The Fire and The Rose: Excerpts and Resources

The Fire and the Rose: The Wedding of Spirituality and SexualityThe Wedding of Spirituality and Sexuality

Our encounters with love, spirituality, and sexuality play a major role in shaping who we are. These powerful aspects of our lives are woven into the pattern that forms our potential for wholeness. Through growing consciousness, sexuality and spirituality can support our efforts to live more passionately and to understand love in all of its forms. In this stimulating and inspiring book, Jungian analyst Bud Harris challenges us to reconsider our views of spirituality and sexuality as opposites and bring them into harmony and creativity. Together, we can heal some of our culture’s great wounds of the soul.


Below you’ll find the Introduction from The Fire and the Rose and excerpts from each chapter. Be sure to follow along on Bud’s Facebook page to find more resources and follow-up questions to help you integrate the material more deeply into your own life.

The Fire and the Rose – Introduction
Excerpt from Chapter 1: Desire’s Initiations
Excerpt from Chapter 2: Understanding the Past
Excerpt from Chapter 3: The Desire to Transform
Excerpt from Chapter 4: Returning to the Source
Excerpts from Chapter 5: The Contradictions of Life, and Sex and Love
Excerpts from Chapter 6: Metaphors as Bridges to the Soul
Excerpt from Chapter 7: The Shadow
Excerpt from Chapter 8: The Faces of Transformation
Excerpt from Chapter 9: Stagnation of Desire
Excerpt from Chapter 10: Body and Soul
Excerpt from Chapter 11: Love and Wholeness

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For more resources from Bud and Massimilla Harris, please visit The Center for Spiritual Resources.

Quotes and Images to Share:

Because of the powerful context it is embedded in, sexual desire becomes an expression of our relationship to ourselves and others. How we practice it reflects our spiritual view of ourselves. If we love ourselves, our sexual expressions, even when strong, will take place in an atmosphere of love and respect. Journaling, befriending dreams, dialoguing — have become my spiritual practices. I call them that because I have learned that if I do them religiously they will transform my life. Actually, I’m sure that if you had asked me at the time I would have said, ‘Of course I love myself.’ But that was before I had realized we can’t genuinely love somebody we don’t know. Self-love is like water flowing into a pond. When the pond is full, the water will overflow and begin to venture out into the world. At times it seems unfair that life’s path toward becoming whole never offers us a resting point for very long. It continues to advance. But while the path of growth may feel relentless, it also gives us a life filled with love and surprises. Projection is like looking at the world through dirty glasses and not being able to tell whether the streaks you see are on your lenses or part of the landscape. Society’s soul doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We make it up. As we become more authentic, spiritually mature and psychologically aware, we can each transform culture like a stone thrown into a pond. Waves emanate from us as our presence gains substance. Love comes from the the soul, through the Self, and infuses our physical being.  We must be sensuous in order to experience love, whether with a lover, friend, or the Divine. When we reduce sexuality and reproduction to mere physical functions and thereby rob them of their mythos, we violate something within us that is more profound, precious and sacred than we imagine. We run the risk of creating “soul wounds. I thought that whenever I was suffering and struggling, it was because I had done something wrong. Psychologically this perspective is literal, shallow, and basically in error. It is an error because the simplistic ideas of ‘do right, feel good; do wrong, get punished’ do not fit either the complexities of our personalities or the world we live in. And the cause-and-effect model of living, even if you accept it, cannot be so simply reduced. Nevertheless, we have developed a culture around this error, along with the false assumption that living in the real world is a punishment instead of a sacrament.  The challenge to bring spirituality and sexuality into harmony and creativity belongs to every one of us. But we must deal with this challenge in a careful, thoughtful manner, and in a way where we are kind and respectful to each other. Together, we can heal one of our culture’s great wounds of the soul. Only in fully knowing our wounds or unlived desires can we figure out how our soul wants us to attend to them.

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