Monday, February 22, 2021

If Not Now, When?

 “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”—Hillel

“To begin with oneself, but not to end with oneself; to start from oneself, but not to aim at oneself; to comprehend the self, but not to be preoccupied with oneself. . .”—Martin Buber

I’ve been thinking again, lately, about how Power works. About who holds it; about the experience of being oppressed; about the experience of being an oppressor—because like most of us, I’m both at once.  

As a kid, I was mercilessly queer-bated; over the decades since, I’ve had my life threatened more than once on the streets of a large city by homophobic teenagers; been drummed out of a congregation of devout, upstanding Lutherans while its pastor stood impotently to the side; listened most of my life to right-wing bigots drape their incitement to discrimination and violence in the veil of religious freedom; had the full advantages of the legal recognition of my primary relationships denied me. 

I’ve also enjoyed most of the privileges of being a white cisgendered male, sometimes without thinking much about it. I’ve caught myself—or been called on—making thoughtlessly sexist remarks. I’ve worn clothes made in sweatshops by people whose lives I’ve barely given any thought to at all. I’ve contributed to the needless suffering of countless animals by buying industrially produced meat. I’ve paid my taxes to governments that subsidize ecological rape and pillage and the continuing disenfranchisement of indigenous nations. And on and on.

I struggle to understand how these sides of who I am fit together. I struggle harder in a season when my own religious tradition calls for a process of self-examination—a season that causes me continued discomfort because of the baggage it carries with it. Far too much of Christian practice in Lent ends up being about punitive navel-gazing, about idealizing a purer version of the isolated self. That model of penitence has for centuries done vast damage to members of sexual minorities. I react to it at gut-level by defending my own innocence and pointing instead to what’s wrong with the world.

Francis Spufford suggests that instead of talking about original sin, we pay attention to "the human propensity to fuck things up." Now that I’m thinking about Power, I find myself thinking about how, often even without being aware,  I can thoughtlessly collude in its structures—the very structures that oppress me, and that I claim to oppose because they oppress others. 

And I start to understand differently how to look critically at my own life. The shift is like turning a kaleidoscope. The pieces are still all there. But I can see more easily that what’s wrong within me isn’t  so separate from what’s wrong in the world. If I long for a better world, helping to create it is tied up with building a better version of myself. Learning to say a louder “no” to the abuse of Power in the world means taking stock of the ways I say yes to it within myself.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

I'll Meet You There

Have you ever tried your hand at writing erotic fiction or poetry?

What did it feel like, seeing your imagination come to sexy life on the page? Have you shared the results with friends? Have you gone as far as joining an erotic writers' group? If you have, maybe you agree with me that there couldn't be a better description of the experience than some famous words of the Persian poet Rumi. 

Rumi wrote (according to one popular translation), "There is a field beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there."

Maybe we'll discover that your fantasy life and mine look more alike than we'd expected. Maybe we'll both be surprised at the number of people in the room who like to imagine getting tied up. OK, the mysterious stranger does it to you, and my daddy does it to me, and the woman in the UPS uniform does it to somebody else. But still.

Or maybe somebody in our circle has uses for ripe avocados that wouldn't occur to either of us in a million years. Maybe my fetish for men in cassocks is, like, the biggest turn-off imaginable for you. And the donkey suits--well, let's save the donkey suits for later.

But we came into this with a promise to hold safe, non-judgmental space for each other. A promise not to "yuck anybody else's yum." We'll write, we'll read to each other, we'll listen, we'll witness and be witnessed. We'll cross the bridge to the world of the other, carrying only our passports in a clear plastic bag--as couples therapist Hedy Schleiffer would say.

We'll learn things about ourselves that we haven't fully known. Or that didn't seem completely real, because we've never before shared them with a roomful of trusted companions. Now I see them, and you see them too. Because everybody in our circle sees them, I see them differently. And seeing them differently may be like seeing them for the first time.

