Finding God Through Sex: A Spiritual Guide to Ecstatic Loving and Deep Passion for Men and Women by David Deida (286 pp.)
In this thoughtful and provocative book, David Deida challenges us to see ourselves as radiant and passionate beings who can wisely use the pleasures of sex as part of our spiritual transformation. As we strive for a deep connection with our partners, we can learn to surrender to the energies of love while "ravishing each other to God."
Deida sees the path of sexuality and spirituality developing in three stages. The first stage is the selfish realm, where you're doing something for yourself. You're having sex simply because you want to. Having sex with a sense of equality and sharing is the second stage, where both partners willingly surrender and give to each other. The third stage is a transcendent stage, where lovers move beyond the pleasures of the body to open their hearts for the sake of all beings. As Deida so aptly puts it: "First stage is me, second stage is we, third stage is God."
With a keen understanding of both spiritual theory and sexual practice, Deida provides a wealth of sensible advice on sex as a spiritual path. Sections of the book called "For Him" provide support for the masculine in us or the more masculine partner in a relationship, while the "For Her" sections focus on understanding the feminine in each of us as well as the more feminine partner in a relationship. In addition, couples will find this to be an unrestrained handbook for enhancing intimacy, with vivid examples from everyday life that show how and where the mundane meets the sublime. All of this is designed, Deida says, to teach you to "make love through your body, not merely to a body."
Finding God Through Sex is an excellent resource for developing the art of conscious sex, where body and soul unite in a state of sacred and blissful transfiguration. As Ken Wilber notes in his foreword, the "very current of sexuality is plugged straight into God." David Deida's work is devoted to connecting us to that current and guiding us to that place where we ultimately see, feel, and give the love that we are, in conscious union with the divine essence of all that is.
What follows is an edited version of David Deida"s Bodhi Tree Bookstore presentation, which includes a few graphic sexual references. He opened his discussion by asking for questions from the audience.
QUESTION: Can you speak about the notion of self-transformation and also sexual transformations in men and women?
DEIDA: Well, what self-transformation is, if you want to use that word, is the depth with which people can relax openly and be in relationship with others, and then even be beyond relationship with others so that both of them are felt to be the same one. It's not even a relationship. There's still a relationship between bodies and minds and emotions, but the consciousness or spirit or heart is one. And there is no sense of separation at that level. Self-transformation is, in that sense, how self-inverted am I versus being in relationship as one with you and everybody. That varies moment to moment for each of us. People can do things to us or say things, and circumstances could happen that cause us to pull in on ourselves and separate. There are also some really beautiful contacts or great drugs that open us into a oneness that we might not usually sustain, and then when the drug wears off or the circumstance disappears or we stop making love or whatever it is that's opened us, we close again. So, spiritual practice is stabilization in that openness.
In general, the practice to stabilize in that degree of openness is to repeat small moments of being a little more open than you are right now. Now, the strange thing is, is that there's a part of you that's already that open now, and all you have to do is feel it. So, in a certain sense, it's an effortless recognition of something that's already true, but on the other hand, we have so many bad habits of not recognizing it that it takes sustained practice over decades of opening repeatedly when we notice we're closing. And we're only opening to what already is. So, it's a little bit paradoxical because it's something that's already true of you and of me and of everything. And yet, it requires practice to rest in what's already true, the depth of love that's already true.
So, the way sex comes in is it tends to be the biggest distracter from that because we get preoccupied in all kinds of sexual things, and I don't mean just genital sex - intercourse -- I mean the whole "I'm a woman, you're a man, am I gay, am I straight" -- the whole sexual play as humans. First of all, we have to realize that we're only talking about this as humans, right? I mean, if we were dogs you'd be sniffing the butt of the person in front of you. You know, we'd be talking about sex and be sniffing around. But we're human, so we have earrings and fancy cars instead of the estrous butts of primates. Although some of us probably have estrous butts along with cars. I was a biologist once upon a time so I identify strongly with animals.
Imagine that we were all a different type of creature than humans, and imagine if sex was splitting your body in two, like some bacteria or paramecium. That would be a whole different discussion, wouldn't it? Then, it would be, "Hi, I'm a lawyer, what are you?" But our whole sexual discussion is as humans, and we may only temporarily be humans, but as humans we ask, "what happens?" We've become distracted from the openness that we are, the love that we are, because of the sexual games that we tend to get involved in. Sex can also be one of the most potent openers - to open your heart, to open your body, to open your breath, or to open your mind. How many of you have had a sexual experience that you would categorize as a spiritual experience? Okay, most people here. Sex provides for both sides; it provides our greatest boundaries to openness sometimes: "You don't want me" or, "You had sex with my sister?" That whole drama. But also it provides some of the most opening moments of your life. "Yes, I had sex with your sister and it was fantastic." So, that's sex, self-transformation, how they fit together.
QUESTION: We're kind of a unique breed here in Los Angeles, and I was just wondering, in your perception, what is the largest salient issue that's divisive between men and women in our little corner of the culture here?
:DEIDA: Wimpy men and rigid women. None of whom are here!
:QUESTION: What if your perception is such that you see a man who's having sex with your sister as an expression of his greed? So that the spirit is actually descending a level or two, so you can witness that expression of greed in a man.
DEIDA: Yes, that would be negative, and it should be dealt with. Let me back up for a moment and then come back. We could feel sex from many directions. I'm going to talk about two directions. One way we could feel sex is what we could call "bottom up," a kind of animalistic urge of desire to have sex, to enjoy the physical sensations, even the emotional connection. But there's a desire to get something. That's the "bottom up" approach. But there's a "top down" approach, too, if we want to talk about it that way.
Let me just introduce it so we have a wider playing field between us, talking about sisters and sex. In this moment, if you are willing to feel it, there are two fundamental aspects to this moment. And those are the witness or the consciousness that is aware of this moment -- that never changes. So, going back to when you were 10 years old or 15 years old, if you can remember back then, there's a sense of continuity. Lots of things have changed, but something hasn't that you called the "deepest you" that's always been there. Or even in this moment - now my hand's here, now my hand's here, now my hand's here, but something's not changing -- the one who's feeling or witnessing that hand moving. So, there's everything that's moving and changing - sound, color, tastes, smells, memories, mind, all of that. Everything's shifting -- the body's shifting, your cells are dying, being born, neurons in your brain are firing, your heart's beating, and your body's moving. Everything's changing. But there's also a sense of unchangingness or consciousness there, also. Otherwise, you'd be insane. You'd have no capacity to have a self-reference. It would just be chaos. There'd be no sense of I. Well, everything that changes, - all of nature, the entire world, your thoughts, your body - everything that changes is the feminine of you, of me, of the universe. Everything that you could taste, see, smell, know, think, is a she. The aspect, if you will, that doesn't change is he.
