Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Are Lascivious Thoughts Immoral if not Acted on?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Rev. GEOFFRY KERSLAKE is a priest of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Ottawa.

    A basic moral principle for Catholic Christians is that we should always treat other people with respect and never use them as objects or a means to getting our own way.

    When we catch a glimpse of an attractive person on the street, for example, the first few moments when we notice her or him and think to ourselves how beautiful they are, those thoughts are not sinful. But when we catch ourselves staring at someone, and thinking lustful thoughts about them, is where we begin to sin because other people do not exist for our pleasure or to be treated as an object to admire or covet.

    Even though we may not have acted on those thoughts, when we deliberately entertain them we have disrespected another person’s dignity and their right to be seen as a human being and not just as “someone hot.”

    Jesus warned his hearers about objectifying other people by our deliberate, lustful imaginings when he said: “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 ).

    We must strive to see others as a human being made in God’s image and likeness and worthy of our respect.

    This is a powerful lesson from Jesus, especially for our times where the gift of our sexuality is so often treated with shallow disregard, or where it is reduced to the pursuit of selfish, self-centred gratification instead of a mutual gift of selfless love in marriage open to the possibility of generating a new human life (cf. John Paul, Theology of the Body).

    Rev. RAY INNEN PARCHELO is a novice Tendai priest and founder of the Red Maple Sangha, the first lay Buddhist community in Eastern Ontario.

    First, let’s clarify Buddhist morality. Buddhists don’t talk about sin, in the sense that an act corrupts or stains some eternal essence or soul (more on “soul” next week). In Buddhist teaching, our actions either lead us closer to or further from Awakening. That is, they are either wholesome or unwholesome (kusala/akusala). Further, the consequences flowing from our acts are in proportion to and in the direction of the quality of the acts. This is what is meant by our karma.

    Karma is widely misunderstood and misrepresented. It is not punishment, nor is it a one-for-one con*sequence. An unwholesome act, such as you stealing a loaf of bread, for example, sets in motion a set of con*sequences, which might include, guilt/relief, regret/pride and the impulse to avoid/repeat the theft, depending on your values and intentions. This example, from the novel Les Misérables shows that it is the intent, at least as much as the act, that matters. Unlike the harsh legalism depicted in that novel, stealing a loaf for the hero’s starving child carries different karma than if he stole it to buy cocaine. Karma, then, is less a judging hammer than the momentum from an act.

    Back to those lascivious thoughts. Any thoughts do not stand alone, there is a connection between our thoughts and actions. Likewise, thoughts themselves are connected to patterns of wanting something we believe is valuable. There is a continuum of values-thoughts-actions. This is all part of the larger cycle of how things are interconnected and impacted by karma (“conditioned arising” in Buddhist terms).

    When these lascivious thoughts arise, it is because we have a desire to possess some person or object, and, in this case, that desire is unwholesome. The momentum for those thoughts have consequences, although quantitatively and experientially less than if we were to act on them. We must remember too, thoughts of all kinds will arise (from previous karma), so we ought not battle ourselves to “control” our thoughts. Far more important that we evaluate how we will act on those thoughts.

    KEVIN SMITH is on the board of directors for the Centre for Inquiry, Canada's premier venue for humanists, skeptics and freethinkers.

    What’s in a word? That depends on its cultural definition, and what century we are referring to. In ancient Greece, lascivious meant lustful, and was a general term for a playful, lively desire, without immoral sexual baggage.

    This was a good thing for both men and their assorted gods, who not only had lascivious thoughts about those of the same sex, but also acted upon them.

    The definition changed with the rise and influence of Christianity throughout Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. It became God-speak for impure sexual thinking. Enter guilty pleasures of the mind. The omnipotent, omniscient creator, able to read our dirty little minds. And we do have them. We are all Winston Smiths, in Orwell’s 1984. Big Brother is not only watching, he also threatens severe torture for thought crime.

    But those of us who don’t believe in fictitious damnations allow for lustful thoughts without self-condemnation. Sexual desires, including sexual fantasies, are natural. There is no harm in thoughts, providing they don’t become obsessions and, if carried out, they’re consensual. However, making people feel guilty about lascivious thoughts is most certainly harmful.

    There may be some relief for those who struggle with sinful thinking. A sexual enlightenment is occurring in Evangelical circles. In the last few years, several books, sex manuals for Christians, have been released. They encourage sexual experimentation that would make their 19th-century counterparts roll in their graves or turn green with envy.

    While encouraging, this revolution needs to go further. I have some pity for homophobic American politicians caught in same-sex affairs: a life of self-loathing for “immoral” thoughts and actions, where the only cure is a futile “pray their gay away.” The only outcome is a family torn apart.

    From a humanist perspective, the question should be, “Is labelling thoughts as lascivious immoral?”

    ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.

    The Islamic view is that we are not really responsible for our thoughts.

    Our moral sense may cause an embarrassment at bad thoughts, but we become culpable only when a bad thought is put into practice. In contrast, we are told that our Merciful God will reward us for every good thought and further reward will be added when we put our good intention into action.

    While we have no control over our thoughts, we can learn to manage and guide our thoughts. A Muslim scholar suggests that we must counter thoughts that can lead to immorality with thoughts that lead to moral deeds. He warns that bad thoughts can become ideas, which turn into desires and, ultimately, resolutions and actions.

    For Muslims, this month provides an excellent opportunity to learn this. It is the month of fasting, Ramadan.

    God Almighty says in the Holy Koran that “fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self-restraint” (2:193). (Other translations from the original Arabic include “you might remain conscious of God”, “you may learn piety”). The Holy Prophet of Islam said: “One who does not give up falsehood and acting on it, God has no need for him to give up his food and drink.”

    To avoid lascivious and other such thoughts, Muslims are advised to spend time in prayer and remembrance and glorification of the Lord. These practices are increased during the month of fasting. When these are coupled with the desire to help the poor and needy of the world, it may leave little time for evil thoughts.

    JACK MCLEAN is a Baha'i scholar, teacher, essayist and poet published in the fields of spirituality, Baha'i theology and poetry.

    Today’s question asks whether or not a moral distinction may be drawn between thought and action with the lustful desire.

    The answer would depend upon which standard is used to judge: the absolute or the relative. The distinction between the ideal and the real may also aid understanding.

    The absolute standard of purity/chastity would make no distinction between the thought and action. In absolute terms, the lascivious thought is immoral. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), the son of the Prophet-Founder Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), and the authorized interpreter of his father’s teachings, wrote that we should keep “… secret and hidden thoughts pure before the Lord of Hosts!” (Tablets, vol. 3, p. 704).

    The reason is easy to understand. Thoughts, if strongly driven, usually lead to expression, either in word or deed. If the thought is not immoral, it is unlikely that it would lead to an immoral act. Immoral thoughts lead to immoral deeds. Moral thoughts bring peace of mind.

    But relatively speaking, the concrete act would be more sinful than the thought. If a lascivious thought remains private, only the thinker suffers. If the thought is acted *upon, one or more persons suffer the consequences. In some moral theo*logies, temptation is not considered to be sinful, but giving in to temptation is a breach of the law.

    Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957), grandson of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, drew a realistic distinction between faith and character that may be useful here.

    In answering one of many thousands of questions, he wrote through his secretary: “It is often hard to accept this fact and put up with it, but the fact [remains] that a person may believe in and love the Cause — even being ready to die for it — and yet not have a good personal character or possess traits at variance with the teachings. We try to change, to let the Power of God help re-create us, make us true Bahá’ís in deed as well as in belief. But sometimes the process is slow, sometimes it never happens because the individual does not try hard enough. But these things cause us suffering and are a test to us …” (Oct. 17, 1944).

    RICK REED is senior pastor at the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa

    Back in the 1950s, a show tune called “Standing on the Corner” became a popular favourite. The song is sung by a quartet of men who enjoy “standing on the corner watching all the girls go by.” They see no harm in letting their imaginations run free. As one line says, “Brother, you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking.”

    While it’s true you won’t wind up in jail for what you’re thinking, Jesus says you can wind up in hell:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:27-29).

    Many folks think Jesus’ words are too extreme. I mean, who hasn’t had lustful thoughts?

    Our problem is that we are desensitized to God’s standard of holiness. We think God is merely looking for outward conformity to rules. He’s actually looking for purity of heart: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8 ).

    If God’s standards are that rigorous, what hope do we have? The Bible says our only hope is found in Jesus. He

    offered His life on the cross as payment for our sins, including immoral thoughts. He also promises to remake us from the inside, renewing our hearts and minds to be increasingly like His (Colossians 3:5-10).

    All of us have been guilty of “standing on the corner.” Thankfully, God promises (in Romans 5:1-2) that all who put their faith in Jesus get to stand in His forgiving grace.

