1. Eros as a guide into the unconscious
Eros leads to Gnosis. This statement by Plato has proven to be
one of his most useful observations. Our eroticism – our sexual
impulses, desires and fears – is a guide to deeper understanding/gnosis,
particularly of unconscious/hidden aspects of our being. Freud
started to explore the hidden meanings of our eroticism in ways
that we may not agree with today, but that got the world thinking.
It was Freud’s student Jung who elaborated on the concept of the
unconscious. In Totality Therapy, the unconscious is understood
as those dimensions of our reality that we are not conscious of
– that are suppressed, repressed, hidden, forgotten or in some
other way denied. Unconscious patterns grow in us for reasons such
Childhood shocks: When an infant or child
experiences something that is overwhelming or too much to process,
he/she will repress the memory. What is repressed goes into the
unconscious, and gets manifest in the body – and in our eroticism.
Cultural/religious positions: The influence
of the collective – the culture, religion or tribe – can cause
an individual to deny or repress their own experience in favour
of what is acceptable.
Moments not fully lived: Even in adulthood,
any moments not fully lived, any experiences and emotions not
fully felt, become unconscious patterns in us.
Unconscious patterns often determine our actions. Love is the
arena where we see this most clearly. How often it is that we behave
in ways towards our loved ones that seem to bear no resemblance
to the positions we consciously hold.
Our love life is also an area where we see clearly the working
of associations – the concept that Pavlov demonstrated so clearly
with his dogs. Humans are more adept than dogs at forming associations.
The result is that our sexual experiences are most often filtered
through associations upon associations.
The most obvious example of this is when a lover needs to conjure
up a fantasy while being with a partner in order to ensure orgasm.
Conversely, a certain touch, smell or word can pull a lover back
into associations that stop all erotic flow.
Totality Therapy has no judgment of fantasy or any other associations.
On the contrary, since they are occurring, we can use them as a
guide into the unconscious. By unpacking the fantasy – getting
a lived sense in the body of where it takes you – it is possible
to unravel vast strings of unconscious associations. The result
is that you become more present-time with your eroticism in the
What gets revealed through erotic desires and fears affects much
more than our sexuality. If sexual responses are conditioned around
unconscious control mechanisms in a person’s psyche, the unraveling
of these control mechanisms could profoundly affect the way that
s/he approaches the boardroom and makes decisions in business.
2. Sexuality and life force
Most people have at some point, even just during one encounter,
experienced the rejuvenating effect of the sexual. Ancient Chinese
and other oriental cultures have practiced conscious sexuality
for thousands of years as a way to build longevity. In the Taoist
tradition, sexual energy is seen as the only renewable source of
energy in the body, and its cultivation as a way to prolong life
On this site you will over time find many writings about the physiological
dynamics that can follow from lovemaking and that literally support
the flow of life force through our bodies.
3. Sexuality and presence
The busyness of modern professional lives makes it very difficult
to just be present in the moment, to drink in what the moment has
to offer, and to rest into it. The result of always rushing to
the next moment is exhaustion and a build up of tensions. This
in turn affects our productivity and creativity and could ultimately
lead to burn-out. In intimate meeting with your loved one, or even
in loving yourself, there is an opportunity to perhaps drop into
the moment, to be present. The presence of love, intimacy and tenderness
can open up and relax the nervous system just that bit more for
presence to come flooding in.
Tantra, the ancient art of conscious sexuality from which Totality
Therapy derives, is all about building this quality of presence
in our sexuality. By practicing the techniques of conscious sexuality,
an individual or couple can enter into a whole new experience of
the sexual. Conventional sexual encounter happens through the contraction
of muscles and organs towards ejaculatory orgasm. While this brings
a temporary relief of tension, it also leaves the body exhausted.
Conscious sexual practice builds sexual energy in the body through
breathing, relaxation, aware touch and the directing of the flow
of sexual energy – upwards. Once you have experienced what this
does in your body, you are unlikely to choose the conventional