There is NO OTHER TOPIC to discuss, really.. except it's absence, and that too is STILL discussing Pleasure. Buddha said that life is made up of only "Suffering and the cessation of Suffering;" but he might as well have said that there is only Pleasure and it's restoration. The end result is still the same; Suffering's opposite 'feels good.' Predictably, the religion founded upon Buddha's negative view of life immediately began encouraging people to turn away from Pleasure!.. thus generating MORE of the suffering they set-out to end.
That is simply the way it IS with religion. Meaning (in the original Latin 'religare') "to bind, tie or restrain," the word Religion wherever we find it on earth implies some form of ENFORCED RESTRAINT on human nature.. a restraint enforced, incidentally, by "doctrines" or 'Absolute Answers' to the great questions of life.. answers that leave no room for the individual to ask their OWN questions. NATURALLY this causes people to suffer.. for the need to question, explore and prove all things for themselves is a basic human trait.
The exploration of Reality for oneself through personal experience is called 'MYSTICISM.' All ancient societies were Mystically-oriented. Legends, Lore about the 'gods' and Teachings about techniques for stimulating Mystic States is all you will find in the pre-doctrinal or pre-religious world. As we will detail in a moment, such Mystical Traditions were ALL based upon the primal directive of Life; ENJOY YOURSELF, FOR LIFE IS DIVINE. Then how did we LOSE all of that? The answer is sadly simple; we allowed certain Life-FEARING or "paranoid" personalities to get-away with the horrid claim that Life is 'sick' and the only 'cure' for it is self-denial and condemnation of Pleasure. If you do not yet know that sad tale, click on the word ZOROASTER at the end of this article, and read that history, which explains the rise of doctrinal asceticism.
That all of that repressive or 'ascetic' phase of our history was in fact COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE and lead to nothing but a slightly more secretive practice of Pleasure is also an undeniable fact. Many Priests and Nuns of every religious persuasion the world over secretly went right on finding and sharing Pleasure wherever they could.. as countless altar-boys, choir-members and after-hours 'scripture-study classes' have attested.. and those that did NOT often died miserable and filled with bitterness toward life. All that was accomplished by all of that condemnation of our NATURE was a less natural and less honest society. In the long run, history has judged the religious phase of human society to have been worse than a waste of time; it was outright HARMFUL to individuals and societies alike.
As we today try to pick-up the pieces of a once-shattered human NATURE, some have naturally rejected the entire subject of 'spirituality' because it seems 'related' to religion, and therefore tainted by stupidity and failure. Others, remembering that there WAS once a non-religious but MYSTICAL way of life in which 'spirit' and 'the meaning of life' were NATURAL parts of human society, have returned to Pan, Eros, Aphrodite and all the rest of the Pleasing Gods; recreating in a few short generations a Renaissance of pre-religious Natural Spirituality. Yet even these 'New Age Mystics' are often still troubled by feelings of unearned guilt and dread left over from the Dark Ages when mankind was ruled by those who despised themselves (and everyone else!,) for being too REAL to fit into the Great Illusion ("Maha Maya" in Hindi) that was "religion."
How to heal all of the scars we have taken from those Judges and Inquisitioners, and find Pleasure again as a species is perhaps the most important issue of the next thousand years. But for you and I there MUST be some sort of healing, here and now.. or we must face the rest of our lives as 'Walking Wounded;' people injured by the horrors of repressive Doctrinalisms that nobody still 'believes in' but which still cling to the very soul of mankind. Let us see if we cannot WASH OUR WORLD CLEAN of that filth.. and restore not only human nature but it's primal directive, Pleasure, to a place of HONOR in our world.
Like ALL of the other 'Mystery Schools' or MYSTICAL SPIRITUALITIES of antiquity, the Egyptian Temples were not places of 'doctrinal teachings' but of PRACTICES which were intended to stimulate personal experiences of one's place in Reality and one's relationship with the Spirit Of Life.. called 'Neter' or NATURE in the Egyptian language. There were considered to be almost COUNTLESS 'Natures' (or 'Neteru' the plural of Neter;) each of which imparted it's essence to both the "outer world" and the subjective or Inner World of the Self. Chief among all those 'dieties' or Divine Natures was 'Amen' or 'Amon' or 'Amun;' the most powerful 'god' in Egyptian history. Amen (which means 'Hidden Within' or THE INNER SELF) was considered the Creator of the universe.. which he accomplished in a decidedly 'human' and no-doubt pleasurable way.
Amen was the First Being, and his First Act was TO MASTURBATE. He ejaculated in his own hand, and then drank his semen. Having thus experienced the first Pleasure in the universe, Amen 'concieved' of the idea or Plan to bring-about others with whom he could have similar Pleasures. This 'magical act' of self-impregnation gave Amen the power to 'enter into' multiple, seperate forms of himself.. and the first thing he did with that power was to become TWO new Beings called 'Nut' (or 'Lady Night') and 'Geb' (or 'Lord Earth;') who became the Great Mother and Great Father who had the first copulatory sexual pleasure, and then began giving birth to the many other Neteru or 'gods' which we know as Nature.
