Love, Sex, and Marriage

Life is Nothing Without Love

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – September 11, 2021

 

In Latin, it is said that: "Sine amore nihil est vita" or "Life is nothing without love." But what is love?

According to the Holy Scripture: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." ~ 1 Corinthians 13. 1.

This must have inspired Barbara Streisand in the 1970 movie "Love Story" to say: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Is this really so? Let me share my thoughts in this page.

Happy Valentines!

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. February 14, 2022

 

l shot an arrow into the sky. It fell on earth, I know not where. Three laws operate here. The:

(1) Classical laws of gravity of Newton;

(2) Special theory of space-time curvature of Einstein; &

(3) The Uncertainly Principle of Schrodinger

Gravity applies to planets. They stay where they are. Never too far never too close. Otherwise, too close, they bump into each other and explode. Too far, they tend to fly away and look for other planet or planets.

Each person must give enough space and elbow room. If you cannot give enough space and time to the other then you don't trust your spouse. allow your spouse to go out at night anywhere she or he likes.

If you don't, then you don't trust him or her. You want all her or his time by yourself. Love? Or possessiveness? Jealousy?

Are you sure or uncertain of your love?

Gee, I rest my case.

Does Love Die or Does it Last Forever?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. February 16, 2022

 

My mission as an academician and educator is always to help others expand or broaden their awareness on issues and events confronting us daily. I neither wish to judge them wrong nor declare myself the sole possessor of truth.

In this respect, I do not wish to convert people. You can stay where you are, holding on to your beliefs, while maybe learning from others, in the same manner that others may be learning from you.

So, first, let's define what love is from various beliefs and perspectives.

According to the Christian bible: "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT).

But this is where the issue becomes tricky and controversial today. The bible states further that: "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

Patience, kindness, jealousy, pride, and rudeness have their level of tolerance. In some circumstances, we can be impatient, for example, when we are in a long line waiting to be served and we are in a hurry, catching up with our next schedule.

We can be so unkind when people become so dependent on us that they now depend all their needs on us for life, people who are like parasites licking our blood until we die.

Jealousy may be a sign of love. We can be elastic in our level of tolerance. But when people abuse us, we can also react unkindly, rudely, and even violently.

Contemporary science says that love lasts only about three years. Because of this, even Christians allow both moral and legal separation in their respective Canon Laws. Many governments legalize divorce and even prohibit them or one of them to come close to some kilometers to each other.

In some instances, couples simply agree among themselves to separate freely and unconditionally. Others, for various reasons, specify some conditions and have it written and notarized as prenuptial agreements. Love or not, only the engaged couple knows.

So, from whatever perspective we view the subject, love is not lasting. The societal system recognizes, tolerates, and even advocates it. Religion acknowledges and tolerates it.

But many marriages are also born out of deep love. As life goes on, couples learn from each other's weaknesses and limitations. Learning from science and religion, they make efforts to understand and correct each other's faults and mistakes as well as give space and time to each other.

Sex from the Cosmic Perspective

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - June 11, 2022

 

In its hierarchy of needs, Maslow ranks sex as one of the basic physiological needs, together with breathing, food, water, sleep, and excretion.

It goes without saying that, like all other basic physical needs, we cannot survive both as an individual and as a collective species since we cannot reproduce and multiply ourselves without sex. Sexual acts are designed by Nature primarily for reproduction for the survival and continuance of the human race.

But among animals, mating and copulation occur only during the female’s most fertile period or reproductive cycle, and the males recognize this. So, mating and copulation activities are done during this period, increasing the chances of successful impregnation. The only animals known to do sex for pleasure are the primates.

In many cultures and traditions, sexual encounter is considered sacred and a gift given to us by Nature. Through it, people participate in the act of creation. This is how we become co-creators and co-partners in the act of cosmic creation.

Yet, it is not only intended for increasing the number of human population. We need to be aware as well of the quality of our creation.

While we may be driven passionately by our orgasmic desires and may no longer have any control of our sexual behavior, we need to be conscious as well of the kind of sperm and egg cells that enter and are left in the womb of the mother’s ovary.

