Bisexuality and the Third Gender

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Even though this post is primarily for bisexuals, we should never lose track of the fact that we belong to a broader community, namely, the LBGQT community. Our LGBQT family is not just about sexual preference, but really includes people of a wide variety of gender expressions.  Granted we have genetic predispositions, but these predispositions are then nurtured by a variety of community and cultural norms and practices thus  providing us with a variety of gender variations. These variations ultimately are a blend of the feminine and the masculine.

The one that I find particularly fascinating is the Hijra communities of India. In the year 2014, India’s Supreme Court declared that the Hijra constituted a “legal” third gender  considered neither completely male nor female[1]. Hijras have been noted in recorded history dating back to the Kama Sutra period often associated with castration and the creation of eunuchs. Today they retain their male genitalia, but otherwise take on the female gender role.  They live together in self-sustaining communities, often with a guru. These communities are recognized as a loving and caring society which have been known to attract straight as well as trans gender people.  They  have sustained themselves over generations by “adopting” boys who are in abject poverty and rejected by their family of origin.[2] The are recognized as having special spiritual gifts and make a living by performing “blessing ceremonies” at events such as births and weddings.

The hijra do not consider themselves as male or female but as an entirely different third gender that combines both male and female psychological characteristics. They refer to themselves in gender rather than sexual terms, and in fact, many of them choose to live asexual lives. This bears similarities to us bisexuals who do not consider ourselves as gay or lesbian who restrict themselves to same sex relationships, but as bisexuals opening the door to all forms of sexual expression. But perhaps what we are seeking is at a much deeper level. Perhaps we should view ourselves not only as bisexual but as bigender.  If we dig a little deeper, perhaps what we really want (particularly the men who enjoy the feminine role, and the women who enjoy the masculine role) is the ability to express both our feminine and masculine sides without the sexual baggage that goes with it. Many bisexuals are cross dressers enjoying the feelings that come not only from wearing female apparel but all the walk and talk that goes with it, but they do not want to cross over completely. They still enjoy their masculine side with the plaid shirt and cowboy boots and the swagger.

My friends, it’s time to recognize ourselves as not only the third sexual orientation but perhaps as the third gender. And perhaps it is time to realize that we have spiritual gifts that we can offer to our gay, lesbian, and straight brothers and sisters.

[1]  Nanda, S. “Hijras: An Alternative Sex and Gender Role in India Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. Zone Books; 1996.

 

[2] Hossain, Adnan. The paradox of recognition: hijra, third gender and sexual rights in Bangladesh. Published on line; May, 2017.

 

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The Bisexual Continuum

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)In a survey sample of 1,784 individuals on Facebook, Vrangalovaq and Savin-Williams[1] argued that there is a continuous, rather than a categorical, distribution of sexual orientation.  They used a five category classification including heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly gay/lesbian, and gay/lesbian.  It is interesting to note that a majority of gays reported some attraction towards the opposite sex. According to my definition, that means we can include most of them as bisexual, or potentially bisexual, depending on the circumstances that they are experiencing.  In addition, a significant minority of heterosexuals also reported some attraction to same sex partners. According to my definition of significant, that means that there are a hell of a lot more bisexuals in the world than is being reported. Again, the survey reconfirmed that women are more likely to engage in bisexual attraction than men.

Let’s take a closer look at these results. Perhaps there are not really five categories of orientation but really only one.  We could possibly all be bisexuals on a sexual continuum rather that a sexual orientation continuum. That might be why there is no gay gene.  With about twenty-five thousand genes in the human genome, you would think that one of them could be the culprit. Perhaps there may be a predisposition but not necessarily a genetic orientation one, but one that might shape our overall sexual needs. There could indeed be prenatal factors involving the psychological and physiological condition of the pregnant mother. Perhaps the mother’s pheromones might be affecting the male pheromones of the male fetus after several pregnancies with male children. Perhaps stress during pregnancy does influence the development of the fetus thus creating a predisposition towards anxiety and the need for soothing and physical connection in the infant. Most research suggests that this predisposition continues on through childhood and forms lasting sexual orientation patterns by the age of five or six. Perhaps these predispositions result in patterns of need, soothing, and behavior with a great need for sexual gratification from male or female partners rather than a fixed orientation.

