Best of the best

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sex and Enlightenment

The Madonna by Giovanni Bellini

     The belief in a 'Virgin-Born' divine child is a universal theme appearing in both religion and mythology. The Catholic Church’s traditional doctrine is that Jesus Christ's 'virgin birth' was an actual physical event caused by the Holy Spirit. A literal belief which implies a non-sexual conception and supernatural intervention and miraculous event. Contrary to a literal or historical understanding is from the allegorical perspective the 'Virgin Birth' refers to the importance of the reversal of sexual energy, from outward to inward and the birth of higher consciousness.

     There has been considerable speculation in recent years about the true meaning of the epithet 'Virgin Birth' particularly by scholars who interpret the motif from an astronomical perspective. Their theory is that Christ, like other pagan Gods; Mithra, Krishna, and Attis were personifications of the Sun, thus their birthdays were celebrated every winter solstice, near Dec.25, when the Sun rises from its' lowest position relative to earth thus the analogy of the birth of the Sun.  And during the winter solstice, the constellation Virgo rises over the eastern horizon at midnight, which accounts for the word “Virgin”.

"The origins of the cult of the Great Goddess, who was both virgin and mother, are prehistoric, but since the dawn of recorded history, the Great Goddess has been associated with the constellation Virgo. The Sun nowadays passes through the constellation of Virgo in September/October, and is, therefore, the constellation that announces the harvest. Virgo is the second largest constellation (after Hydra)."(1)

 Some early scholars, researchers have assumed the connection between sexual intercourse and pregnancy wasn't clearly established in the minds of the pagans, so out of ignorance of the facts of life the pagans designated childbirth as exclusive property of womanhood, and applied the epithet "virgin" to indicate that men were not connected to the birth of children in any way. This viewpoint basically assumes the so-called heathens weren't smart enough to know that sex resulted in the birth of a child.

The reality may be our modern culture is ignorant of the dual nature of sexual energy. The ancients, no doubt believed that chastity and purity were necessary practice (not permanently) to reach a higher state of consciousness. The precise meaning of the word 'Virgin', in the context of spiritual evolution, is based on the concept of sublimation. The 'birth' refers to the regeneration of the body and opening of the mind to higher consciousness.  

A quick review of uncovers numerous examples of a Divine Children, born from a Virgin or through castration. This list of Virgin births has enough examples to imply it was a common motif in the ancient world.

1. Christ  was born from the Virgin Mary

2. Krishna was born from the Virgin Devaki

3. Horus was born from the Virgin Goddess Isis

4. Dionysus was twice-born of Semele and Zeus

5. Buddha was born from the Virgin Maya

6. Mithra was Virgin born from an egg-shaped stone

7. Perseus was Virgin born from the virgin Danae by Zeus

8. Athena was considered Virgin born from Zeus’ head

9. Zoroaster was immaculately conceived by a ray of reason

10. Aphrodite was virgin born from the castration of Uranus.

11. Cybele was born through the castration of Agdistis

12. Attis born to Virgin Nana

The original purpose of Mythology and Religion was to guide humanities spiritual growth because the mind hasn't yet gained direct access to illuminated levels of consciousness, where the laws of evolution are laid out clearly. The ancient philosophers of Greece, Egypt and India taught the immortality of the soul, reincarnation and eventual reunion with God. That is, each human is born onto this earth to develop their individual consciousness by experiencing all of life's triumphs and defeats. The soul reincarnates over long periods of undetermined length until their consciousness becomes individualized and aware of its immortality. Life’s karmic lessons are added to the next, building up one's depth of consciousness. When the exterior world begins to hold less of a grip on the mind, it naturally seeks for deeper answers to life, which can be accomplished through self-examination and meditation, physical culture, diet, and a simple lifestyle.

The ancients wrote in the form of parables and allegories due to the fact this was the only way to communicate abstract spiritual concepts. Symbolism is a universal type of subjective language that communicates complex information from higher planes of consciousness. Symbols, such as the "Serpent" (Kundalini) and “Virgin Birth”( sublimation) were poetically arranged to carry a special meaning referring to a specific reality of attaining enlightenment, which is why ancient myths penetrate deep into the human psyche.

