I think it is fair to say that in the modern world we expect a lot from our romantic relationships; we expect our relationships to somehow provide us with life goals like happiness, identity, security, and a sense of empowerment. As important as sexual relationships are, it is my belief that we expect too much from them. Still it has to be said that there are good reasons why we expect so much. For instance, there is a great promise—almost an anticipation of something higher—in the energy of sex. Sex is meant to empower us, but only in the sense that it gives us a taste of what is actually possible. There is saying in medieval alchemy that states: ‘In order to make gold, you need to have gold.’ This saying is actually about our inner alchemy—the production of higher energies in the body—and it refers to sex or more correctly, to the energy of sex and the energy of positive emotions. What this means is that the energy of sex uses the same energy as consciousness, but in a mechanical or unconscious way. The theory is that if we didn’t have some experience of consciousness automatically programmed into human activity, it would be impossible for us to know anything about it. So in this case sex energy can be seen as the gold that we need to have to make gold, and consciousness as the gold that we create from the gold that we already have.
In order to understand this saying, you first have to be able to distinguish sex energy from sex. Sex is a natural result of sex energy, but sex energy can be used for many other activities. It can be used for artistic creation, for athletic achievement, for almost anything.
Sex is a separate and independent function—separate from the instinctive, the emotional, and the intellectual—but its energy can manifest through the other functions. So the energy from sex can be used for activities that have nothing to do with sex. It can be used, for instance, to write a song or a poem, to climb a mountain, to sell a car, to debate a political theory, or even to preach a religious sermon. It can be used, or expended, in the expression of negative emotions, or to feed a weakness, or to commit a crime. When sex energy gets into activities besides sex, the resulting behavior is characterized by extremes and by an excitement that isn’t justified by the activity.
Sex energy is the highest energy produced by the body without conscious effort. It, in fact, has the same level of vibration as the energy produced in the first stages of consciousness. But there are two important differences. The first is place. Consciousness is based on higher emotions, and so it occurs in a different place in the body and in a different place within the energy production process. The other major difference is that sex energy is generally coarser. The difference can be felt. Think about it this way: sex energy is a mechanical representation of a higher energy. Because sex energy is unconscious it can easily attach itself to any number of weaknesses, identifications, and perversions that exist in the mind, the body, and the emotions. This is what Gurdjieff called ‘abuse of sex.’
If the sex function worked on its own, without interference from the other functions, its energy is said to stand on a level with the energy of the soul. The problem is that the lower functions regularly rob the sex center of its energy. The results can be disastrous. When the mind tries to use sex energy, it becomes obsessed; it can’t stop thinking about a person or a subject. When the body tries to utilize sex energy, it becomes tense and overwrought or it runs around in a panic for no reason. And when negative emotions become connected to sex, you end up with emotional dysfunction, impotency, irrational fears, and almost any other psychology problems that can be imagined.
Abnormality, or perversion, in relation to sex is probably best understood as connecting pain, anger, violence, fear, or anything that is negative or repulsive to sex. One of the most important things to understand about sex is that it should have no negative side. Either there are pleasurable and joyful sensations, or there are no sensations at all. Any negativity connected with sex means that the energy from the sex function is being plundered by the mind, the body, or the heart.
The weaknesses, identifications, and perversions that can become attached to sex need, to a large extent, to be overcome before any kind of semi-permanent state of consciousness can appear. There are a number of reasons for this. In the first place there is the question of energy. The same energy that is expended in weakness and perversion is needed for consciousness to manifest. It must not be forgotten that consciousness has an energetic side. We produce a large amount of energy, both through sleep at night and through the process of transforming impressions, air, and food, and if we are serious about producing consciousness, a certain amount of that energy needs to go into practices like being present. The second issue here is transparency or unity. To become more conscious means that your inner world becomes more transparent and unified, which means that you cannot hide things so easily from yourself. You cannot have consciousness without awakening the heart, which means a kind of emotional awareness of yourself and others, and people who live surrounded by negativity and perversion stifle the heart.
Sex is often seen in terms of control or liberation, both of which become problematic when taken to an extreme. Trying too much to repress sexual desire leads to sex energy unduly affecting the rest of your life. This in turn tends to result in extreme behaviors like overeating, rushing, impatience, chattering without thinking, and, in general, a volatility or a certainty in relation to subjects that require, not passion, but balance, generosity, and considered thought. Sexual promiscuity on the other hand tends to lead to a kind of emotional apathy in relation to other important aspects of your life. The passion for enlightenment—as well as for other pursuits like art, friendship, family, and work—are used up in the pursuit of pleasure.
Both the road to indulgence and the path of repression can lead to abnormalities in sex. In indulgence there is a greater and greater need for stimulation, so there is a tendency to seek energy from negativity and violence, which are common expressions of energy in modern culture. In repression the stress of non-expression is likely to connect the stimulation of sex to emotions like panic or fear, or, if they exist, past memories of sexual trauma.
Sex and sex energy generally play a large part in our sense of who we are. This is so because our feeling of identity is largely dictated to us, not by our daily, commonplace moments, but by our most intense experiences. Intense experiences, sexual or otherwise, force us into ourselves in ways that other, more humdrum experiences cannot. They force us to think and feel at a level that either exhilarates or frightens us.
Daniela Keller [Tools-of-Life.at] ist mit Fokus auf Ernährung, Entgiftung und Stressreduktion und bioenergetische Körperarbeit, , seit 25 Jahren in eigener Praxis in Wien tätig. In der Einzelarbeit, Spezialisierung auf diffuse und komplexe Krankheitsbilder, wie Allergien, Autoimmun-Krankheiten, chronische Erschöpfung und trauma-sensitive, psychische Begleitung. Sie gibt Kurse und Workshops zu Grundlagen der Selbstheilung. Zu Ernährungsthemen finden Vorträge und eine Ernährungs-Sprechstunden statt.