Chapter 10 - The Banquet Table
Of course the topic that morning on the balcony gradually shifted onto sex as one would expect for the day after our grand festival of eroticism at the Taj Mahal.
"Is sexual love really sensual love?" Indira asked. "Or is the sensual merely a reflection of the spiritual impetus that follows the synarchy of the female and male 'energies' flowing into a single union reflecting the completeness of the divine nature of mankind?"
Oops, I had to pause for a moment. "What do you think?" I asked to gain time. "Is sex defined by the metaphor of roses, chocolates, and wine in the physical sense, or is the metaphor symbolic of something much greater?"
"I think we need both dimensions," she said after a pause of silence. "We both loved the physical metaphor, but the higher spiritual sense is much more beautiful, isn't it? The roses reflect the beauty of the human soul within. As human beings we cherish the rose, because we behold the loveliness of it deeply within our heart and soul, which we see reflected back to us in the rose."
Indira added moments later that she felt that experiencing our life sexually falls into both categories. She said that we must embrace the Kama as a link to the divine, in order we experience the divine reflected in the physical. She said that she sees this as a model, but only as a minimal model that we must build on in order to discover the divine being reflected in the entire human scene. "If life stands before a mirror it must be reflected back in all its wondrous hues and tones. We are that mirror. We reflect the divine in the way we live. If the divine is Love, then we must live love. We are spiritual sexual beings in a wide synthesis of profound spiritual ideas that are physically expressed. And so, in this context, we are also sexual beings. Does one really know where the boundary lies between the two as we respond to the sexual dimension of our humanity, which is spiritual? We are spiritual beings on a journey that reflects itself in a physical Universe. What arouses our spiritual emotions is something within what we neither create nor control but feel ourselves drawn to respond to. The spiritual is a light within, which the objects of our dreams but reflect, and in that reflection we touch on something that we are. Some of that the world says we should be ashamed of, but why?" Indira suggested that the intimacy that we enjoy with another in our festivals of cunninglus and so forth is really a form of intimacy with oneself.
I answered her in kind by suggesting that a man seeing a woman's vulva, in whatever way that happens, responds to it as if it were a mental key opening a lock to a banquet hall. I suggested that the key would be of little use if the lock didn't exist that it fits into, that opens a door that is otherwise closed.
"You don't know how right you are," said Indira. "That's how the biological system actually functions, and apparently needs to function," said Indira. "You should have studied medicine as I have. It's amazing what has come to light in recent years. Do you know what peptides are? Whatever arouses us sexually about one another begins with a built-in neurological response in the brain to visual and psychological patterns, including smell, touch, fantasies, hopes, dreams, experiences, and desires. When the external key matches the lock, which usually begins visually in some form, it unseals a peptide gland that pours messengers molecules into the bloodstream that 'broadcasts' them across the body. The peptides, in turn, mobilize whatever functions are designed into the human system for the unfolding occasion. Some of that can reach deep. It starts a kind of inner celebration at the biological level. That's why one of the four paths to Moksha is Kama, which our scriptures say we need to experience. And it truly does start in the mind. The celebration of Kama that is always rooted in the mind is getting the body organized for what lies ahead, like our house might be reorganized for a season of celebration. The biological excitement and celebration arouses a lot of things that up to them lay dormant. It makes us feel good. And so it should, because a lot of goods things are happening in the process of sexual arousal, and more so when the process is carried further. Sex peptides are interpreted by the body as good peptides. The cells in our body 'love' them. In fact they have built and maintain special receptors for them to catch them as they float along. The receptors of course also catch other things if they are not in use, such as food substances and oxygen and other nourishment that the cells require to maintain themselves. Researchers have found that when the sex peptides are no longer arriving, or arrive only on rare occasions, the receptors diminish. Then, when the cells divide and replicate, fewer and fewer receptors are formed. Over time this diminishing process causes a kind of internal starvation that makes the biology of the body increasingly vulnerable to all sorts of diseases, such as accelerated aging, risk of heart attack or stroke, the development of cancers, altzheimers, immune deficiencies, depression, visual deficiencies. There is a lot of evidence out there in the medical domain that supports that interconnection, drawn from wide-ranging studies. Bluntly put, the studies tell us that sex is good for us. Some researchers even say that sex is one of the best health maintenance agents that we've got. And the body, of course, lets us know that we need the process to function. Consequently it sends signals to the brain that sets up the psychological conditioning that urges us to arrange the circumstances that we need to make the process possible. Our sexual response is a kind of biological response to a unique type of 'hunger.' Only in the case of sex, which is the 'food' that satisfies the special hunger at the cellular level, the process of satisfying the hunger is of a different kind. Obviously there is a need for that 'hunger,' because if it wasn't for this complex form of neuro-biological hunger and the specific fulfillment that it requires, we wouldn't exist. Sex is our life. We all came to be in this world through the sexual process. But the process isn't something that we can turn on and of at will. Nevertheless, it requires to be maintained. The 'hunger' needs to be satisfied. We need to eat."
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from novels by Rolf A. F. Witzsche