This is part of a manuscript by a man in England named Leigh Martin, a retired therapist. It's called Bathing The Soul, and I share it with his permission. It begins with a thorough look at an ancient culture that thrived some five thousand years ago in the Indus Valley...for seven hundred apparently peaceful, prosperous years. (Thereafter an earthquake shifted the course of the river on which the civilization depended and its citizens scattered.) Key aspects of this ancient culture are believed to survive in the non-violent Jain tradition, with over four million adherents in India today. Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and Jain libraries are the oldest in India. Jainism influenced Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, among other traditions. According to Martin, the pre-Jain Indus Valley Civilization (IVC),
was unlike any other. They didn't fight their neighbours, they didn't celebrate war and conquest, and they didn't even make weapons. Instead the archaeologists dug up only loads of toys. They were egalitarian and had no wealthy elite. They built great cities that were technically advanced and even had bathing facilities within very many homes. They were also ethically advanced and tolerant of diversity .... They had an astonishingly modern and even "scientific" understanding of what is healthy.
...We really don‟t know what the original rituals of the IVC were because there was no written record. The rituals presented here come from a later period but they might be close to the originals because there is a strong oral tradition in India. Also we have many clues from the artifacts. The pictures reproduced in Part 1 show evidence of Yoni Puja or worship of female genitalia.
The author calls these ancient people "Bathe-ists" because they used ritual bathing as a self-purification technique. Apparently it served as a constant reminder that we all have some work to do on our egos. Here are his chapters on partnership and sexual union.
Chapter - The Bathe-ist Partnership
A Bathe-ist partnership is based on equality, the building admiration and practicing mutual worship through the fulfilment of each other‟s needs (plus it can include Sacred Sexual Union described in the next chapter). Worship is not for Gods; it is designed into humanity to lift up equals into a sacred union. And worship does not work if applied in only one direction. One partner becomes “needy and pathetic” whilst the other partner becomes “spoilt and selfish”. It needs careful and intelligent handling to get right. The ideal is equality in all things but there is often going to be a „leading‟ partner in this endeavour and he/she must lead well and not become the boss.
This kind of partnership has all the characteristics of a good friendship but there is much more. There are 9 acts of togetherness listed in this chapter that help deepen this friendship and make it special. One more act of togetherness is described in the next chapter. This involves the sexual side of life and can only be successfully applied within a relationship with a life partner. This is not a moral judgement but a statement of fact; this higher form of divine union will simply not happen unless the partners are close and committed.
1 Bathe-ist Partnership is based on equality and sharing. There is no room here for either male or female dominance. Naturally each gender or partner has their strengths and weaknesses so their contributions are different but they make equal effort to ensure the needs of their partner are fulfilled. Many societies are totally male dominant and it is difficult for both parties to throw off these ways. In other cultures, some women contrive to gain control, often in the bedroom first. The home becomes their empire and they come to dominate the whole partnership. The man is allowed to be boss only at work. This might seem better for the woman than male dominance, but this is not equality. It might be workable but will eventually lead to an empty marriage.
2 A Bathe-ist partnership is based on practicing worship of each other. Worship is not of the religious kind, as is done in the temple but practiced through giving service and fulfilling their needs and desires. Worship is not for the Gods but is designed into humanity to uplift equals into a sacred union. Worship is an excellent way to clear your Tensions, Toxins & Veils. Worship is sometimes passionate and sometimes subtle but never poured over someone like a continuous and overwhelming waterfall.
You build admiration upon the positive qualities of your partner. They too will have their baggage and special-burden, which you must accept. Remember, they must live with yours. You see past their special-burden and worship their divine qualities. Worship is then the secret ingredient that can bring out that is which is divine. You respectfully help them unload their special-burden of toxins etc, as they can help you with your burden. Make a point of expressing your appreciation through words of praise as well as through smiles, assuring touch, hugs and any or all of the following acts of togetherness.
3 Listen to your partner‟s „dreams‟, fears and troubles and give support. Also listen to the small picture of the everyday needs. Failure to listen, even to the small picture, and make a reasonable and appropriate response shows disrespect. Disrespect is the rock on which all partnerships founder.
4 Share the household tasks as a means to build the relationship.
5 Live a life with many times of special togetherness. It is good to have a joint „mission‟ in life with some shared pursuits but just as important to regularly introduce some surprises and occasionally make big changes.
6 Keep a diary of events of togetherness – to celebrate your appreciation – with photos or, if you have the skills, paintings and sculpture.
