Ways of Christ

Logo: drawed Christian cross and earth symbol

 Part 3 additional topics, practical and biblical questions

Here:   Christian viewpoints for sexuality, sympathy, empathy, love, friendship and marriage.

with excerpts of the main text, and other annotations.

The history of ecclesiastical announcements about sexuality and also counterdemands within and outside the churches raise the impression that it is extremely difficult for people, to find out, how to deal humanly or even "like a christian" with that part of life. External moral prohibitions lost most of the effect since the sixties; the churches were not either capable to select the available ethical reasonable heart in the traditions, that might be worked out with respect to the contemporary society. The "sexual revolution", arisen as a counter-reaction against suppressed -sexuality in the sixties and seventees, led into the other extreme of a new ideology with a pressure to have a plenty of sex, often squandering the life vigour this way. And the original longing for responsible relations, including emotional and mental cooperation, was not taken care of; continuous breaks followed, up to the disability to work, a.s.o. Therefore only resignation was left from that at the latest in the eightees, among most people who practised this. Here it was also hardly possible, to find out the partial positive motive hidden there, which would be fit for a social development beyond this extremes. One can find it in the aspect of overcoming the old "claims of ownership" of the partner, being there since centuries. A human being is not an "object". It can be distilled, that both, responsibility and freedom is necessary for relations of any kind between men and women; but one cannot make this values true, or even connect both harmoniously, if approaches to an integrated development of a person are missing. However, for instance a few partnerships, being successful apparently or in fact, indicate, that it is possible to find a way.

Christ addresses people’s hearts and the chance they have of becoming whole, of becoming complete, which is the prerequisite for real freedom. He does not support the further falling apart of that in man which is already crumbling; no ecstatic experiencing of everything, but rather a new integration in the "wisdom of the heart".

Christ represents the responsibility of people for each other. However, he does not believe in "inherent necessities", of external forms or of overrating them, or even the abuse of the terms responsibility, faith and honesty for the veiling of envy, jealousy and "taking possession of s.o." For him it is all a question of the spirit which people act in. In marriage too, not everything is automatically alright, which is considered as unfavourable outside.

To love God and your neighbour as yourself also means to love yourself. This rule of Christ, superseding the prohibitive logic of the Old Testament, is a universal attitude that goes through all these three areas and combines them all (see Mark 12:33; John 13:34; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8). In this context charity is then something more than just instinctive care for relatives and so forth – however, although it does not exclude them of course. Due to this role of man as a loving helper, wherever appropriate, self-love is not of an egoistic kind, but goodness of the heart, actually directed towards loving oneself as an instrument for serving others and/or God, including the body.

In this context it might be clear, that f.e. the theses sometimes to be found, that simply equate sexuality and love, or attempted to equate selflove with selfsatisfaction and fantasies, are worlds apart from this approach of Christ. What rather represents an inner insulation of single powers of man, and places pictures between oneself and the other real being, is simply one of the many incompletenesses of the human being - something can be learned by this, but it never can be the destination.

For contemporary Europeans etc. something of a transformation of sexuality can be experienced, especially then when two people meet first intellectually and psychologically during mutual enterprises, but then learn to deal with emanations of antipathy and sympathy. These things, not mainly, but among others, should be taken into consideration when seeking contacts which also make sense for the outside world. The unity on the physical level comes later and is not automatically a part of every friendship or meeting. And getting to know someone must not mean leaving the existing partner. But a loving mood goes with it. The power of the heart can attract sexual energy upward, and one does not always have to work it off explosively, as so often happens today through cultural conditioning.

Sexual love -"Eros" - is a special case of universal love -"Agape". So this is not necessarily a contradiction. The new Encyclica "Deus caritas est" of Pope Benedict XVI accepts this too.

Many spiritual traditions teach a transformation of sexuality instead of suppression or continuous living it up, - which is more than Freud's "sublimation". For instance Mantak Chia, "Tao Yoga", and "Tao Yoga of love" as well as hinduistic and Buddhist variants of the Tantras of love (Yogi Bhajan; Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and others). Today "Karezza" = italian "gentle caress", and G. Brown´s "The New Celibacy…", and a search for more feminine forms of sexuality and so on adds, as well as some essays in the anthroposophic field. The named older eastern branches of spirituality among other things had the shortcoming, to start immediately working on sexuality, instead to let people encounter the whole time as whole beings , - what might help avoiding some of their technical exercises today; or instead of beginning from "above", from getting to know each other first mentally and psychologically, - what would be an up-to-date approach. The aspect of the East remains valid, that a calm gathering not directed towards masculine or feminine orgasms can  bring this part slowly in unison with the entire being. There were also similar approaches in the Christian world which are missing today and need to be elaborated on again; the heritage of the minnesingers and troubadours portrayed this type of knowledge.

Since sexuality can cause subconscious involvement between people, most religions see it as a balancing act linked to a partnership in which both are able to handle the consequences. Those who want to avoid sexual activities before marriage , can do so successfully, if both people are clear about what they want and don’t want and support each other accordingly.

Jesus accepted this old approach, right up to the negative characterisation of a covetous look for instance, at someone elses partner. But this does not necessarily exclude an enthusiastic meeting between two people who just met from happening more frequently than one may think. This is not always understood, even by the two people concerned: "When two or three meet in my name (i.e. "in connection with my spirit"), I am among them" (or, translated correctly: "in them"). This does not require an official ecclesiastical gathering, no special preparation, but can come about everywhere where the "spirit of Christ" connects two people for any reason. To take this up, even if they are man and woman and if they like each other too (sympathy), to maintain in this case the clear consciousness that is the origin may be difficult, but it is necessary for the world. It need not be a question of partnershipor of sex, but those concerned have to find out honestly what this is about if they want to master this situation. Sometimes the one moment "was it" already, if one was open for it.

The life of Jesus on earth already showed how amazingly unconventional he was. It may turn out that conventions are only necessary as long as "he is not among them".

A prerequisite for appropriate meetings between people, which one can improve oneself naturally, is a study of our own individuality including the "aura" and/or "charisma". Even as a couple, people still remain individuals and an absolute dissolution of the two people in the couple is not that which Christ wanted.

*) Mankind is a complex network.

 

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