01 August 2009

Intercourse Analogies both Spiritual and Sexual



[THE SABBATH BRIDE by Janet and Emmanuel Snitkovsky]

An enlightening talk I recently heard about the nature of the soul helped me make a connection that I had long sought after between two most mysterious aspects of life. It is often said that sexual intercourse has a mystical beauty beyond the act itself. However much this may be true, it seems that this beauty serves best as an analogy to give us insights into the truly mystical and beautiful intercourse the soul enters into upon searching for meaning and transcendence.

In this material world anything that grows organically begins its existence as a seed. The seed germinates, eventually matures into an adult plant and there comes a time in the life of this tree when it must give its fruit. When this happens, it has fulfilled itself because its ultimate purpose is to produce its own seed. However, a tree cannot produce another tree by itself, it needs to be pollinated from an external source in the same way that a woman cannot reproduce by herself. She needs to have a relationship with a male in order to conceive a child.

The soul functions in much the same way. Acting as a female it eventually reaches a state of maturity in which it too seeks to fulfill itself by producing its own fruit. It can turn wherever it likes to be fertilized, although it will only work with its own spiritual species. It enters into intimacy with the influences of the Manifestation of God (the Prophets and Founders of the great Religions) and opens itself to the power of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah (the Manifestation of God for this time). In this way it establishes mystical, spiritual intercourse with these forces which are then released within to impregnate it.

What is the child that is conceived from this mystical intercourse? It is the spirit of faith. This spirit of faith owes its existence to the Manifestation of God and to the soul itself, just as a parent. Here are some quotes to help define the spirit of faith:

The human spirit which distinguishes man from the animal is the rational soul; and these two names -- the human spirit and the rational soul -- designate one thing. This spirit ... embraces all beings, and as far as human ability permits discovers the realities of things and becomes cognizant of their peculiarities and effects, and of the qualities and properties of beings. But the human spirit, unless assisted by the spirit of faith, does not become acquainted with the divine secrets and the heavenly realities. It is like a mirror which, although clear, polished, and brilliant, is still in need of light. Until a ray of the sun reflects upon it, it cannot discover the heavenly secrets.1

This is the fruit of the tree of creation - to be freed from the darkness of the planet in order to enter the worlds of light. This is the object of existence; this is the fruit of the tree of humanity.
2

It is the power which makes the earthly man heavenly, and the imperfect man perfect. It makes the impure to be pure, the silent eloquent; it purifies and sanctifies those made captive by carnal desires; it makes the ignorant wise.
3

All spiritual realities have a counterpart in the material world which is why studying nature can be so illuminating. For example, comprehending the the difference in station between animals and humans gives us insights into the difference between humans and the Manifestation of God. Understanding the process through which we nourish our bodies gives us valuable insights into the nature of prayer. Grasping the transitory nature of the embryo gives us valuable insights into the journey of the soul through this life and into the next.

If we do not study nature with this frame of reference, though, we run the danger of appreciating the lesser beauty in and of itself thus missing the analogy that gives us insights into transcendence. This is where our society has gone wrong. We are incessantly taught through all types of mass media that sexual relationships are the real prize we are after, the golden fruit that satisfies our deepest desires. Jumping from one golden fruit to the next, as is all too often the custom, is not a justification of our media's message but rather an indication that people are seeking meaning in the symbolic fruit and not in the fruit itself.

The union created between partners through the sexual act is analogous to the union our soul yearns for with the Manifestation of God in the same way that the vastness of the ocean is a mere symbol of the truly breathtaking depth of wisdom and beauty contained in the Holy Books of all great religions.

Spiritual intercourse with the Manifestation of God shows us a door to true freedom, to our maturity and fulfillment both as an individual and as a society. This is the golden fruit.

------

1. Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 316
2. Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 121
3. Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 144

2 comments:

Vahid said...

Cool post. The "spirit of faith" is an intriguing bahá'í concept, and is too rarely discussed.

Nestor y Nicola said...

This was indeed a great piece, very thought provoking. It immediately made me think of this quote I studied many years ago. "The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world. ..." - The Seven Valleys, Baha'u'llah
Sometimes analogies make things clear, never quite thought of our spiritual relationship with God as spiritual intercourse, but it completely makes sense when we think of it in a reproductive manner and that our faith and love for God are our children.