An excerpt from the Introduction to The Bones and Breath: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul (White Cloud Press, 2014)
The Erotic Warrior
Arriving back at the old brick farmhouse, stepping inside the heavy wooden front door, the quiet house welcomes me home with its familiar scents of wood, dried sage and lavender. An effervescent energy continues to well up in my core like a bubbling spring and though I don’t generally write in the evenings, I know that I must put words to paper. Right now. Write now. Beyond the mystical experience in the field, apart from the nearly unbearable lightness of my being, something else is arriving through me… a grey dove of inspiration or a whirling storm of lightning bolts, I don’t yet know.
I slip off my shoes and leave them at the door. Barefoot on the cool wooden floors, I walk to the large, farmhouse kitchen to put on the kettle for tea, desiring something light and aromatic such as jasmine pearls. My body continues to feel light as air and expansive as supernova, exploding out in rings of a shock wave. A few minutes later, seated at the broad table with my notepad and favorite fountain pen, the small ceramic teapot steaming fragrantly and an empty porcelain cup beside me, I begin to write. In the evening stillness of the empty house, the gold nib of my pen glides across the page with a scratching sound, trailing a jumble of black letters and insights in its wake.
Who is the Erotic Warrior?
The Erotic Warrior is the embodied agent of soul, his realm the deep imagination, creativity and the sensual world. Open to his senses, he is intrinsically connected to his ‘life force,’ to Nature and the great Mystery. He exists as potential within every man, waiting to emerge from patterns of containment into authentic possibility and action.
The Erotic Warrior is a multidimensional and sensual being. He is a man enraptured with the world as it blossoms, unfolds, crumbles and dies before his wonderstruck eyes. He howls for the beauty of a moonlight night, reaching for the great luminous pearl that can only be found in darkness. He dances naked in his inner city apartment or on a windswept beach. His great heart weeps for the cruel injustice and lonely terrors of humanity, the dark shadows of man, for the shame and aggression that stalk like hungry wolves. He trembles at his own possibility, both light and shadow, at what he might bring or withhold from the world.
The Erotic Warrior serves Eros, variously described as both the oldest and youngest of the gods. It matters not the Warrior’s religion or absence of one: Eros beckons all, whispering of beauty and stirring deep longing in the soul. The deity of desire, the god of lust and love and longing, Eros embodies connection.
The most powerful force in the Universe is allurement, the power of gravitation, binding everything from atoms to chemical compounds, from planets to spiral galaxies, together in an invisible dance. Eros is attraction not in the physical, superficial sense but in this deeply dynamic, energetic longing and connection.
When Eros beckons, worlds collide and cohere.
The Erotic Warrior is alive with his soul’s passion. No matter his career or work in the world, the Erotic Warrior is an artist, a builder, and an explorer of possibility. He is a voyager and a sensual visionary. A wild soul. He apprentices to his own embodiment as one who seeks conscious connection with the world around him; as related to honeybee, grove of aspens, and every facet of Earth as he is to his fellow man.
The Erotic Warrior senses that life on this planet is one of communion and interconnected relationship. The more that he opens and expands through his sensory body, heart and imagination, the deeper he is drawn into that mysterious web. He is awake as a fully sensory, sensual being; alive to his senses, to the breath that animates his body, to all that inspires. Inspiration, literally, is breath. The senses lure him outward into communion, deepening his connection with the ‘other-than-human’ world.
Irrespective of its current shape or limitations, the Erotic Warrior perceives that his body is created as a place of power and grace, a vessel of potential and vital passion. He cultivates somatic sensitivity and mindfulness, seeking to discover the ways that he unconsciously restricts himself in life and how such limitation manifests in the bodymind. He allows himself to experience the full range of his emotions, tending to what is buried and blooms in the sensory garden of his body. Where in his bones and breath has he locked away anger, grief, power or elusive dreams?
The Erotic Warrior understands that the collective darkness of humanity runs deep and that he is a manifestation of light and shadow, both. He seeks to bring a healing light to his wounds, integrating them within himself to become a soulfully embodied and conscious lover, partner, husband, father, teacher and wise elder. He will claim and honor his anger, beating his jagged sword into a plough, and use his energy to cultivate growth, healing and wholeness. He allows himself to be broken open, for only then might he be wholly changed and strangely free. Whole.
The Erotic Warrior is a man who understands that life is a continual invitation to open to something far larger than what he has imagined. Only his own patterns of containment—etched and embedded into the bodymind like curious runes that predict his fate—hold him back. Through allurement, passion and connection, Eros draws him outward from his shell into a deeply embodied journey of emergence, expression and eventually, elderhood.
Such a man finds wonder and awe in the most ordinary things, from dewdrop prisms sparkling upon the grass to the spider devouring her prey in a shimmering web. Whether through the ever-unfolding mystery of his beloved or the sight of his children playing in an open field, he seeks to savor the stream of moments that constantly flow over him. As he passes through the world, alone or in the warm arms of a lover, he savors the fleeting beauty that constantly surrounds him. Where there is beauty, there is love, expansion, and evolution of heart and mind.
As Eros beckons him onwards with a strange music, he glimpses that to live fully from soul is to hold a sacred conversation with the ‘other-than-human’ world. Such a conversation demands deep listening—to himself, to others, and the unfolding Mystery—and what emerges will not only enliven his soul with passion but also transform him in the process. He deepens into conscious relationship with the place he dwells, becoming ever more aware of his own connectedness in the web and deep ecology, and ever more mindful of his choices. Eros and the Earth conspire through the power of place to aid his evolution and soul journey.