For we are living behind our genes and DNA that will eventually create another shape and form of human species that would mirror our image and likeness. The kind of sperm and egg cell that finally unites and ovulated in the mother’s womb will determine the nature and quality of the newly born offspring.

If we have inherited some illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, asthma, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, amnesia, etc., we are quick to say:

“It runs in the family! My father, mother, sister, brother, grandparents, relatives, die of this disease. I cannot avoid it.”

We don’t certainly want our children and our grandchildren to say this to their loved ones. Thus, it becomes our responsibility as co-creators to be mindful as well of the quality of our creation. This is the simple input-output paradigm that we ought to learn from the Cosmos. The process may be the same, but the quantity and quality can also make the difference.

At this stage of our evolutionary progress, however, we can perhaps only be addressing the youth, or those in the 3-18 age bracket, and those who are single, separated, divorced, and widowed. Nevertheless, it’s never too late to start and begin a new cycle and a new face of humanity.

Yet, much as I would not like to resurrect the past, I am also aware that it was because of my past that I became what and who I am today. I am a product of my grandparents’ and parents’ egg and sperm cells.

They partly shape my life today and will continue to so to my children and grandchildren. Who and what my children and grandchildren are today is because of who and what I and my spouse, including our grandparents, are.

I know that this explains why some chapters of my life stories were sad, guilt-ridden, and scary, while others are blissful, happy, exciting, and entertaining. My story was a series of ups and downs, and I felt like I was riding on a roller coaster and merry go round.

Who and what I will become in the future is still uncertain and hard to predict, especially during these trying times.

Our imprints as parents will also remain on our children and grandchildren for life as they face their challenges alone or with others. I’m sure though that they are smart enough to learn from our limitations, weaknesses, errors, and mistakes. They have greater potentiality to live life that is much better than us.

Indeed, life is full of problems and challenges. Yet, we can live and enjoy it fully the way we want it to be. It’s our choice and we are also aware of the consequences of our choices. Only we, not others, can live our life. Nobody can live it for us. Only us is accountable for our life.

Life is too short. Let’s enjoy the process of creation and be happy whoever and whatever we are.

Love and Sex in Hinduism (Kamasutra)

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - February 20, 2022

 

Many Hindus believe that sensual pleasure is one of the four main goals in life and sexual intercourse is a duty in marriage.

Sexual activity in a loving and committed relationship is encouraged because having children is viewed as an important part of life.

Chastity is encouraged and both men and women are traditionally expected to be virgins when they marry. But sexual activity is not to involve harming others physically, emotionally or through neglect, e.g. caring for children.

Students are expected to practice celibacy until they are married, householders are allowed to indulge in sex both within marriage, and in some instances outside marriage also.

Polygamy is an accepted practice and there is no law that prohibited Hindu men from doing so. Men are allowed to marry multiple women.

They also enjoy the freedom to indulge in sex with willing women outside their marriage such as the maids who worked in their households or those who provided sexual pleasures for money, power, love, protection, or some other reason (prostitution).

However, sex with women who were under the protection of their fathers or other male members of their families was strictly prohibited. Women were, in fact, sold and bought in some parts of ancient India.

In the past, women of pleasure often enjoyed royal patronage. Some of them were employed for entertainment, pleasure or spying. Unmarried women who chose to live freely had the privilege to sleep with the men of their choice.

From the above, it is clear that in Hinduism sex is not a taboo, while lust is. We may also draw the following considerations:

1) Sex is not considered sinful but divine and an essential part of creation and procreation. It facilitates continuity, preservation of family lineage, , social order, rebirth and opportunity for the souls to work for their salvation.

2) Both men and women have the permission to indulge in sexual acts as a part of their obligatory duties, subject to the norms prescribed for them.

3) As a rule, students are not allowed to indulge in sexual intercourse or even the thought of it before the completion of their education.

4) Householders have the freedom to engage in sex within as well outside their marriage, as a part of their obligatory duties to maintain the order and regularity of the world.

