So, where do we go from here? Do we get a sex change operation? Do we sew on both a penis and a vagina? Will we feel better about our sexual identity then? Anybody tried that? Want to share your experience? Or some of us, instead of having sex change operations, may prefer acting out different sexual identities with different partners.
We may be heteroal. All are energetic ways of expressing that same "uncertainty" over what to be. Another layer of complication. People sometimes have a male body, but they feel like a female inside. Or vice versa.
The church's solution is to basically have a baby and forget about it. Don't talk about it anymore. Don't get involved in it. Just pray. Get through your life. Eventually "God" will solve your problem for you. This approach glosses over the issue of who exactly created this separation of the sexes, as that is where you get the idea of original sin.
In the Bible Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge and this somehow got them into trouble with God. Only the story is very confused. It's not clear what exactly who is responsible. Does the responsibility lie with man, with woman, or with God? The fig leaf’s real function is to cover up the truth, not to reveal it.
Yuan Chi Lost when the Sexes Split
Let’s look at sexual birth as the final movement through primordial, early, and later heaven. I think the story gets much clearer when you look deeply inside the Taoist cosmology. What happened when we shifted from early heaven to later heaven, and we split into a male and female body is that the yuan chi was lost. It got scattered here in the physical plane.
It was the loss of this yuan chi that is creating the confusion. If we still had our core identity - a strong sense of our core channel within our physical body- and not a mostly polarized yin/yang or female/male identity- we would not be so confused. But instead we are like half of a magnet walking around trying to find the other half to get stability.
There are two basic Taoist approaches in sexual qigong to achieving sexual equilibrium: one is external and one is internal. The external involves finding a sexual partner. And forming some type of dyadic relationship(s). In which you try and exchange and get some harmony between these two polarities of male-female. This gave rise to the Taoist bedroom arts, the external sexual qigong known popularly as dual cultivation. It also developed into a medical branch of sexology to heal the physical sexual dysfunction. This level is mostly about stabilizing the postnatal yin-yang interaction in the body, it’s not subtle enough to grasp the internal energy dynamics.
Of course you quickly find out that there are not just two sexual polarities- there are four poles here. Because regardless of your sexual preference. each person has an inner male and an inner female. Both partners have a physical body, and both partners have an inner male and a female. That makes two boys and two girls trying to find harmony in every relationship.
You are going to play out these roles and explore them through an exchange of energy. The drama of every relationship is trying to find some kind of equilibrium. If it becomes stable and if you love each other, using that “love” word very loosely, you might build up some yuan chi in the center of those four poles. Then your relationship itself becomes a container for the neutral force or Original Spirit, which in religious language, would be called Divine Love.
The yuan chi is what ultimately holds our human love together, just as its matrix binds the body of Nature into one. That's what actually makes human love feel sacred. It is not held together by a bunch of outer-projected emotions and words – there has to be some internal energetic glue. The second approach of the Taoists focused on this “internal glue”, preserved in the internal qigong science, known as neidangong or inner alchemy tradition. This involves “self-intercourse”, inducing the copulation of the yin and yang chi within a single body.
The Spiritual Purpose Behind Every Relationship
That's the hidden purpose of any long-term commitment – to help each other grow their original nature. It's really a spiritual purpose, even though people ostensibly stay together for all kinds of reasons: economic, social, personal fear of change, for the kids, or just out of habit. There are all kinds of reasons why people believe they stay together, but underneath it is a deeper reason. The spiritual reason would be because we can continue creating something together through this interaction of yin and yang energies, creating an equilibrium in which yuan chi can manifest.
Why is Original Breath so important? Because its restoration completes the very purpose of human incarnation – the task of cultivating the original self within the physical plane. This original energy field, the neutral force holding the center between male and female, between yang and yin, is basically a love child. Yuan chi is the aspect of the Life Force that holds the quality of unconditional acceptance. Call it Divine Love if you prefer; but it does not imply a need for any action to prove its worth. Yuan chi is the “is”, the matrix, the primal stuff birthing our bodies and the body of Nature.
Yuan chi, Original Breath, is a state of being, or rather the dynamic aspect of the ground of being. It manifests strongly whenever you have sex or exchange your essence in other ways with another being. It's not male or female love. It’s not "I love you because you do this for me" type of reciprocal love. That is still polarized, basically an emotional exchange. We won't call that love - we'll say it's a balancing act of the emotions.
