I find it amusing when people say that Steiner didn’t talk much about sex, because my experience with him regarding this subject has been the opposite. Here is a summary of the most relevant parts of these lectures. If you’re interested in a basic overview of what Steiner had to say on these subjects, read on.
Sex and the chakras
The act of sex is connected to our sacral chakra, in sanskrit called Svadisthana, our second chakra, located above our navel. It is the energetic home of our emotions.
The sacral chakra is most connected to the root chakra Muladhara, which is located above our sexual organs. However, the root chakra is more connected with our instinct for survival more than our emotions. The root chakra energetically powers our legs (the act of moving around with our legs is also connected with our ability to work and get stuff done. We walk; we provide for ourselves, we survive) while the naval chakra is associated with our emotions.
More specifically: The emotions that originate in our relationships with others. If the legs are the physical manifestation of our instinct, our sexual organs are the physical manifestation of our desire for sensual pleasure in our relationships with others. Also, it’s the method of reproduction, which is also associated to our sacral chakra.
The word ‘sensual’ comes from the word ‘senses’, which is what we use to perceive the world around us. So reproduction is closely related to ‘sensing’ the world around us, specifically ‘sensing’ other people.
Our sexual organs are also the basest, most materialistic part of our body:
• First we have the head up top, the home of the brain, the most complex organ in the body and home of our neural circuits, which is the physical expression of our thoughts, which are spiritual in nature.
• Then we have the throat linked to our ability to communicate how we feel and think.
• Then the heart, the birthplace of higher feelings.
• Then we have the abdomen, connected to our willpower, powered by the solar plexus chakra, called Manipura in Sanskrit, which can only be strengthened through the act of doing, not by any amount of thinking or feeling.
• After the abdomen comes the sexual organs, the ones most connected to the sensory ability to experience the world that surrounds us and experience sensual pleasure, pleasure connected to the senses, the type of pleasure most associated with the earthly physical world.
The sacral chakra should be spiritually developed only after we have developed the heart and throat chakra, because of the powerful emotions associated to it. In other words, before tackling the issue of spiritualizing our emotions, we must first purify our heart and speech by connecting to higher ideals and thoughts.
Abstention – Is it really necessary?
With the issue of sex, there also comes the issue of abstention from sex. Some people believe that the abstention from sex makes us spiritually stronger. This idea is certainly valid, since we are choosing not to experience the sensual pleasure in our relationships with others and instead base our entire understanding of people on spiritual grounds instead of physical ones, which would develop our relationship to the spiritual worlds in an accelerated manner.
However, this doesn’t mean that sex is intrinsically evil, or that spiritually minded people should all abstain from sex. Sexuality is something natural in our human constitution. If the act of sex is combined with the act of love, then it is something positive for our souls; it is a means of expressing the higher love we have for another person through physical means, which results in the experience of sensual pleasure.
This must not be confused with the erroneous belief that sexuality can be a pathway to spiritual development. Sexuality is a sensual pleasure, and therefore of this world. There is no way to access the higher, spiritual world through physical sensuality. Therefore, sex can either be:
• A means to satisfy our lust, which in this case it is a base action; or
• The sensual expression of a higher type of love,
But it can never be an act to connect with the spiritual world in and of itself.
The obsession with sex
Sex shouldn’t be a subject that people are obsessed about, as is the case in the modern world. The unusual levels of attention that people give to the flesh results in a missed opportunity to focus on more important subjects for soul development, such as the creation and expression of higher feelings and thoughts, and the action of working through deeds of love. Bottom line is the flesh shouldn’t be the focus of spiritually minded people.
The sexual education of youth
Sex is something natural, and as such, it will happen naturally between people. However, overtly sexual or sensual concepts and images should not be shoved inside children’s minds, as so often happens nowadays. This of course is very difficult, since we live in a highly sexualized world where everywhere you look, it seems you’re being enticed to give in to lust, through publicity, advertising, propaganda, TV commercials, etc.
