Intimacy - It takes the one to know the one!
TAKE A MOMENT TO EXPAND YOUR SENSE OF INTIMACY beyond the traditional concept most of us were raised with, meaning the idea that intimacy is only about sexual/sensual contact between two people. Certainly, the process of connecting deeply is obvious with regard to any couple; also most would agree that sexual and sensual sharing usually enhances intimacy. Nevertheless, most people will also admit that sex without intimacy is not only possible but also common. Thus it may be helpful to remind ourselves that sex and intimacy are not necessarily synonymous. In doing so, we open the possibility of understanding and experiencing more profound variations and levels of intimacy, beyond just the sexual connotation.
I recently broke the word intimacy down into the following: "in two me see", and realized that the process of being fully present with self and another ("in two"), experiencing that connection, is a way of being able to "See" life more fully, including Seeing into one's self more deeply. In this case it would be more accurate to say, "Me see" (as opposed to "me see" with a small "m") and to refer to the connection to Self (greater than "self"). The "Me/Self" is a spiritual reference to our identity as eternal sparks of the Divine Oneness, sparks of the whole of life, even expressions of God (as taught by Ernest Holmes in Science of Mind). The "Self" has also been a term used for the soul - that which existed long before and will endure long after our current incarnation/body/personality. And to capitalize "Me" is to utilize languaging reminiscent of the "I Am Presence" or "Almighty I Am" - other terms for the Soul or Highest Self.
This recognition of Self via seeing into the connection with another is an essential aspect of the expression, "Namaste," a term which has long been used as a greeting and honoring gesture in India. It translates to "The Divine in me recognizes and honors the Divine in you." Mutual recognition of the presence of divine essence and goodness in self and in another constitutes spiritual intimacy. To make such a recognition and sustain that connection requires a quiet mind and the ability to be present and undistracted by thoughts of the past or future, as well as external stimuli. Perhaps equally as important, as the Buddha and other great meditation teachers have taught, the recognition seemingly cannot be made with analytical thinking or skepticism. Thinking about what constitutes divine essence is not the same as actually recognizing it. Only from an altered, non-ordinary state of consciousness can divinity be perceived. Perhaps it requires a certain degree of Alpha and Theta brain waves (I seem to recall that some experiments have indicated this). Speaking in terms of brain wave frequencies would be a Western scientific way of describing what the yogi's call raising a person's vibration (i.e. frequency), which is typically coincident with a quiet, present, focused mind. To become aware of the divine, which is by nature of a higher (than ordinary consciousness) frequency, would necessitate raising one's vibration. It may also be difficult to recognize the divine when in a dull, lethargic physical/energetic state. Thus what is required is a quiet mind, a raised frequency, and a vitalized energetic level.
Furthermore, maintaining that Namaste' recognition, quiet mind, raised vibration, and connection often leads to a more universal sense of oneness with life in general, beyond the intimate oneness with the partner and self. Utilizing a deeply intimate connection with another as a meditative practice for awakening awareness of one's own Soul as well as union with all of life is at the core of authentic Tantric partner practices. Tantric students who practiced shared partner meditations were called (spiritual) "consorts." Together they consorted to maintain high states of awakened awareness of oneness. "Mahamudra" has been translated as "sacred orgasmic union with all of life". Seeing through the partner connection into the Oneness is to See the Self, for the Soul knows that it is not separate but is by its nature an aspect of the One. Such recognition of Union constitutes what I like to call "spiritual intimacy.
This "Seeing" has been known and taught in virtually every ancient mystical tradition. It often refers to the "opening" of the third Eye, the Sixth Chakra, and the development of the ability to recognize and see the deeper meaning and the inherent beauty/goodness in situations and life in general. What also is "Seen" when the third Eye is activated is the inherent Oneness of all life and the sacred "Presence" - the presence of Divinity, the Spirit that enlivens all life at every level. Authentic Tantric paths utilize methods and practices that cultivate this Seeing and the awareness of Oneness, Divinity, and Presence. In that awareness lays the possibility of tapping into the vast, unlimited love, wisdom, and energy available and characteristic of Oneness, Divinity, and Presence. With regular practice, as a person taps into that unlimited energy and awareness they begin to no longer need energy, attention, approval, control games, etc. from others, and instead begin to be fed by the infinite love that is the nature of the Oneness and Presence. What naturally arises from being fed by this unlimited love is the unselfish mercy, compassion, and kindness that the Sufis, Buddhists, and Tantrics pray for.
Any spiritual practice which consistently takes one into (even momentarily) the experience of Union, Oneness, and Presence is incredibly healing and empowering, for it has been wisely said that all fear, and thus all mental suffering, arises from a sense of separation. The healing effects of a true Namaste' experience, a true Tantric union, are said (by the great Tantric yogis) to radiantly extend to all living things, freely offering blessings of encouragement, peace, joy, and inspiration. Thus to be at one with self, other, and all life is to be a living blessing to all. This is the path of all the great saints and Masters, who have known and Seen that it takes the One to be at One with the One! May you follow in their holy footsteps and my your practices take you and those you love to the One. Namaste'
© 2002 Robert Frey, MA, PhD