The sensation generated when you share a Moment with someone is a visceral intimacy. Electrifying and intense, it can change a simple exchange of pleasantries into a lingering mood of togetherness. A random encounter with a stranger in the produce section can fuel a desire to maintain the sensation beyond the grocery store.
Intimacy is a driving force in human nature. We want to bond, but more so, we want to share with others. True intimacy involves baring your deepest core self and allowing someone to see that which makes us who we are. Vulnerable and terrifying, true intimacy is rare and exhilarating.
Other types of intimacy emulate it but are only poor approximations of the communion of two souls. Physical intimacy, commonality intimacy, and emotional intimacy generate intense connections but those bonds only last as long as the conditions which generate them, unless an underlying spiritual bond scaffolds the superficial intimacies and gives them stability.
Physical intimacy is an easy fix for those lacking spiritual connections. The Moment generated by sensual merging and the delightful distraction of erotic pleasure approximate the profound wonder of souls in resonance. But the Moment is fleeting and leaves behind a saccharine aftertaste because the calories are empty thus lacking the nurturing sustenance the soul craves. When sensual intimacy occurs between bonded souls, the Moment lingers long after the act has ended, and the substance of the bond provides fodder even when the souls are apart. Sexual intimacy is not necessary for spiritual connection but certainly heightens it and conversely, gets mistaken for it.
Having a commonality generates a deep sense of connection which can easily be mistaken for authentic intimacy. Joining with someone in striving toward a shared goal provides kernels of closeness that grow as time passes until harvested when the goal reaches fruition. Although positive and mutually beneficial, there still exists a beginning and end for this type of bond thus it is superficial no matter how lasting. Same with the more insidious Common enemy bond. Uniting against a foe is intensely satisfying and feeds the need for balance and justice but again is a counterfeit connection with a start, process, and finite ending. Common goals and common enemies enhance the richness of a spiritual bond because growth happens via both of these processes but if the goal or enemy are the only connections then after the enemy is vanquished or the goal is attained, the souls lose their link and are left wondering where the intimacy went.
Emotional intimacy most closely emulates a true spiritual bond but because it is rooted in the fleeting emotions of the physical realm and unreliable emotional brain, these Moments also are not enduring. Trauma brings emotions into the Moment and carries them past their shelf life into the future where they don’t belong. Emotions are meant to inform about present social conditions and drive change, but get confused with identity and values. Emotional bonds form during shared Moments of fear or joy or satisfaction but the source of the bond was the environmental atmosphere generating the emotional response which forged a bond, rather than a bond forming between compatible souls which then was tempered like steel by the intense flames of trauma. Again, true intimacy can and does benefit from emotional connection but when the emotional bond forms first, under duress, before the spiritual bond has taken root, then the connection has a finite end when the emotional trigger is removed.
The search for intimacy is why so many people seek, knowingly or subconsciously, the emotional patterns of their past, to feel intimacy in any way they can. Or why gossip is so common and activism so popular. Or why casual sex is frequent.
We all want to connect. To bond. To belong with and to someone or something. It is part of our programming. But most our bonds are finite, task based or situational which is why they do not feel satisfying or sustaining.
Absolute intimacy requires absolute vulnerability. Baring the soul with no goal, no enemy, no emotional trigger, no sex and no gain is an act of pure compassion. Looking out at the world with open invitation, loving all comers, is to generate intimacy. Even so, there are still ways to protect yourself while being vulnerable.
Glass houses still offer shelter and comfort and protection. And those allowed to see the view from the outside are inspired by such graceful openness. Rather than cast stones, they will choose to build a glass house too.
Don’t trust anyone. Build walls. But love them anyway. Make those walls out of glass with large doors and a welcome mat.