Breaking-Through the Mystery of Intimacy
Day 13. Only one more day at Raj before going back to the States and I didn't know what to do. It all seemed to make sense - my joining the family. I was happy and secure here but I wasn't in love with Stan. I didn't want to marry anyone before I loved them. Sharing him wasn't a problem - or so I supposed - I just needed to be sure it was the right thing to do.
Philemon 1:22 seemed different the next morning. It all seemed rather vain, if not a little foolish. What was I to ask them?
"Do you want me in your family?"
It sounded silly and arrogant. I just tried to put it out of my mind. The Lord would have to give me something better than a scripture out of the blue. Why couldn't I have a vision or something? Couldn't an angel appear and tell me what to do? I know, the Lord doesn't often work that way, but I didn't want the responsibility of taking a decision that would change my life for ever without being sure.
I went into the dining room for breakfast and sat down. Everyone said good morning, Kryztina said grace, and we started tucking in. I didn't say anything. Breakfast conversation was never particularly lively as too many people were still waking up. Only the children seemed to have any real life in them.
"Did you sleep well?" enquired Stan.
"Yeah, sort of," I said.
Stan mumbled something in Polish which I didn't catch to Kryztina who was sitting next to him this week. Sarah-Jane was to my left now and broke the silence.
"I think I know what you're going through," she said. "I remember how I felt the day before I went back to Canada on my first trip."
I was too embarassed to say what was on my heart with Stan sitting next to me but Sarah-Jane understood.
"It's OK, if you'd rather not talk about it, or wait another time..."
I felt sheepish and shy all of a sudden. Then the emotions started welling up inside.
"Would you excuse me," I said, "I have to go to the bathroom."
I hurried out without trying to show my tears and headed for my room. Sarah-Jane followed and knocked on my door. I was sobbing and couldn't answer.
"Can I come in?" she said, poking her head around the door.
"Sure," I said, glad of the company.
She sat next to me on my bed and put her hand on my shoulder. I threw my arms around her and sobbed even louder. "I don't know what to do, I really don't."
"Can I say something?" Sarah-Jane asked. I nodded. "You don't know what to do, do you - whether it's right to marry Stan or not. Right?" I nodded again, sniffing a bit.
"I think you do," she said with absolute certainty in her voice.
I looked up at her. How could she know? She continued:
"Look deep in your heart and ask: where do I want to be? Where do I feel most loved? Where can I love the most? Where do I feel safe? Where do I feel happy?"
I looked deep into her eyes. She had such a gentle look on her face, reasurring me that she cared enough for me to do what was right without pushing me one way or the other.
She continued: "If you could choose to go back home to Kansas City right now or stay here, what would you do?"
I almost blurted it out: "Oh I'd stay here, I'd stay here!"
"Why?" she asked.
I wiped my eyes with my kerchief. The truth was now dawning on me from deep within.
"Don't be afraid," said Sarah-Jane reassuringly. "Just describe it the way it is."
"But" - I paused - "but it's not the way I expected!"
Sarah-Jane smiled: "What you're trying to say is that instead of violent emotional romantic feelings for Stan you're experiencing this, deep, deep inner glow..."
"Yes, yes," I exclaimed excitedly, "that's the word - a GLOW - like an eternally burning torch. It's so STABLE. It's a burning deep within, and it's always there when I look into his eyes."
"Well, honey, you may not realise it, but you've found the heart of what firstborn love is. You see, it's not a wild romantic emotion like falling in love, even though it manifests that way quite often, but it's like white-hot coals. Once you're in it, you're in it. But you didn't notice you were in it because it grew within you so gradually. That's the way of the Spirit we follow, Hélène. It's like a giant boiler that never cools down. It's fed by Christ and only by Christ. The oneness we share, the closeness and intimacy, all comes from that source. It's not of the flesh. You were looking for a worldly, fleshy response for your testimony. That comes too, but it must start from the Christ-centre."
It all made sense.
"Oh, but what do I do now. What shall I say? I don't know what to say! What do I say to Stan? I feel so helpless!"
I started crying again, but this time for joy.
"You see, it took the pain of separation - of the imminence of you're going back to the States - for you to see the truth. The truth is only ever revealed when its loss is threatened. Love can only be seen when it is about to be taken away. We discover light through darkness, and love through an absense of love. Yahweh had to take you to this last moment for you to finally see.
"I'm glad you didn't fall in love. Most of us here did. We came in the wrong way round and had to find this love by other means. But you, darling, have found it in the proper way. You are so blessed! It's going to be so much easier for you!"
"Easier!" I protested. "I'm leaving tomorrow! And I don't want to go. I don't! I want to stay here forever."
"Come on, let's go and eat breakfast..."
"I couldn't eat a thing, Sarah-Jane - I'm just too emotionally overwhelmed. Must we go back?"
