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Original Sin: The split between sex and spirit with Indrus Piche

 

The struggle to reconcile the better angels of our nature with powerful, earthly desires of the flesh is familiar to anyone on a spiritual path. Historically vilified and repressed by religious intuitions and the state, our sexual energy often hides in the shadows. Unexamined, it remains as a juvenile object of fascination or worse, a corrupting influence to avoid at all costs.

The sexual revolution cast off centuries of rigid norms around sex, yet half a century later instead of liberation we have fallen into what many experts have called a ‘sex recession’, especially among young adults. A legacy of trauma, internalized shame and fear around sex endures and has blocked many from experiencing the full potential of their sexuality for connection, creativity and transcendence.

In the episode of Awake In Relationship I speak with Indus Piche, transpersonal therapist and sacred sexuality teacher, about healing the  hidden religious and cultural blocks to sexual expression and freedom. We also discuss practical steps to reclaiming our sexual energy as a source of empowerment in daily life and spiritual growth.

Show Notes

  • To learn more about Indrus Piche check out indrus.com
  • To learn more about sacred sexuality and neo tantra check out Margot Anand’s work at Sky Dancing Tantra 

If you enjoyed this episode with Indrus on the sacred sexuality you might also enjoy episode 006 The lover archetype in dangerous times 

 

Episode transcripts

Silas Rose  0:39  
Hello friends, my name is Silas Rose, and you’re tuned in to Awake In Relationship. I recently published an episode with author Connie Zweig on spirituality and the shadow. This really opened my eyes to the importance of shadow work in many dimensions of life, but especially in intimate relationships. It really doesn’t matter how awakened we are, professionally or spiritually, we all possess a shadow, which tends to get activated in relationships involving power, sex, or money. In the West, the perceived dichotomy between sexuality and spirituality seems particularly problematic. This tension is of course, nothing new. Really since the dawn of civilization, humans have struggled to reconcile the better angels of our nature with powerful, earthly desires and flesh. Historically, sexual energy, especially the expression of female sexuality, has been vilified by the state and religious institutions forcing it into the shadows. Strangely, we live in a time when there’s great liberty, and freedom to express many forms of sexuality, yet the nature of sexual energy remains for the most part unexamined in the culture, as a juvenile object of fascination, or worse, a corrupting influence to avoid at all costs. One might argue that puritanism is alive and well, and it’s killing our sex lives. The legacy of trauma, internalized shame and fear around sex endures and it’s preventing many people from experiencing the full potential of their sexuality for joy, connection, and creativity. In this episode, relationship, I speak with returning guest, Indrus Piche a transpersonal therapist who also focuses on sacred sexuality. In this conversation, we talk about the split between sex and spirit, and healing old cultural and religious blocks to sexual expression and freedom. We also discuss practical steps for reclaiming our sexual energy as a source of empowerment in daily life and on the spiritual path. Stay tuned.
 
Well, Indras welcome back to Awake In Relationship.
 
Indrus Piche  3:21  
Thank you so much for inviting me back. Silas, this is exciting for me. I get to talk about the things that I spend a lot of time wondering about and thinking about and really happy to share my thoughts with others.
 
Silas Rose  3:36  
For the listening audience, perhaps those who haven’t tuned in to our previous interviews. Maybe you could just introduce yourself and share what do you do?
 
Indrus Piche  3:46  
My name is Indrus Piche and I’m what I will call a depth the transpersonal psychologist, I’m in private practice in Victoria, British Columbia. And about half of my practice is couples work, people in various kinds of relationships and the other individual work. A personal interest of mine, really, almost from childhood has been around human sexuality. So although many clients certainly don’t come to me with that issue in mind, I’ve been really interested in how it weaves through people’s journeys, and how it tends to come up somewhere in my work with people and sometimes that work spans over the decades. Not that I’m seeing people in a consistent way. But I do have clients that I’ve known now for 30 years, which is remarkable and very, very rewarding. I’ve learned a lot Apart from people about the whole idea of sexuality and spirituality, so one of the ways that I’m still learning is through the people who come to me and are willing to share some of the most inner journeys that they had around this. And sometimes I’ve never shared parts of that before, or never had the conversations before. So I’m incredibly blessed in that way.
 
