Sexual expression, nudity and freedom - In AHAM, you learn (or should come to realize) that sex is a very natural expression of life, although it is being excessively overstressed in this New Age era of man's evolution.
Obviously, heterosexuality, or at least the joining of a male sperm and the female ovum is necessary to maintain physical existence and the social order of life, or to make physical birth in this world possible, sustaining human life and the ongoing social order. To any informed person, or mature adult in an intelligent or even primitive society, this is quite obvious and goes without saying. In prehistoric times, it is believed to have been different. Some think that soul entities were then androgynous and sex was unnecessary and thus moot, as procreation occurred by a process of bifurcation within oneself.
But in this age sex is more than just the means of physical or human procreation, it is also an expression of physical love or affection between participating adults, as well as being an avenue of personal pleasure between consenting adults. The fact is that as adults, who have arrived at a physical age beyond puberty and at the level of psychological and sexual maturity, we all are in fact sexual beings. It is a normal expression of nature itself; therefore, the free, natural and pleasurable expression of one's sexuality is to be expected.
The male and female genitalia are organs of pleasure as well as organs of reproduction. Natural or spontaneous sexual expression between consenting adults should be an acceptable phenomenon in a sane society. However, for the intended purpose of childbirth, or reproduction, then marriage should be the standard, condition or basis for the sexual act.
Many, if not most people in world society, believe that sexual activity or participation should itself be confined or limited only to the institution of legal marriage . It is a fact that marriage is very important if pregnancy should result from sexual union, or if planned childbirth is intended. Marriage should always be the basis for having children and raising a family. Obviously, children are happier and psychologically much better adjusted and capable of dealing with others or life when they live in a good, happy home with both parents lovingly and mutually involved in their care and education.
If marriage is not desired or intended between heterosexual sex partners, then it is most important that they be sexually responsible and guard against the possibility of pregnancy. If not, they are inviting and possibly subjecting themselves to the responsibility of caring for an unplanned or unwanted child. And it could be even more serious if they choose abortion. which carries very serious karmic consequences, both in this lifetime and even in a future one. This is because abortion is the sin of destroying a potential life form. Violators could very likely have as their karma the blocked access to a badly needed or much desired human embryo in their own next rebirth and future incarnation. This could be for them the equivalent to being in Hell, and their attempts to get free thwarted. That is, their attempts to be hopefully conceived in a woman's womb, desiring to attain rebirth in this world as a means of escape from their suffering, could be blocked indefinitely. If this should happen, it would be a most dire consequence.
Also to be considered and discussed, without any connection or involvement with sex, is the subject of nudity. Nudity should be a normal, natural, healthy, acceptable practice with people in a sane society. It should be made easily available and socially amenable in certain outdoor settings and surroundings without care or fanfare, or the least concern about sexual innuendos, or any implication of indecency. Today, this is found only under certain very limited conditions and out of the way locales, that often undergo the maligned projections of many in society wrongly believing it to be some abnormality, instead of what it is - a healthy, happy and free expression and exposure of the human body to nature, shared with those having like minds and interests.
Unfortunately, countless fears, inhibitions and taboos have been projected on sex, and on nudity, by an amazingly ignorant, unenlightened society. This unmistakably dates back to Moses' time, and members of his society, by his depiction of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; he being the believed recorder of the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus.
In most societies today, there is still fear, unease, embarrassment and even threat regarding the subject of sex, resulting in much sexual suppression. This is found even in America, where nonetheless there is still an exaggerated overemphasis of the subject, as well as the displaying of rampantly compulsive, overemphasized sexual behavior on today's American television. This includes allusions to sex on talk shows, sitcoms and even as entertainment on the news, plus explicit sex scenes in melodramas, not to mention TV advertising and the use of sex to sell everything from soap to automobiles.
