The Conflict Between Romantic Love and Celibate Sagehood
Warning: This is definitely not a mainstream post. I am well aware that the mainstream doesn’t comprehend or appreciate celibacy. So this post is for the very spiritual, or at least people with an interest or open mind toward the practice of celibacy. Also, I don’t have the answer to the question. I am listing the pros and cons, and inviting YOUR input if you have experience with this. Here is my experience and thoughts so far. Let us begin.
So lately I’ve been experiencing a bit of back and forth, trying to decide which of these paths is better: Romantic love, or celibate Sagehood. I have certainly had my streaks of both, and am trying to figure out the best direction, now and on-goingly. It is a practical discussion, as the decision will go on to affect my behaviour.
I have had my streaks of Bramhacharya, ie the yogic term for celibacy. The most recent one (and longest) was earlier this year, lasting over 95 days. I could speak about the benefits at length, but won’t include all that here. The people who have practiced it already KNOW the benefits. But in short, when you retain your sexual energy for prolonged periods of time, it becomes extremely nourishing to your brain, body, and Qi/prana. It is transformative. For more info I wrote a large section in my book, covering both theoretical and experiential insights.
But after 60 days of retaining and flying high, I did feel the desire to meet more women and connect again, in mind body and spirit. When you have so much positive life force energy, you want to share it. Life is best shared, so I’m told. But I stayed strong and got to my goal of 90 days.
Since then I have dabbled with women again, opening myself up sexually and romantically. Romantic love is a DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. Haha. Sexual union provides such happiness, joy, pleasure and wonder, at least for a limited period of time. But then it has extremely negative side effects, like pain and suffering, anger, sadness, depression, and DISTRACTION. It really comes with a lot of negative, no matter how developed you are. My question is, is it worth it?
Compared to romantic love, Brahmacharya does NOT have as many negative side effects. There is certainly a teething period, some initial withdrawals as your body gets used to not ejaculating for the first time. But after the initial roller-coaster, the happiness becomes very rich, stable, and long lasting. When you get really in the flow of it, you think, “Damn! Do I actually want to be celibate forever?”
But as I said, sooner or later the desire for romantic sexual love may return. And so I wonder, is that impulse something to be honoured and explored? Or should it be honoured and LET GO, like the desire for a drug which the recovering addict must gracefully decline. In time it gets easier, until the new way of life is stabilised in its fullness.
And then I wonder this: EVEN IF brahmacharya is logically the better choice, based on pros and cons, is it EVEN POSSIBLE for a human to do it sustainability? Or I should rephrase it, is it possible for a 26 year old male to sustain it? lol. Truth be told my sex drive is equal to my other ambitions, and it takes Will to stay on the path. So is it sustainable, even if it is logically best?
And as a caveat, yes I am aware you can have sexual union while retaining your seed. But that still comes with the fuck around, pain and suffering, distraction, ect.
Here is where I want to address the popular criticisms of celibacy, along with valid rebuttals.
The first one is that men can develop prostate cancer if they never stimulate their penis, testes, or prostate gland. But Taoist sexual kung-fu teachers recommend that you still massage each of these areas, thus mobilising energy and keeping the area healthy. You just don’t ejaculate. Furthermore, the correlation of celibacy to prostate cancer could be misnomer. There are likely plenty of men who were sexually engaged and got the disease, and conversely many Hindu Brahmacharians who never got the disease.
The second criticism is that celibacy can create sexual perversion. “Just look at the Catholic priests”. As a counter to this, I make a very important distinction between mandatory celibacy and voluntary celibacy. You see, the catholic priests must take an “oath of celibacy” in order to get their job and position as the priest. In contrast, the Hindu Sages do not have some institutional imperative to celibacy. Rather, they do it voluntarily, as they have a deep knowledge and wisdom of the benefits. Furthermore, they have a rigorous and nourishing yoga practice to circulate and balance that extra energy, thus making them content, satisfied, and blissful. The catholic priests generally don’t have that practice. Finally, for every perverted catholic priest, there could be ten honourable priests and ten perverted non-priests. But I think the first point is most important: mandatory vs voluntary celibacy, and yoga practice to support the path.
The third and final criticism I can think about, is the belief that human touch is extremely healthy. I actually do agree to this. But in my experience, when you do a lot of yoga and meditation, your prana/vital energy is so full and vibrant that it’s like you are being touched by your own vital energy, lol. It is like endogenous sensual pleasure. And when it comes to touch, you can always still hug people! 😉 Just don’t be surprised if I get an erection doing it, lol.
How about intimacy? Don’t people need that? Yes, but what if you are intimate with the entire universe? Such is the states you can attain with this practice. But I also agree that you can see the universe in the eyes of another. That is what can make the choice a little harder.
So to summarise how I feel, it is hard being pulled by both of these paths simultaneously. I feel GREAT within myself right now. And I am VERY extroverted. A part of me wants to take this vibe onto the street, meeting many women, having fun and sharing my energy. That is what I have been doing this past few weeks. But the other part of me feels, I have been SO disappointed by women, even very recently. It’s such a fuck around. I could take all this positive energy I currently have and DOUBLE DOWN on my high level purpose for humanity. Such an option is extremely nourishing.
I am undecided right now. I am still processing the options. I lovingly welcome any perspectives, experiences, and insights that YOU have had in this area. So long as it’s a nice and constructive vibe, not some critical hater shit, lol. I always block haters instantly these days anyway. So I truly welcome constructive discussion on this topic.
Maybe your insights will help myself, as well as anyone else on a similar path, to find clarity on this topic.
There is a saying I came up with that I like: Look at the two extreme opposite approaches, then take the elements you like from each one and blend them together in your own unique approach.
Here’s to the cultivation of life-force energy, and a love for whatever may be.
PS, since this ended up being long-form, I will share the link to my other long form writings, for when you want to check it out: https://www.hardcoreyogi.com/blog