Daniélou, Alain – The Way to the Labyrinth – On love as the door to spiritual awakening
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Daniélou, Alain – The Way to the Labyrinth [translated by Marie-Claire Cournand]
Although I was still physically innocent in those days, I had declared myself a homosexual. All my college friends seemed to find this quite natural, and no one ever made the slightest disparaging remark. A number of boys tried to draw me into sexual relationships, but I was too shy and elusive to respond.
Then came Donald. Donald was a twenty-year-old baseball player, six-foot-seven tall. One night he came into my room, took me in his arms, and refused to take no for an answer. All of a sudden I felt infused with Light and an incredible sensation of pleasure ran through my body. I murmured:
"There must be a God for such happiness to be possible!"
For a long time I had ceased to believe in the Christian God, that severe school-master who makes decrees and punishes transgressors. Oddly enough, it was in that moment of intense pleasure that a god of sensuousness, happiness, and light was revealed to me - that God of Love whom mystics write about, the God of Jalal-al-Din Rumi and Sa’adi, of Saint ]ohn of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila, of Dionysian and tantric rites. He had appeared before me once and for all; all I needed to do now was find him.
Many years later, when I was studying tantric rites in India, I learned that certain erotic tensions can awaken the very center of pleasure, which then spreads through the body like a powerful drug. For Hindus, sensuous delight is akin to the state of godliness, the state of perfect bliss, which is why sexual intercourse is an important part of Dionysian initiation rites. The experience always awakens a feeling of divinity. It can also be provoked spontaneously by a state of extreme nervous tension, an experience not unknown to certain mystics.