5) As a rule, ascetic people are not allowed to engage in sexual intercourse, except in tantric traditions. However, in some traditions, ascetic people and spiritual masters are allowed to marry and lead their lives as householders, without ignoring their spiritual duties.

The Greeks' View on Love

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - March 12, 2022

 

Loving and expecting nothing in return is easier said than done. For in real life, when you really care and love somebody, you are also expecting something in return. Or if someone expresses love to you, it expects to be compensated back. As the saying goes: “Love is two-way."

To me, love remains intriguing, always arousing my fascination, interest, and curiosity for I still could not understand what it really is. Any definition always falls short of my comprehension.

Yes, they say it’s not for the mind to comprehend, but for the heart to experience. One has to be blind to cherish, protect, and care somebody lovingly.

But there’s always something missing in the alchemy of love or in the mixture of what many call "love potion" for the heart, that makes me fearful perhaps of embracing one without the other.

Yet, love is very familiar and tantalizing to me. It’s never extinguished, the reason why I’m always drawn into it.

 

Let’s explore love further ……

 

Nothing is as more elaborately descriptive as the Greeks, dubbed as the world’s most romantic and excellent lovers. The Greeks speaks of eight kinds of love.

 

1. Eros - the Greek God of attraction and sexual desire, romantic love, burning passion, defined as divine beauty or lust, the most intense type of love often associated with youth or our first great romance. This is the most feared also because it is the most dangerous. Its power could destroy you. Expressed as follows:

"My partner and I have the right physical chemistry between us."

"I feel that my partner and I were meant for each other."

"My partner fits my idea standard of physical beauty/handsomeness."

2. Philia - Shared goodwill, also known as brotherly love. Represents a sincere and platonic love, a kind of love you have for your siblings or a best friend. It's more valuable and more cherished than Eros as Philia has the power to build empires from the ground up. It exists where people share a great understanding and respect with each other.

3. Ludus - Playful love, flirtatious, teasing kind of love, synonymous with dancing and laughter, a childlike fun kind of love. This generation loves Ludus because of fleeting romances with explosively passionate but brief online skirmishes ruling.

It's all about having fun at the moment with no regard with what may happen in the future. Expressed as follows:

"I have sometimes to keep my partner from finding out about other lovers."

"I can get over love affairs pretty easily and quickly."

"I enjoy playing the game of love with my partner and a number of other partners."

4. Pragma - long-lasting love, enduring love between a married couple which develops over a long period of time, the highest form of love, a true commitment that requires understanding and compromises. It is pragmatic and flexible.

This is why it is referred to as standing in love rather than falling in love. Anyone can fall in love but it takes a conscious decision to stand in love with someone resolutely for better or worse. Expressed as follows:

"A main consider­ation in choosing my partner was how he or she would reflect on my family."

"An important factor in choosing my partner was whether he or she would be a good parent."

"One consideration in choosing my partner was how he or she would reflect on my career."

5. Agape - Selfless love, the love for humanity, the purest kind of love, the love you give without expecting anything in return. It's the compassionate love that makes us sympathize with and help people we don’t know. The world needs more Agape. Expressed as follows:

"I would rather suffer myself than let my partner suffer."

“I cannot be happy unless I place my part­ner's happiness before my own."

"I would endure all things for the sake of my partner."

6. Philautia - love of the self. The negative philautia is the selfishly egocentric and seeks pleasure, fame and wealth often manifesting itself via narcissistic tendencies.

Positive philautia is the healthy kind of love. We love ourselves for our personal growth. It is also essential for any relationship. We can only love and care others if we truly love and care for ourselves.

7. Storge – unwavering devotion, the kind of love parents feel for their children. It is natural, powerful, protective, and almost instinctive. It is a kind of love that knows forgiveness, acceptance, and sacrifice, a feeling that you would protect someone with your life even if they wrong you.

Storge does not waiver. People in the early stages of a romantic relationship often expect unconditional love. It's expressed as follows:

"Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship."

"Our love is really a deep friendship, not a mysterious, mystical emotion."

8. Mania - obsessive love. Tends to be emotionally dependent and to need fairly constant reassurance in a relationship. Someone with this love style is likely to experience peaks of joy and troughs of sorrow, depending on the extent to which their partner can accommodate their needs.

Because of the possessiveness associated with this style, jealousy can be an issue. Expressed as follows:

"When my partner does not pay attention to me, I feel sick all over."

"Since I have been in love with my partner, I have had trouble concentrating on anything else."

"I cannot relax if I suspect that my partner is with someone else."

———————

Wow, that was a mouthful of information. Many people have one or more of the eight types. Philia attracts me more than others. Yet, I know that it may not be able to stand alone for long also.

Chinese View on Love and Sex

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - February 28, 2022

 

In Chinese there is no word for “romance.” Traditional Chinese marriages are a ceremonial ritual that is sometimes pre-arranged between families. In fact, Chinese parents have long engaged in matchmaking, rather than just waiting for love and romance to blossom.

A popular form of matchmaking is the so-called Chinese Marriage Markets, held at People's Park in Shanghai, where parents of unmarried adults flock to the park every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. to trade information on their children.

Many Chinese men say they would prefer to marry a woman who hasn't had premarital sex. Women are often evaluated on the basis of their virginity. Since time immemorial, virgin maidens have been prized as symbols of purity and chastity. Conversely, women who have lost their virginity before marriage are regarded as slutty, sexually promiscuous or provocative in a way that is considered in bad taste.

In mainland China, polygamy is illegal under the Civil Code passed in 2020. This replaced a similar 1950 and 1980 prohibition. Anthropologically, polygamy is defined as marriage between one person and two or more spouses simultaneously.

Their law says that polygamy exists in two main forms: (1) polygyny, where one man is married to several women, and (2) polyandry, where one woman is married to several men. Polygyny where wives are held of equal status with their husband had always been illegal and had been considered a crime in some dynasties.

In imperial China a man was allowed to have only one wife, but he could have multiple concubines. Such a polygamous institution prevailed not only among the wealthy and powerful but also in ordinary families.

China no longer exerts strict control over personal sexual behavior. Sex is increasingly considered something personal and can now be differentiated from a traditional system that featured legalized marital sex and legal controls over childbirth.

Abortion in China is legal but new policies discourage it. Yet, all of the major contraceptive methods are available without cost. The user is permitted to be absent from work with pay when he/she chooses either intrauterine device (IUD) insertion/removal, vasectomy, tubal ligation, and induced abortion.

And IUDs, oral contraceptives (OCs), sterilization, and condoms account for most of the contraceptive practice in China.

There is no official ban or specific restriction on surgery, though hospitals and doctors conducting vasectomies, along with tubal ligations and abortions for women, must be approved by country-level health departments.

Although Yin-yang is used as a universal concept, it has some relations on love and sex. Yin in Chinese medicine refers to all those aspects of the body that are moistening and cooling. Yan describes the body's functions that are warming and activating.

Yin is what makes us want to receive sexual energy from another person and yang is what makes us want to initiate sex with our partner.

Love and sex become one. The yang partner offers yang energy in exchange for yin, and the yin partner receives yang and gives back yin energy.

But the masochistic view in Chinese culture is also evident. Yin-Yang theory teaches that everything is a product of two principles, Yin is considered weak, female and destructive, while yang is considered strong, male and creative.

In my next posts, I will be discussing the views of yogis and mystics on love and sex.

Yogis and Mystics on Love and Sex

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - March 1, 2022

 

Yogis believe that sexual energy can be transformed by not releasing it physically. Instead, one lets that sexual arousal build up some more and, through meditation, take that urge to a higher level and dimension by directing it to our eight energy chakras.

This is done by yogis to transform what is essentially a physical expression of energy into mental, psychological, emotional, social, and creative energy. They call this sexual transmutation.

Just as sex can physically bring about new life, yogis discover that transmuting our sexual energy can bring us "new life" in a spiritual and energetic sense. Holding off sex and chanelling that energy elsewhere is the idea of sexual transmutation.