If we are indeed on a continuum, there are not really five categories but perhaps fifty, or five hundred, or perhaps even an infinite number of possible sexual preferences depending on how our minds find pleasure, soothing, and gratification. Perhaps  this search for soothing and gratification leads to our unique brain patterns and life choices. If that is indeed the case, let’s stop talking about orientation and let’s focus on how we can get the most pleasure out of these wonderful bodies that we are so fortunate to inhabit, without talk of orientation, blame, and shame.

Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. Let’s look at ways we are alike rather than different.
  2. Let’s accept our unique sexual attractions and explore them whole-heatedly without worrying about whether we are gay, heterosexual, or bisexual.
  3. We are not QUEER. We are just different. We are all different. We are all unique.
  4. If we need soothing – so what? It just leads to the need for sexual gratification. What’s wrong with that? That spells pleasure in my vocabulary.
  5. Let’s not forget that we have desires for love not just sex. At the root of the need for sexual gratification is the more basic need of being accepted and loved for who we are regardless of our orientation or our unique place in the sexual continuum.

[1] Vrangalova,z. and Savin-Williams RC. Mostly heterosexual and mostly gay/lesbian: evidence for new sexual orientation identities. Pub Med Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Feb;41(1):85-101. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9921-y.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22327566)

Bisexuality, Anxiety, and the Cerebellum

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Using national data and the criteria from the DSM 4 to identify people with Anxiety Disorders, a group of researchers[1]  concluded that men who reported lifetime sexual behavior with both male and female partners had the highest rate of every mood and anxiety disorder. This was matched, but by a lesser degree, with women who reported both male and female partners. In some truly significant numbers, 46.5% of bisexual men experienced some mood disorder in their lifetime, compared with 26.8% of men who reported only same-sex sexual partners, 29.3% who reported no sexual partners, and 19.4% who reported exclusively female partners. These numbers are highly significant from two perspectives, first we bisexual men are almost twice as likely as other men to experience clinical anxiety, and secondly, almost half of us have experienced some form of severe anxiety during our lifetime.

So what is happening in our brains? Converging evidence suggests that the culprit may be the cerebellum which was traditionally thought of as the part of the brain responsible for motor control, voluntary movement, and balance. New information based on brain scans suggests that it may be much more than that. One of the surprising areas seems to be associative learning. Remember Pavlov’s dog and conditioned responses? Well it appears our anxiety may be related to conditioning. I read an article once (can’t find the source) that described gay and bisexual lives as death by a thousand cuts. We apparently are subconsciously responding to a lifetime of mini-traumas and now exhibit symptoms of PTSD. It’s like we have been in the trenches waiting for next call to charge the enemy through a mine field. In other words we suffer generalized anxiety because we feel that we are living a life where our sense of security is constantly being threatened.

The cerebellum also forms neural circuits with the thalamus, the hypothalamus and the amygdala. In other words it connects to the limbic and reticular systems which are associated with the two powerful emotions of attraction and fear.  This links whole body involvement with the dopamine pleasure seeking drive and the alert hormones of the sympathetic system.  Therefore, for those of us who have learned to live with generalized anxiety, it is not hard to understand why our whole body seems to be involved in our anxiety and not just our minds or genitals.  I am sure as bisexuals at least half of us have experienced that elephant on the chest, the frequent occurrence of shallow breathing, and mental fatigue that accompanies generalized anxiety.

Generalized anxiety involves the whole body, and therefore the relief has to involve the whole body. In the past the fastest and most effective way to get into my body was through same sex encounters. Unfortunately that was only temporary relief. I would walk away with a hollow feeling akin to depression and a gradual rebuild up of anxiety. The involvement of the cerebellum suggests that these anxieties have passed on beyond mind control and have become a part of my implicit memory and subconscious response systems. In other words I am now stuck with a chemical imbalance that is beyond the scope of psychological therapy. Typically that means medication with all its possible side effects, and that only provides relief for the symptoms and not the cause. It’s like taking a Tylenol for cancer. I have spent the last fifteen years of my life leaning to deal with my anxieties and in the process have found a new way of life that uses my anxiety as nervous energy to accomplish amazing things including this amazing blog.

