FROM PART 1
The Addiction Affliction
There is a tradition saying that “through suffering comes wisdom”. This notion is a principal idea conveyed in the ancient Greek tragedies, for example. I have pointed out to you, however, that suffering does not in itself “create” wisdom, nor is suffering necessarily followed by wisdom. Suffering is just suffering. Whether or not you learn from it depends entirely upon your character, or your orientation to the events of life. Some people suffer a little and learn a great deal. Some people suffer greatly and learn a great deal. Some people, whether they suffer little or much, learn absolutely nothing.
Suffering generally has an aberrating effect on those who suffer. Some have the capacity to learn from suffering, or to change, or to go beyond themselves as a result of suffering--but, for most people, suffering is just one of the “facts of life”.
Like everyone else, you are concerned about all the possibilities of suffering--pain, disease, discomfort, and death, among other things. The possibilities of suffering aberrate you. You wonder about them, you resist them, you do not want them to happen, and, therefore, you are aberrated even by the possibilities of suffering, as well as by the actual experience of it.
Yet, suffering is not the only aberrating force in your life. Pleasure is equally aberrating. Not “also” aberrating or “a little bit” aberrating, but equally aberrating. You are as concerned with pleasure as you are with pain and suffering, and the more you are concerned with pleasure, as with pain, the more you are aberrated. It is not merely your experience of pain that aberrates you. Your fear of pain and your resistance to it aberrate you. Similarly with pleasure. Not merely your experience of pleasure aberrates you, but your thinking about it, your memory of it, your strategies for finding it, your hopes for it, your seeking for it--your entire association with pleasure tends to aberrate you. It might just as well be said that “through pleasure comes wisdom” as “through suffering comes wisdom”. Yet, is either statement necessarily true? People who maintain a high level of enjoyment in their lives do not necessarily become wiser because they have achieved the pleasures that everybody else would like to achieve. In fact, most people try to exaggerate and attain as much pleasure as possible--yet, the search for pleasure, as well as its attainment, aberrates them.
One of the profoundly aberrating pleasures of life is the orgasm, a pleasure with which almost every adult can become associated quite readily and frequently. In fact, human beings are addicted to orgasm. It is the principal pleasure one can generate in functional life. Everybody has the opportunity to enjoy orgasm, either through sex relations with others or through masturbation. Everybody can attain this pleasure and satisfy his or her addiction. Generally speaking, everyone is, to some degree, aberrated by orgasm.
It is the orgasm that is aberrating--not sex in and of itself. Most people are not even truly involved in sex. Sex, as people tend to live it, has orgasm as its goal. But right and true sex has no goal. Right and true sex is an expression of balance, of equanimity. Right and true sex is playful, prolonged, sensuous, enjoyable, non-neurotic--altogether freed from the fierce goal-orientation and psychology of addiction.
In general, people are as addicted to orgasm as some are addicted to the pleasures derived from the use of drugs and alcohol, or any of the temporary pleasures one can attain in life. Everyone becomes aberrated by addiction, whatever the form the addiction may take. If you are to participate in sexuality sanely, you must be liberated from all your “self”- contracted associations with sexuality, including your “self ”-contracted association with the orgasm.
Observe how the drive toward orgasm has aberrated your own life.Your emotional-sexual history is the expression of your addiction. It is important to “consider” your own emotional-sexual history and discover how the present patterns of your sexual practice express the aberrations inherent in your history.
It is possible for some people to become so addicted to orgasm that they find themselves fundamentally incapable of feeling really good at any other time than in the moment of orgasm--just as others discover that highly intensified bodily pleasures are available to them through the use of drugs or alcohol. Such people become addicted to intoxicants because they cannot feel good unless they are in a state of intense pleasure. In the same manner, people become addicted to all the exaggerated ways of achieving sexual stimulation and orgasm.
The psychological source of all forms of addiction is the aberrating force of pleasure and pain in the context of human existence. The general effect of life, its pleasures and pains and needs, aberrates individuals to the degree that they cannot feel happy, cannot feel well, except in a state of extraordinary pleasure. They are bodily disconnected and contracted at all times except when they induce a state of pleasure through some exotic stimulation such as sex. Therefore, through neurotic sexual and other addictive strategies, such people are seeking a state of intensity that will relieve them of their depression.
The aberrating force of existence is so profound that people are not naturally in a state of equanimity, not available to the Inherent Force of Being, Which is Full of Love-Bliss and True Happiness. Therefore, the typical human life is a craven life, more or less depressed, seeking all kinds of stimulation of enjoyment. Such seeking is generally what people are all about--except that, because they are confronted by universal social demands, most people limit their life of seeking for pleasure to a degree that is socially acceptable. Nevertheless, apart from the equanimity of True Happiness, everybody is to some significant degree aberrated by the force of pleasure and pain in this life. Everyone is worried about pain and trying to avoid it, while simultaneously craving for and trying to attain pleasure.