As an alternative and even an antidote to this, children, especially those going through or who have just gone through puberty (that is to say, adolescents), should be led by their parents and educators to take an active interest in the world that surrounds them, in all its facets. They should be curious and enthusiastic about the world, about how it works, about observing people and events in their reality and understanding them.
The world should be like an open book to them, or a riddle to solve through their developing mental faculties. If children take an active interest in the world, they will grow up to be highly intelligent, observant and inquisitive individuals, with a natural understanding of sex based on their own latent and balanced desires.
If, on the other hand, this natural inquisitiveness is not developed in adolescents, and they are not led to think about the world that surrounds them, then what else are they’re going to think about? They’re going to think about and pay attention to the sexuality that is developing in them, and take too much of an interest in experiencing the new sensations in their bodies, to the point that it can devolve in an unhealthy eroticism, especially in boys who are more hormonally prone to this.
Added to the matter that boys are more hormonally prone to eroticism, they are also led to believe, by the culture that surrounds them, that there is something wrong with them if they are not sexually active the moment their bodies start developing. This is a big setback, because there is no need for boys to give in to the lustful feelings that are beginning to arise in them in order for them to feel that they are ‘properly male’. There is no need for boys or girls to become sexually active before their time. This is nonsense, and parents and educators should specially strive not to let this thought take root in the minds of adolescents, because it would represent a serious detriment to the development of healthy and normal sexual feelings and actions.
When girls and boys that have been trained to become observant and inquisitive about the world do feel the urge to explore their sexuality, then in that case sex will be approached by them as something natural that is part of the world, but not the most important thing in the whole world. It will inform and expand their worldview, but not become the center of it, as so often happens with youth nowadays where they constantly talk about sex and their experiments with it and the like.
Partnership & Love
When couples love each other, it is especially important to observe the love they have in their hearts for the other person and make sure it is not selfish love. That is, make sure you don’t love the other person just because of how it makes you feel, or what benefits being with that other person (emotional or otherwise) you may receive. Rather, we should seek to love the other person honestly, seek to serve them through our love, seek to expand and enrich them, to help them become better human beings.
He also mentions that couples can indeed merge into each other in a way, that is, they can adopt certain emotional and energetic characteristics of the other person. If it is a healthy love, these characteristics will be positive, and the individuals are each made better human beings because of their union.
Deeds of Love
The two forces that help the human being to spiritually evolve are wisdom and strength, but love is equally important, for it is the force that creates joy in our lives and in our relationships with everybody else. Therefore, human beings should strive to act through love, to perform deeds of love whenever they can, in order to create more joy in the world and with each other.
Humans are social beings, but they are also anti-social. That is, there is a force within us that compels us to live in society and get along, but there is also a force within us that drives us to criticize and judge others based on our sympathies and antipathies. As an example of this, let us observe the fact that is easy for someone who has known another person for a long time to grow tired of that person, and that is a characteristic symptom of their anti-socialness.
We all bear the stamp of this natural anti-socialness in us whether we want to admit it or not.
Love, of course, is presented as an antidote to this natural anti-socialness. We must not love others based on whether we like them or not, in the same way we must not give in to our anti-social impulses by degrading, insulting, or abusing the other person every time they do something we don’t like, but we must seek to nurture the love in our hearts so that we can serve others and strengthen them through our love, which will in turn strengthen our hearts and inner lives.
Moodiness, torment of self, torment of others, and abuse of others are all symptoms of a disorderly constitution that has cultivated too much of the anti-social within it, and must seek to act, feel, and think through love every day more and more if it is to counterbalance these natural negative tendencies within itself and become more social.
It counts for nothing if we know these truths intellectually, but continue being moody or abusive to others. We must act through deeds of love, not think only incessantly about love. The former will become, in time, an infinite source of strength for us, and the latter will just cause more of a divide between our thinking and willing lives, more of a disorder in our constitution.
I hope this summary was useful to you. Feel free to comment.