44 QUESTION: Certain people believe that they can cut out sex and eros and the desire for a partner and live completely for love of humanity. Do you think it is possible that man or woman can swear off this part of life?
ANSWER: It is possible, but it is certainly not healthy or honest. I might say that there is perhaps one person in ten million who may have such a task. That may be possible. It may be in the karma for a particular soul who is already developed this far, has gone through the true partnership experience, and comes for a specific mission. There may also be certain karmic debts which have to be paid off.
In most cases – and here I can safely generalize – avoidance of partnership is unhealthy. It is an escape. The real reason is fear of love, fear of the life experience, but the fearful renunciation is rationalized as a sacrifice. To anyone who would come to me with such a problem, I would say: examine yourself. Go below the surface layers of your conscious reasoning and explanations for your attitude in this respect.
Try to find out whether you fear love and disappointment. Isn’t it more comfortable to just live for yourself and have no difficulties? Isn’t really this what you feel deep inside and what you want to cover up with other reasons? The great humanitarian work you want to do may be for a worthy cause, indeed, but do you really think one excludes the other? Wouldn’t it be much more likely that the great task you have taken upon yourself would be better fulfilled if you learned personal love too?
If all these questions were truthfully answered, the person would be bound to see that he or she is escaping. Personal love and fulfillment is man’s and woman’s destiny in most cases, for so much can be learned in personal love that cannot be attained in any other way. And to form a durable and solid relationship in a marriage is the greatest victory a human being can achieve, for it is one of the most difficult things there are, as you can well see in your world. This life experience will bring the soul closer to God than lukewarm good deeds.
QUESTION: I was going to ask a question in connection with my previous one: celibacy is supposed to be a highly spiritualized form of development in certain religious sects. On the other hand, polygamy is also recognized in some religions – the Mormons, for instance. I understand what you said, but how do you justify these attitudes on the part of people who are supposed to look for unity with God?
ANSWER: There is human error in every religion. In one religion it may be one kind of error, in other religions another. Here you simply have two extremes. When such dogmas or rules come into existence in the various religions, whether at one extreme or another, it is always a rationalization and subterfuge to which the individual soul constantly resorts. This is an attempt to explain away the counter-currents of the fearful or greedy soul with good motives.
There is a common belief that anything pertaining to sex is sinful. The sex instinct arises in the infant. The more immature the creature, the more sexuality is separated from love, and therefore the more selfish it is. Anything without love is “sinful,” if you want to use this word. Nothing that is coupled with love is wrong – or sinful.
There is no such thing as a force, a principle, or an idea that is in itself sinful – whether sex or anything else.
In the growing child who is naturally immature, the sex drive will first manifest selfishly. Only if and when the whole personality grows and matures harmoniously will sex become integrated with love. Out of ignorance, humanity has long believed that sex, as such, is sinful. It was kept hidden, and therefore this part of the personality could not grow up.
Nothing that remains in hiding can grow, you know that. Therefore, even in many grownups, sex remains childish and separate from love. And this, in turn, led humanity to believe more and more that sex is a sin and that the truly spiritual person must abstain from it. Thus one of those oft-mentioned vicious circles came into existence.
Because of the belief that sex was sinful, the instinct could not grow and meld with the love force. Consequently, sex in fact often is selfish and loveless, raw and animalistic. If people would realize – and they are beginning to do so increasingly – that the sex instinct is as natural and God-given as any other universal force and in itself not more sinful than any other existing force, they would then break this vicious circle and more human beings would let their sex drives mature and mingle with love – and with eros, for that matter.
How many people exist for whom sex is completely separate from love! They not only suffer from bad conscience when the sex urge manifests, but they also find themselves in the position of being unable to handle sexual feelings with the person they really love. This occurs quite often in some measure, although it does seem extreme.
Because of these distorted conditions and this vicious circle, humanity came to believe that you cannot find God when you respond to your sex urges. This is all wrong; you cannot kill off something that is alive. You can only hide it so that it will come out in other ways which may be much more harmful. Only in the very rarest cases does the sex force really become sublimated so as to make this creative force manifest in other realms. Sublimation in its real sense can never occur when there is fear and escape involved, as is the case with most human beings.
44 QUESTION: Is it possible for a soul to be so rich that it can reveal itself to more than one soul?
ANSWER: My dear friend, do you say that facetiously?
QUESTION: No, I do not. I am asking whether polygamy is within the scheme of spiritual law.
ANSWER: No, it certainly is not. And when someone thinks it may be within the scheme of spiritual development, that is a subterfuge. The personality is looking for the right partner. Either the person is too immature to have found the right partner, or the right partner is there and the polygamous person is simply carried away by eros’ momentum, never lifting this force up into the volitional love that demands overcoming and working in order to pass the threshold I mentioned before.
In cases like this, the one with an adventurous personality is looking and looking, always finding another part of a being, always revealing himself or herself only so far and no further, or perhaps each time revealing another facet of his or her personality. However, when it comes to the inner nucleus, the door is shut. Eros then departs and a new search is started. Each time it is a disappointment that can only be understood when you grasp these truths.
