Sex, Gender and the Sacred

The road to the sacred runs through the carnal. Not only the Bible but Life itself reveals that sexuality is more spiritual than biological. The erotic is God's poetry of love calling us out of ourselves to awareness of beauty and to an expansive creativity and giving of ourselves. We go to God through one another, via loving, not apart from one another. --Paschal.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

HELLO, OPA retreat "Sex & the Sacred" workshop participants:

First, let me say, hello from here in Lexington, and thank you for your warm and enthusiastic response to my workshop completed today, Feb. 19. This was the 3 hour workshop on Sex and the Sacred at the Spirituality and Psychology conference for Ohio Psychologists, Deer Lake Resort, Feb. 18-19. We had 17 present, my memory is about 5 men and 12 women.

Apart from the content, I chose also to teach the method we have developed over some 15 years here in Central Kentucky in the Spiritual Growth Network while leading many retreats. This powerful method accomplishes two diverse outcomes: A. Develops authenticity, and B. Develops Community. Four step path, which I demonstrated twice in 3 hours. Learning this method provides a way for them to lead their own groups for the same ends.

I set this "Sex and the Sacred" topic as a challenge for myself, because our society is really messed up on these basic needs with the churches making the situation worst, because no one has attempted it in workshop style for psychologists and I felt not only called to do it but that I had the experience to do it. The entire workshop was fun and exciting for me to do and I think also for the group. We laughed a lot. I am pleased at the positive response. I expected more critical remarks from a group of psychologists and got none. They (you, if you are reading this) were a warm and positive group.

I demonstrated, experientially, how to reframe sexuality so we can accept it as holy and sacred good in itself, (not simply for making babies), that is, how to combine these two most basic mysteries of life, Sex and God, for which we no longer have any adequate metaphors. Our Sexuality calls us out of ourselves into relationship. The ultimate relationship is with God, who is loving relatedness. I suggested new metaphors that could bring the experience of one’s sexuality into an appreciation also of the sacredness of that eroticism of our nature. Nice challenge for a workshop leader, and I will look forward to their written comments on the evaluation form. I believe that we did that together. That is, I figured out a way to help the participants do that for themselves. No small task for 3 hours. Time went fast.I am pleased that it went so well and honored to have the invitation from OPA and Reckman. I will look forward to reading the Evaluation comments, and you can leave any here below that you wish.

Enjoy the other readings here and in the other blogs. My other blogs dealing with these issues , accessed from the same Writing as a Summons page, are Healthy Spirituality, Love's Poetry, Stories of God, Whence the Wind, Spiritual Growth Network and the Human Shadow. The one person present who was in corrections will find our reporton our work in that field described in the blog entitled Fierce Landscape for the Spiritual Warrior, also accessed via the Writing page.

Namaste, to my new Ohio friends.
Paschal Baute

Monday, February 14, 2005

MEN AS JERKS and the women who create them

On a recent list posting a list of the
ways men are, humor about “men.�

I laugh about those puns about men
case there is always some element of reality
in the Laughing At men's idiosyncrasies.
But another part of me says, women
cannot take that kind of kidding from us men,
NO Way. Their sensitivities would be outraged.
Any man who talks about
"how women are"
is certainly a
male
chauvinist
pig–
His stereotyping of women
is proof positive. No doubt at all!

Now if this gender conversation
is not a 2 ways street and we men
cannot make fun of the peculiarities of women
and the funny, etc outrageous way some women
behave, without appearing to insult the whole lot,
then... what is really going on?

We all need occasional humor to cope with this
chaotic & crazy world. But do we have to do it
at the expense of one another?
I strongly dislike comics
who try to be funny at the expense of fat people, etc
or any steretype.
Really rubs me.
To laugh at ourselves gently with each other
about our peculiarities in an intimate relationship
is one thing. To pass on stereotypes FWD is,
I propose, another, entirely.

No man can understand what it is like to be a woman today.
Right? But Vice Versa also. . . ..
That is part of the spice of life and the mystery.
Part of me wants to laugh, but part of me says “No way
would the shoe fit the other foot.
Dagwood
and his kin must be the bumblers.
Never Daisy.

