It is great to be here again and it’s yet another week for an exciting edition of more expositions on spiritual topics. I hope you all are doing well.
It has been three weeks since we did the part 1 of managing desires and I had to put a pause on it since we had to treat a topic on the dynamics of relationships a three part series. Today however we shall continue with the second part of how to manage desires.
In the first part, we identified the sitting place of desires in our lives, we identified the cause and effect of uncontrolled desires and even went further to discuss how to dovetail our desires in a manner that gives satisfaction and pleasure to the Supreme Lord. During the course of these explanations I also mentioned that desires in their most physical state or in their gross state were easier to manage than when they transform in to their subtle stage. This may sound confusing to the uninformed as we all know we cannot “see” desires but we can feel and experience them, thus making it safe to say that desires are subtle not gross. Well in that perspective yes, it is true. However there are desires that are known to have a direct cause and effect; those are the ones I refer to as gross or physical desires.
Let me illustrate with examples. When a Man sees a woman and becomes attracted to her and develops the ‘desires” to spend time in her association and finally consummate his carnal desire, this is a desire in the most physical form. A person sees a TV on advertisement and nourishes the desire to buy it and saves up until he gets it that is another physical desire. The object of the desire is known and the effect is also known. In the “subtle form” the object is known but not recognized and the effect is deflected, more like a glass prism refracting light. Now let us analyze a vivid example to help us wrap our thumbs around this concept better.
When a spiritual practitioner starts his spiritual journey he is taught about the dangers and pitfall involved in illicit sexual dealings, and abuse of one’s sexual energy. He first starts by trying to restrain the senses by physically avoiding the objects that trigger or increase his sex desire. He keeps away from the association of women, and if he is very fanatical he may decide not to even speak to women (not a fault in itself if the practitioner is actually genuinely that advanced and not doing it for his own ego). He may go on and on like this for years and from the outside we can say he has been able to “control” his sexual desire, but then there is a backlash that comes with “repression” instead of “mastery over self”. The difference is that the practitioner who represses his desires by various external means often times has these desires biting back harder each time, whereas the practitioner who has mastery over himself has actually realized why he has to voluntarily give up these desires. While one is “forcing” the desires to go away, while the other has been able to “will” them away by knowledge, detachment and practice.
The practitioner who has been forcefully “repressing” this sexual desire as opposed to actually transcending it will see that his “unexpressed” desire bursts out in many other forms. I call these burst “outlets”, and they are various means by which he tries to seek the gratification that he can’t get from actually acting upon the initial sex desire. I am using sex desire as a primary example because it is one of the strongest desires we all have to deal with and one of the greatest pitfalls for many spiritual practitioners. Some of the many outlets for repressed sexual desires include; anger, unnecessary fault finding, uncontrolled quest for power, uncontrolled need for adoration, and the constant need for adoration from females. I guess we may all at one point in time either experienced these or seen them in others. Anger usually arises at the initial stages of repressing sexual energy and you can see that for the slightest reason the practitioner blows up into feats of anger, when he is able to manage this, it grows into unnecessary fault finding because there is the thought of being “better than” those who cannot physical abstain from sex like he is doing. When he is somehow or the other able to manage this then, he transforms this flaw into a motivation to strive for power; because power also satisfies the need for control. Sex desires comes from the subtle thought process of thinking we are the enjoyers, rather than thinking we are merely servants of God.
Then at a more critical level we see the practitioner direly fighting to have recognition for whatever they do and want everyone to worship them. It is important to know that the higher you up this ladder of various outlets, the ore intense the repression is and the more dangerous it is. It is easier to manage anger than to manage the dire need to always be worshiped or given fame. In a final stage and very precarious conditions we see such spiritual practitioners always indirectly seeking the approval of female companions, not in the physical sense of touch or intimacy but in a subtle form of deriving pleasure from their adoration and endorsements. One way to recognize this is if a male spiritual practitioner is apt at putting others down or making himself look better whenever there is a large gathering of females around. This is symptom of one who is battling with the subtle form of sexual desires. If this is a one-time coincidence we may be a little reserved to draw conclusions but if you notice it is something that happens every time there is a large number of women around then you can be almost certain that the symptom is real.
These explanations can go deeper and deeper but it is not my desire to wear by readers with too much esoteric information so I will let you ponder this and we shall deliberate on them subsequently.
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See you next week. Cheers.