Maybe we'll even begin to see, at least a little, through each other's eyes. Maybe what our friend wants to do with ripe avocados, and the way they describe it, pushes out the envelope of our own erotic worlds and enriches them. Maybe my fantasy of getting tied up will help you feel your way into how that could be adventurous and exciting, or reassuring and safe, in a way you've never been able to understand before. Not part of your world, but an interesting, perhaps even rewarding place to visit in mine.

We've got a whole banquet of possibilities before us. A fantasy you've never shared before. A real-life memory I can't stop rehearsing. A piece of fan fiction: Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway getting it on in the shutltlecraft, or Harry Potter learning a new spell with his wand. A sci-fi tale of what happens when people have sex in zero gravity. Historical fiction. A recently defeated President of the United States arriving in hell, assigned to blowing a former mayor of New York for all eternity.

Drawing on our erotic imaginations as a creative resource in community, we get to play with the boundaries between our most private, defended selves and a world that's undeniably different from us, but ready to witness, ready to welcome us with respect, curiosity, and celebration. We can name our fantasies as just fantasies, things to play with rather than something that threatens to take us over. Along the way, we learn to take responsibility for our own reactions to what others have written as our reactions and nothing more.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's best-known and most-loved comedies. It's about lovers eloping into the forest and getting enchanted. And it's often thought of as a cute play for kids in middle school to put on. But it's richer and darker and funnier and scarier and way, way edgier than those sixth-grade productions ever get at. It's about nice young people from respectable, repressive families getting lost and confused under the full moon, and faeries mixing it up with donkeys--yes, with donkeys--and everybody wanting to have sex with the wrong people. Who finally turn out to be the right people.

Out beyond all notions of yuck and yum, there is a moonlit forest. I will meet you there.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Morning After the Long Nightmare

The day of the Inauguration in Washington, I felt like we'd all just awakened from a four-year nightmare. On that bright morning, Amanda Gorman--along with the others who spoke and performed--embodied the promise of an America where inclusion and equity might prevail, after all.

The ten days since then have made it clear that the flames of hatred and division fanned by a vindictive, unqualified narcissist throughout his shameful time in office are far from extinguished.

Just as in November 2016, this is no time to retreat into a shell of private serenity and personal tranquillity. Neither is it a time to lash out in retaliation. 

It remains a time to recognize that the only way to heal the soul is to repair the world, and the only way to repair the world is to heal the soul. The most authentic foundation for action is contemplation, as Franciscan Richard Rohr continues to remind us. And the litmus test that our spiritual practice isn’t mere self-delusion is conversely that it bears fruit in the world.

It remains a time to deepen our awareness through spiritual practice that our lives aren't restricted to our small, isolated selves alone. They're nourished by the web of connections through which our life flows in and out of us, in and out of each other, in and out of all creatures. It remains a time to go on building and sustaining the web of connections that have kept hope alive through dark years that we’ve already faced.

It remains a time to donate to organizations that fight for the dignity of the marginalized. Till we can’t afford to give more.

It remains a time to volunteer.

It remains a time to help settle refugees and to protect them from xenophobia.

It remains a time to stand in solidarity with the victims of hate crimes.

It remains a time to work for progressive causes at more local levels, as Congress promises to continue in much the same dysfunction that it's wallowed in for years. 

It remains a time for queer men of spirit to recognize that what’s done to our Muslim brothers and sisters, our Hispanic brothers and sisters, our black brothers and sisters, our impoverished brothers and sisters, our trans brothers and sisters, our indigenous brothers and sisters, is done to us, and to act accordingly. It remains a time to remember that we are the guardians of the Earth who is our Mother and of whom we remain a part, and to act accordingly.

It remains a time to remember that whenever we make love, we win.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Taking the First Step


"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

--Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hope and the Flesh

Every four or five weeks since the summer, a group has gathered online for a Heart and Lingam Circle. In the midst of the pandemic, we've gone on buidling erotic community with the creative energy, imagination, and playfulness that queer men have manifested through times of oppression, health crises, anxiety, and isolation since--well, since queer men have been queer. (I send the invitation out a couple of weeks in advance. If you'd like to be on the blind copies list, let me know by e-mail.)