 Enlightened Buddha

  A common viewpoint in many religions is that the lower emotions of anger, hatred jealousy, envy, and other destructive feelings must be controlled and eventually eliminated. But a dominant belief throughout a majority of ancient myths and religions is the importance of sexual countenance and chastity. Yogic literature emphasized the practice of Brahmacharya for those initiates seeking self-realization or enlightenment. The reversal of sexual energy and its constant ascent upward into the brain is called Urdhveta in yogic literature. This seminal doctrine is clearly expressed in the Indian Vedas when Kundalini is called ("Killer of Cupid"), a poetic phrase meaning the release from the extreme pressure of outward sexual fulfillment.

Sublimated sexual energy is transformed into 'Soma', which is a type subtle energy which feeds the brain and crown chakra. This process releases the desire for outward fulfillment to some extent. The sublimated energy ascends upward, through the spine in order to feed the brain and nerves resulting in an experience of unending bliss. In fact, nothing is sacrificed except the short length of sexual pleasure is traded in for a longer and more permanent experience of enlightenment. In a private research paper written by The Institute of Consciousness Research, it is explained just how the transformative process is understood at this time. 

“Second, another activity starts in the genital region. Upon the awakening (of Kundalini) the reproductive juices are sucked up in a now unknown way and poured into the spinal column. Exactly how this suction is applied will have to be determined by research. This stream rising through the spine represents the ‘‘nectar" or “Ambrosia" repeatedly mentioned in the treatise on Kundalini. Its entry into the spinal cord and then into the brain is marked by exquisitely pleasurable sensations - even exceeding those of orgasm. During the course of its ascent into the brain, this stream is ramified into smaller streams which irrigate the visceral organs through the nerve plexuses or the “Chakras”. 

Streams subtle prana can be distinctly felt moving into various organs stomach, liver, intestines lungs. A new process opens up and channels subtle prana into the organs to meet additional needs. The body and the brain are thus designed for the  manifestation of higher consciousness. In a similar vein, to yogic practices, the Chinese Taoist developed a method called the "circulation of the light" or 'Microcosmic Orbit', a practice that leads Chi up the spine and into the head then back down the front of the body for the purpose of transforming the initiate's consciousness. 

Krishna's Virgin Birth

The adjective “Virgin’’ is a figure of speech referring to a process, not a particular person or Mother or Goddess. It denotes a physiological and biological transformation resulting in the expansion of consciousness. Take the example of Lord Krishna’s birth, India’s most famous and beloved Avatar, whose worship, according to the latest archaeological site at Dwarka, India, dates back at least 14,500 years or more, 35,000 years.

    Lord Krishna is worshiped as the eighth reincarnation of the god Vishnu. The Bhagavata Purana states he was born without sexual union. His mother Devaki became pregnant by “mental transmission from her husband Vasudeva”. Many modern Christian scholars insist that Devaki wasn't a Virgin because her previous seven children were conceived through physical intercourse. Of course, this makes perfect sense if it was a normal physical event, but such an opinion completely contradicts the allegorical nature of the ancient religious texts. Krishna is a deification of the process of enlightenment, he is a personification of the soul and the power of Kundalini. His virgin birth is not a literal event, but an indication of that sexual energy must be sublimated as part of the path toward higher consciousness.

There is an episode in Krishna’s’ life where he subdues the giant serpent “Kaliya.’’ Krishna grabs the serpent and opens its mouth, and discovers the whole universe lays inside. Are these literal historic events? Of course not, the story can only be understood rationally as an allegory, about the spiral nature of the universe, that is filled with intelligent cosmic prana.

