Goddess and Playing with Eros

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Dr Joanna Kujawa, Spiritual Detective :).

Goddess and Playing with Eros

When I was in my late teens and living in a communist Poland, I would observe my girlfriends offering their virginity to their boyfriends on their 18th birthdays then marching to the alter about three months later because, of course, they had got pregnant. Although in those days nearly everyone considered this a normal course of events, for me it was the definition of a nightmare. The idea of being stuck early in life in marriage and motherhood and, even, worse, stuck behind the iron curtain, was, in my mind, worse than death itself. I promised myself I would not touch a man until I was out of Poland. You see, I was dreaming of exotic adventures. I was dreaming of being a traveller, I was dreaming of getting degrees from foreign universities and, most of all, I was dreaming about being a writer. In those days, I imagine myself as more a female version of Hemingway or Garcia Marquez. Or eventually some kind of combination of Colette, Marguerite Duras and Simone de Beauvoir. It was a bit vague for me. But what was definitely clear was that I needed to get out. So, as I was watching my girlfriends losing their virginity and marrying their first boyfriends, I was dreaming about going to Paris and from there to some exotic lands. I dreamed about being a writer far, far way from where I was born.  

That does not mean that I was not interested in men or matters of Eros but, rather, that I played with Eros in my imagination. For example, I wondered at some stage how it would be to be with a tall, handsome Viking. Eros, being a playful being, likes being played with, even if only (or perhaps especially, as I soon learned) in the imagination. So, since I was imagining this, I managed to scare off any potential local boyfriends with my faux intellectual superiority, which intimidated them.  Indeed, I did meet a Swedish businessman who, out of blue, showed up in my hometown and I, knowing nothing about sensual seduction, played with his imagination instead. It was the time of Elton John’s Nikita – and I was not that different from her: a blonde dreamy girl walking among the Eastern European tanks during times of martial law. This seduction of this foreign ‘imaginale’ worked well enough for him to jump through the loops of the communist bureaucratic nightmare to invite me to Sweden, based on nothing more than a short platonic encounter in my hometown. The affair did not last, as the reality of living in a Swedish suburb did not, of course, match the encounter with the Viking of my erotic imaginings.

This would have been a sad end to my dream if I not for the good luck that allowed me to escape the communist greyness again, this time to Paris, at a girlfriend’s invitation. I left Poland with nothing but a borrowed suitcase and $10 American dollars. Once in Paris, I recovered from the ill-fated Swedish affair quickly. I remember my first invitation to a Parisian party. I was shy with my high-school French and being pretty much the only non-model girl there, as the rest of the girls were all attending some modelling schools of one description or another. After one hour or two at the party I quietly asked in French what the time was. And to my surprise, half of the men in the room turned towards me and said in their Parisian accents, ‘It is nine o’clock. Too early to leave’. They then very patiently continued, speaking very slowly so I could understand, entertaining me with their charm and conversation. This was the first time in my life that I had been given such attention, and I began to suspect that I might be attractive after all.

And this brings me to the very potent and delicate topic of Eros. Eros is as different from sexuality as eroticism is from sex, as Eva Pierrakos tells us in her book, The Pathwork of Self-Transformation.

After that evening, my erotic imagination quickly moved from the Viking archetype to a French libertine archetype, as I started to date Frenchmen. And as I started to date them, I noticed that I was equally attracted to them and could not decide with whom I was in love.  But this is perfectly natural when you are 21 and in Paris.

The French know this well and for that reason they prefer to refer to the beautiful attraction that it is the play of Eros as ‘erotique’, rather than sexual. Sexual force without the erotic element, Pierrakos says, is very ‘animalistic’, enjoyable only for a period of time and ultimately ‘utterly selfish’ and meaningless spiritually. Eros, on the other hand, which lives mostly in our imaginations, manifests as a desire to know and experience the other. It can manifest as a strong attraction but it is a different level of attraction. While sexual attraction can create an intense yet temporary ‘chemistry’ between two people, erotic attraction is more focused on a powerful desire to connect with the other. To truly and completely know them – and this knowing includes sexual union but goes beyond it. Eros, or erotic connection (rather than chemistry), wants to create a bridge between our being and the being of another on whom our erotic desire is fixed. 

Let me give you an example. In the instance of a pure sexual attraction, you may experience great sexual pleasure but have no desire to truly know a person. Often, you may experience the strange feeling that despite the great sex you have very little to say to each other. In this respect, even great sex without a deeper connection is largely meaningless and leaves us empty, if physically satisfied. 

Erotic desire is more fulfilling because of that presence of a deeper connection. For the same reason, our sexual experiences when Eros is present are also much deeper and satisfying. They touch our soul like a breeze caressing an ocean wave. We feel that not only do we know the other better but that we have somehow got to know ourselves better in the process. This leaves us mysteriously connected and bedazzled by the experience because it allows us to touch our soul and feel a deep, if fleeting, connection with another person. This is a gift that should not be rejected. Pierrakos calls this ‘the quest for the other soul’ as the sexual encounter in this case is only a conduit to the experience of a profound connection and knowing of the soul of another. You may not know anything about the mundane aspects of this other person’s life but you get to know them at a much deeper level, at a level people who have lived with this person for years may never know. This is the power of Eros.

Yet, even Eros, as we well know, wears itself out. Eros loves to be playful. Eros loves to be beautiful at all times. Eros loves the new. Eros gets bored if it is not constantly curious about the other. Eros moves on. 

All the greatest romances of this world are based on Eros and die because of Eros. This is why, Pierrakos says, romantic love is only the final point for those who refuse to evolve spiritually and move beyond it. It is true, I must admit, that without knowing the possibility of something higher, romantic love seems like the best of all possible deals, because what usually comes after that is marriage and few of us know how to sustain Eros in marriage. Alternatively, like all great romances, romantic love comes to an abrupt end.

But, fortunately, this is not all we have. Apart from sexual attraction or the adventurousness of Eros, we also have Love. Love, Pierrakos tells us, is a ‘permanent state of the soul’. Now, what is it this permanent state of the soul and how we can achieve it? And this is the difficult part. We need to be willing to do two things: to grow spiritually (constantly work on ourselves) and, at the same time, stay open to Eros. This also means not being afraid to completely expose yourself, including your soul, including your darkness, including your ugly parts – to another.

Do you have the desire, the stamina and the courage to do this? 

Trust me, it is worth it.

Let me refer you to Pierrakos, again: ‘When you find the other soul and meet it, you fulfil your destiny.’ 

Do you dare? Are you prepared to risk all for this ‘complete mutual revelation of one soul to another?’ Because this is what it takes.  

For this revelation to be possible you need to constantly grow and constantly move to a higher possibility with yourself and with your partner. This, in turn, requires facing the shadowy parts of yourself and healing them. Pierrakos teaches us that true, soulful love is not possible without this.  You need to grow. You need to attain your highest possibility for both of you, and then you, as a great Tantric philosopher, Abhianavagupta, said in the 10th century, ‘You will walk upon this earth as gods.’

So back to my play with Eros in Paris. I learned beautiful lessons in Paris and I have learned that not even Eros, without the desire for spiritual growth, can hold a relationship or long. Eros needs to be lived. Without this life is only a set of mundane responsibilities. But Eros also needs to be entertained at the highest possible level and used to open the highest field of divine play: Your own highest possibility.

Dr Joanna Kujawa

Spiritual Detective

Goddess News,

Divine Feminine


©Joanna Kujawa
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14 Responses to Goddess and Playing with Eros

  1. Rosemary Harper says:

    Wonderful insights, thank you. I have been working on this and wondering for a very long time now, reading, thinking, and searching.

    • sundari says:

      Thank you, Rosemary, for your encouraging comment. I am so glad that you have enjoyed the blog and find it helpful as these are often very subtle and misunderstood topics.
      Much love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

  2. Tod Jones says:

    Beautiful!!!! Do you know, Joanna, I believe there are very, very few men or women who are not terrified of Love; terrified of what it offers, and terrified of what it demands. One of the principal differences between sexuality and eros, as I see it, is the recognition that eros is a force that connects us to the dimension of the gods, which is a dimension of glorious terror for the ego, whereas sexuality is something we share with any and all our fleshly companions in the realm of material manifestation.

    I love your question, “Do you dare?”. I have dared, and it continues to be the most harrowing and rewarding adventure of my life.

    Thanks, as always, for your lively and enlivening wisdom, Doctor J!

    • sundari says:

      Ah, Tod, thank you for this magnificent comment and insight. I agree and so does Eva Pierrakos in her book, that only very few of us dare to venture on that path. And, you are right, Eros is the great connector of the souls and properly used the Connector to the larger Cosmos which is, by definition, spiritual and evolutionary. The purely physical sexuality, on the other hand, is an easy play for the ego’s dramas and, in my opinion, more entrapment in the wheel of samsara. Wishing you all the best in your daring path.
      Much love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

  3. Hi Joanna
    Your words are resonating so strongly with me I just have to respond here. I believe there is a little noticed kind of love that encompasses both the sexuality of the physical and the subtle energies of the numinous that triggers unintended consequences (from our limited perspective). It ignites a ‘joyful’ response from the Universe of such magnitude that it is going to change a part of your future life in unimaginable ways. I feel that this is the Eros love you describe and is such that when experienced opens us up to the “highest field of divine play” in which the Universe is actually participating. I have experienced the unbounded joy of mutually desired spiritual nakedness in love, which in retrospect was for sadly such a short time and many years ago, but have never, could never, forget it. This is transcendent love waiting to happen but often missed in our fear based world where relationships are out of necessity, mundane. Perhaps it is not the kind of love that is ever meant to burn steadily throughout a life. Instead it is a supernova that explodes inside you both, creating new worlds. He is dead now. We were never completely together in life, we met when it was already too late. But what we were to eachother, the promises, pacts, declarations of endless love, made in that Eros state, somehow endured as if written into the fabric of the Universe. I know because four years ago he died suddenly and in a final act of perfect cosmic mathematical precision, although we had had no knowledge of eachother for over twenty years and he was hundreds of miles and decades away in time from me, fate had it that the arcs of our lives intersected one final time. His body was, unbeknownst to me at the time, brought to the very place where I was in the final week of studying to be a Funeral Celebrant and my tutors were the Funeral Directors appointed to bury him. Unbelievable! In my grief I have since searched for answers as to how this can happen, indeed how often does it happen, we just don’t notice the perfect synchronicities we have created in life.
    I still see the glimmers of him in my skin where he touched me.

    In case you’re interested here is a link on a research site, to my memories of OBE ‘out of body experiences’ The first one 3290 is as a child, but the second 3291 is during lovemaking when we were together. I submitted it last year. I now feel it’s an indicator of Eros love.

    http://www.oberf.org/julie_t_sobes.htm

    • sundari says:

      Hi Julie Adrienne,
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful magnificent story. Yes, the Universe, as you describe, does participate in this kind of encounters. When they are very powerful they are like ‘super novas’ and it is, inevitably, a life-changing encounter of two worlds colliding in a magnificent way. And I do not think that it can be lived in the long term more peaceful relationship. At least, not according to the paradigms we have at this moment drilled into us. So unless we explore and reveal other ways of being together, for now we can cherish it as a symbol of what is sometimes possible for us. So your story of Eros bridging two souls is very beautiful. Unfortunately,this kind of stories are not often told because they upset the fabric of society. I am very interested in OBE so I will definitely check the website. Thank you for the link. In the meantime, I also believe that this kind of stories need to be told by the beautiful and courageous souls like yourself as they point to higher octaves in our own being. Those stories are too rarely acknowledged. Yet I believe that they might take us in the direction of a completely different and life-affirming spirituality which, incidentally, also transcends our material existence. Thank you, again, I am touched by your revelation and its beauty.
      Much Love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

      • Julie Adrienne Troup says:

