Submitted by pin_cushion on
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Dear Friends,

I would like to talk about something that I so far have not seen described here. I would like to preface this post by saying that I tend to seek naturalist explanations for phenomena in the world. Perhaps Marnia can add a more spiritual commentary. I'm certain that I'm not the first to think of this and here is an excellent place to discuss it.

Marnia talk about a sense of separation between male and female in the world being a source of angst. I like the analogy that male and female put together are like to parts of an electrical circuit with each needing the other to be complete.

It seems to me that human beings have an innate sense of lack in their lives. It seems that we are constantly trying to fill that void with the opposite sex, and this is where Marnia's ideas come in to help us understand how to experience lasting satisfaction. I believe that everyone has experienced this sense of lack, and many of us have forgotten that there was a time before we felt that sense of lack.

Think back to when you were a child on Christmas morning. I remember a time when it felt just awesome to open up all those boxes filled with gifts and toys without a care in the world. I remember coming home from school with not much more on my mind than what video game to play once my homework was done. As a child, it seemed that there was no need to seek relationships with the opposite sex to fill a perceived void in my life, and I assume that many, if not most other people feel likewise.

It seems that at some point in time, a perceived sense of lack sets in. If Marnia is right, then biology uses this sense of lack to drive us from partner to partner, and biology's script is rather painful. I think that this sense of lack, the feeling of something being wrong setting in is what is really the source of the feeling that people are talking about when they use the words "Innocence Lost".

Makes sense to me

I remember being thoroughly annoyed when I started having *intense* crushes on boys (of all people!). Gender polarization definitely skews all sorts of things. I'm also reminded of the words of an old song, called "Shades of Gray."

When the world and I were young,
Just yesterday.
Life was such a simple game,
A child could play.
It was easy then to tell right from wrong.
Easy then to tell weak from strong.
When a man should stand and fight,
Or just go along.

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light.
Today there is no black or white,
Only shades of gray.

I remember when the answers seemed so clear
We had never lived with doubt or tasted fear.
It was easy then to tell truth from lies
Selling out from compromise
Who to love and who to hate,
The foolish from the wise.

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light.
Today there is no black or white,
Only shades of gray.

It was easy then to know what was fair
When to keep and when to share.
How much to protect your heart
And how much to care.

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light.
Today there is no black or white,
Only shades of gray.
Only shades of gray.

Well, you didn't feel a

Well, you didn't feel a sense of lack as a child because you were obviously priviledged.

I don't mean to criticize your point, only to notice that you did fill space and time with an activity as a child. One difference between your young self and older self was probably that you had a mother to fill a lack, and your sense of self was not as conscious as when you were older. Being less self conscious, you were able to fulfill your satisfying affinity for video games. Is there a connection between finding an affinity with a video game as a youngun and finding one as a man feeling an affinity with the feminine through a computer display?

I remember a passage

from one of Mantak Chia's books where he says that when a person is in the womb they are basically balanced as regards yin and yang. So yes, we are born 'perfect' as regards the flow of energy through the body, (though totally defenceless without the care of our mothers etc.) But over the course of time, as we grow up, imbalances form. He states that one of the aims of the practice of sexual yoga is to regain that lost sense of wholeness that one had as a young child, but as the adults we now are. And yes, he does say that one can also practice alone ('single cultivation') because it is basically a problem of one's own energy currents, so yes we don't eternally or otherwise 'need' the outer female to be whole, we just need to rebalance the 'inner' female ie our own yin energy, with our yang energy to be whole. But he doesn't advocate going it alone, he reckons it is actually much easier (not to mention more fun) practising 'dual cultivation'.

About the wholeness in early childhood, yes I remember it well and it's an inspiring memory. But I try not to dwell on it too much because it is, after all, in the distant past. I used to look back too much on the bliss I often experienced then, and in this nostalgic pleasure, miss the ever-present moment that is now. I recall some passage where Jesus says that 'unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven', and he must have been referring to a state of wholeness that we can have, but as the adults we are right now. (btw I'm not a christian I just like alot of what JC said. There are lots of Masters from whom we can learn and grow!)