In a similar metaphoric interpretation, a virgin birth does not describe a physical act. Devaki had seven children before Krishna, his birth refers to the opening to the eternal soul. Krishna's seven brothers are analogous to the seven chakras which are transfigured and released before the crown chakra is opened, resulting in the metaphorical birth of the "Divine Child”, so the whole story has to be understood metaphorically.

  Birth by Castration

   Another famous example of a ‘Virgin Birth’ is indigenous to the ancient dynastic culture of Egypt. Three archetypal Egyptian gods, Osiris, Isis and Horus represented the Holy Trinity of ancient Egyptian religious thought.

The Goddess Isis represents the feminine energy of Kundalini, Osiris is the masculine archetype, who judges the dead and is also the god of resurrection. Horus is the symbol of the divine child, and a personification of the newly born consciousness, he is the mediator. The evil Set, also called Typhon (or serpent) represents the destructive power of the serpent or chaos. The Myth of the divine child “Horus” is long and convoluted yet contains clear references to his “Virgin Birth”. 

 Osiris had been murdered by his brother Set and dismembered into fourteen parts that were scattered throughout the land of Egypt. All fourteen body parts were recovered by Isis and her sister Nephthys except the phallus. With her magic, Isis resurrected Osiris and fashioned a new golden phallus and became pregnant with her son Horus, who was called 'Virgin Born' by the Egyptians. Horus’ birth appears self-contradictory when presumed a literal event; as it implies that a castration instigated a series of events that eventually leads to the birth of Horus. The key component of the castration motif is 'Loss of Sexuality' which is consistent with the theme of sublimation. 

 The castration motif also appears in Greek and Phrygian myths. In Greek mythology, Cronus castrated the sky god Uranus whose phallus fell into the sea and formed Aphrodite out of the ocean's foam. In Phrygian mythology, the Goddess Cybele was created when the Olympian Gods castrated the hermaphrodite Agdistis, who then became the Phrygia Goddess Cybele or “Magna Mater’’ (Great Mother). When the phallus fell to earth it grew into an almond tree, afterward the virgin Nana placed one of the almond seeds on her chest and became pregnant with Attis, which ties both motifs of the Virgin birth and castration together in one Myth, implying a "loss of sexuality” as a metaphor that precedes the birth of a divine child of God. Thus the plot revolves around the sublimation of sexuality and its connection to the transformation of consciousness.

An explanation of the 'virgin birth' as a metaphor referring indicating the reversal of sexual energy is much more logical than to assume the pagans were merely into phallus worship, which is just one explanation accepted by early scholars, or that they were ignorant sex was related to childbirth. 

The fact that castration could result in the birth of a Goddess is simply a poetic way to link reversed sexual energy and spirituality. There would be no mention of castration if the ancients were actually worshiping the Phallus as a type of sexual or fertility deity, as this act contradicts the very concept of phallic worship. 

The Christian doctrine of the Virgin Birth (link- The born again Serpent or Christ), rests on a literal historic perception of the bible. As a consequence of Judaeo-Christianity ’s understanding of the ancient symbols, limits, the incredible reality of spiritual evolution and its’ dependence on sexual sublimation 

Sexual relationships have been reduced to a ritualistic war pitting the procreative desires against sensual pleasures while ignoring the third option, the sublimation of sexual energy and its' importance to the continued evolution of the brain and higher consciousness. This ignorance will probably lead to the fall of Christianity and the triumph of the pleasure principle. As both the pleasure mode and procreative mode are exclusionary models are out of balance with the third option of spirituality.

 The endless bliss of higher consciousness continues to linger unnoticed by our civilization as a whole. Caused in part by the common view that religion is detrimental to human society, an attitude that completely misses the point, that allegory is one of the few methods to express the evolution of consciousness.  

The nihilism of modern culture is undermining the fantastic future possibilities within every man and woman. It is the main cause of so much the turmoil in the world as humanity has no clearly defined universal goal that will unify the human race and bring peace of mind and control our materialistic desires.


Posted 5th March 2014 by Joseph Alexander                                                             Edited 1/10/2019



Images from Wikimedia commons

Popular Fairy Tales

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs