Celibacy - is it necessary for spirituality?

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proy
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Post by proy » 16 May 2006

celtiggyan wrote:Hi Proy (maybe I know you - I am sure we have met in Scotland!).
Maybe - I am a friend of Howiemac. Where might we have met?

With all the separation of Brothers and Sisters I am puzzled as to how homosexuality or bi-sexuality is dealt with in the BKs. Anyone know?

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Re: sexual orientation

Post by fluffy bunny » 16 May 2006

proy wrote:With all the separation of brothers and sisters I am puzzled as to how homosexuality or bi-sexuality is dealt with in the BKs.
Anyone know?
Interesting one.

I know that there are BKs, even high profile BKs, that were active homosexuals before Gyan and that they are able to recognise other ex-homosexual within the BK community in the way that they can recognise themselves amongst straight society. That they talk and chat about the changes. I have no idea about what sort of numbers nor their personal experience.

I guess the senior sisters live in some Victorian illusion that there are no such things as lesbians and so therefore there is no need to make a separate law or equal opportunity bhavan for them. I wonder if they get to live in celibate gay relationships like married couples if they come out?

I have never heard it formally discussed, only amongst students. Opinions were commonly the " female soul in male body " concept etc and just bundled in with " lust ".

In India, there is a lot more homosexual behaviour especially between men than you would realise because of the problems of finding and affording a wife. It spills over into the monasteries and ashrams. I would not call it homosexually per se, just a bastard child of sexual suppression in a messed up society. My experience is that it is not a big issue within BK and that the BKWSU is astonishing free of it but I do not know.

Perhaps the life is just designed to be so busy and tiring that one has no time or energy to think of sex!?!

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Interesting One

Post by proy » 16 May 2006

Thanks.

I just find it odd that the genders are strictly separated with no account taken of an individuals sexual orientation. After all, what is the use of preventing contact between brothers and sisters when, given the statistics, some people in Gyan must be gay or lesbian.

As you say, these distinctions are not made so clearly in the east, people are not categorised there in the way they are in the west, but it still makes no sense. :?:

Still puzzled, but you are probably right, it is just not really dealt with at all.

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Post by celtiggyan » 16 May 2006

I like the cut of your jib ex-l ! I had never thought about some of the issues you raise - esp the homosexual one. I never gave it a second thought but you are right - they would need separate quarters.

As for 'male' Souls - the Murlis at least say that all Souls are 'male' ie they have a slight tip in the balance of masculinity and that's why Shiva can be thought of as male even though he has all the qualities of male and female. I can clearly remember the Murli on that one. There is also something about all Souls being one gender (ie physically) for no more than two births then they change to the opposite I think.

It is interesting in BK circles if you did start trying to discuss such issues as homosexuality that you would quickly be put upon as one is making the atmosphere negative.

Good point about Baba being like a 'pop star' too. I expect he would have been.

C.

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Re: Interesting One

Post by fluffy bunny » 16 May 2006

proy wrote:I just find it odd that the genders are strictly separated with no account taken of an individuals sexual orientation. After all, what is the use of preventing contact between brothers and sisters when, given the statistics, some people in Gyan must be gay or lesbian.
I agree. It is part of the nonsensical half made presumptions, like only using your right hand to take " holy sweeties " from the senior etc. They might tell you to stick out your right hand only, what they don' tell you is that you are meant to use your left hand only to touch your dirty bits and do dirty things. And what about left handed people?

[Oh, they just need to do more Yoga and they will be cured next birth. Needless to say everyone in the Golden Age is right handed and as one old BK told us, the deities don't poo because they and their diet of flowers and fruits is so perfect they don't eat enough to do so. Actually, that BK thought the deities did not have bits at all ... but that was non-standard bit of knowledge ].

And extrapolating from your point, I think it would be interesting to discuss whether sexual orientation changes through the practise of Raja Yoga.

If you accept the "female soul in male body" concept, which I think is a little weak an argument, or that homosexuality is a spiritual disease / imbalance, as some fundamentalist groups do, does being a practising BK "cure" you of homosexuality?

Of course, there is a difference between Raja Yoga and other religions in that there is no thought of going off to have "normal" sexual relationships in this life and Raja Yoga practises the thought that we are neither male nor female but equal souls.

The one ex-queer BK that did come out to me recounted the emergence of heterosexual desires which they were really surprised by. But one could argue that it was just that they were just over-sexed or sexually imbalanced in the first place and suffering from the results of the sublimation of desires.

My experience is that if you bite the bullet, rather than the pillow, stop sex and just get on with the BK lifestyle, actually the sexual instincts and desires quieten down fairly quickly, 3 or 4 months. And that was when I was in my early 20s. It must be a lot easier for BKs post-children or in their middle to late ages.

I remember someone stating that there had been a thread on masturbation I think on the Australian BK forum and that someone was defending it as not being sex but that is all wrong. No way does it fit in with a celibate lifestyle.

I think that most sex is merely driven by sanskars and if you create or empower sanskars to do it, the urge becomes much stronger. To recreate that sanskar, you have to stop and make new ones. What I think that BKs lack is a discussion of this, the effects of it, how to manage those effects and side-effects. Ever other deep spiritual tradition seems to.

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sex, etc..

Post by freedom » 16 May 2006

HI, all,

very interesting points from all of you, too bad we did not have this forum while being BKs... :lol: after doing to myself I had to search for the 'right' answer, today i believe and it is proven that any supressed feeling - not expressed in words or physically and not understood by your cells/mind - will become a block in your body , it is just energy created in the mind due to sanskars, or whatever that must be understood; or it will gradually cause a level of disconfort, then pain, then disease.

I know of many sisters , even Seniors, with problems in the ovaries, breasts, stomach, etc. that no extensive hours of service or tapasya can heal ! Some gay BKs that I knew from my time, managed to keep their creativity and lightness for some time; they are open and fun; but was very irritating to see BKs attracted to other BKs (even Seniors, with all my due respect) and trying so hard to cover up, to hide and manipulate those feelings , resulting in such poor communication and superficial outcomes and a messy dharna :( I had my honeymoon and like ex-l I was in my 20's as well ... now on my 40's I still dream about a real one..!!! :oops:

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Re: sex, etc. - Confessions of a BK Sisters' Bhavan

Post by fluffy bunny » 17 May 2006

freedom wrote:but it was very irritating to see BKs attracted to other BKs (even Seniors, with all my due respect) and trying so hard to cover up, to hide and manipulate those feelings, resulting in such poor communication and superficial outcomes and a messy dharna :(.
Actually, from a brother's point of view I would like to say that it was frustrating to see the sisters allowed to be all huggy and affectionate amongst with each other when we were expected to be unemotional stoic saints. Although some of the Indian brothers did have a habit of wanting to hold one's hand especially to practise their English - rather than French.

When I say frustrated, I don't mean in the sense that we were having lesbian BK fantasies all the time but saddening on a level of deep basic human envy and rejection perhaps that we, without family and friends were denied touch and pure affection whilst they were seemingly allowed in some unspoken way. The SS [ Senior Sisters ] being perfect examples of this between each other but there is no way on earth that you would be able to tell me a load of sisters were not having crushes on the likes of Janki and Jayanti.

It was frustrating that we were being dominated by unresolved Hindu mores on the issues of male-female relationships which their selves were all screwed up. And confusing in that, on one hand, it all seemed so body conscious on their behalf and, on the other, it seemed entirely unnatural as a Westerner NOT hang out equally with members of the opposite sex having no intention to jump on them. I remember the almost visible discomfort and very unsubtle surveillance that happened whenever a brother entered a sisters house.

I understand that some of the sisters bhavans were hothouse of emotion and personality from time to time. Now, " Confessions of a BK Sisters' Bhavan " there would be a good topic.

Any ex-sisters on the forum lived in a bhavan?

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Re: sex, etc. - Confessions of a BK Sisters' Bhavan

Post by howiemac » 22 May 2006

ex-l wrote:Actually, from a brother's point of view I would like to say that it was frustrating to see the sisters allowed to be all huggy and affectionate amongst with each other when we were expected to be unemotional stoic saints.
Yes - frustrating and unfair, and inhuman
it seemed entirely unnatural as a Westerner NOT hang out equally with members of the opposite sex having no intention to jump on them.
Forced segregation creates the very imbalances they were trying to avoid... look at what happens with single sex schools - they produce a great many seriously screwed up people.

When a (heterosexual) brother is denied the company and friendship of his sisters (or vice versa), fantasy is likely to take over, and a previously healthy attitude to the other sex can become very unhealthy. I felt the BKs were trying to indoctrinate me into being prudish and body conscious, and the forced segregation was emphasising sexuality rather than restraining it.

As for homosexuality, it should not be an issue in a context where celibacy is mandatory and body consciousness is to be forsaken ... however segregation of the genders presumably does make it a problem - you are forcably cooped up with the very gender that you are attracted to.

I understand that in the early days of Om Mandali they all lived in the one house with no segregation - but the "anti party" made a fuss and the government stepped in and demanded that they segregate the sexes into two separate buildings or they would be shut down. This shows how a key BK practice of today stems from Indian culture, and not from Shrimat, or even from Brahma Baba.

I hold that segregation of the sexes in the BKs is unhealthy psychologically and is totally out of place outwith Indian culture. Spookily i found the Indian BK attitudes to segregation (for foreigners at any rate) were much more liberal than those in the UK ... ie we ate together, shared sleeping accommodation (albeit in separate rooms - although i was offered a twin room with a sister i was traveling with in one Delhi centre ...), sat intermingled for the "big meetings" with BapDada, etc..

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Post by celtiggyan » 22 May 2006

Did you notice (and no offence meant here) that with the more senior sisters looked rather masculine? Almost a male-female mix? Maybe this was the result of 'righting' the balance. Besides, the long twisted pony tails put me off many of the sisters - they began to look cultish in their white and uniformity. Sex was the last thing on my mind - there were a hundred better places to go for that though I do appreciate that at times there was an 'atmosphere' of sorts and this was more when there were new recruits who not been indoctrinated!

Once I remember I visited a sister (with another sister). This was just a friendly visit since she was a musician and I wanted to hear some of her stuff. Word got around and I remember getting told' Brothers don't visit Sisters' in no uncertain terms. There was no lust in this visit - just friendship. There was the tendancy to gossip of course which I admit is not very nice. I found it very hard to say no when I heard a nice tasty morsel of gossip about a centre!

C.

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Post by sparkal » 27 May 2006

The sexual energy fly's the soul in meditation / Yoga . Without it , the biggest challenge is holding one's concentration and so the lack of ability to sustain experiences , mental postures .
If we are not practicing Raja Yoga , it is debateable as to whether we need to retain this energy. Perhaps it is optional.

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Post by jamesy » 04 Jun 2006

ex-l wrote:But my first questions would be to examine Hindu sexuality, the cultural norm from which the BK and their ruling sisters expand. I have always wondered how in such an overpopulated yet non-private culture all the sex takes place to overpopulate it
On more than one occasion whilst chatting with BKs from a Hindi background in India, I’ve been intrigued to here quite heart felt expressions of purity, ... no problem at all it seems but every so often ‘Baba gives a little touching’ just to create another brahmin.

Seriously though, to me celibacy and spirituality were and still are natural bedfellows. As soon as I started hitting the spiritual highs of the early bk meditation sessions, I just knew celibacy was do-able.

What I’d no advance inkling of was that once the supersensous stuff started to tone down to the point where sometimes I’d wonder if I’d just dreamt it all, there’d be an urgent need to create a lust management program because the BKs weren’t about to provide me with one.

Since going ‘ex’ I’ve dipped into the relationship scene 2 or 3 times, but the intention has been casual, enjoy it while it lasts and get it out of my system rather than let it fester into something bordering on real illness the way it was as a paid up bk. Each time I’ve come out glad of the experience but a little more reticent about future liaisons and a little more confident in the sustenance of my own company. Personally celibacy seems more of a possibility now than it was throughout much of my time as a bk.

During my association, I noticed the organisation become impressively adept at presenting courses both internal and external on any other vice that you care to mention; anger, greed, attachment, sloth, ego management lectures and seminars abound. But with sex I guess members were just expected to be way beyond those sort of gross impulses.

As I’ve said I’ve no truck with the principle. In my book, freedom of spirit and lust just don’t belong on the same page. Sadly the BKs seem to think that it’s practical implementation is no big deal also and so I’m afraid it’s swim if blessed, sink quickly if lucky or else years of floundering repression to look forward to.

According to bk philosophy - re the mechanism of the soul, each time I indulge in sexual gratification I am further establishing sanskaras of lust - this type of stuff has always made sense to me. And I can concur that while in the relationship, meditation is not good, but frankly it is bedevilled by lust fantasy prior to establishing the relationship anway. whereas each post relationship, I personally feel more confidently independent and more ready to engage with myself spiritually than pre-relationship. May still be self deception but I think this is the sort of laity that might just not go too far amiss amongst some of the bk rank and file just to give them a breather.

