"The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful
gift. One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically
as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Touch is not bad
or shameful. Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations
that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic
life test. Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh
and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring
our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted,
distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving
We need to strive for balance and integration
in our relationships. We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally
honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is
Making Love is a celebration and a way of honoring
the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine and
feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of honoring
its perfect interaction and harmony. It is a blessed way of honoring
the Creative Source.
One of the most blessed and beautiful gifts of
being in body is the ability to feel on a sensual level. Because
we have been doing human backwards, we have been deprived of the pleasure
of enjoying our bodies in a guilt-free, shame-free, manner. By striving
for integration and balance we can start to enjoy our human experience
- on a sensual level as well as on the emotional, mental, and Spiritual
(All quotes in this color are
from Codepenence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)
This online column is going to be about my beliefs in relationship to
some different facets of sexuality. I promised this web page a few
months ago to an young woman in the eighth grade who sent me an e-mail
asking me about my view of teenage pre-marital sex.
I am going to be hitting on several different topics in this column
- including sexual orientation and monogamy in addition to teenage sexual
expression. There are various pages of the site in which my beliefs
in relationship to sexuality are included in other articles - in an effort
to try to keep this column to a reasonable length I will include short
quotes from those pages along with a link to the page. These links
will open in a separate browser window so that you can go to that page
and read it if you choose and then just collapse the browser window to
return to your place in this column.
I will start off with the e-mail query and my reply.
what do you think about
pre-marital sex? i'm an eight-grader. i need opinion on teenage pre-marital
sex. i need your opinion because i am hoping to have a program started
at my school, a sexual abstinence program. thank you. god bless.
I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to
address your question. Things are hectic. I am going to post
a web page dealing with sexuality, but it is going to be a few weeks probably.
So, I wanted to give you the short answer to your question.
I believe that sexuality is a blessed gift - that
one of the reasons we are here in body is to Touch each other with Love
- Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Unfortunately
in our shame based, emotionally repressive society, things are real screwed
up - especially our relationship to our own sexuality.
Sex should be an expression of Love between two
people who are connecting on all levels - Spiritually, emotionally, mentally,
and physically - and when there is a real connection and balance between
all of those levels, it can be a beautiful, Joyous, and even Sacred thing.
Because of how screwed up society is, it is very difficult for even adults
to connect in a healthy and balanced way - and, I believe, virtually impossible
Teenage girls are set up to think their worth
is dependent on how popular they are, or if someone loves them - and so
often end up allowing themselves to be sexual in an attempt to get love
- which can be a very painful and demoralizing experience that has a very
adverse effect on their self-esteem and self respect.
Teenage boys are less emotionally mature than
girls and have almost no capacity for an emotionally healthy relationship.
They get so much indoctrination in how being a man involves being sexual
that they are too often just looking to score (alas, also true of way too
many adult males also.)
It is extremely hard for anyone in our shame based
society to connect sexually in a truly healthy way - so I don't believe
it is good or self-Loving for teenagers to become sexual.
Again, I am sorry that it has taken so long, but
your question stimulated me into thinking about all the different aspects
of the issue - and I am going to be doing a whole web page about it.
So thanks for the inspiration.
Can of Worms
Sexuality - what an issue. I do not think that there is any single
issue that has become so twisted, distorted, and confusing in the human
experience as our relationship to our own sexuality. In getting into
writing this column, I can see that I have opened up a whole can of worms.
I am going to return to the issue of teenage sexuality in a moment,
but what I need to address first is the context in which my views are expressed.
I realized in reading my answer to the precocious young woman that it would
be possible to interpret what I said in terms of right and wrong.
Not just in terms of teenage sexual expression, but also in terms of the
goal of having relationships that are balanced on all levels. I need
to bring in a quote from my book here to qualify and clarify the point
of view from which I express my views. This is a rather long quote
that I don't believe I have shared anywhere else on my site - and I am
going to insert some comments with points I want to make specifically for
"We were taught to look at and do "human" backwards.
We need to make a 180-degree swing in our perspectives.
