As I sit down to write this, it’s only a few hours since our new President was sworn into office. We are still flying high on the ecstatic afterglow and the promise of change that his victory represents for us all. I recently turned fifty-three, and never in my lifetime have I witnessed so many people from all over the world experiencing and publicly expressing so much hope for what is possible. It seems as if literally multitudes are allowing themselves to actually believe that this world can become the kind of place we all want it to be in our better moments. This unprecedented suspension of cynicism and the outpouring of faith in our highest human values are exhilarating to behold. After so many decades of false images and double standards, with the inevitable ensuing disillusionment and disappointment, the fact that so many are permitting themselves to have faith in the moral fortitude and trustworthiness of another human being is quite an extraordinary event indeed. It’s a very exciting time to be alive!
This is especially moving for me because at EnlightenNext we live and thrive daily on a similar unselfconscious positivity, conviction, and deep faith in what is possible. That is why it is such a thrill for us to witness so many having the experience of the liberating release that occurs when trust and conviction in the potential of our shared higher values are driving our actions. Oh, but I’m letting myself get carried away . . . I’m supposed to be writing an editorial for this issue of EnlightenNext. And boy, is this a hot item you are holding in your hands!
It’s been a very long time since we’ve done an entire feature section on “the birds and the bees”—eleven years, in fact. The title of our Spring/Summer 1998 issue was “What is the relationship between sex and spirituality?” and it included in-depth interviews about the time-honored spiritual practices of tantra and celibacy as well as the relationship between both of these paths and our higher development. The provocative issue we have put together a decade later is a very different animal. It is not so much about sex as it is about postmodern culture, philosophy, and the different perspectives we assume as we strive to make sense out of the human experience. It probes into the factors that influence the way we think about sex and the role that lovemaking plays in our ever-more-complex lives. It’s about questioning our social mores as they relate to sexuality and spirituality. Sex is one thing, but how we think about it and the context in which we think about it are something else altogether.
I’m sure that if nothing else, we will have succeeded in getting many of our readers to start thinking and talking about sex and the role it should play in their lives in ways they haven’t before. In our main features, we’ve taken on some pretty avant-garde approaches to this alluring topic, so I want to apologize in advance to anyone who may be offended by the graphic content. The nature of the terrain we are covering simply is what it is; therefore we had to dare to affront some people’s sensibilities in order to objectively wrestle with some big and important questions. If you can roll with the punches, I’m sure that after you give this issue a thorough reading, your ideas about sex and the role it plays in your life will have been influenced for the better—at least that’s our hope.