Two recent blog posts refer to Thomas Moore’s writings about spirituality and eroticism. Douglas Todd, a columnist with the Vancouver Sun
writes "Sex brings Christians closer to God"
in which he talks about research exploring erotic spirituality, conducted by Chuck MacKnee. The post also cites research by Rich Heffern:
"...inspired by writers such as Thomas Moore, a former monk who wrote The Soul of Sex, Heffern has come to believe Catholics need to get beyond their guilt and enjoy sexuality for its sacredness; to experience married sex as a form of religious expression.
Heffern's favorite gospel story is of the woman who bathes Jesus' feet with her tears, "wiping them dry with her long sensuous hair. It always knocks me out, reminding me of the intimate Christian connection between sacredness and vulnerable flesh."
Bodies are "thoroughly sacramental," Heffern wrote. He goes so far as to make the connection that people who are uncomfortable with their own bodies, alienated from them, may be destructive to the body of the planet, leading to ecological devastation."
Todd asks MacKnee about the sexuality of Jesus.
"I think Jesus was celibate, but that doesn't mean he wasn't sexual," MacKnee said.
Jesus appeared highly sensual, he said. "People loved him and were in awe of him. I think there was a lot of sexual energy there."
According to Todd, "As in Celtic Christian tradition, MacKnee believes being sensual and sexual creates a "thin zone" between humans and God, reducing the usually thick barrier between this world and the sacred realm."
On another blog, Bill Johnson talks about eros and spirituality
, where he says,
"In societal terms there is a tendency to blur distinctions among the various psychic levels of sexual experience. Society is focused almost exclusively on the moral distinctions, which sets all of us up for inner conflict and chronic guilt over our sexual desires, or complete rejection of the moral code we have been fed.
What if instead we endeavored to focus on the rich dynamic of our sexuality from an "inner wisdom" standpoint? This inner wisdom is generally personified by Sophia, the Greek goddess of wisdom, and in the Gnostic Christian tradition, by Mary Magdalene."
Later in his post, he observes,
"Eros, the idea of which comes to us through Greek mythology, is an archetypal, non-physical aspect of our being, a part of our soul, which can only be represented indirectly, and therefore requires a subtle inner awareness and attention. Unfortunately the word "erotic" is greatly misused, applied to a broad variety of sexual stimuli and experiences that are in fact very superficial. It has been co-opted by the culture as a feature of entertainment, which only fans our sexual longings further.
A great book that addresses this aspect of sexuality is Thomas Moore’s The Soul of Sex. In it, Moore goes into great detail as to how and why this level of sexuality is neglected, and compassionately proposes suggestions as to a remedy. His gentle and imaginative approach opened up what was once a locked door for me.
From Moore I learned it is at the level of subtle erotic stirrings that our sexuality starts to find connection to our spirituality..."
Labels: Sex, Spirituality, Thomas Moore