Now, we'll get back to this in a moment, but if you meditate or dance, do sacred dance, or chanting, or are involved in a transmission yoga with a teacher, then these things become really obvious. There's the energetic light aspect of existence, and there's the consciousness aspect of existence, and they're not separate. You can't have one without the other. Light is the shine of consciousness. Consciousness is the cognizance of light or energy. It's the knowing aspect of energy, and it's impossible to separate them. They're together, and that's why sex feels so good, because sex is the recapitulation at the human level of consciousness and light in unity. And the deepest possible sex is when one partner -- it doesn't matter if it's two men, two women, a man and a woman, the man playing the feminine, or the woman playing the masculine -- if one partner allows themselves to flow wildly as light, that shine is the shine of love. Love is another word for the feeling of light. If one partner is able to surrender as love in their whole body - their emotions, their sound, their openness - so that they are love, and their body is living as love, and one partner is able to reside as the pervasive, unchanging consciousness, without withdrawing but staying with everything that's dancing, and moving, then that's the deepest sex you could have. Absolute presence and absolute wild energy as one. No separation. Not even a separation of people. It just feels like one. Something that's not moving, eternal, never changing, shining as infinite conscious energy and light.
Now, the way that comes out at the human level is that people who identify more with the masculine like unchanging things. People who identify more with the feminine like things that change. So, if you identify more with the masculine, your idea of bliss might be that you come home from work, you want a moment of bliss, you just sit down and watch TV. To someone who's more identified with the feminine, that's very boring, like is that really what you want to do? Or the whole notion of sex, the masculine orgasm's like, "Ah-ha-aaaaah." It's suspension in nothingness, with consciousness is nothingness. And that's blissful. Whereas the feminine's like, "Hello, hello, heellllooo, you know, let's talk, let's dance ... are you there?" You know, "Do we have any good ... whoa, are you still awake?" So, what happens at the human level is that, again, this is for any kind - gay, straight, it doesn't matter - these are energies within every man and woman. The masculine identification with humans is an identification with the unchanging deathlike state, and the feminine identification is with the ever-changing energetic state.
And that leads into all kinds of very interesting things - why we dress the way we dress, how we have sex, why we argue. You know, when you're talking to somebody who's more masculine than you, they want the conversation to end. They're talking so it can become solved. If you're talking with a masculine person, they'll say, "Okay, I'll deal with this." And they're talking so that it could become understood and ended, resolved. Then they say, "That was good, wasn't it?" Whereas, if you're in the feminine, you don't want it to end, and that's why from the masculine perspective, the masculine's arguing, "Why are you making a problem here? There's no problem." Well, there is no problem. You just want the energetic connection. The feminine partner always wants to continue energetic relationships, and the masculine wants to "Whoop, whoop ... are we done? Can I watch TV now? Can I meditate? Or do we need to continue with this?"
QUESTION: Is that what they really want?
DIEDA: That's what the masculine really wants. The masculine in every man and woman is identified with unchanging nothingness at every level - the most sublime levels of a Zen master sitting in nothingness, or the bozo level of some guy jerking off so he ejaculates to get rid of the sexual urge, and then drinking a beer to get rid of the tension, and watching TV so he could zone out. I'm a masculine person. I can tell you, it's very blissful to rid myself of everything. If I could release everything and be suspended in emptiness, that's cool. Now, that's just the masculine part of me. There's a feminine part of me, too, or I wouldn't be standing here tonight speaking with you. Now, back to this guy with your sister. The question is, what is motivating him? Let's say he's motivated from a sense of what liberates most hearts - my heart, her heart, your heart - what liberates our hearts in openness. And he's checked it out with you and her and your friends and the family, and it's a kind of consensual understanding that even though it's going to be tough as hell, this action of him having sex with your sister is going to open more hearts. Even though there might be a difficult period, it's still going to end up serving everyone most, then he might do it from a higher perspective. That would be pretty rare doing something like that. It's possible, though, but rare. More than likely, he's coming from a sense of wanting to get something to relieve himself, to experience the energy of your sister, and so he's coming from a selfish thing which is destructive.
There's a million stages of development you could talk about. I just divide them into three. Any time you're doing something for yourself, it's the first stage. Any time you're doing something on the sense of equality and sharing, it's the second stage. And any time you're doing something for the sake of all beings, it's the third stage. You may die in the process. So, you know, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa - these are third stage people. But we could all have those moments every day. All you have to do is be in a disposition of serving, regardless of the outcome to yourself, and that's the third stage. Making sure you're both safe and okay is the second stage. First stage is me, me, me. So, that's an easy way that I use to refer to these stages. A first stage man has sex because he wants to. Second stage man has sex because you both want to. A third stage man might have sex because nobody wants to but it's the best thing for the world. And that needs to be determined by a community of practitioners at the same level; otherwise, it's easy to delude yourself.
Now, why would a man want to have sex with your sister? Let's open that can of worms for a moment. The reason masculine people want to have sex at all - and this could be a masculine woman or a masculine man. Anyone coming from their masculine. The reason the masculine wants to have sex is because the masculine is identified with unchanging consciousness, and wants to feel unity with energy. What masculine people do is they go around with the radar of feeling different potential partner's energies. And again, it could be men and men, but I'll use the heterosexual example. So, it's like, "Wow, she's hot, she's cold, she feels like a tiger, she feels like a flower, she feels like..." -- and it's that bouquet of energy that's the most attractive to the masculine.
The masculine isn't looking for depth of presence in sex. The masculine is depth of presence. The masculine could sit in front of a guru of infinite consciousness and be in absolute depth. He doesn't need to do that sexually. What he needs sexually, or what he gets sexually, is an energetic component. He's not attracted to some scrawny, dried-out sexual partner who has no energy at all but has really deep consciousness. He might worship such a being, or share transmission, or he might love such a being, but it doesn't give him a hard-on. What gives him a hard-on is a being who's flush with life energy, the kind of energy he doesn't usually get. That's why they go after the sister, by the way, or the baby-sitter, whoever it happens to be. Because most feminine people, just like most masculine people, even though they could be infinite depth, tend to be more superficial. And what the feminine is attracted to in the masculine is depth of presence, not energy.
