Updated: Sep 13
Unless you came from an environment where sex was discussed from a higher perspective, you learned what not to do before you knew what was better for you.
Unfortunately, some sexually active people learn about sex from talking to friends and watching porn. Mostly, we received misguided information, and by the time we got older, we were already used to seeking love and affection from all the wrong places. Sex has a purpose, of course. That's not up for debate here. My point is that some of us have gotten misleading advice about something meant to be a beautiful exchange. Then, when we start sorting out our spiritual path, there is still more misleading information to sift through. Because of that, sex is either misused or the spiritual significance of it is exploited by people fulfilling one agenda or another.
Restrictions, Moderations & Redirection
Swami Vivekananda, a monk and religious teacher, was a celibate. One day, he was asked by a student if he ever had any attraction or desire for the opposite sex. His answer was yes. He also admitted that he got so upset with himself right after. He saw a pit of coal burning nearby and immediately sat on the fire to remove the pleasurable thought. After that, he never had another reflection of that nature again. I mentioned him because his life exemplified his commitment to his path. He was clear on his goal; early in life, he went from Brahmacharya to a Sannyasa.
While we are all on the path back to the Supreme, how we travel can look different for everyone.
Householders [married couples] on the path fulfill their spiritual destiny through family life. In that way, a married couple can engage in sexual activity in moderation. When sexual activity is done in moderation, you reduce excessive loss of prana or life force, and your ability to carry out austerities is unaffected.
Many of us are householders [Grihastha] and are learning to navigate this realm in this era. The Sutras were initially written for sages and renunciates who were no longer a part of society. So today, Brahmacharya can look like a life of pure conduct, moderation in all things, and the Supreme Being at the center of all of it. In essence, Brahmacharya is for us; still, in the world, it can look like the practice of self-control rather than abstinence.
We can learn healthy ways to channel and redirect physical/sexual energy as needed. Energy is meant to move, so options like tantric breathing exercises and kundalini yoga to shift the energy flow can help clear blocked chakras, revitalize organs, and channel higher spiritual dimensions. You can do these exercises alone or with a partner. Sexual energy is creative energy, so the urge to create and bring our creations children, resources, art, etc.] into the world is natural. Yet the outlet for your expression, when it is done in the highest spiritual regard, will bring you closer to the Source.
Study Other Cultures
Abstinence is a virtue in one culture. On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Yellow Emperor, one of the founding fathers of Traditional Chinese medicine and said to have reached immortality, was well-known.,
In Kemet the King had multiple wives
To Thine Own Self Be True
Everyone is on a spiritual path, whether they know it or not. And everyone can not be a monk or live on secluded land. In the same way, everyone is not required to vow celibacy- I'm pretty sure that would cancel out future generations.
This body is a vessel that carries us through this life, but we are not the body. It all comes down to what your soul is leading you to. So, if you are led to practice celibacy, then honor it. If that is not your path, you will also discover that in time.
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