Alone or with a partner – which is better?

alone

According to the United States Bureau of the Census, the fastest-growing household type since the 1980s has been the single person. The same is true in some other countries like the UK and Japan. A report says that sixty percent of people living in Stockholm live alone. It raises the question of whether it is … Continue reading Alone or with a partner – which is better?

Happy marriage — How can this happen?

happy marriage

A Jane Austin novel seems to end at the altar as if the wedding were all that is necessary for a happy marriage for all time. Yet these days a lot of marriages seem to finish up on the scrap heap and you might have a sneaky feeling that perhaps a well-known film star was … Continue reading Happy marriage — How can this happen?

Confidence – How to find it?

confidence

Do you lack confidence when it comes to certain situations? It could be anything: dancing, playing sport, chatting with strangers, doing your job, making love. Yet, even confident people can get unstuck somewhere along the line. Calamities oblige us to reconsider the bigger picture. So when it comes down to it, in what can we place our confidence? In our own abilities? In the ideas of others? Or in something beyond all of us? One example of the last of these three possibilities is to do with what the psychologist Abraham Maslow called `the whole of Being’.

Gay Pride and Straight Talk.

gay

Whether to allow gay bishops is currently a hot issue in the Church of England. Many people feel puzzled by this reluctance to embrace homosexuality by strands of organised religion. And some feel angry and want to promote the idea that gay people should be proud of their sexual orientation feeling this is their natural inclination. From a spiritual perspective, we might ask whether a gay partnership has the same potential for human happiness as that of a heterosexual one. So what does Swedenborg have to say about it?

Sexual imagery – Too explicit these days?

sexual imagery

Society as a whole tends to take polarised views of sexual permissiveness. Emotive language is used by those on both sides of the debate – one side being labelled as narrow-minded, prudish and moralistic and the other as being decadent, indecent, and exhibitionist.

Those with a more balanced perspective use more moderate language. They ask …

Sex – Is it a spiritual matter?

sex

Many of us are inclined to rebel when someone tells us what to do. We do not always take kindly to being told what is right and wrong sex behaviour. However, ethical living is part of spiritual healing according to the world’s spiritual traditions. Following a set of rules of conduct such as monogamy is … Continue reading Sex – Is it a spiritual matter?

Erotic might mean erratic

Is marriage an impossible dream? Is it unrealistic to expect two people to live together happily for the rest of their life and find spiritual healing together?

These days in England for example, couples, more often than not, live together for some time before even considering the possibility of marriage; a very different way of looking at things from say the middle of the twentieth century.

What lies behind this change? Some would point to the availability of contraceptives that allow us to have a full sexual relationship for the time being without the long-term commitment of parenthood. Others would point to a less hypocritical society. We all know that nearly half of marriages these days end in divorce. It is asked, “Why pretend everything is perfect by getting married when it clearly isn’t likely to stay that way in many cases?”

Another suggested reason for living together without getting married is to do with a fear of failure of the relationship in the full glare of public knowledge. At least in Britain this pessimism is perhaps not surprising given the high rate of marriage failure. People see cohabiting as having the advantage of being a private arrangement between two people not involving any socially recognised level of commitment and which can be finished as well as started relatively quietly.

Is sex a spiritual thing?

Many of us are inclined to rebel when someone tells us what to do. We do not always take kindly to being told what is right and wrong behaviour. However, ethical living is part of spiritual healing according to the world’s spiritual traditions. That following a set of rules of conduct is conducive to spiritual growth. How does this apply to sexual relationships?

People may not be concerned about the rights and wrongs of sexual behaviour. They ask:

“Isn’t sex a basic drive that needs to be satisfied, just like hunger and thirst?”
“Isn’t sexual expression one of our inherent freedoms?”
“Isn’t sexuality a way of expressing our unique individuality?”

To answer “yes” to these questions may be correct for some but it is to miss a spiritual principle, for it ignores the idea of a growing union of mature love between two people. There are many reasons for coldness developing between a couple but one of the most damaging tends to be the sense of hurt and distrust in one partner caused by the other becoming sexually drawn to another person.