Sunday, September 20, 2015

Polytheistic Animism: Our View of Sex in a Nutshell

From an animist point of view, all material being is imbued with spirit. 

Spirit, or the nonmaterial aspect of all things, includes intelligence, emotion, creativity and soul, soul being the sacred life force. Like all that exists, then, humans are material beings imbued with spirit. We are both body and soul, and as an expression of soul, our flesh-and-blood bodies are sacred. Our body’s natural acts are sacred. Sex is sacred.

From a polytheistic point of view, our Creator made our human bodies on purpose, whether through evolution or by other mysterious means, and what the Creator has made is good. He made our genitals on purpose. He gave us the sexual act on purpose. We understand these things as gifts from our Creator.

From an ordinary, scientific-rational point of view, we find that sex enables humans to easily and pleasantly procreate as well as offering us pleasure, comfort, fun, adventure, improved health and other marvelous benefits.

Finally, Polytheistic Animism supports a social structure based on kinship and a morality of loving kindness.

Putting this all together, Polytheistic Animism views sex as sacred, good, useful and righteous. Moral sex is loving and kind, not violent or hurtful, and within this moral limitation, many expressions of human sexuality are acceptable.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Time to Think

I'm awake at 5:00 am. Out of bed, exercise, do some chores, pack our lunches, take a shower, eat breakfast, read a few pages and off I go to work. Sound familiar? There's more. On my way home from work, I stop at the supermarket to pick up dinner food and the library to drop off books. I take in the trash cans, drop the groceries and start cooking, check my email, have dinner with my husband, do the dishes and collapse exhausted in front of my computer where this blog waits. Great! Time to write!

Unfortunately, by this time of day, my brain is foggy and tired, too tired to think deeply and critically. Tonight, though, I promised myself and you, gentle reader, that nothing would stop me from posting. Hell, the topic is right in front of us: we don't have time to think!

More specifically, we don't have that particular quality of time we need to think deeply and critically, and whether or not the dominators set it up this way on purpose, our lack of time to think certainly meets their needs. They prefer us to remain unthinking. They like us accepting, stupid, tired and disengaged. They want us too busy to think, because if we started thinking, deeply and critically and in large numbers, we might begin to notice the wheel on which we spin away our lives. Their wheel, the one that spins raw materials into gold.

The dominators learned their lesson about the dangers of an educated populace in the 1960s and since then, quietly but decisively, they've stolen away the quality of time we need to think.

Here's how it happened. After the Second World War, education blossomed. Children were expected to finish high school, and high school graduates went on to college in record numbers. The GI Bill swelled the ranks of university men and modern young women joined them. By the mid-60s, the boomer generation was in full bloom and these young adults were smart, educated and politically engaged. 

We were not only an educated group. We had more leisure time than ever before. In fact, there was so much more time available to the middle class that we expected a four-day work week to become typical. We developed hobbies. We traveled. We talked. We learned. We hung out. We connected.

Educated people with time to think, and too numerous to ignore, the youth of America were questioning authority, seeing new possibilities and experimenting with mind expansion and spirituality. We were poised to bring down the dominator structure and replace it with love, love, love but they caught on to us . . .

Now, we don't have time to think. Instead of questioning or getting angry about this lack of time, the vast majority of time-pressed and anxious Americans turn to the internet for guru wisdom: you just have to manage your time better, say the gurus. It's your problem, not a social problem. Prioritize. Multitask. Buy time-saving products. Bullshit!

Time to think is subversive and we have to fight for it! Turn off the television set. Let the dishes sit in the sink. Read, talk, and take time every week just to think about things. You deserve it. Your time is your birthright. Take your time back using sick days. Take it back with excuses and lies, but take some time to think deeply and critically about the world around us, before you forget how.

Check it out:

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Return to the Mother!

Our Father: Spirit, Creator, Love

Our Mother: Gaia Earth

Long ago, before the beginning, Spirit fell in love with Earth and Earth with Spirit. Doing the dance of love, they conceived, and from the womb of earth we were born, children of Love and Flesh, the human kinfolk, sisters and brothers all.

Cut off from our Father Love, violence and greed grab hold of humanity and turn us against one another.

Cut off from our Mother Earth, we plunder her body until nothing is left and we starve and turn to dust.

Oh, beautiful humanity, return to the Father, return to the Mother. Come home to the garden, where you belong!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sacred Sex: And a Ritual for Letting Go of Shame

The animal body is good! 

Our human-animal bodies are magnificent, graceful and beautiful, complex almost beyond imagining and as mysterious as the far-flung stars . . . and yet nothing is more familiar and accessible to us than our own bodies. It astonishes me that a religious person can praise his or her Creator and champion intelligent design and still think of sex as dirty, disgusting or immoral.

In Polytheistic Animism, the sex act is sacred. It’s sacred in the same way that all of our bodily functions are sacred, and like the Jews, we recognize the holiness of everyday life with gratitude.