So, let's look at that just for a moment. If you're in a more feminine place and you're attracted to the masculine sexually, what attracts you is some really present partner - who comes up and looks you directly in your eyes, with their body very open. They just stand there. When they want you, they're clear. "I want you." Their actions are clear, confident, humorous, but also deep, unwavering. It's very different than, "Uh, um... I, uh, I'm not sure what I want. I don't know if I want you or not." That's not a turn-on. It's the conscious depth of "I am consciousness, you are light, I want you... now." That masculine depth is only reciprocated by the feminine freeness in the flow of energy as an expression of love. If the feminine partner's like, "Yeah, I'll be with you," and then her sister's, you know, like, "Whooo, aaaaaaah." You're all laughing because it's obvious which one the masculine would be attracted to, and the reason is because of the freedom of the energetic openness.
So, reciprocity in the sexual moment -- it doesn't have to be intercourse, it could just be looking at each other -- is depth of consciousness, radiance of love light. It's your capacity to show both of those through your body and that defines you as a valuable sexual partner whether or not you actually have intercourse. It defines you as a valuable masculine or feminine expression. There's all kinds of dimensions of being human that have nothing to do with sex or masculine or feminine. But I'm just looking at that particular thing. A lot of times people will say, "Well, I'm much more than sex." Well, of course. That goes without saying. The masculine always wants things not to change, and the feminine is change, and that's a source of a lot of conflict. And also, the source of attraction and great sex, so you have to understand how to play with that, which is what I write about. So, that's a little bit on your sister and some guy.
QUESTION: When you have a man and a woman so technically embodying the masculine and the feminine consciousness, and they're both coming from the energy that you're describing as the energetic, the flowing, and the ever-changing, what happens?
DEIDA: You have the Bodhi Tree bookstore clientele! Seriously, all of us have masculine/feminine energies. It's part of us. It's just the natural part of us. So, me joking, or moving my body, that's me enjoying the feminine. We can identify with the masculine, or identify with the feminine. We're multidimensional and fluid beings. There's nothing wrong with any of us identifying with more masculine or more feminine, more consciousness or more light at any particular moment except when it creates closure and problems because we're not using it wisely. Let's look at that. If you and I are friends -- not lovers but friends -- it would be totally fine for both of us to flow in the masculine: "Well, I think Ken Wilber's four quadrant model is quite an interesting model to apply to the development of consciousness, what do you think?" "Well, I've been thinking about that, too, and I find it's hierarchical linearity, not quite pleasing to my senses...." I'm making fun but we could have a masculine conversation even though we're a man and a woman, as friends, and it could be very pleasurable, you drinking your espresso while we're talking about theories.
And we could both be in our feminine too. I could say, "Wow, your hair is fantastic." And you'd say, "Do you like it?" I'd say, "Yeah, the color of your shirt and your hair together, it's just like wow, you know, it's sorta like, far out." So, we could flow together in energetic exchange, or it could be a beautiful sunny day and I could suddenly take your hand and just start dancing with you and sharing energy. So, there's nothing wrong. It's actually good to be able to share masculine/masculine, feminine/feminine, masculine and feminine. Any time one person's in their masculine and one person's in their feminine arc of polarity - it's like a magnet or electricity happens between them, and it doesn't matter if they're committed in a relationship or total strangers.
If you're in your feminine and I'm in my masculine, or vice versa, if you're in your masculine and I'm in my feminine, and the more separate those are, then the more absolutely present I'm being with you. This arc of polarity forms sexual attraction energy, a buzz -- one's in the masculine, one's in the feminine. It's negated or neutralized if you're not. If you and I were lovers or husband or wife, and I was in my feminine and you were in your feminine, it would be depolarizing. We'd be able to flow together but nobody would make the decision to do anything. Someone has to stand back and say, "Hey, what's the best way to use our time right now? Let's do this." Instead of "Hey, let's flow here, just go with the flow." Or "Whatever it feels like is fine with me." That would drive a feminine person crazy eventually. It'd feel good for a little while. "Hey, they can flow with me." But then it's, "Hey, come on, make a decision. You know, let's do something. Where are we going with this? Why are we together?" Do you see? If you're a feminine person and you're with a lover who's flowing, it's disgusting eventually. It's fun at first, but then it's just, "Hey, man, you know, get a grip. Where's your spine? Get grounded. Where are you going?"
:QUESTION: I'm giving you an example from my personal past. I kept feeling I had to be in the masculine because somebody had to ground. If both people are on the same polarity, then one person's just going to flow into the other one.
DEIDA: If you find yourself needing to ground in the masculine cause your partner's not, is that what you're asking about?
DEIDA: If you find yourself in that situation, so you're noticing in a moment that you wish this partner that you're with was more grounded in the masculine, more decisive, more clear, more present, not so flowing, and you notice yourself taking on the masculine because someone's got to do it, it's like in physics there's a conservation of energy. There's a conservation of masculine and feminine in a relationship over time so that if one partner persistently refuses to be in the masculine, the other partner must. And the way that feels in a feminine body is yuck. Then you get tense and you lose trust in your partner because you can't trust your partner to navigate consistently, and you withdraw your trust, which your partner feels is a withdrawal, so they give you less navigation. "Oh, she doesn't really trust me. Why should I navigate her?" And then you feel even more weak, and so you start getting a little angry on top of it, so now you're angry and tense, and you say, "Bob, let's talk." And your partner says, "What? I thought that was great sex." And you say, "It was great sex, that's not..." And he says, "Well, I don't know what's going on with you but you're obviously making a scene because that was great. We just enjoyed ourselves. And if you don't, I'll do it with someone else."
There's two ways out of that situation. One is to occupy the masculine yourself, which is sometimes useful, but ultimately unpleasant. You get tension accumulated in your body, you lose trust in your partner. The other thing is to practice being more feminine than your partner is being, and then he gets to feel how he's more masculine than that. Here's an example. Let's say you had fun sex, it was very energetic, very delicious in that sense. But now it's over, and you got to do something. And he's just sitting there smoking a doobie and putting on music and you want something deeper to happen. You want the relationship to go somewhere, you want the moment to go somewhere. It's not over. But he's not going anywhere. Maybe you even have tentative plans to meet two friends of yours, a couple, to go out to dinner later, and so the time's getting close to 8:00, when you're supposed to meet them. And he doesn't seem to notice time's getting closer. But you're in your masculine so you notice, and you say, "Okay, you know, we got to get going ... are we going or not?" And he says, "Hey, come on, just relax." And you say, "Look, we have to call them and tell them we're not coming if we're not going. Or we got to go."