That includes our perspective on this healing
process. Many of us have pursued healing and Recovery just like we
did the rest of our lives - as if it were a destination to be reached where
we would find "happily ever after." We have gone to healers and psychics
and therapists in order to learn the "right" way to do life.
Recovery is not a dance of right and wrong, of
black and white - it is a dance of integration and balance. The questions
in Recovery are: Is it working for you? Is the way you live
your life working to meet your needs? Is the way you are living your
life bringing you some happiness?
When I state that the grief process works, I am
not saying that it is the "right" thing to do, or that you are bad or wrong
if you are not actively pursuing your emotional healing.
Maybe it has not been time for you to do your
grief work yet. Maybe you have not had a safe place to do it.
Maybe it is not part of your path in this lifetime.
No one can tell you what your path is!
What I am telling you is that the grief process
works to dramatically change the quality of the life experience.
What I am saying is that it is possible to find some Peace and Joy in life.
Unfortunately, in sharing this information I am forced to use language
that is polarized - that is black and white.
When I say that you cannot Truly Love others unless
you Love yourself - that does not mean that you have to completely Love
yourself first before you can start to Love others. The way the process
works is that every time we learn to Love and accept ourselves a little
tiny bit more, we also gain the capacity to Love and accept others a little
tiny bit more.
I am going to quote myself here from an article in my Healthy Relationship
Series that is on my Suite101 page. (There is a link on the bottom of the
page to that site if you want to explore that series further.)
A healthy romantic relationship is about
two whole, independent people choosing to become partners in the life journey
for as long as that works for both of them. This is, of course,
a theoretical concept. Because of the cultural dysfunction and
emotional trauma all of us have experienced due to the human condition,
we are never, in this lifetime, going to be a completely whole healthy
person with no emotional wounds - and we are never going to meet someone
else that has no emotional wounds.
It is not about getting "there" - not about destination. It is about
learning and growing on our journey - it is about making enough progress
to have the capacity to enjoy "here" as much of the time as possible.
Balance is a shifting, changing, constantly fluctuating dance that we are
learning to relax into - it cannot be forced, it cannot be restricted by
some arbitrary and rigid beliefs about right and wrong. It is about
each of us following our own path, our own Truth, in learning to align
with the Truth that is Love.
The goal is to be in the process of healing
and to choose a partner who is also in the process of healing.
Then we have the opportunity to achieve some True emotional intimacy and
to have some companionship on our journey. The person who can support
us in our journey is also going to be the teacher we need to push our buttons
so that we can bring to Light the emotional wounds that need to be healed
and the subconscious programming that needs to be changed.
This paragraph is a prime example of the problem of using language that
is polarized. The statement above about the goal is not true for
all of us. The goal for all of us it to be in the process of returning
home to Love. It is entirely possible that you could be in a relationship
with someone who is not willing or able to do the healing - which does
not mean that it is wrong to stay in that relationship. There could
be any number of factors in alignment with the Divine Plan which mandate
that you stay in that relationship and do your healing there. It
is very important to stop judging and shaming ourselves for where we have
been, and where we are, in order to start seeing our Path with more clarity.
Healthy Relationships - Part 4 -
Partners in the Journey
When I say that you cannot start to access intuitive
Truth until you clear out your inner channel - I am not saying that you
have to complete your healing process before you can start getting messages.
You can start getting messages as soon as you are willing to start listening.
The more you heal the clearer the messages become.
When I talk about ways that we use to go unconscious
- like workaholism, or exercise, or food, or whatever - I am not saying
that you should be ashamed if you are doing some of these things.
We cannot go from unconscious to conscious overnight!
This healing is a long gradual process. We all still need to go unconscious
sometimes. Recovery is a dance that celebrates progress, not one
that achieves perfection.
A significant breakthrough in my personal process
came when I was able to recognize, and give myself credit for, the progress
that I had made - when I realized that a pint of Haagen-daz was lasting
me three days instead of being gone within twenty minutes of when I bought
That was a very big breakthrough for me, to be
able to give myself credit for the progress instead of judging and shaming
myself for not being perfect, for still feeling like I needed the nurturing
of ice cream.
