Love and Entanglement in the State of Flow.
Through the progression of time, humans are becoming increasingly more intelligent. New scientific discoveries of the way the mind, brain and consciousness works as well as expanding our capabilities and explorational selves in increasing at a fast rate.
What seems to move slowly is the benefits of differing ‘practice’ of sex. In a time when sex is readily available via apps and technology, it seems that Sexual Connection or conscious relationships are taking a step backwards. For a small group of people, who seek meaningful, mindful and deeper connections, sex becomes a Spiritual Practice rather than a purely physical and orgasm focused primal urge. Sex, it seems, has not moved far beyond the realms of bodily functions. So why should Sex be placed into the realm of a spiritual practice.
In an age where the search of ecstasy is prevalent, the term is used in many different forms and it is a rare occasion where it is actually found let alone experienced. What we need to re-remember is the state of Religious ecstasy.
As defined by Wikipedia , “Religious ecstasy is a type of altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness, frequently accompanied by visions and emotional (and sometimes physical) euphoria”.
Religious ecstasy, such as discussed by mystic-theologians including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Meister Eckhart, may be the experience of the ultimate and eternal experience of being in the presence of the Divine. Within the Ecstasy, there is a sudden, heightened inner consciousness of stillness and peace.
Sexual arousal and erotic relations should also be thoughts of as a religious ecstatic experience. The Rapture and enchantment of our lover, wife, husband, should represent that of a divine connection.
In her book Mysticism (1955), Evelyn Underhill discusses the three distinct aspects under which the ecstatic state may be studied, these are;
* The Physical
* The Psychological
* The Mystical.
Physically, ecstasy is a trance, accompanied by lowered breathing and circulation and even total anesthesia. The onset of the ecstatic state is usually gradual, following a period of contemplation of the Divine. It can take over a person and occur suddenly. This is also known as rapture.
Psychologically, all ecstasy is a complete unification of consciousness or what Underhill termed "complete mono-ideaism," that is, the deliberate focus on one idea. This is also seen in exalted forms of contemplation, and related to "centering" advocated by Zen masters.
Mystically, ecstasy is an exalted act of perception - "the last term of contemplation," as described by Underhill: "The word has became a synonym for joyous exaltation, for the inebriation of the Infinite."
Ecstasy when taking on the form of rapture is frequently accompanied by a "carrying-away" sensation (related in its concrete form to levitation of the body or the Positive Psychology of the State of Flow). Such a sensation has been described by Christian mystics including John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Clairvaux and Marie de Plncarnation. This sensation is similar to an out-of-the-body experience (OBE).
Some have placed Abraham H. Maslow's peak experiences within the realm of ecstasy. In Toward A Psychology of Being (1962), Maslow states that it is the nature of desire to be replaced by another desire as soon as the first one is satisfied. This observation was made during his study of self-actualized people. He discovered that for self-actualization (realizing one's fullest potential) to be achieved by individuals the lower or basic needs are satisfied first. After these needs are satisfied, self-actualized people possess, intense insight, joy, or awareness that Maslow termed peak experiences. The popular notion of ecstasy is rapture, where the individual is in an ecstatic state that feels like "heaven on earth."
Religious ecstasy is an emotional, physical, spiritual state which needs to be re-remembered for modern relationships. Erotic IQ depends on this state in its 6th stage of development.
When one places their lover into the realm of the divine, and is able to bring forward all their purposeful reality into that individual, the term of ‘Love’ is realised. It is beyond neurochemicals and beyond the brain functioning of simple attachment or need but rather a state of exstasis and devotion.
To simplify this term and to have a better understanding of this term it may be appropriate to note how this rapture takes hold in different settings. Athletes may follow rituals in preparation for games and this sports psychology device may help them to attain advantage in an ecstasy-like state
Yoga provides techniques to attain an ecstasy state called samādhi. According to practitioners, there are various stages of ecstasy, the highest being Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Bhakti Yoga especially, places emphasis on ecstasy as being one of the pillars of its practice.
In Buddhism, especially in the Pali Canon, there are eight states of trance also called absorption. The first four states are Rupa, or material. The next four are Arupa or non-material. These eight states are preliminary trances which lead up to final saturation. In Visuddhimagga, great effort and years of sustained meditation are practiced to reach absorption.