So, how do you switch that situation? Well, one way to switch it is you feel yourself. Okay, I'm moving into my masculine, I'm the one looking at the time, I'm trying to structure this. He's totally flowing. This is not happening. You know, this is not feeling good. Well, what you could do is feel, okay, how can I be more feminine than him in the moment? And you could be because you're very feminine as a person. Well, what would happen if you just started massaging your own body and opening in rapturous bliss as you're laying next to him. He's just kind of flowing, but you say, "Oh, that 8:00 thing -- I don't really care. I'll do whatever you want to do." And you just leave it at that. He'll feel he'll have to do something. He'll either say, "Well, let's have sex again," or he'll say, "Well, let's go," or something, but someone will have to occupy that masculine space that's been vacated by you. He gets masculine real fast when you're not doing anything unless he's making a decision. You know, anything at all.
How can I make this even more elemental? You have to piss and you just kind of indicate that unless he gives the word, you're just going to piss right there. He'll give you the word. He might want you to piss right there, but he'll be clear about it. Now, you don't want to have to live that way, so ultimately the answer is you either find a man who's more developed in their masculine, or that man learns to develop his masculine. And typically, that happens because you've started in what I call second stage relationships. Remember, I talked about the three stages. First stage is me, second stage is we, and the third stage is God, if you will, oriented. In a second stage relationship, the more macho guy has to learn to be soft and sensitive and respectful, and the more flowing person has to learn how to have their own life and not be so dependent. You get to the second stage by feminine people learning to guide their own lives, and masculine people learning how to feel others. The trouble is, that's just a stage. People stop there. And when you stop there, it results in what you're talking about. And so, the larger issue is do you want a partner who will occupy the masculine.
Let's look at that even deeper. Are you willing to trust him to guide your life? Or do you resist it? If you resist it, you deserve a wimp. Now, you could resist it for fun, that's different. No, yes, no, yes. You know, that's fun play. But I'm talking about being fundamentally unwilling to trust him more than you trust yourself. So, the way to move to the third stage is you trust your partner -- if you're a feminine partner -- you trust your partner's masculine more than you trust your own masculine. And your partner trusts your feminine more than he trusts his own feminine. Now, the feminine is the energetic dimension, which involves all kinds of things. It could be as subtle as he needs to eat a certain kind of food that he's unaware of, energetically. He needs to just trust you. So, he says, "Why do you think that? What's the rational reason?" You just say, "It's what I feel," and that's got to be enough for him, cause most of these things can't be expressed in rational terms.
So, he needs to trust you and you need to trust that part of him. If you don't, you can't move from the second stage to the third stage, and sex will be limited too. So, you can't have some guy in bed who will say, "Baby, I'm going to take you places you've never been before," and just ravishes you open, and then, you think after sex you could lead your own life without trusting him more than you trust yourself to guide you. That doesn't work. It has to be across the board in a relationship. You either are with someone you trust, or you're not. And if you've chosen someone you don't fully trust, that's your problem, and you're inflicting abuse on him by demanding he gives you this thing during sex and lays off, you know, in the rest of your life. That's torturous. It doesn't work. You trust this guy to lead your life, and he'll make mistakes and learn from them, and he trusts you to bring energy into his life, and again, you'll make mistakes, but you'll learn from them. So there's always mistakes, that's part of growing. But if you're not up to that, if you're not with a partner who you trust more than yourself in the energy you want, then you're with the wrong partner.
And that's pretty epidemic at the second stage level, and that's why I was joking about the clientele at the Bodhi Tree. It's not the Bodhi Tree, it's the whole idea that the New Age is the form of evolution beyond macho jerks and submissive housewives and the equal partnerships, and equal partnerships are the most boring forms of relationship there are, but they're very safe and they have good communication. They just don't have deep passion. They might have moments of passion, and they might have moments of depth, but they rarely have deep passion in a sustained way. And the way to have deep passion in a sustained way is what I just described. You choose a partner, you trust their masculine energy more than you trust your own, and he trusts your feminine energy more than he trusts his own. Now, together, you're more than you were separately. Otherwise, you might as well not be with somebody. If you trust your own masculine more than you're willing to trust someone else's, why are you with them sexually? You might as well just have friends. I mean, you could love each other as much as you want, but if you don't trust their masculine navigational power more than yours, it's torture because he'll feel you not trusting his and that's a turn-off. That's why he goes for the baby-sitter.
QUESTION: What book have you written that talks about this particular topic? I find it very interesting.
DEIDA: Finding God Through Sex and Naked Buddhism. Finding God Through Sex discusses this so each chapter has a 'For the Masculine' and 'For the Feminine.' It's a sexual situation, not intercourse necessarily, just daily life and intercourse. And then how the masculine partner works with it, and how the feminine partner works with it. That's how Finding God Through Sex is written. Naked Buddhism is written from a much more general practice perspective and The Way of the Superior Man is written from the masculine and directed to the masculine. That's the best book for a masculine person like yourself to start with and in Finding God Through Sex you can see both sides. Dear Lover is from the feminine side, like The Way of the Superior Man is from the masculine side. That's how the books are written.
QUESTION: Moving from the second to the third stage sounds wonderful, but nature seems to be working against us. Testosterone levels are falling. Can you address that?
DEIDA: If people can even get to the second stage as a global culture, we'd be lucky. There's still so many first stage men suppressing women, and the majority of people are still moving from the first to the second stage. In terms of the world, heck, if we could all get to the second stage, the world would be a better place. That having been said, there are people who are well versed in the second stage and ready to move on, which is what I'm addressing. I do want to acknowledge that there are many more people who have yet to move from the first to the second stage. For people who are now moving to the third stage, not only is nature against us in the sense that you're talking about, but culture is, too, because the center of gravity is still below the second stage. So, you don't get a lot of support for living your life moved by divine impulse to serve others, and you may die in the process and other people may die, or maybe it's not the healthiest thing to do. Most people are still oriented to the second stage. Eat organic foods. Feel really healthy. Save the world. You know, hello, the world is going to rot. This is a temporary level. We could make it as beautiful as we want, and it's still temporary.
