Lust and conscience
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
7:20 a.m. All right –
So how does lust, as one of the seven examples, become an obstacle to what you are, what you want to be, how you communicate, how you see yourselves? We’ve been a while getting to this specific, but perhaps the context we have painted will make clearer what we have to say.
Now, it cannot be that lust is a problem because it interferes with, or contradicts, or anyway –
No, let’s try that again. It is not that the ideal is a sexless or even an ascetic existence in which sex is tolerated as a practical necessity but is nonetheless deprecated as unfortunate. We know that this is a temptation many religious people fall into, but, in short, they are mistaken. A monastic, celibate life is the proper path for some people, certainly not for all, or why would people be constructed with such different needs, values, goals? What is true for St. Paul or St. Augustine, say, is manifestly not true for everybody. (And may not even have been true for them, but that is a different matter; as we continually remind you, few if any of you – of us – know your own minds.)
As it is for one extreme, so it is for the other. How many people could find a profligate existence satisfying or even bearable? Yes, we know the jokes and the half-serious fantasies people spin, but when you look at the lives they do live, the things they do choose, the needs they do recognize and attempt to fill, you see something very different. You all know this. Even playboys and bunnies eventually find it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Or – to make it even more obvious, let’s put it this way: They find that it is possible to have had enough of a good thing. They are afterwards driven by other needs.
So what distinguishes lust from, say, sensual enjoyment, or call it natural sexual satisfaction? That is, when does sex become lust?
As a rule of thumb, try this: when it ceases to be about people and becomes about people as if they were things. That is, when the object becomes not sensual enjoyment in relationship to another, but in relationship to a representation of sex disregarding the person’s humanness.
Treating people as objects, you mean.
No, we’re going to have to go slowly, as so often, because of the two dangers: one, that your readers will misinterpret; two, that you will. Your mishearing or mistranslating of an understanding has the potential to mislead, all the more so, perhaps, because of your sincerity. After all, this is always a hazard. You cannot expect to be immune to a peril that besets everyone who sets out to translate the unspoken into the spoken.
I recognize that I can get it wrong.
Of course, but people may forget that. The authority conferred on a text by its obviously true and helpful passages naturally tends to extend, silently, to subtle or even gross errors of interpretation that may slip in. It is a universal problem; hence our continual reminders to people to weigh what they read, and test it against their own experience.
So, you paraphrase us as saying, “treating people as objects,” and that isn’t exactly wrong, but it is a statement loaded with implications and associations which must be dealt with by your readers (not to mention, by yourself) consciously, if they are not to be misled. To blindly accept is to blindly accept all the baggage of which you are unaware. To wrestle with the material is to create the possibility of truly understanding it. You know that. Your readers know that. But knowing something abstractly and actually doing it are not exactly the same thing, are they?
To continue. You will remember, sins are qualities mingled with misplaced pride, tending to mislead you, and tending, in fact, to lead you toward doing harm to yourself and to others. That doesn’t mean that you, consciously, intend to do harm or even to go down the wrong path. It means that they lead you that way, perhaps against your will, or almost against your will.
There is so much to cover, and it is to interrelated! I’m confident that you are up to it, but I sure know that I’m not!
When you feel that sense of overwhelm, it is you feeling the infinite web of connections extending in all directions. It leaves you breathless, a bit. But remember, no one traverses the entire web, and no one needs to. You walk one strand at a time, now branching this way, now branching that way, and the journey is made.
A bit at a time, I know. but you’re right, it does leave me a little breathless, sometimes. We’re so inadequate to the task of bringing it all into our understanding, and even you, I get, couldn’t do that.
What fun would it be to inhabit a universe we were competent to encompass fully? Leave some room for mystery and growth. The little we can encompass will be more than enough to keep us occupied.
You don’t need to tell me! Although, I suppose actually you do need to, from time to time.
We do, and nothing wrong with the fact. It keeps you human.
More or less.
More or less, yes. That may be said of you all, of us all.
All right, at it again. What are you? Compound beings. Created of selected qualities out of your Sam. Combined of many strands, each of which may have been prior Terran lives, or lives elsewhere, certainly elsewhen. You enter into 3D life as, let’s say, pre-formed structures, through which the winds of the universe will express. All right?
So there you are, existing under 3D conditions of limitations of movement, limitations of awareness. You are always connected to your non-3D component but are not necessarily always aware of it, and – when you are aware of it, you don’t always welcome that awareness. Your 3D consciousness, call it, has its own priorities and desires, and may resent promptings that seem to say, “Don’t enjoy yourself with that. It’s your duty to do this instead.” Or, rough paraphrase, it may experience its non-3D component to be saying, “If it is fun, you can’t do it. If you want to do it, you shouldn’t. If you enjoy yourself, you will be punished, and rightly so.” This is a paraphrase, but not so rough a one. Many a person experiences the contradiction between 3D desires and non-3D awareness as just such continual censure.
Leading them to shut off their awareness of it, as much as possible.
Some people, yes. Others attempt to live to what seems an impossible standard. Most are somewhere in the middle – trying to “be good,” knowing they often fail, feeling guilty and resentful at the same time, like animals in a cage being prodded with sticks, or like puppies being swatted for doing or not doing something they may or may not connect with their own awareness of.
If we mostly experience our non-3D component as a scold and a prosecutor, why would we want to be in better contact with it?
So that you may realize that it is neither a scold nor a prosecutor.
Ah! Clearing the channel, so to speak.
Well, do you experience guidance as a scold and a prosecutor?
That’s an interesting thought. I never thought to associate guidance as I have experienced it these past 25 years with the scold and prosecutor that blighted my earlier life.
It’s all in how the message is received and translated. If you’re doing your best to block the incoming messages because you anticipate continuing chastisement, you aren’t going to hear anything but what you expect. The act of blocking is, in effect, the act of assuring that what you think you are blocking is what you will experience.
I see that. That illustrates things I’ve read in Carl Jung and have thought about Ernest Hemingway.
Your early environment – including the things taught you implicitly and explicitly – serve to shape your 3D personality, which in effect is its own mind. If that background enables the 3D mind to smoothly incorporate and cooperate with the non-3D component – the Dalai Lama is an example – the result is a harmonious personality that draws upon great resources, effortlessly maintaining balance and self-command. But if that training is in repression, or inadvertently causes repression, then of course harmony cannot possibly result, and the incarnated community known as the individual finds itself somewhat at war with itself.
But if various strands are themselves in good contact with their non-3D components, might that not cause internal strife, as well?
Indeed it may; indeed it often does. But that is a refinement we have not yet come to. As we remind you, there is always more to learn about anything you have learned.
It’s always an interim report. We’re past our hour. Should we pause, or continue?
We may pause. We’re getting there.
Yes, it feels that way. Thanks as always.