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The Intimate Connection: Male Sexuality, Masculine Spirituality – James Nelson

August 18, 2015

TICLove is the unfinished business of the sexual revolution.

It all depends on your theology. If your god is the super zapper, doctrinally incarnation the sees God above skies , who comes down into our mess and sorts it out like superman then retreats back above heavens. The image of Jesus is God zapping our world from outside – God’s penis sows the seed in Mary, and now in sacraments from male priests. Prayer is asking for a zap – not thy will be done.

But prayer is not asking for something and getting it. It is passivity, tuning into God’s will – contemplation not intercession.

God in flesh is, rather, a statement that God is in flesh – the ascension means that enfleshment is permanent.

Flesh/spirit dualism ia not from Paul – for him, sarx was people without the spirit

We need, rather, to see God within all already – Jesus as uniquely vulnerable and alive to the God inside him.

Belief in resurrection of the body means belief in need for males to allow God to love in and through them.

Yet men are out of touch with their bodies – something we have rather than are

Divine eros is the fundamental energy of universe. God is in the depths – flow of desire. God is centre of all desires – he yearns, savours, plays, needs, pleasures, confirms, confronts, celebrates. Males need the same instead of competing and hiding their true selves.

Fear of emotions mean men that never bare their depths to one another.

To experience sexual pleasure, they need to let go of control.

Cut off from the full repertoire of human beings, men are defined as only one thing and projecting on to others everything else, e.g. communists, gays, females. Yet Kinsey suggested nobody entirely hetero or homo.

Men adore straight lines – progress rather than cycles of women’s periods. Straight line = erection.

Inner deadness leads to kicks – brutalizing women in war, Vietnamese ‘gooks’ with testicles stuffed in dead mouths

There are awakening myths – the male myth of Sleeping Beauty who needs a kiss from a male hero to bring her to life. She is passive, dependent on male for life.

Alternative is Pinnochio – he is wooden until fairy godmother’s touch brings him to life. But most of his body is still not alive – his nose grows when lies – symbolic of erection. He needs whole life, not penis-centred only. New life somes through submission – going with flow.

As the male sees erection – bigger is better, progress, competition, the arms race.

He needs surrender, softness, vulnerability as symbolised by a soft penis – being is enough, trusting God. Without retreat into desert, there is no way forward; without the flaccid state, sexual energy is dead. So men need both/and.

Nelson uses the Jacob saga as an example: He works for Laban so he can marry Rachel – the early adult male works for his heart’s desire only to discover he has been tricked – he gets Leah. His work was satisfying and served others but not motivated from deep inside but from older generation’s manipulation. So he works another 7 years and gets Rachel – starting a new quest through spiritual direction or, psychotherapy and so finds feminine. In his last 7 years Jacob works to build up wealth – old age in which we accumulate personal growth as preparation for heaven.

In the Greece of 2500 years ago – no one came of age until age 42.


“According to an incarnationalist faith, God is the spiritual presence who becomes incarnate in and through creaturely flesh. We are simply longing for more life-giving connectedness between our sexuality and our spirituality, with sexuality giving us the desire for intimacy and communion.”

“Treating dominant males as generically and normatively ‘human’ has made men

largely invisible to themselves. It has prevented men from exploring self-consciously and self-critically their own distinctively masculine experience. Now, for a variety of reasons, we are motivated as never before to inquire what our masculinity really means, what it means to have a male body, and what the particular hungers, joys, pains, and satisfactions of a mans life are.”

But when we banish the erotic from so much of our lives, we also seriously limit our capacities for friendship.”

“Eros is longing. At its deepest it is the urgent longing of our whole being for communion and connectedness.”

“Our friendships, when they are deep and sustained, personal and significant, have a great deal of eroticism to them.”

“sexual praying enlarges both our experience of God and of ourselves. We find new gratitude for the erotic desires we have felt and for their divine Source. We find relief in facing honestly our sexual anxieties and compulsions and find gratitude for a sexuality that is more wonderful and less fearful than we had sometimes experienced.”

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