An in depth conversation regarding the nature of intimacy in relationships of all sorts is a most underrated conversation on the lips of modern occultists. There are a few who do hold this conversation---the Adepts Bobby Hemmitt and Brother Panic are the most noteworthy in that field of discussion, as their copious lectures on the subject demonstrate, but very little emphasis in general occultism is placed upon the need to understand why it is that this "taboo" called intimacy is so often shoveled under the heap of synonymous terms for "sexual relation". Having long delt with the dilemma of myself being naturally inclined towards affection been misinterpreted, and at other times myself misinterpreting, I am now prepared for this task of providing an esoteric view of what it all means. I have sought in my personal life to establish a balance between being uninhibited in my expression of love, yet simultaneously exercising a degree of discrimination, as to prevent the invitation of emotionally unstable persons and the toxic situations they bring. My intention with this essay then, is to share what I have gained through corresponding personal experience with the records of mythology so that a new insight regarding intimacy as a divine quality of the spirit, not exclusively of the body, may be utilized to become more open to intimacy, and not make incorrect associations based on such a divine expression, that is intimacy.
With the widespread misinterpretation of intimacy being a major flaw in the dynamic of relationships, it is very common for people to lose out on a would-be spiritually enhancing divine friendship due to an attachment to a misguided, pre-mature desire for exclusivity. While I'm here though, it will serve this message well to include the meaning of 'relationship', as this word is misunderstood in its own right. The term 'relationship' is made up of two words: relation and ship. Combined together the term means: "the quality of being connected to each other." Being an affectionate person, as those near me have expressed, I have first-hand experience of cutting ties due to another's excessive desire--- which I at present, see simply as an adolescent view of intimacy. And this is because so few have done any investigation of this significant element in relationships. However, this survey is concerned particularly with how intimacy is expressed by those deeply in spiritual-thought, and how it is received by those dominated by ego-thought. This word intimacy is used incorrectly at every juncture that I've ever seen it. People's reluctance to research the essential meanings of words is puzzling, but nothing of the sort surprises me. The word 'Intimacy', stemming from the Latin, intimus, means "inmost, innermost, and deepest". Those definitions alone place the term in a mystical and thus spiritual context, as in mysticism, the inmost is the source of being---what the Sufi's call the Beloved, and what the Magicians call the Quintessence. In a context of relating to another however, the meaning is extreme closeness or nearness. You are not only near, and extremely close to your significant other. You are near to your parent, your sibling, your comrade, your teacher(s)(if you have this dynamic in a personal setting), and anyone who you love in a special way is intimate with you, and you with them. So then, what this proves is that intimacy is not synonymous with monogamy, or any other sexual relations. Intimacy is a great mystery, and I do not suppose that I have all the answers to its secret chamber. I wrote this essay to not only share my ideas and findings regarding it, but to stimulate in the minds of other seekers a desire to make their own personal inquiries into this at times perplexing aspect of relationship. If you are familiar at all with this topic you may think about polyamory being next but I am not talking about that either. Monogamy is a very sacred bond which is to be engaged into only when one is emotionally and spiritually prepared, and that preparation is determined by a feeling of such exclusivity being that which is desired without a reasonable doubt. I have not encountered many poly-amorous people, but a large portion of the world are definitely poly-erotic, having (or at the very least desiring) multiple partners for sexual relations, often times while having agreed to a monogamous one already. But it's also not enough to intellectually know the former statements. A part of honoring the knowledge is to aspire through practical work to reach that level where one is ready for the crown, which is the divine union of Shiva and Parvati, or Soul and Quintessence. The Secret of monogamy is that it imitates the essential reality of unity, to which an inclusion of multiples does not. The search for exclusive Unity with another is the search of Isis for Osiris; of Quintessence for soul(vice versa). The folly of it is that many desire this union without recognizing the need to develop the mentality necessary to actively exchange in such a union, as this sort of bond is by no means one-sided. It's altruism is not vested in a dogma or empty morality, but in a mutual desire to give and receive from one another. Unity is an experience only capable of being had once an understanding of love without condition is felt and known. Often times, when a spiritual help appears in ones life, such is there as a demonstration of the archetype of love and intimacy, not for the student to covet and seek exclusivity with, but to learn, heal, grow, and finally know what this divine energy looks like, smells like, feels like and acts like. Then, as they go on in life they will not be deceived by the games played by those ignorant of these mysteries. This is the sort of Love expressed by the Sufi's in their mystical poems...and how unfortunate would it have been for a female student of Rumi to let her personal feelings of want for his exclusivity, and his subsequent decline of such, deter her from the presence of his spiritually beneficial teachings? It would be very unfortunate indeed, not because he's the only one with this benefit, but because the cause for this student's departure was based purely on ego. I am sure that throughout the ages, many students have fallen into what they see as love with their spiritual teacher, and that is fine. When it becomes a conflict for the student and the teacher, is when there is a sense of personal, human want, as opposed to impersonal, spiritual desire. I wrote in a poem recently, that a true friend wants for your happiness, regardless if it involves them or not. This friend may be madly in love with you, but even if they find that such love is not felt by the other, they do not become callous; they continue to love their friend as a testimony to the sincerity of their affection. You might kiss your brother on the lips, or hug your dear friend passionately, yet no one will imagine that you desire a monogamous relationship with your brother or dear friend. Intimacy is not an expression which all comers are privileged to. It may be given to whoever the heart of the beholder sees fit. In the path of magick and mysticism it is given to those who the magicians heart and discernment has verified as a genuine and sincere being, worthy of such nearness, as in this way it will not be a hindrance to your path of spiritual advancement. There are many friends whom I hold dear that I am intimate with, that I do not desire sexual union with. I love them because love for my own soul has given me access to this ability to extend love to others, which are in reality, an aspect of my own self. That is what I learned from the presence of the Mystics who teach that Man(as Mind) is the Reality---if only he will Know Himself, and Be Himself. When you gain access to the supreme truth that you yourself are the Reality, how can you not be overflowing with so much love that you are an affectionate and caring being? When love inflames the blood and cells from within, its outward manifestation is intimacy, because the one who has reached this level has gone beyond one of the biggest fears of all humans on this earth: vulnerability. Many people, both occultists and regular humans alike are afraid to show themselves, for fear that they will be exposed to a threat capable of unmounting their power. This fear however is a superstition, for who can overpower the Mind of All? And what is in this body, so precious, that one will guard it with deception as if their life depended on it? Alas! There it is: Fear of death. The Gnostic who dies again and again by accepting challenges and passing initiations invites death at every corner, not as a reckless arrogance or disregard for his earthly lot, but in knowing that Reality, to which he is, Is, without time, or life, or death...It simply, eternally, is. There are degrees to intimacy of course, and one does do with their beloved what they do with their childhood comrade. Yet a relationship without intimacy is not really a relationship, but a business contract, be it financially productive or not. Unfortunately, for many, this is what they call love, relationship and intimacy---two people in attachment to one another trying to impose their wills upon the other, yet sharing no mutual trust, affection, or tenderness. With learning more advanced ideas concerning the nature of intimacy as is presented in this essay, one can begin to step into a greater understanding of how love expresses itself in relationships with our friends, family and lovers. My only direct advice is that you learn to love yourself in your essential form. That means, piercing beyond the veil of human ego, through personality and the multitude of conditions barried deep within the subconscious mind, looking at those conditions, evaluating if they are helping your progression or your regression, discarding ones that are of no benefit and going straight to the source which is essence through soul. Dwelling in that place causes a transcendence of all the barriers to self expression, which thus expels fear of vulnerability. When that occurs, the man or woman is capable of understanding intimacy.