Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The following is a response to a seeker who asks, "Could you write in more detail about this or suggest a source of information about healthy celibacy that avoids the harmful effects you referred to?"

Celibacy is a very unique challenge and is no lighthearted matter, but the benefits are worthwhile if approached properly. To begin with, you are addressing the most fundamental and strongest force in our physical being. Sexual energy is the source of nearly all our actions, and ideas. It is the force that drives us, and therefore must be treated with extreme caution at the very least. I don't know anything of your background so I can't begin to make any suggestions beyond a general set of guidelines, but that should be more than enough to set you on your way. As I gather from your comment, you seem to have had a taste of some of the difficulties associated with the balance of a celibate path.

The most important place to begin is probably related to getting the house in order. As I said before, I have no idea your level of experience in this matter, or your age maturity level , etc. Please forgive any assumptions I might make. Now on the topic. To begin with let me define as best as I can what celibacy is. It is essentially a vacation from sex and its many forms. This is rather simple. We refrain from sex in thought, word and deed. This includes sexual reverie (fantasy) or the mental aspects of sex. In other words, celibacy is a mental and physical abstinence from indulgence in all sexual acts-masturbation, oral sex, etc.

As with breaking any impulse, habit, addiction, etc. it involves a change in one's everyday patterns and routines. If you have any sort of sex related literature such as erotica or pornography it is best to get rid of it.

Proper attitude is very important and can get complicated. Our mind, especially under the influence of hormones and various stimuli whether external or internal can trick us in ways we may not immediately see or be aware of. Respite from the physical sex act is probably the easiest aspect of celibacy. The less tangible aspects are another story. When your mind drifts to a sexual thought then you have to turn your mental head in another direction. Here is where it gets tricky. Try focusing on unresolved problems, prayer, some uplifting verse, take a walk, observe yourself. Write what is on your mind. Examine why you are on the celibate path. Be very careful, I repeat, BE VERY CAREFUL not to let your thoughts drift into areas where you will lose the energy you have gained through celibacy. Steer clear of any sort of spiritual pride or elitism of any kind. Do not get caught up in attachment to anything in particular. Be mindful that any trait you have such as any neurosis, mental difficulty, depression, and so forth will likely be magnified during this time. It is important to have a plan and use the time to do Spiritual work, or whatever it is that motivated your celibacy in the first place. I recommend a lot of writing, a lot of physical exercise, (walking or bike riding is particularly good in my case) and a good diet.

It is important to keep the prostate in good health so I recommend herbs such as pumpkin seeds and saw palmetto, available at most any health food store. It doesn't hurt to do a little research in this department. I also recommend drinking a lot of water, and laying off too many stimulants and especially alcohol. BTW, this may be a strange question, but it just occurred to me that I don't know whether you are male or female. Regardless, even though the physiology is different, the approach is not so different and can be adjusted accordingly. As I am a man, I cannot speak from the female perspective. Resource materials are available though for anyone. I will try to post a few resources in the next little while that may be useful.

Near the top of the list of considerations when embarking on a celibate path is the impact it will have on others. It is probably easiest and logistically best if one isn't in a relationship, however, I have managed periods of celibacy with my wife for as long as we mutually wanted to keep it going. It also is not a bad idea to make a specific goal for being celibate for a specified time. This can be a month, ten years, or for as long as it may take to attain whatever it is you are after.

Most importantly keep a good mental attitude. Be celibate for the right reasons (my own reasons have nothing to do with religious convictions or to attain favor with God. In other words I do not see it as paying homage to anything. My reasons have been practical so I could have the energy needed to build intuition and to have the internal energy to explore the path of Self.) Whatever your reasons, they must not be out of forced obligation. You must act of your own free will. I think it best to approach it as a vacation from sex. I personally see no reason to make it a lifelong practice unless you are in a position of Spiritual leader, or have a need to keep clean so to speak, such as if you are a counselor, work with the mentally ill, are an exorcist, or a paranormal investigator for example.

Strong moral principles are highly underrated in our world today. We as a population seem to have lost our sensitivity to the more subtle essences of life. Celibacy can be a valuable and beautiful experience for those willing to approach it with the right attitude. There are reasons remarkable people have practiced it over the ages. It is at the core of all great success secrets, and mystical practices.

I hope this will help you out a bit. I will write more and post it on the blog as soon as I can.

Copyright © 2008 John Rose

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