We had to learn to go unconscious in order to
survive! Thank God for alcohol or television or romance novels.
Thank God for ice cream!
We need to stop judging ourselves - that means
allowing ourselves to do whatever it takes, whatever works. There
are times when we need to go unconscious. There are times when we
need to stuff our feelings in the moment. There are times when it
is not safe to be vulnerable and emotionally honest.
This Recovery process is a gradual transition
from using our old tool box to using the new tools. The old tools
- the ways we used to go unconscious so we could survive - are not "bad"
or "wrong." They were life savers - without them we would be either
dead or mass murderers, or dead mass murderers.
We adopted the old tools because they were the
best choices that were available to us at the time. We adopted them
in response to intuitive impulses that were right on. Those
impulses were "protect myself, nurture myself." It is the nature
of the defense system that is Codependence that the ways we learned to
protect and nurture ourselves are self-abusive in the long run.
So we need to stop shaming ourselves for the behaviors
that we adopted to protect and nurture ourselves, at the same time that
we are transitioning to behaviors that are less self-abusive.
Notice that I say less self-abusive. We
are talking progress, not perfection here.
If you have an image of what completely healthy
behavior is, and you will not allow yourself to accept and Love yourself
until you get there, then you are setting conditions under which you decide
when you will become Lovable. You are still buying into a concept
of conditional love and by extension, the concept of a Higher Power that
is conditionally loving. You are still trying to earn, and become
worthy of not only self-Love, but also God's Love. That small child
inside of you is still trying to earn your parents' Love and validation.
That is a natural, normal thing for humans beings
on this Codependent planet. Try not to judge and beat yourself up
for it. Try to observe it and say, "Oh, isn't it sad that I am still
doing that? I think I will try to learn some ways that I can change
In opening this can of worms that is the issue of sexuality, I realized
that I needed to talk about more than just the topics I had originally
thought this page was going to cover. Some of these topics are very
easy to discuss because they are a normal, natural part of the human experience.
Other topics involve behavior that is an aberration, a product of severe
wounding - behavior that is in fact shameful because of the harm it does
to other beings. So, I need to include another quote from my book
here in order to establish context, in order to drive home the point that
we are all ONE - we are, in our True essence, all expressions of the Divine
even if the behavior of some individuals is twisted and distorted into
"This healing is a long gradual process - the
goal is progress, not perfection. What we are learning about is unconditional
Love. Unconditional Love means no judgment, no shame.
[When I use the term "judge," I am talking about
making judgments about our own or other people's beings based on behavior.
In other words, I did something bad therefore I am a bad person; I made
a mistake therefore I am a mistake. That is what toxic shame is all
about: feeling that something is wrong with our being, that we are
somehow defective because we have human drives, human weaknesses, human
There may be behavior in which we have engaged
that we feel ashamed of but that does not make us shameful beings
We may need to make judgments about whether our behavior is healthy and
appropriate but that does not mean that we have to judge our essential
self, our being, because of the behavior. Our behavior has been dictated
by our disease, by our childhood wounds; it does not mean that we are bad
or defective as beings. It means that we are human, it means that
we are wounded.
It is important to start setting a boundary between
being and behavior. All humans have equal Divine value as beings
- no matter what our behavior. Our behavior is learned (and/or reactive
to physical or physiological conditions). Behavior, and the attitudes
that dictate behavior, are adopted defenses designed to allow us to survive
in the Spiritually hostile, emotionally repressive, dysfunctional environments
into which we were born.]"
I heard a minister friend the other day mention a story about overhearing
some one say to a little boy, "You are a dirty little boy." It is
messages such as this that cause toxic shame. Instead of saying,
"Look how dirty your hands are, you are sure good at being a little boy"
- we get the message that something is wrong with our being because of
our behavior. And there is nothing more natural and normal than for
little boys to get dirty.
Sexuality is a natural, normal - and very powerful - part of the human
Since I have been establishing context - and not trying to build up suspense
here or anything to that effect - I will jump right into talking about
abnormal behaviors in relationship to sexuality. The three that I
will address here are: rape, pedophilia, and sadomasochism.
