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Oh Woman! Oh Beauty! Oh Life!

One of the burdens of healing sin is to take it into yourself from those not yet strong enough to resist it. The selfish would hope simply to dispel it, but as sin is nothing but selfishness – the imposition of our image upon a spirit no less sacred than our own – to  cast out sin is an error. That would be to allow it the booty of its conquest. Rather, we must separate the essential from the vile, and return what was taken to the victim.

So for a long time I thought of my antagonists as my “supply chain.” But in every endeavor of grace, there is a time to heal, and a moment to inspire. I have suffered under the weakness of those that assail me for long enough. It is time to claim that which is good and strong.

So I found myself, at Good Friday services yesterday, focusing on the connection between the Cross and the future of love that arises upon his return. In that process, I found my hand guiding Christ around this era into that future. In considering that manifestation, I found myself excluded from it.

I am not disconsolate. In conserving its hold over us, sin has claimed much that is sacred. I have written about that elsewhere, how the loss of Eden was not limited to the breaking of trust with Unconditional Love, but the loss of trust between Man and Woman. Through that corruption, the Darwinian procreative urge reasserted itself. Rather than an act of loving spiritual connection that unleashes our shadowed glory upon the world, sex has been claimed for shame.

I recoiled from this fundamental misconception, so common in Christian teaching, in the sermon of the Lutheran minister during the interregnum in the reading of the Passion. We are creatures of sin, he claimed, and only Christ’s sacrifice redeems us. No, sir, we are not creatures of sin. We are creatures of choice, and even death on the Cross could not dispel the loving forgiveness that Christ brought to the world. In choosing to live wholly within it, every part of us will manifest the grace of God’s imagining of us. There is no aspect of our humanity that cannot be made sacred by love.

Yet I recall, now, the words I spoke from the pedestal in Oakland: “My name is Brian. I am from the future, reaching into the past. And I am an open heart.” It was a presaging of yesterday’s bypass.

My father was a prolifically sexual man. During our teen years, the boys had ready access to Playboy magazine. That instilled a perception of women as objects of pleasure, and a fascination with idealized feminine forms that covered the shallowness of their spiritual investment in the world.

My mother could not compete with this conditioning, and perhaps that is in part why she now decries the “patriarchal dominance” of our culture.

While I have not been a sexual libertine in this life, in my youth I explored vicariously many of its manifestations.  Over the years, that fed potent dreams that I realize now were participatory with women that were enamored of me. I understood this only late in my life: while some have dropped references to “porn star” in my hearing, I have never had my dreaming interrupted by other couples – except once when a pair in Africa peeked over the edge of their mattress to offer sympathy for my loneliness. I seem to be completely in control of my sexual imagination.

I see now, however, that my descent into the cesspool of corruption that men created for woman has left me vulnerable to the claim that my relationships with women are dominated by prurient interest. I see it differently, of course: over the last fifteen years, all of my dreaming has ended “Yes, but what about this part of you that you are ignoring?” Bliss was merely the method of achieving intimacy, with the goal of penetrating the lie that our carnality is a perversion that cannot be redeemed by love. Rather, like any other aspect of human nature, it is a tool, suitable to specific places and times, that allows us to reach Life in its most elemental level, and thereby to accomplish acts of healing and creation that are inaccessible through any other means. It has been my goal to propagate this understanding, to attempt to redeem woman’s self-esteem without insisting that they engage the world in the modality of men. It was to look deeply into them and offer them the paean that heads this post.

How long will it be before you assimilate it, before Mystery surrenders her resistance to the grace of feminine sexuality, and so allows loving couples to suffuse every particle of the world with Love in all its power?

For this is what I ask, and what they resist. Not simply bliss, but a reaching through into the world, and to command pleasure and consummation as an act of healing. It is this that Mystery seems to fear most, and whenever I come close to manifesting it with a woman, the most vile images and paranoid thoughts invade the relationship.

In this Easter’s meditations then, I gather that the hoped-for manifestation will not come in my lifetime. I have spent my manhood on my hopes for you, ladies. It is time for you to make them your own. For until one of you matches strength with Christ, his strength cannot be received by the world.

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