After traveling for a week with a friend in northern California, I had a surprising dream. In the dream, on a grassy hill there is a pavilion tent. I approach. Through the tent flap, a young man, lying naked on a bed, legs dangling over the bedside, seems to be waiting for me. The situation is spread with attraction and danger. The young man lay on some softly lit, rich fabric covering the bed. A boy/man. I approach more closely—I nurse suckle the (energetic) milk from him as I spread further his muscular, but no longer hairless, legs.
The scene of the dream shifts to a large procession. A group of aristocratic women in medieval or renaissance garb move from behind the tent toward a river below and distant mountains. A thunderstorm is building and threatening above and behind the mountains.
The scene shifts again to the river’s side where I am trying to pull by rope, a heavy log, up, over the bottom branches of a large oak tree.
A vast flood charges, dark and thundering down the river valley. Both the tree and I disappear in the powerful waters. There is a sense that the waters are not condemnation, but destiny and great peace… The important and surprising point of this dream is that when I awoke, I was flooded with an energy of enormous delight. Energy. For hours after I woke, sensations of ebullient joy flowed through me. Not just joy but energy. Flowing, endless energy. For weeks after, if I told the story or even remembered the dream, I would again be suffused in delight. What enabled me to evoke these levels of light-filled delight? The erotic elements in the dream? Not exactly. I believe that the dream indicated a shift between masculine and feminine poles in my psyche that engaged states of consciousness flooded with amorphous, trans- sexual (transcendent of opposites) delight.
Such states of consciousness might be the foundation of culture as well, since such dualistic (pluralistic) states and their resolution/tran- scendence are, I believe, the underlying content and construct of human perception. Homoerotic love, since it is able to evoke feelings in individuals as powerful as the heterosexual drive to procreate, the bio- logical urge to propagate in any species, indicates a capacity to redirect major elements of human personality. The homoerotic emotion indi- cates a condition free of otherwise inexorable biological logic. The fem- inine, the earth, and the storm, are evoked here, I suspect.
The homoerotic emotion is a catalytic strain laced through the psychic structure of human kind, perhaps the whole biological universe. It is a dan- gerous and invaluable alternative, the experience of which is fraught with endless social problems. If it were not very potent, why would people react so strongly to what really seems to be, otherwise, a minor issue. Only a few topics generate the level of vitriolic bigotry that this topic manages to arouse. The prohibitions against it in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are vague in that they probably are reactions against flagrant practices in erotic religious cults of surrounding cultures—the negative reaction thus being as much xenophobic as homophobic. After all David loved Jonathan “more than women.” Jesus Christ, who supersedes all previous God/World agreements, for Christians, said little about sex at all—but forgave the one caught in sin by sinners—much less about the homoerotic emotion—
…except perhaps secretly to St. John.
What I am treating here is the homo erotic emotion, not Gay culture. That is something else for a different discussion. Here we merely discuss an important, powerful element in human perception.
The problem might be in the deeper construct of culture. Many cul- tures in the past 5000 years, since the development of civilizations and empires, have been so characterized by masculine domination and willful progress, as to be trapped in their own pathology of willful aggression. It is a situation increasingly, violently, out of balance. As the corporate, univer- sal order of the world subconsciously tries to balance itself, individuals respond in the most remarkable ways. Perhaps Gay culture is such a response. I believe the more universal, homoerotic emotion certainly is.
SPECULATION: The dualistic powers that govern the biosphere are called upon to save it. These opposite elements are but an expression of the inexpressible Godhead. Poisons become elixirs, in the right circum- stances, with certain personalities. Sexuality and violence are closely related reactions that inherently seek the Eden of union, balance and radiant beauty in all things—sometimes they just react. …the natural world is reeling from traumatic blows being struck against it by militant profiteering and commercial technology. Profit and security are the motives now that dominate the dominant value structures in the world: Security in a world increasingly insecure. Profit in a world increasingly bereft of natural resources, as vast populations, dazed by suffering, mourn their own fruitful increase.
Is there a way to respond to this sad demise of the natural world, our deep spiritual relationship with it? Is there a way beyond the rational sanctity of humanist virtue and religion that has so far failed to save us from the raging human heart?
* Well, he is my man. And I will defend him to the end of the world. Even as above: Chris at his opinionated, full-of-himself, youthful, articulate best! Admittedly, at first, I was repulsed by his explorations. We had both gone off to different colleges. He on the west coast. Myself on the east. We wrote a lot of letters, since we couldn’t afford big phone bills. But my opinion about such topics was changing.
Let me provide some background, since this is such a hotly contested issue. This is what helped me understand what was going on with Chris. So, I didn’t cut him off entirely. And this information is important for later on.