Modern Witchcraft traditions may define themselves as "ecstatic traditions," and focus on reaching ecstatic states in their rituals.
The spiritual ‘Masters’ of thousands of years ago seems to have had an idea of this state of Rapture. Understanding the significance of the lover as the Divine. Placing the lover into the position of the divine is key to being in a state of ecstasy. Letting oneself go into the rapture of devotion and exhaltation in order to fully embody the divine, both physically and mentally, and placing the relationship into a higher, external and as a separate entity to the individual, not just as a reproductive means or a socially or culturally accepted ritual of marriage. Our lovers, as ‘guru’, ‘devotee’, ‘Divine’ places significance and importance to the individual as well as the relationship whereby sex becomes the spiritual practice of this devotion. This is a key to development of the Erotic IQ in any relationship.
As described by the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba, God-intoxicated souls known as masts experience a unique type of spiritual ecstasy: "[M]asts are desperately in love with God – or consumed by their love for God. Masts do not suffer from what may be called a disease. They are in a state of mental disorder because their minds are overcome by such intense spiritual energies that are far too much for them, forcing them to lose contact with the world, shed normal human habits and customs, and civilized society and live in a state of spiritual splendor but physical squalor. They are overcome by an agonizing love for God and are drowned in their ecstasy. Only the divine love embodied in a Perfect Master can reach them."
In the Dionysian Mysteries, initiates used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state.
In the monotheistic tradition, ecstasy is usually associated with communion and oneness with God. However, such experiences can also be personal mystical experiences with no significance to anyone but the person experiencing them.
The firewalkers of Greece dance themselves into a state of ecstasy at the annual Anastenaria, when they believe themselves under the influence of Saint Constantine.
Scientifically, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine conducted tests in the brain to see the effects that religious ecstasy has on the brain.
"We're just beginning to understand how the brain participates in experiences that believers interpret as spiritual, divine or transcendent," said Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. from the University of Utah School of Medicine, senior author of the study and neuroradiologist. ”In the last few years, brain imaging technologies have matured in ways that are letting us approach questions that have been around for millennia."
The spiritual state of ecstasy, has profound effects on the full conscious reality of the individual. The study by Jeff Anderson and his team of neuroscientists found that what they feel is caused by activating the brain’s reward circuits that control our ability to feel pleasure. It’s the part of the brain associated with sex, drugs, music as well as love.
Being able to tap into this Neuronet, and bring the same aspects of religious or spiritual ecstasy into relationships is a key component to long lasting relationships. Once we are in ‘Love’, it is important to be able to place our partner, lover, husband or wife, into the place of the Divine. And when in rapture, and in a sexual union with our lover, this connection moves into a higher and altered state of consciousness and equates to the experience of Divine Ecstasy. Physics established that Entanglement, described by Einstein as ‘Spooky action at a distance’, is applicable to relationships and the atomic structure of the individual. The state of Flow, as described by mihaly csikszentmihalyi in positive psychology is also a similar trait to Sex as a Spiritual practice.
Transformation and Spiritual practice prior to the establishment of the lover as the Divine is required to be able to fully accomplish Sex as a Spiritual practice. Clearing the path for the consciousness to be able to connect on this level, working through the barriers of past experiences through a Shadow Walk or de-armouring the body through Vegetotherapy leads to a more clearer connection with our lover. This is possible in today’s development of Erotic IQ. Devotion to the Self prior to devotion to another is essential to being able to alter our minds for sex to be a Spiritual Practice.
2. Underhill, Evelyn, ‘Mysticism: The Preeminent Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness’, Reprint edition (October 1, 1990)
3. Maslow, A.H, ‘Toward a Psychology of Being’ Van Nostrand, 1968
4. Marghanita Laski, "Ecstasy. A Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences." The Cresset Press, London, 1961. P.57
5. Kalchuri, Bhau: Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, the Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Six, Manifestation, Inc., 1986, p. 2035
6. Michael A. Ferguson, Jared A. Nielsen, Jace B. King, Li Dai, Danielle M. Giangrasso, Rachel Holman, ‘Reward, salience, and attentional networks are activated by religious experience in devout Mormons’, Pages 1-13 | Received 25 Apr 2016: 11 Nov 2016, Published online: 29 Nov 2016
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