The Erotic Warrior celebrates that the creative, sexual and spiritual energies are all streams of the same river of consciousness. With its erotic light and shadow, sex holds a key to profound integration and transformation. Sacred and profane are simply two sides of the same coin. Through mindful awareness, he seeks to understand and transform his patterns around pleasure, power and sexuality. Alive with breath and heightened sensation, his body becomes a temple of pleasure, a sensual terrain that offers a portal to the Divine.
The Erotic Warrior acknowledges the sensual connection with everything around him and the mysterious Spirit-stream in which we all live. He trusts that he has something vital and precious to offer the world, and in his journey to discover that gift, Eros is always his guide. Allurement, passion, and a felt sense of aliveness draw him on. He may be a warrior but it is of a spiritual sort, and he views the world through a lover’s eyes. The Holy is everywhere. Through each and every being, through the wild soul, the Universe celebrates its own imagination and grandeur.
I AM. Not because I think but because I FEEL, and because all of the world exists as one entwined web of relationship.
As the song of the Earth and stars embodied, he sings the deep music that he hears in his soul and that resonates in his bones. He moves through his days and challenges with a fluency of presence. He journeys to the edge of the world and back—or beyond—navigating with his heart, trusting in body as vessel, and his soul for the sail.
I look up from my writing. Beyond the leaded glass windows and their framework of hundred year old, diamond-shaped panes, the soft hands of evening have drawn a hazy indigo curtain across the English countryside. In the thick quiet of the old farmhouse, I lay my fountain pen aside, hushing the steady scratching of its tip across the paper. Deep, velvety silence settles over the room. I draw in an expansive breath and push the pages of scrawled script away from me.
My hand is tired and cramped from the steady stream of inspired writing but my body feels open and peaceful, tingling softly with an easy current of energy. It is as if a sudden storm has blown through, leaving a sense of rearranged calm in its wake.
My revelation in the upper field still reverberates through my bodymind like the roar of silence after a great bronze bell has been rung. I know that I cannot adequately describe what has happened nor what I have seen as the world’s veil lifted away. All words fail. Mystic revelations are always ineffable. Yet in the quantum shift occurring within me at this moment, an expansion in my core and breath, I understand this:
Animated by a song of Divine intelligence in form and non-form, everything IS relationship and harmonic resonance.
I sit quietly, breathing into the softness of my body, staring at the scrawled pages words that have come through. In this moment, I don’t yet fully grasp my own writing on the Erotic Warrior, yet I sense that everything is about to change and that my life has just veered unexpectedly in a different direction.
So be it.
Somehow I am charged with bringing this revelation into words and action, though I do not comprehend fully how this evening’s experience weaves with my current work with the soul. I doubt that I have the skill or vision to manifest it into adequate form. Surely it should fall to one more qualified than I. Yet I know that we must all go naked and vulnerable to the gods, insecurities in hand. I accept the challenge thrown down at my feet, inviting me to choose something different, something much larger than what I have previously imagined as possible.
Who is the Erotic Warrior? He is something more than a metaphor or mental abstract; he is the multidimensional potential for every man. As the embodied agent of Eros, he is a living and breathing example of the Sacred Masculine, one who lives in a soul-centered manner and celebrates his wild soul. He is part of the awakening and healing of both humanity and Earth.
Like a shockwave of consciousness rippling around the globe, an evolution is at hand. As humanity struggles with the chaos and implications of its material and exploitive existence on our planet, the Great Work of cultural transformation is decidedly underway. Looking around at our current state of affairs, from rampant consumerism and mounting violence, to environmental destruction and climate change, there is serious cause for concern. Yet as much as there is to grieve, there is also much to celebrate. And there is always hope.
The Soul of the World is singing itself awake through each of us. Some are listening and some are not, but all are essential. The Sacred Masculine is slowly and surely reemerging as a keeper of consciousness, a timely and essential response to the crisis and changes at hand. From the Green Man to the Erotic Warrior, he takes many forms but the Sacred Masculine is always an embodiment of conscious relationship and the appropriate use of creative power. In every guise, he is hand in hand with environmental, cultural and sacred activism, while teaching about conscious relationship, the authentic, soulful use of personal power, and spiritual ecology.
Welcome, my unmet friend, to your soul quest. It is a man’s journey to soulful embodiment, passion, power and personal authenticity through his breath and unfurled senses. Do you feel the sense of personal calling, tugging at you in dreams and strange longing? It’s the reason you are alive—an invitation to come into the body to feel… deeply. Discovering the Sacred Masculine is a descent into the sensuous, an opening and expansion that never ends but spirals steadily into realms of untapped creativity, Deep Imagination, earth and body wisdom, and the Mystery. This is the way of the wild soul.
The time has come to re-imagine what it means to be fully human, to descend into the bones and breath. Join me, brother, on a journey to discover awakened heart of the Erotic Warrior and the Sacred Masculine—a transformation and evolution as men—that we all might stream together in the conscious, soulful wave rising up to change the world.
[This post is excerpted from The Bones and Breath: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul (White Cloud Press, 2014) © all rights reserved, used with permission]