We've taken as a touchstone the words of James Broughton: "The penis is the exposed tip of the heart, the wand of the soul." What happens when (instead of just getting off online) we use our erotic energy to expand our consciousness, and to speak and listen more fully from the heart? What happens when we bring our heart energy to our erotic expression?

Can masturbating together, while we share the traditional structure of a heart circle in virtual space, make us more open-hearted, more compassionate and generous toward one another and toward ourselves?

We've found out that it can, and does. Without being able to reach out through the screen to touch one another physically, we've reached through the screen, and across continents and time zones, to touch each other's hearts. It's been sweet and rich. And sexy. Did I mention sexy?

Still, it's not the physical touch of another's hand. It's not skin on skin--the contact that all primates thrive on, and which we alone of all higher primate species live in want of, even in ordinary times, for the sake of civilization and its discontents.  It's what we can have, for now. Paradoxically, it's brought the gift of connection despite distances that would keep us ever from being able to do this face to face. We aren't just settling for second best. Like everyone whose lives have moved onto the Web since March, we've discovered new modes of community.

It's what's been possible in 2020--a year that nearly all of us will be glad to see the end of. It's a sign of hope, like the final words of the Passover Seder, "Next year in Jerusalem." Like the words of the Passover Seder, not an expression of a desire to move back to what we've known, but forward into something yet to come. A hope lived out with, through, and in our queer flesh.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

At the Return of the Light

The darkness of 2020 has been all-encompassing. 

But the Sun always returns.

A Cernunnos Litany for the Return of the Light

I sit before this altar

in praise of the Horned One.

I light candle flame

in praise of the Horned One.

Before this altar I slip deeper into trance

in praise of the Horned One

become one with my cock

in praise of the Horned One

gaze down into the eye of my cock

in praise of the Horned One

as it points upward toward heaven

in praise of the Horned One

as though gazing into a candle flame

in praise of the Horned One

eye gazing down into eye gazing up an endless circuit

in praise of the Horned One

beholding it from above as the God beholds it from above

in praise of the Horned One

wind the mala around the base of my cock

in praise of the Horned One

touch my chest, awaken my body

in praise of the Horned One

hold the Lingam to my heart

in praise of the Horned One

begin to pass beyond the veil of speech

in praise of the Horned One

lose the power of speech, possessed of breath and animal sound alone

in praise of the Horned One

vow that my seed will be an offering

in praise of the Horned One

after long lingering at ecstasy's edge

in praise of the Horned One

not my seed but seed of the God present in men's flesh

in praise of the Horned One

not my seed but sacrament of the God's presence in my flesh

in praise of the Horned One

to be lovingly, slowly, patiently milked from my body

in praise of the Horned One

to be collected in reverence

in praise of the Horned One

to be poured over the Lingam

in praise of the Horned One

to be drunk

in praise of the Horned One

to be shared with my brothers

in praise of the Horned One

to mark our foreheads and hearts

in praise of the Horned One

to be worn on our skin

in praise of the Horned One

affirming our animal mortality

in praise of the Horned One

celebrating the power of cockpleasure to open the heart

in praise of the Horned One

teaching us humility before the power of Nature

in praise of the Horned One

recalling that beside the Great God abides the Great Goddess--

all praise to them both, together and apart--

Womb of Creation, Cock of Life Longing for Itself--

all praise to them both, together and apart--

Cock whose seed falls into the earth and dies

in praise of the Horned One

Cock whose seed brings forth new life

in praise of the Horned One

Cock whose seed unites all men in one great brotherhood

in praise of the Horned One

Cock whose seed flows through the three worlds

in praise of the Horned One

the realm of this world, of ourselves and our brothers

in praise of the Horned One

the realm of our fathers now departed

in praise of the Horned One

the realm of our sons and  of the heavens and of galaxies not yet born

in praise of the Horned One

Milky Way and great Ganges of cum

in praise of the Horned One


Friday, December 4, 2020

Rinzai and Sōtō

One of my all-time favorite New Yorker cartoons is a drawing of two Buddhist monks sitting next to one another, one young, smooth, and puzzled of face, the other wrinkled and clearly cranky, snapping at his junior, “Nothing happens next. This is it.” 

