Transparency. Diaphaneity. It is a delicate form. Refined from natural experience, adapted to increase value and the powers of interconnected experience.
Earlier my roommate came in subtly proud and announcing the completion of his fifth step. The Fifth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous reads:
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
The cultural critiques of institutionalized confession are countless. Nevertheless, the therapeutic value of sharing one’s most intimate experiences with another person is outstanding. The tradition of “confession” or transparency in action extends through every living religious order to date. The experiences connected to completely opening up to another human being often achieve the label mystical.
I, boldly, slightly auspicious, asked him what his most challenging share included. He told me that he had struggled with sex addiction and that he had been going to massage parlors. At this I became super curious!
His former Catholicism, myself deeply connected with Christian practices of sexuality in the form of virginity, celibacy, masturbation, guilt, shame, and sexual repression – the conversation was primed with “excitement” … of the healing sort… the sort that flows from mutual learning, similar experience, and trust. Sexuality is one of Western culture’s most hidden, most repressed, twisted, conflated, confused, and idealized institutions. It is of no wonder that Catholic priests both create and are created by victimhood in the form of pedophilia. It is of no wonder how connected the use of meth and sex are in the Castro, an area holding the highest concentration of both gay and culturally Christian/Catholic. I personally know a Catholic gay man whose only relationship to sexual experience is found within the context of meth parties. His sobriety becomes an increasing struggle the longer and longer he goes without sex. When I suggested that he masturbate, he scoffed – as if he was to good to masturbate. I understand this…
One day I’ll pick up this conversation in detail. It was miraculous. But because I know some people actually do read this blog I will abstain from the inevitable judgment I would receive to “bare-all.” Some experience are built in sacred container that only God can prepare. Still, my roommate and I had a deeply heartfelt, consciously connect exchange about our most hidden, shameful, experiences and they all had to do with sexuality. AND, in telling our stories we learned that we were not alone. It is completely liberating to find out that your most shameful experience is normal, shared, even expected. In that space healing happens. We hide no more and we feel free to carve new paths, discover better roads, well lit, well attended – transparent.
During our conversation I discovered something that reminded me about how powerful we are as humans. During our conversation we were experiencing flow. We were healing together. Our bodies resonating together, our interconnection felt. I was about to relaying an experience that we had shared together and all the sudden I had the knowledge of our connection and I know that he knew what I was about to say. I stopped immediately and asked him if he knew – which caught him off guard because it was so unexpected. At first he wasn’t sure, but then he answered exactly what I was about to say. Unbelievable connection. Conscious power. Our minds exist separately but we can entertain experiences so powerful that we unify our minds, our bodies resonate, our memories connected, our emotional state clear. Profound Transparency.
Anyways… That’s it for tonight.