I am sitting at the base of a cork oak tree in southern Portugal. Dry, decaying brambles surround me, and the sun is being, as usual, unabashedly himself. It is equinox, when the sun and moon are at equal strength, when our internal and external energies are nudged violently towards balance, and when Gaia herself provides a portal into the dimensions beyond duality.
So. Here’s the particular binary I’ve pinched myself between. If I go and find my way into sexual erotic connection of my own free choice, I am likely to be killed and possibly tortured for it, if not physically then certainly socially. If I accept having my sexual erotic connection occur within the framework of a socially sanctioned relationship for example, with the father of my two children with whom I live, then I am capitulating. The patriarchy has won; the woman is caged. This is the no-win tale that is written into the cellular memory of my body. This is the ridiculous situation that leaves me with a fairly unfulfilled sex life, and with an unhealthy stagnation of the primordial creative energy that relentlessly demands to flow, regardless of the history or punishment or explosion or magic that may come.
Mother Mary. Fiery passionate Isis. Eve who disobeyed, but stayed. Lilith who said fuck you to hell and back and was banished. The clamour of these archetypical female voices within me is reaching a new crescendo. It is now time for this song to release into harmony, for the dissonant tension to dissolve into a single, fresh note. Once heard, there can be no un-hearing. Once known, there can be no un-knowing.
I can almost taste the healing arrival of this new frequency. It is remarkably…ordinary. Celebration is almost not required, as nothing has been achieved per say, but rather there is just this new, profound absence. All the complications I’ve grown accustomed to, all the misery I’ve thrown on top of the pure joy of existence, they are no more. Back to the original space of no-thingness, where the water of life and Eros both flow naturally, without damming or flooding, without violence or suppression. Where sexual erotic connection occurs as innocently as say, eating an apple. When you are hungry and the fruit is there, it makes perfect, uncomplicated sense to simply eat it. “Thirst exists because there is water”, says Dieter Duhm (in every book he’s ever written).
I am holding this energetic picture in my heart’s eye. Imagine with me – that breathtaking moment when groups of us who truly recognize that we are deeply, irrevocably together in this immersive theatre of life, simultaneously exhale. Let go of the fight while holding on to the web created from our connectedness. Those places of hidden tension – in the marrow of the sacrum, the crevices of the lungs, even the density of the pupils – soften once again into flow and resolution. There is no punctum like a co-created one.
But. There seems to be a potent little hang up though, namely that this whole scenario requires a group. A single mirror cannot make a prism, no matter how hard it tries. And this kind of historical and cultural healing, where we see Patriarchy and Feminism hold hands and ride off into a Pride-coloured sunset, cannot be done in the isolation that is currently considered normal. It cannot be done individually. This means gathering. Groups of people finding the capacity to take these first immense steps together. The capacity to stay focused above our own heads and beyond our own immediate impulses, on a common, bigger-than-us vision. Capacity to keep tracking, despite all the ‘she did what?!’ and ‘he said that?! and “they are jerks because…”
I’m talking about deep social change. About admitting, to ourselves and each other, that love and sexuality are traumatized spheres of human culture, and that we need each other to change this, to heal.
I’m talking about the grey matter of the heart. The knowing that comes from the body, in ways that can never be explained or proved. This kind of truth.
I’m talking about genocide to the human ego. That moment when we look around at everything we’ve directly known and see that it is – has always been – uselessly, hopelessly broken.
I’m talking about our grateful tears. For those precious moments beyond the illusions. For the cracks that let the light in. For the zen master’s cane and the damn sun that just keeps on rising.
Because for all new life, a little death is required. Let us recognize, and welcome, the creative force of destruction. The necessity of the purge. Let us sink deep enough into the gestational winter of the new paradigm that we are ready to spring.
And still, there is my particular little pinch. The only way out I see, the way that turns sexual stalemate into a true all-win, is to say yes to death. I need to recognize the deeper fears that have written my ridiculous storyline – the twin fears of imprisonment and torture – but then also recognize that they are actually the same fear, of death itself. And I need to say yes to it.
Some context, from the research of my life, all fully anecdotal and rife with base rate fallacy, subjective validation, illusory correlation and the like…and at the same time, the kind of information I would bet my life on. For countless past lives, on the victim side of the wheel, I have lived various fascinating plots featuring themes of socio-sexual banishment and death, and in each I have died with the energy of angry resistance. (Before all of this there is also my history as perpetrator – violent masculine energy with blood-covered hands; in a deep, ancestral way I know this, and yet the details are still beyond my psychic-energetic reach). There was the scarlet-letter-style public stoning and hanging, while pregnant from my lover who watched from the crowd, silently, complicity. There was being stabbed through the heart by a man I couldn’t be sexually faithful to with the words: “you heartless bitch, no one will ever love you!”. There was being denounced as the town whore and dragged through the streets behind a carriage amidst taunting and jeering. There were the lifetimes I travelled with a tribe of warrior women, on horseback, living a rogue lifestyle outside the increasingly dominant patriarchal system, always fearful and vengeful, always half un/fulfilled. Ever choosing between freedom and independence as an alive sexual women, or realizing my instinctive yearning for children and family. The invitation to integrate, merge and transcend growing stronger and stronger with each incarnation.
But, this time. This life. Conscious awareness of the story. Awareness that it is just a story, and that while it holds my particular karmic opportunity, it doesn’t have to limit me. Realizing that even before I was conscious of it, I was still winding my way towards the kind of social revolution needed to make such an integration possible. Love and freedom, Osho tells us, are two wings of the bird. Flight is only possible when both exist and work together. I have my sights set on kinship that goes beyond the nuclear family, the emergence of a communitarian self, and social bonding where connection and sexuality flow together with commitment and responsibility among a group of people. All ages, all genders – a love network that puts individuals into perspective, and into the healing hands of a modern tribe.
This is my current meditation. Saying yes to death. Saying yes to the prison of the nuclear family and the torture of social shaming. Standing in the blast of it all until my fear dissolves into compassion. Until I am accepting and soft. Until I am not afraid of death. Not afraid of aloneness. Not afraid of barrenness or impotence or success or the unknown or my shadow or engulfment or loss. Until I am no longer my story and I not afraid of myself. 2016, the year of purification indeed.
I am not here to rewrite the story. I am here to find an altogether new medium for expression. To find a new social frequency where partnership and freedom are complementary, and recognized as necessary to support and balance the other. Where the kiss of my lover sustains my ability to show up for my family, and the stability of my partner relaxes me into exploring erotic connection wherever it arises.
“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”–Pablo Picasso