The true third stage perspective is the unity of doing your best to improve your life, other people's lives, and the world's lives from a place of realizing no amount of improvement's going to save any of this. You're doing your best to serve, but it's riddled with such humor and compassion cause it's not going anywhere. It's just going to dissolution. You're going to dissolve, I'm going to dissolve, the human species is going to dissolve, and the Earth is going to dissolve at some point. It's a temporary dreamlike apparition that we are here to improve. So, if you could, hold both of those things simultaneously in your heart -- that this is a dream and there's no better way to play this dream than to work to improve it. They're both true. This is a dream. You know, it disappears every time you go to sleep. The dreams disappear and that depth is still there, then the dreams come back and then the dreams fade and this comes, but that depth remains. And when you could come from the masculine place of the depth that never changes, while always also giving complete devotion to the feminine dance that always dances, that's how you move from the second to the third stage. Can you feel the part in you, for instance, that is equally as destructive as constructive?
As a feminine person, have you ever found yourself doing something that you knew was destructive, but you couldn't help yourself from doing it. Have you ever lied and you knew you were lying as it came out, but you found yourself saying it anyway. Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody you really loved and you found yourself sabotaging the relationship even though you really loved them? If you're a feminine person you do that all the time. If you're a masculine person, it drives you insane. If you're a feminine person you sometimes wonder why you do it, but you do it nevertheless because the feminine is simply constant motion. The feminine is not the better and better, it's not the worse and worse, it's just motion. And so, if you could play that motion as love, then that motion begets love, but it doesn't necessarily stop its destructiveness.
The way to create love on Earth is not to stop hurricanes. Hurricanes are a natural part of the Earth. They kill people too. Forest fires are a natural part of the Earth. They kill people and trees and rabbits and mice. So, death is a part of life, and the feminine as a feminine partner, is equally committed to, if you want to use that word, destruction as birth. In other words, you're with a partner, and this partner's really loving you, and you find yourself saying something you know is going to piss him off. Now, in a first stage moment, it's "What am I doing?" It's a self-concern. In a second stage moment, you start talking about your feelings. "Well, what I'm feeling now is a division within myself between what I'm saying and what I really feel, and I wanted you to understand that," and there's that discussion about everything which goes on endlessly and it totally depolarizes the moment, and you just talk forever. The third stage approach to that would be to feel this happening. You're hurting him. And you don't really want to.
To move to the third stage moment, you feel your partner's heart, you feel the resonance between your hearts, and you relax to the point that your hearts are one, your love is one, even though of course your bodies are separate as human beings. You're both love, or you wouldn't even be there. From that place of connection, of prior oneness, you are love, and see what happens to what you're saying. The tone will shift. The tone of your voice will shift. The angle of your head and neck will shift. Your eyes will soften. And even though you might be saying, "I hate your fucking guts," the way you say it will transmit so much love, he'll say, "Yeah, I hate you too." The hurricanes still happen, but they're hurricanes of love.
QUESTION: I have several practices of Buddhism that I follow, and I'm curious if you're saying that sex on the basis of desire can be spiritual, or is your work based on the premise that there's some affinity between most people? Are you also addressing what to do about sex for the sake of sex?
DEIDA: There are three general levels of Buddhism. I mean, this is gross generality, but I'm going to use them for a purpose and I think you'll find them helpful. The Hinayana or Theraveda Buddhist tradition would take desire, sexual desire, as something you apply an antidote to. It's a monastic tradition, and sexual desire you shouldn't act on, and you could witness the sexual desire arising and dispersing and releasing. There are all kinds of Vipassana practices that allow you to witness these comings and goings of feelings. That's the Hinayana approach. The Mahayana approach, which is a larger vehicle of Buddhism, if you will, seeks to transform negative emotions into positive ones, so you transform desire into a more positive emotion -- compassion in general, and versions of compassion in different ways. So, if you're practicing from the Mahayana perspective, you have a sexual impulse and then you transform it into a compassionate act.
From the Vajrayana approach of Buddhism, every energy has its own wisdom to it, and you just fuck like a rabbit, and in the moment of fucking like a rabbit, if that's what you desire to do, you also feel the native depth of love consciousness that is also desire. It's manifesting as desire, and it self-liberates in the act, and that's why Vajrayana Buddhist teachers have sex with all their students, Mahayana teachers don't and they preach compassion, and Hinayana teachers are monastics. When I say 'Have sex with all their students' -- I'm just joking.
So, I can't address it relative to Buddhism, but I can address it relative to what form of Buddhism one happens to be practicing. Every form of Buddhism works, but you need to play it at its own rules. So, if you're practicing Hinayana, you don't mess around with sex. If you're practicing Mahayana, you act compassionately for the benefit of all beings. If you're practicing Vajrayana, you allow the energy to self-liberate, and it's a very dangerous way to practice. You need a community of feedback to make sure you're not just deluding yourself and so forth. We could get into that more if we want, but it's a pretty difficult way of practicing. But it's also the most passionate.
QUESTION: Yeah, I think the next observation or question would be that I think there's a very fine line between a new form of desire and playing that out to nobody's benefit under the guise of 'it's a new technique.'
:DEIDA: Oh, yeah.
QUESTION: First is there really a transmutation taking place?
DEIDA: Yes, exactly. That's why the Vajrayana level's so dangerous and usually fails for most people. That's why the Dalai Lama teaches the Mahayana level even though he's well-versed in the Vajrayana.
QUESTION: Well, I'm not at the Vajrayana level.
DEIDA: That's fine, but I'm trying to address your question, but maybe I'm not hearing it. It's easy to mess up. It's dangerous. Like you say, acting on desire in general just begets more desire, a wheel of karma. So, if you're acting from the sense of desire, what I'm suggesting is, you instantly transform that into what serves the other. That immediately moves you to the Mahayana level. So, you want to have sex. I would suggest never have sex because you want to. Only have sex to serve others. I'm serious. If you could practice that stably, you are ready to move into the third stage. If you could practice that stably. And it takes discipline because you have all these arising internal sensations that you want to act on. How do you transform that in the moment to serving others? Your partner, for instance. Your lover. You only have sex for the sake of serving your lover, ever. That's the discipline.
