'Sex' and 'Love'
'Sex' is the act of connecting with another being with your body,
and with as much of your subtler nature (mind, emotions, 'soul', etc.) as you are able to.
'Love' is the feeling of already being connected.

Seguem alguns artigos reproduzidos em inglês que geraram uma série de comentários e comunicações muito interessantes.
Alguns dos artigos são precisamente respostas às perguntas submetidas pelos leitores ou aos comentários que surgiram.
Para ler os artigos juntos com os comentários inteiros pode seguir os links para os meus 'Notes' no facebook:
Artigo nº1 - Let's Talk About Sex
Artigo nº2 - Casual loveless sex, or 'Sexual Alchemy' (Tantra)?
Artigo nº3 - Passion and Compassion
Artigo nº4 - 'Free Love' (part 1?)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's talk about sex

"Why are we not open about our enjoyment of sex... and why do we feel ashamed for wanting to enjoy it?"

This is a great question that I recently came across... I'd like to share some answers that I came up with.
It's a subject that deserves a deeper analysis... but here's a short answer for the moment. Perhaps it will spark off a discussion that will provide an opportunity to go deeper into the question.

Where to begin? There are so many reasons why people feel ashamed about wanting to enjoy sex.

For example, people feel that they are being selfish or indulgent when they receive great pleasure.
We are taught to believe that life is a struggle and that if we're enjoying ourselves then we're probably being childish and immature... (This isn't explicitly taught in these words but our 'education' leads to this conclusion as far our emotional logic is concerned.)

We are also taught to feel guilty about sexual pleasure in our religious education, which influences us even if we do not consider ourselves to be part of a judgemental religion and don't believe in a judgemental God. Religious education has HUGE after-effects, regardless of what we later adopt as our official philosophical-religious-spiritual position.

Also we are sometimes unconsciously afraid of what others will think of us for indulging in sexual pleasure, because we want to be seen as responsible adults who are self-disciplined and who have great self-control. If we wish to keep our job and to be invited out to dinner with our peers and be trusted then we feel that we have to be able to be 'above sex' in some way... This creates a rigid, socially-acceptable persona... Then we end up feeling unsure of whether or not we can drop this persona when we're with friends or family... or even with our partner or with someone with whom we are seeking to become intimate, and ultimately even just by ourselves - hence the feeling of being 'ashamed for wanting to enjoy sex' regardless of anyone else's judgement of us.

I'm sure some people will read this and say, "I don't feel ashamed about wanting to enjoy sex, and I don't care what anyone thinks of me enjoying sex, it's none of their business anyway... and besides, I don't need to be open about it precisely because it's nobody else's business... so why would I want to be open about it?" Also, some might feel that this doesn't apply to them because they're in a fulfilling relationship and so their 'sex-life' (you see we speak of it as if it were a parallel life to our 'normal' life) is shared with their partner, so they're not feeling like it's a secret that they have to keep only to themselves.

All of the above is fair enough :o) Sure, it's nobody else's business and sure we don't have to talk about sex openly and sure, if we're in a fulfilling relationship we probably feel that we don't have to share our 'sex-life' with other people...
But it seems that most people are truly trapped in their conflict of emotions - they feel a pressure to keep their sexual desires and their 'sex-life (or lack of it) to themselves while they're aching to feel deeply sexually liberated and fulfilled... This is one reason why we play unfulfilling games and sometimes don't ever come out and say what we feel to the people that we love, or share what we're feeling with our closest friends or family. We try so hard to be accepted and loved... sometimes we don't even see how hard we're trying - it just becomes a habit, a posture that we assume as part of our self-image.

So... I'm not saying that people SHOULD talk more about sex or be more open about their desire to enjoy it... I'm just saying that we would feel much more liberated if we recognised the conditioning that we're holding onto in this area.

I also believe that we are actually afraid of Life itself. We are afraid of the unknown... and therefore we are afraid of life.
Sex is a raw manifestation of Life's energy so we try to control it so that we can handle it and not be overwhelmed by it... So what happens is that we don't have sex in a way that feels completely fulfilling (we don't let go fully) and that also leaves us feeling guilty because - again at a subconscious level - we feel the awesome power of sexuality and actually know that in some sense it is deeply sacred... so we feel guilty for not doing it 'right'.