7 Massage – Sacred Indian Massage (Shakti Masakudhal – see Part C) is designed to clear the physical and mental manifestations of taints & veils. This massage avoids genital contact. It is generally designed to be therapeutic. It is an excellent form of TLC. So many people lose touch with and even hate parts of their body. So a good massage, in a secure and trusting atmosphere, can be particularly effective when this personal touch is received as an appreciation and a valuing of all parts of the body. In a sacred partnership this appreciation can be a form of worship.
8 Bathing and grooming your partner – close personal care can be a delight – and it can be part of ritual purification. (This act is not necessarily „sexual‟ – it is clearly personal and might be intimate, it involves trust – as between a mother and child, or nurse and carer
9 Seek the funny side to life (especially when naked) – innocent delight and good humour helps everyone in a sticky situation.
All relationships involve love, but the word “love” has many means different meanings. Its casual use can cause great misunderstanding and trouble. “Love” can simply mean a display great compassion, but the word “Love” is also used as a code word for “I desire you sexually”. On the other hand, “love” between friends is not sexual, but expressed through the special enjoyment of their company. It‟s at its best when it is supportive & nurturing. It helps you through tough times and can be most therapeutic. It has the best interests of the friend at heart. In the next chapter, we turn to “love” of a sexual kind when we consider one more act of togetherness that builds the Sacred Sexual Partnership.
These acts of togetherness all help to build and deepen the partnership. They bring out the best in each partner and the best can be very fragrant. This fragrance that has the power to calm the testosterone filled world of the masculine and carry both on a journey to paradise.
There is a story in Indian mythology that the giant lingam (= penis) of a most powerful god was rampant in the land and tearing it apart. The other male gods could do nothing to halt the destruction, so they sent a certain goddess of wisdom to solve the problem. Her solution was to engulf the lingam in her loving yoni (= vagina). Having calmed the savage beast she set about instructing him in spiritual ways and higher things. Paradise was born in their unity. This goddess was called Saraswati, which happens to be the name of the main river that fed the river Indus at the time of the IVC.
Chapter - Sacred Sexual Union
Nothing here is compulsory, but for those who have the good fortune to be in a close relationship, with a partner who is enthusiastic; it is a wonderful opportunity that should not be missed.
Worshipful, enthusiastic, intimate sexual play is a pathway to the dissolution of the ego. You will then be better prepared to enter an ecstatic and divine union of oneness.
Sexual union can be an important and natural path to spiritual growth because it utilises an important part of human design. Sex must NOT become a routine aimed at working up only to the physical climax and getting „relief‟. The physical „orgasm‟ is not important. Going for physical orgasm can be very addictive – like a drug – because of the brief „rush‟, but this routine is only a diversion from a much better path. Going for orgasm of this kind is ultimately empty and dissipating. Instead of jumping onto this routine physiological conveyer that carries you to orgasm, you can take a different path. This is the path to a „divine union of oneness‟.
This practice of sex is NOT aimed at producing a „great performance‟. Any ideas of „great performance‟ impose a burden of self defeating anxiety and also miss the point of why two people come together. What really matters is not “super sex” but the dissolution of the ego that can occur in a sacred partnership. The ego dissolves when other aspects of your special burden of toxins, tensions and mental veils have been cleared away (or at least have been reduced). Sexual practices like these described here help to clear these burdens. What particular burden really matters depends on the individual but a common burden that causes a lot of trouble, is “Lack of confidence” (a.k.a. “Low Self-Esteem”, or “Self-loathing”). Dropping this burden, through playful and worshipful practices, brings out the divine nature of both partners and leads to “a divine union in heaven”.
Let the "Goddess" Lead
Most of the sex advice that swamps us, in the form of books, videos, magazine articles and TV programs is gender biased. It is male dominant. It‟s all about a stiff penis being thrust, in any number of sexual positions, all aimed at giving the partners a “great climax”. Perhaps some „feminine‟ preparation is suggested in the form of candles, cushions, fragrance and soft music. Perhaps some “foreplay” games are suggested. Some advice given is claimed to be “Tantric” and offers techniques for multiple orgasms. Methods for „holding-back‟ are described. The technique of pressing into point between the scrotum and the anus is often favoured, either by finger pressure, or with the heel. All of this is a waste of time when it is led by masculine values. It is no different even when the manuals are written as if from the East. These societies have also been male dominant for centuries and have the same biased advice.