I mean, let's get down to it. You're making love, you're feeling intense pleasure in your penis, say. It's so easy for your attention and feeling to go there, you're not even noticing you have a partner, let alone serving your partner. The first step in that moment is, okay, you're feeling a sensation. Okay, don't resist that, don't suppress that. But in addition to feeling the sensation, open your eyes if they're closed, see your partner, look into her/his eyes, your partner's eyes, feel your partner emotionally, connect emotionally, connect visually, synchronize your breath with your partner so you're connected with breath. The breath often conducts a level of pranic energy or more subtle energy. So, you're connecting energetically, you're connecting emotionally, you're connecting in depth. Hopefully, you're connecting at the level of consciousness, also, or depth. Now, from that place of connection, you still will feel the sensations in your penis. They will still be as pleasurable, but you're feeling more than that. So, you're beginning to approach toward the Mahayana level, if you will.
Now, in addition to that, feel your death. I mean, really practice feeling you could die in the midst of this lovemaking. If you were going to die in the midst of this lovemaking, how would you want your last act to be? What is the last gift you have to give? How deep would you want the moment to be? I'm about to die, she's about to die, what is the deepest gift we can give each other? Instantly you've shifted the energy of the lovemaking. Now that's still at the beginning level. You're feeling the sensations in your penis, you're feeling the connection between you and her at every level you can - heart, breath, gaze, feeling, emotion, everything. In addition to that, you're feeling your death and her death, so the moment has a precious, transient quality, but also a depth of poetry to it, because if you're about to die, life means something else.
Now, also feel everybody else. I mean, everybody else. Even though you're in your room, it's pretty easy to feel people being slaughtered in different parts of the world. I mean, we're in a very privileged position just to be able to talk like this. We should use that privilege well, and hopefully we are, but we can also feel other beings, and that's us in a different situation. It could be us any time given the way our politics are going. But there are people really intensely suffering right now. Really intensely suffering - physically, being blown to bits, starving. Can you feel that depth of human suffering, which is real. It could be real in you and her. I don't know your history, but some of us have had pretty rough times. But feel that depth of suffering. Your death, her death, connection between your bodies. Now, the pleasure on your penis has a whole different context, you know. You're feeling the death of the suffering of all beings. You're feeling the connection between you and the spiritual and you're feeling the poetic possibility of creating love art through making love in this moment as you die. That's the beginning of the third stage practice.
Now, once you could sustain that without getting lost in the feeling on your dick -- the masculine tends to get lost in like things like that, the feeling on your dick. The feminine tends to get lost in emotion. You know, they get lost in their own emotional things. That's just as bad. Even though those emotions may continue, even though the pleasure in your penis may continue, you still need to do everything I just described if you want to move to the third stage. So, she might be crying but she also is feeling you completely. She's feeling all beings completely. Her heart is spread out as the universe and she might be very emotional, but she's not lost in the emotions like you're, hopefully, not lost in your physical sensations. But when you have two partners who could sustain that easily, so it's not a big struggle anymore, then there are all kinds of gentle, artful techniques to open up the subtle bodies of both beings, to transmit that openness to other people to receive their suffering and transform those in the moment, and lovemaking actually becomes a kind of yogic practice. A yogic practice of breathing God -- feeling God -- if I could use that word. It's not a good Buddhist word, but you know what I'm talking about, right? So, let's use that and what's your question? I just wanted to kind of give us a language.
QUESTION: Well, I think you answered it, and that is, number one, the differentiation of just a magnified desire versus doing something truly spiritual with sex.
DEIDA: Yes, and most people don't, frankly. Most people who are into spiritual sex are basically just...
QUESTION: Energy manipulation.
DEIDA: Yeah, they're sluts for pleasure.
QUESTION: Right. Which is the extreme of desire.
DEIDA: Yes, exactly. I called this guy a slut. I'm just kidding. It's interesting though because sexual desire is so intense, and I don't mean just intercourse, but the whole emotional dimension of it too - the desire for a lover - that's it also a very good doorway to dive through to grow. And yet when you do it, any subtle deviance from that truth of practice, and you're immediately just doing first stage me thing in a whole bigger dimension. Boy, now I could have sex in my subtle body. Now I'm having sex for the sake of all beings, yeah, yeah. That's what tends to happen, and so, one of the ways to make sure that that doesn't happen as much is to practice in community with other practitioners.
A community, I find, is essential. So, you and your partner might talk about your sexuality with other people. Not like a big long thing, but just checking in. If the next day after having sex you and your lover check in with your friends, they'll know if you're full of shit or not. Really. I mean, your friends know. They might not talk about it. If they're second stage people they say, "Hey, what you do is your business, you know. You're responsible for your own happiness. I'm responsible for mine. I'm in no position to tell you what to do. Hey, you know, if you need to do that, go ahead and do it." Those are good second stage friends.
Third stage friends say, "Look, buddy, you're full of shit. I know you're enjoying yourself, fine. But don't delude yourself. You're not growing." So, that's what you want, a third stage friend, someone who's really clear, loving, but doesn't bullshit you. And without that, you can't move into the third stage because by definition - I, you, as a self, as an ego, will always attempt to strengthen their self, their ego, who they are as a separate person. Everything you do, even these practices I'm describing, will become tools to strengthen. "Boy, now I'm the third stage. I'm dedicated to serving all beings. And I could do it through sex." So, it's really easy to get into that and you need feedback. A good teacher helps, someone who's more stable in this practice than you. They could always reflect back to you, and good friends who are practicing at the same level of you are also very useful.
QUESTION: I'm so looking forward to reading Wild Nights your book with Mykonos, and I wanted to know, was that the basis of your learning that brought you to the essences and the three stages?
DEIDA: Wild Nights is a pretty wild book for those of you who haven't read it and I would not recommend it unless nothing I've said has offended you and you want more. It's a description of my time with a teacher who taught me a lot in a very extreme way, in the Vajrayana way, what we were just talking about. It was very difficult. The teacher's name is Mykonos, and the question was, did I develop the stages and the essences from that? No. I developed them before I met Mykonos, but he certainly got them in my body in a way that I hadn't previously.
QUESTION: But he did teach you things that brought you to what you espouse today or teach today?
DEIDA: Yeah, absolutely. He contributed greatly. But I wouldn't want to blame him for the way I turned out, either.
QUESTION: I just want to mirror something I think I heard earlier, that the feminine momentum would possibly be the momentum that improves the dream; whereas, the masculine momentum would be that which knows that it's a dream and it's just....