The mystery of how to enjoy sex fully in a truly liberated way is one of the keys to health and happiness :o)

To be continued...

And by the way, yes, I'm well aware that I've not talked about 'love'... only 'sex'. That's the point. Perhaps we believe that we live in a sexually free society, but actually it is almost taboo to talk, in 'spiritually-polite company' about sex without talking about 'sex with love'... so 'perhaps in the next instalment we'll talk about 'Tantra' - What it is... and what it isn't.
Anyone interested?



Sunday, June 20, 2010

'Casual', loveless sex, or 'Sexual Alchemy'/Tantra?

Sex without love…
What do we mean by “Sex without love”?

An example could be when two people who don’t know each other well come together in a sexual act, without having created a deep and loving connection first.

Another example could be when a couple has lost their love-connection and engages in sexual activity anyway.

So, maybe in the first example people are coming together ‘just for pleasure’, with no long-term commitment. Well, consider this: is it possible for these two people, who don’t know each other yet, to come together and engage in sexual activity Lovingly… just for pleasure?

In other words, they are coming together for mutual enjoyment and with mutual respect and openness, even though they have just met and even though they have no plans for the future. It sounds fine somehow doesn’t it? At least in a society that allows the use of birth-control or contraceptive methods this seems simple. There doesn’t have to be an established ‘loving relationship’ in a traditional sense – maybe it’s just a fiery passion in the moment – but as long as there is this mutual respect we can imagine that love actually is present.

However, it seems that people usually can’t come together with this simplicity with mutual respect and openness because of a lack of mutual trust. This is why the love is lacking – not because people haven’t made a commitment to a long-term relationship, but because they are concerned with preserving their own comfort zones and for this reason are unable to fully embrace each other and open to a Unitive, transcendental sexual experience that is also deeply Love-imbued.

So, hold on a moment before I get carried away… What do we mean by ‘love’ anyway?

There are hundreds of ways in which the word ‘love’ is used in different contexts, but maybe we can understand more clearly what ‘love’ is. I’m going to suggest a definition here for the purpose of this article… Maybe it will be useful to you beyond this too. (I have occasionally used here a capital ‘L’… but not consistently… this is partly poetic license and partly sleepiness so please excuse me if it’s confusing.)

I would say that ‘love’ is ‘connectedness’. Where there is a feeling of separation, isolation, estrangement, alienation, etc. there is a lack of love.

Real ‘connectedness’ is felt as ‘Love’. Love is the feeling of Connectedness – the feeling that arises when there is a recognition of Unity.

Love is beyond polarities such as male-female. Love is not the activity of ‘uniting’, it is the always-existing-Union that already Is. It is the ‘undividedness’ that exists prior to and beyond our concepts and our nervous system’s filters.

‘Love’ is the underlying wholeness – the ‘Unity’, or ‘undividedness’, which is why mystics have said “God is Love” and why transcendent-integrative states of Consciousness have led to descriptions of Reality as ‘Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.’
This Bliss is the immersion and dissolution of the self in ‘Cosmic-Love-Unity’.

So, according to this understanding, human Love is the recognition and feeling of unity. This is why it is so mysterious and magical – the ‘Loving feeling’ takes us beyond our mundane state of mind, altering our brain chemistry and providing a profound sense of well-being because it is taking us beyond all survival-based instinct. ‘Survival’ is only an issue when ‘separation’ is assumed. The ‘Unity-feeling’ of Love dissolves survival fears and leaves us ‘saintly’, able to forgive all injuries and able to see the needs of all beings as equally valuable. Compassion and genuine sympathy spring from the Love-feeling spontaneously, which is also why they are so highly valued in spiritual traditions.

Love can be understood as the meta-physical Truth – the Connectedness that exists despite all appearances…. And human love is being in resonance with this Truth. (And fear is the result of ignorance of this Truth. This ignore-ance is the source of all our survival issues – and hence our selfishness.)

