Sex as Sacrament, or Siren Song?
The Cayce material makes clear that there are two fundamental ways to employ our sexual energy. One is to use it instinctually and impulsively, as animals do. The biological result is procreation, planned or unplanned. To achieve this result we simply yield to the neurochemical commands of the reward circuit in the brain’s limbic system. As Cayce says, we let sex control us.
Unfortunately, in the process, we "loose beasts," or, in modern terms, we set off neurochemical cycles of highs and lows, which temporarily alter our perceptions and priorities without our awareness. Pursuing sexual gratification, therefore, leads not to lasting contentment, but rather to recurring dissatisfaction, short-term thinking, or even addictions, all of which can bring out the worst in us. This is the way humankind currently uses its reproductive force, and according to the readings, it constitutes 'misuse.'1 In short, we unwittingly generate the recurring thought patterns of selfishness and scarcity that shape our world.
The other way to use sex is to learn to soothe the fundamental, animal impulse behind procreation. According to Cayce, our Creator intended us to exchange our life force energy for a higher end - one that is equally creative, but does not necessarily lead to physical birth. The readings interpreting Revelation insist that desire has limitless potential when harnessed. One way to harness it is to tap a hidden synergy between partners by exchanging life force energy generously without 'the carnal reaction,' or orgasm.
Paradoxically, after a period of retraining, this soothes sexual frustration and enhances wellbeing, creativity and spiritual growth. By allowing our neurochemistry to function optimally, we bring out the very best emotions in ourselves: patience, gentleness and kindness. Even more importantly, when we cease to use sex as animals do, it enables us to act from the heart, the mind, and the higher self. As our outlook improves, again we shape our world — this time for the better.
In short, a practical course of action for "cleansing, purification and consecration" beckons. As Cayce advised,
Then crucify desire in self; that ye may be awakened to the real abilities of helpfulness that lie within thy grasp. Cayce reading 2475-1
Cultivate the spiritual, the mental and physical desire, rather than those carnal desires that are gratified only for the moment.. Cayce reading 911-7
Without an understanding of the neuroendocrine system, it is hard to imagine that this unfamiliar shift in sexual behavior could lead to such a vastly different outcome. However, small shifts at a hormonal (or neurochemical) level have major effects on our behavior and state of mind. Puberty, menstrual cycles, and even the degeneration of our bodies are all brought on by surprisingly small hormonal shifts. Authorities also acknowledge that neurochemicals are behind the instinctive mating behaviors of lust, infatuation, and bonding.2 Therefore, neurochemicals are equally behind the common tendency to tire of one partner and move onto another (or stagnate in discontent). 3
Passion, novelty and orgasm are not the keys to sexual fulfillment, as we have taught ourselves. They fail to satisfy because of the addictive nature of passion's inevitable neurochemical fluctuations. True fulfillment, wellbeing, solid life-enhancing unions and the strong foundation needed for spiritual growth all depend upon hormonal balance and particularly on the effects of oxytocin. Giving, rather than getting is the key. 4
Although Cayce's language often calls to mind the 'sex is sinful' doctrine of many Christian denominations, the true situation is not a matter of dogma, but a neuroendocrine reality. We now possess the all-important neuroendocrine keys for understanding what the Cayce readings had to say on the subject of our spiritual awakening. Neurochemicals shape our thoughts, feelings and expectations. Add to this understanding the knowledge that we construct our entire experience of the material plane using our minds, and suddenly the allure of passion-based hormonal fluctuations loses much of its luster. Balanced hormone levels are far more appealing, as they lead to calmer emotions, sounder reasoning and greater spiritual clarity.
As the Cayce readings point out, a perfectly synchronized endocrine system leads to regeneration. Not only that, with inner balance we also align with Divine Will — at last bringing to an end the spiritual rebellion Cayce writes about. As the readings say, whenever we employ our life force energy, we choose between higher consciousness and carnal expression - and experience the fruit of our choice accordingly. 5
By channeling this sacred energy generously and spiritually, instead of impulsively so as to gratify the urge for short-term thrills, we enhance the effects of neurochemical balance - making self-control feasible and enjoyable. From there it may be but a short step to opening the 'seals' of the body safely and tapping the regenerative powers of the Tree of Life.
- 1. The animal instinct is the source of man's undoing.' 5747-3
- 2. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, by Helen Fisher, Henry Holt and Company (2004)
- 3. To understand how deeply ingrained this last instinctive behavior is, see article, Deflating the Myth of Monogamy by David P. Barash.
- 4. The mark of the beast is effaced through giving, with God working in and through you. (p. 24, 281-34)
- 5. 288-36