 

My five suggestions for bisexuals on how to deal with anxiety by controlling our bodies:

  1. We can get in touch and stay in touch with our bodies. It’s simple – meditate. Fifteen minutes a day where we shut down our mind and concentrate of the sensations of our bodies. In the process we will find an inner presence that is interacting with the world around us. It will help us stay grounded.
  2. Practice soothing activities whenever we feel anxious. We simply become aware of our breathing. Deep breath in from the belly, hold, let out slowly and completely.
  3. Practice touch. Touch the area where we are feeling the anxiety and then bring the touch down to the heart and hold it there until the anxiety subsides.
  4. We sooth by talking to ourselves. We acknowledge the fear and its source thus bringing it from the subconscious to the conscious level. It is best done out loud. Then tap your heart and say “There. There, now. It’s all okay. I am here to protect you.”
  5. Whatever our sexual practices, we have a right to experience it without shame and remorse. If you feel that empty feeling, take charge of it and emphatically claim the right to seek pleasure anyway you so choose.
[1] Bostwick, Wendy B.;  Boyd, Carol J.; Hughes, Tonda L, and  McCabe, Sean Esteban. Dimensions of Sexual Orientation and the Prevalence of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the United States. Am J Public Health, v.100(3); Mar 2010. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820045/?tool)

 

Bisexuality and the Bonobos

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)This blog focuses on bisexuality, and as much as I would like it to be more mental and spiritual, it seems to keep coming back to just plain (or not so plain) sex.  And, if you take the ‘l’ out of ‘plain’, plain can become ‘pain’. It appears that one thing the human mind cannot cope with is boredom. If we do the mathematics, plain sex = boredom = pain. That makes the letter “l” very important. and of course. the “l” stands for “love”. Love includes sexual pleasure but it is much more than that.

Why do we bisexual often seek sex without love? For one answer beyond the pure aspect of pleasure, we can look to our fellow primates. As we go from simple to more complex animals (that means a bigger brain), sexual behavior becomes subject to learning and environmental influences and not just reproduction (Buss, 2007a, 2007b). For example, in one species, the bonobos of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sexual activity can occur at any time, not just when the female is fertile. Bonobos also engage in oral sex, intense tongue kissing, and homosexual and group sex. Among the bonobos, sexual interaction is used to increase group cohesion, avoid conflict, and decrease tension that might be caused by competition for food (de Waal,1995). Bonobos’ behaviors appear to be instinctive for social and stress relief reasons; these lucky fellows can seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure and the instinctive needs of the group. They are not capable of love as we know it.

Are we like our friends the bonobos? Are we just sex craved bisexuals merely releasing our aggressive tendencies so that we do not wreak havoc on society? I think not. You see, unlike the bonobos, we do have the ability to make complex rational decisions. Because of the evolution of our brains, we can hold two or more concepts or mind states simultaneously and employ our powers of reason to compare or combine them to make decisions for the self’s greater good. We can even take that one step farther and combine all our mind sets to create an emotional whole-brain mindset that we can call love. It then can become our guiding force that can control sexual pleasure by bringing it into the mindset as one whole-brain, whole-body experience that is greater and more powerful that the just sex-for-pleasure feeling.

Like our cousins the bonobos, we bisexuals often are out just for the pleasure of sex and to release our sex-based tensions so we can go back to our heterosexual world.  However, without love, sex can become merely an addictive pleasure seeking activity, and like with any other pleasure centered drug, the mind will seek greater and greater “highs”. Sex for the sake of sex will eventually become repetitive and mundane. If our only goal is pleasure, the obvious path is to find someone else who can start us off on a new high. If that fails, we can try same sex pleasure, and if that does not work, we can try fetishes. If that does not work, do we give up on sex? No. We give up on life.  In other words, our sexual desires have to be based on something more than just plain pleasure if we are to truly enjoy living.

Granted, a lot of us pleasure seeking bisexuals choose to follow our drives and not use our brains; however, we do have a choice.  And somewhere along the way, we may come to realize that pleasure for the sake of pleasure is literally a dead end street. And then we can try to put the “l” back into pain and just relax and enjoy good old plain sex with someone whom we can relate to on a mind and soul basis. We can choose to have sex because we love and want to be loved.