Rape is not really about sexuality at all. It is about
power and control. It is about self-hatred and impotence. This
can, of course, include actual physical impotence, but I am really speaking
more of a spiritual impotence - a complete lack of any sense of personal
worth or personal power to deal with life. It is the product of a
Spiritual void within - a terrifying feeling of disconnection from humanity
coupled with great emotional pain that results in a need to transform the
terror and pain into a rage that strikes out against another human being.
It is the same basic emotional dynamic and Spiritual wounding that results
in such abhorrent behavior as ethnic cleansing, mindless gang violence,
and serial murder. Feelings of inferiority cause the compulsion to
strike out in reaction to the self-hatred and impotence felt within.
Pedophilia is aberrant and abhorrent behavior. There
is nothing natural and normal about an adult being sexually attracted to
pre-pubescent children. This is a case of a tragic cycle of victim
becoming perpetrator who victimizes others who often become perpetrators.
Pedophiles, like rapists, are the worst kind of perpetrators - by violating
the bodies of other beings by force (any adult who acts out sexually with
a child is using force no matter how much they lie to themselves about
the child's "willingness") they are inflicting a grievous wound on the
other being's heart, mind, and spirit. They are ultimately committing
a gross transgression against their own Self, because we are all connected
- we are all ONE. It is really nasty Karma.
Now, it is natural and normal for children to explore their own bodies
and be curious about other children's bodies. There is a huge difference
however, between a child who is naturally curious and a child who has been
sexualized prematurely. In a shame based culture where children are
shamed for their natural curiosity, our relationship with our own sexuality
starts getting twisted and distorted at a very young age.
Sadomasochism. The infliction of pain, or need to be
physically hurt and humiliated, to achieve sexual gratification is not
a natural and normal phenomena. It is a result of wounding.
It is a twisted, distorted, warped relationship to sexuality that is the
result of the sick, dysfunctional societies that have been created by civilizations
that have lost connection with, and respect for, nature and natural laws.
It is the product of urban based civilizations where the worth of the individual
was diminished and degraded. It is a very sad commentary on the lack
of self worth of individuals who are so wounded that they cannot feel pleasure
without pain being involved.
Natural and Normal
I am realizing here that I probably need to define a little more clearly
here what I am referring to as behavior that is natural and normal in the
human experience. And in order to help me do that, I am once again
going to use a quote from my book.
"I want to make a couple of points of clarification
at this time.
One is that I am referring to civilizations around
the world, but most of the examples or specifics I am mentioning have to
do with Western Civilization and specifically American society. That
is just for my convenience and your identification. (I am using the
word "civilization" here in the Western sense of the term - that is, urban-based
and believed to be superior to "less advanced" peoples.)
All civilizations are dysfunctional to varying
degrees, as are subcultures within those civilizations. They just
have different flavors of dysfunction, of imbalance.
As an example: In much of Asia the individual
is discounted for the good of the whole - whether that be family or corporation
or country. The individual takes his or her self-definition from
the larger system. That is just as out of balance and dysfunctional
as the Western Civilization manifestation of glorifying the individual
to the detriment of the whole. It is just a different variety of
The goal of this dance of Recovery is integration
and balance. That means celebrating being a tree while also glorying
in being a part of the forest. Recovery is a process of becoming
conscious of our individual wholeness and our ONENESS with all.
The other point I want to make is that I am saying
"civilized" society for a reason. It is in urban-based industrialized
civilization that the optimum dysfunction has been manifested in this world.
Many so-called primitive or aboriginal tribal
cultures, such as the Native Americans, had far more integrated and balanced
cultures for their place and time than any "civilization." They were
not totally integrated and balanced by any means. They were, however, closer
to the rhythms of nature and had respect for nature and natural laws, so
were more aligned with universal laws than urban-based civilizations.