The Temples of Amen or Amun.. such as the Great Temple of Karnak, and others in every town throughout Egypt.. celebrated and preserved the 'lore' of this Divine Sexuality. Outside the Temple doors were statues of the Neter-form (or Totemic Symbol) of Amen, which was a Male GOAT (symbolic to all peoples on earth of sexual prowess and Pleasure.) Inside the Temple, Amen was depicted as a large stature of a naked MAN crowned with the symbols of Amen, holding his erect penis in one hand in the original act of Masturbation which began the Universe.
Behind the great statue a doorway lead into a secret chamber reserved for the Pharaoh and his Queen (symbols to all Egyptians of the Great Father and Great Mother, Geb and Nut;) and there they copulated together at special times, to replay the Second Act of Amen's creation.
Thus the most important Mystery School of ancient Egypt preserved the 'teaching' that: 1) MASTURBATION is the beginning of personal self-creation, and 2) COPULATION between male and female leads to the founding of a 'dynasty' or 'family life.' We today THINK that we take these things for granted.. yet, how many of us grew-up unashamed of Masturbating?.. and how many of us really view male/female Copulation as essentially "family-building?" THOSE ARE THE FACTS of course, but we have not been raised to ACCEPT those facts at face value. Our 'doctrinal' society has indoctrinated us into viewing male/female Copulation as "Pleasure" while Masturbation is viewed as both 'wrong' and somehow 'beneath one's dignity'.. though it was not beneath the dignity of Amen the Creator.
As for the Temples of Amen, there can be no doubt that the beings we nowadays call 'priests and priestesses of Amen' were in fact "SEXUALITY COUNSELORS" for their entire nation. 'Temple Prostitution' (or, more accurately "Sexual Surrogate Services") was a primary function of the Temples; male and female Temple-workers were there to help any who came to them in need of sexual Pleasure or 'teachings' on the meaning AND techniques of "The Sacred Mysteries" of SEX in any of it's forms. There is no reason to doubt that same-gender sex was also celebrated at these earliest-known Temples Of PLEASURE.
If Egypt had it's share of Pleasure-Temples, Greece had enough for the rest of the world combined. The First Creator was unknown (or forgotten) to Greece; their version of Genesis began with the Great Father and Great Mother.. called Uranus and Gaia (interestingly, switching the genders of their original Copulators from the Egyptian version, into the 'Father Sky' and 'Mother Earth' that has stuck with us to this day.) Gaia was the Earth-Mother whose spouse, Uranus, descended upon her disguised as a thick FOG. Hidden in the fog, Uranus would impregnate his wife and then depart back to the sky. After begetting each of the Dimensions and parts of the Universe (including 'the Titans' or Forces of Nature) this pair were supplanted by several other Pairs, leading up to the famous Olympians who form the basic Mythological 'gods' of pre-doctrinal or classical Greece. By the Golden Age (around 500 BCE) the Greek peoples had a Mystery School dedicated to each of The Pleasing Gods representing every form and phase of human sexuality and Pleasure. There were Temples to Pan (the Goat-god who is probably a dim memory of ancient Amen,) to Aphrodite the Goddess of heterosexual Pleasure, Orpheus the homosexual ditto, Eros the god of sexual arousal (a sort of living aphrodisiac,) and too many more to list here. The society produced by this plethora of Pleasing Gods was structured around the dual Mysteries of Homosexual FRIENDSHIP as the basis of personal Pleasure-seeking, and Heterosexual FAMILY-DEVOTION as the basis for social Order. While there certainly WERE many classical Greeks who abstained from one or other of the Two Sexualities, that was not the rule. Ordinary Greeks viewed homosexual lovers as an essential ingredient in social stability.. for they provided the 'routine outlet' for what we today call 'lust' (and the Greeks themselves called Eros;) allowing the marriage to be preserved as a non-"needy" and therefore more 'honorable' relation between partners who viewed sexual Pleasure as only slightly related to family-life at all.
This extremely natural and un indoctrinated society lasted in it's original form only until the Rise of the Roman Empire. Having learned by observation that the larger one's population, the larger one's potential army (and therefore, the greater one's ability to conquer other nations;) the Roman Empire-planners set out fairly early-on to erase the existing homosexual Pleasure-traditions within their society.. while elevating heterosexual culture-myths to the level of 'state cults.' Thus 'the rape of the Sabine women' replaced older tales of Pleasure shared between brothers (Romulus and Remus included,) and by the time Judeo-Christian doctrinalism arrived in their land, the Romans were already perfectly prepared to condemn as 'unholy' any form of Pleasure which did NOT produce a large family of soldiers for their Empire. Christianity, of course, forbade the multiple wives and concubines of Rome's Glory Days; later Romans had to learn to find Pleasure enough for a lifetime, with one woman only.. though they were accustomed to viewing ALL women as their 'right' to plunder and rape. Virtually all of the modern sexual-Pleasure-related repressions and their consequences in modern times stem from this horrid admixture of forced Breeding-techniques and religious propaganda. It is little wonder that all post-Roman western societies have been driven to near-madness by the torment of NATURE-DENIED.