From a spiritual perspective, or just as a consciously considered fact, one's sexuality and its normal inclination is really quite simple. Let's take away the mystery! It requires only being aware. It's perfectly OK to be sexually free and clear. One should understand, sexual expression is very natural to the body under the proper conditions and circumstances. In AHAM's view, for legally adult human beings, free sexual expression is fully permissible when performed with equally free, clear and consciously participating adult partners. It is a natural part of one's spiritual as well as physical growth and development.
AHAM affirms that under proper conditions, appropriate sexual expression is whatever is acceptable and agreeable between consenting lawfully adult participants, whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Sexual preferences should be a matter of personal choice, not society's requirements. Proper conditions means, while in the privacy of the bedroom, or where there is known privacy even out of doors in a suitable environment, but not exhibiting or showing signs of sexual intent openly in public. One is to not engage in sexual activity unlawfully, or forcefully, or with minors.
Sex between teenage partners is also not appropriate. They should wait until adulthood, and the maturity that normally occurs with developed emotional stability; as well as the needed understanding or wisdom required for adult decision-making such as safeguarding against pregnancy or socially transmitted diseases.
Consensual sex means that no one is to be coerced or forced, or required to participate in any sexual situation or activity against his/her wishes, desires or will, or when he/she is not at the time in an agreeable mood to express, participate or experience whatever is being asked or wanted by the other partner. It means the free expression of one's sexual energy in whatever way or manner one enjoys, providing his/her partner is equally willing.
However, sex should not be overindulged in, or be an excessive or predominant part of one's life. When living with someone in an established relationship, it is not to occur in violation of personal and/or mutual vows, such as a marriage covenant, or one's agreement or commitment to his/her mate or spouse. If living in an Open Marriage Or Relationship, then it is also not appropriate without the mate's consent or approval.
Consider this: ultimately or absolutely the Self of each apparent individual being is, in truth, the Supreme Self. All are the Supreme Being expressing as each apparent individual, which certainly has the authority and divine right to express playfully and enjoyably in, as and through sexual play while expressing in the world in an adult physical body. Of course, this is when it is with agreeable and suitable partners as already herein explained. If these guidelines are not honored and maintained, then there is the possibility, even probability, of karmic repercussions.
The commandment, "Thou shall not commit adultery" given by Moses was evidently for the people living at that time, and the level of consciousness to which they had evolved. Today it could just as well be construed, or taken to mean, "You should not adulterate the pure act of sex," or "make impure or inappropriate the absolutely natural, and fully acceptable act of sexual expression."
This, without doubt, applies to the obvious need today for balancing both the exaggeration and suppression of sexual freedom in American society. In many cases, there is the need for restraint, due to the fact that sex and sexuality have become grossly overemphasized, while in others there is the need for better understanding, compassion and the personal rights of others. Balance is a keyword in all things.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees (the "religious right" of his day) for their narrow views and the coercive restrictions they placed on the people and on living by the letter of the Ten Commandments. Regarding the fourth commandment, "Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy," he responded or countered with, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27) Likewise, understand that sex was made for man's pleasure, as well as for procreation, not for restricting him or requiring him to abstain from its natural, pleasurable free expression. Of course, it is not to be taken to the extreme, such as being engaged in excessively, or made into a compulsive or addictive force in one's life.
Even though, physically
speaking, we are all sexual beings and sex is a very natural, functional and
pleasurable expression of the human body, ultimately, as one advances in age
or in one's Sadhana
(spiritual practice), the desire for sexual participation or expression may
itself naturally decline, or fall away like ripe fruit dropping from the tree.
The desire and/or inclination to have sex will possibly or probably subside
on its own. If it does not, and the desire for sex remains strong, with perhaps
no sexual partners available to fulfill the felt urge or "need," this
could be a problem, requiring deeper and longer periods of meditation; or, Self-Inquiry
into "Who is now having this thought, feeling or desire?" When this
is maintained, one can transcend the sexual urge and abide in the Self, or thoughtless
Awareness prior to all thought.