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Living In a World of Symbols

With Adriano Bulla
Part 10

Adriano Bulla
In "I Carried Them away with Me", you mix spiritual, metaphysical and sensual. Is your poem about how we can find the infinite, ex-temporality in the union with other humans? How do you think sex is a mystical experience?

Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
Yes, you are precisely right, "I Carried Them Away With Me" is about the ecstasy of spiritual awakening that can happen when we are paired with the right lover.

Nickjake876CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The beginning of the poem tells us that the process of such a spiritual awakening begins with the dissolution of fear, because fear prevents us from trust, and trust is the seed of true intimacy...intimacy in this sense being able to give over our complete selves into the hands of another. To give everything away; this is the handing over of our 'self', our independent identity, into the consciousness of another, our lover. Instead of remaining separate from our lover, instead of holding back our ego in a selfish manner, we are prepared to allow our lover to become interdependent with us...not codependent, but interdependent.

So, we have a lover here who is not seeing their 'self' as being completely separate from their lover. This person is not experiencing love in terms of 'I' versus 'them', or 'me' versus 'you'. Although my poems are always told in the first person point of view from my perspective, so from a male homosexual perspective, the meaning here can be applied to any gender or sexual orientation. A woman could be seeing her lover, let's say a man, as being a vital part of her consciousness. So, during the act of love, the lovers aren't thinking in terms of gender...'him and 'her', 'she' and 'he' et cetera, but are instead experiencing the act of love as two parts of the same consciousness. The personal ego of 'I', 'me', 'mine', 'you', and 'yours' is being dissolved. The result is an interdependent consciousness, a love in which gender and ego do not separate or define, but are united and give rise to an enlightenment experience.

 This kind of enlightenment experience is what is being described when I say When, with you, time has lost its validity/ The power of the future is undone. When two lovers meet as vessels of pure consciousness, not allowing ego or gender or preconceived notions of separation to define them, then certainly things such as time, future and past cease to be relevant. When your lover becomes interdependent with you in this one moment of mental, spiritual awakening, then concepts like 'me' and 'mine', 'you and 'yours' become obsolete. It's the consciousness that draws you and of which you become a part, so things like gender and sexual orientation also cease to be relevant. Consciousness has no gender or sexual orientation. Pure consciousness is not attached to an ego or personal identity. It is simply awakeness, pure perception...just consciousness.  In the second group of phrases, I tell my readers that because I am willing to have such an experience of interdependence form

G.dallorto, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

with my lover, that I am experiencing immortality; a condition that surpasses physical limitations, yes, but, more importantly, transcends all forms of limitation because we are dealing with pure consciousness, pure energy, which never dissipates, only changes form.

My poem describes the limitations and disappointments manifest in material happiness and conditions, when people become fixated on ephemeral things such as fame and fortune, money and the admiration of society. These things are ultimately finite, and my poem is describing the infinite, the transcendental. I want none of them/ Between my legs is stating the obvious: I do not want to be limited, ephemeral or temporary. I want the kind of love that transcends finite things like fame, money and acceptance, peer approval. I am rebelling against these things having hold over my passions, having power over my experience of love.

For me, sex can be a mystical experience, precisely as I've described above. Sure, we can have sex solely for the pleasure, for the physical and emotional release it gives. We can fuck and we can enjoy fucking, and for me there is no guilt in any of these experiences of human sexuality.

I love to fuck, and when I use the term fuck, I am talking about the mechanical act, without having to have elevated emotions or ties involved. I don't have a problem with casual sex in general, as long as those involved are being one is being forced or lied to or deceived in any way. If there's honesty about what the sex means, then have at it. Sex solely for its own sake can be a tremendous release, and I feel no shame in saying that I enjoy sex, fucking, purely for the physical pleasure it brings, which I view as completely natural and perfectly healthy.

