Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fecundity

 In the previous series of essays on sweetness, I mentioned that all of creation — Eckhart's creatures— are actually reproductive or sexual organs. This may not make much sense to the average reader, so I think the question bears greater examination.

First of all, let us be clear that creatures, creation, refers to all things created — objects, events, circumstances, and conditions. That is to say, the totality of manifestation, the Dharma, is what Meister Eckhart means when he refers to creatures. In the same sense that the Sufi mystics understood it, anything that can be thought of falls into the category of creatures. The manifestation of reality, the existence of the cosmos, is but one single expression of creation and creativity, one single instance out of an infinite number of possible instances of creative thought and creation itself which God is capable of. That is to say, our own cosmos is a single thought in the mind of God, in much the same way that modern physics understands our universe to be one of an infinite number of universes, the multiverse theory. The two ideas are hardly different, in the end.

That which is, that which has Being, is essentially fecund in nature. We cannot separate Being from its productivity; and although sexuality, as a word, nowadays carries strictly biological connotations in terms of the mixing of genes through gender interaction, the word actually applies to a much larger set of actions in which all objects, events, circumstances, and conditions combined with the one another through the action of causality and produce new objects, events, circumstances, and conditions.

This perpetual unfolding of the Dharma is perhaps best captured, in Buddhism, by staggeringly florid works such as the Avatamsaka sutra; yet the idea is recapitulated in diverse works, such as the begettings in the Hebrew Bible, and the extensive investigations by Ibn al Arabi, who did some of the most incisive thinking on the subject to date.

This means that all action is sexual in nature; and sexuality, as Gurdjieff pointed out, is an energy of an extremely high order, so much so that if it is properly oriented, all other energies fall in behind it. If, on the other hand, it is subverted to lower forces, catastrophic dissonance ensues (see Gurdjieff's comments in chapter 12 of  In Search of the Miraculous.)

Yet at its heart, because sexuality runs everything and because the reproductive nature of material reality, even the lowest material levels (think of the organization of molecules into crystalline structures) are ultimately regulated by the constant reinvention of all that is. Conge said that everything prays; one could just as easily say that everything has sex, because sex and prayer are not separate things: they are joined forces, aimed at God's reproduction of His universes within the limitless context of all His thoughts.

 I realize that some of these concepts may be difficult for readers to understand, because one has to have a specific experience of how impressions are nectar, the way we collect them, how sweetness is expressed, and understand on a granular and cellular and even molecular level how these things integrate into the fecundity that Meister Eckhart presents as the essential nature of God. The closest most of us come to an experience of this is sexual orgasm, which has an undeniably different quality of experience from the rest of ordinary being. What is not understood is that this is a relatively limited and rather tiny expression of the full potential of higher energy in man; and that sexuality, with all of the higher energies that drive it, ultimately lies at the heart of spiritual experience, since the action of oneness with the Lord is, in the end, a sexual or reproductive action, in which the Lord is reborn within us.

A great deal of confusion has arisen on this subject because of the tendency of people to mix Tantric sexual practice, that is, corporeal or bodily sexual practice, with higher sexual practice, which takes place on levels and with energies that can only be reflected by the body, not held or contained by it. In this sense, all of human experience within the body is a reflection of the higher principles.

 This leads us to the idea of the body as a reflection of God, that is, a mirror in which all of God's Being is captured and reflected back at God Himself.

Hosanna.




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