To take a glass of wine or beer once in a while, is not a problem. Someone in that experience will not need to know “Dry January.” Those who are lost in alcohol, will surely experience what “Dry January” is. An extreme brings another.
Same principle applies with sexuality and celibacy.
For most individuals, sex has 2 main functions: Reproduction and fun\pleasure. There are more functions in sexuality, only known/experienced by few.
Most men are unaware that their vitality is embodied in their semen. The importance of this vital energy will be seen as the individual ages.
Most individuals are incapable of regulating their excitement and need to ejaculate. Due to the “macho”/”stud” conditioning, many men are depleted of their sexual energy, then; when they reach their 40-50- 60s they lack vitality.
What was the solution for this problem?
Nowadays, it is a “blue pill” which will take the person into further depletion or in other terms: it will submerge the person into greater vitality debt.
Before the “blue pill,” there was the natural means: Celibacy.
It was thought that by “not doing it,” a person will lose interest. Religions tried to sublimate the sexual urge by “purifying” a relationship through love of God or condemning sexuality and the “pleasures of the flesh.”
However, there cannot be celibacy when the individual is repressing and denying his own sexuality.
Celibacy is not repression. However, celibacy could be used as medicine to restore the vitality of an individual. When an individual is running in deficit, celibacy is not a repression, but a needed “practice.”
Some individuals believe that celibacy is only to abstain from sexual relationship with another; however, it is as well to abstain sex with yourself.
Nevertheless, the important factor is for the man to maintain its semen as much as possible, and not to abstain from human touch, feelings and pleasure.
It is easier to maintain a “black or white” posture: No sex, no touch, no pleasure and to disseminate the message that this “practice” is “spiritual.” However, most; at least 99% of individuals will repress to comply with this “spirituality.”
Since the above may be too restrictive; sex, touch and pleasure were allowed by some religious/ spiritual systems; but not ejaculation at all.
What was the outcome? Utter pressure. Sex was no longer enjoyable as someone has to “watch” for the moment of “no return.” Then guilt sets in, for that “failure” and the consequences of it.
The “reality” of human sexuality is that we cannot put all human beings in the same basket. We are all different and those differences will change in time: A 60-year-old is very different than a 20-year-old. A society will teach them to comply with some belief or some moral ideal, but the teaching does not cover to be AWARE of ourselves.
If a human was AWARE of himself, he will know to walk the “middle way” and to put himself in that path as Life turns into different streets. That “middle way” is never the same; nevertheless; it is the natural way. Most are prey of social/peer pressure, collective beliefs and nonsensical traditions which endanger their own well-being. That is the path of extremes.
Celibacy is as good and necessary as Sex is. They can complement each other. It all depends in timing, setting and circumstances. The keyword is “Balance.” To “practice celibacy” means for a limited time. Typically, we don’t “practice” sex. Naturally, we ARE sexual beings, but according to who WE ARE, we could manifest love and care through sex, OR lust and violence.
When celibacy is natural, it is no longer celibacy. Anything “practiced” with repression, will NEVER be natural.
Semen is Life. Through that we give Life to another. Your Life, your vitality depends on keeping that energy.
How many times a month shall I ejaculate?
You are missing the point. Discover what works for you. Be sensible, aware of what your body tells you. Change when there is a need. Forget about the “scientific research,” of what should be “normal.” Feel the balance. What is natural does not rely on numbers and formulas.
Sex and celibacy are the complete human sexual experience. They are ONE.
Self-realization is a gift to mankind. The “I” offers itself to be no-self.
The “I” with all its tricks, desires, wants, plans, etc. will go away little by little creating pain and agony in “going away” from Life, just to be someone different, unknown, mysterious.
That offer is not related with an ulterior motive. It is to be part of the Totality through a particular role, according to time.
In a way self-realization is unpredictable like death. We could plan all we want for the future, but when the time arrives, there is no going back.
While experiencing this “death,” there is very little interest in any hopeful belief system for the future; in the “after life.”
Being one with Life is not in the future. It is right now.
The wonderful “I” with all his beliefs of salvation and a better Life in the future are left aside to embrace what is now. Fulfillment, enjoyment, appreciation of Life are in the “now.”
Here there is no praying necessary, nor any special offers to the Gods to be made. There is no promise of any kind to no one.
Life has no promises other than being what is, thus a feeling of appreciation to Life is the ingredient to enjoy it.
We are free.
Do we want a method to reach “heaven”?
Do we want everlasting “insurance” and good “karma”?
Do we want to be happy in this Life?
Then, why is it that Self-realization is not being preached to others, why is it not being taught to others rather than beliefs in everlasting life in the afterlife?
We cannot teach it or preach it. It is not something to be taught or learned from a book. No one knows how to get “there,” even if there is experience of it.
That is why there are so many beliefs and so many holy books instead. Those are things that most everyone could understand or interpret, the method to “get there;” to attain that “special” state, everyone wants to play it safe by following a “planned out” trip to “Heaven,” “risk free.”
All you need to do is to believe, to follow, to entertain yourself with the thought that you are getting there, becoming, arriving … soon…
If there is no method, if there is no way to proactively pursue and obtain that self-realization, what could be “done” to attain it?
Nothing. So enjoy what is.
It is not about “doing.”
It will happen when we are ready, not before or after. “Being” ready is not about “doing” things.
When we have gone through the experiences of the pendulum of Life from one extreme to the other, and our capacity for experiencing suffering has reached its peak, in the depth of that darkness; perhaps light could be seen.
As the “I” takes that helping light to move out of that space of suffering, the “I” perhaps will realize through the experiences of Life, that there is only suffering because there is “I.”
That is a day to celebrate!
The very thing the “I“ has been struggling to and searching everywhere to attain, is in the absence of that “I.”
The medicine resides in the disease.
Suffering= “I.” Pleasure= “I.”
Thus, duality = “I.”
Nevertheless, observe how our society from time immemorial, has been trying to build up that “I,” through beliefs in the eternal permanence of that “I.” Isn’t that ironic?
Some say “Life is suffering.”
That is nonsense; although many are repeating and spreading that line of “spiritual wisdom.”
Life is the mirror of the “I.”
The “I” suffers.
How is the “I” capable of being one with Life?
It does not mean that we shouldn’t feel pleasure or pain. NO! It means that while experiencing those experiences we could understand the “I.”
The trauma of the experience, the anxiety, the neediness, the “I cannot live without it” state or the “I need more of that;” those are the ingredients which acknowledge a well built up “I.”
If we stop the urge out of compulsion to practice asceticism or if we go all out for it in full indulgence, both extremes will increase our experience of suffering. It is the “I” driving the show.
Do we see that?
Thus, the middle-way… which is not “middle-way,” but there are no words to express inner balance within Life.
The word is harmony. Behind that word there is absolute emptiness.
Ohh.. now I get it! That is why the “I” cannot “do” anything to become one with Life!
Because anything the “I” does, takes the “I” away from Life. It is the doing of the “I” which gives greater presence to the “I.”
You said it. However, know that it cannot be said. For everything which is said, it is half-truth and half-false. Duality within words.
Words are only deceiving pointers to a place with no name.
Do you see the “truth” of this article?
See its “falsehood” as well.
The “truth” cannot be written in words.
Until July 6th! 🙂
First I would like to thank you for your sharing of your experiences in life and how to live life with more meaning with freedom and connection:)
I have used your blog to experience for myself and the most useful thing has been about really just re-connected with now, being present and being in the flow of life. It has made me appreciate how narrow minded it seemed I had become whilst living what I thought was the ultimate spiritual life!
I guess I have a few questions for you, which you may like to answer?! I don’t wish to depend on any one individual anymore or anyone for that matter, so I ask you whilst aware of dependency traps!