But getting back to sex…

The ‘act’ of connecting and uniting is ‘sex’.

Union - as an activity - is sexual. (The word sex is derived from the Latin word ‘secare’ meaning to cut or divide, so sexuality is all about our dividedness – our half-ness and our activities or ideas that relate to this division and of course to our attempts at re-uniting).

In a way, like Rasiko commented, Love and sex are by nature totally distinct. Love is the underlying natural order and the feeling of attunement to that order, whereas sex is a physiological, emotional-hormonal, sensual act that is springing from the experience of dividedness or separate existence.

But also, like Íris said, sex is all about Love - love of oneself, of one’s source and respect of one’s feelings and it can unfold from there as a shared experience of Oneness.

So, I’m not saying that Love and Sex are in any way opposites – one relating to Unity and the other to division. Love, as the Whole Undivided Existence, is Infinite – In-finite, not defined, not definable. Words like ‘Unity’ and ‘Undividedness’ may give the impression of being opposed to ‘separation’ and ‘division’, but really what is being referred to is a reality that is prior to or beyond all concepts of ‘Unity’ or ‘division’. The best that can perhaps be said is ‘Infinite’… and out of Infinity one must naturally expect to find absolutely everything… including division, which is the source of individual perspective-experience. So division can be seen as a Creative manifestation of the Infinite – and not as an something opposite or opposed to it.

Rounding off for now…
When sexual activity is carried out as an opening to Oneness, or as a celebration of Oneness, then it is profoundly Loving and even transcendent and blissful. (This can be carried out in pure innocence, or intentionally as a form of ‘Tantra’, traditionally know in the West as ‘sexual alchemy’.)

However, when one engages in sexual activity as an attempt at compensating for the lack of recognition of Reality/Oneness – i.e. as a compensation for a lack of the love-feeling – there is a tendency to remain ‘self-bound’ unable to emotionally connect… but more important than connecting ‘with the other person’ in sexual intercourse is the basic act of releasing one’s barriers. The effect is potentially not only a connection with the sexual partner but with all of life itself (hence the transcendental-integrative power of ‘sexual alchemy’). As I stated above, the connection with the sexual energy is not only a connection with ‘dividedness’ energy but with ‘Creative’ energy – responsible for the unfolding of manifest reality.

So, at a cosmic level, it is dividedness or separation – the original ‘sexual’ principle – that enables the Creation and development of the experienced universe.

By the way, ‘Re-ligion’ (which has to do with re-connecting) is basically, originally, a teaching about how the human being can ‘have sex’ (dissolve the perceived division) with the Universe or ‘Divine’/‘Celestial’ realm and attain Cosmic Consciousness/ Love-Bliss.

Again, to be continued… :o)

(One of the) next installment(s) will include ‘Opening to Creation in the form of Conception and Childbirth – the Magical Child'... In the meanwhile, many interesting discussions have come up... Thanks to you all!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Passion and Compassion

'Sex' is the act of connecting with another being with your body, and with as much of your subtler nature (mind, emotions, 'soul', etc.) as you are able to.

'Love' is the feeling of already being connected.

When you allow these to converge in you, you merge with the sublime play of existence - Life celebrating itself Blissfully - radiating unconditional love.

Love is only 'conditional' when there is some overt or unconscious agenda being enacted - i.e. when we are trying to establish or maintain a feeling of self-worth, self-respect, authority, superiority, specialness, control or security - all of which amounts to an attempt at feeling better about oneself and one's life. In 'conditional love', we 'love' (i.e. maintain a positive emotional connection with) the object of our ‘love’ as long as they provide us with what we want.

In ‘unconditional’ love there is no agenda because there is no neediness. There is no emotional emptiness to try to compensate for.

Maybe it's time we stop being so unclear about what 'love' is and stop using the word in the context of emotional neediness. Surely it doesn't make sense to use the word 'love' when we are actually referring to manipulation? … unless you really don't believe in love.
The word 'unconditional' ought to be considered redundant when speaking of love.

A quote from Terence McKenna comes to mind:
"We can evolve only as fast as we can transform our language".

