Unusually for me, a brief tangential comment on a political action.
I just discovered that a friend of mine, of deep religious persuasion, is enthusiastically in support of California’s Proposition 8, a voter initiative to amend their state constitution essentially to abolish same-sex marriages.
Without attempting to dive into the complex fray of the conflict among religious, social, political, and sexual beliefs, I just wanted to quote two authors who represent my views on sexual orientation. In this correspondence with other practitioners, Hermetic practitioner Rawn Clark writes,
Is homosexuality an Elemental imbalance?
It is only we humans who divide sexuality into hetero-, homo- and bi-. This has nothing to do with sexuality itself since all species that express sexuality, naturally express all three of these human-defined types. Sexuality is sexuality, period, and its sub-type is not a matter of differing Elemental balances.
Sexuality is an aspect of the mental body. As the mental body incarnates, it seeks out a life circumstance that best expresses its nature and which will lead to the learning of the lessons needed during that incarnation. It is fundamental and not a matter of mundane choice that arises during the incarnation itself. With the human being, each type of sexuality brings a specific set of life lessons because we are social creatures who live within the context of specific culture. In human culture, a homosexual faces a very different experience than a heterosexual.
Sexual orientation is not an issue of Elemental balance. Where Elemental balance comes into play is in the individual’s response to, and enactment of, their sexuality, whether that be hetero-, homo- or bisexuality. This is the arena of concern so far as the impact of sexual orientation upon the Hermetic path.
A heterosexual person is no more or less suited to spirituality and Hermetics than a homosexual and vise versa.
Can a Homosexual person advance in the path to perfection or is that something they have to overcome?
Homosexuality, like hetero- and bisexuality, is not something to be overcome. The path of self-perfecting is built upon being your true self as completely and as clearly as possible. Since sexuality and sexual orientation are fundamental qualities that an individual possesses, striving for perfection would necessarily include manifesting one’s sexuality in a self-defined positive way. This is true regardless of one’s sexual orientation, and the specific type of sexual orientation makes this process no harder or easier than another. In other words, homosexuality itself presents no unique barriers to following a spiritual path. A bi- or homosexual individual faces the same basic issues of positivizing their sexual expression as does a heterosexual individual.
It’s only a recent judgement that homosexuality is something to be “overcome”… In many cultures (native American, Hindu) homosexuality was either accepted without comment or considered a spiritual asset. In particular, the berdache (cross-dressing homosexual) of the native Americans generally took the roll of diviner, healer, or shaman.
This is true of the majority of earth-based cultures. I know of one such culture on the African continent who consider homosexuals to be the spiritual “gatekeepers”. The impact that Gay people have had throughout the ages upon human culture is largely unrecognized by the heterosexual majority. Gay culture and Gay people are a powerful force in human mimetic evolution. ["Mimetic evolution" is a scientific term for the evolution of ideas and culture. For humans, this aspect of evolution plays an especially important role in the survival of our species and is, in many cases, now superceding our genetic evolution.]
So in my “opinion” I suggest not only is homosexuality not a sin to overcome, but perhaps even that many homosexual people are more spiritually centered and complete in their nature. Likewise the fear based fundamentalist show a real lack of spiritual maturity.
In my experience, one’s sexual orientation has little to do with their centeredness or their sense of completeness. One advantage that the Gay person does have however, is a direct experience of the ugly under-belly of society. The advantage here is that there’s perhaps less to un-learn! But the same can be said of anyone who lives with a barrage of constant prejudice and discrimination, such as women, the “over-weight”, the physically deformed, people of color, etc., etc. The ones at a true disadvantage in this regard, are white heterosexual men!
And from Seth’s book The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, by Jane Roberts:
The love and cooperation that forms the basis of all life … shows itself in many ways. Sexuality represents one aspect, and an important one. In larger terms, it is as natural for a man to love a man, and for a woman to love a woman, as it is to show love for the opposite sex. For that matter, it is more natural to be bisexual. Such is the “natural” nature of the species …
Heterosexual love is one important expression of bisexuality, and sexually represents the reproductive abilities. Heterosexuality, however, rests upon the bisexual basis, and without man’s bisexual nature, the larger frameworks of the family — the clan, tribe, government, civilization — would be impossible.
… Deeper bonds of biological and spiritual love lie at the basis of all personal and cultural relationships, a love that transcends your ideas of sexuality. Heterosexual love, as it is understood at least, gives you a family of parents and children — an important unit, about which other groups form. If only stereotyped ideas of female-male relationships operated, however, there would be no bond or stimulus great enough to forge one family to another. The antagonism between males would be too great. Competition between females would be too severe. Wars would wipe out struggling tribes before any traditions were formed.
In the social world as in the microscopic one,, cooperation again is paramount. Only a basic bisexuality could give the species the leeway necessary, and prevent stereotyped behavior of a kind that would hamper creativity and social commerce. That basic sexual nature allows you the fulfillment of individual abilities, so that the species does not fall into extinction. Man’s recognition of his bisexual nature is, therefore, a must in his future.
There are, again, obvious differences between the sexes. They are insignificant, and appear large only because you concentrate so upon them. The great human qualities of love, strength, compassion, intellect and imagination do not belong to one sex or the other.
Only an understanding of this inherent bisexual nature will release those qualities in each individual, regardless of sex …
Any deep exploration of the self will lead you into areas that will confound conventional beliefs about sexuality. You will discover an identity, a psychological and psychic identity, that is in your terms male and female, one in which those abilities of each sex are magnified, released, and expressed. They may not be so released in normal life, but you will meet the greater dimensions of your own reality, and at least in the dream state catch a glimpse of the self that transcends a one-sex orientation.