My five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Seeking pleasure is a good thing. It’s what keeps the old heart ticking. We can discover what turns us on and go out and find it. All is okay. No self judgement. No shame.
  2. We can use our brain to monitor our sexual drives and notice when the pleasure seems to be slipping. We can add new ideas and positions etc. to enhance the experience. This is also okay, but if we follow this path alone, it may never be enough.
  3. There is nothing wrong with repetition and familiarity. It’s okay to establish sexual patterns – the brain likes predictability. We do not have to work on our technique to increase pleasure, we just have to work on our minds.
  4. We can stop the noise of the mind that equates increased excitement with increased pleasure. We simply shut it down and enter into a sexual experience mindfully, allowing the mind to slowly absorb all the sensations that come from all seven senses.
  5. We can focus on our feelings for our partner and enjoy their increased levels of excitement and anticipation. We can learn to increase our own pleasure by enjoying the pleasure we give to the one we love. [1]

[2]

[1]Buss,DM.. Why Humans Have Sex. NCIB Resources. 2007. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17610060)

[2] De Waal, Frans B.M. Bonobo Sex and Society. Scientific American. 1995. (https://www.scribd.com/document/317081020/de-Waal-1995-Bonobo-Sex-and-Society-abbrev-pd)

Bisexuality and the Problem with Statistics

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Are you tired of statistics on bisexuality? I am. Yet another survey has shown that bisexuality is on the rise, especially among women[1]. A whopping 17.4% in the current survey have had some bisexual contact compared with 14.2% in the 2006-2010 survey. Higher numbers of both women and men identified as bisexual, 5.5% of women and 2% of men, compared with 3.9% and 1.2% respectively in the last survey. And you can be sure that number is higher for men as most of us to not want to disclose our bisexual tendencies.

So what? Why do we want to know that there are more and more of us? It reminds me of the Matrix Trilogy where Agent Smith keeps reproducing himself by thrusting his hand into someone’s chest. In the case of us bisexuals, we thrust our hand into someone’s pants and avoid the heart. It is time to step back and realize that we are all more than just programs in a worldwide sex-video game. Quite frankly I have no desire to just be another Agent Smith.

It seems that everyone wants to get in on the act. International popular TV series have taken up the torch. Bisexuality needs to be understood, and by god, they are going to show us what it is really like. However, this is not some glamorous Hollywood show where networks are competing with each other to see who can get the most views by depicting yet another example of bisexuality where marriages are broken and people are murdered because of unnatural passion. And quite frankly, I no longer want to compete with other bloggers to see who can get the most views on bisexuality. I do not want my life and my mind and my soul reduced to a statistic or another episode, book, or blog.

Did you know that only one of forty-six chromosomes is dedicated to male or female sexuality, and they cannot even find a half a chromosome, or for that matter, even one of twenty-five thousand genes, that can be nailed down for same seek attraction?  And yet sex, especially bisexual sex, seems to be a preoccupation of our western world, and it seems everyone is now encouraged to experiment with same sex attraction.

Women seem to be more attracted to same sex experimentation. When women engage in sex, their brains lights up like a Christmas tree as the pleasure center, the Nucleus Accumbens, is immediately activated, connecting with the sensory processing lobes, particularly the somatic processor which is associated with touch. Women are lucky, they immediately experience the pleasure. They take a little longer to get wound up which allows for more pleasure and more time for intimacy or attunement with their sex partner. This also allows for a second level of appraisal, and therefore,they are more likely to say “no” even after arousal.  Why do almost one in five women give up on sex with  men as their main source of sexual pleasure? Could it be that they are looking for more than sharing the “rush” provide by men? Could they be looking for something “deeper” (pardon the puns)? Could they be looking for the kind of intimate attunement that is much easier to get with another woman?

For us bisexual men, the pleasure sensation is delayed as the sexual rush is connected with the dopamine drive and the powerful emotions from the Limbic System. We get our pleasure by reaching our goal through orgasm, and only then does the Nucleus Accumbens suddenly connect with all the sensory processors to create a powerful pleasure surge similar to a hit of heroine. There is very little desire for intimacy as it merely delays the rush we so desire, but we do play along with our female partners hoping for the additional rush of mutual orgasm. When we are with men, it is all about the drive. And quite frankly, once another man touches our penis, we are literally driven to seek that hit.  We have our own built in addiction center. Sex is so simple with men. There are no mind games. There is no desire to delay orgasm because our pleasure is not in the play but in the outcome. We can just close our eyes and enjoy the anticipation of the oncoming rush with no thoughts of anyone else. There is no waiting for a partner. No guilt if the partner does not orgasm. It is so reassuring to know that once the game is on  our male sex partners have no intention of saying “wait” or  ”no”.

