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Speaker: Rohit is asking, ‘What is it about pornography and various other kinds of expressions of suppression?’ Why is there so much in our lives that we hide, that is done behind closed doors hidden from someone, and yet we all know that it is a norm that everyone engages in all these activities?
It is not only about pornography. There is so much hypocrisy within us and around us where we indulge in particular kind of behaviours, and we all know that not only do we but most people around us indulge in these kinds of behaviours and practices and it is prohibited to talk about them. Two questions arise from here:
First: From where do these things come?
Second: How have these diseases become the norm?
Every child is taught to speak the truth, every child is taught to respect others, to not to be violent, to be a loving individual and many other things. He is told that if you speak the truth it is virtuous, and if you lie then there is something wrong with you. The notions of heaven and hell, right and wrong, moral and immoral are deeply drilled down into us right since childhood. Obviously, the intention is to have goodness in the world.
But see what does it give us. Every child is told to speak the truth, but the world is full of liars. Every child is told to respect others but the world is full of those who exploit others. Every child is told to be non-violent, and we have rape and murders and loot all around.
Don’t you ever wonder that when such things are told to every little kid, how come the world is still like this? These teachings of ethics and morality have not brought about goodness and virtue in the world, but they have surely brought about something else. They have brought about a mind which is mired in guilt. They have created a mind which keeps feeling guilty all the time and keeps suppressing its impulses. Go into it, it’s very simple to understand.
You have been told that you must always speak the truth and if you turn around and askdaddy, ‘Why must I speak the truth?’ Daddy has no answer. Even if he gives an answer, that answer is a borrowed one that his own daddy gave to him. But he is very convinced that you must speak the truth, without knowing why one must speak the truth, and he is determined to drill down this value into your mind that ‘speak the truth’.
But howsoever much anyone tells you to speak the truth, until it comes from your own understanding, truth will remain something alien to you and that is why people keep on lying. Everybody is being told to speak the truth and people keep on lying. Everyone has been told since childhood that God is love but still the world is full of hatred, violence and wars.
So, two things happen. One, you cannot speak the truth that realization has not come to you from your own understanding, someone else has told you, and if the child is a little mischievous and he turns around and asks daddy, ‘Why must I speak the truth?’, daddy will get irritated because daddy himself doesn’t know. So the child now takes over a forced morality, an imported morality. He doesn’t know why truth is important, but he has borrowed this notion that truth is important. The result is that he cannot speak the truth. And second is that when he speaks the false, he feels guilty, now guilt has begun.
One, the truth has remained alien is the first impact. The second impact, guilt has started taking root in the mind. Are you following this?
Speaker:Because you have been told that you are a bad man if you are violent, if you cheat and lie, then you are a bad man. So you start feeling guilty,you develop some kind of conscience which keeps telling you that you are bad.
Now you don’t understand why you are bad, but you are being constantly reminded by your system of ethics, morality and this conscience, that you are bad. Now what will happen? On one hand you cannot resist the temptation of the body; you cannot resist the impulses from the outside when they come to you, that is impossible because you don’t understand them. So you cannot resist them and hence you become their slave. That keeps happening. On the other hand, the deeper you go into them, the more guilt you have.
Pornography is a classic example of all this. On one hand you don’t understand what this thing called ‘sex’ is all about, so you can’t resist it. You have no understanding of what this entire process is. You arehavenot bothered to understand what this hormonal business is. So, you come to a particular age, your body becomes mature, there is the chemical action within the body, and you start getting influenced by it. You cannot resist it because there is no understanding.
Only out of understanding is there freedom from influence. But you don’t understand, so there is no resistance, that is the first aspect. At the same time you start feeling guilty of what is happening to you. You keep thinking that why am I feeling sexually attracted, why do I feel all these urges and impulses? So great guilt arises. Do you see these two things happening simultaneously?
One, you cannot resist it and second, you feel guilty about it. And both of these happen parallely.
Pornography is this. ‘I can’t resist it, I must get it’, so you go and buy some magazine or visit a website. At the same time you do it behind closed doors, and you feel ashamed if someone comes to know of it. All this has been created by our imported morality, our borrowed ethics.
We have not discovered life on our own. We have just borrowed a sense of right and wrong from the environment, and that has led us into this darkness, where we do things and then we hide them and that has made a complete hypocrite of all of us. Is this clear? Are you with me?
You see, when I find out on my own that life must be lived this way, then there can be no guilt associated with that. Then I will stay put with what I have found out, even if the entire world tells me that I am wrong. There will be no question of hiding, or feeling guilty, or feeling small about it.
But, I have to find out on my own!
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Pornography and guilt,physical and social conditioning || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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