In fact, many of the primitive societies were
far more functional in terms of the Spiritual, emotional, and mental health
of the individual members of the society, and had far more respect for
the individual members, than any so-called "civilized" society on this
I believe that historically there has been a direct
correlation between the level of advancement - of "progress" - and the
level of dysfunction in terms of the individual being's level of fulfillment
and happiness. In other words, the more "advanced" the society became
(that is, the farther it removed itself from respect for, and alignment
with, natural laws and cycles), the more dysfunctional it became in terms
of the individual being's feelings of self-respect and fulfillment."
The phrase "so-called primitive or aboriginal tribal cultures" as opposed
to urban based civilization is a very important one in my mind. I
very much believe that "the individual being's feelings of self-respect
and fulfillment" was much higher in tribal societies than in urban based
societies. This includes aboriginal people who evolved to becoming
urban based civilizations. It was when the population grew to the
point of urbanizing a culture that they started showing more dysfunctional
behavior - dysfunctional in terms of lack of validation and respect for
individual being's worth and dignity.
This includes aberrations in terms of sexual behavior as well as the
manifestation of such practices as human sacrifice. Aboriginal peoples
who became urbanized - such as the Aztecs or the Incas - showed less and
less respect for individual human life. But even the many aboriginal peoples
around the world that became urbanized and resorted to such practices still
showed more respect for, and honor toward, the individuals they sacrificed
then more modern civilizations. The human sacrifice practiced in
present civilization isn't surrounded by ritual and prayer, doesn't accord
respect and dignity to those who are sacrificed. Human sacrifice
in present day terms is a function of poverty and hopelessness - is reduced
to the rituals which accompany crack cocaine and drive by shootings.
"We live in a society where a few have billions
while others are starving and homeless. We live in a society which
believes that it is not only possible to own and hoard the resources and
the land but one which can rationalize killing the planet we live on.
These are symptoms of imbalance, of reversed thinking."
So, when I refer to natural and normal human behavior in this article,
I am talking about my intuitive understanding. I am sharing my beliefs
and opinions based upon what feels like the Truth to me - based upon what
resonates as Truth within my being. I have learned to trust and follow
my intuitive Knowing - in the early years of my awakening I needed to do
that even when everyone around me was telling me I was crazy. It
is an important part of my personal mission in this lifetime to stand up
in public and state my Truth without regard for the consequences.
So, that is what I do, because it is my Path - it is what I need to do
for my healing, for my Karmic settlement.
And the way the process of Knowing - remembering - Truth works for me,
is that I have studied and read and explored a lot of different sources.
In that study, I learned to be discerning - to pick out the nuggets of
Truth from amidst the misinformation. I have been lead to read whole
books that were primarily misinformation in order to find one sentence
toward the end of the book that resonated with me. I took all of
the nuggets that I was discovering and connected the dots in order to start
seeing the larger picture.
Part of my process for discerning what healthy behavior is, involves
looking at some of the tribal cultures that I believe are relatively the
healthiest societies that have been known in the history of the planet.
I have found myself doing this, not just in terms of sexuality, but also
in terms of parenting. I believe that the healthiest parenting was
manifested in tribal cultures where the whole tribe or clan were all responsible
for, and to, each other - where children were accorded respect and dignity
as individuals, and not seen primarily as an extension of the parents.
I believe that the concept of the nuclear family as an isolated unit -
as it has evolved due to, first the industrial revolution, and later to
suburban living which destroyed most remaining vestiges of community connection
- is intrinsically dysfunctional, and that the possessive nature of the
codependent relationship of unhealthy parents to their children is inherently
This unhealthy relationship between parent and child, when combined
with cultural beliefs about sexuality that are way out of balance and twisted
(as I say in my book, sex is somehow shameful and shouldn't be talked about
but we use sex to sell cars, etc.) is part of the reason that our relationships
with our own sexuality has become so distorted and confusing.
Our role models for who we are as emotional beings, as sexual beings,
were first of all our shame-based, emotionally dishonest parents - and
then the other adults in our lives, including the ones we encountered in
movies and books, in magazines and TV programs. It is no wonder that
our relationship with sexuality is so skewed - and our ability to be emotionally
and sexually intimate in our relationships is so problematic.