DEIDA: I did say that, but I would reframe it right now and say something like, the feminine moves to improve the dream by improving the conditions, and the masculine moves to improve the dream by improving the depth of recognition. They both improve it.
QUESTION: Okay, cause I thought I heard that the masculine is actually improving it by seeing it as a dream.
DEIDA: Yes. That's another way of saying it. But all of us have both. So, you know, I want to do things with my body and help people, and I also want the recognition. They both are beautiful.
QUESTION: You said before, why would a feminine person be with a masculine person that they didn't trust more than their own....
DEIDA: Only for the third stage. There are lots of reasons, but I'm talking about third stage sex in that moment. But there are many reasons.
QUESTION: I wanted to ask you why would a feminine person end up with a person who is masculine whom they trusted less than their own self?
DEIDA: Because you're afraid to trust somebody more than yourself. If you had parents who -- and this is most people -- who were not enlightened. And let's say you have a negative sense of what the masculine is. Let's say your father abused your mother. Let's say your mother suffered. Maybe you just felt some kind of interaction where you don't trust the masculine. Well, you'll certainly pick a partner whose masculine you don't have to trust. You also complain about it because deeply you want it, but you choose somebody who mirrors the negative aspects of your parents. When you grow up in your childhood home, that's what feels like home to you. That's what feels like this is home. Whatever it is. If your father and mother were beating on each other, if they were alcoholics, if they were beating you, if it was blissful -- that's home.
Now, as you grow into an adult, your mind grows and says, well, I don't want that. But there's a part of your nervous system that remains shaped by the experience as a child that you had of your mother and father together or whoever you lived with, as well as your relationship to them. And that part of your nervous system never changes. So, now you're an adult, and your nervous system is shaped by "Daddy never gives enough love to Mommy and he wants to have sex with me so he pulls away instead of that and he's distant from me." Let's say that's the pattern. That's now frozen in your nervous system and you go to a party as an adult and you go to eat the chips, you know, you're at the table with all the chips and drinks. And you'll reach for the chip, and next to you is some guy reaching for the chip who's distant, who's sexually attracted to you but doesn't say anything. So you say, "Hi," and he says, "Hi." And you say, "Whoa. Do I know you? You seem so familiar." And he is very familiar. He's your childhood. And it's not a mental thing so he may not be beating you in the moment or being distant. It's a very subtle thing. Now, what happens is, you get together with this person. At first there's all this romance and great compassion. In a few months or so, suddenly he's doing the same thing every man you've chosen has done. Basically, if you ever go for somebody you fall in love with, you're replicating the pattern of your childhood. It's far better, well, not better, it's quicker to have an assigned relationship, but we won't get into that.
QUESTION: So when it's love then.
DEIDA: Falling in love. Love is oneness with everybody. And then choosing a committed relationship to practice that oneness in sexually, which for many practical reasons, really only works one on one. There's a few rare people who could do with more than one partner, but if you've ever tried, you're lucky to do with one partner in the third stage, so let's start there. If you could do it with one perfectly in the third stage way, fine. Try it with another one if you're so moved. A committed relationship of love including sex is a chosen intimacy. Falling in love is feeling that person's special. That's now love; that's your childhood wounds resonating with someone else's patterns and they feel like you've always known them, and if you've ever been in those relationships you know what happens. It happens over and over.
You could in those relationships move into the third stage and learn to love each other in oneness and do the sexual yoga as an art. So, you could be in those relationships and transform them into third stage relationships. It's just the tendency to yank on your childhood things will still be there, even in the midst of the third state, which could be very amusing because in the third stage, you feel them happening with a little bit of humor. My father's name is Howard, so I live out a lot of my father's stuff cause I'm as neurotic as anybody. So, what my partner could do is just say, "Yes, Howard," and suddenly I realize, "Yeah." In the moment you could have humorous ways of recognizing certain patterns arising and they just dissolve, they self-liberate when you recognize them from that place of love, just like I was describing to the woman about the sabotaging of relationship. In the moment, if you connect deeply, even the worst patterns liberate -- they open.
QUESTION: But is it easier to just find somebody more masculine?
DEIDA: When you are ready to trust somebody, then you'll be with somebody like that and not until then. No one's going to be interested in you if you don't trust them if they're trustable. A really masculine trustable guy with perfect integrity -- if he doesn't feel you totally trusting him, why would he be interested? He would just find someone else. Do you know what I'm saying? It takes time to grow to learn to trust somebody more than you, and when you're ready, that person will be attracted to you. You know how evolved you are by the types of partners you're attracting. And there's no way out of that realization. If your partner is not masculine enough, you're too masculine. For your heart, not for mine. If you partner has false feminine, you have false masculine. If your partner's afraid to offer you the masculine, you're afraid to receive it. They always go hand in hand or you have no attraction at all.
So, you've chosen that kind of person. The question is, why did you need someone you didn't have to trust? You didn't have to surrender to? Why? Why are you choosing somebody who has less integrity? Because you know within 30 seconds of meeting someone how much integrity they have. I mean, you just walk up to someone and you can feel how much integrity someone has. You're not an idiot, you know what I mean? You know that. If you don't, your friends do. You bring the guy home and you say, "Isn't he wonderful?" And they say, "He's okay." Leave that guy. But you won't. He's so ... like your parents. You know, and then you do this thing, and then six months later they're saying, "We told you, we told you." "Well, how could he do this to me?" you say. "This has happened again and again." And they say, "We told you, we told you."
QUESTION: Is there an ideal percentage -- this is a male question -- of the masculine/feminine energy?
DEIDA: 17.3 percent on Tuesday.
QUESTION: 51/49 or 55/45?
DEIDA: Ideal for what?
QUESTION: For one to be happy within oneself.
DEIDA: Yeah. The ideal percentage is your true percentage. You were all born with a very specific percentage. And this is a simplified version because there's the gross body, there's a subtle body, and there's a causal body. Each one has a sexual essence. Let me put it this way. If I could give you a touch with a magic wand that would utterly relax you, make you totally happy, and you gave what you were born to give to this world, and if that's what the wand did, how would you express that gift in a relaxed, happy fashion? Let's say that your natural way of giving it is 70 percent masculine and 30 percent feminine. Then that's your best way. The trouble is, your father dented you a certain way so you're a little, whatever, less masculine than you really are. But then you met this woman who had a false feminine, which also gave you a false masculine, so suddenly it's like, when you're having sex, you're falsely 90 percent masculine and 10 percent feminine. At work, you're falsely 50 percent masculine, 50 percent feminine so you don't hit on women and get arrested. So you have all these false things that you're doing. That is unhappiness. So what is happiness, so to speak, in the way you're talking about? It's living true to who you are and offering that as a gift for the sake of others.
