27 October 2008

Some thoughts before resuming Seoul

I'll be back to Seoul, and back to my meditation regimen, before I know it. And as I do some background philosophical readings on spirituality and other good stuff, several thoughts cross my head, and some are definitely relevant to Sarah.

Most modern religions tend to frown on sexuality, as a source of all sorts of sinful behavior, and suppress it at any cost. This is especially true of Christianity and Islam. Even Buddhism, at least of the Jogye Sect which controls 90% of South Korea's Buddhist activity (and therefore pretty much the only Buddhist brand I am personally exposed to), suppresses sexuality by requiring monks to be celibate. But the philosophy that I am reading up on calls for a different approach to sexuality, one that sees sex as more of a life force. That's why sexy motifs are found in some Hindu temples. And not only is sex drive part of the vital force that keeps a human being going, but it also literally creates a new life. In particular, the ability of a woman to take in sperm from outside and create a fully independent life form must be respected and revered. Used wisely, sexuality can do lots of wonderful things. The key is to approach sexuality from the angle of holistic energy, as opposed to a mere biological function.

In conjunction with sexuality and the need to see it beyond biology, gender requires the same approach. Humans are born male and female, biologically (genetically, chemically, or otherwise). But beyond the biological sex and the brain's gender identity, there are many other factors at play. Everyone has a combination of male and female energy and qualities. It's perfectly fine for a woman to possess qualities that are masculine in nature, such as being aggressive or outspoken. It's also perfectly fine for a man to be introspective or nurturing, qualities that show the female energy. One's true gender must take all these aspects into account, and in the end, a given human being is neither completely male nor completely female, but a good mix of both.

And these approaches to sexuality and gender are what I need to take into Sarah and myself. Sarah is a good mix of both male and female qualities. Born as a boy named Sanford, and capable of fathering a future child, Sarah nevertheless has many female qualities, from her innate identity to her ability to care for her customers. Sarah has been happy to completely embrace her female qualities. At the same time, she also develops an appreciation for her male biology and past, as well as her analytical qualities, which can definitely be considered traditionally male. It's a great thing that I made Sarah a flight attendant; not only does it showcase Sarah's female qualities such as nurturing and presentation, but her male qualities, especially those that revolve around aviation, don't go wasted either. I need to also make sure that I see myself in the same way, as a mix of male biology, female identity, and qualities of both genders.

When I fly back to Seoul, I will fly Asiana again. My flight is Asiana 201, which leaves from Los Angeles daily, flying over San Francisco before arriving in Seoul at 6:30 PM the next day. As I pass San Francisco, I will be joined by another flight: United 893, a daily service from San Francisco that arrives in Seoul around the same time too. It will be a special experience to have my flight, and Sarah's, cross the Pacific together in close proximity. When I land in Seoul, I'll surely look for a tall redhead in a navy blue coatdress, at the immigration check lines.

My continuing meditation will also mean that I will return to Seoul periodically well into the future. As I will be an elite-level customer at United from now on, I will be eligible for a 25% mileage bonus every time I fly - but only on United, US Airways, and some Lufthansa flights. My future Seoul tickets will therefore more likely be on United, through San Francisco; I will certainly look forward to flying *with* Sarah on the same plane, instead of side-by-side.

No comments: