Danger of forcibly control sexuality through a vow of celibacy

Celibacy requires great skill and self-awareness. Otherwise it results in psychological suppression of desire, and consequent neuroses. One slays desires not by suppressing them, but by observing them, and "letting them go." Not only celibacy, but any object of desire, any intention which one sets for oneself, for example, dietary restriction, or marriage fidelity, can become a source of inner conflict. That is why more than half of the adult population in the West suffer from serious neuroses. Anyone who begins to meditate, or with the help of a therapist, begins to observe their thoughts and emotions with detachment can eventually develop the skill required to "let go" of them. As most emotions entail suffering, the practice of meditation can weaken these sources of suffering, the samskaras, or habits of mind. But only by repeatedly returning to the nondual state of consciousness, samadhi, can one uproot these habits, according to Classical Yoga, as expressed in the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali. "Letting go" of desires requires that one observe them as they arise. One uses one's intellectual faculty of discernment to recognize the desire for what it is: a disturbance of the vital body. One may label what kind of desire it is. By doing so, it ceases to be "me" or "mine," or subjective; it becomes an object, like a cloud, or a tree. One does nothing to manifest the desire until or unless one is in a calm state, with little or no preference as to whether to indulge it or not.

It is not the object of desire which is to be avoided usually. It is not the object of desire which is usually problematic. The bar of chocolate just is. The attractive co-worker or acquaintance just is. It is the desire which is problematic. It is desire that must be slain. Desire creates suffering. This is one of fundamental tenets of all spiritual traditions around the world, and all Eastern religions. One's spiritual progress is inversely related to the degree to which one is subject to desire. If one does not yet recognize this, then reflect deeply upon it, and examine the wisdom teachings of authentic spiritual traditions.

Convinced of its value and with the courage to apply yourself to it, consider making a vow of celibacy for some period, for example, two weeks, a month, three months, to begin with. If you are in a relationship be prepared to explain why to your partner and invite them to do so also. If you fear that you will lack the capacity to fulfill the vow, then work on the subject of fear for awhile, with meditation and self-study. You will be amazed by what you learn about yourself, and what you are not.

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