The further you burrow down into the joke, the further its petals will open out to embrace you. I keep coming back to it because I feel in myself, all the time, the urge to find out What Happens Next. Somewhere deep down inside, I’m after the next big splash, the next peak experience, the next shattering revelation. When things just move along as usual, I easily take on the puzzled, naive expression of the younger monk–and in doing so, run the risk of missing that what’s needful is right under my nose. (In fact, probably is my nose.)

In the midst of the Covid winter of our discontent, we're all learning that nothing happens next...

 “This Is It” is a fair approximation of the oversimplified understanding of Zen teaching that’s insinuated itself into North American pop culture over the last couple of generations. But ironically, along with the stress on what’s right in front of us, the discourse of spiritual self-improvement tends to emphasize the big, cathartic, singular experience that will get us there: we’ll fully embrace the ordinary, just as soon as we get our money’s worth out of our Instagram-documented trip to the mountaintop. We want a dramatic opening, a flash of intuition that bowls us over and makes everything different. Then we’ll settle down to accepting that everything’s just the same as it was before–except perfect. 

The paradox of wanting it both ways is like being the young monk and the old monk at the same time. It’s also in a sense the paradox of the relation between the two main schools of Zen Buddhism, Rinzai and Sōtō. It’s Rinzai that long held sway in the American imagination, thanks to the formative influence of D.T. Suzuki. Rinzai is the Zen of long, rigorous training and radical breaks in consciousness, of going nuts over an insoluble riddle and getting hit by your teacher with a stick when you get it wrong, over and over and over again; of the kenshō, the opening, that cuts through illusion and reveals the inherent Buddha-nature of all things as they are. 

Sōtō is the Zen of quiet contemplation, of just sitting by a lake, or in front of a flower, or over a cup of tea. The distinction in Japan is a class-linked distinction: Rinzai was long characterized as the Zen of the samurai; Sōtō was the Zen of ordinary people, of farmers and shopkeepers. 

The Rinzai impulse as it plays out in New Age workshop culture can turn into the macho pyrotechnics of extreme spiritual sports, up to and including incompetently conducted sweat lodges that participants leave feet first. The capitalist appropriation of the Sōtō impulse is people at high-end spas passing around tacky polished stones with words like TRANQUILLITY carved into them. 

Holding space for others as a teacher and a sacred intimate, I work to balance my expectations in one direction or the other. To facilitate a place of calm where people can respond to the still, small voice. But also to make room for the altered consciousness that can come with intense interaction, the jolt of surprise that something profound and exceptional is opening up. The fact is, in striving for either, I’m also playing out the disparate desires I have for my own life.

Monday, November 30, 2020

A Prayer Before Meeting

God be in my ears and in my listening.

God be in my heart and in my loving.

God be in my cock and in my desiring.

God be in my mind and in my understanding.

God be in my lips and in my speaking.

In the name of Creator, Enlivener, and Sustainer.

In the name of Shiva, Shakti, and their endless Embrace.

In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the name of Adonai, Shekinah, and Chesed.

In the name of Mystery, Wisdom, and Compassion.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Moment of Grace

When I was two and a half years old, my mother found me on the kitchen floor, the refrigerator door open behind me, the cottage cheese carton at my side, and its contents slathered all over my face. Smiling up at her, I announced, "I shave."

Her reaction was one of the many reasons I have for deep gratitude toward her, one of the things I wish now, nearly twenty years after her death, that I could thank her for. She responded with utter delight, and then went for the Kodak Brownie camera that documented much of my childhood. (The sense of being on display is decidedly not one of the things for which I'm grateful.)

