By Gabriel Cousens
Intimacy takes us into the mystery of life. It is not about safety or security. Intimacy is about the alchemical process of transformation. It takes us to the frontiers of human existence and brings us face-to-face with our angels and demons. It may activate our deepest thought forms: our issues with our family of origin; our personal patterns; our ability to express and receive love. Intimacy can activate the very essence of what spiritual life is about.
The sacred relationship is our journey into the unknown. Opening up to the risk of intimacy is part of the evolution of human consciousness. We are challenged to maintain and grow within a live, turned-on connection, and to free ourselves from old patterns of pain. In the process, we also need to create space for the other to exist and to grow.
In intimacy, our role is to help the other reach their full depth as a human being. This is very different from the typical kind of relationship in which we try to tame the other person into our idea of who he or she should be for us.
At a high level of intimacy, we support each other to become the most expanded expressions of that which we are meant to be – the fully expressed female and male. We, as partners, have the choice and ability to give space to the other to become their full, authentic self. In its most expanded form, intimacy is an alchemical process of transformation. It invokes the presence of the Divine. We call this the alchemical merging into the One.
In intimacy, we have two essences that must be balanced. The female essence, which can be in a male or a female person, is the rainbow radiance of who we are – the full flow and dance of love. It wants to shine, to be seen, and needs to be recognized and to be known.
The male essence, which can also be in a male or a female person, is to journey into the unknown with a total focus on oneness, dissolving into the Nothing. The female essence is the flower and the joy of fullness. It is everything that changes: light, colors, sound, feeling, and flow – the flow of the universe. The male essence is the part that never changes. It is the witness.
When the male and female essences get together, there is a merging of light and consciousness. This alchemical energy is the essence of real, deep merging with God.
Now, let's talk about communication. The female essence needs one thing: to know it's loved. If the male essence does not communicate to the female that she is loved, things don't work so well. What the male essence needs is to know that it is succeeding and not failing.
This difference in needs causes the male and female essences to communicate on different levels. All communication – in relationship, in lovemaking, and in everyday life – can hold these messages. This is what we call meta-communication.
By understanding these essences, we can give and receive in a way that uplifts the other person and allows space for them to be their full, authentic self. In order for this to be possible, however, both people have to be operating from the same level of intention, or awareness.
Levels of relationship
There are levels of relationship along the spectrum of undifferentiated to differentiated. The level-one relationship is the least differentiated and, therefore, co-dependent. It is like a business deal, in which getting ego needs taken care of is the primary goal.
In terms of male and female, it has to do with raw sexuality. In this kind of relationship, the female essence uses its sexuality to attract the male. That is what we see today in the marketplace, with the overtly sexual way women dress and so forth. The male essence attracts at level one by power and fame, which is what attracts the level-one female essence – looking to be made whole by the male.
In a level-two relationship, people are working hard on their boundaries and have an equality. It is a separate, but equal, relationship, like when two people have separate bank accounts, and a way of relating as professionals. Both are equal, yet both are in some sense denying their sexual essence.
The male denies his essence as a spiritual journeyer. The female denies her radiance and walks around in her business suit, but isn't comfortable with that as her essence. When we are equal, everything is the same. At level two, the biggest struggle is to maintain boundaries and equality. Essence polarity is often lost.
The third level of relationship is where we explore alchemical merging into God. Here, the goal is supporting each other, with both male and female essences giving their holy gift. The third-level female essence gives her holy gift not to attract a man, but simply to be the radiance of the Divine. Her gift is to inspire everyone to be that radiance. The third-level man sees a beautiful woman, or a beautiful horse, or beautiful nature, and he is inspired to give his gift of focused spirituality. She inspires him, and he inspires her. That is the essence; it transcends who we are.
To which level do you aspire?
Level one is about ego and level two is about equal partnership, but at level three we go beyond boundaries. We feel from the heart, without limitations. God is the complete center of life. We are not living out of habits or following robotic preferences. We are being lived by love, and that is what the deepest relationship is all about. We go beyond the egocentric, ethnocentric, into the mystical experience of the One in all things.
At level one, the focus is on our own self interest. At level two, we talk about cooperation, what is fair. We strive for vigorous independence, and are afraid to love too much because we might lose ourselves. But at level three a community of trust begins to unfold – everyone is being lived by something larger than themselves. The essential question becomes "How can love and light shine most fully through me?"
When we give up our personal preferences, it is for the sake of a deeper being – to be the expression of God. Level three is where we use sexuality to liberate love and open ourselves to the Divine.
At level three of relationship, life expresses the deepest level of love. We go beyond our personal boundaries (level one), and our partner's boundaries (level two), to what would most serve our partner and the world (level three). It is important to remember that people actually operate in all three stages, but are predominately centered in one. This means that we revisit our goals and challenges as we grow toward the ideal.
At level three, the feminine is seeking the fullness of love, whereas at level one that need may have been filled by food, chocolate, shopping, etc. The masculine essence, at level three, seeks liberation, death, meditation, and emptiness. At level one male essence, with ejaculation, a kind of emptiness is created. At level three, we are placing more focus on non-ejaculatory sex. This creates a kind of multi-level orgasm, for both men and women, in which we merge into each other as one.
Unity of consciousness
The essence of sacred relationship and sex in the level-three context is the unity of consciousness. It is experienced as an alchemical merging.
The female essence is looking for a male who can feel her depth – the depth of presence and intention. The most important thing to her is for the male to be present. The male essence is looking for a range of female energetics. Because the male is into the One, he is looking for balance with the rich range offered by the female. The male offers his focused presence, and the female offers the full range of her female essence.
This is the merging of heaven with earth of Chinese metaphor. At the level where sex between the male and female essences liberates the gifting of love, there blossoms the ability in a relationship to perceive the inner beauty of the other. It allows us to celebrate the divine essence of the other. This level of intimacy opens both male and female to seeing the divine in all of creation.
When a fully expressed couple make love, they are invoking the Divine. In this way, when you are making love, it is making love with the whole universe – with breath and with your whole being. Inhaling sends love downwards and deep within. When you exhale, you send love out to the whole universe.
Fully expressed love-making is not only for your sexual pleasure or for the merging of two people, you make love to become a healed unit. You are healing the whole universe as you heal the male/female split. Your union is healing your personal self and healing the Universal Self. As two aspects of the divine, you are healing at microcosmic levels that, in turn, heal at the macrocosmic level. You are invoking all the power of God, and in that way, your sexuality becomes a spiritual path.
Note: Gabriel Cousens, M.D., is a holistic medical doctor, licensed psychiatrist, family therapist, and licensed homeopathic physician. He is known worldwide as an empowered spiritual teacher and the leading medical authority on vegan live-food nutrition. To see his website, click here. For his bestselling books, click here. The above is an edited excerpt from his essay titled "Eros and Intimacy." The essay is one of a compilation of essays from the enlightening book, The Marriage of Sex & Spirit, edited by Geralyn Gendreau.