"Yes," she replied, "we must. Besides, my stomach is groaning even if yours isn't."
I giggled. Sarah-Jane took my hand and we returned to the dining room. All eyes were on me. Everyone was smiling because everyone KNEW. They always seemed to know. I went and sat next to Stan again.
"Come on," he said tenderly, "eat up your breakfast and then we can go into the living room and talk."
My stomach protested but my will triumphed. All the time I kept looking at everyone, into their eyes, to see if this really was true. I wanted to look into Stan's - I was sure my heart would burst if I did, so I avoided him. He knew what I was feeling and talked to Kryztina. When everyone had finished eating he took my hand and Kryztina's, and Sarah-Jane took my left hand, until we were all linked in a chain. Stan prayed:
"Heavenly Father, blessed art Thou, King of the Universe, who bringest together Thy lost children from the four corners of the earth. May Thy richest blessings be upon all of us today, and especially upon Hélène, at this special time. Protect us all during this day, bless us with inspiration and Thy presence that we may walk in Thy will, and may Thy holy love fill every breast, in Yah'shua's Name. Amen."
"Amen!" I said, and meant it with every fibre of my being. The emotions were surging again and I didn't know how to control them. I wanted to cry - cry for joy and cry because I would soon be leaving.
"Let's go to the living soon," said Stan, and I was relieved.
What ever was going to happen I needed to happen quickly, or I knew I would burst. Everybody got up and started peeling off. I had thought they were all coming to be together with me but they went off to their several chores and duties of the day. I discovered that I was still holding Stan's hand - I didn't want to let go. He squeezed mine reassuringly and together we went into the living room.
"Sarah-Jane," he called, "would you be with us?"
Oh, I was relieved to hear that - I felt a special affinity with Sarah-Jane and a gratitude that she had come to my room to help me over the last hump of indecision and doubt. I was subsequently to learn that she was what is called a "spiritual twin", a bosom sister given to be a special companion. Every sister-wife had one - they were prayer partners, counsellors, helps - they had many things in common temperament-wise and in personality. Isabel and Anna were twins, Kasia and Suszana, and later Kryztina and Andreea from Romania.
Sometimes when someone was twinless she would be "adopted" by another pair of twins to make a triplet until her own came along. Kryztina was much with Kasia and Suszana in the beginning but sometimes gravitated to us. But the important thing was that we are all together -- all one in spite of our differences. The love was one and indivisible.
Stan took me to the sofa and sat with me on his left. Sarah-Jane sat to my left. She took my hand whilst Stan put his arm around me. I nestled my head into this chest and breathed deeply, putting my arm around his wasite.
"Oh, Stan, I'm so happy, I don't know what to say or do!"
Tears started to roll again. He squeezed my shoulder in reassurance. I looked finally up at him and into those deep brown eyes and just melted. For a moment, which seemed like an eternity, I felt like Kasia did - she would just stare deep into Stan's eyes, oblivious to everything around her. It was easy to get lost in him and ride the crest of his deep and steady love. I didn't know whether I wanted to kiss him or not - perhaps, I thought, that's why he had brought Sarah-Jane with him, but my knowledge of Stan's views about sex and courtship were nil. In this respect he was in a world all of his own.
Whatever notions the world had about sex were diametrically opposite to Stan's. His philosophy was, to say the least, revolutionary. It was his belief that you could make of sex what you wanted to and either grovel in the mud like a pig or fly in the heavens like the angels. I once asked him from whence he got his inspiration.
"From the flowers," he said. "I look at the flowers in bloom in summer and I marvel. The blossoming of an apple tree, the unfolding of a crysanthemum, the glory of a thousand bluebells, are the true story of sex. There before you lies an array of glory. As human beings we are spontaneously drawn to beautiful colours and petal arrangements. We pluck handfulls of them every year and put them in vases or cultivate them in pots indoors and plant them in beds outside. We as a rule aren't too interested in the leaves or the stems - it's the flowers we wait for. At the same time most of us aren't too interested in the mechanism of plant reproduction - we don't get out magnifying glasses or microscopes in order to study the migration of pollen to the stigma, or delight ourselves in wondering about the glory of the anther."
I had giggled. He had such a knack for saying serious things that were interesting and entertaining.
"The world is obsessed with sexual organs and with the mechanical side of sex, as the flood of pornography everywhere attests. They have their noses so close up to these things that they never see the petals and the real glory behind sex. And so, many years ago, I asked myself: What is the heart of true God-honouring sex? For you will remember what the apostle Paul said in Scripture - whatever you do, do to the glory of God. And since marrital sex is a God-approved and blessed activity, then there must be a way to honour Him in it. And it was in the flowers that I found my inspiration."
"But many flowers are drab and some plants have no flowers at all, like the grasses," I added, curious to see how he would interpret that.