But there is another manifestation of human desire and activity which we also refer to as love: the desire to help (or sometimes manipulate) others for their own good. This can happen in parental love, friendship, romantic relationships or in a dictator’s ‘love’ for his people. This, put very simply, occurs when there is a strong feeling of connectedness with others but at the same time another impulse is also asserting its influence – the self-preservation instinct. The self-preservation instinct can become extended to include others. This is when there is the feeling that someone else is as important to protect and care for as ourselves… BUT if we are afraid our ‘caring’ and ‘protecting’ becomes manipulative.

Love, I would suggest, is not an extension of the self-preservation instinct. It is an override of the self-preservation instinct because of an overwhelming feeling of inviolable security – which could also be called ‘faith’.

Love truly arises naturally out of Peace and fearlessness – which is real, non-dogmatic, simple faith (in Life itself).

Out of this feeling one can care for others as if they were ourselves but this does not come about from a desire to manipulate – there is no neediness and no attachment to the outcome. There is a capacity and a predisposition towards both compassion and equanimity. The kindness and ‘helpfulness’ that arises from this feeling tends to be gentle and ‘dispassionate’ (although it can also manifest more intensely as a great passion/ compassion). This is real, and spontaneous, ‘Karma Yoga’ – Love manifesting as human activity and ‘service’.

If I am expressing myself clearly, this is perhaps all easy enough to understand and is no great new revelation… The following may come as a bit more of a shock, or not - maybe depending on the solidity of your preconceptions.

‘Sex’ itself can be an act of compassionate service – an act of love. There is no reason why a prostitute should necessarily be considered to be doing work that is less worthy of respect than any other work. The same sublime, selfless, expansive love-feeling can arise in sexual activity carried out by a prostitute, just as it does in a ‘saint’. There are those who believe that this was Mary Magdalene’s role – initiator into the mysteries of sacred, loving sex – a priestess of the sexual Mystery schools – a kind of Tantric Yogini.

To me it is more important to just consider that this is actually possible rather than to argue about whether or not this is historically accurate. I am not trying to prove anything here about the past. I am just presenting an opportunity to contemplate an idea that may be liberating – or not (you may find it more comfortable to not question your present definitions of morality).

I offer these ideas, these words, with gratitude and openness – inviting the ‘energy of Understanding’ to be present for you.

The purpose here (if indeed there is actually is one) is to allow a profound questioning of our assumptions about the opposition between ‘spirit’ and ‘body’.
This is part of Tantric teaching and technique – the weaving of all the elements of existence into a wholesome, integrative experience of Self, undivided from the Source.

Wishing you Peace, and magnificent sex – whether it be with yourself, with a partner or with the Universe (Life) itself!

To be continued… (I haven’t forgotten my promise to write about the ‘Magical Child’ :o))
This note follows on from two others:
- 'Let's talk about sex, baby', and
- ''Casual', loveless sex, or 'Sexual Alchemy'/ Tantra?'
Here are links to these notes and the interesting comments that followed:


Monday, June 21, 2010

"Where do concepts such as monogamy/polyamoury, fidelity/cheating, commitment/non-commitment enter this equation? Where are the boundaries between integrating or rejecting these concepts and those of prudishness or promiscuity? Or am I asking the wrong questions, seeing it from the point of view of duality?"

Ana, to me it's a perfectly valid question - simply because it's what is occupying your attention.

I loved Íris' comments on this (see the comments to the previous post).
My reply to your question will be in part a reiteration of some of what she said, but in 'my own' words and in English, which I hope will enable more people to share in the details of the discussion.

You asked where the concepts that you mentioned above ‘enter into the equation’ (monogamy/polyamory, fidelity/cheating, commitment/ non-commitment)… I understand that it’s an expression and that you may not literally see it this way, but in any case this is a good opportunity to clarify to anyone who is reading these notes that I am not trying to present a ‘formula’ here.

