pleasures of the senses and our path in life
Apr 08, 2002 08:31 AM
by Eldon B Tucker
At 02:27 AM 4/8/02 -0400, you wrote:
Emotions ARE physical (or at least part of the non-reincarnating part
All aspects of our personal nature have a physical
counterpart. There's brain activity with thought, but
that does not mean that the mind is just a byproduct
of the brain. There's biological processes associated
with the experience, but that does not mean that
emotions are a byproduct of bodily functions. There
are physical organs associated with sensory input,
but that doesn't mean that the senses are solely the
result of the functioning of those organs.
In these various cases, we have a life/form duality
with interdependence. Neither aspect, I think, is
causative of the other. We cannot say that the physical
form is completely out of the equation and deny that
it affects our personal consciousness. We also cannot
say that consciousness and the experiencing of life is
just a output of physical processes and has no independent
nature of its own.
Theosophy has also made a few points about our inner selves
> (or the soul) not having a defined sex. Blavatsky states that "sex is
> passing phase of our earth evolution, for us and the beasts and the
> Purucker also says that the closer we evolve into Globe D our bodies lose
> their distinct sexual definition and along with such loss comes a change in
> the process of procreation.
But (and we're getting to the point here), there is a difference
between evolving and pretending to evolve.
Say we knew that 50 million years from now we'd have wings
and fly through the air. That doesn't mean that we should
spend the day flapping our arms and pretending to fly. We
are born into a certain psycho-physical structure, and are
experiencing Fifth Root Race life now. If we meet the
challenges of live and continue to grow, we'll keep up in
class and be around to experience those future times. Meeting
current challenges means a realistic understanding of our
personal nature, how it works, and how it can relate to
our higher resources that we can tap deep from within. It's
independent of the forms of the distant future, including
the experience of sex and reproduction millions of years hence.
One challenge that we face is to not let our day-to-day life
and lower desires (requiring immediate gratification) to rule
our lives. That means that we learn at times to say "no," and
accept delayed gratification for little things in exchange for
being able to realize important goals farther off in life.
We avoid impulse buying, for instance, in exchange for being
able to save up for an important big purchase.
When we read of the need to avoid the pleasures of the
senses and learn selflessness, it refers to this. Giving up
desire does not mean not wanting anything and completely
disconnecting from life. It means not being ruled by
compulsions. It means that we are centered deeply within and
able to lead our lives in a way that our inner nature can
come out into the world. It is not a puritan, harshly-ascetic
approach that says that self-imposed suffering is the path
to perfection. We can eat a dinner and enjoy it as part of
life, without the desire for food engulfing us and casting
a shadow over our primary purpose in life, which I'd call
expressiveness, sharing, creativity, being a light in the
world, and making our own unique contribution to the living
world. The same is true of all aspects of life. We enjoy
them but they still remain secondary to some higher purpose
we've found in life that overshadows everything else.
It's not that the pleasures of life turn to ash in the
mouth. Rather, the mundane aspects of life have their
color and joy, it's just that our path in life starts
to shine out in its own brilliant colors, making everything
else seem pale and faded in comparison.
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