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Mon, Apr. 12th, 2004, 10:09 am
jenny_evergreen: Removal of a secondary truth

It has been pointed out in this discussion that the following truth is pretty culturally specific, really.

"Be very careful about sex with friends. It can change everything, forever, and not always for the good."

There are, as whatifoundthere points out, many cultures to which this would make little to no sense.
Are there any objections to removing it? I note that I'm not sure how spiritually relevant it is myself.

Mon, Apr. 12th, 2004 09:01 pm (UTC)
acelightning

sie is right - that is a fairly culturally determined perception. (although i'd love to live in a culture where there was nothing remarkable about having sex with one's friends!) i believe that my own suggestions on the topic were along the lines of "love can be a very good thing, and sex can be a very good thing, and they can happen together or separately; just try not to mistake one for the other, because that usually winds up hurting someone." but that's probably culturally biased also.

basically, i just wanted to make sure that Truth Faith had something in it somewhere that said, unequivocally, "Sex Is Good" - the opposite point of view is so pervasive, even when a religion pays lip service to the notion of sexual freedom and diversity. (yes, this even happens in paganism sometimes.)

Mon, Apr. 12th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen

The exact wording, as on the webpage: "Love and sex are two different things. Either one is valuable. It can be especially good when you have both together. Mistaking one for the other, however, usually causes problems."

While I agree that cultures who have radically different views of the concepts of love and sex than most modern cultures (as I am aware of them) might have trouble with this, I do think it's overall pretty timeless, and more spiritually relevant than the truth I'm talking about removing.

Tue, Apr. 13th, 2004 02:10 am (UTC)
acelightning

the one you're talking about removing does deserve to be removed - it's not really a "truth", so much as a cultural observation. i do still think that Truth Faith should include an unequivocal statement that sexuality itself is a Good Thing.

Tue, Apr. 13th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen

*nod* It's looking like it will be.
Actually, this has been bothering me all night.
I don't think sex (as distinct from gender, which is a whole other issue) is any more inherently good than inherently bad.
Sex is, in my understanding, what you make of it, really. It's neutral.
Physically, if done properly and assuming the health of the participants, it IS good...it's exercise, and it feels really good.
The fact that it is very physically intense tends to have an effect on the emotions. (And, of course, it triggers hormones and endorphins that affect the emotions.)
Spiritually, it CAN be used/viewed as a method to connect with the Infinite. I, personally, would love to see people using masturbation as a form of meditation. It makes quite a bit of sense to me, actually.

Maybe that's the viewpoint that we should be working from.

I'm also thinking about spiritual relevance a lot. I think there are probably a number of the secondary truths that have obscure spiritual relevance at best. And, as a faith, shouldn't all the truths have spiritual relevance? (That's not a rhetorical question. :)

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004 12:23 am (UTC)
acelightning

an old friend of mine, now the High Priest of a coven in New England, says that he tells his students there are two things he expects them to do every day: meditate, and masturbate. of course, masturbation is available to everybody, but for anyone who can manage it, sex with a partner is another way to connect with the Infinite, using the approach variously known as "Tantric sex" and "the Great Rite". in the broadest form, this means both partners simultaneously envisioning each other as an embodiment of the Divine ("thou art god/dess"), so that it becomes an act of worship.

today, most mainstream religions pay lip service to the idea that "sex is good", but they hedge it about with conditions - only if you're married, only if you're straight, only if it's for procreation, only if it's someone you really love, only if it's monogamous, if if if if if! (my personal theory, which i've mentioned before, is that Whatever caused human beings to exist made us so that sex is the most intensely pleasurable thing our bodies are capable of - why give us this capacity, if we're not supposed to use it?) if Truth Faith is going to be something completely new, not just a rehash of existing religions, i think this is one of the concepts where a very clear distinction has to be made. (in other words, i agree with you ;-) )

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004 12:51 am (UTC)
jenny_evergreen

*nod* So we need something that talks about sex as a way to connect with the Infinite/as a spiritual expression, although taking care to make the point that that is far from its only purpose.
Well, I'm not so much interested in new as accurate, but, yeah.

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004 02:42 am (UTC)
acelightning

i'm just concerned that Truth Faith doesn't fall into the same trap that modern "liberal" religions do - "sex is beautiful and natural, sex is a gift from God - so holy that you should only do it under very limited conditions." instead, i'd like to see a statement that boils down to "sex is beautiful and natural, sex is a gift from the Infinite, and everybody ought to have lots and lots of sex, and give each other as much pleasure as they can." (actually, i believe that everyone should give each other as much pleasure as they can, both sexually and every other way possible. how about putting that into Truth Faith?)

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen

*grin* Hrm. "Everybody ought to give each other as much pleasure as they can." I'll add that to the upcoming post on removing/editing/adding truths. :)
I dunno that I think sex is a gift from the Infinite. It just is. (Which I don't think is a bad thing at all.)
MY concern is to avoid being reactionary, which is why I try to avoid comparing Truth Faith to other religions. If something is to be included, it should be included because it calls out to be included, regardless of the other faiths of the world. :)

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2004 11:47 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen

Hrm. Although that does sort of mess with the whole "balance and moderation" theme...

Fri, Apr. 16th, 2004 03:23 am (UTC)
sol_rei

Now that it's pointed out, yes, I do think that is culturally specific. I have no problem with its removal. Kudos to whatifoundthere for being so observant! ^_^