For many of us bisexual men, especially if we are married or in a relationship with a woman, gay sex becomes guilt and is compounded by addiction withdrawal. Our addiction demands that we do it again. However, our tortured minds are trying desperately to control our drives. The only thing that can stop our addiction is the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex, but quite frankly, once the drive is on, it is very ineffective.  But it is our source of second evaluation, or as Freud would say, our super ego or our conscious. It attempts to employ checks and balances to prevent same-sex arousal, halt addiction, and regain control over our sexual impulses. It employs cultural and religious beliefs that come in the form of layer upon layer of mind sets shaped by past negative experiences that involve shame and guilt. In order to gain control, it has to compartmentalize; it has to put sex back into its Pandora’s Box.  As bisexuals, we have to willingly choose to place our sexual drives in a nice safe compartment that we can access when appropriate so that we are not raping and pillaging or spending all our waking hours in bathhouses.

If we choose to fight the addiction, we may eventually arrive at the conclusion that we are much more than the oxytocin and hormonal impulses coming from our genitals. This realization has the power to bring us to our higher self, our soul, to a deeper level of living. Our spiritual desire and spiritual energy can then be put in control of our impulses so we can generate ideas and thoughts and beliefs to make this world a better place, something a bit more than a worldwide video game where the winner is the one who can screw the most people during a life span.

Sorry for the rant. But for us bisexuals who were born with our bisexual impulses, this is not a game or something to experiment with. This a very powerful part of our mental and physical anatomy. We really do need to control it or it will destroy us. Personally it has literally screwed up my life. I wanted to be a good husband and a good father and, in fact, I was a great husband and a great father for 33 years before everyone I cared about suddenly knew I enjoyed having sex with other men. I lost my marriage and respect from my children which, quite frankly, were more important to me than another same sex orgasm. So let’s not glamorize this thing. Let’s not encourage more and more young people to experiment with bisexuality. If they are bisexual, they will know it because it is so powerful that it will eventually come out into the open. For us, sex is not just another source of pleasure that we can experiment with. So there is no rejoicing here to learn that other men and women are experimenting with bisexuality. Getting involved with bisexual men and women is like playing with fire. We have to take the box of matches away from the juveniles.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. For those of you who are thinking about experimenting with bisexuality – you don’t have to experiment. If you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you will know it without experimenting. Even if you are seriously considering it, it probably means you are bisexual. You still have a choice. The question is do you really want to start a bisexual lifestyle with all the issues it will bring into your life? Think it through. Done the right way, it can be a very powerful and satisfying life choice.; done poorly can lead to a great deal of pain.
  2. For those of us who are truly bisexual my advice is TO BE CAREFUL, and that does not just mean having safe sex.
  3. Care for yourself and have the courage to make the right decisions that will lead to a more conscious and more joyful way of life.
  4. Beware of the addictive powers of casual sex. Avoid porn, sex shops and other places that you can get a quick fix.
  5. Listen to the voice of your higher self. Seek relationship. It can be a man or a woman or both, but it has to involve relationship. Look for love.

[1]. Copen, Casey E Chandra; Anjani; and Febo-Vazquez, Isaedmarie. Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Orientation Among Adults Aged 18–44 in the United States: Data From the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth Division of Vital Statistics. National Health Statistics Reports Number 88, January 7, 2016

 

 

Bisexuality and Loneliness

bisexual_216pxFinally some scientific evidence to support what I have known since my first teenage orgasm. My bisexual life was one of a deep sense of aloneness. There was no one I dared talk to, no one who would truly understand my deepest thoughts and feelings. I was very popular on the outside, but no one knew how lonely I was on the inside.

A recent study by Mereish etal. (2017)[1], indicates that loneliness is a contributing factor in a bisexual individual’s poor mental health leading to a possible greater risk of suicide. As expected, this study confirmed previous research that bisexuals were more likely to experience prejudice from heterosexuals and other members of the LGBQT communities. This can lead to feelings of isolation that contribute to loneliness.

Of special interest, however, are the findings that bisexuals with internal stressors, such as desires for heterosexuality and orientation concealment, were also more likely to report loneliness. The amount of spare time to ruminate and possibly engage in self-loathing mental gymnastics was also a factor. Being a student or unemployed or part–time employed contributed to a feeling of loneliness. Individuals who were single were also more likely to conceal their orientation which is another contributing factor to loneliness. And the catch twenty-two, bisexuals with post graduate degrees were less likely to conceal. and therefore more likely to come out, and therefore more likely to experience prejudice and subsequent professional isolation and loneliness.  There is no correlation between the internal and external stressors; in other words experiencing prejudice is not necessarily related to internal struggles for bisexuals (although such is not the case for other members of the LGBQT community). We can experience both but one does not necessarily lead to the other; yet, both can lead to a feeling of loneliness and therefore mental anxiety and suicide.

