Archive for September, 2007

Pretty goofy idea, huh? I mean, don’t most major belief systems teach us that life is suffering and hardship? Or, at the very least, a purgatorial state to be endured with strained patience until we die and move on to something better?

(You’d think, if that were true, that we wouldn’t be so thoroughly hardwired to avoid death at all costs! But I digress…)

So what’s up with this hippie pronoia crap about a benevolent Universe that wants us to…feel good? (more…)


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I remember very vividly one session of my acting class when I was 16. It was a time when I was making a lot of breakthroughs both personally and as a performer, when I’d started studying occultism, and I was beginning to come into my own after so many years of awkwardness and uncertainty.

The teacher, wanting to teach us to connect to our emotions by the use of tangible symbols and sensory recall, had us bring to class an item to which we felt very deeply connected for some reason. We went around the class and described the item and why it was so meaningful to us. Everyone else brought something that had belonged to someone else, or been a gift. I brought my first pair of dance shoes, a pair of Capezio jazz shoes, the soft flat lace-up kind, that I’d gotten when I was nine and which I could still wear (probably could now, too). They’d been spray-painted silver for a show, and written on in idle moments. They were battered and worn, the paint rubbed off in spots, permanently molded to the shape of my feet.

I could describe what was meaningful about them, easily. But then the teacher went around again, and wanted each of us to hold our item and talk to the person we identified with it. It was incredibly powerful, everyone speaking with such raw honesty, so intimately, with pain or joy or love or anger or all of them mixed.

When it came my turn, I was stumped. My mom had bought me the shoes, but I didn’t identify them with her. No one came to mind.

My teacher had the answer. “Talk to yourself,” she said. “Talk to your nine year old self who has just gotten these shoes, and tell her whatever you want her to know.” (more…)

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One of the most common lines of questioning that comes up anytime I discuss my ideas about sacred romance with someone revolves around the idea of self-love, and particularly, how the path of the Lover might lead a wayfarer on it to reach a state of loving themselves.

I admit that this was something I was not terribly concerned with at first, and perhaps short-shrifted in the process. It was work I had largely completed for myself over many exhausting years, and I was much more curious now about the applications of sacred romance to the world around me, and my movements within it.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
~~Lucille Ball

I also admit to having had some impatience with the idea of contemplating ways to achieve self-love, because it has become a pet peeve of mine that so much of modern spirituality seems to be mired in unbelievable narcissism, so focused on discovering one’s inner child or wild woman or whatever the current trendy archetype is, spending thousands of dollars on expensive retreats and fancy props for the sole purpose of cultivating a hip, worldly sort of spiritual virility while still sneering at the homeless guy on the street or driving away from the scene of an accident. (It’s not the spending of money, the desire for retreat, or the toys themselves I object to– they can be as meaningful as anything else. It’s the yuppified sense that spirituality can be bought as simply as a house, a good education, or a collection of wine that sets my teeth on edge.) (more…)

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Love Bhakti #5: A Romantic Life

When I first began exploring sacred romance as a spiritual path– before I even really had a vocabulary with which to name it– there was a seeming paradox that I struggled to understand.

On the one hand, whenever I spoke to anyone about my thoughts and ideas around sacred romance, about bringing beautiful love energy into the world, they would almost invariably react like a desert traveler spotting an oasis, as though the world were parched and romance was water.

On the other hand, romance *seemed* to be everywhere. As a culture, we can’t get enough of it. Love in some form is probably the single biggest subject for modern music. The majority of TV shows and movies, if they aren’t specifically about love stories, feel the need to include romantic subplots whether they make sense or not. Magazines are choked with articles about finding, keeping, maintaining, and recovering from romance; and romance novels are a huge and thriving industry. We use romance to sell everything from diamonds to dish soap, rate restaurants in part based on whether we’d take a date there, and despite that it’s now perhaps more acceptable to despise Valentine’s Day in a sort of weary and jaded fashion, at the same time millions of people still throw themselves with almost a frantic need into an orgy of roses, champagne, and french-milled cliche. (more…)

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