The purpose here is not to create or destroy any moral framework… but only to give an opportunity for deep questioning so that one is in a better position to recognize the forces that influence our thinking, our emotions, our sense of self, our sensuality and our behavior. It is just a ‘considering’ – a contemplation – of the subject that is being shared – with no desire to shape a new conceptual edifice in anyone’s mind… It may be that dissolving some of our pre-conceptions about the body, pleasure, sensuality and sexuality will bring about some insight and liberation – a profound healing… but I wouldn’t want to present any of these considerations as a ‘new theoretical structure’.

There are no ready-made answers or formulas if you want to live in Freedom.

There are limitations that are imposed from outside which we can accept or reject... and there are self-made limitations which we must become conscious of before we are able to make a choice to accept or reject them.

So, it may sound like I am advocating a rejection of values, morals, ethics or social norms… But I am only advocating awareness. It is true however that many of our ‘values’, ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’ are 2nd hand acquisitions which we have no deep or coherent relationship with. The result of these considerations may indeed be ultimately a rejection of what had previously been assumed to be useful or ‘true’, but this is not the purpose as such.

So… to the specifics of your question:

Monogamy/polyamory…. It’s an individual choice, isn’t it? That is, unless we just conform to what our society and peers have predetermined to be ‘appropriate’ and ‘acceptable’ – in which case we forget (or try to forget) that there is a choice.

Monogamy… it may work for some people some of the time, but not for all people all of the time :o)

It is carried out in our society partly because of old religious custom, and in secular culture now it is maintained often because of social habit and the desire to be considered ‘normal’. Another reason for the popularity of monogamy is that (for many different reasons) people feel insecure about sharing their partners with other people.

Is polyamory compatible with fidelity and commitment? Well, one way in which polyamory is defined is, “consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy.” Which would imply that it can be compatible with fidelity if the ‘consensual’ aspect is truly respected. In other words, if the partners agree that it’s ok, then having other sexual partners is not, by definition, ‘infidelity’. Infidelity is literally a ‘betrayal of trust’.

Like Íris said, anything that is forbidden will tend to create a kind of perversion. So as soon as monogamy is the ‘rule’ there will probably be great difficulty in maintaining it without at least some internal tension – a conflict of ‘interests’.

In relation to commitment or non-commitment… a question that could be considered is, ‘commitment’ and ‘fidelity’ to who or what?

To me it makes sense for both (or however many there are) partners to have a total commitment to living life in a healthy, joyful, integrated way – honouring and integrating the many facets of their being, including their intuition, their physical rhythms, their desire to express and receive sexual and loving intimacy, or to be celibate, and being open and true to their greatest vision of who they are. With this self-respect and self-love and sensitivity to their ever-shifting needs as a dynamic (not dogmatic) basis, fruitful relationships full of compassion and respect for other beings will inevitably result.

However, when commitment and fidelity to the other person are given priority without this basis in wholeness and self-acceptance, then conflicts and little lies creep in – beginning with us hiding from or lying to ourselves about what we desire and why we desire it.

As soon as certain feelings and thoughts are ‘not allowed’ or are defined as ‘bad’, there is a conflict that starts to play out one way or another – sometimes only manifesting as a subtle but constant self-doubt – a conditional self-acceptance, a conditional self-love, a feeling of ‘unwholesomeness’ and disquiet.

Without trust it is very difficult for a profound relationship to develop. This is one of the reasons why commitment to a partner can be important. Most of us develop trust slowly – gradually loosening our emotional armoring in order to become open and able to transcend our egoic self-knots, to be able to truly relate and commune with another being and with Life Itself.

When there is only promiscuity and no commitment to a stable relationship (whether it be monogamous or polyamorous) then there will tend to be only shallow relationships which may reflect an unwillingness to acknowledge one’s dark inner life of conditioned patterns.

In a deep and fulfilling relationship (which usually also brings many challenges), circumstances frequently mirror hidden aspects of our psyche to us providing great insights into our conditioning – which is extremely useful if we wish to express liberation.

Committed relationships are therefore sometimes recommended by spiritual teachers to help to bring about self-knowledge and compassion more quickly. After all, it is rare to be able to meet people and feel immediately a deep sense of trust and to be able to commune with them profoundly… but it can happen.

Wishing you faith in Life, so that with ecstatic vulnerability you may commune with the Source and radiate your blessings to the world.

