Jeffrey Kripal: the erotic and esoteric in religion

4 Replies, 864 Views

Kripal interviewed by Mishlove on the topic



(Kripal) describes his intellectual journey starting with the study of eroticism in religion and leading him into the study and appreciation of the esoteric or paranormal. His early research focused on homoeroticism in the life of the nineteenth century Hindu saint, Ramakrishna. In India, he experienced a profound state of consciousness associated with the goddess Kali. Later he worked with Whitley Strieber, a UFO contactee, and describes a striking correspondence between Strieber's experience of the Visitors -- and his understanding of Hindu goddesses.

The Daily Grail did a short piece on this interview:

Quote:Yet what Kripal is suggesting, is that one of the reasons why the Western world is in such a state of ‘spiritual bankrupcy’ is not only because we adamantly separate the ‘life of the body’ from the ‘life of the soul’, but also because our institutions –especially academic, but even religious ones– refuse to entertain the possibility of geuinely paranormal experiences. Because if they did, they might just realize the physical universe and the spiritual realm are both one and the same, and the apparent difference between the two –and our blindness to the existence of the latter– is just an illusion manufactured by the limitations of our primate cognition. A cognition which, under very special conditions –such as a mystical trance or an orgasmic state– can open the doors of perception wide open, and transform us in an instant the same way Paul was changed on his way to Damascus.
(This post was last modified: 2018-12-15, 04:41 AM by Ninshub.)
[-] The following 2 users Like Ninshub's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Typoz
I've sometimes though about this in relation to figures such as Grigorii Rasputin. A character who is known better in terms of legend and gossip than in straight fact. But one aspect of his story is a mix of spirituality and sexuality. To many observers this was simply unacceptable, just one more reason to reject him. Certainly western views of spirituality have hard time placing these concepts in juxtaposition, even more so as a unified concept.
[-] The following 2 users Like Typoz's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Ninshub
I have gradually come to realise that sex is telling us something about the mind body problem!

If you ask a materialist why people seek out sex, even at considerable peril to themselves, they come up with a variety of unlikely and inconsistent answers.

1)           Sex is a response to  the human urge to reproduce (yet much/most sex is done in ways that avoid reproduction - so reproduction can't be the true motivation).

2)           People enjoy experiencing orgasm (but hey orgasms are possible without a partner).

3)           Sex releases oxytocin.

etc

As I see it materialists have a real problem incorporating sex into their world view, because relating to another person seems a very fluffy explanation for such an intense experience. Instead, they try to pin the experience on a chemical - but for them the whole body is composed of chemicals and nothing else - what is special about oxytocin, and why would more of it get released during sex, as opposed to masturbation?

I would think that sex is primarily a spiritual/non-material activity that we access via the physical ritual of sex.

On that basis, I'd guess that people do something that is recognisably analogous to sex even when they are discarnate.
[-] The following 1 user Likes David001's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2018-12-20, 04:08 PM)David001 Wrote: I have gradually come to realise that sex is telling us something about the mind body problem!

If you ask a materialist why people seek out sex, even at considerable peril to themselves, they come up with a variety of unlikely and inconsistent answers.

1)           Sex is a response to  the human urge to reproduce (yet much/most sex is done in ways that avoid reproduction - so reproduction can't be the true motivation).

2)           People enjoy experiencing orgasm (but hey orgasms are possible without a partner).

3)           Sex releases oxytocin.

etc

As I see it materialists have a real problem incorporating sex into their world view, because relating to another person seems a very fluffy explanation for such an intense experience. Instead, they try to pin the experience on a chemical - but for them the whole body is composed of chemicals and nothing else - what is special about oxytocin, and why would more of it get released during sex, as opposed to masturbation?

I would think that sex is primarily a spiritual/non-material activity that we access via the physical ritual of sex.

On that basis, I'd guess that people do something that is recognisably analogous to sex even when they are discarnate.

But isn't the avoidance of reproduction a modern issue, or at the least an issue that arose as we shifted into cities and conceptions of private property and private family responsibility?

That said I do think there is an interesting question here, regarding pain/pleasure and their exploitation by natural selection, as well as the pleasure of sex going beyond the kind of relief we experience when eating to stave of hunger-qualia or go to the bathroom after holding it for hours.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2018-12-20, 11:28 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: But isn't the avoidance of reproduction a modern issue, or at the least an issue that arose as we shifted into cities and conceptions of private property and private family responsibility?
Well even the Catholic Church permitted the rhythm method, although of course, it was very unreliable.

However, I would say that the Church did have a war on sexual pleasure, as it did against exploring psi phenomena. It still does, though in a rather more muted way. Interestingly, the Church's reaction to other pleasures - eating nice food for example - were always much milder.

Perhaps the Church's reaction (and that of Islam) is because both give us glimpses of the non-material realms.
Quote:That said I do think there is an interesting question here, regarding pain/pleasure and their exploitation by natural selection, as well as the pleasure of sex going beyond the kind of relief we experience when eating to stave of hunger-qualia or go to the bathroom after holding it for hours.

Agreed - although I have gradually come to doubt that natural selection can explain much.

The more I think about it, sex is rather like a ceremony that throws you into an altered state of consciousness.  Since entheogens are reputed to make people more psychically aware,  someone should try to explore ESP close to organism. 

Interestingly GOOGLE shows a lot of links for the query "psychic sex". I only discovered that after writing this post!
(This post was last modified: 2018-12-21, 10:34 AM by David001.)
[-] The following 3 users Like David001's post:
  • Oleo, Sciborg_S_Patel, Valmar

  • View a Printable Version
Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)