Info Tent         Sacred Sex Index
PERSONAL INTEGRITY



THE MEANING OF INTEGRITY
Personal integrity is essential in the development of a free, wise and open Being. Integrity means to be true, to be open and honest, to adhere to your values and moral principles. Just what do you believe is right, fair, decent and good? Are you clear about this? If you are, these are your moral convictions.

UNIVERSAL VALUES
Most people believe in basic values and moral standards: don’t hurt each other, be kind and loving, honest and good, do onto others as you would have them do unto you. There is room for much variation of expression regarding these universals: the important thing is that everyone grows towards what is good and Life-giving with integrity. This instinct for the good is written in our healthy blood and bones.

SHIFTS IN PERSPECTIVE
Personal integrity doesn’t mean never making major changes in how you see life. There are times that this is just what is needed. For example if you were raised in a very conservative home you might at some point shift to being more liberal, or a liberal could decide to become much more conservative. If you were born in a sexually repressive home you might shock everybody and suddenly open up your sexual nature and start exploring, or if you were born in an anything goes atmosphere you might sense a deep need to develop personal boundaries. All of us are free to explore and change our orientations as we grow. The thing is that if we learn to listen to our deepest nature, which is connected to the Divine, we will learn what we need to do to unfold, fill out and balance. This may mean that we end up very different than our family members. What is integrity to one person may mean not breaking the original developmental mold, and for another it means doing just that. This is where we must allow for a rich diversity in growth patterns.

You might ask, can reversing deeply held convictions ever be integrity? If a person realizes there is something faulty or incomplete in their familiar system of beliefs, then it is a matter of integrity to be true to their new understanding, especially if it calls them forward into an expansive sense of Love, more Light and a freer expression of Life. This kind of reversal can be very unsettling and cause a lot of relational distress and even breakdowns, but sometimes it is essential to follow just such a process for this alone is being true. You know in your heart of hearts that to compromise would be to settle for far less than life is bidding you to be.


SEXUAL INTEGRITY
But what about sexual matters? It is easy to agree that we shouldn’t kill or lie, cheat or steal, but about sex there is a whole range of convictions. If you have read other articles on this site or explored the pictorial pages you know that IHC advocates a full integration of sexual energy as an important part of spiritual growth. But what does this mean regarding relationships and the personal integrity required in them?

As with all things in life, selfishness breaks things down and real Love creates growth and fulfillment. It is just that simple. So, to me, the essence of integrity must be our life-long commitment to let Love have its way in us. In this light it seems the real question to ask regarding relational and moral issues is whether this action is coming from Love or is it being driven by my wounded, selfish nature? Am I being drawn to explore new areas and mature or constrained by fear and neediness? Am I seeking more Light, Love and freedom or am I angry and don’t give a damn about the consequences of my actions on my life or on the lives of others? If Love is the free power we seek then it also must be the measuring stick of our actions and attitudes.

REAL LOVE
But what is real Love? To answer that is a life-long journey of discovery for Love is the mystery and meaning of all things. But there are some things we can clearly say: Love is the way Life unfolds to its highest potential of good; Love seeks the good and freedom of our own souls by seeking the good of others; Love makes things beautiful when it holds full sway.

Love is not the tame, sentimental sweetness many would like to portray it to be. Look at Jesus who expressed such a high state of Love: he turned upside down an entire world of social values based on power over others, rejected his family’s efforts to hold him in their familiar dynamics, hung around with social outcasts, including prostitutes, healed those who really wanted to be healed and let the others be, honoring everyone’s freedom, even to suffer if that is what they chose, and in the end embraced the most feared form of death known in order to break humanity’s fear of death and call us all to fearless lives of Love. This is a warrior Love, a revolutionary Love, a radically transformative Love.
SHOCKING OUR LOVED ONES
For us to follow such a Love as this means we may at times break the social mold, shatter family expectations, leap into the fire, reverse habitual ways of thinking and acting, break with our religious upbringing, surprise everyone who knows us, even shock them

LOVE'S FREEDOM OR SELFISH WILDNESS?
But what is the difference between a radical Love that leads to personal freedom and selfish wildness that leads to misery in the end? We must grow very clear about this and the only way we can is to see the difference between our insecure egotistical natures and our higher nature. What we do egotistically creates and perpetuates what many call the “pain body,” a level of our inner emotional fabric that is composed of pain and the nature of pain to create more pain. Every time we seek revenge we create more pain in the world, and it comes back on us. Every time we follow addictive impulses we spin downward and deepen our pain body. Every time we give in to loneliness and self-pity we fall into the pain body’s grip. Everytime we lift outselves up by casting another down we add to the painbody of humanity. Love’s freedom shall completely undo this dark nature. Let’s be clear about it. The way of freedom is not for fearful, lazy people: the way of the pain body can at times seem somehow easier, but it is infinitely more difficult in the end.
FACING OUR FEARS
What if you have been sexually repressive and you feel like you want to let this natural life force out, but it is so bound up with fears and guilt that it seems like a sleeping monster? All the mystics of all religious systems have said that the way to the garden of wholeness is guarded by our worst fears and that at some point we must face the dragons. Only this way can our natural energies come into balanced harmony and be discovered in their purity.

But what if you have very weak boundaries and have followed your love of sex no matter where it carried you, even into being manipulated and used by predatory type people or being one yourself? Then perhaps for you the establishment of boundaries is essential to restore personal strength, healthy self love and a sense of dignity. You must learn to say no and mean it. We each must find our own way because our true developmental needs can be just the opposite of even our closest friends.

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN LOVE AND SELFISH EGOISM
The best way to allow your deep and true Life to emerge, to wash you, to illuminate you with its Light is to be very honest. Open up, share your true longings and thus strengthen them. If you need to shut down your sexual nature for a while until you get your personal bearings, just say that and ask for the respect of others even as you learn to give it to yourself. Or if you need to sexually open up and recover the pure, joyful natural energy God has created it to be, say what your intentions are, don’t play games designed by yours or another’s pain body: put your soul growth as your top priority and express that.

When you die — and you will as surely as the sun rises in the morning — your soul is all you will take from this world. Take care for it, learn to distinguish between soul and your selfish ego and its pain body, learn to listen for the voice of real Love which always works for the highest good of all, and you will find a personal integrity that will guard the greatest treasure you could possibly own — your own True Self.