    BALPREET SINGH is legal counsel and acting executive director for the World Sikh Organization of Canada

    In the Sikh faith, sexual relations outside of marriage are not permitted. Sikhs are taught to look upon those younger than them as their children, peers as siblings and those older as parents.

    The Sikh Gurus taught that the five vices a spiritual person must control are lust, anger, greed, attachment and egotism. These vices are like a veil which does not allow the individual to recognize the truth and the presence of God within. Although all five of these are inherent to the human condition, they must be controlled in order to follow the spiritual path. The thoughts we harbor in our minds are the seeds which eventually become action and so the real effort is to conquer the mind.

    Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs said, “every day, increase your love for your wife. But not go to the bed of another woman even in your dreams.” The message for Sikhs is clear that it is not just lustful actions which are to be avoided but thoughts and dreams as well.

    The main tool which Sikhs are to use to conquer lust and other vices is meditation on naam or the name of God. The mind cannot conquer itself without a tool and the tool the Gurus taught is daily meditation. By meditating on naam, one endeavors to discover God’s light within and to see it permeating throughout creation. In such a state, lust and the other vices of the mind fall away and the individual is able to recognize the truth.

    Rabbi REUVEN BULKA is head of Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa and host of Sunday night with Rabbi Bulka on 580 CFRA

    This sounds almost like the age old question - if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it make a noise? The answer there depends on your definition - is noise something that is heard, and if no one hears it is not noise; or is noise an objective reality, whether heard or not.

    Here too, all depends on how one defines immoral. Is it an action or a process? In other words, if no one knows, aside from the one doing the thinking, is it anything?

    And, turning your question on its head, if a person has very noble thoughts, such as the desire to build orphanages, or to provide food for the hungry, but does not carry out these thoughts, are they laudable?

    One thing is clear. The words that are linked with immoral - such as evil, vicious, degrading, etc., would not apply to something that is contained only in thought.

    And this may come as a surprise - those who have what you refer to as lascivious thoughts but overcome them, and instead live highly moral lives, are actually the subject of great praise in Jewish tradition.

    The nobility of the human spirit is apprehended not only in noble action. It is also manifest in the way that we overcome whatever “demons” float in our heads, but which we are strong enough to control, and even to expel. For example, a kleptomaniac who resists the urge to remove cash from an open safe is more worthy of praise than someone who has no such urges and walks by the open safe with no doubts about what is appropriate.

    This does not mean that we should go out of the way to populate our minds with untoward thoughts, in order to fight them, win over them, and be declared righteous. That would be foolhardy.

    What it does mean is that if these thoughts creep into our minds, this is no indication of inferiority or sinfulness, and instead presents the opportunity for meaningful human triumph.



    Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/R...l+acted+upon/5319364/story.html#ixzz1WQijoMdR
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 6
  2. Loading...


  3. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
    Expand Collapse
    We seek him here,we sikh
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Very nice article ,I would write a good response but I have to go and gouge both my eyes out.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    lol Sinner ji

    This is one question that always baffles me. Does the answer lie in how obsessed, how much one's life is driven by "thoughts?" Lustful, but what about other constant metal images and musings? They can be equally forms of attachment. They can also dominate and disrupt a life. I can never decide.

    And what does "immoral" mean?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
    Expand Collapse
    We seek him here,we sikh
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Spnadmin Ji,I heard Yogi Bhajan say that God is a thought ,not sure what he meant but what is more puzzling is that science does not really know how a brain creates a thought ,they only know that you need the physical brain ,frontal lobe etc ,they can measure activity but they cannot really make a causal connection.No one has yet been able to synthesise even the simplest thought even after studying the physical brain for hundreds of years.Immoral thought is perhaps thought not informed by morality.Cartesian lecture you may like http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-quest-for-ultimate-reason
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->Some of my observation on parts of the article,

    Not to offend but to add criticality and a view.


    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. passingby

    passingby
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    106
    I feel like sharing on this.

    Honestly speaking I do enjoy looking at the opposite sex. And although I do know that this might be interpreted as immoral from Gurbani's perspective yet I do not give much thought to it cos at the stage I am lust is not 'obstructing' my spiritual practice. At least not yet. It might at a future point and at that time I might have to start considering the morals of it, but for now..
    I am NOT saying that what I do is okay. Please do not interpret it that way. But just as I sometimes take shot of alcohol and do realize that it from Gurbani's perspective it is 1000% unacceptable, YET I keep on doing it just simply because it has NOT uptil now become any obstruction to my practice of Jaap. At a future point it might prove to be and of course I expect it to be so. But right now my Jaap is intermittent and my thoughts on Gurbani are intermittent and I am focussing more on cultivating a personal bond in my inner heart with Guru Nanak.
    Right now if anything is lacking its concentration, discipline, clarity, faith, inner strength etc. These lackings are the problems. I am not young anymore and my lust today is hardly anything compared to what it was 10 years ago :-D

    In addition to this a bit of self-training in observing my thoughts (a J. Krishnamurti effect) also helps me treat these thoughts as coming and going things. Clouds come and go the sky remains, thoughts come and go the 'seer' remains. These days sometimes Mooji's videos on youtube also help me strengthen my resolve about this.

    Anyways, what is important is dedication to sadhana. Rest Guru will take care of.

    If my sharing offended anyone, I ask for forgiveness.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Passingby ji people are more alike than different. There is a nugget in your post above and I quote and comment,

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
    Watch your words, for they become actions.
    Watch your actions, for they become habits.
    Watch your habits, for they become character.
    Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”...........................


    Its the CHARACTER that is the focal point of all that Naam Japping..Rehat Maryaddaing..Matha teking.......Practising Gurbani....because its CHARACTER that will be judged becasue its the Final Mansion ....the thoughts are just archirect's mind....the words are his drawings...the actions are the bricks and mortar...laid one by one upon each other cemented together.....and then we have the Completed magnificent Mansion to behold....SAINT...SINNER...all picture perfect..or topsy turvy all about to come crashing down witht he next gust of wind...back to a heap of broken bricks and dust..???..a Bhai Mani Singh completley at peace watching his own body being butchered joint by joint with not even a sigh much less scream of pain..or the coward ..who...at the mere sight of the police mans danda..... spills all the beans - including some he just imagined to make the police havaldaar happy...and earn the title of "extremely CO-OPERATIVE" !! CHARACTER !! is the difference...
     
    • Like Like x 7
  11. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Gyani Jarnail Singh ji based on the word "watch" in your post couple of questions below,

    1. How can one be the true watchman and a thief at the same time?

    2. Character is defined quite early in one's life (say 12 years or so at the latest), how can one spend rest of the life "watching", what would it do?

    The reason for my questions rests on the fact that if you watch every step, you will never take another step after you fall! You cannot watch rodents on a highway and still drive straight!

    Only thing to watch is one's actions and how others affected by such take these and that is part of living with rest of the creation. Thoughts cannot be watched they can be suppressed through various means like numbing the senses with chanting, drinking, sleeping, activity, etc.

    Sorry to slightly see things differently but willing and ready to be corrected as always.

    With respect.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. passingby

    passingby
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    106
    I understand that thought CAN be watched. It requires training but it can be done. Many traditions do it. Theravada branch of Buddhism, those that practice Vipassana do it, Zen buddhists in their Zazen do it, Hindus in their Sakshi Bhaav meditation do it, the modern ones like J. Krishnamurti talk about it, Eckhart Tolle ( author of Power of Now) teaches it amongst others. I remember reading that when Sri Aurobindo tried it under guidance of Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele he attained a completely silent mind, like a vast empty sky. Sri Aurobindo has mentioned that Lele taught him to watch powerfully the thoughts as they arose on the horizon of the mind and drive them away. If I recall my reading correctly, Sri Aurobindo remarked that it was after this he understood that thoughts are individual entities in universe which roam about and can 'enter' mind space from outside.
    Most of the new age teachers talk about becoming aware of our emotions and thoughts. At the very least one can become aware of a thought immediately after its appearance. This in itself is a good achievement. The moment you look at your emotion or your thought objectively, it certainly looses some if not whole of its grip on your mind.
    In fact while on this, this is a good way to deal with everyday ego which arises in us. We can 'label' the offending thoughts as 'ego' in our mind the moment they come up and then move on with our practice. This helps to detach us from the thought. The 'us' or the 'me' over here loosely means the consciousness or attention. When attention is in grip of the thought it IS the thought, but when it detaches it can look upon thought in relative freedom from it.

    Please note all this is just some practical skills for helping us. They are not a different religious practice and certainly not a replacement of Simran. Just as we sometimes during abhyas one might feel sleepy and then we get up and move around to shake off sleep or drink cold water. Getting up and moving about or taking a bath or drinking cold water should not be taken as anything in themselves, but just a helping aid, so are these things.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Passingby ji Sikhism is not a complicated religion that requires all the tools you mentioned in your post. Sikhism does not stop people from learning and using other stuff.

