Some people will argue strongly that sex is a powerful and viable method to enlightenment. They will argue that the Tantric path is the path of bliss, that ecstasy and bliss are the very nature of what God is, and that sexual union is the method given whereby the two polarities of God, i.e. male and female, join and gain union once again.
They will make a strong argument that in this joining is released the creative force that brings all manifestation into being, and that a careful control and expression of this sexual energy can bring enlightenment.
In the other camp are the celibates, the virgins, the pure. They argue that the sexual energy is something that must be redirected and focused away from physical concerns and towards the higher purpose of love and devotion to God directly. To use this energy in simple physical union is to waste it in a selfish and often degrading fashion and more often than not leads one away from God and into a dark world of physical gratification and addiction.
A quick check of the newspapers, divorce rates, booming multibillion dollar porn industry, and numbers of unwed mothers and sexually transmitted diseases gives a lot of support to the celibate camp.
I have personally never met a person who either obtained enlightenment or claimed to have gained enlightenment from sex, but there are legions of people whose lives have been destroyed by the full embracing and expressing of sex.
So from a purely evidentiary standpoint, taking the bulk of the history of the world into account, it seems very, very unlikely that enlightenment is ever gained through sex.
Now the reality:
Both camps are completely wrong. Neither sex nor celibacy contributes one speck of value to obtaining enlightenment. Enlightenment is not about a spiritual quest to obtain something - there is not a method on the earth to follow that results in something.
The peak of ultimate orgasm does not dissolve you into pure divine awareness any more than starving in a cave in complete darkness, celibacy, and austerity causes the divine light to burst forth.
A trillion years before the first life form emerged and considered the idea of sexual union or celibacy, Enlightenment existed perfectly. It has to be understood that Enlightenment is before these, but not other than these.
The greatest lie ever told is that there is a search, a quest. None of this exists. There is only pure consciousness, existing endlessly in perfect peace and perfection.
More than this, there is no one seeking enlightenment, no one having sex, or living in purity - there is only the Universe manifesting spontaneously and perfectly.
There are no selves seeking, no lovers joining, no masters living in purity.
There is only endless perfection: mindless, selfless, soulless.
The one who wants enlightenment need only shut up, grab a glass of ice-cold gin and sit in silence and sip.
Enlightenment is already, it is only.
Don't seek, don't grasp.
When you fall overboard and the lifeline is thrown out simply say, “No thank you.”
This act alone puts you closer to enlightenment than all the purity and starving or glorious humping and thrusting could ever do.
Yet even this act, is no act.
Remember, no one is acting or ever could. There is much activity in the world but there are no doers. There is only the Universe manifesting spontaneously, blindly, lifelessly, and perfectly. The quicker you get this, the quicker you can get back to that cave or brothel.
Listen carefully because I really want you to get this: There are no persons in existence experiencing the universe; there is only the experience of the universe being there with no experiencer.
Consciousness is the not the awareness of something, consciousness is pure existence. The manifestation we call the Universe is Consciousness and that alone is existence.
Manifestation and Consciousness are one and the same.
Existence and Consciousness are one and the same.
The feeling/knowing of this as an everyday fact of life is what is called enlightenment.
There is simply nothing more to it than that.
Enlightenment is the feeling/knowing of that which has never not been.
Each and every person does not and has never existed and each and every person has always known that they have never not known this.
If you want to follow a path, then follow one and enjoy it.
But never for one second forget that it is, and has always been, only the Universe manifesting lifelessly and perfectly in eternal monolithic solitude.
SEX AND ENLIGHTENMENT
Written for the TAT Foundation in 2007.