Silas Rose  5:34  
You also teach seminars on sacred sexuality. How does that differ from, say, Tantra?
 
Indrus Piche  5:42  
I don’t know if it does, I mean, I don’t use the word Tantra very often, because for some people, that implies that you’ve had a lineage through, and Tantras, from the Hindi tradition, or through us sect of it. In India, that was very involved in sexual energy, and the whole idea of moving the energy into a state of consciousness. It had a lot of different aspects of it. And it’s a long in deep tradition. And I wouldn’t want to imply in any way that I’ve had years and years of training in that particular ancient tradition, I’m more interested, much more interested, yes, about learning how different cultures have explored it, and what we know from their explorations. But I’m much much more interested in where are we today? And what could we do to do more healing around this personally and in the collective? Because I think there’s still a huge rift between our spiritual natures and, and our sexual natures. And I think that our lack of understanding around spirituality, and how it relates to sexuality is impacting us in ways that we might not even actually realize would be totally conscious of,
 
Silas Rose  7:28  
What are you noticing that in your clinical practice? What sort of themes are arising?
 
Indrus Piche  7:35  
Well, there’s several different there’s this beautiful theme that I think has always been there, but I feel it stronger now that a lot of people are actually very interested in healing parts of their, what I’ll call sexual nature, or feeling more comfortable with their sexuality, even in older years, and want to come into relationship with it in a way that they feel more themselves and more healthy. Always a theme and couples work. In, I think I have some sadness about how many beautiful to me now, because I’m in my 70s, the seemingly very young couples, I’m not enjoying that aspect of life. And sometimes his real issues around it, sometimes it’s just, well, we don’t have time we’re too busy or just seem to be, it’s not a high value. And that’s a theme that I’m really interested in trying to understand that more. And, you know, then there’s always in there is always shadow and everything, and certainly in sexuality and spirituality, incredible shadow. So there’s always a theme in my practice of people that have had violence and abuse around their, their sexuality, and that healing. So those three things that come up for me,
 
Silas Rose  9:32  
So some experts have described this as a sex recession. What do you see as some of the root causes of that?
 
Indrus Piche  9:42  
I’m not sure. I mean, it’s interesting to me, the first question that comes up for me, honestly, is how do we know this a true thing? Or is it just something that somehow some research person came up with? I’m not Sure, but what I do know for sure is there’s so much more we could be doing to help people enjoy sex. And we’re not doing it. So I don’t know whether it’s just too confusing. Whether there’s actually a sense of I don’t know how to do this well, or I don’t know what, what the value is. I don’t know whether people actually feeling like this some sort of movement against sexuality again, in some ways that I don’t understand. And when I’m talking about sex, I want to be clear here. I’m not just talking about intercourse, or direct. I’m really I’m talking about a much broader term, which includes creation energy, and our lifeforce energy. And so it’s not about how much sex necessarily we’re having. But it is about what is the relationship to that energy? How do we feel about it? Does it make us feel empowered? Are we comfortable with it? Does it help us feel more comfortable in ourselves? Does it help us learn to like and love ourselves better, so that we’re have a bigger capacity for loving others? That’s what I’m talking about. When I’m talking about sexuality and sexual energy, I would love for young people to be exploring it and in a way that they felt empowered by it, they felt that comfortable with it, which also helps to make us feel comfortable with our body. So I’m not sure what’s going on. And it was a I know, I gave a very long answer to a simple question, but it’s complex for me.
 
Silas Rose  12:03  
So as a teacher of sacred sexuality, was there ever a point in human history, and I mean way back, that we might call it a golden age, for sexuality?
 