        Thank you for your kind words Joanna. Can I just add there is a spectacular life enhancing quality to the grief I have experienced that I believe is a result of what you have identified as Eros love. My perspective; being at a remove from the immediate day to day loss, (i.e. the familiarity of daily life – which I never had with him), yet terrifyingly aware of his loss to me at soul level, meant that it left me open to the edifying experience of what I now call ‘white grief’ as opposed to the binding drowning sadness of ‘black grief’. A psychologist friend of mine once told me that when you have a ‘mystical’ experience that defies explanation, that changes you forever, you can either become incoherent and chaotic, or find a way to integrate it into your life and let it alter your perception of the world. I have done the latter. And I’ve done it by consciously cultivating the elevated state of consciousness, a kind of grace that initially wrapped me for months after his death. There is now access to a perpetual loving gratitude for what might not have been but was and can never be again but is still happening in the multidimensional eternal now. It’s a gnosis of how to live deeply, flourishing in the full knowledge of death. A benediction. It softens all resistance into an allowing of all that is in tune with it, resulting in alignment with flow so that life becomes a playful creative unfolding of ease and abundance on all levels. I am no longer who I was, nothing frightens me any more and my life has changed beyond all expectations. Transformation is the dark glittering gift of the death of Eros love.

        • sundari says:

          Yes, mystical experience and Gnosis – beautifully put. That is why I ma interested in both: mystical experiences and Gnosis (Gnostics). I also experienced a few times mystical experiences that completely changed my life and made it apparent that the usual reality we experience is only a very limited version what is actually (if briefly) available to us. Often a mystical experience can be powered by a strong Erotic experience or sometimes even by a sexual experience by the flow of Grace. I wrote about it in some of my blogs including http://www.joannakujawa.com/tantra-and-the-worship-of-the-goddess/ or http://www.joannakujawa.com/sex-and-relationships-tantra-the-gospel-of-philip-and-what-is-going-on/ . Although it was an Erotic experience, by Grace, it was turned into the mystical experience, not the OBE as in your case but a full-blown experience of Life Energy (Shakti in Hindu terminology) exploding in me. So mystery is always available to us in many forms and I think, even the special and life–changing encounters with Eros as in your case – have fulfilled their soul-purpose even if they did not materialise as a ‘normal’ relationship. And for this, we feel grateful. What a Gift.
          By the way, I have read your OBE descriptions and they are glorious.
          Much Love,
          Joanna
          Dr Joanna Kujawa

  4. Kathy says:

    Wow…what a piece and may I say Julie Adrienne’s response was equally entralling that i now think perhaps as I soul search, there may be hope yet to encounter the Eros that could take me to a beautiful story of my own. Thank you both for an illuminating and heart-warming account of your own precious journeys.

    • sundari says:

      Kathy,
      Thank you for your comment and encouragement. My novel is exactly about that so now after this feedback I feel more confident that I will return to it and play with plotting a bit more before I send it out again. And I have no doubt that when the desire for the true connection and the courage to face one self and another fully (all good and bad) aligned with each other – the beautiful and powerful story happens. I wish you this from the bottom of my heart, my friend. The Universe always respond to the desire that comes from the depths of your heart and soul ?. I loved Julie Adrienne’s story as well.
      Much Love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

  5. John Noack says:

    It is good that you have brought together the various human expressions involved in inter-personal sexual relationships and experiences. Too many individuals today keep these expressions separate from each other; they fail to integrate them into a meaningful and fulfilling experience and, as a result, they are continuing to create problems for themselves and for their partners.
    The sexual force in isolation can certainly be seen as an animalistic instinct in relation to human acts of sexual intercourse and to the interest of this force mainly in the human male or female physical bodies and their sexual organs. Sadly at this instinctual level of human contact, acts of sexual abuse and rape continue to occur.
    However, Eros can step in here and, and, by promoting the erotic, it can put the focus on the human male or female person and personality. It can act as a conduit for the sexual impulse to contribute beyond its instinctual level to more profound human connections and to the experience of acknowledging both the archetypal Jungian masculine “animus” and the feminine “anima”, both of which are parts of each human psyche. Eros can apparently also result in supernova explosions, which can be experienced on a universal scale.
    Love is also part of the sexuality mix and it can contribute by providing stability in relationships and by allowing partners or couples to engage in deep, mutual and soul-level revelations, which can reveal their darker, hidden or shadowy parts. However, Love can also can stay open to the exciting romantic powers of Eros and can enable us all to walk on our Planet Earth as gods.
    Thankyou for sharing with your readers this important information from Eva Pierrakos’ book, “The Pathwork of Self-Transformation”. What a wonderful world it would be if everybody made the effort to have a closer look at how they are dealing with and are integrating the above three vital ingredients for our relationships, including the powerful sexual force; the exciting enticements of Eros and the security and stability of Love. For dealing with this always rather difficult issue, you ought to be sincerely congratulated.
    John Noack, 8 Feb 2019