This exercise maybe done alone or with a partner. Ultimately, sexual transmutation is about keeping the power of that energy that's building up inside and wants to release but without ejaculating or sexual penetration.

This is the art and science of love and sex, so-called because it has an underlying philosophy that requires skill and courage to pursue it. This then requires a lot of practice and patience because we are dealing with several dimensions--physical, mental, emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual.

Yogis also tell us that we need to be aware of the changes that's going on inside us at every level or dimension. Rituals may be done to maintain one's focus and alertness. There are many ways like burning candles and focusing on the light, incense for it's aroma, singing Bahjan songs, reciting mantras, or the process of exhaling and inhaling.

For Yogis and Mystics, sex is related to the energy Chakra. which is located at the sacrum - the pelvic area between pubis and navel. Its name means "abode of the vital force" or "dwelling place of the self". It is associated with the genitals, reproductive organs, and bladder.

Yogis teach that every person has seven chakras or energy centers, each one connected to each other by energy that runs through our entire body, also known as kundalini.

In brief, we can highlight the following summary:

(1) The sex chakra is the foundation of physical creation – the foundation of the physical world.

(2) Sex energy can be transmuted into love and spiritual oneness. Its transmutation is necessary for one's spiritual development. In turn, spirituality influences one’s sexual practices and behavior.

(3) Once transmuted, it provides energy to the upper chakras. Therefore, sex energy is like "food" for the upper chakras. It is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

(4) Part of the sex energy is transmuted by the body to a higher form of pranic energy that can be utilized for creative, intelligent and spiritual functions. The key is to “transmute sex energy,” not to suppress it.

(5) When sex energy moves from the lower chakras up to the heart, the throat and the crown chakras, sex energy is transmuted into love, kindness, intelligence, illumination and divine oneness.

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Personal Notes:

I find sexual transmutation highly commendable for it can lead us to a higher level of experience and spiritual transformation. Eventually, it can transport us into communion with the Ultimate Source of infinite bliss, love, ecstasy, and peace.

Judaism's View on Love and Sex

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - February 24, 2022

 

Judaism's View on Love and Sex is expressed in its three religious movements, namely, Reform, Conservative, and ultra-Conservative. While they agree on the general teachings and philosophy, they differ at times in the details of sexual practices, that debates continue to this day.

In general, Judaism regards sex as something positive. It's a gift and a holy obligation — both for the purposes of procreation and for pleasure and intimacy. The Talmud specifies not merely that a husband is required to be intimate with his wife, but sources also indicate that he is obliged to sexually satisfy her.

A 1979 Reform movement responsum declared “premarital and extramarital chastity to be our ideal.” Even in 2001, a committee of Reform rabbis continued to urge fidelity and exclusivity in sexual relations.

Nonetheless, Judaism doesn’t exactly take an "anything-goes" approach to sex. Instead, sexual activity is sought to use the human libido as a tool for increasing the population and strengthening marriage.

Traditional Jewish law not only prohibits many types of sexual relationships, but it also dictates specific parameters even for permitted ones.

For example, adultery — traditionally defined as sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man who is not her husband — is forbidden in the seventh of the Ten Commandments and is among the most serious infractions in Judaism.

But there is no universal prohibition on men having sexual relations out of wedlock. Indeed, there are several key figures in the Bible who were engaged in sexual relationships and fathered children with women who were not their wives, including the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob.

However, the practice of Jewish men having multiple sexual partners, whether multiple wives or concubines, has not been common for centuries now. But sex is considered very personal and is not talked about in public. Because of this, it is very difficult to verify whether this is indeed true or not.

What about premarital sex?

Traditionally, premarital sex has been discouraged if not taboo, and in the contemporary Orthodox world it is strictly forbidden. Many ultra-Orthodox communities are stringent about separating males and females in large part to reduce the likelihood of romantic encounters between the unmarried, though there is no such gender separation in more liberal Jewish communities.

