God and Sex

Posted on in Healthy Living by Mark Whitwell

Now We Get Both

One morning my friend Lynn woke up and said to herself, “What if I didn’t have to work on myself today?” She lay there quietly in the morning light, without the usual thought structures of what she should do to be an okay person. Suddenly a great bolt of feeling moved through her, and she lay basking in the livingness and intelligence of the whole body. She got up and went about her day simply in relationship to everyone and everything. That day, she was laughing at herself thinking about how much money she would save on workshops and beauty products.

Many of us never question the feeling of being lacking in some way. We think this is just part of being human. The feeling defines our lives and drives our choices. And the forces of advertising are happy to exploit it. But the feeling Lynn enjoyed is accessible to all of us when we stop and question the sense of being “not quite there yet.” Who told us we were lacking?

The weight of religious culture has presented ordinary life as less than sacred, suggesting that the beauty, power, and intelligence of life lie somewhere beyond. For centuries, the ultimate life meant giving up sex and joining the monastery. If you were still in the village in family life, you were less. Women were less. Sex was less. The tangible conditions of life and our bodies and their natural relatedness have been denied. Therefore, we feel this sense of lack. But what if we were not actually lacking in any way, but just burdened by an outdated idea?

tatoo tantra

God and Sex are the two most powerful concepts in our language. The presumed separation between the two has vulgarized both and made them useless to our lives. I was born into a society that had fixed ideas about God, and very perverse ideas about Sex. The idea of God as “other” makes everybody miserable. The idea of heaven creates a hell out of this abundant paradise. Yet I have found that the word God can be used to refer to the supreme beauty and depthless wonder that is every day. This includes the vast harmony of this cosmos—but not if the cosmos is idealized as a vast controlling father-figure—imposing paranoia and obedience.

World history is rife with terrible things that have been done in the name of this three letter word. But rather than abandon it, we can purify it by bringing it down to earth. We can signify its power—that is alive as you, me, and all existence.

I also saw that Sex and its common expression around the world were reduced to vulgarity and at worse abuse—something sleazy, scarce, or disappointing. It was not the basis of an intelligent, sensitive human life, even though it was obvious to me that Sex was the basis of all life—Mother Nature’s means of putting us here. It is absurd to see how culture has been formed from the denial of this.

Modern culture inherited the old religious distinction between God (everything sacred and ineffable) and Sex (everything tangible and embodied). The belief that we’re lacking comes from the religious search for the sublime, as if it were not present in earthly life. The assumption is that we’re kicked out of Eden and wandering the wilderness. Yet God is on our trail. We’ve been bad, and someone is watching and judging. Who is it? And why are we tasked with the obsession with self-improvement—to somehow redeem ourselves and achieve perfection?

What if I were to tell you that you can participate in both God and Sex? Brought together into clear association, each purifies the other and both become useful to our lives. Life is Sex. Flowers are the Sex of plants. No matter how convoluted our mind becomes, we are still this condition.

But the search actively denies our inherent perfection, obliterating the mind’s ability to notice that it is a function of life and has no existence apart from it. We are never not “connected.” Reality doesn’t wait for the mind to acknowledge it.

Look at a tree. The sublime flourishing of life is already happening. The tree is utterly valid and beautiful just by being a tree, a perfect phenomenon of nature. Nothing needs to be added to it, although it will move through many changes in its natural lifecycle.

We too are part of this perfection. We are nature. You, just as you are right now, are the power of the cosmos, unfolding as pure intelligence and unspeakable beauty in the radiance of life. God and Sex are indeed one.

Dear reader, please try this: When you wake up tomorrow, say to yourself, “What if I didn’t have to work on myself in any way whatsoever? What would I be?” Try it out and see what happens. And then go for a walk in the garden and feel the breeze and the light on your face. Feel the touch of a friend. Or move and breathe in the sense of wonder that you are—also known as Yoga. Enjoying the power of the cosmos that you are. Not trying to become something, as if you are not.

Mark Whitwell is an international yoga teacher and the author of Yoga of Heart and The Promise. Rosalind Atkinson is a writer, activist, William Blake scholar, and yoga teacher. Together they are co-authors of a new book, God and Sex: Now We Get Both (available on Amazon).

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our once-monthly newsletter to get all the latest news & resources

No spam. Unsubscribe any time.