Sexuality: A Privileged Place to Understand God
Firstly: Brace yourself for some pretty heavy theology.
Now that you're thoroughly braced.
One of the most profound things I've heard on the topic of sexual theology is from Marc Gafni. He states in various books and lectures that "the sexual models the erotic but does not exhaust it." I would love to be able to translate this idea into Christian theology and I think I found a way to do it.
Last week my spiritual director gave me the book Jesus and the Cosmos by Denis Edwards to read and reflect on.
On page 20 Mr. Edwards writes,
"Matter comes from spirit and is oriented toward spirit. [Karl] Rahner argues that it is intrinsic to matter that it develops toward Spirit. According to him matter develops out of its own inner being in the direction of spirit. He maintains that the development of biologically organized materiality is oriented in terms of an ever-increasing complexity and interiority towards spirit until finally under the dynamic impulse of God's creative power through a process of self-transcendence of this kind it becomes spirit."
Let's break this down.
Part of what Rahner claims is that God is Being. The concept of existence, Being. Since you and I and everything around us (complex organisms and atoms alike) exist, we participate in the Being of God.
As we are matter/material beings and we come out of God's spiritual Being, we are spirit made matter. We participate in a very real way in God's Incarnation. However, as Matter comes from Spirit, it desires to go back to Spirit, and does so through evolving over the history of the Cosmos into more and more complex beings. One of the unique ways that humans have become complex, is that we have self awareness. We are aware of this evolutionary process, not only biologically and atomically, but we are aware of the evolution of consciousness.
Edwards describes this process as "oriented in terms of ever increasing complexity" and speaks of "God's creative power." Upon reading this I immediately went to my definition of Eros: the life force energy that courses through the universe encouraging growth and interconnectivity." Growth and interconnectivity boils down to complexity.
So my question would be: Can we call the force in Rahner's theology (that evolves the cosmos and leads to spirit becoming matter becoming spirit again) Eros? Is the desire within Spirit/Being for greater complexity and the inherent connectivity that exists between the spirit coming into matter and developing further and further and further, Eros?
If we connect that impulse to Eros we start to create an undergirding of pretty solid theology to say that sexuality models the erotic impulse of existence/Being. Sexuality models Being's tendency toward unification, growth/complexity, and creativity. Because Sexuality models Being's Erotic tendencies in such a profound way it becomes a privileged place for people feel and understand the unified differentiation that is the nature of the Cosmos/Being.