But the Conservative movement has acknowledged that “a measure of morality” can be found in non-marital sexual relationships provided they conduct themselves in conformity with Jewish sexual values like mutual respect, honesty, health and monogamy.

Both the Reform and Conservative movements have affirmed that their attitude toward sexual ethics applies equally to heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

What is the Jewish view on masturbation?

Traditionally, masturbation is strictly prohibited for men. The source of this prohibition is sometimes attributed to the biblical figure Onan who, charged with propagating the family line by fathering children with his brother’s widow Tamar, instead withdrew from her and ejaculated on the ground — a crime for which God took his life.

Many commentators subsequently understood the prohibition on masturbation as a prohibition on the spilling (or wasting) of sperm. The Shulchan Aruch rules that it is forbidden to spill seed needlessly, calling it a sin more severe than any other in the Torah and tantamount to murder. The Talmud referred to male masturbation as adultery with one’s hand.

In some Orthodox communities, the prohibition on male masturbation is taken so seriously that various other acts are also barred for fear they might lead to arousal and thus to wasting seed — including touching one’s own penis during urination, another act the Talmud banned.

However, some rabbinic authorities consider Onan’s sin to have been disobedience, rather than wasted sperm, and disobedience has moral sanctions.

The liberal denominations have taken a somewhat more accepting approach. In a 1979 paper, Reform Rabbi Walter Jacob wrote that masturbation isn’t sinful or harmful, though it should still be discouraged.

But Elliot Dorff, a leading Conservative rabbi has suggested that, given the tendency among Jews in the West to delay marriage, it is unreasonable to expect complete abstention from all sexual pleasure until one’s wedding night. Given the choice between premarital sex and masturbation, he said that masturbation is morally preferable.

Yet, another approach has been advanced to avoid such choices. Some Orthodox communities strongly encourage young people to marry by their early 20s, if not earlier.

Female masturbation is less problematic in Jewish tradition, as it doesn’t raise concerns about spilled seed. The issue is not directly addressed in ancient sources. Indeed, some have suggested that the rabbis of the Talmud, all of them men, couldn’t even conceive of female masturbation as a form of sex.

While, some authorities have inferred a prohibition based on sources that are sometimes understood as barring lustful thoughts, contemporary rabbis see no problem with women masturbating.

But dissenting opinions also arise. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a leading 20th century Orthodox authority, dismissed multiple grounds for objection to female masturbation, including that sexual thoughts might lead to actual transgressions.

Is pornography acceptable?

In recent years, the easy availability of online pornography has prompted serious alarm, particularly in the Orthodox world. Orthodox rabbis have issued stringent edicts about internet use, and a number of organizations have sprung up to help those battling porn addiction.

But pronouncements of the various Jewish reform movements greatly differ, many times contradicting with each other.

Traditional Jewish law is firmly opposed to pornography. The Shulchan Aruch prohibited even looking at a woman’s finger or her clothes lest it lead to impure thoughts and actions.

Various biblical sources are also routinely invoked as a basis for banning porn. Among them, the verse (Numbers 15:39) that establishes tzitzit fringes (specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels) as a bulwark against following the lustful urges of the eyes.

Married couples are even discouraged to use pornography as foreplay or as a way to improve their sex lives, but allow fellatio and sex toys.

Others, however, do not share the same idea. It allows the use of pornography and even encourage fellatio and sex toys to be included in magazines and movies for the purpose of invigorating marital relations, to the extent that: “They may be making love while watching the film, but in spirit and in mind they might as well be with the people in the video,” Kosher Sex says of couples that watch pornography together.

Now, is Judaism permissive in it's beliefs and practice on love, sex, and marriage? I leave this for the readers to answer. I'm just reminded of the game tug-of-war we used to play before the advent of Covid-19.

Christianity on Love and Sex

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - March 1, 2022

 

I'm addressing my post on love and sex to my Christian friends in a predominantly Christian country in response to the question raised by my lady friend: "How does Applied Cosmic Anthropology view love and sex?"

 

The Christian Bible has a simpler and more straightforward definition of what love is. In his Sermon on the Mount, the Lord has this to say: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." ~ 1 Corinthians 13. 1.

