurance of your place in the world.
You may feel that, paradoxically, to embrace this energy fully prepares you better to honor and admire and relate honestly and equally to the miracle of women's sexuality, their bodies and their experience.
I can't tell you how you'll react, but I can share how I reacted last week. This is a very partial truth, not the truth for women, not the truth for trans folk, not the truth for all men. Perhaps the truth for you, and perhaps not.
Bending down to embrace the Lingam set up in my garden, a realization blossomed that had long remained curled as a tight bud in my soul. My penis was my lifeline as an adolescent, at the very time when I felt nothing but shame over my flowering sexuality, when I thought of it as an affliction and fought endlessly to pretend it didn't exist. Without my cock, without the longings of my body and its capacity for pleasure, declaring itself in every erection, in every wet dream, in every ejaculation after hours of edging as I tried to hold back, my soul would have imploded to a withered singularity. I would have become nothing more than my superego, a shell of repression surrounding emptiness.
My cock saved me. And its energy and reality was and is an energy and reality that's pulsed through the whole length of human history, and back beyond that to the beginnings of sexual reproduction hundreds of millions of years ago. It's the miracle of my father's orgasm that initiated my existence. It's tied from earth to heaven, from the male human to the Divine, by its representation in the phallic gods of every tradition. Egyptian Min masturbating the cosmos into existence. Hindu Shiva endlessly ejaculating the Ganges. Roman Priapus watching over the garden with his comically outsized erection. The Sacred Cock of Jesus, sanctifying men's embodiment and drawing it up into Divinity--as God's Holy Wisdom, the Womb of Creation, divinizes as well women's experience in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Cernunnos of the Celts, horned god of the forest. Pan with the flute he plays and the flute that juts out between his furry legs. Quetzlcoatl, the Feathered Serpent of the Aztecs.
This energy is within me. I am the bearer of this energy. I want to move through the world as the bearer of this energy. I want to embrace it, embody it.  I want to sit straight in meditation, stand straight in walking, my spine an erection, my torso a pump and conduit to draw the Kundalini energy of the Goddess from the earth and pour it out for the healing of the world,  the crown of my head a meatus shooting metaphysical semen into the universe. I want my seed to fall as an offering to the earth. In the cycle of longing and release, I want to embrace change and the impermanence of all things.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Prayer on Awakening

Modeh ani l'fanecha ru'ach chai v'kayam.

Thankful I am before you, the Abiding Spirit.

When I say modah (thankful), I connect with my sense of gratitude. Then ani (I) with my sense of self. I'm the one that's saying this prayer. Then l'fanecha (before You), and suddenly it's not about me. It's about You, God, the One is whose Presence I am. And so on. I'll go through each prayer like that and that's how my heart is able to connect. It's coming from inside me. It's not intellectual. I embody the prayer. I allow myself to say, then really experience, gratitude.

Rabbi Zari M. Weiss.
Photograph by the late Oscar Wolfman.