Part of me, when I hear that stuff wants to shout
"Hey!" That may be funny to some, but it also
keeps us from being open to and embracing the
otherness of the other, how incredibly different
we are, amusing different, stunningly different,
but also attractively and "grace-fully" different.

Who taught men to be the way men are?
Their mothers.
Who insists that they continue to be that way?
Their mothers, wives, girl friends, and daughters.
Women.


Because it is the macho kind of jerk who still
turns on most women, not the gentleman
who opens the door for one of them.

The coeds in my college classes admitted freely
it was not the nice guys that they were attracted to.
They were "too easy." It was the guys who
were disdainful, arrogant, full of themselves, etc.
who were the greatest turn-ons. They alone were
the challenges to their female charms, Not the kind
thoughtful types 'cause "They were too easy."
Much agreement among the women on this point.
even if some of it was reluctant agreement. Then, guess what
they gripe to all the nice guys who will listen about
what jerks the guys they are dating really are!
Funneee! And Guess what?
The Nice Guys LISTEN
(and thereby dig their grave, --relationship wise--
because it is NOT the nice
guys that most women go after...)
Irony.

We each and every one of live in the world we
ourselves create. Guess who is creating those kind
of guys, shaping them by what they reinfornce and
reward? Women.

Ladies, let me say it, and risk
all kinds of ... flack.
Most of you get what you deserve
in men.
(men get what they deserve too)

because it is your gender
who shapes the little boy
(reinforcing male identity)
from the beginning far more,
typicaly, than
does any father.
Mother alone is Goddess of the Nursery, even
in the two career marriage today.
Yes, Men are a whole lot different than
they were 40-50 years ago. Because
after the work ethic necessary merely
to survive in the 30s and 40s.
we saw that it was to our own benefit to
be more involved with our kids.

I prefer not to engage in humor that
stereotypes others, and I do not particularly
care for it, either when my gender is being
made fun of, or when any kind of person
is being made fun of.
We men die off soon enough,
either because the women are the stronger
(probably true) or because we wear out sooner,
(because until recently we have easily
assumed more of the burden of
takin gon the world
and bringing home the bacon,)
or because, (can you see
the predominance of women
in nursing homes and retirement villages?
Know what that prevalence
of the women outlasting men
in life means?
aha! that is clear
unmistakeable proof) of
who is driving who
crazy sooner in life. :-)

Did you hear the one about the woman who. . . .
You haven;t?
No, I refuse to tell it.

Cynics and critics
wake us up
Comfort hides from the truth
and allows us to sleep on
in our ignorance.
–anon.
So what if every one of you women
are peculiar in your femaleness?
Is that not lovable also?
Life and Grace summons us
to welcome the stranger, even
in their otherness from us,
because, from Abraham on,
that generous hospitality is the gateway
to blessing.

Discussion?
Namaste
Paschal

She was lovely. . . .until. . . .

She was lovely
beautiful
beyond compare
until
she began
to find fault
with me.

I was no longer
the “Perfect lover�
that she
imagined
I was.
But it was
her thinking
that made me
so.

It was not me
but what
she wanted
me to be.

Once she started
looking at me critically
it seemed
she
could
not
stop.

She
changed.

From being
“the perfect lover�
I became instead
the man who
could not
do anything right.

I began to look
for ways to avoid her.

Do you blame me
for not wanting
to hang out with
someone
convinced
I would never,
ever
be good enough
for her?

Bye, bye.

–Paschal,
written on behalf of some nonverbal male friends
who never did understand what happened. What they are sure
of, and the only thing they are really sure of, is that they will never
give their heart to another woman. Sad? Surely.

The gender games people play today are very intense and hard.
It is a different time and place and culture than what it used to be..
Most young people judge the surface quickly, and never give anyone a second
chance. It is everyone look out for #1. Look to your own needs.
Do it to others before they can do it to you.
My therapist friends who are still doing therapy, God bless
em all, tell me there’s no longer self-examination,
simply self-justification.