Lust, Love and Enlightenment – The Three Levels of Human Sexuality - Nick Hudis

Lust, Love and Enlightenment – The Three Levels of Human Sexuality

If one thing is clear as I talk to men about sexuality, it is this:  Sex is really, no I mean really, important to men. So many men think about sex as if it something truly sacred but act sexually as if it is form of entertainment. They sense but do not know where to find the gateway to this deeper transcendental level of sex.  In fact, entering the path Sacred Sexuality calls for a radical and challenging reframing of the meaning of sex.  As a starting point it is helpful to understand the three levels of human sexuality.

This powerful teaching is found within both the Taoist and the Tantric traditions.

The Animal Level – Primal sex drive

The first level is the animal or instinctual level.  It is also the immature level because it is how we are sexually in adolescence.

This level is is run by the lower chakras, and expresses our basic drive to reproduce.  Sex at this level is about the satisfaction of a need:  We feel randy; we look for a means to satisfy our lust; we experience release. There is a basic cycle of tension and release.  The cycle may be stimulated by something outside:  the sight of an attractive woman perhaps, but has its own internal rhythm driven.

Hormonal cycles play a big part in this internal rhythm.  Women will be most connected with their animal sexuality, and most randy, around ovulation.  Men have a daily testosterone cycle and also an ejaculation cycle (basically the time it takes a for a man’s body to reset itself after ejaculation and be ready for sex again.) The discrepancy between the monthly and daily cycles is one way in which the myth that men are more interested in sex than women, can appear true.

When the animal level is present in conscious, balanced and positive way, it adds a rich, lustful, earthy, gutsy,  full bodied physicality to sex. As we explore the more refined levels of sacred sexuality, this raw sexual energy is the rocket fuel for our journey to the stars!  It is not something to be let go or denied, but something to be embraced in awareness and transformed.

When the animal level is present in an unconscious and distorted way sex tends to brief, perfunctory, rough, genitally focused and routine.  The energies at play at this level are powerful, primal and usually unconscious.  They are easily ensnared in addiction such as to porn.

Primal sex drive is probably most powerful in adolescence and early adulthood.  When this drive is coupled the rushed and furtive nature of most boys first experiments with sex and masturbation many men become locked into a immature and incomplete expression of their sexual potential.  I find a sad irony in seeing men with the sacred universal phallic power of Lord Shiva at their core but with no more means to manifest it than an ape or a thirteen year old boy.

The Relational Level – Love and Intimacy

The Second level is the relational level. In this level the heart chakra is becomes more deeply connected to the lower chakras. Sex becomes the expression of love and intimacy between two human beings.

When this level is present in a full and conscious way sex can become love making, slow.prolonged and sensual with a wide expression of feeling from the intensely passionate to the light and playful.  Giving and receiving flow together and there is a deep connection of hearts and identities. Pleasure and pleasuring become the focus rather than the satisfaction of need.  Physicality is fully present but the emotional body and the energy body are open and engaged as well.

However we can also experience this level in a distorted non-conscious form in which our emotional baggage comes up and expressed through the relationship. Our wounds, our emotional needs our dependencies get expressed in the relationship and projected onto our partner. For example many men have wounds around the Mother, perhaps through not separating adequately from Mother at puberty, perhaps from being overwhelmed by the Feminine or being rejected by her.  Such men project their Mother issues onto their woman so she finds that she seems to have a needy or rebellious little boy in her bed  rather than her dream lover.

For a conscious and open couple  such projections are a  gift because they offers the opportunity to grow in intimacy and awareness.  Where such projections remain unconscious they create a web of dependency that may suffocate and destroy the relationship.

The Transpersonal Level – Sacred Union

The third level is least open to description in words.  We might call it the trans personal level.  It is also sometimes described as the essence level or even the angelic level.  This level manifests out of the relational level when loving connection expands into a total merging.  Personal identity falls away, the partners become expressions of the universal sacred Masculine and Feminine principles and there is union with the One, the non-dual.

A lot of people I talk to are skeptical that the trans personal level exists or can be experienced. The essence level of sexuality is not something you do.  You can’t go on a weekend workshop and learn to do.  As you deepen in your inner work, as you let go more and more of contraction and fear, the more you surrender to love, the essence level simply happens.

There is no distorted unconscious form of the essence level, but there is a trap which is a form of “spiritual bypass”.  This is where we create a fantasy form of the essence level in our heads and act it out.  We make everything appear beautiful, we speak fine and high words, we “spiritualise” our sex  but at the edges in shadow, the distortions of the animal and relational levels lurk ready to trip us up.

So there you have what we might describe as Lust, Love and Enlightenment, the three levels of human sexuality.

Self-cultivation inspiration in your inbox

Each week a quotation, a commentary and a challenge

Who Am I?

I am Nicholas Hudis an author and mentor dedicated to the path of self-cultivation. After 25 years  as a therapist/coach, I see that the need is not for therapy but for cultivating the skill to live wisely, ethically and purposefully.  I am no "sage" but the wisdom of Confucius, the Buddha and the Stoic philosophers guides me on a daily basis. My desire is to share this inspiration, through my writings and personal mentoring, and make a difference to your life too.

Nicholas Hudis

  • March 5, 2017