    The fundamental part of Sikhism is to understand what guidance our Guru ji's gave us and how Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji in never changing ways conveys their message.

    Object is understanding, living through your actions the understanding you developed. Understanding does not come from controlling your mind, watching your every thought, it comes from opening and exercising your mind. There are references to social situations, personal actions, communal activities, and much more dealing with real life. If one were to close one's mind while trying to understand, in case it gave you undesirable thoughts, you with truthful answer to your inner self will not be able to say that you never had or never will have lascivious thoughts,etc. Knowing and understanding is the key, controlling and shutting down is not the key. These are the Hinduism and other religions practices to some how get sparks flying in complete quiet, in certain postures, eating something, repeating/chanting something, etc., that is not the core message of Sikhism. Sikhism is living with all a practiacl life while understanding creation as much as you can over time and acting with such true understanding.

    If you watch too much you become self centered, myopic, not a living Sikh but a managed Sikh, a suppressed soul, a double life of what could be and what is, our Guru ji's don't teach us such a life style.

    Sorry if it is little repetitive.

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: Biggest gift that parents and Sikhism gives is an open and understanding mind that equips one to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly directly without cover, watching or limitations.
     
  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,946
    Gurfatehji,


    An interesting post, my own view has changed somewhat over the last 2 months, changed by about 180 degrees, actually, I used to think that what took place in your thoughts, in your head was of absolute huge consequence, and your actions were not as important. I suppose I wanted to be the opposite of people who have brains like sewers, but put on a pleasing and pleasant personality for the rest of the world. Also forgetting god for a minute, I am aware of how I would feel if my wife had some of the thoughts that men find easy to have, to that end, my wife is the only person I have been intimate with with whom I have never ever let my mind wander during intimacy, I suppose that is respect, but then I have never had a fantasy about something that could not happen, or that I did not want to happen.

    Since embracing the concept of Guru and Waheguru, I now realise the opposite is true, your actions are hugely important, as a way of interacting with the rest of creation, of thanking creation and feeling the love from Waheguru. If in our heads we have the words of the Guru, and outside we have the garden of Waheguru, than it is better to have a beautiful garden. I think all and every thoughts are just that, thoughts, the problem starts when the thoughts become obsessional, and have a need to be acted on. Looking at a woman and thinking, 'hmm that is an attractive woman' to 'what would I like to do to her' is apart by some distance.

    I have a simple rule for lascivious thoughts, if my wife was having the same thought, and I would not be upset by it, then it is fine and innocent, however if I would be deeply upset or hurt by my wife having such a thought, than it is not so fine and innocent, SPNadminji, this rule also works for me in telling me what is immoral and what is not
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    2,766
    Just to be sure that I was clear what we are discussing, I looked up the word lascivious:

    Reading that, I must say that the answer clearly is, of course not, unless we consider our existence immoral. Not a one of us would exist were it not for the lascivious thoughts of at least one of our parents.

    I know, imagining pita ji or - horrors! - mata ji thinking such thoughts is absolutely disgusting to any and all. However, the truth is that we do exist and sometimes, hard facts must be faced!

    :shockedmunda: winkingmunda
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer sikhiart.com

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,912
    Likes Received:
    1,640
    Mai ji,
    Although everyone feels lust and it's not immoral, I think we can draw a distinction between that feeling and the thoughts the follow or precede those feelings.

    I think we'd find that thoughts are not so important in procreating. Thoughts (conceptual thoughts) seem to be a very human thing, certainly other animals seem to get along just fine without them.
     
  17. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,946
    Maiji,

    I would humbly beg to differ, some of the thoughts I have regarding my wife are quite pure, but still involve the act of intimacy, in fact, I personally think that the act of intimacy with both parties viewing such as an extension of love, the ability to encourage love to come alive, is an extremely pure spiritual action.

    However some of the thoughts I have regarding my wife are not so pure, I do not wish to share my pure Guru given love with her, I want something more base, more deviant, I want to taint this purity with a focus not on the whole, but on parts, specific parts of body, clothing etc etc etc.