I agree that wholeness

is the goal...and that union between the sexes is not the only way...but is, indeed, a shortcut. The alternatives require a lot of struggle against one's natural magnetic polarity..and possibly against a natural attraction between the sexes.

I agree, Marnia,

though for years I (mistakenly) idealized spiritual celibacy and sometimes followed it quite well. Until the last 2 years when I got hooked on Mr Lizard's Magic Potion. Today I'm about as celibate as the Pope is Wiccan. If I still sometimes long to be free of the whole darn thing it is because life is so much simpler and less troublesome without the sex issue. But fear of the complexities of relationship (as well as the justified fear of falling for someone and then getting hurt) has kept me away for too long. I know I can't use that as an excuse anymore. If I was born for celibacy I wouldn't be jacking off like a monkey on heat sometimes (this happens less and less often now). So I'm going to give it a chance again (the love thing). But what if I get dumped, or betrayed? That stuff really hurts people, I've seen it happen to others. I even had a mild taste of it myself once (but I did not love the woman in question, so it didn't hurt my heart, just my ego). But how to be open to romantic love and accept the risk involved, ie 'go in' heart and all??
Sorry to rant and rave but I don't have an answer to those questions.


self-sufficiency would be great. And heartache sucks.

However, once you know what sets off so much of the craziness, and can choose another way of managing your lovemaking, love looks a lot less scary. And once you experience this for will look even *less* scary.

In any case...what's the alternative? A downward slope of unhealthy isolation. That *can't* be a winner.


I note a missing element in the conversation about moving on from the joys of childhood. Children are often sensually ailienated from their parents at some stage. Many bonding behaviors are edited out of the parent \child relationship , and are viewed as inappropriate due to a baseline repression of sexuallity that lives in many cultures. The onset of puberty is often coupled with an enforced physical isolation within the family home enviornment. Parents can be ill equiped to diferentiate between sensual and sexual impulses and are therefore often unable to pass along this distinction to their children. For example my girlfriends catholic parents ,and particularly her father, pushed her away at puberty with destructive intensity. That resulted in a belief that the primary man in her life is lying about physical intimacy and preparing to dump her into an isolating void. An expectation of this underlies every transaction in our relationship and comes screaming to the surface when openness and vulnerability become part of the picture. Notably after orgasm. She tends to get tough. And at times, makes imediate premptive preparations for departure.

We are all vulnerable to some degree and more particularly at certain times. This is held in a nurturing way through the sacredness of trust. Trust is at least partly founded at a primal level on the clear distinction between sensuality as an individual experiencing of boundaries and sexuality as a shared experiencing of open permeableity. And therefore vulnerability. Orgasm is the ultimate experience of our permeable vulnerability. There is a primal issue about whether orgasm destroys trust and love ,or extends it beyond our current perception into new life. If this new life is a tumultuous change in the flow of reality it may be viewed as an unwelcome betrayl . Also if we have not learned that our trust travels beyond the visible spectrum, we will believe that we have evidence that orgasmic sex destroys love and trust. The sacredness of trust lives in the extension of nurturing love through the unknown . It's continuity is felt as supportive in the renewed life.

You may recall the story of two sets of footprints in the sand . The travelers , and Gods. During a time of trial one set dissapears. The traveler,looking back at the single set of tracks ,complains that God abandoned him. God then clarifies that in fact " I carried you. " " Oh right, thanks." says the traveler.

Instead of the parent making it clear to the child that the extension of sensual experience into the realm of sexuality is a wonderful new stage of life . Not to be made with parents. But blessed with the parents wisdom about trust . This transition is often bungled through ignorance.

Many of us are struggling with trust issues that underpin our tendency to isolate ourselves. Also these same seeds of ignorance about the basis of trust, produce a lot of confusion around sensuality and sexuality in all of our adult friendships and relationships.

Our ability to regard love as a relational experience instead of it feeling like a crush or lust is founded in our ability to trust. Experiencing a crush or lust happens because the love we felt as children is blocked at puberty due to sex being made wrong. Our love is not able to find immediate active\responsive expression. We are then turned towards using our imagination to help us manifest a new kind of relationship. Unfortunately our immagination uses our previous experience as raw material . We therefore manifest many repeat performances of past painful seperations.

