© 2003 By Babak
[This was originally posted by Babak on the FranzBardonMagi forum and appears here with permission.]
You addressed a problem that is of great importance to me too, namely taking the vow of celibacy. I would like to share my experience and thoughts on the matter with you, in the hope that it maybe useful.
First of all, I would like to say that I completely agree with Rawn, on the fact that sexual activity is a very natural and basic part of every living being's life, including humans. I do not think however that sexual thoughts/desires are the same. For a long time I tried to repress sexual urges of the body myself, but it was a useless fight, because I only had my will power, and a vague wish to free myself of all my bodily desires on my side. This was too little, as was proved to me, because on the other side of the field, there stood the needs of a young body, a million sexual imaginations that rose up without any alarm, all passionate feelings that had been repressed, the need to love and be loved, that would, curiously enough, present itself in one of its lower forms, sex, and all other cultural pressures, which in a very funny form suggest that more sex is always better, or even cooler.
Now, before taking any vow of celibacy I felt the need to isolate various mechanisms that would stir up my sexual desires, and win a few friends on my side before the battle started. Please note that I am not trying to say that sexual gratification is your enemy. In some stages it can be your best friend, but beware, for if you are in control of your urges and direct them to their destiny, which can be a beautiful relationship with a partner, creation of another human body, or the knowledge of higher forms of sex, from observing your mental state during sex, etc., you truly are the king of these urges. If they control your mind and body, however, in time they will create more and more urges and phantasies and totally wrap up your mental and physical functions in blindness. They will deplete you and leave only a shell of you. Please take a good look at those people who indulge in sex day in day out. Look into their action, words, etc. It will be clear to you how a friend can become the worst enemy through indulgence. The battle I talk about is not against the natural sexual functions of your body, it's against the desire that takes control of the normal functioning of your mind, and veils your awareness of yourself.
Some of the things I tried and did work:
-Food! Yes, I didn't believe at first, but eating onions, garlic, and meat products truly can veil the awareness. Don't make fun of me for saying this, I talk by experience. Eating yogurt and drinking milk tended to still the desires. I suspect this can be proven on a medical basis, and has to do with the physiology of the material body.
-Magical exertion of the will power! Any time you direct your will to a specific non-sexual task, you will be depleted of mental energy. If this task is a noble one and takes you along the road to realization, it is by far a better way to spend your energy than dumping the energy by sex/masturbation. This is the best way to starve that atavistic part of you, larva, as some call it, that tries to draw all your energy to its mere survival and growth. Engaging in magical activity, even performing the Lesser banishing of the pentagram, in the beginning months, will take a lot of resources off your mind. Where there are no food rests, the larvae will soon be starved.
- Higher forms of mental/emotional gratification! After reading beautiful and meaningful poetry, sexual thoughts/desires would never even arise for a few hours. Reading philosophy does the same for me, but it may be tiresome to others. I think this is one form of "Converting" sexual energy. Meditation may be another, but it takes some time to still the mind, and in many moments of meditation sexual imagery crept in on me, which of course says nothing against the efficiency of true meditation, but does a lot about my own failing in this regard.
- Stop your train of sexual phantasies as soon as you get aware of what you are doing. Once you are in bed with someone it is hard to return!
- Look at the battle for control as a fun thing. If it becomes too hard, it is better to engage in some form of gratification, than to fall prey to the feeling that you are loosing life, and taking unnecessary pain on the path, or even leaving the path altogether (believe me, there is a part of our mind, that can fool us into anything.) In the end, serenity is the most important thing. (Aleister Crowley puts it in an extreme but nice form: one aim of meditation is to create peace between you and all beings, but if the neighbor's dog starts howling whenever you meditate and disturbs it completely, by all means go shoot the dog!!! ;) I love dogs, and shooting them would be stupid, because maybe the next one you shoot is your neighbor himself, for mowing his lawn when you meditate! The solution to all problems is within, not without, but hey, it's still a useful metaphor!)
- Never ever think that the battle is won! If for a moment you do so, the entire creation will move to prove you wrong!
- I have had nocturnal emissions only when I was repressing my sexual urges. If you convert them, it is a very rare occurrence. Even then, I believe they should not be viewed as such a great loss, because very few of us are masters of their dreams, and we are still stronger during conscious life. Some methods of dream-control, lucidity and/or astral wandering can be useful in controlling this, but then again, who can guarantee that we wouldn't use these for even more gratification! Thus I think the best way is still to fight the root, and start converting energies today!
- Do not externalize the functions of your own mind as larvae, phantoms, etc. That is just a way to name part of your own psyche. Your entire psyche can be controlled by your will if you try hard enough. There are no external dangers. If you are fortified within, even death itself will come as a sweet change to you. Why would you fear anything then?
As I said, this is no battle at all. It is about control. Remember that mastery is the only aim. We are not here to eradicate the most basic appearance of the polarity concept on which the entire cosmos is built. We are here to master the laws, not to deny them. Thus, see anything you are doing as a measure of control. A wise king, doesn't kill his people, he merely makes them subject to his rules. Society, nowadays, tries to impress the falsehood on us that little sex is good, and a lot of it is even better. Many times we have sex with people we don't even love, and you will agree with me if you have had such an experience, that this causes a great depression in our feelings that may last for very long, depending on how sensitive and pure we are. Cast away this foolishness that some are trying to push you into. Be the creator of your own ideas, if you are not, others will decide for you.
To take a vow of celibacy, in my mind, is not right before you have passed through the veil and seen the great beauty of the soul in its purest form. When you are there, you will know. And then celibacy will come natural to you. You will see beauty in other human beings beyond any sexual fantasies. You will soon see the true thing. Until then, as long as that conviction and wisdom has not dawned on us, it is a good idea to strengthen your reign on your desires, sexual or not, and not cause a stirring up of feelings of regret every time you see a happy and loving couple pass by. Don't deprive yourself of a strong ally before you have a stronger one. Know the urges, how they arise, and when and why, experiment with them, and confirm your results. This will make you the ruler by knowledge. And it will help you store your energy for nobler causes (i.e. propagation of love, creation, etc.) the whole thing is a chore in itself, and as Yogins say, someone who controls his semen, controls all his subtle bodies! Thus it is a live-long work, but rejoice, for it is "you" trying to know "you", and it is a great part of the road to realization. Besides, victory is guaranteed for someone like yourself, because you have consciously chosen to walk the harder, yet more beautiful way.
Sorry for the all too many words,
In Love and Light,
21 June, 2003