Indrus Piche  12:16  
I think there’s been segments of people, and a lot of different cultures that have really taken this on as an exploration and explored sexuality. Enjoyed it. I see it as natural and healthy. But what I don’t think we’ve achieved is any widespread, universal way that we’ve come to terms with it as our creation, energy, lifeforce energy, something that’s powerful and to be respected, but also enjoyed in a possibility of accessing different states of consciousness even through it. So I think that different areas, like I mentioned in the, you know, the tantric tradition, but other cultures have had traditions of it. And some of that spin also, in terms of, it’s interesting how nature and love of nature has come in to some of those other indigenous understandings of our sexuality, which I’ve experienced in also think there’s a deep connection between reverence of our bodies and our creation, energy and nature itself, which is the ultimate creation energy maybe. But I don’t think we’ve ever really achieved any widespread help the explorations where it’s taken on as a cultural norm and a cultural value, to really understand this and really help support the whole culture, and loving their sexual energy, understanding it, healing whatever might need to be healed, and that whatever your idea of spirit is, whatever your god image or that this is a place of, not separateness, but union, and that our sexual energy and spiritual energy are one energy, it is creation energy, and they have an innate longing to be in Union. I don’t think that we’re anywhere near that. But I do think that it’s, it’s a beautiful journey for humanity to take, if we’re willing to have the courage.
 
Silas Rose  14:58  
So if our sexual energy is connected with creation, divinity. Why do you think the  church and other monotheistic traditions really cracked down on sexual expression?
 
Indrus Piche  15:15  
I just think there’s a lot of power in it. And I think that one of the ways that we become individuals that we know ourselves trust ourselves trust our own knowing is through being in union with our own sexual creation, energy, lifeforce energy. And if we have that, it takes away a lot of the power of others, to control us to tell us what to do to tell us what’s right to tell us what’s wrong. I think that our own moral compass would become more discerning more closely, listening to our own soul to our own heart, rather than going elsewhere.
 
Silas Rose  16:03  
So we live in a secular society, but do you feel that there is still some sort of hangover a morality that’s getting in the way of people’s enjoyment of sexuality?
 
Indrus Piche  16:16  
I don’t know if it’s a hangover. But I don’t know if it’s more confusion, or more lack of skill and understanding. It’s not given much room. Even today, in our culture, society, we don’t actually talk about it much we see it, there’s a lot of either repression, or this kind of obsession kind of thing around sexuality trying to look sexy or, or I just don’t think we have the conversations, or the sort of ongoing naturalness around it, in the most part that, you know, would help us. I think, the whole idea of like, when I think about it, for myself, personally, I wasn’t raised in any strong spiritual or religious tradition, I went to a Protestant church sometimes is sort of with some family members. And that was mostly the only place that I experienced church. And yet, I think we’ve all been, have some influence, or many of us on this idea of, like, I don’t believe in a white man in the sky, who tells us what to do. But yet, there’s still this imaging of, you know, what do we actually think divine energy is what do we think Creator energy is, and even the idea that it’s still sometimes referred to, as he, even when I was a little girl, I found this really confusing. You know, what created from a heat? I mean, this all sounds kind of silly. But I think this The Hangover, I don’t think we’re clear about what divine energy is. And I don’t know if a lot of people spend much time being clear about what that is for them. So I think it’s two areas of life, both sexuality and spirituality, that we don’t spend enough time really getting clear about what that is for us. In therefore, I think we’re out of alignment very often in both areas,
 
Silas Rose  18:42  
whenever we encounter a block on our path, and that certainly applies to sexuality. There’s usually some form of frozen fear at the core on that block. It seems almost strange to say about, I really feel that a lot of people actually fear sex.
 
Indrus Piche  19:06  
I think that it’s powerful. And I think that somewhere in there, I think some ways it’s true, like the Nelson Mandela thing. We do have a fear of our own power, I think. I think we fear that we’re not going to use it. Well, I think a lot of people, contrary to some of what we see in the world, I think most people are innately very, very good. And I think they want to be good. They want to try to offer the world the best of themselves. I believe that deeply. I see it and experience it all the time. So I do think we have the fear of misuse of our sexual energy. And therefore I think it keeps us away at least at this time in humanity in some weighs, keeps us away from really understanding and really getting in touch with how we want to use it in a way that feels really, in our own integrity, and with the betterment of those that we decide to share our sexual energy with.
 
Silas Rose  20:22  
So are there any simple practices that you might recommend to listeners for reconnecting to our sexuality as really a form of spiritual practice?
 
Indrus Piche  20:34  
Well, it sounds simple. And it may sound like, well, that’s not going to do anything or it’s not that important. I think that we owe it to ourselves to actually have some deep reflection, what, what do we actually message ourselves about our sexual energy and spiritual energy? Like, what are our deeper beliefs, what’s the narratives that maybe we don’t even want to say to anybody else, but we know, a sitting there that we know are, you know, deep in us. And I would really invite anyone to let themselves have a new creation narrative, or a new creation myth for themselves at this point, wherever they are in life, that align those two energies, that if they can make, if there’s any sort of place where they don’t understand or they don’t like one of the energies or the others, is there any sort of way that they could heal it and create a new story for themselves on a physical level, I think that just touching ourselves, in a beautiful way, in working with our breath, is always a powerful way to just relax, let go and have some of that frozen fear that you were talking about, it can sometimes help move some of that energy. So that’s through something that we’ve talked about before, is sort of letting the sensual self have a place in our life. It can be if you’re in relationship of some kind, or you have somebody that, you know, you feel comfortable with sharing my sensual experiences together in touch. This is some of the work of Betty Martin in the wheel of consent, where we just let ourselves be touched in ways that don’t feel fearful to see if we can unblock some of that in using breath in. And some of the, I’ll mention, Margo Anons old book, The Art of sexual ecstasy, and she was one of my main teachers at one time. It’s an old book, but it’s a class that but it does outline some of the exercises and some of the breath work that you can use to just practice even with yourself. But I think a lot of it is thinking differently about it.
 
Silas Rose  23:32  
You mentioned this earlier, the sexual  revolution, which you were a part of as a  boomer, initiated a sense of liberalization in terms of sexual expression, and certainly, you know, sexual reproductive rights for women. So there was this liberalisation, but I wouldn’t really call it sexual liberation. How do you define sexual liberation? 
 
Indrus Piche  23:56  
Well freedom of any sort to me, means that we feel empowered by it. And by that I want to be very clear. Empowerment, to me is the exact kind of opposite of power over another. It’s when we feel power and full enough to support our own well being and everybody else. That’s power to me. So there’s something in right power, just power and sexual liberation. I think we are doing it and in some ways in the place that I see it. Part of the sexual revolution that you mentioned was also a much more coming out of gay rights of, you know, the people coming out of the closet and saying, you know, men saying, I love men. I want to be safe. Should women saying I love women, I want that freedom. So that was also part of it. And on that front, although it’s still messy, and we certainly have a long way to go, I do see that as one of the places that is getting healed, and more normalized, which is a beautiful thing for me to see in this lifetime, but if we were actually talking about liberation, I think we would be talking about much more information, much more conversations, just like we’re having, where people felt comfortable talking about what’s happening for themselves, much more inclusion of children in appropriate ways to help them understand this aspect of their life. So that they weren’t as confused in sort of worried about something might be wrong with them, is so many people right now. Ah, there’s so much we could do that. Actually, it’s kind of simple. Um, and I’m not quite sure part of it is, whose job is? Or who’s gonna do it? Well, you know, I guess some of its parents, for sure. But from what I talked about, with the parents, it’s a place that they’re not quite sure what to do or how to start, or where do you begin, and a lot of people are really afraid of doing something that’s going to be wrong, and make things worse in some ways. So I think out of all the aspects of life that were involved in, in some ways, I think we’re most naive child like unequipped lack capacity is in our relationship with our very creation energy. And that’s kind of astounding, and also makes sense, because, to me, there’s a tie in to that of, well, I’m not surprised we’re not doing so well, if we’re out of alignment with our own creation energy as a species. Like I think there’s a connection.
 
Silas Rose  27:22  
It’s a work in progress.
 
Indrus Piche  27:24  
It is a work in progress. And I think it’s wonderful that anytime we get to talk about it, I believe it adds to the healing,
 
Silas Rose  27:36  
Thank you so much for this conversation. If people want to learn more about you and your work, where can they go?
 
Indrus Piche  27:45  
Well, like I said, I am in private practice. And to be honest with you, Silas, I don’t have a lot of room in my private practice. But certainly get in touch with me. If anybody wants to ask questions. So they want any resources, I’m happy to help them as best I can. And just email me interested indrus.com. And also, if you want to be put on a list for a mail out, I am going to be offering some things this winter. And if you’re interested in any of that, do email me and you’ll be put on the list that would get in contact with you when those offerings come up.

 

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