As animists, we know that everything is both material and nonmaterial. Therefore, the sex act is also material and nonmaterial. If sex is only engaged in as a physical activity, an entire facet of the sexual experience disappears and sex becomes dull, even boring. Marital relations begin to deteriorate and intimate experiences constantly disappoint. This can lead to a frantic search for sexual titillation, or its opposite, ennui. On the other hand, sacred sex engages all facets of ourselves, body and soul, and is therefore rich, satisfying and fresh every time. It provides partners with ever increasing pleasure and delight through the years, and is an offering to our Creator worthy of the gift with which he has endowed us, the gift of the flesh. This post is the first in a series about sacred sex.

Polytheistic Animism (Poly-Animism), because it is a theological, or god-believing, religion, allows for the existence of a Creator, a greater-than-human being who created humanity on purpose and for a purpose. In other words, we believe in some form of intelligent design. Humans may have evolved from less complex organisms, and all life on earth may have started as a bit of flotsam floating on a primordial sea, but behind it all is a grand intelligence, and this intelligence is the source of the marvelous design and functionality of our genitals.

We give thanks to the Creator of the Flesh!

We begin our Poly-Animist practice of sacred sex with gratitude for the gift of our bodies and our genitals, and the physical pleasures they offer us. Gratitude makes us humble. Gratitude reveals what we value, and what we value, we will work for and care for.

As we seek to feel and express gratitude for our bodies, we may get in touch with all the ways we’ve denigrated, damaged and ignored the needs of our flesh in the past. Are we really grateful for these bodies? Or do we think of them as an annoyance and source of discomfort, never living up to our expectations or hopes, never quite good enough or good looking enough or strong enough or young enough or smooth enough?

Once again we can return to the animist reality for understanding: the body itself is not only a material thing. Like all things, it is imbued with intelligence, emotion and soul. I’m not talking about our brains, here, which we imagine houses the mind, but with the cells, organs, bones and other material substances of the body. The body itself is alive, intelligent and ensouled, so when we send our living body messages of anger and hate, it reacts with depression, illness and withdrawal. We lose our health and wellbeing. And we lose our erotic edge. Gratitude is an antidote to the poison of self hate.

It might be difficult at first to give thanks for your body. You’ll need to work at it and practice loving your body like your body really is your self, but gratitude for the body is not only pleasing to our Creator. It will pay off in better health and amazing sexual pleasure.

Feelings of shame may also arise when we express gratitude for our bodies, especially for our genitals. As sexually liberated as Americans think we are, many of us are still deeply mired in shame, yet shame will quickly freeze our sexual response. Shame is learned very early and may be difficult to remove, but since letting go of shame is essential for a happy sex life, here’s a ritual to help you let go of shame.

The outcome:
Your body gets the message that it is sexy and good, and that you are grateful for its existence.

What you need:
Privacy, a place to bathe, a towel and massage oil or lotion, the best you can comfortably afford. If you are not able to acquire these things, you can improvise in any way that enables you to give the message to your body.

The steps:
Enter sacred space. Take a bath or shower, taking your time and soaping your body with your hands instead of a washcloth, so you can feel your skin, your hair and your flesh. Notice any feelings of revulsion or shame as they come up and consciously challenge them. Your body is beloved of your god! 

Then, dry yourself off, sit comfortably naked on the towel, and begin to apply the lotion or oil to your body, all the time speaking out loud to your body and giving it messages of affection, kindness and love. You might begin with your feet and work your way up to your face.

Expect to feel overwhelmed by emotion the first time you attempt this, especially if you’ve been giving your body hate messages for years. You may, on the other hand, just feel silly and not be able to bring yourself to speak out loud. That’s ok. Take your time. Pretend at first that you’re not ashamed. Act as if you were not ashamed. Start partly clothed if you need to and remove your clothes a little at a time. Start with just your arms. Start by loving your body for just two minutes, or without speaking the words out loud, but start. If you can do this, something deep inside of you will shift and you’ll naturally begin to eat better, treat your body better and enjoy sex more.

As you gently smooth the lotion on to your skin, speak out loud to your body, as if your body had a mind to hear. Like this, “Good body! You’ve carried me through life. You’ve put up with my bad habits, the bad food, the late nights. You’re an amazing creation. I love you. I’m grateful for you and want you to live a long time. In my eyes, you’re beautiful.”

Or, you can speak to your genitals in particular, even as you massage lotion into all parts of you. “Genitals, you are clean and good and sweet smelling. You can feel the most exquisite pleasure and I am going to give you lots of love!” (This isn’t necessarily the time to massage your genitals, but if it happens, hey, that’s fine, too. Just remember to use oil, lotion or lube that’s not irritating to your most delicate skin!)

That’s how to do the ritual. Do this weekly for a year and your sex life will be transformed!

Please keep in mind that this is a religious practice. This is not a secular website, we are a church, and although this practice is useful for people of all faiths or no faith, our gods, the gods of Polytheistic-Animism, approve of and encourage a healthy sex life. Our Creator made us sexual on purpose, and our pleasure is a sweet offering to all the gods of love.