Spirit & Sex
When considering one's love life as part of a spiritual path, the greatest concern for the novice seeker is whether it is necessary to refrain from sex in order to be enlightened. Everyone will be very happy to learn the answer is "not necessarily". While there are some esoteric traditions which practice sexual abstinence and others that advocate sexual liberation, what they both have in common is bringing the student to consciousness about sex. If conscious living is the removal of "automatic" habits in our lives, it is extremely important to do so with one of our most potent drives. So, let us reflect on sex and its implications.
Because we literally live with the results, heterosexual intercourse is apparently the most widely popular sexual activity. It is a conscious duty for every man and women to consider the possible results of engaging in such activity. If both are prepared for parenting, all is well, yet if either knows raising a child is not a part of their spiritual path, then there is a necessity for birth control, including forms of sexual activity other than vaginal intercourse.
Homosexuality does not have the child bearing and rearing issue facing "straight" couples; gay and lesbian sex is free from that karma. Relating sexually with one's own gender takes one beyond the reconciliation of opposites and places one closer to true selfhood. For this reason, many spiritual traditions impose same-gender student groupings, although not necessarily employing homosexual relating techniques.
Autoeroticism is technically a homosexual act, yet the need for a physical partner has been replaced with an inner relating with one's god-self. As yoga is a Hindu word meaning "union with the divine", we could call these individuals yogasexuals. At this level of sexual consciousness, the soul, rather than the body, becomes the sexual attraction. Students, who then erroneously conclude abstinence as the only way to transcend sexual drives, commonly mistake Masters at this level for celibates. In reality, we, as a species, will be far more successful at spiritualizing sex, not by ignoring it, but through being fully conscious of it.