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Sexuality and Religion

To: soc.religion.eastern
From: (Hsi Wang Mu)
Subject: Sexuality and Religion
Date: 49941115
Quoting: | (Ardeshir D. Mehta)

|>I strongly feel that supression or repression of the sexual energy
|>is supression and repression of an important part of our being.

Correct.  Sometimes this arises as a mechanism to move ourselves someplace
we need to go.  Sometimes it is a political restriction.

|>However, selfish or hedonistic use of this energy is also something
|>that may also deny us the understanding of our nature.

Tricky Toshi.  I agree here, mostly due to your ambiguity. ;>

|This may be one aspect in which sexual activity is condemned by spiritual

No master ever condemned sexual activity.  If they did, it was an indication
that they were not indeed a master.

|However, I think it may not be the only one.  The Buddha is said
|to have advocated the "middle way".  I don't think he would have condemned
|the enjoyment of strawberries and cream.  Why, then, the enjoyment of sex?

The Buddha would not have condemned any behavior, since any path may be
an expression of the Middle Path.

|My personal feeling is that sexual activity is PROSCRIBED, not CONDEMNED,
|by spiritual masters because in MOST ACTUAL PRACTICE, a lot of untruth and
|even outright lies are mixed up in engaging in it.  

This is very true, but mostly because society does not allow open expression
of sexuality, and people feel that they must lie to themselves and each other
in order to get what they need.

|Romancing a person of the opposite sex requires quite a bit of subterfuge 
|and at the very least the persons concerned don't show each other their 
|true selves.  

This is not entirely true.  If there were more emphasis on positive aspects
of relationships, such as honesty and vulnerability, then such things would
not occur.  If prostitution were legalized across the boards (and therefore
regulated so that it could be done safely) then it would not be tied up with
the criminal activities which truly have victims.  

If monasticism included vows of sincerety in intimacy and thereafter had
practice of this virtue, there would be a greater value of it within society
at large and less 'subterfuge' would be found.

|And since truth is virtually synonymous with the divine in almost all 
|religions... anything that takes one away from the truth is to be eschewed, 
|from a spiritual point of view. 

Sexuality, intimacy of a physical or any other nature, does not 'take one
away from truth'.  Such is the misunderstanding of the ascetic traditions.

|However, sexual activity CAN be undertaken in full consonance with the
|truth.  And for that kind of sexual activity, the Tantric Yoga has, in my
|opinion, been expounded.

Precisely.  It is the path most suited to this yuga.

| own personal leaning is to take all activity - not just sexual - 
|as a Yoga capable of taking us to the truth.

As does my path incorporate this teaching.

|This I cannot believe.  I do not think that those who are creative (in any
|field) are using their SEXUAL energy.  

Perhaps you folks are dividing up the world of the individual into too
disparate categories.  What if 'sexual energy' is simply 'life energy'
which can be experienced in many different ways?  Consider that when a
person is under a lot of stress within their employment that their interest
in physical intimacy and pleasure drops greatly.

|>	There is alot of negativity and guilt and moralism with
|>this issue, and it often focuses on the wrong things.

That's the major problem, and this isn't just some 'random moralizing'.
Societies benefit tremendously from fouling up the sexual natures of their
citizens, since the anxiety created can be used to produce very zealous
workers and desirous consumers.  

Notice that monks typically reduce their consumption and activity.  What I'm
talking about is the *natural result* of meditation and reflection.  As the
programs we've been dealt are dissolved, so also is our drive to disempower
ourselves through purchase and promotion, construction and production.  The
traditions try to mimick the RESULT of successful practice, fitting the
monk into a less active mode, when the opposite is sometimes necessary for
hir to relax and release hir hold on the world.

|Not just AIDS: in recent years the Catholic church has come under great
|criticism for priests having sexually abused young boys in their charge.
|My personal view is that some people are capable of transmuting their
|sexual energy while others are incapable.  I feel that I, for one, am
|incapable.  But I can readily believe anyone who says that THEY are capable.

If we spoke more openly about how we express our sexual energy (how we like
to be stroked, how we enjoy licking our mates, etc.), we'd be much more
healthy as a society.  Presently it is all bundled up in taboos and tapped
by media and institutions in order to keep themselves running.

AIDS is perhaps one of the biggist *hypes* of them all.  I'm not trying to
minimize the problem, but the typical way people are going about attempting
to 'address' it is through scare-tactics and fear-inducement.  This is just
more hogwash, attempting to tone up the sex-repression and hysteria.

|>--I think we need to accept who we are and what we are.  From there,
|>we can come to a realistic assessment of ourselves, and how we
|>can work with ourselves.  I think we all realize that sexual
|>energy can have a strong component of physical pleasure, but I
|>also urge you to explore other aspects of this part of ourselves,
|>and work with it the best we can, as we do with everything else
|>in our lives.

I agree here, but would stress that in ordinary society we are seldom
encouraged to explore SEXUAL activities, let alone others, and that if
more emphasis was placed on sexual fulfillment while *making it a
reasonable possibility* (rather than stirring the pot and harnessing
the steam) the average civilian would be much more satisfied, I'd wager.

Hsi Wang Mu

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