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Post by bansy » 05 Jun 2006

celticgyan wrote:Once I remember I visited a sister (with another sister).. This was just a friendly visit since she was a musician and I wanted to hear some of her stuff. Word got around and I remember getting told' Brothers don't visit Sisters' in no uncertain terms. There was no lust in this visit - just friendship. There was the tendancy to gossip of course which I admit is not very nice. I found it very hard to say no when I heard a nice tasty morsell of gossip about a centre!
Due to lokik timing and location, a BK brother used to travel with me as it was not good to travel alone, and we never had any "lusty" feelings. This was cleared with Seniors at the very top. Maybe that's because I was/am already married, and we also grew up in large families with brothers and sisters. We were truly really spiritual friends and still are. We were aware of possibility of gossip arising amongst the masses, but as we were simply honest and mature, it was others who'd lose to think negatively. I suppose there is a level of maturity about dealing in these situations, whether lokik or alokik. Eventually others began to accept, whenever BKs asked one of us in Madhuban or at centres, they would also ask of the other.

We were honest to also tell others to hug brothers or sisters (usually at departures and sometimes meeting after a long time), as long as you felt "natural" to do so. They were your sanskars, which were of the caring nature, not lustful. I have seen brothers hug brothers too. Nowadays, even Dadis and senior brothers put and touch their heads together, though I guess the Indian upbringing and mindset is still dominant in them.

Generally the trouble arises when a sister and a brother is unmarried. Hence you were married to ShivBaba and wore the ring to prove it. But the experience of a spiritual marriage involved the nonphysical. One of the gossips BKs hear about is how there are have been other BKs who have become couples and are living together or even married. Usually western (and from liberal down under).
However, I have had chats with senior sisters who still talk about if they wanted to get married or not, and I guess the answer is if the marriage is a spiritual one and more for practical reasons, such as sharing of financial resources and caring of health, where lust has nothing to do with it, but aging does.
jamesy wrote:During my association I noticed the organisation become impressively adept at presenting courses both internal and external on any other vice that you care to mention,- anger, greed, attachment , sloth., ego management lectures and seminars abound. But with sex I guess members were just expected to be way beyond those sort of gross impulses
The BKs would teach this by telling BKs to be "civilised", i.e civil eyes, hence your vision was to be true and not deceiving. Somehow, anger, ego, greed etc were displayable and so can be personally managed, but what and how your eyes played were hard to control.
Well, you can always wear the dark sunglasses.


It'll be interesting to hear from Tete on this topic thread.

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Post by jamesy » 05 Jun 2006

bansy wrote:The BKs would teach this by telling BKs to be "civilised", i.e civil eyes, hence your vision was to be true and not deceiving.
Guess I was just unlucky then? -I heard the civil eye yukti when it would crop up in the Murli from time to time. But don't ever recall a teacher baseing a class on it, or even initiating a bit of after Murli churn on it. Then again, to be fair, have to admit that latterly I tended to sleep through most of the classes anyway.
It'll be interesting to hear from Tete on this topic thread.
I agree. Where's she gone? I miss her.

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Breaking the Habit of Self Pleasuring.... Mormon suggestions

Post by joel » 06 Oct 2007

For some self-pleasuring is the most natural thing in the world. For some, including many struggling BKs (and PBKs), it is an expression of what they believe to be the most harmful of human vices.

This second group also includes the Mormon religion. While lacking the distinctive BK practices of soul and God consciousness, their suggestions for overcoming this common primate behavior may be a useful reference to some. Others may find their suggestions entertaining.

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pls read Joel's link from Mormons

Post by alladin » 06 Oct 2007

Hi, Joel, thanks for the "Mormon's link". It is so funny that a copy of that should go in the jokes session. I recommend any one to read it: you will find many "yuktis" and nonsense similar to the BKs ones.

The funniest is the suggestion to sleep in some attire that may work as a sort of chastity belt. Now, since I don't have anything of that sort available - unless I wrap scotch tape around my pyjama pants - and since my hormonal state (fertile days, mid-cycle, some thing similar to any female mammal's heat), puts me at risk, what shall I do?

Other suggestions from Mormons; go in the kitchen and empty the fridge (compensate sex frustration with food). Alternatively, they say one should endure some intense physical exercise. So I will do both; first ingest some calories, and then try to get rid of them. OK, off I go, before some criminal thought gets hold of me! :wink:

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