"Yes, absolutely," he had continued. "Some are very drab indeed. Some plants stick their sexual organs out all over the place and rely on wind pollenation whereas the flowers require an insect intermediary. There are two different kinds of sex. I noticed that too. The insect-fertilization method is less wasteful in terms of pollen because there is less chance of failure so long as the insects do their job. In wind-pollenation, a disproportionate amount of pollen has to be released, literally staturating the air, in order to stand a chance of pollenating other grasses, for example. And those with hay-fever suffer terribly because of it."
"So are you saying that there are two ways we can go about sex, Stan?" I asked.
"Yes, I am. But remember they key is to how we, as humans, react to these things. I don't know of anyone who deliberately cultivates grasses in their gardens or indoors, do you?"
"No," I replied, "but they grow them in fields for food." Stan was pleased with my observation and nodded.
"You're spot on, sweetheart! Those which we cultivate in fields we do so for food. But the other type is for pleasure - the pleasure of the eye. One type of sex is for the actual making of children which we are largely unconscious of, and the other is for the pleasure of the eye."
I was fascinated by the way his mind worked. He was always finding keys in nature to assist him in his understanding of God and man. He once told me that it was his belief that Yahweh had created creatures in order to do this very thing, adding that some, like parasites, were to teach us about evil too.
"To cultivate a wind-pollenated crop is a fairly mechanical sort of thing. You plough up the field, plant the seed, water it, and just wait for the results. Yah'shua and the apostles used this as an illustration of growth in Christ - they never used flowers as an illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven. But when it comes to romance, flowers come into play. I'm sure you remember the Rose of Sharon in the Song of Solomon, a lily of the valleys (SS 2:1). The Kingdom of God is likened to mountain tops, but romance is connected with valleys. Solomon's Shunamite lover is described as "a lily among thorns" (v.2) and Solomon as a choice apple tree (v.3). I find this very interesting because an apple tree makes a lot of blossom whereas a lily does not.
"But what really interests me, Hélène, is why Yahweh commanded almond flowers with buds to be carved onto the cups on the Hebrew Menorah, the seven-armed candle-stick, which was to have an important place in the temple of Yahweh (Ex.25:33-34;. 37:19-20). Flowers also figured importantly in other temple decorations too - they were carved into the cedar wood everywhere (1 Ki.6:19) together with cherubim and palm trees (6:29), including the doors (vv.32, 35). Flowers were a central motif of the temple. And as you know, we as believers are the temple of God.
"As human beings, therefore, we have been made with flowers, palm trees and angels carved into our very being. According to God's Word, they are a natural part of us. At the same time we are reminded that we are mortal.
"Peter said: "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever" (1 Pet.1:24-25).
"This tells me two things: first, that sex is a secondary activity, belonging to the sphere or mortality; and secondly, we are as the wind-pollinated grass, built in part to reproduce the species, but we also have flowers, which are our glory."
He paused to think while I sat engrossed in his arms listening.
"This tells me that in the area of sex that reproduction, whilst important for the propagation of the species and for physical pleasure, is not its glory. The glory of sex lies in something more subtle involving sight. It is something that has to be cultivated, like a garden, or arranging flowers in a vase or some other display. And there are so many different kinds of flowers - some are seasonal, some last the whole year round. Some plants make one, some make many. Some take years to make a single flower, some thousands. Some flower in the summer, some in the autumn (fall), and some in the winter. Here is infinite variety. I marvel at the care the Lord must have taken making all of these flowers and the delight in His handiwork."
"So, what you're saying, dear, is that the glory of sex is not so much in intercourse itself but in something more subtle?" It took me a while to understand what he had been driving at.
"Intercourse - physical intercourse, that is - is only one element. It is the climax of something that starts very subtle and then becomes very physical. It begins light and ends heavy, to then become light again. It's a kind of dance - a play of feelings, thoughts, dreams, fantasy, and sensations. It's like music which can either be subtle or coarse. It can be dull and colourless like the incessant thumping of rock music or it can be fine and beautiful, with infinite subtle variations like Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. But what is interesting about the flower model of sex is the realisation is that it's round about you all the time."
And then I remembered my first impressions upon arriving at Raj, of the continuous romance that seemed to be playing out. It was that subtle world that enchanted me so much - it was so very much alive.
"The whole of the temple of Solomon was decorated with flowers - absolutely everything had them on - the walls, doors, furniture and sacred objects. It was a reproduction of the Garden of Eden. Why, the word "paradise" itself means a walled garden - heaven is described as a haven of flowers and trees. And yet when a worshipper went into the temple he was not thinking of crude sex; and when you go and sit in a beautiful flower-filled garden you do not think of crude sex either, even though everywhere around you there is a drama of sex being played out.
