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Facing The Real Taboo: Love & Sex

by Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.

Many methods have been developed to control, transform, and regulate the sexual force. Each of them has failed, creating more misery in its wake. No one alive knows what "natural" sex is for Humans. We have been too "civilized" (domesticated). We think that our own sexual preferences and habits are enlightened, when in most cases, they are a result of our genes and of being born into a particular civilization and time. We have the hubris to believe that the opposites of abstinence and indulgence are the only two poles which exist on the sexual discrimination scale.

         We have Dionysian indulgence as one morality.

         We have Christian abstinence as another.

"Christ versus Dionysus" was Nietzsche's motto. Even he, who challenged most dualisms, did not challenge this one: he chose Dionysus.

         But there is also marriage, monotheistic style.

         And there is marriage, polytheistic style.

         There is marriage and affairs.

         There is marriage and swinging.

         There is living together.

         There is spiritual sex with no orgasm, as in Hindu Tantra.

There are other Tantras of one flavor or another. In fact Tantra as we use the term has nothing to do with what most people call sex. Tantra is Meta-Sex.

         There are "perversions" of one type or another.

         There are fetishes: leather, chains, "cross dressing," etc.

         There are male/female sexual happenings.

         There are female/female, male/male relations etc.

         Then there are techniques, which include various orifices and body parts.

The list goes on and on. There is every combination in the world including sex with oneself.

All of this however, has not led to transformation either individually or collectively. We simply have different forms of the same thing.

A New Sexual Ecology 

To paraphrase Dr. Robert Stein, (1974) from his fascinating book "Incest and Human Love", when a culture becomes preoccupied with inhibiting and controlling the instinctual forces of life, which of course includes sexuality, we can assume that its methods of coping with the incest taboo are also inadequate. In other words the culture's social institutions are failing.

If we combine this idea with Michel Foucault's notion that "sexuality" evolves from the need of the power structure to control sex for its own economic and political purposes, we are left with a sorry state of affairs.

This sorry state of affairs is known as splitting. What I mean here is that sex and love have a difficult time in finding complete unified expression. 

From Stein's point of view this is the way a culture copes with the incest taboo, and from Foucault's it is the way a culture channels sex for its own purposes of power.

In other words, love is disconnected from sex in Western Civilization. We have been told that sex and love should be one, but not as an experience -- rather as a state of law. 

In this sense we are left with sex as reproduction and loveless compulsion. Marriage is designed as a unit of reproduction for the purposes of creation and consumption. The true expression of love and sex are secondary -- left in the realm of romantic fantasy, a hope or a dream.

It is truly infrequent in this culture that the depths of both the love and sex instincts are felt completely. When they are both felt deeply, and remember, this is always inhibited by the incest taboo and the assumption that a commitment is necessary, we have complete orgastic love.

Conversely, compulsive sexuality is an attempt to free sex from the purposes of reproduction and social control. However, it too is devoid of true Union, as deep love has a forced association with the necessity of a commitment. Would orgastic love be felt more readily if commitment were not an obligation, not a "law" indoctrinated since infancy?

Compulsive sexuality also serves to demonstrate the "failure" of our culture in controlling the fear of incest. Instead of addressing incest, it has addressed sexuality itself, thus confounding us to believe that the "awful" effects of incest are co-extensive with sex itself. How does our culture differentiate sex from incest? In fact it does not address this issue in a conscious manner at all, but allows the unconscious to deal with the problem. Thus sex and love are split in practice, although frequently alive in fantasy. We have been taught that the deep love we felt as children toward our parents "must not" be associated with sex and the sex we felt during our adolescence "must not" be associated with love.

The culture then assumes that upon marriage or commitment the union of these two instincts will automatically take place. I have been kind in making this last statement. More correctly it doesn't care. Its purpose is to create more orderly producers and consumers.

The practice of Western Tantra, outlined in my book "Secrets of Western Tantra", is a powerful method of bringing love and sex back together without the obligation of commitment as instilled by our culture. The only commitment is to the Third principle in Tantra -- the God-Form -- the Essence. It is transpersonal. By this I do not mean that a couple should not have a commitment to each other, but that the WORK doesn't require ordinary forms of commitment. What it requires is the desire that sex and love be one as an experience. This is accomplished when there is orgastic response and not a mere sexual response.