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Real love, freedom, multiple partners, desire and integrity - Response to a question about ‘Free love’

'Free Love'? - part 1


The original question:

"I’m curious about the way you conceive this way of loving: you have one major partner who you love the most and the others are just people you desire, or you love all the sexual partners? For me, erotic love appears in the relationship between two persons, and cannot be shared because you desire the one you love and love the one you desire."

An additional comment was added afterwards by Vera - it is more specifically to this comment to which this article is a response. You can read it at the following link: A Question about Sex and Love

Hi Vera, thanks for your comment :o)

As I have taken a while to respond, and you have in the meanwhile written a new comment to Íris in the last article’s comments section regarding ‘free love’ and ‘monogamy’, there are some additional things that I feel are worth saying to start off…

But first of all, I’d like to clarify that neither Íris nor I, I believe, are advocating ‘free love’, as opposed to ‘monogamy’. I understand how it may seem that way.

If we were advocating ‘free love’ as a substitute for ‘monogamy’ – as if it were the ‘right’ thing then that would, by inference, mean that we were criticising absolutely everyone who is in a monogamous relationship as if they were making the ‘wrong’ choice. That’s not what either of us is doing.

As far as I am concerned, I have only advocated awareness, deep questioning of our motivations, and the recognition that Love is essentially co-existent with Freedom. Where there is no willingness to both live and to offer Freedom, there is no Love… there may be ‘attachment’ – an overwhelming desire to be connected with the other, but the inherent feeling of connection – the Love itself – is not there.

Actually, to be fair, it’s not such a clear ‘black’ and ‘white’ situation. I’m not saying that anyone who experiences attachment is incapable of feeling Love – I’m just saying that we can’t feel both at the same time. We’re all capable of both Love and fear and we tend to have moments of Love which we then try to protect and nurture in fear but it doesn’t work. Love can only be nurtured and honoured by Love.

Just as I am stating that ‘morally’-enforced monogamy may not really work in a healthy way, I would say exactly the same about ‘morally’-enforced polygamy, polyamory, etc. I am basically saying that Love should be allowed to dictate the rules, not our concepts and social habits.


I understand if you’re wondering whether there isn’t first of all a desire for ‘sexual freedom’ being expressed here and then secondly, resulting from that, an argument put forward to justify it which involves some self-delusion about the nature of love, desire, selfishness, frustration and reaffirmation of the ego. There is no doubt that ‘free love’ could be favoured in order to defend an immature and shallow way of relating to people, however ‘monogamy’ can be defended for exactly the same reasons – to simply protect our comfort zones and live in a way that requires the least consciousness.

So, what you’re bringing up is very important – and it relates basically to honesty with oneself – integrity.

The monogamy that you describe in your relationship is apparently not enforced from outside or by conditioning. It is therefore, as I understand it, actually ‘Free Love’… except that your way of seeing things seems to imply that as soon as you or your partner have any inkling of sexual attraction for anyone else, then you must no longer love each other. That could create unnecessary pressure on both of you. It would create the idea of ‘duty’. It becomes one’s duty not to feel sexual attraction for someone else otherwise it would be taken as a violation of your relationship – a violation of your love itself.

Usually when people say they are ‘in love’ what they are describing is an obsession with one person who has become the object of all their attention. They are ‘fixated’. This has its pleasant moments and its devastating disappointments – because what tends to happen is that we make an unreasonable demand on our partner... we demand that our partner be ‘perfect’ – and this usually means that we want them to be always exactly as we thought they were when we ‘fell in love’.

If however, in your relationship (as an example) you both Freely accept whatever arises in yourselves and in your relationship as being perfect, and therefore inherently acceptable and worthy of respect, simply because it is being experienced and expressed by someone you love, then there is no pressure for things to remain exactly as they are… Things either do remain as they are, or they don’t, but the love is unconditional. It is not limited to or based on a predefined situation.

If I have anything of value to share here it is that Love really is Freedom.

