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Sacred Sexuality (The Erotic Spirit in The World’s Great Religions)

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About the Book Sacred Sexuality examines the history of sexuality as a sacramental act. In spite of our culture's recent sexual liberalizations, sexual intimacy often remains unfulfilling. Georg Feuerstein suggests that fulfillment can only be attained once we have explored the spiritual depths of our erotic nature. Feuerstein delves into a wide variety of spiritual traditions-including Christianity, Judaism, goddess worship, Taoism, and Hinduism-in search of sacred truths regarding sexuality...
About the Book

Sacred Sexuality examines the history of sexuality as a sacramental act. In spite of our culture's recent sexual liberalizations, sexual intimacy often remains unfulfilling. Georg Feuerstein suggests that fulfillment can only be attained once we have explored the spiritual depths of our erotic nature.

Feuerstein delves into a wide variety of spiritual traditions-including Christianity, Judaism, goddess worship, Taoism, and Hinduism-in search of sacred truths regarding sexuality. He reveals that all of these great teachings share the hidden message that spirituality is, in essence, erotic and that sexuality is inherently spiritual. From the erotic cult of the Great Mother and the archaic ritual of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) to the institution of sacred prostitution and the erotic spirituality practiced in the mystery traditions, Feuerstein offers a wealth of historical practices and perspectives that collectively serve as the basis for a positive sexual spirituality suited to our contemporary needs.

About the Author

Georg Feuerstein, PH.D., is the author of over thirty books, including The Toga Tradition, The Philosophy of Classical Toga, Holy Madness, Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy, and Lucid Waking He is the founder-president of the Yoga Research and Education Center

Preface

Sacred Sexuality is about love-not merely the positive feeling between intimates but an overwhelming reverence for all embodied life on whatever level of existence. Through sacred sexuality, we directly participate in the vastness of being-the mountains, rivers, and animals of the earth, the planets and the stars, and our next-door neighbors.

Sacred sexuality is about recovering our authentic being, which knows bliss beyond mere pleasurable sensations. It is a special form of communication, even communion, that fills us with awe and stillness.

Sacred sexuality is about the reenchantment of our lives. It is about embracing the imponderable mystery of existence, about the curious fact that you and I and five billion others cannot account for our existence and our sexuality.

When we truly understand our sexuality, we come face-to-face with the mystery of the spirit. When we truly understand the spiritual dimension of existence, we come face-to-face with the mystery of sexuality. And when we truly understand any-thing, we are immediately cast into mystery and wonder.

The average American apparently makes love twice a week. Assuming that the ordinary person commences sexual intercourse at the age of seventeen and can look forward to an active (if perhaps gradually declining) sex life for a period of at least fifty years, this means that he or she will have repeated the sex act some 4,800 times by the age of sixty-seven. For some people the figure will be much higher, perhaps around 8,000 times, while for a small minority it may be as low as a few hundred times.

Why, then, is it that countless people nevertheless feel dissatisfied and curiously ill at ease with their sexuality? Why is it that they feel a sense of shame or guilt about their genitals and about sex? Why do we generally hide our sexual feelings, some-times even from our partner?

As Morton and Barbara Kelsey, who have given hundreds of workshops, noted in their book Sacrament of Sexuality, "We have found very few people who, when they were honest, did not share real concerns about sexuality." These concerns reveal a deep confusion about the proper place of sexuality in our lives. Despite the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and although we know that "everyone does it," we feel strangely ambivalent about sex.

This book traces the causes of sexual malaise, showing how it is rooted in a deeper, spiritual dilemma: the obscuration of the sacred dimension in modern times. I will argue that there is another, more rewarding, challenging, and creative option to contemporary sex as performance. That option is sexuality as a transformative vehicle of higher human growth: sacred sexuality.

The present work has grown out of my own struggle with sexuality in the larger context of a meaningful life. Like so many people, I have for many years confused sexual need with the need to be loved and have passively expected to be loved rather than taken it on myself to love actively. I have explored many of the opportunities opened up by the sexual revolution, but these explorations gave me neither lasting happiness nor inner peace.

My own sexual dilemma did not begin to lessen until I seriously obliged myself to integrate my sex life with the deeply felt urge to become a whole person. Ten years ago, I voluntarily adopted a lifestyle that required me to inspect closely the psychological mechanism that made me a sexual and emotional consumer rather than a fully cognizant participant in the play of life. Luckily I have a partner who was willing to experiment with different approaches to this problem, which, I believe, lies at the core of the existential dissatisfaction experienced by numerous men and women today.

**Contents and Sample Pages**















Item Code: NAQ955 Author: Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2003 Publisher: Inner Traditions, Vermont ISBN: 9780892811267 Language: English Size: 9.00 X 6.00 inch Pages: 256 (13 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.43 Kg
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