White Crane Journal #52

Spring 2002

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Phallic Worship

Bruce P. Grether

Personally I don't worship MY penis as God or as a god--though that depends partly on what you mean by the word, God. It's fine with me if someone else wants to do so. However, I'm not at all uncomfortable with the idea of worshiping God with my penis

I doubt any two people on Earth mean exactly the same thing by "God." While I'm not attached to any particular religion, my own response to that term is that I have no doubt that the Universe appears to be structured in an amazing balance between Chaos and Order. The "Way the Universe is Organized"--that's what's meant in Chinese by "Tao"--appears so incredibly precise, so that if tiny changes were made, we might not exist at all. This suggests intentional design... but who knows? It could all be evolved through endless numbers of random accidents for all I or anyone else really knows. But my intuition has no trouble accepting some kind of purposefulness or intent or meaning to existence behind the extraordinary coherence of the physical Cosmos, DNA and that self-regulating aspect of the biosphere we inadequately label as Gaia.

I try not to truly believe anything. I consider belief to be the enemy of knowledge--if I really get convinced of anything, then I've dismissed all other possibilities. So I try to keep forever open to revising my maps if something better comes along. At the same time, I've learned to trust my intuition and my heart. So I have sort of conditional beliefs along the way.

I don't believe in supernatural beings or superheroes with superpowers. But a great deal does seems to exist beyond anything we can comprehend. So I appreciate paths that acknowledge the Great Mystery. And I do believe in Nature. Nature is the great Teacher, the Source, the only Spiritual Master. When I need to find balance or center myself, I go out into the forest and meditate. When I forget my human self, lose my boundaries and become formless, I always learn whatever I need at that moment.

But as far as gods are concerned, polytheism (the belief in many gods) appeals to me. As a child of missionaries, I happened to grow up in Thailand, where a kind of animistic and pantheistic spirit-worship much older underlies the Buddhist tradition. I like to consider that in some sense everything is alive: Animal, plant, mineral, the whole shebang. And this is why I can consider myself--and you and any other male person--a Phallic God.

From our monotheistic, patriarchal viewpoint it isn't easy to understand what polytheism really meant to ancient cultures. The ancient Egyptians, for instance, did not view their many gods and goddess as supernatural beings as we do. To them these were "divine principles of Nature" or aspects of the daily world. In a real sense they did not worship many gods, so much as the Creator in many forms. The Rising Sun, the Midday Sun, the Setting Sun, the Moon, the Flood, the Seed Force, the North Star, the Pleasant Warmth, the Withering Heat, the Fertility of Cats, the Cosmic Womb, the Mother, the Father, the Child, the Air, the Mist--all these aspects of the surroundings and daily cycle were divine expressions to the Egyptians. The gods were depicted in human-like and partly human forms, but also in everything else they portrayed. To the Egyptians, there was no distinction between sacred and secular--everything was sacred to them. The world was viewed as an interconnected family, all of it holy and alive and divine in origin. That's an attitude I like.

So the early Sky Gods and Creators such as Min or Menu and Atum, portrayed as Phallic Gods with huge erections, were also seen as divine principles that boys and men could experience in their own bodies. There was no clear line between life and death for the Egyptians, between people and gods, animals and plants, on and on. They saw all this in terms of connections and relationships, all manifestation as an interknit family of divine expressions.

Min or Menu, Atum, Ka-mut-f, Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysus, Cernunnos, Jesus, many other deities essentially represent the Vegetative Seed-Force of nature, the cycles of growth, dying back and regeneration. Try viewing yourself in these terms, your life-cycle, your yearly cycle, daily cycle, your erectile cycle, all those things that wax and wane in your life and body. This can be meaningful, but need not be considered religious by any means.

With this very different kind of thinking in mind, I have no trouble viewing myself as a Phallic God, or you or whoever else likes the idea. Namaste: "The God in me honors the God in you." It just means that I can experience the seed-force of Nature in my body, aware of myself as the masculine complement in that sperm/beast-egg/flower continuum of generative forces. As such, my pleasure in masturbating connects me with Nature, with the Source of Life, the Source of Everything. I feel my aroused penis as a kind of spiritual umbilical cord connecting me directly with Souce. To me, such archetypes and images are deeply meaningful, but not conventionally religious or supernatural.

I don't worship my penis as God or a god, but sure enjoy the heck out of it and to me that's a highly spiritual practice.


Bruce P. Grether lives in Texas with his partner Tom. He's an activist for the erotic liberation of his fellow men and host of the site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mindfulm4men/ and can be reached at bgrether@austin.rr.com


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