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Blog Post

Learning the Eight Stages Is Learning to Follow the Body

Published June, 2024

Introduction to Stages

The Eight Stages are dimensions to become intimate with, rather than stages to be attained. If we are hoping the stages will all line up so we can ascend the ladder, master them, and graduate, we will be sorely disappointed by the Erotic journey and by life itself. The Eight Stages are more like waves moving through; we never know which dimensions are washing in and which are moving out, or where we will find confluence. The aim is to become one with the waves, to have a pitch-perfect response to every shift and change, and to recognize where we are in each moment. Strength of attention and strength of response are required for us to remain in the deep, eternal, ever-connected state of the Erotic mind, even while conditions continuously change. The Erotic mind requires no special conditions to exist. Eros faces the truth of constant flux head-on. Rather than allowing us to merely observe the waves, Eros throws us into them.

Learning Through Eros

Sometimes we learn by being pummeled and going under. On rare occasions, we learn through something inside of us waking up that allows us to move with the waves exactly as they are. When we study Eros through the Eight Stages, we learn how to follow the body, discovering it knows precisely what it needs, with a self-organizing intelligence always operating. Following this intelligence through realms that terrify, mesmerize, alarm, fulfill, and soothe, it becomes life; it does this by being truly lived.

Climax as a Start

The study of the Eight Stages begins with climax because our culture is so climax-addicted that the art of climax has never been truly considered. Climax can be used as a means of clearing karmic baggage, of polishing the sense instruments, and (most importantly) increasing and harnessing stuck energy rather than blowing it out and depleting it.

Practicing Climax

An advanced practitioner starts at climax with all the signifiers of climax—parasympathetic activation, contraction, swelling, lubrication, and a clear, empty mind—the moment a finger goes down. We continue there as long as we desire, with climax becoming a way of life—a consistent and persistent practice of discharge that counteracts our human tendency for acquisitiveness.

Climax as Reward

When we experience other kinds of climax in life—when something in our personal life explodes—we tend to perceive it as punishment. But in Eros, climax is both the reward for and the evidence of a good and diligent practice. Climax is the offering of and the opportunity for an initiation, bringing us beyond what we think we can do; it is the test and proof of all prior practice. If we make it through, we experience unimaginable freedom. If we fail to make it through, we experience unimaginable bondage. Climax is the signifier that we are ready either to release into a new level or to return to the beginning.

Exploring the Stages

Each of the Eight Stages is a necessary realm of exploration in our journey to understand our own wholeness. Some of us may assume we know everything there is to know about some of the stages, when in fact we haven’t even opened the door to them. Other stages that we consider quite advanced and out of reach prove to be beautiful, but with overly self-important gateways. If the Eight Stages teach us anything, it’s that there is and there isn’t an ultimate state. Exactly the way things are is the ultimate state.

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