Raw sexual instinct also enters into the longing for this great journey, but sexual satisfaction begins to suffer if the relationship is not kept on the level I show you here. It is, in fact, inevitably of short duration. There is no richness in revealing oneself to many. In such cases, one either reveals the same wares all over again to new partners, or, as I said before, one displays different facets of one’s personality. The more partners you try to share yourself with, the less you give to each. That is inevitably so. It cannot be different.
QA161 QUESTION: Is it inherently necessary in a love relationship between a man and woman for there to be an exclusive sexual life? Or is having sex with someone else a contradiction to this rule?
ANSWER: I see. As long as these feelings exist in you, to force these feelings away, would diminish your capacity to love and would not further the genuine feelings, because it would be restriction and it would be a forcing of yourself.
But I would suggest that the desire to be in a sexual contact with several people within the same period of time indicates that there is a problem – that there is a fear of commitment – and this problem should be faced.
You can say, of course, it is perfectly natural that man finds many women attractive. And I do not deny this to be true. But there is a difference in intensity and in the desire of really wanting to go through with it.
Now, whether you actually act out a going through with several relationships – one permanent and several passing ones – or whether you do not, depends on your own choice. To what extent do you wish to do this and to what extent does it damage the relationship that is important for you – these are choices each person must make with himself.
But that is not the point. The point is, what does it indicate? For the healthy total flow and the complete pleasure is not to be found in a splitting off of the forces, but is to be found in a totality of commitment of the body, of the energies of the soul forces, of the spiritual being. If this totality of commitment is still feared, it will manifest in a splitting off of desire.
This is really nothing else but a watering down of the pleasure supreme – not because anything is essentially lacking necessarily between you and that one person, but because you and probably also the other person are both afraid of the total commitment.
QA199A QUESTION: I feel that I’m reaching a state where I can enter into more than one relationship with women, and that this is not necessarily bad. I feel that it does not cut off love feelings and intimacy with other people. I could enter sexual relationships with more than one person and this could be beyond greed and selfishness. On the other hand, I feel somewhere deep in me that this might be against spiritual law. Is it?
ANSWER: It is very important that this is not being misunderstood in a moralizing way. It is even often true that an individual has to go through certain stages in order to find the truth, and the truth is always the commitment and the ability to consolidate all one’s energies and faculties and concentration on the one person who is the right mate, which will appear when the person is ready.
What you describe is, of course, an interim state which is an expression of the old – perhaps of fear, of not being good, of not being right. Sexual taboos are leaving your psyche, but you are not yet willing and ready to give your love completely. You’re not unified yet. The sexuality and the love are not being unified yet. This is where you are – in this interim state.
Now, whatever incomplete state exists in any human being may or may not be acted out. Sometimes acting out is extremely destructive. Other times it is not so destructive. Whether or not this would be so in this case, I cannot say. I do not give advice, and you are the one who has to assume the responsibility for it.
If you do not lie or deceive, if you do not misrepresent yourself to anyone, it may be conceivable that you may have to experience a period of this. At least if you do not lie about it, you will then find that this is not as satisfactory as you think it is. If the spiritual law, the spiritual unity, is expressed by a union between a man and a woman who truly love each other on all levels, and if this is a complete and unified thing – this is not a moralistic decree – it is an expression of the wholeness.
Until a person is there, he has to grope where he is, where he can find his energies and where he can find his feelings – and in the meantime assume responsibility for what he is doing and do this with the utmost of honesty. If this is so, then you will find that it is still a pseudosolution, and it is not as it seems to you in your mind. But you may have to go through a period like that.
If you do not deceive anyone and you understand that this is a temporary manifestation of an old constricted state that no longer exists, but the new whole state has not yet been attained and you grope and allow your energies to come fully to the fore that way, that may be for you, if you decide it to be so, a temporary solution. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Yes. I have not yet found a mate – and that comes truly from the fact that I have not wanted it enough yet or that I’m not ready for it. But what is the relation of a human being who is deeply known to another mate, to the rest of the people? Is it only a friendship, or do contacts extend to other areas?
ANSWER: What do you mean by other areas?
QUESTION: Well, I know people who are supposed to be deeply in love with each other, and just from this joy, they feel they can expand, including sexual relationships toward other people. Is that a lie?
ANSWER: It is not necessarily a conscious lie, but it is a deception. It is when this is so, there is invariably something cut off. There is a need to stimulate the feelings, because they cannot be stimulated with a mate, because on the deepest level the fear of this commitment is too strong. If everything is consolidated toward one person, it is too much, so one disburses the energies. One feels safer that way, and then one can, of course, rationalize this.
This is not the ideal state at all. It is certainly not an expression of unity within the human being. It may be a partial unity, but it is not true that this expresses the degree of capacity to love. I would say that is the deception – self-deception.