Scientific-Gnosticism Memetic-Shamanism

Asceticism and Indulgence : Balance of Balance – Harmony

Published by under Uncategorized on March 8, 2010

In all things we must strive for balance, including balance itself.

Asceticism has been a tradition of truly holy men down through the ages and with very good reasons.

First it shows that their path is not one of attempted exploitation. Once who strives to have little is not trying to get something from you in doing so.

Secondly it is to show that happiness comes from within and not from the outside.

Third it is a practice of overcoming the animal we are at our core. Our most basic instincts are the ones that can cause the most pain and suffering to ourselves and those around us. Not only through passionate action but also through fearful inaction.

The only thing which separates us from other animals is our enlarged prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that provides executive function. We are able to put off immediate gratification for greater reward. We can choose the two in the bush over the bird in the hand. The practice of self denial has been proven to increase the size and efficacy of the PFC. In other words, it would seem that self denial makes us more human. It expands our consciousness in a certain way. But perhaps it should be seen as an effect that shifts our balance in a certain way that made us different.

Even this important practice can be taken too far. If we put off all gratification we deny the beauty and gifts of life. Just as our body must eventually have food or die, our mind/spirit must also feed. Perhaps when taken too far we become robotic and unfeeling. Additionally the attempt to deny too much too quickly can actually have an opposite effect on our consciousness.

For instance, because the PFC is new in evolutionary terms it is the first area of the brain that begins to be cannibalized wen there are not enough fats in our diet. When we starve ourselves we create stress hormones which alter our neurochemistry. This can lead to strenthening our negative survival instincts such as extreme selfishness. 

The desire to nurture, to love and to be loved are animal drives. The feelings of triumph and exhileration are animal feelings. Charity and altruism are all seen in the animal kingdom. All the nobility of the human spirit and all we venerate in ourselves is intricately tied with basic animal instincts. Survival and reproduction.

True balance as seen in all of nature and the universe is not a drab grey haze of uniformity. It is a wave. It has highs and lows. There are extreme’s but those extremes fit with and compliment the whole. This is the menaing of harmony when spoken of as a broader concept. A great symphony is made of waves. It is made of highs and lows but we can still sense the balance. It is the reason why you can predict what is coming in a song you’ve never heard, because you know there must be a closing to an opening. You have a need for a low to balance the high. You also have a need for the song to return to the center and for it to return to the start in some way.

So though we should practice self denial, we should also practice well planned and reasoned indulgence: Indulgence in the gifts given to us by nature. Occasionally in things such as food. But regularly in companionship.

Though it should be obvious that Song and Dance are some of the most powerful expressions of joy that humans have and should be encouraged and shared communally, another one of the greatest gifts given to us by god/the universe is sexual pleasure. Western culture has developed an unnatural fear and loathing that has warped and perverted their minds. This sickness seems to express itself as the voracious and insatiable desire of the west for power and money. It was almost certainly partially developed as a mechanism to increase breeding. While this sounds counter intuitive we must look at the effect not the supposed conscious intent. Firstly, there have been numerous psychological studies that have shown that forbidding certain thoughts causes obsession with them. Such that the subjects not only thought of the forbidden thing more frequently during the test period than the controls did, but once they were allowed, they engaged in the thought process far more and for far longer than the controls. This could lead to increased breeding with both allowed and non allowed partners. Needless to say this could be a very effective survival strategy for a species and we find that those religions which have these beliefs have no shortage of large families.

With advancements in birth control and safe sex practices there is little to no reason not to indulge in this natural gift of life; especially with well established partners. In addition to this being a viable avenue for enjoying life without cost of life, limb or resources, it can also be a source of commmunal bonding as well as ascetic practice. There are few indulgences so perfect.

The unnatural state of western views of sex are very rapidly being exposed by science. Where it was once assumed that no animals had sex for fun and that many animals mated for life, we now find that most of the birds that appear to mate for life only do so for companionship but still engage in extra-couple pairing very frequently and the most intelligent animals on the planet (other than humans), dolphins, regularly engage in playful sex as a communal bonding ritual.

We also find that while we are told our closest evolutionary relative is the chimpanzee, we instead find that the bonobo has some specific genetic similarities to us that chimps do not have and are almost certainly a closer relative to us than the chimp. While visually distinguished from chimps by their human-like long hair on top, they are more well known for their extreme sexuality. All issues of strife within a group are dealt with via sexuality instead of violence. While those in captivity do copulate more frequently than in the wild, those in the wild are still engage in sex acts too frequently in a single day to warrant counting.

Because of the release of oxytocin during sexual acts, it is theorized that the behavior developed because of its ability to diffuse group tension and increase social bonding. In humans this type of behavior is found in many indiginous peoples throughout the world. The samoan people, for instance, kept nothing concerning the basic human facts of copulation, birth, bodily functions, or death hidden before Christianity swept over their culture and stomped out their shameless identity.

Though there are reproductive imperitives and instincts that make men naturally more predisposed to lattempt to impregnate as many females as possible and women more inclined to want withold sexuality more to get the most viable offspring for the gigantic investment of a possible child, there are still cultures today in which men have numerous wives and women have numerous husbands.

There have been scientific findings that roughly an orgasm a day can add many years to your life. Additionally, other studies of logevity have found links between prolonged breeding age of animals and lifespan. This makes sense in evolutionary terms because creating viable offspring is the primary goal of genes. There is no need for a an animal beyond breeding except in care of the young.

In tantric sexual practice, prolonging and even denying orgasm are a practice of achieving a higher consciousness. In practice, prolonging the time to reach orgasm such that the goal is to achieve simultaneous orgasm can lead to a great deal of self-discipline. It is self-denial that leads to greater reward. Additionally it can cause the couple to focus on the enjoyable nature of the act itself even though the orgasm is far more rewarding as well. It can become a microcosm of how life should be lived and how a relationship should be conducted. Mutual concern, care, and performance must be balanced with personal enjoyment and relaxation. Impatience can destroy the experience, lack of focus can lead to frustration. Lies lead to failure and dissatisfaction. To be able to perfectly coordinate each must be able to arouse themselves to the point of extreme temptation but be able to hold back indefinately. To pursue a goal but enjoy the process of reaching it enough to let things progress naturally. To see the enjoyment of another as one’s own enjoyment.

It is a unhealthy perversion of god’s gifts and unthankful to view sexuality as anything other than a beautiful, natural and joyous part of the human experience. Every single adult does it and as often as possible and they always have or you wouldn’ be here. Why on earth should we hide something as necessary as eating or sleeping, as innocent as a mother breastfeeding a child and as beautiful as life itself?

This is a perfect example of indulgence that is obviously harmonious with nature.

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