Pornography. Masturbation. The Spiritual Story No One Wants to Tell.

Via Philip Urso
on Mar 19, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

A spiritual, not moralistic context.

There. I said it. The words that must not be named.

Pornography. Masturbation.

It’s our dirty little secret.  No it’s our dirty big secret.  12% of all websites are pornographic.  70% of men 18- 24 admit to visiting porn sites monthly. Men are doing a lot of looking.

And, a lot of masturbating.

I’m taking up this subject from the spiritual viewpoint.  I’m not interested in morals or right and wrong here.  I am not saying porn is good or bad. But I’m curious—what might be the effect of pornography and masturbation on men’s spirituality? I’m talking to the men here, so yes, women, you can leave now.

I take that back for a moment. My colleague, the yoga teacher Deborah Williamson (yes, a woman), might have an insight into this question. I regularly team up with her and Stacy Dockins to teach Advanced Vinyasa Teacher trainings.  There, she explains in simple language a surprising spiritual principle.  In this article I am going to apply it to masturbation and porn.  As Deborah explains to the teacher trainees at our events:

When you are teaching and worried about how you look, whether people like you, whether they noticed that little mistake, if they are impressed with your “spirituality” — when any part of your teaching is about you — you are being selfish.

Spiritually, when you are being selfish — in other words, about “me” — you are in a state of fear, contraction, reaction, shrinkage (no pun), and judgment.  Let’s call this state “Darkness.”   One well-known way to leave this state of Darkness is to shift your attention to giving, sharing, and pro-action, and to be for and about others.  Let’s call this “Light.”

Okay. So what does this have to do with sex?

This strongly suggests that if men want Light, they channel every sexual thought or action from getting to giving.

Right away you might remember a sexual experience where it was about getting, specifically about you “getting off.”  You may remember that after this experience, you felt a drop in energy, or even a disappointed, empty feeling.  Not just the sleepy physical energetic drop that accompanies male orgasm; I’m talking about a spiritual letdown, a drop into Darkness.  Maybe even vague feelings of guilt or shame.

In The Kabbalah Book of Sex, Yehuda Berg explains that whenever we listen to and act on selfish thoughts, we drop into Darkness.  In the case of sex, we do experience a brief flash of Light (the orgasm) but if the act is done from selfish motivations, a drop into Darkness quickly follows.  This could be after masturbation or after a sexual encounter that was not about giving but getting,   I won’t go into Berg’s detailed explanation here, but I will outline some of the ways he recommends for men to turn sex into Light.  By the way, Light has its benefits.  In Light, not only do your life and relationships start working out, but Berg reports that, as your Light increases, your experience of bliss can be 60 times more intense than your best orgasm.

The Opponent


Berg calls the ego “the opponent.”   All of your negative or selfish thoughts come from the opponent.  They are the opponent’s “test.”   How you respond to ANY of your negative thoughts brings you either Light or Darkness.  He likens this to a game.

If you resist your negative thoughts, you bring Light in the same way a Light bulb filament resists the flow of energy in order to reveal Light.  This is similar to the way space is filled with the sun’s Light, but we don’t see it until it is resisted (or reflected) by our own atmosphere.

It’s pretty simple.  When you resist your selfish thoughts, you make Light.  If you don’t resist your selfish thoughts, no Light is revealed, and you remain in Darkness.

Light-bringing sex for a man is about sharing all his sexual energy with his partner.

A few thoughts about how men can build sexual energy for their partner and resist the Darkness.

  • Masturbation. Masturbation won’t make you blind, but Berg explains that for a man, it will result in s spiritual Darkness.  Resisting the urge to masturbate will bring Light. And resisting the act will bring more sexual energy to your relationship.  You will be in a state of foreplay all the time. Living in a state of foreplay means that you will automatically be nicer, and that could solve a lot of stupid problems in your relationship.

  • Pornography. Porn is generally not about sharing.  It is selfish, and this brings Darkness.  Resisting pornography brings Light and also brings your partner more than ever into a sexual Light.

  • Flirting. Flirting with someone other than your partner is not about sharing.  It’s a short-term ego boost that brings Darkness.  Resisting the urge brings Light.