I’m not equating ‘love’ and ‘lust’. I wouldn’t say that there’s no such thing as lust, but I would suggest that we may be able to understand it and respond to it without the fear – or the compulsion – and without the superstitious attitude that we tend to see it with. ‘Lust’ is pure sexual desire. It is not based on more subtle elements such as ‘empathy’, but that doesn’t make it necessarily a problem. ‘Lust’ – it is true – can be expressed as brute, selfish force, but it can also be expressed as passion and can give way to Love – especially if it is embraced without the self-judgment that would tend to make us feel like ‘bad’ people for experiencing it in the first place. The problem here is that as soon as we get caught up in severe self-judgement we feel alienated, and our ability to empathise with others, to respect them and be sensitive to them, is impaired.

My understanding is that most sexual abuse, and even other forms of abuses of power, are a direct result of unresolved conflict caused by sexual repression rather than as a result of insufficient repression. So our taboos, our laws and our moral impositions are not enough to heal our psyche, our society, our world.

Any thought, emotion, impulse or experience that arises and which is judged as ‘bad’ will cause internal conflict if it is acknowledged. So what often happens is that it is not acknowledged – a whole part of our psyche remains ‘unconscious’ specifically for this reason – we have banished it. But it doesn’t disappear and the very fact that the thought, emotion, impulse or experience is ‘not allowed’ makes it a source of fascination for the ‘unconscious’ mind, which will look desperately for ways of resolving the mystery and internal conflict which still exists, but only at a deeper level.

So, when I say “Love Is Freedom”, that doesn’t mean simply ‘freedom of the ego to do as it pleases’ or ‘freedom for temptation to do as it pleases with us’ or ‘freedom for impulsive desires to run free and take over our lives’…

Perhaps you would agree that worrying ‘religiously’ about temptation comes from a deep fear, a sense of division in oneself and the belief that we constantly have to be a certain way in order to be ‘worthy’ of love. Our relationship with our parents begins this conditioning and religious ‘education’ tends to reinforce it – we are even led to believe that God doesn’t love us unconditionally, so then how could we, ‘mortal sinners’, possibly love each other unconditionally?

But Love is Freedom. When we are not feeling insecure we simply don’t tend to impose regulations and no effort is required to love unconditionally.

Of course the fact is that most of us, most of the time, feel some degree of insecurity. So we deal with this by imposing limitations and regulations on everything we possibly can – starting with ourselves and then projecting this to the ‘objects of our love’ and to the whole society.
Then we think that love consists in protecting each other’s egos because we know how unpleasant it is when our own ego is hurt. This is what most people mean by ‘honouring our partner’s feelings’. I am suggesting taking this a little further and together – in a loving partnership – committing to releasing one’s insecurity and all one’s fears and supporting one’s partner and their commitment to do the same…
This should not be taken as an excuse for abusing the partner’s feelings! This is a very delicate process and cannot be forced.

Life itself will guide the process – our assistance is not really required. All that we need to do is Love unconditionally :o)

The ‘Free Love’ that I speak of is not an ‘alternative system’, it is not a ‘technique’ for greater pleasure or for better relationships, it is just a realisation of how things really are. The nature of Love is Freedom – that is my starting point. The rest of what I am writing here is a re-consideration of everything that I ever thought was true in the light of this Realisation.

I believe that the conflicts that we have tended to banish to our subconscious or unconscious can actually be resolved by Love. We don’t need to divide ourselves into acceptable parts and unacceptable parts in order to be ‘good people’. The days of ‘taboos’ are over… If we embrace this possibility whole-heartedly and let Love be the guide.

Love, as Freedom will bring about integration, resolving our conflicts – first of all our internal conflicts… then the ones we live out and the ones we see around us too.

In response to a comment made by Heather, it is a good idea to also state that an intellectual analysis and concepts are not enough. They will not give the whole picture. There is an element of intuition in some of our choices which only make sense from a greater perspective than we have at the time we make the decision. So your choice of monogamy, your understanding of love, and even your reasons for defending it and for defence of your vision of love cannot necessarily be confined to intellectual analysis.