I have been walking the path of life closely with the Brahma Kumaris for the last 10 years. I felt it was the truth, that this was God, that heaven was my birthright and many other things which are taught by the BKs. I feel now that I am questioning all of what I believed in and finding that if feels like I don’t necassarily find all of the BK teaching to be so much ‘the only path’ now….what concerns me though is that to be open to life and to really make the journey of life my own, opens up a lot of joy and possibilities, whilst also opening up loneliness and uncertainty. I really feel in some ways that I have neglected many things in life over the last 10 years, whilst in the pursuit of purity and peace…whilst I have had many beautiful experiences as a BK, I also feel I have rejected a lot of life and suppressed a lot of feelings/emotions…life isn’t always so easy;-/
I guess I have isolated myself from the bigger picture of life in pursuit of a ‘spiritual lifestyle’. By being more open recently I can see that people in the world are much broader than simply ‘shrudras’ and that there is a lot to be gained and experienced through friendships with people who don’t label themselves as BKs!
In going with the flow and as you shared recently about flowing with the wind, I can see when I allow this, it is a beautiful experience. I have a concern though!-0…If (hypothetical question) I am in a relationship and with children who depend on me and if in going with the flow, I find I connect with someone else who I’d like to spend more time with than my partner and children, then is this still going with the flow?! Sometimes, it seems desires can drive us more than our deeper purpose and the ‘damage’ caused could be greater….of course, suppression of lust, desire, needs for companionship wouldn’t be helpful either….
Last comment/question (honest) as otherwise I am going on too much! It feels like the last 10 years has been a lot about battling with lust and suppressing many interests in life, including being close to people, in particular females. I used to have the best (and worst!) time with girlfriends in the past. Somehow, I feel that I have been suppressing my desires, emotions and that nothing has really gone away…now I’m confused. Do I want a pure lifestyle? Would I rather be close to another person again? In being close to another, would I open up to being extreme in lust again?!
Right! That’s it! Muchas gracias mi amigo
Thank you for your honest question. Last year I decided not to answer questions any more… So I am “lying” now, because I plan to fully answer your question.
Is Ananda a liar? Is that bad?
“Avyakt7” is the one who made that statement not Ananda but paradoxically, it is the same guy but not the same. 🙂
Things change. Life changes and our consciousness will change as well. It is the way of life. There is no “I” statically living life, but we are life itself with those changes.
I recall one time that I was speaking with a dear Brahma Kumaris friend of mine. She has been a friend of many lives (even though she does not realize it yet) about the intricacies of “Good and Bad.”
She said to me: “ For me there is a clear line between good and bad.”
I listened to her and didn’t say a word for there was nothing else to say.
A couple of years later, she said to me: “I don’t have a clear line between good and bad now” I said to her: “Good.” She just smiled.
What changed her perception?
It was an experience that she was going through at that time. That experience represented the very thing that she was repressing in her life.
Life experiences will make the changes in our lives, not intellectual understanding.
Repression is not the answer when trying to “conquer a vice.” Don’t separate yourself from what is. Don’t consider that to be “you.” Just observe, accept and transform that energy which we label as “lust” into good wishes from the heart. Feel. Don’t label as “good or bad.” It is important to “learn” to feel again.
A religious practice based on beliefs is able to put layers of things in top of our “vices,” but a dependency on a system is unavoidable. We are not free. We become dependent.
Ananda is very thankful of the experience that he had in the Brahma Kumaris.
Without that experience, he wouldn’t be able to understand (not intellectually) many things that he does now.
Let me share some of those realizations.
We are caught up with this thing, which we call morality, the “good and bad.” That is a belief that we have acquired in this world. Many of us, need to experience that belief to the utmost.
That is the role of the Brahma Kumaris in my view. It is a path of reformation by changing our minds to be conscious of that duality which otherwise, we wouldn’t be aware that even existed practically, not just intellectually.
