Question: I have read some place that when one uses sexual energy he is using up some spiritual energy at the same time. Is this true? If so, what can be done if one wants to lead a spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: What you have read is absolutely true. Animal human life and divine God-life do not and cannot go together. To attain the highest Truth, the seeker needs total purification and transformation of his lower vital. If one wants to have real joy, everlasting joy, then he has to transcend the need of sex. If the seeker wants to be inundated with boundless Peace, Light and Bliss, then he has to eventually transcend his sex need. Otherwise, the transcendental Peace, Light and Bliss will remain a far cry for him.

But one cannot realise God overnight. It is impossible! You do not get your Master’s degree in a day, or even in a year. It may require twenty years of study to achieve. God-realisation is a far more difficult subject. It may require twenty or thirty years, a lifetime, or many more incarnations for you to realise God, depending on your present aspiration and your previous spiritual life.

If you tell a beginner that he will have to give up his lower vital life, his sex life, all at once, he will say, “Impossible! How can I do that?” If he has to do it, he will never enter into the spiritual life. Slowly and steadily he has to make headway towards his Goal. If he tries to run too fast and does not have the capacity, he will simply drop in the field. He will lose what limited aspiration he has.

Transforming one’s sex life is like giving up a bad habit, but it is usually more difficult and it takes a longer time. Suppose somebody drinks a lot. If he drinks six or seven times a day, let him first come to realise the fact that this is something harmful for his God-realisation. Then let him try to drink less. If he drinks six times a day, let him change to five times. After a few days, let him drink four times a day. Then, after a while longer, let him drink three times a day. Gradually, let him diminish his desire for alcohol. In our ordinary human life we have many weaknesses. If we try to conquer them all at once, the body will resist and break down. The body will revolt, and we shall be torn to pieces.

We have to have a real inner will, the soul’s will, to conquer our desires slowly and steadily. Gradually we have to diminish our need for sex on the strength of our aspiration. There will be a tug-of-war between aspiration and the gross physical desire, and slowly our nature will be purified. On the strength of our inner urge, we have to run towards the Light. Then we will see that there is a great difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is always followed by frustration, and frustration is inevitably followed by destruction. But joy is followed by more joy and abundant joy, and in joy we get real fulfilment.

If one enters into the spiritual life and says, “Today I shall conquer all my lower propensities,” he is just fooling himself. Tomorrow his physical mind will torture him with doubts. His impure and cruel vital will try to punish him in every way. He will feel miserable. He will be frustrated, and inside his frustration his own destruction will loom large. The lower vital life must be transformed completely before God-realisation can take place, but I advise my students to do it gradually and with sincere determination.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Beyond Within — A collection of writings 1964-1974, Agni Press, 1975
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