QUESTION: So those percentages are different from person to person?
DEIDA: Absolutely. You know, I've used as examples someone like Janet Reno or Michael Jackson. Seriously. Janet Reno has given great gifts to this world. She's made some mistakes, but I mean, she probably has given more than you or I. And Michael Jackson, I mean, for all possible mistakes he's made, he's brought a lot of happiness to this world too. Well, Michael Jackson evidences a lot of feminine energy. He's a master with dance, sound, vibration, energy, movement -- he's a master. Well, I wouldn't want him to falsely make himself all masculine. So yes, of course, every one of us, our unique gift is a very unique expression, and what happiness is, and what my work's about, what the books are about, what the workshops are about, are helping people release the shells and the false things that we've habitualized to, to express our natural gift. What is our appropriate spiritual practice? That depends on those percentages of essences. Sitting in silent meditation is essentially useless for the feminine. It's very useful for men and women because men and women have a depth of consciousness that needs to be addressed. Waving lights and singing and energetic devotion is useless for the masculine, but it's very helpful for men and women because there's an energetic component to men and women. But, depending on whether it's 70/30, 10/90, and as I said earlier, there's different levels of your body - grosser levels, subtle levels, most subtle levels. Each of those have their own identification, more light, more consciousness, and different practices address every level of your being whether you're identified more masculine or feminine.
Meditation was devised by men in a masculine environment - sitting meditation. Most traditions have a lot of sitting meditation, and they actually excluded women for many years, if not centuries, and even today sometimes. And that was actually good because not a whole lot of women would benefit as much as men. It's a masculine practice. Now, women in their masculine could benefit as much as men in their masculine. The feminine would benefit a lot more by sacred dance. Allowing the body to conform to the divine rhythm of existence is going to be a lot more interesting, let alone fruitful, for a more feminine person. A more masculine person's would say, "Enough dancing, I'm going to meditate." But they're both very useful depending on what you're addressing, and most men could use some sacred dance -- if not a lot -- to open their energetic body.
QUESTION: I love to dance so much more than do the meditation, but will that really allow me to evolve by doing that?
DEIDA: Will what really allow you to evolve?
QUESTION: If you're not meditating and you're dancing?
DEIDA: I would never make it so exclusive. I would do some for your masculine and some for your feminine, but you only have so much time in the day. Maybe an hour a day of meditation, three hours a day of sacred dance. The thing is, if you really want to grow, if you want to transform, it's a lot of your life. It's a commitment. So, dancing when you feel like dancing is worthless for growth; it's great for fun and health. But for the kind of opening we're talking about, it's especially when you don't want to dance that it's most important to dance. It's especially when your body's like, ah, you know, 'my lover just rejected me, I ate too much chocolate, I didn't get enough sleep last night, the kids needed this from me, the work is... sacred dance?' If it's time for your two hours of sacred dance, you do it, and it's exactly the opening of the body as a divine expression when it wants to be involved in self-concern that is spiritual practice.
It is not spiritual practice simply to dance when you feel like it. It's when pleasure becomes a discipline that it becomes spiritual. So, you need to open your body, your breath, so it's truly pleasurable. You're allowing pleasure to move through your body when you don't want to. You know what that's like. I don't want it. You allow pleasure to move through your body. Same thing with sex. The best time to have sex is when you don't want to. And as a discipline, how do you allow the pleasure to open through your body hour after hour? "I'm tired of this, okay." It's when we are closing we'll feel our first and second stage patterns and we can allow them to be released in practice. So, that's what sacred dance is.
QUESTION: You were talking to her about attracting men who aren't in their masculine. You said as a woman we're not trusting enough the man's masculine, or we created a pattern of not trusting the masculine. How do you change that?
DEIDA: Well, first of all, most masculine people are not trustable. Seriously, it's pretty rare to find somebody worth trusting, but it's also pretty rare to find someone who's ready to trust that deeply. Let's say you're going to meet this man once every three to five years - he's going to cross your path and he's available. The question is, how do you evidence that you're ready for that so there's a possibility? Let's say you're going around thinking, "I don't trust men, I don't trust men, I don't trust men," and -- even if every man you've been with has betrayed you -- and then this guy comes in and he's single, he wants to be in a relationship, he's eminently trustable, he has impeccable integrity, he's dedicated to growth and consciousness, and he wants to be in a relationship. If he walks near you or in your vicinity and he's feeling, "I don't trust men, I don't trust men," he'll just keep on walking. So, he needs to feel that you are very discriminative. You're not going to put up with crap.
On the other hand, you're ready to be taken by a very trustable man. One possibility, imagine feeling inside, "I'm ready to be taken by a man of utter integrity, but I'll chop the head off of any lesser man." And that becomes your practice internally. As you walk out tonight you just feel, "Take my heart, trustable man, and I'll kill you if you're less." And you breathe that and you move that and you show it in your hips and your whole body shows that, so it's a fearlessness. If someone is there, you are ready.
Now, are you ready to do that? Do you really feel that way? If you do then you need to undo the old pattern of, "Where are the men? There are no men. I've just been trying so hard and I'm tired of trying." That becomes frozen in your body. It becomes a disposition, and men feel that. It takes practice is what I'm saying. You actually have to be doing it. Second stage is about honesty. The third stage is about offering your gift. So, feel all these people and offer your gift of "this is what light feels like when it shines fully. I will kill any lesser man. I will give myself to the man who deserves me." Feel it -- that you are waiting to be taken by utter divine consciousness, and you're not going to put up with it at all. Show them that.
QUESTION: Very scary.
DEIDA: It's very scary. That's why we don't do it. The second stage is about safety. It's safer to be invisible and tense and have our cloak of neuromuscular tension, because when you shine, everybody wants you. So, you have to shine and know you'll kill anyone less. And both of those together scare away weak men and attract strong men. It's both. It's not just "take me." That's a slut. It's "take me and I'll chop your head off if you're less than conscious." Both. I've gone overtime, I can't answer any more questions, but thank you all for being here.