"Why is is we find winter so depressing sometimes? Because there is no life and colour. There are no flowers unless you have taken to trouble to cultivate them indoors. The whole of life is a kind of sexual activity but for the most part it is more subtle. What I want is to imitate God's order so that we are surrounded by sex without ever being aware of it. In short, what I want is a whole new revolution in sexual attitudes. Perhaps I shouldn't even use the word "sex" which tends to be seen in crude terms only. Perhaps it should be called the "life principle" because this is what life constantly moves towards."
Stan went on discouring for nearly two hours and had me in wrapped attention. He concluded:
"Once we get engaged on this level of thought and feeling, our obsessions with what I call "crude sex" begin to diminish. Our worldly culture is obsessed with crude sex because it has lost its awareness of the finer dimensions. It is wallowing in the dirt with the sow. We don't need to do that. That isn't to say we don't have sexual intercourse in marriage, as you well know, but it does mean that we don't compartmentalise sex by shoving it into bed. We transform it into something wonderful and subtle.
"The world's view of sex is unnatural and is a reaction to the Augustinian idea that sex is somehow dirty and evil. Once we get over that hangup and realise that it is something that God has created to endow man and His creation with beauty, subtley and harmony, we can begin to move into it safely and joyfully. That is why our polygamy is natural. We are simply following Yahweh's two manuals, the Bible and the Creation, and allowing them to instruct us.
"This life-energy is so powerful that it must be released somewhere. We can release it in bed and find joy there, yes, but it is far more satisfying to release it in creativity by beautifying everything around us. It requires effort, sensitivity and care, but is worth it. Over the years we have noticed a change in our very sexuality, changing to what we believe to be more divine and holy. Our urge is not so much on the coarse aspects of sex but on diffusing it into creation itself by ourselves being creative."
"Does that mean that the urge for "ordinary" sex disappears," I asked alarmed.
"No, it is merely transformed into a different quality. We all enjoy love-making but it has an added dimension of beauty and subtlety so that in the end we discover that we enjoy the subtle aspects more than the sensual, orgasmic side. In short, we believe we have found its spiritual dimension. We have got to the root cause. And like everything else, we build on what the Word says. It remains, however, a secondary activity unlike in the world where is consumes them up."
It took me a while to understand the practical application of Stan's doctrine but I noticed that it worked. I discovered that so much of jealosy actually stems from the sexual realm which, in its baseset form, is possessive and selfish. By channelling this energy into beautifying our home, by turning it into our Eden, we effectively diffused that jealosy through an act of conscious sharing. When you ask most people in the world what it is that upsets them the most about polygamy it is usually the sexual aspect. It's the idea that a woman might have to share her husband sexually, and the emotions connected to sexuality, that blows her top. She is convincved that it is impossible to be happy and share your husband completely. It's a myth. It's only impossible if you live a carnal life pleasing only to yourself. But if you build the spiritual love pleasing to God, it not only becomes possible but desirable. Jesus taught that it is in giving that we find His Kingdom of love, and sex is the ultimate giving when you are sharing it with other sister-wives, for in doing this you discover a whole new dimension of love.
I knew this was true from the beginning because I could see how much Stan's other wives wanted me to marry him. They considered my joining the family to be their advantage as much as my own. It was in this realisation that I understood the meaning of Philemon given to me at the moment of decision: "I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you". They were praying that I should be given to them as their sister-wife and to their husband! They had discovered a love which was unique to polygamy and they wanted that love to grow. And they knew the only way it would grow was by Stan having more wives who were willing to give and share as they had. That is the secret of polygamy.
But unfortunately not all polygamous families are like this. I put it down to Stan's unique spiritual vision which he learned from our patriarchal head, Lev-Tsiyon, to whom all these things were revealed. How blessed we are to be a part of this end-time work, to be a part not only of a polygamous family, but to be a part of a family of families.
Stan and I were dedicated to each other the same evening in front of the whole family. Though he said we were certainly ready to be betrothed there and then, it was best that we started in this way as I was about to return to the US. Though I didn't want to return home, and though I could have extended my stay by another week, Stan insisted that I go back and order my affairs up before moving to Raj in the spring. I felt I was being condemned to exile but knew I had to go.
Dedication is equivalent to what the world calls engagement, and is a non-binding covenant to work towards betrothal, which is a proper marriage contract but without sexual contact. I stood before Stan and his wives and promised that I would follow the promptings of the Spirit and make marriage my goal. A kiss on each other's cheeks sealed the contract. Everyone came and hugged me afterwards and expressed their love for me. I felt I was aleady married as did the others. But Stan had told me that I would have to go through one more struggle before I was ready for betrothal - that Satan would tempt me and that my resolution would be severely tested back in the world. He assured me it was necessary so that I might fully know myself. I needed the sharp contrast to remove any unconscious doubts I might still have. Little did I know what was in store for me.
This page was first created in 2002
Last updated on 5 March 2009
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