Just finished Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes. Every one of his books is like seeing through a tear in the fabric of reality, into another world, a world redeemed by enlightenment. Wish I could figure out how he does that. The best of all so far is his next novel, The Zahir. It cannot be explained or summarized or classified. You just have to read it.
Eleven Minutes is classically and literally pornography. Not only is it, in part, about prostitution, but it is built on an autobiography of “Maria,” a Brazilian woman who chose of her own free will to be a sex worker in Portugal. By befriending her and other prostitutes, he found a way to create a novel he had dreamed of, transmogrifying her story into powerful, exquisite erotica and finally into a magnificent romance—without ever being sleazy. If you don’t believe he could do that, see for yourself. He shows how sex itself can be a pathway to enlightenment, embodying Jung’s insight that “We become enlightened, not by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness within us conscious.” He shows how all the forms of love can merge into a single epiphany. Just blew me away.
Further, he confirms two of my suspicions, two that have been vehemently denied by persons who do not want to understand what I am talking about, let alone why, out of their own fear, I suppose.
The first is my suggestion that if two people can be utterly open to each other psychically, with no secrets, with absolute trust, and can hit orgasm simultaneously, their ego boundaries will be shattered, they will lose the illusion that we are isolated and separate, they will merge into a single being, they will know everything about each other afterward (and far below the level of words), and, if they are especially fortunate, will undergo a total Awakening and experience the paradox of being fully within the Divine. That is exactly what he describes. I’ve had all of that happen, but . . . just imagine! People don’t want to take my word for it! So it is very useful to have Paul the Rabbit spell it all out in great detail. (A beautiful Brazilian Mormon woman I know explained his name to me. She’s read him in his original Portuguese. He’s not telling Mormons anything they don’t know.)
If there were a Satan, a conscious embodiment of pure evil, his greatest triumph would be to convince people of the greatest possible heresy, that sexuality is evil, because he would thus hide the truth that pure sexuality is the path most likely to lead us to Awakening and salvation. But “pure” is the real issue. Remember that the actual purpose of the magical disciplines is to become purified.
Second, Coelho has a scene in which his male lead, Ralf, a world-famous artist, explains “Maria” that in some ancient societies every women had the right, once in her life, to volunteer as a priestess at a temple of the Goddess and have sex with strangers in order to bless and heal them. That social institution does crop up in several passages in the Jewish scriptures. Very few people in our modern world have any way to understand what all that was about or what we have lost. To call such women “sacred prostitutes” already denigrates and misunderstands them. The Greek term hierodoules means “servants of the sacred,” but itself mistranslates the Sumerian or Akkadian terms. Perhaps a closer approximation is that they were called “living sacraments” or, better, they were not only called, but actually became, Goddesses. They were honored even more than royalty; in fact, a man could become King only if anointed by such a Priestess—and one may wonder who exactly anointed Jesus. If you, dear reader, cannot imagine how a prostitute can be a Goddess, then you are suffering from that Satanic heresy, and it has paralyzed your imagination.
Ralf goes on to say that that blessed institution was destroyed by patriarchy, that it would never again exist, and that the world has no concept of what has been lost. When we currently don’t offer women full equality in even the most civilized countries (a list the USA ain’t at the top of), the possibility that women might someday be restored to the hegemony over men that they deserve (and that would do much more toward improving the human species’ chances for survival) seems remote. However, what might be very long in coming for society in general can be accomplished by individuals here and now—which is Coelho’s real point.
I know Craft High Priestesses who know quite well how a woman can be a living Goddess—I’ve known some who were really good at it. As for whether there are High Priests who are good at being living Gods, I don’t have any reliable firsthand information, but certainly it is a goal worth working for. It is inherently a goal that will take a great deal of work for many years by any man or woman who wants to achieve it. It requires total cleansing and restructuring of the personality, such as might be achieved by undergoing years of psychotherapy and disciplined work on oneself. On the other hand, you could just Awaken and have it all done in an instant.
I so wish it were that simple. I wish every human being could simply decide to Awaken and do so. All of Humanity, all of reality, would be instantly transformed into Paradise—that is not metaphor or hyperbole. The transformation would happen physically, because of the way we collapse quantum equations. However, as things stand, Awakening is a gift of the Gods. It cannot be earned or deserved. Knowing that it is possible, trying to make yourself open to it, does make it somewhat more likely, but never certain. I don’t know why the Gods don’t Awaken all of humanity, or even a majority of us, right now—but that’s just one item in the long list of things I don’t know.
By the way, a genuine Awakening produces a state of unshakeable humility. As Scott Peck pointed out, any “religious” leader who wants wealth, fame, and power is a con man and a fraud.
More will be revealed.