But the perspective of this blog (pitfalls of spirituality) would be incomplete I feel, if I left this subject out.
Because, like stated in the previous post, practically all spiritual movements and religions place emphasis on:
- The purported spiritual difference between men and women, which is also used to explain why the Leader must be a man.
- The `great spiritual importance' of sexual morality (the moralities differ greatly between movements though)
- The purported immorality of homosexuality.
Morality and moral pressure is one of the pitfalls of spirituality, in my not so humble opinion. Sexual morality is just an element of more general morality, but somehow spiritual movements place great emphasis on sexual morality. Having sex with a `wrong' person is often condemned far more strongly than -for instance- not helping someone in need, not caring for others, greed, etc.
It often seems that if one just not sleeps with anyone but the appointed spouse(s) - of the opposite sex of course- then one's morality is ok, according to the Spiritual Movement.
To me, it appears that in our age some form of sexual morality is still necessary in a society/community to ensure a basic level of trust, working together, upbringing of children, not fighting over sexual partners, etc.
This is a far cry from the Great Sin which many spiritual movements make of `sex with the wrong person'.
Don't misunderstand me: breaching of trust, deception, callous lust, abandonment of children etc. do not strike me as very spiritual. But breaching of trust and deception can be just as bad or worse on a nonsexual level. Abandonment, not being there for someone in need, unlovingness, closed heart, the list of things we do to ourselves and others is far broader than just our sexual acts and thoughts and feelings.
When sex is more than the physical act, it is also called making love. Make love, not war I recall as a slogan which made quite an impression on me when I was young.
The great spiritual problems of humanity to me lie more in the divisions of mankind, the fighting, the strife, the warfare, the power struggles etc. than in sex. Making love to me seems a very spiritual thing.
So why do spiritual movements (religions included as always) make such a great deal of sexual division (man/woman) and sexual morality?
I think it ultimately has to do with power and control. Sex is an important issue to most people -one could well wonder why, since to me love is far more important, but things are what they are, and many people tie love & sex together etc and we end up with all these knots around sexuality.
Assuming moral authority over sexual issues therefore achieves a double goal. First, the Moral Authority gets an important hold over people's feelings and actions. This yields tremendous power, much of it subconscious but also regularly quite explicit. Second, the division between men and women usually gives organizational and societal power to the men. One can wonder why men-of-spirituality would like this, since supposedly spirituality is some sort of opposite from power struggles...
But for the time being I suspect a lot of the divide-et-impera (divide and rule, old Roman adagium) tactic behind much of spiritual movements' sexual morality.