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How Lao Tzu Had Sex August 30, 2013

From Space of Love Magazine Issue #3

OK., I admit it already. That was a nasty trick to get your attention – Lao Tzu and Sex! You’re right, I wasn’t really there with him to confirm. (I was too young at the time.) But being more information a duly licensed psychotherapist, I can at least diagnose him for you from afar. About his suggestions for sexual relations, which I will discuss shortly, it says here in my Diagnostic Manual on page 167, code 302.74, “Inhibited Male Orgasm: Persistent or recurrent delay in, or absence of, orgasm in a male following a normal sexual excitement phase during sexual activity”….Similar for females.
Just imagine, the great Taoist sage Lao Tzu suggesting something that would get you diagnosed as certifiably out of order by our Western medical system. Thank God there are people like William Lloyd, the lovely man who agreed with physician-author Alice Stockham and promoted her Karezza method of non-seminal, non-orgasmic intercourse as the most wholesome, loving and bonding form of marital relations. Stockham, in turn, had been inspired by John Humphrey Noyes of the Oneida Community (founded in1848). Lloyd classes the physicians who promote release of local congestion through the “crisis” of genital orgasm via mutual, reciprocal friction as “of the orgasmal school”.
Now, which of you have chit-chatted over this curious issue of “different schools of orgasmic versus non-orgasmic sex” with friends, sipping coffee at the local hang-out? Yes indeed, why have we not questioned whether doctors should diagnose frequent frantic frictional pursuit of orgasmic experience (also known as fertilization-driven sex) rather than the lack of such in their pathology manuals? Or, to make things easier, class the frenzied behavior in with various other compulsive and addictive disorders? Lao Tzu lived in the 6th (some say not until the 4th) century BC. The Oneida community was busy with their explorations in the mid eighteen hundreds. Alice Stockham published her small book in 1903 and Lloyd’s was first published in 1931. Why haven’t we wondered whether the most commercially lucrative, addictive and chaos-making human activity this side of the cosmic river is really the only way to experience, as Lloyd calls it, “the art of connubial love”?
And why doesn’t the newest, most ubiquitous crop of American TV-commercials say this: “Yes, see how romantically and lovingly these people all look at each other? We are here to tell you that you do NOT need all our dangerous, expensive drugs. No, we are here instead to tell you of a way which will resolve all your ‘intercoursing’ dilemmas for free, easily and with great joy. Moreover, we are here to tell you these great, simple news so that you will discover what you might call the fastest way to regain paradise short of planting your own Space of Love family-plot of land.” Over and back to the evening news: “Today, another several dozen people killed each other while actually looking for love, belonging, respect, and for a reawakening of their deepest spiritual identities.”
I am by no means making fun of the waves of violence riddling our world, but somehow, we do need to look at click this game website the possible connections between those horrifying scenarios and the alienation, overwhelm, violence and appalling ignorance regarding the high levels of autonomic nervous-system arousal psn codes generator online with which millions of people are struggling. While this is not an article about the modern-day trauma of increasing sensory overload, helpful information on how to make things better for ourselves and each other, not worse, should certainly be the first order of the day. Sex is indeed abused by many as an unconscious way of down-regulating an over-aroused autonomic nervous-system. But at what cost?
Which brings me back to our topic. I remember very clearly thinking about and questioning the benefits and after-effects of “orgasms” when I was a young woman and deciding that I did not want to pursue that experience as a main focus of love-making, no matter how entrancing it would seem at the time. So, since I had no little booklets or ancient texts, I taught myself to “sink away” from that experience, which took me awhile. I told myself to “imagine a valley,” to think “sinking” and letting go of that end-result. (I did give myself permission for a clumsy, “lost” transitioning period, because we are all a bit like conditioned ratsels, as I am fond of saying, at least our instinct-driven reflex-programmed selves.) Don’t ask me what provoked me to undertake such research. But what it did for me is create a space of experience where I could discover, even without any of these wonderful authors, how our bio-electric system can open up to another’s bio-electric system (what an unromantic way to put it!) in very unexpected ways. An experience of huge, loving energy flows spreading from heart-center to heart-center, energetic openings which I likened, at the time, to “a spreading city of light” and mutual re-connections with universal and cosmic powers. I am glad I did not mention THAT to any physician at the time or…hm, let me look for my diagnosis here in my desk reference…how about… Delusional Disorder of a Grandiose Type, Code 297.10?
Alas, to help me feel less isolated vis-a-vis apparent consensus reality, here I found Lloyd’s wonderful descriptions, so very similar to my own experiences. And Stockham’s words are just as endearing. And now I even have Lao Tzu’s to console myself, via Marnia Robinson’s website. It was Marnia, ever diligent in her research, who found out how Lao Tzu had sex, if he had any at all. So here’s the low-down, straight from the ancient sage himself, if he even lived as a real person, rather than a mythological being.
Although most people spend their entire lives following the biological impulse, it is only a tiny portion of our beings. If we remain obsessed with seeds and eggs, we are married to the fertile reproductive valley of the Mysterious Mother but not to her immeasurable heart and all-knowing mind…If you wish to unite with her heart and mind, you must integrate yin and yang within and refine their fire upward. Then you have the power to merge with the whole being of the Mysterious Mother…
The first integration of yin and yang is the union of seed and egg within the womb. The second integration of yin and yang is the sexual union of the mature male and female. Both of these are concerned with flesh and blood, and all that is conceived in this realm must one day disintegrate and pass away…
It is only the third integration which gives birth to something immortal….The new life created by the final integration is self-aware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can never die.
Here, Lao Tzu refers to the state of enlightenment called Immortality by Taoists, which is similarly discussed in esoteric Christian texts.
