As far as I can understand, all spiritual systems have their inception with an individual having an altered state experience: the ego boundaries dissolve and there's a connection, there's an acknowledgement, there's a deep knowing of relationship with all things...
At the very least, it would seem like this is the case, yes. Interestingly, most christians would probably not want to have christianity seen in that light, even though Jesus had a very obvious initiation experience involving prolonged fasting and hallucinations right at the beginning of his career.
As I understand Tantra, philosophically it's not unlike quantum physics.
Rule #1 of discussing spirituality: Don't bring quantum physics in it. You don't understand quantum physics; I don't understand quantum physics; let's leave it at that.
There have been individuals who have found that if you hang out in high states of arousal for long periods of time, as well as doing all these other practices to purify the mind and the body and the emotions, that you can enter a room of expanded consciousnessI am sure, and I think that I know this from experience, that high states of arousal can lead to a feeling of expanded bliss. I'm not quite certain whether I'd dare talk about expanded consciousness here, though. How would one go about discerning that from merely feeling extremely well. How do we distinguish the (great, excellent, wonderful) feeling of ecstatic union with the universe from actually being one with all?
In this country we think we've got the copyright on dysfunctional sexuality, but in almost every spiritual system there's a huge schism between body and spirit.I'm pretty certain I second that. Now, if we eliminate the pure power aspect of a priestly caste trying to dominate the rest of society, the question is - why? Why does this go for almost every spiritual system? I mean, it is obvious why those in power would want such a system - but why do the adherents want it? Millions of them, no less! Is this a phenomenon that can be explained as evolution of some kind? Do systems that are grounded in a dualism like that just survive longer, for some reason?
What has happened in this country is that because we're a capitalistic society we've taken that dysfunction and turned it into business.Sure, as with every other thing out there.
I don't think there's a quick fix for us as human beings in connecting with each other; I think it takes a tremendous amount of intention and integrity and commitment and work. But, our culture is not built on things taking time, it's built on "I want something right now, I want to fix this right now." So it's a perfect market for books and videos and workshops.Yep. And so, we came up with the concept of self-help.
Osho, from my limited understanding, was probably one of the foremost Tantra teachers of our generation.Osho, from my understanding, was a lying, stealing, mischievous fraud. Granted, that doesn't mean he was not a good tantra teacher, but I'd rather trust the heuristic that people of integrity and high moral standards might make for better teachers in subjects like that.
Yeah, I can help you have better orgasms, but trust me: it's not going to make you happy.On its own, probably not. But tantric practice did help me relax and be in the moment a lot more; and that helps me be better, not only in bed, but in general. More patient, less driven by fear and anxiety and the need to achieve whatever goal. So, yes, better orgasms play an important part in being happier, even though they're not the sole ingredient; they're a tool, more than a goal in and of themselves.
People are not going to be very excited about this, but I think the commitment to your own personal growing up is what is going to give you a better relationship and sex life. That requires a spiritual life; I don't care how you do it, but you need a belief in something that's bigger than your individual ego. Clearing up your emotional garbage, whether that's through individual therapy or group therapy, is also helpful; we've all got it, and I don't know too many people who don't need a little bit of work getting through it so that when I come into relationship I'm not bringing my mom and my dad and every lover I've ever had to you. It's just a commitment to be honest with myself and in integrity with myself.I contest the metaphor of size in this context. What exactly does it mean for something to be "bigger than me"? I have no answer to that. And also, if "belief" entails asserting the existence of entities without any proof or evidence, then I don't think that this can be a path that leads to more honesty. So belief in something bigger than myself is really an impediment to "spiritual growth" in whatever sense. I'd rather commit to becoming better at giving empathy, and loving my girlfriend. I have a hunch that this might be what really helps, way more so than belief, regardless in what.
There are a bazillion books and videos about sexual techniques, and if they worked people would be having a lot more fun than they seem to be having.Agreed; this is a tell-tale sign that something is not quite right in the state of denmark.
Ultimately, what is really healing is sex with meaningYes. But, going back to the context of spirituality and belief above, meaning is not something that is there, and I have to accept it (or not). Meaning is more like a process, an action, that takes my own active participation. I'm not sure that I can produce meaning on my own (after all, I myself am largely a product of society, earth, my environment), but I am certain that I am part, participant, and ingredient, of that process.