Whenever a couple begins to fuse identities, something from our androgynous pre-natal self forms. Some people form it instantly, other cultivate it slowly over decades. This original essence, once formed here in the physical plane, stays here. Whenever we grow our original essence, it serves the Tao by helping Tao to complete itself. Sexual qigong is designed to accelerate and intensify that process.
Because what happened to the Original Spirit is that it lost or scattered some of the neutral force – its Original Breath or yuan chi - in the physical plane in the initial act of birthing itself here. This loss occurred at the moment of the splitting of yin-yang into male and female bodies. The restoration of that original yin-yang harmony within its original matrix of yuan chi is the greatest “te”, or virtue of the Way. We could say it is the Original Virtue that precedes all other virtues.
How the Separation of Sexes Led to Loss of Original Chi
The original human collective lived in androgynous energy bodies in the pre-natal realm. We began this process of physical reincarnation in separate male-female bodies to recover our Original Breath scattered here and to reduce the sense of separation that resulted.
We could speculate this loss of yuan chi was unforeseen, an accident. Since the Tao as the original wholeness of Nature is stepping into the unknown as well, creating itself anew in each moment, there's nothing that says it couldn't accidentally create a false separation that persisted in the Later Heaven dimension. Humans became like lost, half-asleep children, whose multiple split streams of consciousness is continually recycled in an attempt to awaken it and integrate it. Note this is NOT the standard concept of reincarnation, with single hard shelled soul recycling endlessly.
The wisdom here is that the Tao itself isn't actually creating anything. It empowered the original self (yuan jing-chi-shen) sitting in the Cosmic Egg or Gourd to procreate. Once the original or primordial self began dividing, it shifted some aspect of the original spirit and original will (jing) into Early Heaven, which in turn experimented by splitting itself into separate bodies in the physical plane, or Later Heaven.
There's nothing, no spiritual law, that prevented some aspect of our prenatal consciousness from falling into state of semi-permanent separation. We won't call it an error, we'll just say we got into trouble exercising the free will to self-create given to all beings by the Tao. Humans got into a confused state, where we did not have a clear center. “No center” means the yuan chi which balances all yin-yang chi flow got dispersed when our pre-natal self shifted into our post-natal physical body with split sexes.
The lack of yuan chi in the physical plane makes it difficult to communicate with our prenatal or our primordial self. This loss of yuan chi that occurred at the moment of the splitting of the androgynous bi-sexed self into physical male and female is what eventually caused us humans to think that our core reality was here in the physical, or even that there is no other dimension of our self other than the physical.
Our energy body became so polarized, we began to believe that this is our only reality. That led to a control struggle for the life and death of our physical body, which in turn got acted out as a struggle with the opposite sex. Because somehow we know unconsciously that the opposite sex is holding another piece of our identity. We find ourselves in the classic “I can’t live with them, and I can’t live without them”.
Now I would like to point out to you, in case you were sleeping, that I just gave you the all important hidden key to understanding the split between our sexual Becoming self and our non-sexed Original Being. You will not find this information reading ancient Taoist texts, or modern ones for that matter. I have never seen it in print anywhere, so some academically minded folks will say I made it up.
This information about the link between sexuality and the dispersion of yuan chi was given to me as a result of my spending some years deeply probing a celestial immortal (physical, but in a parallel dimension) who had become clear enough to access the collective human memory bank. It took me years of practice in the external sexual arts as well as internal alchemy to even ask the right questions. You can accept this story, or not. My source is ultimately irrelevant. All that matters is that when you contemplate this information, does it have the ring of truth that makes sense of the mystery of sexuality?
External vs. Internal Tao Sexual Arts
That is what drives us toward one solution - the external solution, the path of sexually joining together with another being. The difficulty on this path is how to skillfully meet someone in the middle so that both can grasp or create together the yuan chi, the “original breath” that is missing. This leads us to work out all kinds of compromises along the way.
This external path is what inspired the ancient Taoists to create the bedroom arts (fang zhang). It is what inspired them to write the oldest text books in the world on medical sexology. The external approach says, “the sexual polarity is here to stay, so let’s manage it energetically as best we can. Let’s take advantage of it to improve our health and pleasure”. This is the path of external sexual alchemy taught as Healing Love. You live out the male or the female side to its very maximum, but make sure you don’t create an excess or deficiency of your yin or yang energy. Sexual intercourse is played as a two person qigong form.
The other Taoist solution to our core sexual tension is the internal path. This path considers the issue from many levels. The polarization of the sexes is a physical problem, and it's a spiritual problem. It's also an emotional/mental problem. If I am going to solve all these levels simultaneously and internally, I must cultivate both my inner male and my inner female. I must find the equilibrium internally between those two poles of my sexed self.