Then there is making love, which I define as being different than mere sex, fucking. Making love elevates the mechanical act of sex into something much more emotionally grounded. Those involved in making love are engaging in the physical act as more than just an expression of pleasure, for the climax, but are sharing a form of emotional and intellectual intimacy that creates a bond beyond the physical, the animalistic. Now, we come to the definition of human sexuality being described in "I Carried Them Away with Me". This takes us even a step further than making love, engaging in the act of sex as a vehicle for bringing us emotionally closer to another human being, as an expression of love. The kind of sex I am describing here is an experience of partnership that surpasses the limitations of gender, sexual orientation, personal ego and confines of a defined relationship, which always have boundaries or restrictions. This kind of love making liberates the mind, the consciousness from such restrictions or boundaries, and allows the lovers to experience one another as an aspect of their own consciousness.

G.dallorto, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

 In this experience there is no gender, no sexual orientation, no 'me' and 'mine, 'you' and 'yours'. There are no opposites, no forces at work limiting or separating the partners. There is no possession either, for possession is another form of restricting or limiting the experience of pure consciousness. Pure consciousness, absolute awareness is limitless and without expression of opposites, boundaries, gender identifications or sexual orientation. It is when two people experience this level of consciousness at the same time, while also seeking to bestow ultimate pleasure to their partner, that a pure and mystical experience arises. This experience is not limited to or subject to physical boundaries, and is thus a true form of immortality. I am talking about enlightenment.

G.dallorto, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

Adriano Bulla
What would you say to all those who only live sex as carnal? What are they missing?

Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
(Laughs) I need to answer this after what I just said (laughs again)? Well, I honestly have to answer to each their own. As I've said, I have absolutely no problems with sex solely for its own sake, as a mechanical and animalistic act...'carnal' as you put it. Carnality, fucking...orgasms...these are perfectly healthy and vital human impulses, as far as I'm concerned, so for me there is no problem with individuals choosing to limit their experience of their sexuality to sheer physical enjoyment.

That being said, and to answer your question head-on, I feel that limiting sex solely to the mechanical act is also denying a very basic human need for emotional bonding with other human beings.

Emotional satisfaction, intellectual stimulation is also a part of human sexuality and human relationships. So I feel that a person who's excluding these things from their sexual experiences is somewhat one-dimensional, and in the end is not experiencing the full satisfaction that exploring one's sexuality completely can have. However, that's just on the emotional level of sex, to say nothing of the spiritual.

In my personal experience, there is this spiritual dimension of sex that makes the physical act that much more explosive, liberating...rewarding. That's precisely the kind of sex I am describing in "I Carried Them Away with Me". I've been in that other frame of mind before...that frame of mind where getting off in bed is pretty much the only objective; get in, get off, and get the fuck out. Sure, I've had incredible orgasms that way, I'm not even going to lie about that! But then when I started to awaken more and more in a spiritual and intellectual way, when I started having sex as part of a fully emotional and spiritually engaged relationship, I realized how one-dimensional my sexual experiences had been. I started looking at my other sexual experiences and realizing what a waste they were, because at the end of the day I could have just jacked off and saved myself the trouble, and probably could have had even better orgasms (laughs).

G.dallorto, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

But experience is what it is; experience is our best teacher, so I couldn't have known about that other dimension of sexuality without putting myself through the purely physical dimension. What people are missing when they limit their sexuality purely to the mechanical act is the deepest possible satisfaction that can arise when the sex act becomes the focus of an intimate connection with another human being. Orgasm, getting off, becomes secondary to the act of fully exploring your lover, inside and out, delaying the moment of climax more and more; and this delay allows both partners time to mature in what they're experiencing, in bed and out. Because sex is also an intellectual and emotional release...satisfaction...gratification, what have you. It's a sense of bonding beyond the physical level, which actually intensifies the physical level, and makes climax more powerful and satisfying.

You can't have this kind of powerful experience with someone you're just getting off with, because you're mind isn't interested in being stimulated or satisfied on that level. It's all about coming, ejaculating, getting off. But when you do experience that other level of sexual fulfilment, you really can't go back and experience sex from the purely animalistic side and enjoy it that same way again. You realize that your mind wants to be engaged and stimulated, not just your genitals! Sexuality is a whole experience of the mind, body and emotions, and when it goes even further, to include our spiritual nature, then having sex touches an even higher level of ecstasy. But that's my experience. As I said, to each their own.

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