The problem of Sex- Part I I have known him for 23 years of my life.

We would often have discussions on all kinds of subjects, many of them subtle and transient. If one could objectively analyze the events in his life, it would not be too difficult to spot the strange similarities with the events in mine. Listening to him is like listening to my own mind. It is strange to see how many times we find ourselves dealing with the same problems. No subject would be taboo between us. Without hesitation he began, I wanted to discuss something with you. I hope this will not create any uncomfortable notions and awkward moments. I want to talk about addiction to self-gratification, physically. I want to talk about sex Yes, it is one of the most misunderstood phenomena of our time. What is it that you want to talk about? I see that sex is the greatest pleasure of human beings. The more they are exposed to it, the more they get caught in it. No one seems to be an exception to this. I have known not more than a couple of people for whom sex is not a problem of sorts. All others, to some extent myself, are easily addicted to it. Then one has to struggle to get rid of this addiction. What is this strange problem? I know very well what you mean. I think everyone is going through this problem. Rather, it only becomes a problem when the brain gets absorbed by thoughts which are related to sex, for then a person sees nothing else. What begins as exploration and adventure soon becomes a source of guilt and obsession. Why is it that the spiritual books have talked about sex being a bad thing? Why have they repeatedly said that every man and woman must stay away from it and practice control? How to find a balance in all this? It is very easy to get imbalanced, isn t it? Indeed. It is very easy to get imbalanced. Not only because people who surround us are imbalanced, but also because the whole society is imbalanced in this regard. The movies endorse it. The whole western culture advocates it, and whole eastern culture is afraid of it. So when the east meets the west it goes over board in its excitement. He asked, But at a personal level, how to deal with it? Why does it become a problem? Why do we find ourselves getting obsessed with it? I think the sexual content in the media panders to the masses and we are all too eager to absorb it. For us it is a way to find relief among the vagaries of daily routine. Why do we need to escape? Why does a person escape from his daily life? Is it that his daily life has become a boring, banal thing, a dull routine? Is it that there is no lasting release in anything that a man can do in his daily living? The office work is satisfying for a lucky few, but many are struggling in that regard. The relationship with the spouse is full of complications. Most people are also not creative in their expression, so people do not have any other kind of outlet. The only outlet which is natural, easy and quick is sex. Therefore people find a great deal of freedom in sex. It is an intensely private thing too, which opens the doors for perversion. We can pervert it to whatever degree we want and no one will ever find out.

You mean today sex is a way for self-forgetfulness. It is what we use to feel separated from our problems. Quite. One separates oneself from the problems of one s daily life. But separation from the problem does not solve it. So when one returns, he finds that the problems are still there or have grown in proportion. What about the psychological aspect of it? What goes on inside the mind and in the body when one is addicted to sex? This is what I want to understand deeply. The body is a very sensitive thing. All senses are sensitive, the sense of touch, of smell, of sight, of taste and of sound. When the mind experiences a great deal of sensation in one of these senses for an extended period of time, that sense becomes extremely alert. Like a musician s sense of listening is more attuned to the sound of musical instruments than a nonmusician s. I know what you mean. So, the sense of touch is very sensitized to sexual sensation. The body develops its own memory of things, separate from the mind. So at a particular time of the day, it sends signals to the brain and requests sexual gratification. It goes without saying that the other senses also assist the sense of touch in answering to its demand. The sense of sight for example would be extremely sensitive to visuals which trigger a sexual response. Even a fleeting glance at a beautiful girl would make you think about sex. So either the body triggers it all by itself or it is triggered by sight. Once the trigger is off, the brain uses its past memory of the exact same sensation to enhance the current sensation. Now we have a cycle that feeds itself until it completely exhausts its resources. That is indeed what is happening. Then how to control it? Can you control it? Control can never solve any problem completely, because control is a problem of its own. To control anything takes a lot of energy and hard work and to do that is a big effort, a problem in itself. If you control you will have two problems, one that of Sex, and the other of controlling it! I think control must be practiced, else how can one be free of this problem? If you don t control your sexual desires then the problem becomes larger. The problem becomes larger if you control it. In control you suppress the desire. When the desire is suppressed it must accumulate until it finds an opening. So you lead the life of a suppressed man. Psychologically and phycially you strain the body by this suppression. This is a little bit confusing. Look, nothing is confusing. I think there is only one way one can be free of this obsession. It is by being aware of the ways of his mind. It is by learning how the mind operates. That is, if one can be aware how one becomes a totally different person when one is under the influence of a strong sexual desire. How this desire complicates his life. How and why is this response triggered? The mind clears a great deal of distance when it finds the answers to these

things. Then, the addiction seems childish and absurd and the mind drops it completely. It is like physically growing out of old clothes. The more I learn about my mind, the more things become clearer. I think we should discuss this again some other time. I will like to know how to be completely free of this obsession. I believe in controling it to the best of my capacity. That has worked until now, but something about controlling it is not right. We must talk again. Today I don t have much time. Wait. Let me ask you one simple question. Will you withdraw your hand if I hold a flame close to it? Obviously! I know for sure that the flame will burn my hand. There is absolutely no question about it. The mind completely understands the danger of fire Exactly, if you know something for sure, then you don t need control. You need control only when you are unsure.

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