How women share (Okay, I know you women are reading this too)

Berg describes a woman’s way of sharing in a beautiful way.  He says that women make Light when they “receive to give.”   This means that they give fully when they receive pleasure fully from the man who is giving it.  They receive fully in order to give their partner pleasure.   This brings Light.  If the woman receives pleasure just to receive, she will feel empty or guilty after.  That’s what the Darkness of a selfish act produces.

Rings true to me

I’m no expert on the Kabbalah but I do recognize sound spiritual principles when I see them.  This all makes sense to me.

I’ll give you that it has an almost old fashioned feel to it.  The Kabbalah is an ancient mystical part of Judaism that reads the Old Testament as metaphor.  Even though it is “old,” everything I have read rings true.  And I love that Berg has the balls to write about this.

And I love that the Kabbalah has the ancient ’nads to put it all in a spiritual context, not moralistic.

Especially on this massive topic that no one seems to want to talk about.

Kissing

From Berg’s book:

“Breath is essentially an aspect of of a person’s soul.  When breath is commingled through passionate kissing, two souls unite.  And it cannot be simple little kisses.  The kissing must be hot, passionate and wild.”


204,375 views

About Philip Urso

Yoga Teacher Philip Urso loves to train yoga teachers how to teach exhilarating and unscripted vinyasa yoga classes. He co-founded Live Love Teach Yoga Teacher Training School with fellow yoga teachers Deborah Williamson and Stacy Dockins. His two 5-star podcasts on iTunes — A Crash Course in Miracles and Yoga Classes, Live Love Teach — have over two million downloads. Philip studies the dynamics of love and fear and teaches practical, reliable and lasting methods for choosing between the two. His Elephant Journal column explores these very themes. More info at PhilipUrso.com

Comments

108 Responses to “Pornography. Masturbation. The Spiritual Story No One Wants to Tell.”

  1. lisab says:

    Out of curiosity, what benefits do you feel porn provides?

  2. lisab says:

    "3) Sex is neutral. Theres nothing right or wrong with it. It's only a bodily function as eating, moving, speaking. Saying people stop masturbation is like saying stop eating in this certain way because it means darkness or fear."

    This is seriously flawed. We are not animals and sex for us is not *just* a bodily act. It's a soulful, emotional thing (even if we try to make it not). Animals don't rationalize, judge, make conscious choices that go against instinct, etc. While we share some things in common in the mammalian world, we are NOT the average mammal. Our fore brain makes sure of that.

  3. lisab says:

    Seriously… they wank all day because no one is open enough to talk about these things. They should be taught to focus that energy on other things without it being repressed. We need an entirely new concept about sex in this culture and perhaps education regarding early masturbation (where our brains start wiring our sexuality) is the place to start.

  4. Amy says:

    The post was written by a man.

  5. JC Jaress says:

    What a preachy and judgmental article. Considers all experience to be one of two things…light or dark. Life can be a full experience of lightness and darkness where one is not scared or shamed in recognizing their humanness. Many people DO feel shame associated with masturbation and/or porn, but that is because they were raised in a society burdened by Judeo-Christian guilt. Hopefully, with a little spiritual and emotional insight, individuals may come to appreciate their embodied experience…only then will they know how they really feel about masturbation and porn.

  6. Amy says:

    Ok I finished it – I am nauseous. This reminds me of friends who "go counterculture" for a few years and then realize that being an individual and standing in ones own truth instead of stereotypes is hard work, so they write apologies for everything from the 'natural' feel of gender roles in marriage and sex to how women are more nurturing. I am a woman/man who has had sexual relationships with all sorts of people and the idea that women are the yin in sex and men are the yang – simply based on their genitalia is fucked up beyond all repair. This guy obviously has no gay friends (who are honest with him). He even butchers the concept of generosity by making it into a discipline – what kind of stunted person sees disciplining oneself to be generous as logical??? Generosity comes form a feeling of having something to give.

  7. Erica says:

    I LOVE this!!!!!