“God says that broccoli is good. Ice cream is bad. Ice cream and sweets will make you suffer by taking you to the dentist office or even worse, the doctor. You must eat all your broccoli if you want to be good and then, God will be happy with you. “
Then, God will change his words when the kids are becoming “smarter” according to time and he will say something like: “OK. If you eat all your vegetables and broccoli, then at the end of the day, you will have a piece of dessert.”
When the time comes, the kid cannot eat dessert because his stomach is full of vegetables and so he claims that “God has cheated on him.” Then other kids will find out that “God gave ice cream to so and so when he preaches that ice cream is bad.” God is liar, they will say.
What is God’s task? To keep the kids fed with “good” vegetables as much as possible, for when someone’s mentality is fixed in “good or bad,” they do not have the ability to see something else. “Black or White” are not the only colors, but how could that be taught when someone does not want to see other colors?
That kid mentality does not allow someone to look at the bigger picture.
The path of asceticism will take our experience to one extreme. Buddha was an example. He went to that extreme and then he was left alone by his “friends” and disciples when he no longer wanted to do that practice because of a realization. That is how the path of the “middle way “ started. Many followers will say: “I will follow the middle way only. I will not go into extremes. Everything in moderation.”
In life unless you experience things in your own skin, you will not know. Intellectual understanding is completely and utterly useless. (Although “good” at the office world.)
We may need to experience that extreme in us.
The Brahma Kumaris offers that valuable opportunity for those who need that in their life experience. Ananda understands that there are many who still may need to experience that path. They have the right to experience that path themselves without “my” input. My experience is just my experience.
For the serious seeker, to be alone, to feel alone is part of the ride. That is the chance to become one with yourself, but that is not the end of the road, for we live in relationship and that oneness that we have realized, needs to be observed under the mirror of relationships.
Let me add another thing.
Brahma Baba is truly a being of light. However, he is not the only one. Brahma Baba’s path is not the “only one” although his follower may think that to be the case.
Every being has a role, which is not depending in our petty morality or how well it fits it, but in the common good.
Life my friend, is not concerned with our beliefs or moral standards; however, there is a consequence for every action as we know.
Flowing in life is to take away the baggage, the weight of the “I.”
In your hypothetical question, when we learn to feel that who we need to be in that occasion, that is when we are honest with ourselves, we will know that we have acted, as we should. That action does not need for people to applaud us or to say “Good boy, you did good.”
We need to learn to discern our emotions and desires from that calling of life. One thing is to realize something and a different thing is to put that realization in action.
When your feeling is honest, then it is honest also to accept the consequences of that honesty and to move on in life.
Note that Ananda is not giving formulas of “good or bad” for life changes at every moment, every time and to flow with life is to appreciate that change, to ride with the wind while it lasts.
We are eternal. Enjoy the ride of experiences, amigo… 🙂
One important aspect to realize about “talking” Spirituality, is that any concept that we use here to refer to “something,” is not “real,” those concepts do not exist.
For instance “ego.” That word merely describes a support for a sense of division, a difference which creates and gives life to “me” as something exclusive from everything else.
In the beginning of our spiritual quest, we only understand things through the game of duality. Ego can only be “good” OR “bad.”
Ego is “Godly” OR “Evil.” It is a virtue OR a vice.
If ego is a vice, then we need to “remove it.” We need to “get rid of it,” “destroy it,” etc.
That is the beginning of awakening in the spiritual realm. Note that many religions and philosophies embrace this game of duality. It is sometimes necessary, for not everyone could realize things through experience beyond that game of duality.
Then, a “way” of behavior deemed “good,” “virtuous,” “holy,” “Godly,” etc. is made up for followers to follow.
All of the above is not “bad” at all. It is the “beginning.”
Without that “black or white” distinction, there wouldn’t be a space for further realizations. The issue is when someone “thinks” that he/she has arrived. That “he” or “she” has the “truth.” 🙂
When in our spiritual realization we go beyond duality, beyond dividing things and naming things as “good,” or “bad,” then a different awakening happens as long as this comes as a life experience. Otherwise, if it is just intellectual understanding, there is no awakening.
That experience can appear as we “walk the talk” in life.
