By Hilde Kearney
I saw in his hands a long golden spear […] This, he plunged into my heart several times into my heart, that it penetrated to my entrails. […] The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans, and yet such pain was so exceedingly sweet that one cannot possibly desire it to cease. (St Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582)
These are the words from St. Teresa of Avila’s diary, that inspired the exact moment Bernini sought to capture with his famous sculpture. Every time I see it it gives me chills all over my body. This is it’s tranquil power. It is so beautiful, so promising, and just such a deep glance into the mysteries of being and becoming your own inner goddess. It shows the transformation, the exact moment of the miracle. The statue “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” is to be found in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. It is considered to be one of the finest achievements of the Baroque, and certainly immortalized Bernini’s name. The sexual overtones of the sculpture is very inspiring, and was furiously debated in the corridors of the Vatican. Is female sexual pleasure and orgasm sinful in nature? Was intercourse between man and woman just for the purpose of human reproduction? The fact that Bernini lets us experience her magical moment, lets us to believe and to nurture our faith, was very dangerous thoughts back in the days! Even Teresa’s own words were erotic enough. But the link between sexual and spiritual ecstasy was not an unknown subject in the old mystic religious texts. It seems Bernini§s interpretation proved them all wrong with his life like rendition. And he even manages to prove the mysterious, magical moment without removing her clothes!
Through the power of this magical expression, it inspires new thoughts in me. All her orgasmic energy, it seems like a kundalini moment to me. I think she had her kundalini awakening, and she entered into what is referred to in Tantra as the divine union. It is also known in many other religious text, but in tantra there is room to explore the sexual nature as the masculine and feminine energies always seek to be in balance. Did Bernini know tantra? It is an intriguing thought, lets say he knew of the mystical sexual teachings of Christianity rather. It is certainly not unlikely.
I love the way Bernini gives to us so clearly. And I just love this beautiful expression of a woman, fully clothed, melting into her heart. Melting into the now. And melting into her own incredible blissful ecstasy, her union with her creator. Uninhibited and without any thoughts for us who experience the moment with her. In fact, she wants to guide us, inspire and take us along. This is how we are meant to live our lives, and she is living hers in ecstatic bliss. After all living in a permanent state of exalted bliss and ecstasy is natural to us, and I believe it is our long lost birthright. Thank you Teresa for inspiring women to take back the faith in our feminine sexual nature.
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