We don't know what we don't know. Trying something new is a courageous act of trust.

I am inclined to extend loving trust into a range of relationships. It suits me to believe that such trust can be maintained whether a given relationship is actively\responsively sexual or not. So love does not end , is not destroyed if sex dosen't happen , or if it stops happening.

I feel like a heretic making that statement. There is something new and untried in it for me. But I'm going to stick my neck out here and write the words . Just in case.

In terms of innocence lost, and perhaps regained. It's worth taking a look at how much we focus on other peoples trustworthyness in relation to our own courageous ability to extend and discover ourselves in the unknown via the sacred energy of trust. In learning about trust we encounter arhcitypal fear at the gates of heaven. Only the trusting arrive intact. The rest of us get to try again.

Thanks for focusing on trust

It's perhaps the key element of healthy attachment...and healthy attachment makes us more confident and resilient in all aspects of our lives.

I'm not totally positive I've grasped all your points, but I just want to say that I believe post-orgasmic fallout can occur independently of great trust between partners. I think it's part of a subconscious mating program, and that, although the symptoms may take different forms and childhood experiences may influence some of them, the program still kicks in to some degree.

This is not to downplay the importance of those childhood factors. (For example, women whose fathers were alcoholics or absent tend to have higher levels of prolactin, which might well make them more reactive to orgasm. And kids who got insufficient loving attention have a baseline neurochemistry that makes them more vulnerable to addiction - with the same result.) However, whatever one's childhood, healthy attachment (bonding), of which trusted companionship is a key element, is still likely to be the best medicine available. This is why bonding behaviors (of which karezza is one, in effect) can be so helpful for so many.

... And more Trust

If we get consious about a mating program.* Thanks Marnia. *We are still left facing the unknown. Who can predict the impact of bearing children. Sex is a blood connection. The permeable vulnerability of orgasmic connection is much like an open wound. I can't remember the neurochemical responsible for blocking pain in the body,but i'll bet that it surges post orgasm. It also blunts perception. Meanwhile conception is at work. If not actually ,at every instance, the raw creative power of it still lives in it's place in the mating program. Whether we sedate it, sidestep away from it, or nuke the little cellular bundles. It's still a massive arising of the unknown. The unknown is utterly implacable. The ultimate authority. We don't know what we don't know. Hence our need to surrender,trust and learn in order to not be trapped in seeking guarantees about our next fix. Whether its dopamine or oxytocin. If we hold our knowledge up to ward off the miraculous, I think we might just as well be pissing in the wind.

I really think that what you're working with here Marnia, can help us ease into feeling a lot more love and stability in our lives. Learning about regulating our own neurochemistry has got to be a huge step towards a healthy way of being.

I can't help but notice that we're individuals talking about relationship on this site. RELATIONSHIP. It's so inherently laced with the unknown. Thank God for our experiencing of trust, without it we'd be in deep kack.

You're certainly right

about the "unknown." We speak so confidently about neurochemicals doing this and that...but experts believe that hundreds *more* neurochemicals and their effects are yet to be discovered...and they're all interacting in very complex ways.

One thing's for sure though. Companionship is healthy...whatever the mechanism. (I'm confident that oxytocin will be *part* of that equation, but equally confident that it will *only* be part.) Ultimately, it's our behavior (including where we put our attention) that will allow us to steer for the results we want. Drugs will always be like blunt hammers, by comparison.

Opiates (endorphins) block pain, and yes, sex does produce them. So does touch. But a blast of opiates breaks down quickly. This means that regular, dependable snuggling is probably better medicine than a big passion trip now and then - even though the intensity of the latter seems to promise more. (Kind of like the difference between the benefits of a regular healthy diet compared with the bliss of an amazing sugar rush from too much of your favorite chocolate mousse.)

I know that for me, too, learning something about our mating neurochemistry was *very* comforting. Even when I didn't get perfect results, I no longer felt like I was being hit by random lightening. I could at last see a "cause and effect" pattern. That was very soothing, when my love life ended up in flames...again. Wink