  8. Jakar says:

    Remember the wise words of Elvis, "if you can't find a partner, use a wooden chair".

  9. shade33 says:

    Masturbation provides several spiritual, physiological and psychological benefits for both men and women. The issue of porn from a neuroscientific point of view is that it often serves as an extreme fantasy that results in psychological disassociation from the body, which is reinforced when dopamine floods the brain during orgasm. This rewires the brain's circuitry to orgasm more easily when this stimulation is sought out, which is why porn tends to become a habit for those who view it. In cases where the habit interferes with life, it becomes an addiction.

    Viewing porn to achieve orgasm is an act of unconsciousness. This isn't a moral issue, it's simply a cognitive one. It takes you out of the present moment the way any other distraction does. It's like watching TV while you eat dinner, especially the most delicious, mouth-watering meal you could imagine. I would rather fully absorb myself in the meal. The way meditation and mindfulness have immense benefits for our physical and spiritual health, so does "mindful" sex, whether it is partner or solo sex. It is up to each person how they choose to pursue their own self-development, but mindful masturbation/sex is very powerful tool. If one cannot experience arousal without porn, there is a pretty severe disassociation present that needs to be addressed, in that person's own time.

    I used to watch porn occasionally (I'm a woman), and considered myself to have a very healthy sexuality. But as I progress spiritually, I am finding it no longer is suitable for my self-development. By being conscious during my self-pleasuring routine, I find my sexual energy serves as an incredible source of creativity and love. I am sure those who orgasm from porn feel pretty incredible, because they just had an orgasm. But conscious orgasms are the only ones worth having for me anymore, simply because any other orgasm doesn't even compare.

  10. "Spiritually, when you are being selfish — in other words, about “me” — you are in a state of fear, contraction, reaction, shrinkage (no pun), and judgment." Uh,NO.

    The idea that when you are focusing on yourself you are in a state of fear is ridiculous. This is one of the huge limiting beliefs and cultural conditioning that I see producing negative results in the lives of individuals.

    Focusing on yourself is important, valuable, and yes, spiritual. This is true with sexuality, with relationships, and with life in general.

    The erroneous thinking is in the separation of self and other. The big "T" truth is that you don't have to choose between yourself and other. Doing the very best thing for yourself, because of the inter-connectedness of all things, is the best thing for the other. When you see the oneness of all things, there is no struggle, and it becomes a natural way of being to take care of yourself and others with the same love and zest. Denying one to please the other is a painful experience regardless of who is in each position.

    It is time to do away with this limiting belief that we've held for centuries that our basic nature is bad, selfish and destructive and we have to 'fight our ego' and turn away from our 'dark nature'. We are BY NATURE moral, loving, compassionate beings at our cores, all we need to do is rest in our natural way of being.

    I guarantee that if you focus on your own pleasure and orgasm during sex, and your partner does too – your sex will be better. If you focus on your own happiness in life, and your partner does too – your relationship will be better. We thrive when we are interdependent, not codependent.

    I am, by my deepest core nature; Love. When I focus on me, everything around me is filled with what I am: Love.

    From a happily married woman with a thriving family & practice (who flirts, masturbates and watches porn),
    -Mindy Amita Ailsing,CPC
    Amita Coaching: Coaching Spiritual Beings Stuck in their Human Experience

  11. Veridiana Delgado says:

    Great aproach Phillip, but the title should be "The spiritual story no one wants to hear".
    Totally agrre with you, I had next to me people who had serious problems with porn adictness.
    Nice text!

  12. onipa'a ri says:

    Thank you so much for this article! As a person who was raised in an anti-masturbation religion (and witnessed a lot of guilt in my peers over it–) when I left, I became very open to/encouraging about/interested in developing my OWN healthy masturbation life. Then I fell in love with a man who was raised in the same religion and ALSO was very happy with his very active relationship with masturbation. (Including porn). After a few years into the relationship, though, we started to have issues with how he would often choose his fantasy life over our "real" relationship. I also started attracting a lot of women who were experiencing serious distress in their long term relationships because of their husbands regular relationship with porn. As spiritual, "evolved" women, we'd tell our selves that our body image shouldn't be affected by our men choosing to spend (sometimes hours) of their week with "another woman". Or let it get to us in the bedroom when it felt like that life was seeping into our relationship. But it was still having a negative affect and taking a lot of energy to try and just be "ok" with it. Most of these women would talk about this topic with shame "he would be so embarrassed if he knew i was talking to you about this but I need to talk to SOMEONE!" I saw this as a big problem and was really grateful that my partner was supportive of me discussing it with other people as I tried to wrap my mind around it.
    As for our relationship, he started to realize that it might be a problem. There were times when he masturbated and spent time with his "fantasy women" and would choose not to come spend time with me, yet still maintained that he wanted to remain in a committed, monogamous relationship. He was also struggling with depression. I asked him to try a "masturbation/porn fast" for two months and see if it had an affect. It did- some of the depression lifted, he felt more engaged in his "real" relationship, and he had more energy for other things.
    After the porn/masturbation fast, he slipped back into the habit. There's a strong pull there and it's so easily accessible– I have a lot of empathy for men in our culture currently because they are so visually "inspired" and semi-porn is everywhere, from FB to Instagram to a whole host of mens advertising. I now think about porn/masturbation in an entirely different way and totally resonate with this article. Also very excited about the new "Don Jon" flick! I think it's a serious issue of our times. Thanks so much for writing– i'll be saving this one and using it in my (haha probably TOO regular!) conversation about porn, masturbation, and it's effect on our relationships.

  13. Julie says:

    When you masturbate, you release endorphins. So if you are feeling a drug like sensation and it's coupled with an imagery of some negative imagery about women, you're coupling that feeling with the porn image/title of the porn. So I would think that masturbating to porn could led to a "dark state" temporarily since it influences the way you think and feel about sex. And if done often enough, into "darkness" meaning you would adopt this attitude towards sex and unfortunately women.

  14. Tyler D. says:

    Here's one more focused on porn, masturbation, and addiction in general: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

  15. The "ego" is not the opponent, although we should dispense with this word 'ego' because it does not represent the yogic tradition. Rather, the correct term with all its connotations is 'ahamkara', which literally means 'I becoming'. The ahamkara represents an individuated state of being, and while this can create a sense of separation that gives rise to disconnection and suffering, it is hard-wired into our physical being, representing for e.g. the functions of the immune system that differentiates self from non-self. So is the immune system opponent? After all, most people don't actually die of an infection inasmuch as they die from the subsequent immune response. The body would rather commit suicide than yield even a small part of itself to a foreign pathogen. So our immune system, like our ego, is there to protect, but when things go wrong, it serves to destroy. But none of this should suggest that the ahamkara or immune function is our opponent – rather, they are tools to be used wisely and with great respect, and give us insight into the nature of compassion and balance. As the Buddha said:

    “Whatever quarter of heaven I searched none did I find whom I loved better than myself. Just so are all others dear to themselves. Thus, wishing well to all, one should do harm to none.”

    – Saṃyutta Nikāya, 3:8

    As for porn, all sexual imagery is essentially divine in nature, representing the unity of the cosmos, male and female, that and this. Of course most people aren't aware of this and simply use it as a form of titillation, or unconsciously, use it as a way to feel more connected to their own power. Masturbation etc only becomes a problem if it interferes with dharma (duty). Otherwise, it is reasonably a part of kama (pleasure), and because none of y'all are actually brahmacharya yogis, but householders instead, pretty much all of the classical yogic injunctions simply don't apply. So relax. Nobody cares if you masturbate, and if they do, its their problem, not yours. For men specifically, ejaculation is tied into energy, so excessive masturbation simply drains you of energy. Otherwise, its not a moral issue in yoga, hinduism or Ayurveda, despite the pervasive cultural fear in India about semen depletion.

  16. bflatbrad says:

    Two sites worth checking out

    1 http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-ser

    2. http://www.reuniting.info/

    Good article but your use of pornography was not enlightening and a little confusing. From my experience pornography is the problem, not masturbation.

