by David Deida: Truth: As you grow spiritually, first you become neutralized and then you bloom sexually.
When you first start to grow spiritually, you seek balance and wholeness. So one of your initial motivations is to balance your inner masculine and feminine. As a woman, you may strengthen you inner masculine by cultivating your sense of purpose and direction, applying self-discipline and scheduling to meet your goals. As a man you may strengthen your inner feminine, magnifying your life force, communing with nature, and learning to go with the flow by feeling rather than by trying to change things.
So, initially as they grow, women tend to become more self-directed and men tend to become more flowy. Women enjoy their independence and projects. Men enjoy their capacity to let go and allow things to be without effort. Women become more purposeful and success oriented. Men become more radiant and sensually alive. Men and women depend on each other less because they have cultivated their inner masculine and feminine. They have become whole.
Eventually, however, this motive toward inner balance may lead to sexual neutralization and spiritual stagnation. Women, in their effort toward self-directed achievement, can lose touch with their desire to be sexually ravished and spiritually surrendered. Men, in their effort toward sensitive allowingness, can lose touch with their desire to aggressively ravish their lover and face death with clarity. Women can become hardened and men can lose their edge.
Therefore, partnerships between women who are proudly self-sufficient and men who are afraid to take charge in relationship tend to characterize beginning spiritual couples. At the same time, deep down, these same women begin starving to be relieved of needing to always lead their man. And these men begin starving to be received by a trusting woman who can surrender wide open, radiant as love.
Although women want a man who is sensitive, they don’t want a man who is afraid to stand his ground with a fierce and open heart. Although men want a woman who can take care of herself, they don’t want a woman who is afraid to let down her guard and open in radiant ecstasy.
Occasionally, women want to be ravished by a dangerously loving man of strength and integrity. And men want to be invited into pleasure by a sultry slut with a deep and open heart. If you suppress the darker, more wicked textures of love, then your sexuality becomes tepid. And the same is true spiritually: unless you can really “do it” with the divine, your spiritual heart begins to starve.
It’s good for a woman to be able to achieve her personal and professional goals. But that’s not enough. To take the next step in spiritual growth and love, a woman must be able to open her heart and body so wide she is filled to overflowing. She must allow and actively invite deep, forceful, blissful penetration–spiritually and sexually. Recognizing that constant self-protection and self-sufficiency is stressful, boring, and unfulfilling, she can surrender open, and allow the deep yearning in her heart to bloom wide as the love that lives the universe. She can allow herself to be taken, to be breathed and lived and moved and shaken by a love far more radiant than her need for self-assertion.
It’s good for a man to be sensitive, kind, and receptive. But without knowing the ever-edge of death, he can become a sexual and spiritual wimp. He needs to practice total presence so he can feel his brief life evaporating. Only then is he moved to give his deepest gifts, urgently. With an open heart of feeling and care, he no longer tolerates bullshit. If necessary, he will artfully ravish his woman and the world to open and receive love. The force of his love will at times be gentle and sweet, while at other times it will be urgent with death‘s unwavering command.
Grown beyond the need for neutralized sexual evenness, women are unwilling to settle for a safe man who is afraid to stand strong and unflinchingly present while she dances in fury or wild heart-desire. Men grow unwilling to settle for a tense-necked woman who thinks ecstatic surrender is a form of feminine weakness. With full emotion, untamed longing, and the demand for deep masculine presence and unfettered feminine radiance, a couple is able to take the next step together, spiritually and sexually.
The self-sufficient woman grows to invite ravishment without safety. She demands her man’s deepest consciousness, his most fearless love. She lets her man know when he falls short–not through the endless rehash of civil discussion and equitable sharing, but by risking the scream of her heart’s deepest needs. She is tired of being her own man, and she longs for her lover to enter her heart. She yearns to surrender open and live as all love’s power–shining love, breathing love, dancing love, sexing love–so she is willing to wail her hurt and shout her heart’s need. Sure, she can take care of herself whenever she wants to, but now her heart desires passionate communion more deeply than competent independence.
The sensitive man grows to risk everything for the sake of love. He realizes that he must learn to live free or die a mediocre fizzle. He knows that living free doesn’t mean doing what he wants, but rather opening and giving his deepest gifts, whether he wants to or not. How must his love be given? To whom and how deeply? Through what skills and strengths? No longer able to hold back when his woman and the world refuse him, he learns to persist in presence whether they open or not. Even confronted by difficulties, he learns to feel wide with an open heart, giving his deepest love unblunted by safehoods. He knows how to allow others to do their thing. He knows how to go with the flow. But his urgency to gift love, to open his lover and the world, is stronger than his preference for “whatever”.
Spiritually oriented people often swim in a lukewarm miasma of stiffened women and spineless men–very efficient and quite safe. Once you have balanced your inner masculine and feminine, after you have enjoyed the independence of self-sufficient wholeness, you are ready to take the next step. Just like a true poet grows beyond the confines of a utilitarian language, a true man or woman grows beyond the boundaries of a functional life.
Healthy is good, ecstatic is better. Deep down, would you rather settle for safety and comfort, or open so wide you live as love’s tremendum, sometimes shouting, sometimes fighting, always unprotected, your heart exposed as a free gift, your body quaking with the force of love unbound?
Best-selling author David Deida has been widely acclaimed as a
“teacher’s teacher” in the fields of sacred sexuality, women’s
spirituality, and the men’s movement. He is known internationally for his
transformative workshops on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy. David is the author
of over 50 articles and books including: Dear Lover: A Woman’s Guide to
Enjoying Love’s Deepest Bliss; The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to
Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire; and Blue
Truth: ASpiritual Guide to Life & Death and Love & Sex. For more information,