The following gets a little academic. Proceed at your own risk! The value of such persons capable of the homoerotic response is well dis- played in the William’s book. [Walter Williams, The Spirit and the Flesh, (Boston, Beacon Press) 1992, p. 17.] According to the anthropology in some of this research, the homoerotic capacity in an individual is an abil- ity gifted by the divine Spirit to reflect its own nature that contains the image or ideal of all things, masculine, feminine, light, dark. This individ- ual is protected by spirit familiars. Those who harm this one, suffer. The Flesh and the Spirit, clearly indicates well founded, alternative attitudes in many cultures that reveal the Judeo-Christian bias regarding this topic and therefore a strong bias in the West generally. Let me explain:
A model of the homoerotic sentiment can be found in the relationship between Herakles and his young friend, Hylas. Herakles (Hercules) was a ‘Goddess priest’ who often wore the robes of the priestess to perform her rites. This transsexual theme figures largely in the history of the self-iden- tification and god-identification found in many world religions. The suggestion in our story is merely that certain of such sexual elements are catalytic in the esoteric action of this story. The sexual issues here evoke connections to Tantric practice and cosmological themes as well—i.e., all is essentially pure, created good. Sexuality is a means of divine realization and enlightenment. In magical practice it is used to re-channel power. The sacrament of sexuality is not only the modern sacrament of self-fulfill- ment in relationships, but it is, from antiquity, the metaphor of divine/mundane union—best practiced by ones with, at least, the celi- bate’s dedication. This is true for both heterosexuality and homosexuality.
In many Shamanistic traditions, the tradition of the [old] Navaho for instance, homosexuality is viewed as a metaphoric gift, emulating the bisexual Godhead. (Bisexual because everything in the world comes from God, including the two sexes.) In the realm of the psyche, the androgen,—a person who is sexually balanced, maintaining both poles of sexual orientation—is the gatekeeper between worlds—between this world and the world of the Spirit. This was/is an ability to be prized. Not everybody can do it. It might be a gift necessary or at least valuable to culture and cosmos. It should be noted that not all Shamanistic peo- ple hold this view. And many contemporary Native Americans are influenced by the dominant culture in this.
In any case, this more tolerant view seems to be a better appreciation of talents available to human access. It is a poignant fact that this toler- ance among Native Americans, that might be considered progressive today, was one of the major excuses Europeans used for exterminating or enslaving the indigenous peoples and cultures of the New World.
Robert Graves, The White Goddess, p.124, or throughout Graves’ book. Graves’ analysis of the priest/poet/hero figure, such as Herakles, in mythology in relationship with the Goddess is invaluable here. The two are inseparable and perennial in human perception. This topical reference starts with the sacrificial priesthood of the Great Goddess from around the Mediterranean. In this construct, the hero/sacred king/priest/son/consort—Herakles (Gk., “Glory of Hera”) is adulated for a time, then sacrificed to become divine. His initiates would often eat his flesh and blood in communion with their deity. This function of the mediatory priesthood, hieros or hierophant, extends to the priest- hood of Jesus Christ in the order of Melquizedek.
The broad range of priestly identity developing from agricultural sacrifi- cial/resurrection religions, performs the essential priestly function of medi- ating between mundane and divine being. This is the case, if the mediation is expressed in charitable service or by performing rites of bloody or non- bloody sacrifice. There have been many modes of such mediation:
Beginning with the cultural and individual phenomenon of Shamanism, rooted in the early Stone Age, we can see a complex of particular insight and practice… [characterized by] a group of radical techniques: Transsexual trauma, terror, torture, alcoholic inebriation, use of sacred (psychedelic) substances, humiliation and sickness. All are “ingested” in combination with mythological belief patterns and perhaps used in combination with more moderate practices such as meditation, pilgrimage, and other traditional practices. The danger is initiation of psychological unbalance or even death. Some young Eskimo shaman novices, when forced into a transsexual experience, commit suicide, others adjust. (Eliade, Shamanism, p. 258) The positive effect perhaps, with certain individuals, is to disorient one enough, or to separate one enough from one’s personal or cultural context to discover access to fundamental elements from the sub-strata of consciousness, the instinctual “stuff ” of personality; i.e. Knowledge, Powers, and Transcendence arise. Jung might refer to this as “figures” or “powers” that arise even spontaneously from the Unconscious. (Jung’s Introduction and Commentary, Secret of the Golden Flower, p.120.)
One can discover the use of such techniques simply by reading Casteneda, or by more laboriously doing comparative religious study and experience. A male might be exposed to the archetypal feminine and thus display in one’s life [transsexual] behavior that loosens the vice-like grip of “ordinary” consciousness. This might allow for other extraordinary archetypal experiences. For another example: Through experience of extreme alcoholic inebriation’s, one does not just come to understand perceptive faculties that are not apparent when one is “in control” but one experiences these faculties in such a way that integrates and empowers one both in the extraordinary world of the psyche and the ordinary world of “daytime” consciousness.
This is not to claim that simply getting drunk or getting high or hav- ing unusual sex will do this for you, but in certain circumstances with certain individuals, unusual phenomena pertinent to this story—and Chris’s condition—sometimes occur.
(I would give you a similar presentation on heteroerotic tantric prac- tices, but maybe you already know about that. I’m a little rushed.
Perhaps you will simply take my word that these practices are the natural product of the encounter between this world and God, leading to extraordinary powers and experiences, even onto enlightenment and salvation itself.)
End Mental Note!