    Also a great book http://www.amazon.com/Cupids-Poisoned-Arrow-Relat

  17. Chris Morasky says:

    Oversimplified and overgeneralized. This post has some great ideas for connecting, but connection is about reaching into and blending with, and so it is a unique and personal experience. One man's poison is another man's meat.

  18. dancing bear says:

    If you haven't tried avoiding masturbation for an extended period of time, then you haven't felt the benefits of doing so. Try your best at making up a real excuse for all of your time wasted pleasuring yourself. Hahaha

  19. Annonymous women says:

    So it would be better for singles to have a one night stand and give a stranger pleasure simultaneously (and run the risk of stds) than to masturbate? More enlightened? or if this is not the case, your saying that unless you are in a long term relationship, all sexual activity is "darkness". I smell a religious upbringing. When I masturbate, I feel relaxed and like I have released some tension. I like to masturbate and have sex with my partner. And often when I masturbate, I think about a woman's body. According to your little article I should be feeling "guilt and shame" and be in the "darkness"….. what crap. Don't project your judgements and guilt and turn it into some kind of spiritual philosophy. this smacks of a religious mentality, indoctrinated with guilt, shame and fear. As with anything balance is key. Porn addiction is a problem same as any addiction. But masturbation and sexual curiosity is natural and human nature and not to be ashamed off as "bad" – in my humble opinion.

  20. Daniel Barnes says:

    Interesting. Though masturbation in essence can make you blind yes thats correct i said it… Arousal comes from the external realms for men so this energy is easliy increased in this day and age. This could be primal or it maybe that some men have yet moved to higher states of being for example through base chakras. This maybe the reason the Koran does not allow woman to 'bare all as men are still trying to shed the egoistic mind that brings in – doubt power and the want to control. This is definatly something I myself am working through and I have found a simple statement in Hindu texts that state that there two 'Gates'. One being the mouth and the other our sexual organs. If we learn to control our tongues/gluttony we will have more control over our lower areas and 'lust'. There is a reason there is 'seven sin's, as each one when rooted in an individual will slowly allow the next one to flourish. Masturbation when semen is held within can be an amazing way to raise energy through the system and if the man has a partner this can be the 1st step toward a tantric relationship as it gives him time too understand 'himself' and can contain himself in intimacy. Great article though look into foods that increase sex drive garlic onion etc for a 'leg up' if you find yourself in the 'act

  21. Ramdas says:

    Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha These three Yamas sum up your article.

    Asteya—Do not take what is not yours. Pornography, at any level, depicts something which will never be yours. That moment will forever belong to those who lived it. Those who lived it can cling to the memory, stealing from the present moment. Those who did not live it can use it to create a dream, a fantasy which also steals from the reality of the present moment. Patañjali also wrote that memories and dreams are both obstacles to enlightenment.

    Brahmacharya—Sexual moderation for the married and celibacy for the unmarried. This can be expanded to moderation in all things. But why brahmacharya? How does practicing brahmacharya still the mind, which is yoga, how? Because it requires discipline, discipline to keep the mind focused on stillness rather than sex. A disciplined mind remains focused on what is present. A disciplined and present mind also means feeling every sensation, every move, every breath, every sigh without the distraction of the Playboy spread or without thinking being alone in the shower feels better.

    Aparigraha—non-hoarding/giving/sharing. A table for one is rarely as joyful as a table for two.

  22. omni says:

    It’s hard to be inside the moment with porn and fantasy.

  23. David Moreno says:

    Wow…not sure about this…. Why go to the Kabbalah when talking about yoga? (Or, Buddhism for that matter when talking about meditation?) Why not the tantric text? That which is resisted becomes neurosis. Even the Yama's and Niamas can make a practitioner more crazy instead of sane – least of all enLIGHTened. Yes, the energy can be used and enLIGHTend through integration and redirecting of energy (tantra 101) not denial or dismissal. Would also like very much to know where the statistics come from? Can you please tell me what studies you've used for these facts? Thanks, David

  24. James says:

    Out of the shadows
    By Patrick Carnes

    If you are interested in the spiritual effects of sexual behavior. Problem, explanation, and a solution

  25. Pawan says:

    This is interesting however it is important to realize that all these tendencies and sexuality are related to the body. If you are intangled in your body of course you will want to enjoy external pleasures, however if your spirituality has risen beyond your identification with the body then sexuality is just a mere instinct. Another thing I want to touch on that you keep mentioning Darkness, there is nothing wrong with Darkness infact everything came from Darkness its just that in the little story books they taught you as a child Darkness was Negative and Light was positive, there is no negative and positive. If you close your eyes everything becomes dark and more clear.

