I found this on the Mula blog (to which I won't link because I'm feeling lazy) and also on Nobel's blog (Dragon's Den, again..lazy) and then it echoed around with something I was thinking about yesterday, which is AGAIN different, and it deserves a quick post.
The short summary was this (note that in I am paraphrasing here and not yet writing my own opinion about this lingo): "creative" energy for something like mula bandha might be a commodified term because "creative" can mean making advertisements, it can mean coming up with a "creative" way to subvert union power in Wisconsin, et cetera. "Creative," it can be said, is owned already, it's taken, we can't have it.
"Sexual" is (again, giving a short summary) more personal, more sensory, more embodied, and so not as public, not as ideological, not as "commodified."
I would argue this almost entirely in reverse. For me, "sexual" is utterly commodified, consummately social, and completely ideological. "Creative" is so broad that we can use it for nearly anything; if there is a weakness to the term "creative energy" it is that the language is so thin it's almost transparent.
What's my problem with "sexual energy" as a descriptor for something like the mula bandha?
"Sexual" in the west is a specific characterization within larger categories, and for me it inevitably comes with a weird Christianization, where the body falls out as evil or bad or "to be wary of" and the spirit/soul/whatever is to be valorized and it's always in that opposition.
Text message/sexual text message.
And so on until the end of time. It all turns "privatized" for me, not simply "private." Privatized, privated, and secret, open to only a few, a lucky few, how much envy we have! Oh if only we too were invited! To taste the secrets!
It becomes cultish, exclusionary, secretive, full of ego jealousy or ego achievement (to have done THIS! THERE! Under THOSE conditions! With THOSE/THAT people/person!) How exclusive! Bring a reality TV camera! Ooooh ahhh!
For me, to call the "yoga energy" or the "body energy" specifically "sexual" is to confront the wide, long-running scandal-marketing of all things sexual. You call something sexual and you can almost HEAR the cash registers ring up. CHA-CHING!!!
So can this term be used? It can.
I try to sit in Siddhasana after I practice, just to sort of center for a minute or two before I go back into the wide world of workable craziness.
As the book MASTER KEY (on MB) will tell you, Siddhasana is a heel tucked in at the perineum (if you're a guy, anyway) and ideally the top heel at the pubic bone, which sort of holds the external genitalia between the two heels. It takes some pretty substantial hip flexibility to do the full expression.
The energy there, with that contact, especially if combined with some pranayama that turns up the sensibility of the MB itself (as the exhale sort of reaches down to "pull it up") is definitely reminiscent of sexual arousal, but it's asked for, not spontaneous, which is (for me anyway) a major difference. You summon it, instead of being subjected to it.
The question can thus be asked (as I believe it can't, really, with spontaneous arousal, or at least it can't be asked in any interesting way), "What Do I Do With This?"
What I usually do with that "sexual" energy is expand it to as much of the full body as I can. Feel my feet, feel my intercostals, feel the movement of the breathing as it happens, become PHYSICAL, experience EMBODIMENT, feel blood moving, feel skin warmed, feel ORGANISM.
My eyes often go into soft focus and cross slightly when I'm doing pranayama, so the floor that I'm sitting on gets fuzzy and if there's a light reflected on a wood floor, it doubles and gets blurry. Kind of like living in a mellow Stan Brakhage film. I'm nearsighted anyway, so that also helps (and nearsightedness is GREAT for pratyahara in asana practice, just for the record).
It's easy that way to go inside and BE inside, to really inhabit that body, feel its BODINESS. And oddly, that embodiment is good for feeling the non-bodiness, what the Sutras would call Prakriti/Purusha. In a way that is very chewily non-dual, I feel my body/Prakriti presence and FEELING it is also OBSERVING it, even though those two are opposites. I know that the observing eye sees, precisely BECAUSE that observing eye/mind is EMBODIED in me. It's marvelous and I can't explain it better without speaking in tongues, Haha!!!
This is no longer "sexual" energy in the commodified sense, unless we consider that blood pulsing through the body is "sexual" and/or that the movement of the intercostals hefting the rib cage up and down is "sexual." And I'm willing to go there, but "embodied" or even "tactile" energy is probably more accurate, unless we want to consider all of embodied existence as sexual, which would mean sort of body-relational, broadly sensuous, and profoundly unprivatized.
I sort of like that vision of "sexual" as no longer linked specifically to genitalia, but to embodiment wholesale. Such a world sees stroking a pet's fur as sexual, again in the broadest sense of sensuality (again, broadly understood). Relating would be sexual, which would finally free us of the clunky and stupidly reductive "sexual relationship" meaning genitalia bouncing to and fro. Sexual in that intimacy would be shared openly, at any level, between any people. Sexual as meaning social, a new definition of social, free of privatization.
But few Westerners can hold a vision like that in their heads. We're too well trained, and that's what started all of this in the first place.
Yesterday I was thinking about a long, long ago important relationship, and I realized that it is the lynchpin of my narrative, my relating narrative, wholesale. And there is attachment and pain there regarding how clunkily I handled that situation emotionally, because I simply could not have done better. Didn't have the self-awareness to handle the energy that existed there. I've always regretted that, still do.
And I thought, if this became what Trungpa calls WORKABLE, I could let go of the whole story, REALLY let it go. I maintain a lot of silence and privation with old once-friends because of that relationship and the painful mutual silence in which it ended, had to end. Like the film NINE SONGS. We sort of don't see their miscommunication, and what they are missing, we are also missing, and even in what the film GRANTS us to see, we know that we are missing what we NEED for that footage that we do see. And the entire film is a weird nostalgia trip, even in its present. To be already missing the very person you're with, to be ACTIVELY missing them in the present, at the moment of togetherness. That experience hurts.
And I find that I want to apologize to her in the most profound way, but we've moved on and had lives (Facebook is great for finding out details like that) and this need and desire is MINE FOR ME. Who wants the affection and the "It's OK"? I do. Who provides it? I do. Circle closes, pain is released, attachment disappears.
I have friends (well, once-friends) who maintain this contact. I'm thinking that, as they've invited several times, I might restart those connections. Word travels. How am I doing? was always her question before we found it impossible to talk to each other or even be comfortably in the same room, ever.
I'm living at the height of my considerable powers.