Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Instant Gratification vs. Emotional Involvement

Grow Inches! Wow your girl! Get more partners!
These are just some of the headlines screaming at me from my spam box. I am impelled now to select them all and click delete, because promises of transforming me into a performing animal sound disgusting.

Amusingly, our media, entertainment and advertising industries, and even literature, celebrate adultery,  debauchery, and sexual deviation (Lolita, Lady Chatterley's lover?). Even a popular language text (Norman Lewis) has given grammar examples like Let's philander! Just to show how deep this notion runs in society, of having to tout the image of a sexual conquistador.

While admitting the racy thrill that such encounters provide, and the fizzy joys of tasting varied dishes, a sadder truth awaits such pursuers. No we are not talking here about STDs or shame or career or financial losses.

Human beings are body, mind, intelligence, feelings, and,...

Whether you believe it or not, man is a complex structure comprising multiple faculties. The sexual part is just one of them, and it is a faculty at a lower level.

You realise this when these encounters fail to satisfy you at a deeper, refined emotional level. Man also has higher faculties in his being which also seek expression and experience-such as caring for others, sharing, broader vision, love, sacrifice, truth, faithfulness...These operate at the level of your heart and above. When we do something for others, we have stirring feelings in our hearts. Hence 'felt love in the heart'. While praying devoutly to a superior power, we feel energies in our throat. Hence 'choked with tears of devotion'.

As man goes on trying to satisfy the easily available sexual thrills, he feels emptiness and pain within, which implies that his higher faculties are starving. The nagging pain expresses itself in many ways-boredom and disillusionment with life are some of them.

People may lust prospective attractive sexual partners, but the sexual encounters ensuing from them involve great amounts of emotional strain in having to live double lives. Covering up the truth takes a toll.

A committed relationship is an opportunity to learn and expand. We will get to know our own virtues and vices. We will learn to adapt, adjust, and share. You will also learn to appreciate the qualities of the human being who shares your life-in spite of their faults. (Faults are an essential part of being human.)  Thus relationships automatically pave the way to exercise your higher faculties.

However, in a sexual fling, it is only the physical body that is involved, with just the bare minimum of etiquette-that too as part of 'hunting strategies'. We would like to think the courtesy and consideration they show is genuine-but we know the reality too well. This amounts to using and making a travesty of the higher values to satisfy lower cravings. It is doubly damaging. Disorientation, disquiet, illness---the endless problems seem to come out of a pandora's box. Not long after, the heart starts aching for love and understanding.

Committed relationships may not be a panacea for all our problems. They are rather a learning opportunity, something like a school where we learn various qualities. A mirror that shows us how we actually are.

Meditation is the panacea by which we can heal ourselves.
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