  26. Earthling says:

    I tend to agree with the view of this article, but I think we can get a bit more specific on the repercussions of porn and masturbating. Essentially what poster AMO mentions is where the attention needs to be focused. The "lightness" and "darkness" terms are vague and, as you can tell, enrage some readers due to that vagueness. We can start by agreeing that it's not a one-size-fits-all morality mandate, and that the influence of pornography does generate behavioural repercussions.

    Another site likened sexual urges as a power like wind or water: it has the potential to do both good and harm. This is the duality we all face — to be alive, and to be dead; to be joyous, and to be solemn. We are yet static. With these forces in us, we must know ourselves and be our own judge in deciding if pornography and masturbating is good or bad. We must accept that this self analysis will change over time. And we must not go dividing others into "darkness" because of our self assessment.

    For me, I work in a busy coffee shop and see a lot of beautiful faces. I need the stability to resist my sexual urges if an attractive lady walks in and be a helpful servant instead of a lustful procreator. For me, I feel pornography shapes the way I view people; it makes it superficial and that I forget to see their inner magnificence. And since I do not wish to scurry that view away, I resist masturbating. But there were times when masturbating was as common and innocent as exercise, and I would say that it has helped me in becoming a skilled lover.

    A time and a place; and know thy self.

  27. G4cee says:

    This is abrupt but what the hell…..I am somewhat confident in my knowledge about the human sprit, don't wonder how. I would be direct in my comment and ask anyone to try this for them selves. The term :masturbation make you blind really means "spiritually blind"- This means we become disconnected from the spiritual realm. When this happens, we are purely in a human, animal like state (our conscience is suppressed, usually for about three days. During this time, we open ourselves up to run into misfortunate events some may call bad luck….life seems as if anything goes, no purpose. Things may not seem right or "on track". A simple test to see the effects of this would be – try not masturbating or watching porn for four days. I bet you would see a big change in the days that follow. things may seem to flow in your life as if there's purpose. People and things would react to you good and naturally. This is living in the light., spiritually connected. Its just a simple test – try it.Email me for more info, always glad to help.

  28. Julian says:

    Basically, when a man ejaculates he loses a certain amount of a finite energetic substance the Chinese call Jing. When a man loses too much of this his health and vitality will vastly decline. This is actually why some men turn decrepit or bald/grey prematurely. Mastrubation is a massive waste of energy.

  29. emilyalp says:

    FINALLY someone is talking about Yehuda and his genius … the genius of Kabbalah and lightwork–bravo! good stuff. thanks!

  30. mark says:

    "When you resist your selfish thoughts, you make Light. If you don’t resist your selfish thoughts, no Light is revealed, and you remain in Darkness."

    I would beg to differ. I have only known resistance to create conflict, to create dissociation, and separation. Resisting selfish thoughts will automatically ensure that you will indeed experience more of them. Perhaps I would use the word observation, or being aware of your thoughts, or being aware that you are aware of your thoughts. However, I see resistance as being part of our shadow that we fear to look at, observe, dwell in an make peace with.

  31. erica says:

    all i have to say is
    i love you
    and thank you for posting this
    <3

  32. mark says:

    Evidently the world needs more women to receive (to give)….

  33. dave95694 says:

    The notion that by resisting one becomes the master of something is wrong in my opinion.

    Resistance could well be synonymous with the buddhist form of attachment aversion.

    To have a constant attachment in the form of aversion present in life is not the way to an enlightened existence.

    Its a simple biological function anyway.