You – or I – may want to insist that our ways of doing things are better because they feel so totally ‘right’ to us. But the ‘rightness’ we feel may be because we are doing precisely what is most appropriate, most healing, most Life-affirming, most Love-affirming right now… and really it doesn’t do it justice to try to rationalise it too far, and it certainly doesn’t make sense to impose it on anyone else. What’s right for us now is because of who we are right now. It may not be right for us at any other moment in the future – let alone for anyone else.

In relation to Love, I feel that the most valuable thing is to have a genuine experience – a Vision, a Blessing, a touch of Unconditional Love – and to then let that Light that has been ignited in our Heart be the guide for understanding.

Religions throughout the history of humanity have often tried, and often failed, to inspire this Blessing and to nurture the Light that it brings. Strange as it may seem, often the strong desire to preserve and to share truth has in itself led to the corruption, distortion and discrediting of truth. The whole point here is that Love can only be shared – not imposed, not controlled, not even shaped to our own needs. Love releases us from all our desires to impose, to control and at the deepest level, satisfies our needs by leading us to transcend the state in which they arise – thus the so-called ‘Miracle of Love’ and the extraordinary and supposedly impossible phenomena associated with ‘saints’. However, I am not placing ‘sainthood’ or transcendence as an ideal or goal here.

Integration can lead to transcendence, in ‘Divine’ timing – or Natural timing – call it what you will. But integration is surely more valuable than transcendence anyway. Transcendence is an experience… Integration is a whole re-defining of our being – or even an un-defining of our Being – making transcendence redundant.

Perhaps your monogamy is an ‘inspired asceticism’, an intuitive way for you to cultivate and honour Love – effortless because it is precisely the ‘right’ path for you right now. But there is a vast difference between ‘inspired’ or ‘intuitive’ asceticism and ‘forced’ or ‘morally-imposed’ asceticism.

You wrote about the insecurity that people feel in their relationships and the necessity of re-affirming their egos. Yes, exactly... We are in agreement about the importance of a deep self-awareness so that ‘Freedom’ doesn’t become an excuse and justification for self-delusion and shallowness. In other words: Integrity is the key.

The Love that both Íris and I are describing, expressing – yes, even advocating – is a love that encompasses all manifestations of Life… So monogamy, polygamy, polyamory or whatever else people come up with can be expressions of Love – if there is integrity. If there is no integrity then they will all tend to be ways of compensating for insecurity.

It seems to me that you are advocating integrity above all. I feel that this is exactly what I am advocating too. Where we perhaps differ is in that you don’t seem to accept that (or at least understand how) anyone else’s experience could be so radically different from yours that they would make radically different choices and still make them with integrity, with Love. You seem to be saying that only someone who makes the same choices as you could possibly be expressing ‘real love’.

Of course I am guilty of doing the same in a way… You appear to be defining love as necessarily monogamous and regarding anything that deviates from that as being ‘not love’… and I am defining Love as Freedom and saying that anything that deviates from that is ‘not Love’… but I am not defining what form Freedom should take.

Love, as I understand it, is the Underlying Nature of Everything, it is all-powerful... but it is not manipulative. Love itself is perfectly capable of sustaining a monogamous relationship when that is what is most appropriate for the two people involved.

I realise that there is a danger that people will misinterpret my words and think that I am advocating ‘free love’ in a totally superficial way. If I criticise ‘monogamy’ at all, I am actually criticising the ‘institution’ of monogamy as a socially-enforced assumption that it is morally superior, or more effective at preserving or expressing Love.
I am not criticising the natural occurrence of monogamy. I am questioning whether there ought to be moral or social pressure enforcing it or not.

So, that was all inspired by your comment to Íris. Thank you :o)

I wrote a lot more before writing this… but much of it may not be relevant anymore, so I will post it separately to avoid making this note any longer.

Do you feel that you have an understanding of the perspective that I am expressing now?
It felt as though you had perhaps adopted a 'contrary position' to me and to Íris, perhaps because you felt we were advocating a contrary way of living to that which you feel comfortable with, but ultimately, if we are all genuinely adopting a position of integrity there seems to be no fundamental divide between our perspectives.

Wishing you beautiful, magnificent, heart-melting, ‘rule-dissolving’ Love, in whatever form it appears ;o)

With love and respect,