This approach solves the problem by working from the inside out. The goal of this path is to grow my yuan chi and restore communication with my original being, my pre-sexual being. But in order to do that, you have to go through the intermediate stage, your androgynous self. You can't go directly from a sexed body to being no-sexed. This is why you need an energy body, that has both poles, male and female, in some type of functional harmony.
This energy body can act as the go between. The later heaven state is where you are still polarized. The reality is that you are going to remain polarized physically. But you can grow the bi-sexed energy body until it becomes your central identity. Once it is stable enough, that Energy Body can then mature and re-birth our original identity, which is pre-sexual and sometimes known as the original Spiritual Body.
So that constitutes a complete "conscious" journey from Creation back to Origin. This is not a regression into a primal or primitive state; the second half of that journey back into Creation requires the integration of our primal and socialized self. Managing our sexual issue during this journey is very tricky, we could say even sticky. Sticky in the sense that sexual chi tends to get stuck or very attached to others at various stages of its development. Sexual energy, or jing chi, functions in the universe like superglue. It holds our different energy bodies together during that journey.
Inner Alchemy Formulas as Way to Regrow the Original Self
Most of us are concerned with the external or social management of our relationships. We’re mostly in the transition stage, getting ready to cultivate the inner male and inner female. This is the practice of the Fusion of the Five Elements, it addresses the issues on the emotional and mental levels, and gives us some powerful tools for harmonizing yin and yang,. These tools include the inner smile, six healing sounds, the microcosmic orbit, and the macrocosmic orbit (eight extraordinary vessels).
The "Lesser Enlightenment of Kan and Li" formula, which I call Inner Sexual Alchemy, is the next step, as it involves coupling the inner male and the inner female. We move from mere harmony of outer yin and yang, female and male, into deep intimacy internally. We begin to birth our original self by consciously planting its seed in our inner space, like an egg clinging to the side of a woman’s womb. The next four alchemy formulas are essentially how to couple the sexual polarities at increasinglysubtle levels of nature – sun-moon, inner-earth and inner sun, between humans and stars. You birth your inner immortal child, and then have to raise it up to the level of sagehood.
We begin looking at the health side. How do we solve sexual or reproductive dysfunctions? Whether it's difficult flow of a woman's menstrual cycle, P.M.S., or whether it's some type of sexual dysfunction- premature ejaculation in males, inability to have orgasm, general weakness in sexual vitality. We need to look at the other end of it. How does sexual vitality relate to having a strong Qigong and meditation practice? That's the big picture.
The Taoists developed one school of practices, which is called Fan Zhang, which are basically the bedroom arts. That's how to harmonize your sexual energy with our partner. Included with that are various therapeutic arts of using sexual energy for self healing. That is very much about our sexual energy affects our physical functioning and also our mental and emotional health.
That’s a different set of trainings and practices than the nei dan gong, the internal alchemy practices, where the inner male and the inner female couple and join. But the first set of external sexual practices are very helpful, if not essential, in doing the second set of internal practices. The outer sexual practices keep the physical body strong.
The Polarity between Shen/Spirit and Sex/Jing
Because what happens if we try to get to a higher level of internal practice and we haven't dealt with our sexual energy? Our sexual identity issues will hang on us like a huge subconscious weight. Our unresolved sexuality becomes a kind of conscious darkness which is working as resistance against our attempt to restore spiritual neutrality, detachment or an inner sense of peace. You have this unresolved sexual desire running about in the subconscious, trying to complete itself by creating a viable destiny in the physical world.
So this is why so many very high, powerful, spiritual teachers came from a celibate life in India and they suddenly found themselves having groupie type of sex with dozens of their students. I’ve documented this on the articles page of my website, its called the “Quest for Spiritual Orgasm”. It goes into the distinction between the quest for enlightenment and the quest for immortality. The latter involves transmuting your sexual substance.
What happened is that these gurus pulled in all this higher shen energy into their head and it just amplified the imbalance at their jing-sexual level. If you intensify the shen awareness, it will vibrate the suppressed sexual jing chi into awareness. Our shen, our body spirits, activates the sexual jing because they are in a polar relationship. If the jing is incomplete or unconscious, as it vibrationally expands it begins acting out.
What is the difference between jing and jing chi? The jing is our deep essence that's holding our form together. It's considered to be stored in the bone marrow, which also produces our blood and our hormonal precursors. These hormonal precursors are manufactured inside the bones, before they move to the glands or the blood moves into the bloodstream.