    So our parents surely had loving thoughts, but does everyone suffer lascivious thoughts and desires?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,946
    Strangely enough I do think lust is immoral, again, sorry to bring my wife into this, but we both know by the way that We look at each other whether the look is loving, and an encouragement to sharing that love in a physical way, which we can both do without lust being present, or whether we are in fact slaves to lust, and love is far from our minds,
     
  19. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer sikhiart.com

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,912
    Likes Received:
    1,640
    So lust is immoral because it is possible to love without lust.

    What is it about lust that makes it moral and/or immoral? Or is it neither?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,946
    possible?????? hand on my heart brotherji, I would say it should be mandatory to love without lust.

    Lust, to me anyway, is immoral because it is not an appreciation of the whole, it merely focuses on the one part that gives you the kick. I have found feelings of lust not wholly unrelated to drug addiction. Lust is not just sexual, lust for money, lust for sex, lust for fine food, lust for knowledge, all these activities, just like the act of love, can be, and should be carried out without lust, that is not to say there is no room for lust in relationships, but in my view it should be carried out with the same caution that ensures you do not spend your life lusting after everything instead of loving it
     
  21. passingby

    passingby
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    106
    Thank you Ambarsaria ji. But you have mixed up a couple of concepts into one pack whereas they are separate and in fact opposite of each other.
    #Watching your mind is different from controlling it. Observing and being aware of one's mind does not make it controlled and suppressed and closed. Control and observation are two fundamentally different processes. Awareness of your mind and its movement is the most intimate way of knowing one's own self. Pure observation is devoid of any control. It gives the same treatment to the undesirable and the desirable thoughts, it just observes.
    From this observation comes an inescapable understanding. One cannot deny one's egoistic orientations, or one's true intention and how one is living a life of sham and disconnect. It generates an understanding of how in our daily life we are using our actions and language to convey something separate and different from what is inside.
    #The practice of being an observer of your own mind does not make you less social, or less active. On the other hand it makes you authentic in your ways, more sincere, more genuine.

    This is not just a Hindu practice. Going by the prevalence its 99% a Buddhist practice. Modern Hinduism does not practice much of it. Its more focussed on concentration, except for neo-advatic people, but they go a step further with the question 'Who is observing?'. It is, as I mentioned, prevalent in may traditions.
    In fact it is a natural way of understanding. We already do it! Every sincere person, every one who has an interest in betterment does it! Only difference is whether he labels it as a skill/tool or not.
    This skill is NOT associated with any posture or any particular time or any particular mantra. Not at all.

    I beg to differ. Much the opposite happens. As I mentioned earlier you become more powerful, sincere and authentic. There arises a certain something in one's self/core mind which actually makes you free. A lot can be said on this, but not needed here.
    NOT AT ALL! In fact quite the opposite. You have not understood the process yet. Control and unfettered Observation are NOT the same!

    I do not have the arguments ready but my readings of Gurbani communicate to me that there is nothing conflicting at all. If anything Gurbani is closer to this process.
    Whether one takes 'Achet' as an adjective of Nar or Paap, clearly the stress is on the the unconscious movements of mind.

    A lot more can be said on this with a focused and thorough research.

    You are getting is wrong. To equip oneself would mean to be in possession of understanding which is a direct result of awareness and observation. You've used the word 'cover'. In fact observation 'uncovers'.

    I know that there is a fear that Hinduism is trying to spread itself over Sikhism. And amongst the Sikh circle there is a movement to counter this. My posts here at SPN might seem like I am bringing in Hinduism. But I would like to make it clear that this is NOT my intention.
    I am of the opinion that modern and scientific understanding of human psychology is much required for greater understanding of religion itself. This is a part of it.
    I also do not feel that there is any danger in knowing what these things are. All of these have brought me closer to Gurbani today than I was years ago.
    I am a practical person myself and do not indulge in theory. What I brought out in my post may look like hocus-pocus in the first look but it is not. It is very practical, very simple and very helpful.
    Let me cite an example here. When we do Naam Jaap, there are two things which happen in our mind. The sound we produce becomes the object of our attention and our attention becomes the observer of our sound. After a few moments one's attention tends to wander of to a new object (some thought or memory or a visual etc). One then becomes aware of the fact that attention has wandered. One observes the happening, observes the new object of attention and then gently (exercising one' will) brings the attention back to the Jaap. This is simple but helpful!
    Even after this if any of SPN admins feel my posts are leaning too much towards Hinduism or Buddhism, please pm me and I shall desist.

    I shall stop here.
     
    • Like Like x 3

Share This Page