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Friday, September 14, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love - Is that all there is?

My favorite TV programs are Globe Trekker, No Reservations and Top Chef. I read Rumi and Lao-Tze. So I’m not surprised to see Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” topping the best seller list, especially among women and foreplay loving guys such as myself.

Still, I’m wondering what to make of this celibacy thing. In Gilbert’s case, it doesn’t seem to be about “dying to the world” and having no desires (ala Rumi or Buddha), or we wouldn’t have the eat side of the book. Not too mention the 33 pounds she gains in four months.

Sure, sexual relationships can be complicated, destructive, annoying. But might actively avoiding all sex be the flip side of actively seeking out [lots of] sex. This either/or dichotomy is all too common in the US (e.g. 12 steppers v. addicts, fast food junkies v. health food fanatics). And we all know there’s a thrill in pushing things to the edge, and then leaving ourselves dangling in bliss.

I like to think we can find spirituality and meaning through actual sex. Certainly this idea is common to many belief systems across space and time. Maybe if we spent less time thinking and writing about having – and not having – sex, we’d get what we need without even trying.

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