by Dr. Marc Gafni
Reality is Eros.
Eros is the full aliveness of reality living awake in every moment.
Eros has four faces; Eros is to enter the inside of the inside of every moment of every encounter of every situation. Eros is to experience the fullness of presence in every dimension of reality. Eros is to participate in the yearning force of being which is experienced as the ecstatic evolutionary impulse awakening in you, as you and through you. Eros is wholeness, the lived truth of the inner connectivity of the all with the all.
The sexual is a model for the erotic.
The sexual models, in its most epic forms, what it means to live erotically in all of the non-sexual dimensions of our life. The sacred sexual is our teacher, our guide.
Tantra, in Sanskrit, meaning to expand, is the expansion of erotic living, beyond the sexual, into every facet of reality.
Eros is life itself, awake, alive, aware, activist, perfectly still and madly in love.
The fall of the temple symbolises the exile of the Erotic energy. Where did it go? The erotic is exiled in the sexual! We have to understand, that the sexual models the erotic, but it doesn’t exhaust the erotic.
The Four Noble Truths of Eros:
The Sexual Models the Erotic in four major ways. In each of these ways a major face of the eros is modeled in the sexual. The goal of tantra, which in Sanskrit literally means to expand, is to expand these qualities in our lives beyond the merely sexual into every arena of our lives. The goal of tantra is to live erotically in all of the non sexual dimensions of being.
The first is the way of interiority. It is in the sacred positions of the erotic sexual entered and received as the highest form of practice, embraced as surrender to love, that all the false positions we covet in life are revealed as the paltry fare of pseudo Eros. A fare which leave the soul parched and desperate for true nourishment. It is in the erotic sexual that we are most obviously invited to fully abandon the superficial games of fractured ego and fragmented identity, enter the interior castle of reality. It is only on the inside of reality that your heart is set free and you are able to see deeper then the flatland of surface vision. Eros is Interiority modeled by the sexual.
The second is the way of Presence. The erotic sexual invites us to a realm which we do not recognize easily in our daily struggles to prove that we exist. In the erotic sexual existence is a given. We feel beyond feeling to the deepest feeling where our existence is radiant and alive- obviously not in need of explanation. It simply and joyously is. Eros is our opening to the fullness, alive and alove presence, that always is, always will be and always is. This opening is modeled by the sexual.
God is Shechina. Shechina in many Zoharic passages means Presence or Eros. Eros is Presence. The Shechina is always present, alive in and as everything. Most people never enter the healing expanse of the Shechina which is all around and in them because they are contracted into false hopes. They are building edifice complexes to the survival of their brand. They are lost in the superficial pleasure which is mere sex.
One can have sex one’s entire life and never ravished open to Shechina. So people settle for a family and white picket fence not as manifestation of Shechina but as protection against the emptiness of a life in which they are never lived by God. One can either die open to God, to Ayin, to Sunyatta, in the fullness of the erotic sexual and in every minute of existence, or spend life running from your petty death which can never be outrun. Life means to be fully present without clinging to past, resisting the present or grasping for the future. In such a life eternity is realized.
You can either be present as love or be absent and suffer. In Hebrew mysticism, exile is called “Egypt.” “Mitzrayim Egypt” literally means the place of narrowness, the place where you heart closes. When you close you suffer. Israel is called Merchavim, the wide place, the vast expanse, the place where you open. Redemption is opening in love. It is the sexual that models this opening for us. There is really only one choice to make, to open and live or close and die. Openness is presence. Closure is absence.
If you close, if you clench your fist to hold on to your comfort you will be betrayed. Everything you know as your life will one day disappear. To have is to close. To be is to open. To be or not to be is to open or to close. To be a human having or a human being. To be always and ever alive or already dead.
Can you feel it as you read. You can, can you not. The love and openness pouring through you, arousing you to cry out in rapture. And you must do this even as you suffer; and at some point the suffering will yield to tears and then to bliss. “I am open,” you must cry out. Take me God. Take me now.
Let yourself open all the way and know that only then, in your radical openness and vulnerability are you safe. Protect your balls and they will be crushed. Again the sexual models the erotic which is the holy.
If you get lost in Egypt, in the narrow images of your constructed reality you will never touch joy and never experience rapture. You can either die to Shechina in ecstatic pleasure moans of ecstasy, or whimper, die and rot in the earth. Teaches the Hassidic master the Maggid of Mezritch, late in this life, revising his earlier ascetic dharma, ‘If you only feel the Shekina in the arousal of your sex then you are already dead. If the arousal of your sex ravishes you open to God you are being born.’ Sex models the fullness of presence. The lover in Psalms says to the God who is the all, in what for the Kabbalists is understood as a blatantly sexual moment, “Open for me your gates…I will enter them…I will moan your praise.” The sexual models the erotic. Love is beyond limitation. Limitation is death and love is death to be born. Love without limitation and be surrender absolutely and your will be born to your true ecstatic nature.
In the erotic sexual we show up, we are present in ways we barely even imagine possible in the routines of our daily pettiness. Every gesture, every caress, every shiver of our body, every fleeting touch is invested with the infinite love fullness of alive presence.
The third way is the way of wholeness. In the erotic sexual we realize that we are so much more then pathetic egos encapsulated in skin which will one day rot under the earth. We realize that invisible lines of connection weave of in an awesome and gorgeous tapestry of wholeness which is holiness. The wholeness of reality expressed in the interconnectivity of being glimmers in the fabric of our sensual couplings. Subject and object laugh when they remember their apparent alienation. In the sensuality of their laughter which embraces all paradox and nullifies all illusion, wholeness is achieved as subjectivity and objectivity dissolve into oneness which is love. Eros is the realization of wholeness modeled by the sexual.
The fourth way is the way of yearning. In the erotic sexual we are invited, even driven to taste of the sweet nectar of this wholeness which heals all of the painful splits, through the magic of yearning. We yearn to merge with other knowing that it is in the union that full rapture and ecstasy wait. Eros is the participation in the yearning force of being seeking to realize itself for the sake of itself. Once again the sexual models the erotic.
As we have said, the model for being an erotic lover – in all facets of our existence – is the sexual. I see you and you are gorgeous, magnetically dazzling, to me. I yearn for you – all of me wants to break down and dissolve the barriers between us, to enter the inside, where the world stands still for a moment, and I am inside the chrysalis of all reality. You-nified.
Since being a lover is modeled on the sexual, we understand that love too is a perception. Moreover, love is a Perception-Identification Complex. I perceive the infinite specialness, the God point in you, and identify that highest point in you as the Real You.
In the understanding of the quantum spirit, I understand that my perception not only discloses a reality that exists, it actually brings this particular reality into existence. “I love you” means both “I perceive you in your beauty” and “You become even more beautiful under my gaze.” Remember, love is a verb. So just as when I shine shoes, they become shinier, when I love you, you become lovelier.
Built into our spiritual hardwiring is a great desire to realize the beauty and divinity that is our birthright. The experience of falling in love is a true perception of this. It allows us a glimpse of union; of what life might be when the thick walls of ego dissolve. We understand, nevertheless, that those walls will always be raised again.
Though but a poetic paradox, it is true that that which is razed, will be only raised again. Ego separation will, sooner or later, always snap back into place. It is precisely at this time, that the real work of loving begins. We seek, by doing the work, to reclaim the heights we glimpsed in the initial ecstasy. Those heights, and even greater ones.