What has Sexuality Got to Do with Environmental Destruction?
Some of you may think sexuality has nothing to do with environmental destruction. How could it contribute to the burning of forests, oceanic pollution or extinction of species? However if we go deeper than the basic collective assumptions about what environmental destruction is and what’s caused it, if we dare to journey deeper into the bowels of humanity, we discover how our relationship with our internal ecosystems, of which sexuality is a part, has been the foundational cause of environmental destruction. Housed within the sacred body temple, our attitudes, connection and willingness to be embodied enough to engage in a healthy sexuality are a direct reflection of our willingness to relate with due reverence to the Earth as a sacred temple.
We are facing a complex crisis within our global society, the homogenising effects of globalisation feeds our insatiable appetites for more, consumption has become the new religion and we bow down to the giants of industry. We have lost our way, detached from the guiding compass of our hearts we seek to fill ourselves with anything to avoid the lonely emptiness within. Our bodies have become forgotten landscapes as our minds race, like hamsters in a wheel desperately rushing to get nowhere. Our disembodied lives render us unable to feel at home inside so we reach for substitutes for artificial life in the vain hope we may feel something.
Our inner relationship is a reflection of the outer. Increasingly barren, sterile, and traumatised on the inside we create a world around us that mirrors our pain. As nature and humanity are inextricably linked, it serves to reason that the instability in the environment which leads to environmental destruction will accompany social and political instability. And that imbalances in the natural world mirror imbalances in humans. The cause of environmental destruction is everything: every dimension of separation from the earth, our hearts, our bodies, our sex and from nature, compassion, truth and community.
In sexuality we disconnect from the fertile landscape of our bodies, paralysed from our sensing function, we loose our anchor, and steer our ships to the islands of desolation. In our attempt to feel something we become addicted to a sex where our desensitised bodies spasm into empty release, leaving us bereft. Just as the same way the global ecological crisis is raping the earth, with our bodies pumped full of pesticides and toxins we have forgotten to treat them as sacred temples, instead the atrophy of our empathy runs the show, sucking the life from one objectifying sexual experience to the next, we are in turn starving our souls.
This story of separation from self, our deeply held belief we are separate from the Earth, is the breeding ground for the ‘us versus them’ culture of blame and shame and leads us to the familiar operating framework of the fight. We become disconnected from the mycelium of the unified heart-beat and life becomes about surviving, giving rise to the birth of the individual and the dissolution of our relationship with the earth.
Standing alone, the ever encroaching desertification of our souls creates the landscape which reflects the extinction of species, these deaths are not just their deaths but an internal death, an erosion of the soul, and founds the worlds of impoverishment in which we live. The world’s deserts are spreading, our oceans are drowning in plastic and our topsoil blown away by the wind, and we are consuming our way into global oblivion. And yet I believe there is time, to halt this process of denigration, but we need to return home to our bodies, to reclaim our denuded erotic landscape, to sense and feel into the vast open spaces of relationship with our body homes, and through this into the inextricably beautiful and dynamic ecosystem of Gaia.
What is the new story?
I believe through our relationship with our bodies and their capacity to feel, and to love, we can respond to what we register, whether that’s sexual pleasure, grief born from environmental destruction, or a cascade of fluctuating emotions. Its’s through embodiment, including conscious engagement in sexuality that we have the potential to meet our trauma which is no different to the trauma of the earth. As we heal internally, we’re returning to peace inside, we become open enough to feel the devastation of the external, from here we can move beyond the story of separation, into being of the earth, and into a profound relationship with life itself.
When the shackles of shame fall away, when the grip of trauma leaves our bodies there’s the potential to free dive into the depths of our being. As we remember life creates the conditions for life, we return to our purpose to serve life in how it already is and what it will become. We can ask ourselves the questions: what are we here for? What is humanity’s role on earth? What does the earth want? How can I respect the earth and live in accordance with the laws of nature? How can I live with unconditional empathy?
We need to let the answers to these questions percolate, to find the truth and move in the direction of heartfelt action. With our bodies sensing and feeling again we need to rekindle our love of nature, of the trees, the rivers the oceans and all the creatures that dwell amongst us. We need to remember and to protect what is sacred to us, for the health of one depends on the health of all. My hope is we realise our collective obligation to protect the next seven generations to come, so every decision made is in accordance with the Law of the Children’s Fire.
‘No law, no decision, no action, nothing of any kind will be permitted to go out from this council of chiefs that will harm the children of any species.’
Planetary healing requires our engagement in knowledge and ways of being far beyond what the mainstream has acceptance for today. There is a duty to claim back the wisdom of the ancient ways where soul and body provided us with the maps for living. The health of us all, emotional, physical, sexual, is dependent on healing the story of separation, most significantly our separation from nature, and moving into the story of Interdependent Relationship. Global environmental destruction is the initiatory medicine of transformation for humanity and through our embodied reclamation we can receive the medicine through our erotic selves.
Originally published in AEVA magazine Summer 2019.