Friday, 12 January 2007

Can sexual energy really be liberated?

A friend wrote to me about an account of a certain person and his "inner unfoldment", saying that it was "concerning sexual energy and its liberation". In my reply I wrote as follows:

Regarding the liberation of sexual energy, I am not sure what is meant by 'liberation' in this context. Sexual energy will appear to be real so long as we mistake ourself to be this physical body, for which the sexual urge is natural. However, though it is natural for our body, the sexual urge is not natural for our real self, our true non-dual consciousness of being, 'I am', because in our natural state of non-dual consciousness there can be no other thing towards which we could be attracted.

Sexual energy can never be truly liberated, because by its very nature it is always bound to our false sense of identification with our physical body. When we cease to imagine that we are this or any other body, as in sleep, we do not experience any sexual urge or energy. Therefore what can be liberated is not sexual energy, but only ourself.

Because we are the reality that transcends the body, mind and all other forms of limitation, by knowing our real self, our true and essential being, we can liberate ourself from our imagination that we are this limited, body-bound creature. When we liberate ourself from this imagination, we will ipso facto liberate ourself from the bondage of sexual desire.

This state of true liberation cannot truly be called the liberation of sexual energy, because it is the state in which we have discovered that sexual energy, like the body in which we experience it, is a mere imagination, an unreal phantom created by our own mind. True liberation is the state of mano-nasa, annihilation of our mind, or nirvana, total extinction of our illusory sense of being an individual self, a separate object-knowing consciousness, a finite mind confined within the limits of a material body.

In other words, true liberation is our natural state, in which only our true non-dual consciousness of our own being exists, and in which all imagination is known to be an illusion that never really existed. Like all forms of duality or relativity, sexual energy is merely a product of our imagination, and will therefore be found to be a non-existent when we abide as the absolute reality — the non-dual consciousness that we always truly are.

As I said above, I do not know exactly what people mean when they speak about the 'liberation' of sexual energy. However, what I do know is that this concept of sexual energy being 'liberated' can refer only to some relative state, a state within the imaginary realm of duality, and not to the absolute state of non-dual reality.

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Mark said...

Michael, you wrote: "However, though it [sexual energy] is natural for our body, the sexual urge is not natural for our real self, our true non-dual consciousness of being, 'I am', because in our natural state of non-dual consciousness there can be no other thing towards which we could be attracted."

Using the same logic, nothing the body does is natural, be it walking, talking, touching, eating, and so on. Why single out sex? I saw some old films on Youtube of Ramana reading a newspaper, walking and engaging in other activities. Why would he have desires to do any of these things? If he can do these things I see no reason why he couldn't have sex.


Ganesan said...

Ramana has clearly made a demarcation between the body and the self, the body-mind phenomenon having been declared to be only a projection of the Self, as it were, and not constituting a real entity, in the sense of existing in its own right. The seeming activities relating to the body-mind phenomenon that take place, even in respect of a realized person, should be understood to be only from the viewpoint of the onlookers who superimpose their body-consciousness on the realized person, that is from the context of the ego which is understood be an illusion by a jnani. The question arises only for the ajnanis as to whether sex is an important activity like food, and is an inevitable concomitant of the other bodily demands, the jnanis not having all these doubts. Bhaghavan himself has answered a question relating to sex, that is whether a jnani swerves from the state of self-realization if he indulges in sexuality. Bhaghavan's point is from the transcendental position of the sole reality of the self, which ordinary people cannot take as an excuse to confirm their opinions based on their desires. Since any question relating to all these things are asked by us only with a motive, they are meaningless. It is however to be understood that a seeker after truth has a modicum of understanding on all these things, and cannot be capable of actions very much body-oriented, which does not mean that they should be free from sexual indulgence etc,the intensity of these actions being based on the prarabdha of the body.

Ganesan said...

Further, apropos the propriety of the sexual conduct etc, one has to remember Bhaghavan's essential position that all happiness or joy, that is mistakenly attributed to the body-mind phenomena, in reality, flows, only from the Self, which delight is at once being and awareness. Only in the intensity of understanding this truth, can one understand other peripheral issues, which rather become irrelevant, such things not being mixed up with body-mind centre, which is only a fictitious projection of the self.

Losing M. Mind said...

You know, this is something I've really struggled with. I have Asperger's Syndrome. Mildly enough that I pass. But I haven't been able to get in those kinds of relationships, romantic, etc. And that has really made me focus on the spiritual, even at times unwillingly, it being the only direction I could go, and wanting to be more open. I've corresponded with this guru, that has pretty much said that I should find the source of happiness within, has in my own words, said that I should question the notion that I'm the performer of action. Has said that indulgence and abstention are both concerned with action. The Self, never acts. Those are some of his instructions. But it is still a source of doubt. Should I be more daring in a romantic way, take more risks, those kind of questions. But then I suppose, if I'm earnest about inquiry, any relationship that is meant because of prarabdha to happen, will happen. Maharshi said it all in his note penned to his mother, and I have to say, this is the issue I most thought of. The teacher I correspond with, is probably, I think a jnani. Nonetheless, I haven't been able to shake my doubts on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Sex is an acquired habit. Go beyond. As long as your focus is on the body, you will remain in the clutches of food and sex, fear and death. Find yourself and be free.
Nisargadatta Maharaj

Anonymous said...

Nisargadatta: the greatest guru is your inner Self, he is the supreme teacher
confide in him and you need no outer guru
but you must have the strong desire to find him

Anonymous said...

There is nobody to be enlightened so the question is moot.

However, I feel that there is awakening which I describe as
understanding ones basic nature. The most significant aspect of
this understanding is that 'you can never know who/what you are
- you can only be it'.

Awakening is relatively simply, living the understanding is very
challenging because 'being' nobody means the 'death' of the

Anonymous said...

Trying to change your way of life is another barrier. Liberation is
simply sitting in what is, without any idea of becoming anyone or
changing anything. It is just what is. Isn't that amazing? And
somewhere we know this, somewhere inside we recognize this: this is It!
Liberation is not something to be found somewhere, or something to be
obtained in some imagined future.