 

All of us have been brought up, educated, and trained how to be a good Christian. I presume that you do not need me lecturing to you what it means to be Christians. For all I know you might have a deeper understanding on the philosophy and practice of love and sex.

It is in this respect that I do not wish to discuss Christianity’s view on love and sex here because the Universal Christian Churches has also so many traditions—Roman, Byzantine, Egyptian, Armenian, Coptic, Gnostic, New Age, etc.

Also, the Philippine soil has given so many Christian denominations that are continually gaining millions of membership across the globe. The major ones are led by Apollo Quiboloy, Felix Manalo, Eli Soriano, and Mike Velarde. They have their own unique and distinct teachings about the philosophy and practice of sex that are influencing the world’s population.

But we cannot also ignore the many cases of those families cited in the Christian scriptures. Take, for example, the case of Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham (Genesis 15:1-5; Genesis 16: 1-11, 13-16, Genesis 17: 1- 5, 15-16; Genesis 21: 1-3, 6, 8-19 - New Revised Standard Version).

Let me discuss on this subject in great detail for our non-Christian kindred. The narrative is quite interesting because it involves love and sex outside marriage that was in fact not only tolerated by the Lord but also protected, encouraged, and promoted it, promising abundance to their offspring who were born in and out of wedlock, but in the end, both loved by the father.

Sarah was childless until she was 90 years old. God promised Abraham that she would be “a mother of nations” and that she would conceive and bear a son. But Sarah did not believe.

She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, "You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.

Then Sarai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked down on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!" but Abram said to Sarai, "Your slave-girl is in your power; do with her as you please. Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she [Hagar] ran away from her [Sarai].

But this is where the twist and turn begin.

The angel sent by the Lord found her by a spring in the wilderness, on the way to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?"

She said, "I am running away from my mistress Sarai." The angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress and submit to her." The angel of the Lord also said to her, "I will greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude."

And the angel of the Lord said to her, Now you have conceived and shall bear a son; You shall call him Ishmael [God hears] for the Lord has given heed to your affliction.

Interesting, mind-blowing, and baffling for modern Christians. A case of permissiveness especially for today's millennials?

I will no longer discuss the case of Noah, or the Sons of gods marrying the daughters of Man, or even the case of Adam and Eve.

Sufism

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - March 2, 2022

 

I cannot end my scanning of the various beliefs on love and sex without dealing with Sufism, primarily because I am also personally associated with it.

Sufism is a branch of Islam whose religious practices are focused on spirituality, rituals, asceticism, mysticism, occultism, and esotericism. A Sufi is equivalent to a saint in the Christian tradition.

It is viewed as a complement to the traditional and conventional branch of Islam (the Sunni) to attain nearness to Allah by way of focusing more of one’s attention and time to the direct personal experience of God.

Sunni and Sufi both follow Islam and have the same beliefs but a Sunni is said to be more involved with worldly matters whereas a Sufi is more concerned with the world hereafter by emphasizing self-introspection, communion, and spiritual closeness with God.

While it is sometimes misunderstood as a sect or an occult, Sufism is actually a broader type of Islamic worship that transcends religious beliefs, by directing its disciples’ and followers' attention inward.

In many ways, it is holistic, universal, and cosmic in its perspective and approach to viewing reality, an orientation which is also found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and several indigenous beliefs across the globe.

Its main teachings are as follows:

* There is only one God.

* All people are the children of God.

* To love one's fellow men is to love God.

* Different religions are different ways to reach God.

* Devotional music is one way of coming nearer to God.

* Fasts and rituals are not essential to reach God.

I’ve been privileged to be associated with a Sufi for many years now. True to his vocation, he deeply immersed himself in spirituality and cosmic energy healing, which he coincidentally discovered as a result of his extended moments of introspection and meditation.

He based his political involvement on the principles of Sophism. I consider him one of my cosmic kindred here on Earth. Let me just introduce him to you by his initials W.A.