    Of course craving is an attachment too…

    🙂

  34. Joshua says:

    This article, as well as most of the comments written in response to it, struck me as guilt-ridden spiritualism, distantly disjoined from my experience of either masterbation or pornography. I don’t look at porn very often, but definitely also think that it’s possible to enjoy it in a way that doesn’t disrupt spiritual development. For starters, simply remembering that the woman – and/or man, if that’s your thing – is real, lives a real life somewhere and is sharing her sexual experience with you, the viewer, already takes a big step toward cleansing the relationship you have with porn. Maybe she gets off on the voyeuristic aspect of it. I refuse to judge her for getting down on camera, just as I completely accept that many of the people who read this – even the ones who condemn porn or masterbation – probably watch it periodically. I think that the repressive mind that tries to mute anything that doesn’t fit a highly confining interpretation of what healthy sexuality is, probably also reduces the feeling of freedom that such a mind experiences when engaging with a real partner. I do think that watching large amounts could leave a distorted impression of women/men, or sexuality more generally, but that had much less to do with the act watching something than it does with our choices of what to watch and an inability to put a cap on how much we watch. Spiritual elitism masquerading as a definitive statement about sexual health is just a petty and small minded way of trying to negate human expressions that aren’t well-enough accepted. It’s like that king that wanted to put leather over the entire kingdom instead of just making some shoes.

  35. ASFO says:

    I loved it. =)

  36. senecakid says:

    After watching porn as long as I can remember, I gave up on it 5 months ago. It has been almost zero effort to avoid porn, because the benefits outweigh the cons for me, personally. That said, it hasn't been some dramatic spiritual change. I've felt slightly healthier and more 'alive', and my sex life has gotten better. I'm definitely more productive than before because I don't give myself that 'easy way out'. I masturbate less. And that's that. I didn't feel like I rose up out of some spiritual darkness. I am not at war with my ego.

    As with many others here, I get what this article is saying, but don't entirely agree with the approach/philosophy here.

    First, what I agree on: a switch in mindset from satisfying others to satisfying yourself can make a huge positive difference in all aspects of life, for yourself and everyone around you. Sex is one of those aspects. It appears simple to make the switch, but I think it's quite involved and takes time. Anyway, it is possible.

    Where we differ: masturbation in an of itself should not be viewed in such a negative way, and definitely not with any kind of "guilt" or "shame". That attitude is unhealthy. For the most part, masturbation is just another pleasure. Similar "empty" feelings that can occur in masturbation can happen with many other types of pleasures, especially the ones we indulge in alone. Masturbation hits us on a deeper primal level, but that would be the main difference.

    Also, I don't think so much emphasis should be put on "resistance", as if you are always at war with yourself (and ego). I think that is also unhealthy and unproductive. I think a much better route is just to encourage your good and unselfish side, and most all else will follow.

    Finally, in dealing with pleasures and selfishness and such things, I've found the best philosophy in Lucius Seneca's writings. Highly recommend "Letters from a Stoic", the Penguin Classic version. This is the only writing that has given me any kind of 'enlightenment'. Before you reject it based on the title, stoicism may not be what you think. It is basically the Western form of Buddhism. Give it a try. I've been re-reading it for several years now. It is awesome. Cheers!

  37. c.stafford says:

    excuse me people but I would be someone who paradoxically firstly dislikes sexuality and secondly cannot be other than sexual as a human and have had to masturbate for release, not pleasure as it always causing me to feel forced to be a sexual being which is not my wish, so what is a freak like me supposed to do I bet you don't know because your like been human and you know no other being?

  38. Hi G4cee,
    You wrote:
    – try not masturbating or watching porn for four days. I bet you would see a big change in the days that follow. things may seem to flow in your life as if there's purpose.-

    How would having s€x with your partner, while thinking of someone else fit in? What I am asking is what exactly is the essence behind it, what does, according to you make you spiritually connected?

  39. Dave says:

    So are you saying that porn stars/actors are all bald? Or do they die faster than non-pornstars?

  40. happydog1960 says:

    Rubbish. Complete rubbish. Masturbation is darkness = Masturbation is sin. Same old sexual repression dressed up in phony pseudo-Hindu robes. Christian morality in Buddha drag.