It could have gone south so easily. If my Aunt Esther had found me instead, there would have been hell to pay.

My mother gifted me that day with a moment of originary grace. With a moment of assurance that it was alright to play, to experiment, to make a mark in the world.

I'm pretty sure that most of us live our lives in a tension between internalized trust in the delight of those around us and internalized fear of their reprisal. The birthright of our own creativity, nestled within the curious, experimental, playful child who still lives inside us, no matter what our age, poised tenuously between loving acceptance and brutal repression.

That tension plays out in our erotic lives. It plays out in our creative lives. We live in hope of the welcoming delight we deserve. We live in fear of the condemnation that could come from stepping out of line. When we gift ourselves with as much compassion as we'd gift a child in front of us; when we give permission to the child within, we soften into spontaneity and joy. And softening into spontaneity and joy, we soften into offering others as well the acceptance and encouragement they need, just as profoundly as we need it ourselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

On a Wall in New York City way of my friend and fellow traveller Fluffy.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020

Day of the Dead

No, not the George Romero movie. 

As I walk around my neighbourhood during one of my favourite times the of the year--when every day the street looks new because of the leaves that have turned colour overnight, or fallen--front yards are sprouting creepshow-style Hallowe'en decorations. Reinforcements of our culture's pervasive belief that life and death are absolute, mutually exclusive opposites. That life and death, or at least death in its daily guise as change, don't continuously permeate one another. Death is hideous, repellent, to be feared and avoided at all costs, those bloody, severed plastic hands hanging from the bush by the sidewalk tell us. On the morning of November 1, when the pumpkins go out with the garbage, we can all go back to the safety of being on this side of the divide. 

What a contrast with the traditions of the Día de Muertos--the Day of All Souls. The veil grows thin, becomes permeable. The dead visit the living, the living visit the dead. Connections are renewed. The dead live on in the ways they've touched our lives. Their life flows through us, even as we live, and will live on when we cross over, in the lives of those we've touched. The dead aren't scary. They're beloved. And we're reminded that we're on our way to join them, as mortal as they are, not to terrify us, but to bring us together.

To be whole ourselves, we need to pass through the veil. We need to remember. We need not to suppress grief for those we've lost, however we've lost them. For some of us, above all and most traumatically to AIDS. Or to violence. They're with us, they're within us.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Welcome to Bhutan

Photos courtesy of the well-travelled Hoppergrass. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A Sutra: The Fivefold Path

When our erotic energy becomes a means of dropping down into heart space, we begin to dissolve the divisions that trick us into believing we're isolated beings. We start to intuit more vividly that our life flows into us from outside, flows through us, flows out again to others. Thanks to the wisdom of our bodies, we start to understand more deeply the infinite web of interconnectedness that gives our life its deep meaning. We dwell in that web, in that web we live and move and have our being. Some of us might choose to call that web God. Others not.

For some, the cultivation of erotic energy becomes itself a spiritual path. For some men--for some, though not for all--it's more specifically a Phallic Path of mindful self-pleasure. Those who have ears, let them hear.

And this Phallic Path then opens into a Fivefold Path.

A path of awareness that time can fold over on itself, space can fold over on itself. That we can be united in love with those far distant, with those we may not have seen face to face in years. This is a shamanic path of consciousness altered by eros, leading from fantasy into Real Presence.

A path of union with those who have gone before us, and with those of generations yet to come. A vision that we are united with them in a universal stream, from which we emerge and into which our lives pour themselves. This is the flow of a Great River through all time and space.

Painting by Philip Gladstone

A path of compassion for all in need of comfort and fulfillment. This is the path of intercessory prayer, of dedicating the merit of our practice to the happiness and healing of others. 

