Gary: One of the things I liked about the Course was the fact that sex wasn’t even an issue. There was no judgment made about behavior. The only question was: Does the student want to have the body or spirit for an identity? If one chose the spirit, that didn’t mean one couldn’t have sex. To insist on celibacy for yourself or anyone else would be a judgment rather than forgiveness, yet it would be perfectly appropriate for someone to choose celibacy if they wanted to. Not having the body as their identity simply meant that at some point students should remember who they and their partners really were.
For those in love, sex could be used as a symbol of joining and an expression of their love. The key was an awareness—even if that awareness was temporarily forgotten in the heat of the moment—that their partner was not really a body but Christ. In turn, how they thought of the other person is what established their own identity in their mind.
A powerful advantage of A Course in Miracles is that instead of merely telling you to believe you are not a body, it actually gives you the means to experience something beyond—and better. Most people have no idea of how good they could really feel. A chief goal of the Course is to lead the student to an Identity, and associated experiences, that are not of this world.
These non-intellectual experiences, which are paradoxically the result of intellectual processes, are in fact the forerunner to the Holy Spirit’s permanent answer to this world. Most people would hesitate to give up the world, but would they be so hesitant if they were given a clear taste of the alternative? Given an authentic spiritual experience, they would find the material world a cruel joke compared to what’s available. All experiences, including sex, are mental states—even if the illusion is that they take place in the body.
I remember visiting a church in Boston to hear a lecture by two Buddhist monks who grew up near the border of India and Tibet. After the lecture, people in the audience were given the opportunity to ask questions. Most of them were the nice “spiritual” questions people usually ask. Then one woman had the courage to get up and ask the monks how they could go so long—in one case, thirty years—without having sex. The monk who had been celibate the longest, and who spoke English as well as the Dalai Lama, thought for a minute and then surprised the audience with his reply: “When you’re coming all the time, it doesn’t make any difference.”
From the vantage point of my new experiences, I could now see that happy monk’s answer in sync with the Course’s answer to the dilemma of giving up the changing, illusory universe. What the Holy Spirit offered was constant, compared to the precarious and unreliable experience of each seemingly separated mind. The eternal Word of God could not really become temporary flesh, except in unreal dreams, but the flesh could be brought to the truth. Given my desire to talk about the subject of sex during our next meeting, it was with happy anticipation that I would go into my living room in April of 1999, each time hoping for Arten and Pursah’s next expected appearance.
Then, late in the evening of what New Englanders call Patriots Day, I received the visit I was waiting for.
A dream is nothing, and sex is nothing.
But I wouldn’t recommend that you turn
to your partner after making love and say,
“That was nothing.”
Excerpted from Renard, Gary R. (2004-11-01). The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness (pp. 356-357). Hay House. Kindle Edition.