  41. Stan says:

    Please google the word: “tantra brahmachary” to find out more about sexual awareness and for reasons why people watch porn.

  42. Rich says:

    Although the author claims to have a 'non-moral' but instead a 'spiritual' view of porn (definition?), the author uses shaming and judgmental language throughout "dark".

    Yawn.

  43. bliss says:

    this is very interesting post ._from a spiritual point of view ..it hit the right spot _the question is different though ..there is universal feeling of bliss at childhood …devoid of desire to be selfish_as we grow we seem to learn the pattern of events that happen biologically and societal conditioning (getting and giving)_by default we are biologically also conditioned to find that supreme bliss irrespective of environment ._

  44. bliss says:

    Himalayan yogis in caves with bare minimum to sustain life forces
    but the world as such is designed to be stringy to conceal this bliss or this world wouldn’t work and since any system more than one person is bound to involve complexities things will be messed up irrespective of opinions and thoughts
    practical solution:
    try to isolate yourself into nature(pristine yet safe) as much as you can and silent the mind in nature and enjoy the supreme bliss when ever possible

  45. bliss says:

    but dichotomy arises due to the fact that we are humans and have thoughts and needs that are separate from entire animal or plant world
    we cant live with it or we cant live without it
    agreed world is messed up (again only our thought) and the origin is always desire –women relationships children and I
    so its practically impractical to just feel great all the time without having dispassionate desire to feel one with self as if we never actually needed food water clothing sex masturbation women education porn drugs
    its not what one likes or doesn't like but a feeling of absolute bliss irrespective of all of the above …like the ones experienced by Himalayan yogi

  46. obaidah says:

    the article is saying that instead of looking at those things in terms of what assumed to be right or wrong and what should be right or wrong … look at it from the point of the energy thing … and in order to do so … he explained everything in terms of light and darkness … because that is the truth …

    But this article assumes that everybody has a partner … in case of bachelors and those who are not dating at this time how we can deal with masturbation and porn gaining more light and less darkness … we don't have partner yet … what we can do and what choices do we have ?

  47. adi says:

    the above post is right masturabation is not good ,i had earlier ruined my life because of it only but now i don't want to do it and get success but sometimes under the effect oh homeopathic medicines i get uncontrollable urge to do it,though stopped but due to these medicines i do it and feel very guilty,i had always amt of becoming a a warrior but only masturbation stopped me from becoming so and it also caused my downfall many times and even ruining my life,now i even feel like suicide,kindly someone help me cope with the situation as it is really stopping my spirituality and me from becoming a warrior.

  48. Steve Davey says:

    This story is morality dressed up to look like spirituality. Greater mindfulness & awareness are needed to express a truly spiritual stand point.
    I can’t believe someone so lacking in awareness is doing ‘Advanced Vinyasa Teacher trainings.’.
    You need to sit still, in silence & do some Self inquiry.
    I read a lot of judgement here that smacks of psuedo-Judeo-Christian morality.
    Neither mastrubation nor casual sex will put you into ‘darkness’ as you put it. They are merely lower vibrational Love, whereas Tantra is the higher vibrational Love & compassion is the highest.
    You are equating sexual stress relief with violence & rape (darkness), which is totally incorrect.
    ‘What you resist persists’ is a quote attributed to Carl Jung, but Jung was just passing on ancient wisdom. Rather than resisting, we should acknowledge & release.
    Your words are encouraging people to be of the mind, rather than of the heart. One of the most insidious traps for a seeker.
    The whole of humanity, up to now, has remained obsessed with sex, and it is going to remain so unless we change the whole gestalt. Up to now the gestalt has been repression/indulgence, indulgence/repression, going on moving between these two. We have to stop exactly in the middle.

  49. Percy Jack says:

    Look according to me masturbation is not a bad thing until it become addictions. A lot people do masturbation and even I should say all the generation now and it’s like what is wrong in it. It’s something ones need but over limit can lead to situation worst. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us.

  50. Gabriel says:

    I really like where you’re going with this article.

Leave a Reply