What is needed is a fundamental change that affects everything. The „Goddess‟ must lead. From the beginning the atmosphere created is based upon worship. It is a gentle opening-up to each other. (Not a-taking-by-storm). Each partner must become attuned to the other and become deeply immersed in the „fragrance‟ and the energy field of their partner. They open-up to each other through all of their senses – often hardly touching to begin with. As her passion rises, her vagina moistens and opens. She absorbs the male member. He does not thrust his way in and come to dominate the process. Instead it is a mysterious, subtle and gentle process of becoming One heart, One spirit and One flesh. Vigorous movement is unnecessary. Indeed if the man, or even the woman switch into a mechanical / friction method of stimulating the male and female sex „points‟ (glans, prostate, clitoris, “G” spot, “A” spot) they will get lost in pursuit of the physiological climax. The physiological climax is not the pinnacle of the mountain; it is not the ultimate goal. That is a diversion. The true peak is the union into One. Male ejaculation is not needed and can ruin the journey. The temptation to „let go‟ is great. There are special techniques that are designed to stop male ejaculation involving pressing into a point on the perineum but that is a cheat. The best technique is to simply relax and stop moving, avoiding all triggers; to take a break. This is easier when the burden of anxiety to perform is lifted. No longer is it the man‟s job to have a climax and to „force‟ a climax from his partner. Letting his partner take the lead, she can control gentle and intermittent movement, sometimes, with stillness of body; a more subtle interplay of genital muscles can take place. However, because the focus is no longer on getting to ejaculate, he can relax and instead direct his efforts towards the union of hearts, minds, spirit and energies through the bodily contact. This „merging of Two-into-One‟ is a milestone on the road to „Divine Union‟. To reach full "Divine Union" needs the extra rituals and other practices of Bathe-ism.
A physiological climax might occur well after the peak of Two into One, but in comparison it becomes an “anti-climax” (= of surprisingly little value) and, with practice, will fall away and not be missed. Indeed, the man will discover his health and vigour will improve without that explosive burst and emptying. He may well increase his flow of clear „juices‟ from his prostate and seminal vesicles during play but it does not contain his "seed". This is healthy and increases the enjoyment of the sexual experience.
The ultimate peak experience occurs when lovers attain a union of "Two into One" and a "Union into Oneness with the Universe" (where you experience the sparkling and vibrant nature of all things with which you are one. That is an experience the hidden Paradise that is around you all the time. You will not stay at this peak but when you come down a good result is that the minds of both become totally calm, warm and emptied of all thought. This „emptiness‟ is also called “Nirvana” (The Indian name for Heaven). This will change your life. So, let the Goddess lead.
More on Right Thinking
Both need to avoid getting onto the climax-is-the-aim conveyer belt. We use the idea of a conveyor belt here because there is something mechanical even robotic and detached about it. People often work themselves hard to try to get up to point where “climax” or “orgasm” soon follows. It can become very dissipating. They can feel emotionally empty and even disinterested in their partner when it is over. You might get “relief” but you don‟t get fulfilment. It is not a path to a divine union. It is an opportunity wasted. There are many unhelpful ideas that lead onto this conveyer belt.
One such unhelpful idea is “I must work hard at this and perform well to get a good orgasm and satisfy my partner”. That is called the “performance error”. It can be self-sabotaging, especially for men. They rush off to get Viagra. Then they perform in a heat of sweat. It might give them, and their partner, a momentary thrill but then there is emptiness. Women can make the same error in other ways. They either think they need to please their man so they take part in this kind of performance or they think they should be „pleased‟ by the man in this way. Again, they might get a momentary thrill but so unsatisfying in the long run that they become bored. It is usually men who make another serious error when they go for an egotistical and selfish “hard f**k”. They simply see the woman as a lump of flesh to satisfy their needs. I doubt if such a man would have read this book this far anyway. It needs no criticism here. Women can sometimes do the same, it is deeply unattractive.
One helpful mindset, that avoids seeing sex as a performance, is to see sex as play; naturally this is play for both people in the partnership and this play is always worshipful. The idea of play keeps it relaxed and away from “the conveyor”, and away from giving yourself a self defeating aim. The moment you burden yourself with an aim you are likely to lose your way. You don‟t even need to have the special aim of making “spiritual sex”. By keeping it as play, by constantly returning to being relaxed, avoids the physiological “conveyor” that will take you into working up a sweat and going for “climax”. There is no need to fear things won‟t happen. Even if you do lose touch with “the feeling” there is still no need to panic and start a performance. Just relax and let things take a different course. That is the nature of children‟s play – they don‟t work up a sweat but accept things as they are and simply take a natural route. What is actually going on, when playing, is that you are being within each other‟s personal space and your „energy fields‟ are coming into unity. „Spiritual connexion‟ is growing. This connexion can be deepened by introducing certain practices and rituals that involve the sharing of energies and „fluids‟ (described later). What is most important is the egoic-barriers are slowly being dissolved.