One thing is to say, “We are oneness. We are one,” and another is to feel that oneness without labeling, without words or thinking.
One thing is to understand that “acceptance is good.” Another is to “surrender” to life in a way as if there is no “me” there to differentiate or to separate. That is, “it is what it is.”
Please note that every religious teaching has different degrees of depth. The ultimate teaching as Avyakt7 can perceive now, is the one, which does not require many words. No more concepts, no more duality. It is a matter of self realization and any spiritual teaching or teacher merely provides the environment for that to happen in its own time. Thus, it is no longer about “following a teaching,” but discovering that teaching in yourself so it is “truly” understood.
Ego is neither good nor bad. We don’t need to “get rid of it” even though those words could be used to explain the obstacles that ego could bring. There is no need to “embrace” ego either, for it is there already, built in as a part of our growth. Nevertheless, we need to realize its limits, we need to experience when ego turns into a hurtful personality, separating that “oneness.” 🙂
That is why, inner observation is a key element in Spirituality.
Many times in a spiritual path, we will go from one extreme into another. We will reject one side of the coin, to embrace the other until we realize that in the game of duality, one side will bring the other automatically; then at that point, we will look for our “middle,” the popular “not too much of anything,” nevertheless; when we are aware, we will acknowledge our own changes and move harmoniously with those changes.
“There is no worst blind man than the one that does not want to see.” To “see” means openness without the colors of concepts, beliefs and previous experiences. It is to be “new” in the moment, aware, conscious, accepting, open, ready, light and … happy. 🙂
Thank you for your good question!
The “Middle path” comes as a realization of the extremes of duality.
Gautama “Buddha,” started his life in “pleasure” as a prince in a Kingdom. He then went to the “other side” as a renunciate. He was torturing his body, until the realization came that “no extreme” is helpful but the “middle.”
In Brahmin life. many BKs follow the same route. The “before being a BK” and the “after” picture. In that process of transformation, we need to explore both sides. As a matter of fact, we will go to the side of “renunciation” with the same intensity as in the side of “indulging.” That is the understanding on how duality works. The middle way is the point where we recognize that life is not “black or white” but also that it has shades of gray in between.At that point a Brahmin soul “matures” and can start to “smile” as BapDada would like to see us.
What the Buddha recognized is a good realization in the world of “duality.” He also recognized that the apparent opposites are truly complementary, that is why one of his teachings imply “not rejecting” (similarly to Christ as explained before) but to understand that one side of the coin will lead us automatically to the other in the world of duality. Good cannot exist without evil. When “evil” reaches its extreme, it will turn into “good” as we can see how the iron age turns automatically into the Golden age. Similarly “good” in its extreme decline (through entropy,) automatically becomes evil. (Silver age into Copper age) That is duality.
BapDada and Gyan will give us something more. That is the recognition that we can go beyond duality because that “unicity” has existed, is “real” (Golden age/Silver age) but while living in the consciousness of duality. That is “karmateet.” All it is required is to “switch” our consciousness in the realm of the subtle and thus, go beyond the physical.
That is the “effort.” 🙂
Thank you for your great question!
Once we have the knowledge of the Drama, then we can see that our knowledge of “good and bad,” as absolute categoricals is flawed. Things change according to time. Things happen as they are necessary.
When we are in bondage of “duality,” there is no escape from the experience of both sides of it. We cannot pursue pleasure alone without the experience of sorrow/pain. A virtue such as “discipline” could be a vice if if it is not balanced with “flexibility.” That is why, the Buddha Gautama taught about the “middle way.” However, Baba is teaching us the way to “get out” altogether from the experience of duality and that is through “soul consciousness,” for in that experience there is no duality. DETACHED OBSERVER.
Therefore, the wise man, will search to experience/understand that. The Drama is not in opposition to what we perceive as the “I,” but at this time, when we receive this knowledge; the Drama is helpful so we can settle our karmic accounts which are not allowing us to experience that soul consciousness.