“Remarkably,” Marnia writes, “Lao Tzu explains that this mystical union of yin and yang can be achieved through sexual intercourse.” (The Christian Bridal-Chamber Mystery.)
Because higher and higher unions of yin and yang are necessary for the conception of higher life, some students may be instructed in the art of dual cultivation, in which yin and yang are directly integrated in the tai chi of sexual intercourse….If genuine virtue and true mastery come together…the practice can bring about a profound balancing of the student’s gross and subtle energies [otherwise it can have a destructive effect].
These quotes and more are all available on , from Hua Hu Ching: Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu (translated by Brian Walker, who seems to generously make the whole script available online). Why didn’t anyone tell us about this before we had to discover it laboriously by ourselves, all the while wondering whether we were missing something or other? Or worse yet, wondering whether there was something wrong with us for being suspicious of, or disappointed with, an activity which was being pushed upon us as the ultimate bliss. The modern-day “discovery” of orgasm-less connubial bliss is associated with the Oneida community, but clearly, it was not a new discovery. Many of us discovered it spontaneously. And while some ancient Tantric teachings seem to promote behavior which would increase promiscuity and orgasmic pursuit, others don’t unless they are misinterpreted.
For instance, I remember standing at one of the most famous temples in Khajuraho, India, which is covered with hundreds of carvings, many of entwined people seemingly busy with sexual activities. They all have a very quiet, peaceful, calm demeanor. No frenzied-looking activities, no procreative intensity, just pleasure, bliss and much devoted, soul-to-soul eye contact. And more so, the temple was built in such a way that once one passes this wild display of every conceivable entwining position two people might invent, and as the visitor enters into the inner temple, it becomes more and more still, with less and less activity until, at last, one stands in the center… empty… quiet… nothingness… Of course, all this is associated with the fact that the gods live inside the temple and they don’t have sex, at least so the devotees hope and interpret accordingly. But what if it ALL represented the experience Lao Tzu talks about and that many people who discovered or learned a method such as Karezza know to be true? There comes a co-created experience of cosmic bliss and cosmic capacities with paradisiacal bliss if the “crisis”, the party-pooper, the awkward, interrupting accident, is prevented by contained upliftment of the arousal energies, led upwards to the hearts and exchanged in the name of love and mutual adoration, not a frustratingly short, self-delimiting and self-limiting fertilization reflex.
“So how is Lao Tzu’s tai chi of sexual intercourse different from Dr. Ruth’s approach (hot sex)?” asks Marnia. “Well, we already know that his recommended approach was not geared toward procreation (‘seeds and eggs’).” Lao Tzu does provide other clues:
A person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution. Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs and systems. Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered.
And besides our spirito-cosmic aspirations, down here on the ground, a few extra pleasure hormones and less addictive dopamine-rushing is nothing to be scoffed at in a crazy-making, stressful world such as ours. “Ancient wisdom and modern science converge in the bedroom. In the last decade neuroscientists’ research has revealed that oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, does indeed counteract the effects of stress, which improves health, calms us, and relieves depression. Oxytocin is also the bonding hormone that connects us with others at a heart level. Indeed, we cannot fall in love, or stay in love, without it.” ()
“Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural. Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body….Culminating not in dissolution but in integration, it is an opportunity for a man and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness.” (op.cit.)
Maybe what Lao Tzu describes there is this very movement toward Oneness and transcendence those blissful-looking carved couples on the temple walls were meant to transmit? More often, though, they are misunderstood as inspirations to keep waning, dopamine-drained couples interested in each other against all physiological odds. “Improved health, harmonized emotions, the cessation of cravings and impulses, and, at the highest level, the transcendent integration of the entire energy body…” are the results of such changes of mind and body, Marnia promises from much of her research, and so do many of us who have not been at the mercy of their animal-physiology.
Before we continue with more of Lao Tzu’s insights, this fascinating article further explains how “modern neuroscience is demonstrating exactly how conventional sex leads to subtle energies that are ‘dissipated and disordered.’ Intense, hungry passion sends levels of dopamine (the compelling neurochemical behind all addictions) soaring. This encourages us to engage impulsively in fertilization behavior… Unfortunately it also over-stimulates the pleasure/reward circuitry of the primitive brain. For example, rats that were wired so that they could push a lever in their cages to stimulate the pleasure/reward circuit tapped that lever incessantly…until they dropped. They didn’t stop to eat, to investigate sexually receptive mates…or feed the kids.” ()
The cords of passion and desire weave a binding net around you..
Lao Tzu, already over two-thousand years ago, said ordinary sexual intercourse is a “great backward leap.”
..The trap of duality is tenacious. Bound, rigid, and trapped, you cannot experience liberation. Through dual cultivation [careful sexual intercourse] it is possible to unravel the net, soften the rigidity, dismantle the trap. Dissolving your yin energy into the source of universal life, attracting the yang energy from that same source, you leave behind individuality and your life becomes pure nature. Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.
On that lovely note, I have to stop writing now, articulus interruptus, because I only have so much space, which also relieves me of the burden to further explain something so…delicate…in our family magazine here, namely Lloyd’s more specific instructions. I will practice my language for our next issue. If you are too excited from all these allusions and can’t wait, do order either Alice Stockham’s book or William Lloyd’s, or both small volumes. They are now available as reprints from Amazon.com and hopefully, you already have Marnia Robinson’s “Peace Between the Sheets.” (Her new book, to be published soon, is aptly called: Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow.)

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