    • sundari says:

      Thank you, John, for this beautiful and inspiring comment. I could not agree more and it seems that despite of the progression in our spiritual evolution, the issues of abuse and delusion don’t seem to go away. I think that it has to do with the certain courage and spiritual self-discipline to enter the space of Eros in a meaningful and soul-enriching way. This is much more challenging than the quick sexual release. Yet, it also so much more rewarding. It is also very interesting that you have mentioned sexual abuse as I have recently been invited to comment on the interview with Celene Lillie on her book ‘The Rape of Eve’ where she goes in great detail to the example of rape both on the Bible and in the Gnostic sources (although in the Gnostic source both Eve and Adam work together and find redemption), this interview will be out in about a week’s time on the Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio and also posted on my website. I wrote this blog, partially, in response to this interview and my commentary on it. I believe that as important this kind of research is (it acknowledges the terrible abuse that is too often justified in the Scriptures), it is also important not to get lost in the blame and not forget the redeeming and uplifting power of Eros. I am the proponent of the view that patriarchy (as much I dislike using this word) is harmful and soul destroying to both women and men and systematically prevents us from reaching our higher potential. Once again, it is always an immense pleasure to hear from you.
      Much love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

  6. James Shivadas says:

    I had this truly fascinating experience in 2011. I was 60 years old. I was laying in bed going to sleep when it happened. It was erotic but not sexual.

    There was no male sexual arousal at all. In that moment I could physically feel myself as a young woman with hair flowing over my shoulders, a young Indian woman. I was in some sort spontaneous whole body orgasm, if it can be called that, emanating from my lower abdomen. It went on for many minutes. After some time, I rolled over to my right side, at which time this female self, separated from me, laying behind me, and then she placed her arm over my body to my chest, placing her hand over my heart and I could feel her warm breath on my neck. Then we merged again and all I could do was weep for joy and love of myself and said, ” Devi, Devi Devi, your love is all loves excelling. Never leave me.” The orgasmic sensation continued and coursed through my body all night and next morning. For days after I wept with joy while walking in the streets. I did not care who was looking at me. Often, when I talk or think of it, and tears of joy flow down my cheeks, and I often feel myself as her, inside me, and smile. Truly, we are all Shiva and Shakti, all of us, Krishna and Radha. May you all be blessed to know this, too.

    A poem that came to me,

    She in you, loves you, as you, she is you,
    He in you, loves you, as you, he is you,
    Kisses in the night, petals of starlight,
    Entwining ecstasy, a hand on your heart,
    Breath on your neck,
    Tears of joy,
    Two within the one, one within the two,
    Forever each other face, in eternal loving embrace.

    James

    • sundari says:

      James, Thank you, for this beautiful and personal sharing and a beautiful poem. This is an amazing testimony and I truly believe hat Devi in one of her forms visited you. It is especially interesting that Jeff Kripal in his book ‘Sacred Body’ describes a very similar experience which he had while travelling in India. He described an erotic experience with Goddess Kali which was also his full-on Kundalini awakening. So it is beautiful to know that the Devi manifests as the other and yourself at the same time and shows the ecstasy of our being and our potential. This is one of many reasons why I love some forms of Hinduism as they honour this experience is puts us in touch with the Divine Ecstasy and the timelessness within us. So beautiful and I am deeply grateful that you have shared this profound experience here. This was a mystical experience of the Divine Feminine and I am so glad that this has happened to you. People need to know that this is possible, beautiful and transformational – as not enough is written about it and shared and by sharing it you help everyone and help to uplift human spirit to another level. Thank you,
      Much Love,
      Joanna
      Dr Joanna Kujawa

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