When you continue „being with each other‟ in this relaxed and playful place it can be magical. Human beings are designed to enter a state of spiritual union and it will happen provided you don‟t block it with barriers of your own making. So don‟t believe the myths. It is not a performance. It does not require a super orgasm. It is not a proof of manhood. It is not necessary to go for a “climax”. It is not necessary to get “relief”. It is not necessary to work hard and “get sweaty”. It is only necessary to be playful, uninhibited and worshipful.
What‟s the difference?
"Routine sex" is aimed at reaching a physiological climax. What is said to be “good” routine sex is where you not only go for a climax for yourself, but you make the effort to ensure your partner reaches a climax too. It is particularly rewarding to climax together.
"Divine Union" is aimed at attaining a state of higher spiritual union of „oneness‟ with your beloved and „oneness with the universe'. The vehicle used is sexual interplay but not aimed at physiological climax. This interplay involves the dropping of all personal boundaries (of fear) and a totally uninhibited giving of yourself to your beloved. Your partner responds likewise. This is uninhibited playful worship (not a grasping for a physiological climax) and it leads to union.
To support this playfully uninhibited atmosphere and give you something to do that helps clear away ego you may usefully explore the energy-fluid sharing practices of certain religious traditions e.g. “The Mantra of Spiritual Union”, “The Bathing & Pampering Ritual”, “The Shared Breath Ritual” and “The Lata-Sadhana ritual”. Naturally these rituals are refreshing when they are new, but, like anything, they can become stale and just a new routine; what really matters is not the ritual itself but the enthusiastic uninhibited interplay of two people deeply in love. Such people can be exquisitely inventive and are carried to new heights by these acts of togetherness and their constantly renewing desire.
The following pages, with details of the rituals, were added to later editions of the book after requests. They were originally not included to avoid this book being seen as sex manual. Sacred sexual union is not an essential practice of Bathe-ism otherwise it would exclude those who are not partnered. However, it can be an important additional route to paradise. This inclusion emphasises the point that sex can be a route to higher experience and is not designed to be "super-sex" advice. After all, sex is a normal part of life and not seen as something smutty.
Mantra of Spiritual Union
This Mantra can be used before and during any of the other rituals.
The couple sit facing each other and gaze into each other‟s eyes. They can be naked or clothed, although the vulnerability of nakedness adds power to the words of total acceptance. The mantra is chanted or whispered. The version here is quite complex for a mantra. Many traditional mantras popularised in the West are reduced to one sacred sound (e.g. “Om” or “Om-Ah-Hum”), There are special ways to make this sound depending upon the tradition (Hindu, Buddhist, Tibetan, Tantric etc). You can develop your personal tradition of Mantra. This example forms a short poem.
“I adore you ... just as you are”
“I accept you into my heart”
“I accept you into my mind”
“I accept you into my body”
“I accept you into my soul”
It is possible to reduce this poem to fewer words and keep the thought behind it, by selecting one line, one word, from which all else flows. You are welcome to write your own. Then you can be as "cheesy" as you like.
The Bathing & Pampering Ritual
This ritual is exactly what it says; it is a way of bathing and pampering each other that is reverential and worshipful. Time and effort is put into preparations to make the event special. Warmth is important, many towels, candles and music may figure according to taste. It can be performed in many different ways according to your situation and facilities. It can be performed in a bathroom, bathing pool or a river. As its intention is to bathe and groom it can even be done for someone confined to bed.
Bathing can be followed by the application of lotions. If the hair is washed, this can be brushed and groomed. It can include the cutting of hair, trimming of nails and the brushing of teeth. This ritual alone can bring partners closer together or it can be combined with other rituals.
The Ritual of the Shared Breath
The couple move in to sit facing each other, very close and intertwined. They can be lightly clothed or naked. Then they gently touch lips. Kissing and exploring your partner using soft lips is accompanied by a sharing of breath; as one breathes out the other breathes in. An intimate connexion can be made through the exchange of breathe and energy. They consciously synchronise breathing pattern. They can also synchronise opposite to each other share the air, although only for a few delicious breaths.
This can be performed in darkness so is suitable for those people who are shy of their body. As shyness recedes the ritual can be performed in candlelight. In the light it becomes possible for the couple to share in another way. They stare deeply into each other‟s eyes for a long time. This, along with breath sharing and gentle intimate explorations with face, tongue and fingers will take away another layer of egoic fear defences. The couple can enter a higher state of connexion. ...