Feelings of experiencing external and internal prejudice and loneliness are compounded by the lack of resources that are designed for bisexual individuals. Our needs are often overlooked, possibly because of external factors like prejudice, but more likely due to the fact that we do not express our needs and are often unwilling to have our needs made public.  We are reluctant to join support groups or enter mentorship programs because of our needs for privacy. What is needed is an on-line program that protects anonymity while being able to share and experience connection with another individual or group of individuals. We need to be heard and understood before we will begin to listen to and understand ourselves.

(Please note: my on-line program will be up and running in a few months so stay tuned.)

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. If we are experiencing internal stressors and cannot seem to escape them – we should get help. I strongly suggest you try my on-line program that will be up in a few months. It is designed to build up our self-image and self-concept as bisexuals. It centers on the belief that we have a higher self with an unlimited source of power to live amazing and satisfying life. It focuses not on our problems but on our resources in the form of twenty virtues that we can develop to bring unending joy into our lives.
  2. It would appear that internal stressors may be equal to or an even greater source of anxiety and depression than experiencing prejudice. It would appear that it is worth the possible sorrows that may come from coming out rather than suffering through the loneliness of concealment. We should consider accepting, acknowledging, and telling significant others about our orientation and believing in them and our relationship. It may take time but we will be better off in the long run.
  3. If we have not done so already, we can admit to ourselves that we are bisexual with desires for sexual relationships with both women and men. We are not heterosexual but we can engage in heterosexual relationships. Likewise, we are not lesbian or gay but we can also engage in lesbian or gay relationships. We have a choice. If we are single we can indulge but we should be seeking love as well as sex.
  4. If we are in a relationship, and we are struggling with desires and occasional encounters, this concealment can be a major source of mental anxiety and can lead to a complete collapse. If we share our desires, hopes and failures with our partner, we can convey to them that we love them and are sharing this information in the hope that we can have a more honest and satisfying relationship. If they choose to leave, we have to be prepared to let them go.
  5. Above all else, we have to be true to ourselves. Once we learn to love and care for ourselves, we can begin to enjoy ourselves regardless of prejudice and what others think of us. We are worth it.

[1] Mereish, E., Kzrz-Wise,S, and Woulf3,J..Bisexual-Specific Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness. Crossmark. 2017.

( https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11121-017-0804-2?author_access_token=HmXzCxYOGPXlpyLFkEh2Sfe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY69fGsGy82K2FqKswjcCp_4lquu_M_wYRCb68kZNDamLFIvZBapABKj2WauzK0QwYj51DicENdDF4V1osJGNKNJ7f4EV4qD7AeKrzNK6d3Ww==).

Mind vs Spirit

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Before we go on to explore the nature of spiritual energy, I think we have to take a good look at the elephant in the room, and that is the nature of the human mind and its ability to create new mind sets through imagination. In other words, is the spiritual self, and all the so-called evidence of a spirit, just creations of the imagination power of the human mind?

As we discovered in a previous blog, according to science the mind thinks and creates through the activities of the orbitofrontal cortex which operates in the ongoing present through its autobiographical-self. In other words it is creating and living its own story, and if we take that one step farther, it is creating and living its own self. This mind-self is composed of a variety of related mindsets or sets of neurological pathways connected to past experiences that it can light up at any given time to address the needs of the moment. One might argue that one of these mind sets is the spiritual-self. Yes, we do think about our own spirituality, and it is a definite possibility that these spirit based thought patterns are just a creation of the mind-self. In other words, there may be no spirit, just a mindset that the mind has created to deal with issues or questions that it cannot solve through rational processes. This includes the nature of life itself, the process of death and dying, and the mind’s need to create an afterlife to prevent its complete and total destruction. The argument is that the old brain’s need for survival at all costs has been processed by the mind-self to create the spirit-self and thus provide a solution to the life and death question. We have to admit that this is a definite possibility, and that the bright light at the end of the tunnel may be merely a final flash of energy from the dying brain.

