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Translated teachings of Master Patana

Repressive State of a Monk

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Let’s discuss the spiritual path of the monk and the challenges they face. It is a path that demands the highest discipline, the deepest commitment, and yet, it is fraught with pitfalls and paradoxes. One of these paradoxes is the issue of repression, particularly in relation to desires, and more specifically, sexual desires.

The monk’s path is one of renunciation, of turning away from the world and its pleasures. This renunciation is not merely physical, it is also mental and emotional. The monk seeks to transcend desires, to rise above them. However, in this process, many monks fall into the trap of repression. They suppress their desires, they avoid them, they fear them. This fear and avoidance is not transcendence. It is merely a different form of bondage.

Many monks abstain from certain activities, such as eating or looking at women, out of fear. They fear that these activities will stir up their desires, that they will lose control. They fear their own energy, their own life force. They suppress this energy, they eat less, they avoid situations that might trigger their desires. But in doing so, they are not transcending their desires, they are merely avoiding them. This avoidance, this repression, does not lead to higher consciousness. It leads to a perversion of the mind.

When we suppress our natural desires, when we push them down into the depths of our being out of fear or misunderstanding, we create a tension within ourselves. This tension is like a coiled spring, and the more we repress, the tighter the spring becomes.

The human psyche, in its inherent wisdom, seeks balance. It strives for equilibrium. When we push it to one extreme, it naturally swings to the other. This is the law of polarity, the principle of rhythm that governs all of life. When we repress our desires, when we deny our natural energies, the psyche responds by swinging to the other extreme. It seeks expression, it seeks release.

This swing to the other extreme often manifests as perverted thoughts. These are not the result of inherent perversion, but rather the psyche’s desperate attempt to balance itself, to express the energy that has been repressed. These thoughts, these fantasies, are the psyche’s way of releasing the tension, of uncoiling the spring.

This is why repression is not the path to transcendence. It does not lead to liberation, but rather to further bondage. It creates a cycle of repression and perversion, a pendulum that swings back and forth between extremes. This is not the path of the monk. This is not the path to higher consciousness.

The path of the monk, the path to higher consciousness, is one of understanding, of awareness, of mindfulness. It is about observing our desires, understanding their nature, and then transcending them. It is about mastering our energy, not fearing it.

When we understand our desires, when we observe them without judgment, we can then let them go or consciously transform them. We can release the tension, uncoil the spring. We can bring the pendulum to rest. This is the path to true celibacy, the path to true renunciation. This is the path to higher consciousness. This is the path to true spiritual awakening.

True celibacy, true renunciation, is not about avoidance or repression. It is about awareness. It is about understanding your desires, acknowledging them, and then transcending them. It is about mastering your energy, not fearing it. If you suppress your energy, if you avoid your desires, then what is there to transcend? How can you practice mindfulness if you are constantly avoiding?

Consider the practice of mindful eating. If you are not eating, how can you practice mindfulness of eating? If you are avoiding food, how can you become aware of your relationship with food? The same principle applies to our sexual energies. If you are suppressing your sexual energy, how can you transcend it? How can you become aware of it?

So, do not fear your desires. Do not avoid them. Understand them, acknowledge them, and then transcend them. This is the path of true celibacy, the path of true renunciation. This is the path to higher consciousness. This is the path to true spiritual awakening.

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