Eros, Aphrodite, Venus, and Cupid... Romantic love has been the subject of religion and philosophy since the beginning of humanity. The belief that there could be “the one” that’s destined by the universe for all of eternity is an age old idea. Love songs, poems, and stories about finding one’s soulmate, and falling deeply in love are what makes life beautiful. The story of Adam and Eve is a fairy tale that has been replayed for centuries, where a couple is together because they were meant to be. Sex is an expression of this destiny. To find one’s perfect fit, where the physical connection represents a deeper spiritual commitment and union. To have someone to love and cherish forever, to love in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, makes us feel like love is universal and that the universe is looking out for us.
Some cultures and religions have espoused a very conservative view of sex. Sex was viewed through a puritanical lens with many restrictions. A common viewpoint was that sex was meant for pro-creation only, and that contraception was wrong. Often religions holding this view also believed that sex was meant to be strictly monogamous, heterosexual, and permissible in marriage only. Sex prior to marriage was seen as fornication, and sex with someone other than one’s spouse was considered adulterous. Masturbation was seen as evil, and even just looking and thinking lustful thoughts was considered to be sexual immorality. Some even only condoned one sexual position. And fetishes, the use of toys, and oral sex was seen as sexually deviant, sinful behavior.
In other cultures and religions, an opposite view of sex was celebrated as ecstasy and pleasure. Whether it be the esteemed King Solomon from Christianity/Judaism who lived out his polygamous fantasies with 700 wives and 300 concubines. Or it be the myth of 72 Virgins promised as a reward to a martyr of the Muslim faith. There was an understanding that sex was awesome. Other traditions included mythologies of sex goddesses, and religious experiences of orgasmic pleasure. Sex was meant to feel amazing. Many religious traditions allowed for temple prostitutes and many among the wealthy or religious elite had male and female servants who served as sex toys. Homosexuality was practiced and accepted as a normal part of life. Sexual expression outside of a monogamous marriage was not necessarily frowned upon. Multiple partners and orgies were not uncommon.
Pursuing knowledge and leveraging it to one’s advantage and to advance human society was a driver for some cultures and religions, and the evolution of sex was certainly not excluded when it came to this pursuit. Manuals outlining sex positions, the use of toys, specific diets, and instructions for optimizing pleasure have been around for centuries. Techniques were explored, developed, and codified systematically. This quest for knowledge is rooted in loving with the mind. To know another human being, or to know a deity was considered to be intimate. In some religious texts, having sex with someone was referred to as “knowing” a person. That is where we get the phrase, “to know someone in a biblical sense.” And to truly love a deity entailed that you sought to know. Seeking knowledge and loving with one’s mind was a godly pursuit.
All of us have inner voices. We listen, ignore, resist, or yield to them all the time. Some believe in hearing from God directly, while others believe that it’s just self-talk, or it’s the residual of past influences imprinted on our psyche. Irrespective of what you believe, what is certain is that we all have thoughts.
We believe that temperament has a significant impact on what will make a person feel most alive. And we believe that the spiritual pursuit must include elements of connection with what brings life for you. In this article, we explore some of the intricacies of what gives life and breath to each of the temperaments.