To find an argument for the spirit-self, we have to leave science behind (however, there are some scientists today who are searching for scientific evidence of a spiritual aura but we will address this another time) and enter the field of philosophy. The desire or belief in an afterlife goes back into the origins of modern man and was addressed by Plato and Epicures during the Golden Age of Greece. During the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the wise men of the time dared to imaging that the experience of life was simply a product of the functioning of the human mind. Emmanuel Kant developed an excellent argument against these atheistic theories. Kant argued that the concepts of space and time and cause and effect  do not come from just the human mind but are an essential part of our total humanity. He suggested that there is a noumenal (spirit-mind) world as well as phenomenal (rational-mind) world. In other words, we exist in two worlds with two minds, the world of our physical senses and the world or our spiritual senses. In essence, we have a body and a soul or a mind-self and a spirit-self.

So which one do we believe? To answer that question we have to look at the evidence. The presence of a mind-self that seems to direct all physical and mental activity appears to be irrefutable. Through the science of brain scans, we can see these parts of the brain light up when we think certain thoughts. It definitely exists. But does it create and direct a spirit-self or does the spirit-self create the thought that is evidenced by the activity of the brain.?  This is where the rational processes go from fact to theories that are only substantiated by the negative hypothesis. The absence of scientific evidence does not prove that the spirit does not exist.

Now let’s turn to spiritual evidence. All the unanswered questions of the mind fall into this category. All the miracles (and yes there is physical evidence that they have happened) are a result of irrational origins; they are beyond reason. The mind-self has no answer to these except the random solution. But are they random? Did they merely happen by chance? I think not,

My dear French Canadian grandmother lived a life of miracles, and the birth of my son, which I have discussed in a previous blog, was something special in my life that can not be explained by medical science. However, when looking for a definite example of a possible spirit based event, I immediately thought of a dear friend of mine.  She actually had her enlarged heart return to normal size after a prayer and the apparent transfer of spiritual energy that seemed to flow from the hands and words of a preacher. After a subsequent medical examination, the heart specialists from the University Hospital in that region had no logical explanation. They confirmed that this could not have occurred by any medical or scientific procedure. The question again is ” Does the lack of a scientific explanation prove there is a spiritual solution and therefore the evidence of a spirit-self?”. We cannot claim this on a scientific basis nor on the absence of such. However,  something inside me knows that I am more than what the eye can see, and my personal beliefs have been reaffirmed over and over again as I have learned to walk along my spirit filled path.

So why even bother with this science versus spirit exercise in logic and lack there-of? It is important because our beliefs direct our feelings, and our feelings direct our emotions, and our emotions direct our behavior.  We set goals and live our lives according to our beliefs. If I believe I am only a mind-self, I am limited by the power of my fragile mind. However, when I begin to explore the possibilities of my spirit nature, I become a powerful being. I am mind and spirit. My mind controls the activities of my body but my spirit controls the activities on my mind. I am not just the mind-self manipulating mind sets to create and co-ordinate thought and activity; I am spirit coordinating my life choices through the activities of my brain. It is not just the lighting up of neural pathways that creates “me”, my autobiographical-self, it is I, my spirit-self, that is creating the thought patterns in my brain. I light up the neural pathways; they do not light up and create me.  I have the power to create. I am a powerful, beautiful ball of eternal energy. I can create a life of miracles. I can create the life I love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals and everyone else for that matter:

  1. If we believe only in the power of our mind and have mind issues that come with our bisexual nature, we are severely hampered on how we can respond to the struggles of life. We are alone with our limited mental resources and all the mental and emotional blocks that make it difficult to make good choices.  However, we do not have to accept what life appears to offer. We can face our issues head on and try to learn to control them through  the power of our minds.
  2. However, if we believe we are spiritual beings, we then open up the possibility of a higher self with access to the infinite power of the spiritual world. Just this thought alone, even if the spiritual world is a creation of our mind, creates a whole new world of possibilities. When we focus on being aware of our innate beauty and power, the mental issues will begin to dissolve themselves. We will attract good things into our lives that will bring joy and a feeling of well being.
  3. By associating with others who believe in the spiritual self, we can form powerful bonds that multiply our individual powers to create. We can let the power of love flow through us to others and let their love power flow through us.
  4. Our gender issues do not control us. We control our gender issues. Yes we accept them and the nature of the male and female sides our bisexual nature, but they are not problems we have to live with. They are attributes, gifts that we can use for our own pleasure and to offer to those we love. Our sexuality is a gift. We need to recognize and treat it as such.
  5. As spiritual beings, we have a simple purpose and that is to live, to love, to enjoy and to expand and grow as powerful beings. If we choose to live with a special someone, they have to accept and acknowledge that we are indeed special just as we have to recognize the people we love are also indeed special.