(published in the Feb-March 2013 issue of Sibyl magazine)
The symbolic story of Adam and Eve covering their sexual anatomy with fig leaves has much deeper meaning than people believe. It is the symbol of the origin of shame. Shame is hidden under many guises and the more shame we have the more we project shame onto our world. Understanding our mistaken beliefs about the nature of sexuality can help us to understand our mistaken belief that claiming our power and wholeness is something to be feared.
In the history of western civilization, sex has largely been defined by religious doctrine, and no real value was given to the sexual act other than as a means for procreation. Anything else was considered sinful even to think upon. Islam had similar views.
In the history of India and other places in the eastern world there existed a very different teaching. Most people still followed religious doctrines which judged and regulated sexual practices; but, whereas in the West, sex was viewed as a physical act, Eastern philosophies held the understanding that sexuality was an energetic phenomenon that did not originate from the human body. Everything in nature has a masculine and feminine expression. We see that very clearly in all living things. Even rocks, landscapes, clouds, and movements carry these basic energy polarities. The Hindu story of creation is that out of the One Consciousness, named Shiva, there came the Creative Life Force of Shakti, the feminine. So Shiva is the Consciousness of God, and Shakti is the Creative Life Force of God. These are the origins of the feminine and masculine polarities. Everything is created from these two forces and their interaction with each other.
So how do we reclaim our innocence? The mystic path is about finding our way back to the Source of our creation. It is about living with the understanding that in each molecule and in each breath there is a Creative Life Force receiving and dancing her Conscious One. Can we harmonize our sexuality, our polar life forces, with the Wholeness of all that is? This is the innocence of children. They are powerful sexual beings whose life force is not yet polarized in a particular area of their body. As children of earth we are here to learn how to take on multiple perspectives so that we can learn the virtues of cooperation, tolerance, empathy, and unconditional love. If we can take this learning and bring ourselves back to the free and whole world of the child, then we can reclaim our innocence. Perversion and shame no longer exist in an entity which is in harmony with the song of the universe. We are guided by what truly feels right and beautiful and in harmony with all.