Again the context in which I am talking here is not about right and
wrong. Civilization is not bad or wrong - it is dysfunctional in
terms of it's ability to support and nurture individual human dignity and
self respect. It is dysfunctional in terms of promoting connection
and Love between humans.
The events of human history have been a result of planetary conditions
- and a perfect unfolding of the Divine script.
Homosexuality is Natural and Normal
Homosexuality - sexual and romantic attraction to beings of the same sex,
the same gender - is a natural and normal part of the human experience.
There has been a portion of the population, in every society that has existed
on this planet, that was homosexual. In most tribal societies, homosexuals
were accorded honored positions of importance in the cultural scheme of
The vast majority of individuals who are living a gay lifestyle are
simply following the first real guideline of healthy behavior - to thine
own Self be True. A Gay man or Lesbian woman knows very early in
life that they are different. Environment does not produce homosexuality
- it is something which is part of a person's DNA, part of their genetic
programming, a perfect part of their Spiritual and Karmic path.
And homosexuality is as much related to pedophilia as fish are to bicycles.
Homosexuals are not pedophiles - although some pedophiles may be homosexual,
the two are not even closely related. Homosexuals are not out prowling,
looking to recruit "innocent" victims - that is bullshit. Those are
the kind of ignorant, bigoted pronouncements made by small minded people
whose beliefs do not support Love and ONENESS - whose beliefs are in fact
evil, reversed to the Truth of Love, because they promote separation and
fear of differences.
As human beings we have much more in common than we have differences.
This is without even taking our True Spiritual Essence into account.
Simply as human beings, we have much more in common, no matter what differences
of race, color, creed, national heritage, language, or sexual orientation
we may exhibit on the outside. As human beings, we share the same
basic emotional process - as I talked about in the True
Nature of Love article on Twin Souls, Soul Mates, & Kindred Spirits.
The basic emotional dynamics in romantic relationships are the same for
heterosexuals and homosexuals - because we are the identical in our emotional
process, in what we feel as emotional beings.
The definitive factor for me in determining what is Truth - what is
a natural and normal human behavior as opposed to a reaction/an effect
of the emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile, shame-based, Love mutilated
environment that has been present on the planet - is: does it support Love
and connection between individuals, or does it support separation and fear.
Being True to Self and Loving another human being, no matter what gender
they are, is aligned with Love and Truth. Bigotry and hate are not
aligned with Love.
I believe that there is a small percentage - perhaps 10-15% - of the
people who are living a Gay lifestyle, who are doing so in reaction to
childhood abuse. This is not bad or wrong of course, it just means
- as I have said in other articles - that as long as we are reaction we
are giving power to the past and not really seeing ourselves clearly.
The goal of healing is to see ourselves more clearly so that we can see
our path more clearly. That is what will allow us to be True to our
There are also some people who are bisexual. There are people
who are transsexual and transgendered. I do not know a whole lot
about the later two - what I do know is that we are all ONE in the Spirit.
We are all experiencing being human. We all deserve to be treated
with respect and dignity.
In most tribal societies, those who were somewhat different from the
majority, were accepted and treated with respect and dignity. Those
who exhibited abnormal behavior that was harmful to others were ostrasicized,
and often banished, if their conditions could not be treated by the healers
of the society.
There were of course wide variations in customs and cultural mores in
different tribes. Some had traditions that were not at all Loving
- which were based on ignorance and superstition. But in a general
sense, I believe that cultures that were more aligned with nature were
more often supportive of individual respect and dignity than urban based
civilizations have been.
To Be Continued
So, now this article has gone places I didn't expect it to go and gotten
quite long without having come close to covering all that I planned to
cover. One more time, what I thought was going to be a single article
has turned into more than one. I have much more to say about teenagers
and sexuality, about monogamy, and about some other aspects of sexual expression
as they manifest in the present day world. I also wanted to speculate
a bit on what a healthy society's attitude toward sexuality might be in
a more perfect world. These facets of the topic will now have to
wait for a second article about sexuality.