All creatures of the earth experience suffering. It is nature’s gentle way of guiding our actions as we traverse this consciousness. Those of us in the kink community have a unique perspective because of our willingness to explore and embrace pain. This, I believe gives us a much better understanding of this transmutational experience. The judeo/moslem/christian tradition also contains a strong element of embracing pain, and urges the relief of this pain through connection with “God” and the blessing of being “saved”. Ways and means of connecting the individual with the Divine are in short supply in this spiritual tradition, however there is prayer, contemplation and of course your local clergy. Coming from the eastern traditions we additionally have meditation and chanting. I would like to include music, singing, dancing and ceremony. If we would like to broaden our definition even more we can include divination as well. These activities take us out of our limited self concept and allow in universal energy which ranges from simple energy itself all the way up to Divine energy. We can be putting energy out there, as in prayer, chanting, dancing and music, or we can be taking energy in, as in contemplation, meditation and divination. In order to experience the relief from inner or outer turmoil one must surrender one’s small self, the ego, our limited self concept to the vaster, wiser being.
All of the above mentioned activities count as “worship” in a western religious context. Folks go to church to be lead through a simple ceremony of worship which may include an inspiring talk, singing, chanting or repeating the words of a prayer… But when we look at Hinduism we see a much more personal relationship with the Divine. People might make offerings to their Deity of choice, washing the statue, dressing it, adorning it with flowers and chanting prayers for hours. In Tantra, one does these activities with their consort, who stands in as the deity. This is starting to come a little closer to our experience of worship in the BDSM community.
In the BDSM community we have our elders, professionals and tops/dominants/masters and mistresses who guide us. Depending on our circumstance we may offer a tribute or offering to our superior, we may clean and prepare their adornments, we may honor them with kisses and various forms of attentive pleasure giving to their feet, legs… or any part of the body. A slave or seeker can take any mundane task and, in completing it, be making an offering to their dominant. We may entreat our superiors for mercy, confess our sins. It is also possible to lose ourselves in contemplation of a superiors’ object of power or photograph for a more subtle exchange of energy.
The act of surrender, of sublimating your will to another person or a higher power is an ancient contract reflecting the timeless hierarchy of predator over prey. Ancient and cathartic, it is a powerful tool for brain-change. When we surrender, we take that power we normally give to our rational, thinking mind and send it instead outward and hopefully upward. In the case of the predator/prey relationship, the one is giving their very life and flesh that the other may survive. In the SM context the bottom gives their will, their body, and their time to the top for mutual fulfillment. In the religious context the seeker performs the rituals to gain a better connection and guidance from the divine, if allowable in that religion or, if not, simply as a form of life-after-death insurance.
The act of worship, of focusing your consciousness completely on an external object or person which you venerate, is a way of losing your limited self concept. If done with the proper abandon one can literally melt into the object or person they are venerating. It is possible to lose your experience of yourself completely and achieve a single pointed consciousness. This state can be put to amazing magickal, religious or energetic use. One may use this state to transmute themselves or their world. Not the least of the amazing things this is useful for is to bring great healing and pleasure to your top, and bring great intimacy into the top/bottom relationship.
You can try this at home!
Originally posted July 15, 2010