Yet Greece did not die easily!.. even under the 'Pax Romana.' The allure of Pan, Eros, Aphrodite and all the rest of The Pleasing Gods of a more natural and less repressive time, survived as secret Mysticisms and hidden Temples.. often preserved within the Mithraic Mysteries sacred to the Roman soldiers themselves. In the Gay Baths and 'members-only' Clubs of following centuries, we see an echo of the Baths and Secret Grottos of the military cult of Rome, driven deeper into hiding by the new Masters of the Empire, the Popes.
If we know a great deal about the early Greeks who preceded Rome, we know pitifully little about Pleasure among any of the people conquered by the Roman Empire. Julius Cesear recorded the term 'Druids' for the governing Mystical Order of the Celts who occupied most of western Europe.. but little else was mentioned. That the Celtic pantheon was lead by Mother Goddesses and horned Earth Gods is clear enough to see; but it takes a deep probing of the surviving legends of the Welsh, Irish and other Celtic peoples to learn the details of their sexual practices. Communal 'orgies' at the great Feast Days of Equinoxes, Solstices and mid-points of the seasons were typical.. and there seems little doubt that homosexual Orders of soldier-magicians dwelling in secret forest strongholds throughout Europe, were all part of the Pleasure-principle of pre-Roman Europe.
The Germanic and Norse societies can perhaps best be summed-up in the symbols they left behind; huge drawings on coastal cliffs depict warrior-figures with erect penises, brandishing the symbols of Magical Power. That Pleasure of any sort was 'right' to these ancients is obvious.. as is the fact that Pleasure was considered akin to spiritual power itself. From the huge erection of Frey, the Germanic god of fertility, to the countless big-bosomed Goddess-figures found throughout Slavic Eurasia, it is clear that sexual Pleasure held the highest place of honor in the pre-doctrinal history of our world.
In India one can find entire Temples decorated with figures of copulating 'dieties' representing not only human sexual Pleasure but 'divine principles' of spiritual power. That these primal Temples to Life were themselves conquered and later condemned by an Asian version of Doctrinalism (the Brahminical and later Buddhist religions, both of which abhor Pleasure as a principle of life) is the simple fact of history. Seemingly worldwide, our species has lost it's entire legacy of Pleasure.. driven 'underground' by domination-based judgemental propaganda-priests in search of CONTROL OVER PEOPLE'S LIVES.
If there is one great Truth for us all to carry away from this overview of the past two or three thousand years, it is that PLEASURE IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT AS WELL AS A "SACRED RITE."
We will never rediscover our natural Pleasure in life without ALSO rediscovering our pre-doctrinal Spirituality as a species. Since the worldwide 'plague' of religion wiped-out our original Spiritualities "in the name of God," we will need to rediscover NATURE as 'divine' in order to combat the 'holy condemnation' religion has leveled against the joy of being alive. Whether it is within the Celtic revival (often called 'neo-paganism',) Native American traditions of psycho-sexual freedom, the ancient Mystery Schools of Egypt, Greece, India or ONE'S OWN VERY PERSONAL RECREATION OF 'DIVINE NATURE,' we must each find workable ROOTS for our lives to grow upon, now that we are free to enjoy our lives again.
1) DEFINE YOUR OWN IDEA OF PLEASURE, BASED ON ACTUAL "NEEDS." Do not try to force yourself into any 'mold;' rather, force the mold to fit YOU! Define your Pleasure-needs as a 'Lifestyle' that you can be PERPETUALLY excited about. Naturally, this will HAVE TO be non-judgemental toward those not drawn to it.. or you will be just one more 'religious devotee' trying to force their own preferences onto others. Leave plenty of room for others to DIFFER; but leave PLENTY of room for the like-minded to enjoy WITH YOU.
2) TRY TO FIND SPIRITUAL "ROOTS" THAT ARE IDENTICAL TO YOUR CHOSEN LIFESTYLE. If you can quote ANY of The Pleasing Gods as part of your self-definition, that will give you a definite advantage.. for you will then be able to say that your choice is DIVINE as well as personal. Study the "model" you have found for your life, and learn to speak fluently on the subject.. for you will probably find others who are like you, and whom you can help by your words of similarity.
3) REMEMBER THAT WE ARE EVOLVING REALITIES! If your Pleasure-Lifestyle definition ever starts to feel 'confining,' either abandon it for a more REAL definition, or add another 'chapter' to it. Do not turn your OWN words into a new form of repression!
4) And, finally; SPEAK UP whenever you hear another human being either promoting condemnation of others preferences, or wondering what to do with their empty, Pleasure-deprived lives. We are here to BE HAPPY OURSELVES, as well as SHARE HAPPINESS with everyone else around us. As 'no man is an island unto himself,' so too, no Pleasure is sufficient to itself in a world suffering from Nature denied or Joy INJURED.
I thank you for the opportunity to share my own experiences and feelings with you.. and I hope they have been of use. Now that I have done what I could for you, I must get back to my OWN Pleasures until there is more to share between us. I salute you in the name of he who helped set ME free.. Amen.