A path of union with the natural world, affirming in joy and humility that we ourselves are part of it. That we arise and flourish and pass on like flowers in the field, like trees sending our roots into the earth, like shoals of fish, like flocks of birds and swarms of dragonflies. We blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree. 

A path of non-duality: I am my penis. I am my hand. I am the conscious attention that brings them together in mindfulness. My penis is not my hand. My hand is not my conscious intention, and yet all three are me, and I am all three. I give, and I receive. I am the dance among these three, each flowing into the others. This is an image within me of the universal web that I might choose to call God.


Monday, September 28, 2020

The Main Thing


"The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is to have no fear at all."

            --Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav

Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Call to Compassion

Do not forget that the ashes falling from the sky are all that remains of the pine and grass and thistle and bear and coyote and deer and mouse that could not escape.

Scoop some up in a sacred manner. Take it to you altar. Offer prayers for these beings.

Honor their death. Pray for life. Call in rain. Remind Fire that it is full, has gobbled enough, and can rest.

May all beings be safe. May all beings be loved. May all beings be remembered. May all beings be mourned.

           --source unknown

Monday, September 7, 2020

A Sudden Opening

"Magic is a sudden opening of the heart and mind to the wonder of existence. It is a sense that there is much more to life than we usually recognize; that we do not have to be confined by the limited beliefs that our family, our society, or our own habitual thoughts impose on us;  that life contains many dimensions, depths, textures, and meanings extending far beyond our familiar beliefs and concepts."

                --John Welwood, as quoted by Shakhti Ganeshan

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Path of Phallic Awareness

Deep in your soul, eros and spirit, arousal and prayer are both manifestations of the sacred Energy that moves within you and flows through the whole world. Sometimes they run parallel. Sometimes they mingle in wonderful, complex, surprising ways. 

I invite you to share with me a six-part, one-on-one guided exploration into deeper self-awareness. For now, our meetings take place onscreen. When the pandemic is over, in-person sessions will also be possible.

Session 1: Taking Stock    

Session 2: Creating a Sacred Space

Session 3: Being Witnessed and Blessed

Session 4: Deepening Your Practice    

Session 5: Transpersonal Eros

Session 6: Creating a Sustainable Practice

You can read about the series and the details of each session's focus here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

A Deep and Simple Insight

"God comes to you disguised as your life."

        --Paula D'Arcy
        Quoted in Richard Rohr's daily meditation for August 17

Friday, August 7, 2020

Naked, Empty and Alone: Reflections of An Erotic Mystic on the Mountain

This beautiful extended meditation on the cultivation of mindful autoeroticism is a guest post by Michael GVamos. Michael describes his experience of a retreat into the wilderness in the time of Covid as "a precious brush with seeing and wanting the devastating, delicious, ecstatic, and painful presence of the Divine."

The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced massive change for all of us. Since my spouse works on the front lines of health care, for me it has meant living alone in a log cabin on a large swath of land in the Alaskan mountain wilderness since March 21, 2020. I call it living “the Frontier Life”--wood stove for heat, outhouse, no running water, sporadic cell phone service. Literally drawing water and carrying firewood enveloped by the unspeakable beauty of Nature. My mantra during this time has been from Barnaby Barratt: “Naked, empty and alone.” 

As someone who has had a daily Tantric self-pleasuring practice for over six years, this sojourn quickly became for me an opportunity to let myself fall into the rhythm of Nature; to let go of my ego and resistance, and allow myself to respond to the invitation of Eros. Ego versus Eros. Whenever and as often as I am called. Eros summons. It is visceral. I can feel it in my pelvis. Stirrings in my genitals. “The god wants my life” as Jung said. Letting myself be swept up by it, taken over by it, “letting go.” Touching my body. Massaging/soothing my torso, thighs and abdomen with oil. Caressing my genitals, stimulating my nipples, stroking my cock. No goal in mind, no time in mind; with the simple intentions of postponing ejaculation, getting into my body and GETTING OUT OF MY HEAD. 