In Chinese medicine the jing has a function somewhat similar to what western medicine calls the stem cells. You have an undifferentiated substance which then differentiates itself out into many different functions. The stem cells can become a heart cell or a kidney cell, or a skin cell or a brain cell, or whatever it needs to become. So we basically are manufacturing ourselves inside the bones. Our cells get distributed and become more specialized. This substance is jing; jing chi is sexual energy arising from it.
What exactly is Sexual Energy, anyway?
Now if you go to Western sexology, and you ask them what sexual energy is, basically all they can say is: "Well we measure physiological response." We know that when someone gets sexually excited there's more blood flow, the heart is beating a little faster, there may be increased hormonal activity. Testosterone, estrogen levels may change, and that's about it. There's some tumescence, some swelling in the genitals, what we call an erection. There may be a swelling of the spongy tissue in the vagina, which increases friction, and a swelling against certain nerves, and that's it.
Is that an adequate description of sexual energy? Does that explain its complexities of the sexual drive? What it's doing - it's psychic effect on us? No. It doesn't explain it at all. The western model is physiological. And so, it can't understand it. It can't really grasp the inner process that is driving sex. It can take statistics and look at trends and say well this is this type of person does this and this one does that. We know someone screws from this position and someone else needs to talk dirty to get aroused.
Western sexology doesn't have an internal model for understanding this. What's the model of the mind? So you go to psychology. Do they have an explanation for what sexual energy is? Well, this is quite interesting. We'll find that Western Psychology has essentially evolved around the sexual impulse. Starting with Freud and his sexual neuroses. Of course he was mostly looking at the cause of the defects, not the functioning of the whole person. This starts with mental illness and he's focusing on what causes the sexual neurosis obsession at various stages, penile, oral, whatever.
Freud didn't really have an idea of what sexual energy was. He was just noticing some patterns that somehow your sexual identity was very tied in to other parts of your identity, and then Jung took this further, and started looking at the collective aspects and the function of sexuality , and Wilhelm Reich took it further than that and actually came up with a theory which I am quite certain was stimulated by Eastern theories, the theory of orgone carrying the sexual energy. And his theory was that orgasm was the center of the universe. And that basically we are all gravitating towards orgasm.
That's basically very close to the Taoist theory. Taoist theory is that primordial yin/yang activity is what's creating things, is what's birthing everything. This copulation of yin and yang, continually, at all levels, is what's birthing out “the ten thousand things”. So essentially, nature is having sex, continuously. It's having a perpetual, nonstop, orgasm. And that's why plants, planets, stars, humans, insects, everything is just bursting with this reproductive vitality.
Yin –Yang Theory is Universal Sexual Theory
So the process of Nature itself, according to Taoist Cosmology, is in effect a sexual theory. It's saying, how is creation happening? Creation is sexual. So driving us back to the human process of creation, we have two levels of sexuality happening. One is procreation with male and female producing another being, a child, and one is procreating yourself, your cells dividing and you basically cloning your body-mind.
Producing another version of our self each moment. Slowly, cell by cell. And since we’ve got 80 trillion cells, that's a lot of sexual activity. Imagine 80 trillion cells, each one having a little mini orgasm and reproducing itself! The continuous orgasm of recreating yourself is not a literary metaphor, it is biological reality. If you were able to amplify and expand your awareness of that cellular orgasm then you would experience a whole body orgasm. Do you think that might help solve our sexual-spiritual identity crisis?
This is what the jing-chi-shen relationship is about in Taoist inner alchemy. This transformation from one end of the continuum to the other, exchanging and recreating yourself each moment. Rebirthing yourself produces a blissful state which is essentially a steady-state orgasm.
On the other end of this spectrum we could talk about a two person orgasm, what happens when you have the proper exchange of energy between a male and a female. But no matter how to look at it, energetic subtle body orgasm and physical orgasm are two ends looking at the same process. It is a genital orgasm at one end, at the other we are having a cellular orgasm which ultimately is a whole body orgasm.
We can begin to realize we are actually reproducing ourself each moment. Accept that you actually have your male-female poles flowing in harmony and you are having sex all the time. Would you feel so frustrated? You might think, "Wow, I've already had 23 and a half hours of sex, do I really want to have this extra half hour of sex with you honey? I might be getting too much here." I am kidding, of course. The cosmic whole body sexual vibration overflows effortlessly into physical sex if the energetic alignment with one’s partner is proper.
|End of Lecture excerpt.||Copyright Michael Winn 2003.|