Islam on Love and Sex

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - February 26, 2022

 

Islam considers sexual partners as garments to each other for procreation. Such creative act has to be done in the spirit of love where each partner is out to satisfy the other.

This is because being united for a common purpose, they are "garments" to each other, meaning that they trust each other, protect each other and hide each other’s flaws. In concrete, it means committing and promising when it comes to chastity, self respect, and saving each other from outward harm.

Sexual relations are sanctioned by God and are viewed as part of the spiritual relationship that exists between a husband and wife. Such a relationship implies a sense of balance and mutual nurturance from one another.

The references to love, sex, and sexuality are found in the Qur'an and hadith. Hadith is a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad which, with accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna), constitute the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Qur'an.

Take, for example, the following verse in Qur'an (2:187):

"It is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the (day's) fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves to that which God has ordained for you. .

In verse 223 of the same Surah, the Qur'an says:

"Your wives are your tilth; go, then, unto your tilth as you may desire, but first provide something for your souls, and remain conscious of God, and know that you are destined to meet Him. And give glad tidings unto those who believe."

Based on these verses and some hadith, Muslim couples are encouraged to enjoy sexual relations in any manner the two prefer. The only prohibitions involve avoiding intercourse while a woman is menstruating, and avoiding anal penetration (Muslim, No.3365).

The specific details include the following:

(1) All sexual practices are permissible, besides the specifically prohibited or harmful ones. Allah Most High says, “Your spouses are your fields, so approach your fields whichever way you like.” [Quran, 2.223];

(2) The Islamic position on sexual behavior is explicit. Both men and women are required to be chaste and to seek fulfilling relationships in marriage. Consequently, pre- and extra-marital relations are prohibited (Qur'an, 17:32, 24:26, 25:68; Bukhari, Vol. 8, Nos. 798-802).

(3) The basis of all relations, including marriage, is mutual agreement, so any sexual activity needs to be consensual—and while both spouses are obligated to fulfill the reasonable sexual needs of their spouse, neither is expected to agree to any type of sexual activity that they aren’t comfortable with, especially when unusual;

(4) The Prophet Mohammad encouraged each spouse to strive to fulfill the sexual desires of the other. Given that many men would neglect satisfying the sexual needs of their wives, the Prophet discouraged intercourse without foreplay;

(5) The Prophet described permissible sexual intercourse as charity. One should have multiple intentions—which serve as means of expressing how one is striving to seek Allah–in one’s sexual relations.

(6) Several hadith exist regarding menstruation. The only Qur'anic reference is found in Surah 2, verse 222 where Muslims are told to avoid sexual intercourse during a woman's menstrual period:

"And they will ask thee about (woman's) monthly courses. Say, 'It is a vulnerable condition. Keep, therefore, aloof from women during their monthly courses, and do not draw near unto them until they are cleansed; and when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God has bidden you to do."

(7) Virginity and the hymen. In case of virginity, sexual penetration triggers bleeding. Such blood loss has been required in some cultures to prove that the woman is a virgin at marriage so a blood-stained cloth would be given to the groom's family on the wedding night to verify the bride's pure state.

If a woman did not bleed, the repercussions could be severe. So, it becomes vitally important that the hymen remain intact as a sign of virginity with the family's honor at stake. It should be noted also that the concern about the hymen is not limited only to Muslims.

While virginity of both men and women is emphasized in Islam, there is no text in the Qur'an or Hadith which specifically addresses the intactness of any part of a woman's anatomy as a marker for virginity.

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Personal Notes:

The Islamic worldview on love and sex is now influencing the lives of many people around the world. On the same level, we witness the same great influence by other religious beliefs like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Chinese, Yogis, Sages, and Mystics as well as Christianity.

Competing for love and compassion for the greater glory of the Lord God Almighty (AMDG) is, of course, admirable. Many, nevertheless, now know that the issue of love and sexuality today is not only moral and ethical. To some, it has become political, economic, business, social, ecological, and racial, as it is now happening in many parts of the world. But this is something that has to be addressed by the host countries and the international migrants coming from other countries.