“Self-pleasuring is our sensual source that enables us to set aside the tyrannical governance of our judgmental minds and moves us toward divine bliss.”  

--Barnaby Barratt

Being swept up by Eros, taken over by it; falling into the pleasure, joy, soothing, centering, bliss, and fun. Like the Whirling Dervishes; beyond conscious thought. This is a profound, tenuous altered state. Connecting directly with my Life Force. Surrendering to it. Spiritually connecting with all the other men throughout the world also stroking their cocks at this time; like each of us beating a drum, contributing to the universal vibration of pleasure/joy in the world. It feels like being swaddled and cuddled in the palm of the Divine. There cannot be too much. It is like a well that I come back to over and over. Pleasure-Joy-Bliss = my spiritual food and medicine. Riding the energy; actively, consciously moving the energy to my heart center. Breathing it in. My face and heart smile. I am in a State-of-Being-Loved beyond all doubt. Sacramental. Transcendent. Redemptive. 

But even on this Erotic Mountain paradise, there is resistance. My ego, my “conscious self” wants its say. As James Broughton said, “perverse greed for power is the mind’s ugly doing. The mind is the worst pervert in the world.” The litany is long: shame (you are playing with yourself AGAIN, enjoying your cock too much), hedonism (pleasure is bad, you are selfish, and all you want is self-gratification), irrational (this is crazy, out-of-control behavior, who knows where it will lead?), immoral (you call this spiritual? This is decadent and sinful), not-manly (if you were a real man you would be getting laid; this is the best you can do?) and non-productive (you are wasting time, not getting things done, indulgent!) Our culture has indoctrinated me to shun Eros in all forms. The savage capitalists do not want me playing with my cock or communing with Eros (enjoying myself); my role as citizen is to be a producer (making money) or a consumer (spending money.) I am to worship the god of our Economy, not the god of Eros. It takes diligent, consistent effort to go against the grain of these insidious messages our culture has inculcated in me. They are as much in my head as they are out there in the media/culture. And my ego gleefully takes on the role of judge and jury. 

So, each day is an invitation to let go of resistance, to surrender to Eros, to be Divine, not reasonable. Some days I struggle. Some days it is easy. The invitation is always there to temporarily let go of being constructive, efficient and practical, and let myself be taken over by pointlessness, pleasure, joy and bliss. As I answer the call/desire of Eros; as I respond and open up, it becomes clear: the Divine wants my life. Touching my cock is a touchstone to this altered/holy state; a transformed, spiritual out-of-my-head state, a transcendent state, a mystical state of being profoundly loved by Love. 

“Sometimes you no longer recognize yourself. You want to overcome it, but it overcomes you. You want to set limits, but it compels you to keep going. You want to elude it, but it comes with you. You want to employ it, but you are its tool; you want to think about it, but your thoughts obey it. Finally, the fear of the inescapable seizes you, for it comes after you slowly and invincibly.There is no escape. So it is that you come to know what a real God is."

--C.G. Jung - The Red Book Liber Novus

I can go then into my day, into the world with this consciousness; not reasonable but Divine; strong, centered, compassionate. This is a tenuous state – it’s new – like riding a bicycle initially – a fragile state. It takes lots and lots of practice to internalize it – over and over again. I can go back to this place, this state, this center over and over during the day: this state of being profoundly loved by Love.
“To worship a god, one must become a god.” 
– Joseph Campbell

Still the questions remain. What do I do with all of this? How do I do this? What do I do with this when I go back to civilization?


The world is strong.
I feel weak.

"But the way is my own self, my own life founded upon myself. The God wants my life. He wants to go with me, sit at the table with me, work with me. Above all he wants to be ever present. But I'm ashamed of my God. I don't want to be divine but reasonable. The divine appears to me as irrational craziness. I hate it as an absurd disturbance of my meaningful human activity. It seems an unbecoming sickness which has stolen into the regular course of my life. Yes, I even find the divine superfluous.”
--C.G. Jung - The Red Book Liber Novus