We are here in this human existence primarily to sense things and to be conscious of what we are sensing. Our consciousness itself cannot do any sensing; it merely is aware of our sensation. It is the physical experience of pain and pleasure, discomfort and delight, and love and loss that enriches our lives here in the earth plane. For every sensation we experience, such as softness, we are naturally able to sense it’s opposite, such as hardness. For a sweet taste, we must also be able to taste bitterness. This is the duality of human experience that arises from the ability to sense things. Our sensations occur in a context and that context often is created by opposition. Our physical experience relies on this spectrum.
Consciousness, however, does not generate any sensation itself. It exists as the vessel for all awareness. It is the space in which the experience of sensation occurs. Because of this, it adds another dimension to our sensations, which I call the HD dimension (high definition). Our body can be stimulated by external sensations but if we are unconscious, we will never be aware of it. Similarly, we can be influenced by emotional stimuli but if we are blind to it, we will not understand what is happening.
Because consciousness doesn’t include any form of thought or sensory experience, in order to experience itself, it must create an illusion of separation through sensation. That is the nature of human experience, as sensory organisms reacting to external and internal stimuli but with the ability to observe the sensations with the potential of impartiality. Once impartiality is obtained (which may happen in fleeting moments), then consciousness and sensation have entered into balance. When we slip back into sensation without impartiality, when we misinterpret or overreact to our sensations, then we give sensation more weight. We will find ourselves at the mercy of our senses, which can bring both extreme joy but also incredible suffering. We become identified with sensation itself and forget all about the consciousness which has allowed the experiences to exist in the first place.
Consciousness and sensation work together. There will always be consciousness, but there will not always be sensation. Our work is to become aware of the consciousness that perceives the sensations.
It is not the goal of human existence to separate our sensory selves from our conscious selves, as that is not really possible as long as we are alive. But the idea is to bring them closer and closer together. This is what mindfulness practices train and why they are so life-changing.
Orgasm: The Merge
Integration occurs quite naturally at the point of orgasm, which can be understood as the height of sensory experience that is accompanied by full suspension of thought. This ecstatic state is one of union on multiple levels and could be why it is part of Taoist and Tantric enlightenment practices. This blissful, open energy is thought to provide the individual with an experience of the divine - to show her what exists beyond the veil.
If one approaches orgasmic ecstasy not as a habitual "goal" or "release" but rather as a form of meditation, it's possible to maintain presence of mind at the peak of physical sensation. This state is marked by alertness but also of a falling away of illusions - even the sense of self falls away. This is perhaps what I find most interesting about the experience because unlike monastic teachings which would indicate that sexual arousal and pleasure are obstacles to witnessing the self, conscious acts of sexual pleasure accomplish that very thing quite effortlessly. It's natural.
Conscious orgasmic experiences can then train you to recognize the dance of sensation and consciousness in everyday, "non-sexual" moments. The activity of your senses becomes a source of information and enjoyment rather than the goal of life. The line between sex and non-sex blurs, so that you carry deep presence with you no matter what you may be doing. Paradoxically, you stop seeking sensation, including orgasm, for its own sake. You merely observe what is occurring in the present moment and allow sensation to hold you there, without traveling backwards into past memories or forward into future anxieties.