I confess great ignorance on this matter, but recently I have been doing some reading on Hinduism, and of course I came across the famous sex manual, the Kama Sutra. Now, again I must emphasize that I know very little about all this, but what I find interesting is that in Hindu philosophy, there is the notion of “kama” which means, among other things, sexual and sensual pleasure. This “kama” is one of the three goals of Hindu life. The Kama Sutra was written as a sort of sex manual to help those achieve this goal of sexual pleasure. It was created between 400 BC to 200 AD. As a sex manual it covers everything from oral sex, spanking, different positions, etc. I have yet to read it, but I plan to.
What I find initially interesting in all this is the contrast between Eastern and Western spirituality. Many people have commented on this blog about the more open environment towards sexuality in the Eastern religions. The Kama Sutra seems to be an indication of this. I look forward to finding out more about the sexual ethics of other religions, and comparing and contrasting those with Christianity. The fact that there is a portion of Hindu philosophy and religion which is devoted to “kama”, sexual pleasure, is already an interesting contrast to the traditionally negative view that much of Christianity has towards sexual pleasure. My recent post on St. Augustine sheds some light on the traditionally negative view of sex in Western Christianity.
“Kama” also includes purely aesthetic pleasure, which I find interesting, since I often equate sexual and sensual pleasure with aesthetic pleasures, especially when it comes to erotica. There is an aesthetic enjoyment in good porn.
If anyone knows of any good, up to date editions of the Kama Sutra, with traditional Indian drawings, please let me know.
And one more thing: the more I journey on a path of exploring different faiths and religions, the more I search for a truly healthy union with the Divine, the more I feel I am coming closer to God. My spiritual life has truly deepened and become more integrated. This is not a rejection of Christ, but rather an affirmation of the truth and goodness in other faiths as well. The world of religion is incredibly complex, and exploring that world is a wonderful experience. I can no longer be trapped in the narrow, bigoted, hate filled ignorance of so much of contemporary Christianity (e.g., Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman, Tony Perkins, The Family Research Council, James Dobson, many Christian blogs, just to name a few), including certain wings of Catholic Church (Opus Dei, The Legion of Christ, Bill Donahue and the Catholic League, etc.). Being free from such things is truly liberating. I thank God for that.