Western Tantra heals the mind/body split by allowing the true nature and power of instinct to live. When we do this, Instinct itself is transformed and the true gifts of human life become accessible. The fear of being overwhelmed or taken over by the power of the instincts no longer terrifies the individual who is then free to consciously participate in his or her own evolution. Repression and denial are replaced with differentiation. This creative function also allows us to see the true nature of instincts. Instead of perceiving them as being opposed to consciousness and civilization as we have been taught from the Christian-Judeo world-view, we see them as the loving root from which rationality itself springs.

We begin to see our development and yearn for the opportunity to embrace our multiplicity in a more holistic fashion, and the world of either/or becomes the greatest fiction.

Love, Death, & Sex: Another Taboo

True orgastic bliss is very similar to death. The only reason death should be feared is that most people have never lived. Joy in death, letting go completely, is akin to the results obtained by practicing Western Tantra. However, orgastic bliss can only be experienced if love and sex become one. Much like love and sex have been split in the Western world, life and death have been split. Complete orgasm embraces and heals the splits between life/death and sex/love. Once the healing has occurred the need for and dependence on ordinary religion also vanishes. Thus the priests and the politicians have fought hard against the orgastic response. This is even true of many forms of Eastern Tantra, as well as the ancient Kabbalists who realized the power and implications of the sex act. (However, both groups demand the giving up of pleasure, and/or the sanction of the priest.)

Western Tantra as described in this book demands neither. It combines aspects of the Kabbalah with the discipline of Eastern Tantra. More importantly it provides the methods necessary for freeing the body/mind from the pains and chains of early training. Thus it functions first as an Opening, then a Meditation and then Death. The Death I speak of is the Death of Union, where all division merges back into itself.

         Complete orgasm is a Death. 

         Complete orgasm is a Birth. 

         Complete orgasm is Life.

Western Tantra is a means of returning to the awareness of the Primal Urge, the Alpha -- Ain Soph, the creator of form.

Form becomes a deadly illusion when it "acts" as if it is the Essence. Form is simply the playground of the silent beginnings. The Essence cannot be known. It is not part of the Time Space continuum.

When form "thinks" itself the essence, then it is time for it to dissolve. Complete orgasm takes one back to the "beginnings" -- the primal urge of unity desiring to know itself through its possibilities. When form, be it a person or a social institution is willing to let go -- to die -- then death is not painful. Pain is a result of a struggle, the belief that the form is the essence.

Dr. Regardie used to say that when a student studies the Kabbalah he begins to believe in the validity of its categories. If he studies enough and studies well, all the categories collapse. In this sense, and in this sense only, does he experience a Satori. From this point of view Kabbalah is like Zen. However, the danger is that most students do not get past the first few steps.

Death in the sense that Westerners view it is an illusion. This illusion results from believing the form to be the essence. This is a necessary device by which Spirit enjoys itself. However, the forming process and the disintegration process are only process.

They are not things. Death as we understand it can only happen to things, not to processes. Ultimate orgasm removes the Thingness from life and throws you back to the Primal Process -- The No-Thing.

All form is necessary as part of the process of experience. The danger lies only in losing awareness that form is simply form -- the way in which the Essence knows and experiences its Infinite Possibilities. In Spiritual as well as Mundane matters, humans have the awful tendency of really believing that the form is the essence. One doesn't have to look far to find this. Churches, governments, families, jobs, words, all are forms which have been mistaken for the Essence. Unless this process is slowed down or more deeply understood, man himself will become more of a thing to be processed and engineered in service of the Form. This is the true Fall, believing words are knowledge and that knowledge is Essence. An interesting way of understanding that the form is not the essence is the following model.

The shell of an egg contains the living primal force. The shell is also an aspect of that primal force. If the shell is too hard the new being cannot break out. If the shell is too soft the new being cannot be protected. 

The image of a new being emerging from the shell is the image I would like you to keep in mind. Get a feeling of this image. Now imagine that you are breaking out. Use the shell as food, as energy to help you reach the next step. As YOU reach the next step do not allow the new shell that you have created along the way to hold you back. Break out of it. Let go of it. Emerge again, again and again. Once you believe that the shell you have made along the journey is the primal force then you are no longer alive.


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Updated: 7/11/10