THE COSMIC EMBRACE: An Illustrated Guide to Sacred Sex, by John Stevens. Boston/London: Shambhala, 1999, 190 pp., 120 b/w photographs, $18.95.

The difficulty varies. If the idea is more often admitted in the East than in the West, this is perhaps because the condemnation is less organized. Asia did not have to put up with too many puritanical religions and it did not have to tolerate an accepted philosophical system that sundered body and soul, mind and spirit.

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