We have come to the end on our study of the virtues, and we have developed our body, mind, and soul to the point that we can truly say that we are on the path to self-actualization. The journey is not complete, only because it is never complete; self-actualization is a process, not a destination. Each of the virtues are to be visited over and over again as our knowledge and wisdom spirals ever upward and onward towards self-actualization.
The first stage to self-actualization is the cluster of five virtues involved in grounding. First we become aware of our higher self. We are aware of the power and beauty of our bodies, minds and souls. We accept ourselves just the way we are, and we love ourselves because of the endless capacity, power, and beauty within. We are able to listen to the voice of our higher self as our source of truth. We have learned to feel when something is right or wrong for us. We have learned to appreciate our self, others and the path we are on. We now have a bridge between our physical (body) and spiritual (soul) parts of our being. It enables us to connect our physical and spiritual strengths and energies. It opens up the door to virtuous living.
The second stage is centering. One of the definitions for centering is “a temporary framework for supporting a masonry arch during construction until it is able to stand by itself”. I like this one for two reasons. First because we are indeed building a framework for virtuous living, and secondly, it is part of a process for a higher and majestic structure that often has connotations of spiritual holiness (I use the term spiritual to denote our human spirit which in itself is sacred). As we build these virtues, they are not an end in themselves but a platform on which we can live a higher life. The first of these is assertiveness. It is the ability to express our thoughts and feelings from that inner strength which we all potentially possess through our higher self. This leads to fortitude which is the virtue that allows us to overcome fear and to remain steady in the face of all obstacles – physical, mental, and spiritual. This leads to the virtue of contentment. We are not just hopeless victims of our body and ego desires, nor do we have to let go of all desires. We simply have to understand where they are coming from, consciously analyze them through our higher self, and either let them go or indulge and enjoy. This leads to gratitude. We are thankful for everything that comes into our lives. We remind ourselves that there is always something good if we look for it. We see difficulties as opportunities to learn.
We are now ready to reach out to others from a solid base of self-love. We enter what the Greeks called agape love. Agape love is a feeling that comes from the higher self. It is the love energy, or universal positive energy, or the god energy that flows through us when we are interacting positively with other human beings. This takes us to the love virtues. The first love virtue is forgiveness. Forgiveness is an act of love, mainly for the self, but also for others. We merely acknowledge that these things have happened and that we wish to acknowledge the past but live in the present. Next is kindness. Kindness comes from the heart. It flows from and is rooted in love. It involves a three way resonance of vibration from the higher self, another’s higher self, and the external universal flow. This leads to passion. We get to a new kind of love-pleasure based on the energy flow of our combined body, mind, and spirit energies. We are fully charged and motivated to indulge in what we feel is good and right. As we walk solidly along the path of love, we now become aware of the needs of others which leads to empathy. This is the ability to experience the emotional, mental, and spiritual vibrations of another. But we go beyond empathy to compassion which ushers us into the desire to experience life together and to assist others in finding their own true path. It is about overcoming the sources of pain and then sharing this knowledge with others. When we are living a life of love, we seek pleasure through our senses for no other reason than the pleasure itself. We intuitively know whether the pleasure is in harmony with our higher self and we can sense when we are sharing these pleasures with others.
Grounded, centered and living in the universal flow of love, we are now ready to move on to true self-actualization. This begins with trust. First of all, real trust is not about anyone else; it is about the interaction between the ego-self and the inner or higher-self. We trust ourselves to know, understand and live according to a blend of the ego and the spiritual self. We live in harmony with ourselves. We have sensitivity. We have awakened our natural sensitivity and developed and perfected it so that we can use our feelings for guidance. We are gentle. We realize that positive interactions are part of the flow of universal love and negative ones come from a person’s body of pain. We react to love with love and to pain and anger with gentleness. We embrace uncertainty. We live each moment as if it were the last. We seek the truth and the joy that life presents to us every moment of every day. And finally, we live a life of joy. The virtue of joy is wrapped up in the feeling of expansion. It is living a life each day where all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and our full personal potential takes place. This includes being fully alive and finding our own personal true meaning in life.
My final five applications to bisexuality.
- We are grounded in the beauty and power of our higher self. We can choose the life we want to live and live it in harmony with our inner self without having to worry about what others think of us.
- We are centered. We know who we are. We have a two-spirit or rather a whole spirit approach to life. We understand our feminine and masculine qualities.
- We are not afraid to love. We seek true relationship with other people who are also aware of their higher self. Our sexuality becomes part of the higher function of making love and living a truly caring and loving life.
- We seek self-actualization. We are more than just sexual beings; we also have a spiritual presence that we can share with others.
- And finally our bisexuality is meant to be enjoyed. It includes good clean sex, and loving relationships with both or either men or women. We live to enjoy.