Celibacy

Very recently the idea of practicing celibacy came into my mind, although, after reading articles about the practice I realized I have already embarked on aspects of the process internally without knowing it was considered to be ‘practiced’ under this ‘name’. I understood the stated purposes and aspirations of the practice of celibacy as a larger-reaching and deeper, broader-sourced practice before the word and it’s meaning was even clarified to me. When I think of celibacy, I do not think of merely sex. I even cringe at the idea of having to make that distinction because celibacy as such a limited concept is so far from my thoughts.

And these realizations, these confessions, lead me to clearly understand just how appropriate and deeply imbibed in me the potential for true (vowed, lifelong) celibacy already is.

For many uncomfortable years as I have been wondering about relationships, or someone else, I have been unable to shake myself from the unrest and ‘misplacement’, also the dishonesty that comes over me at the same time. Truly, I do not want another person for myself- or to have someone asking of me for themselves. This internal state of mine, this resistance and outright distaste, has until now been a TREMENDOUS source of distress and friction. Given the widespread notions of our society- which I already reject unless I arrive at it’s touted ideas independently- that relationships are to be a source of happiness and not discomfort, I have been trying to solve the puzzle of “why can’t I do this?”. It certainly doesn’t help that I have had a troubled past that I should be discomforted by the idea of relationships. I prefer to look at it differently: My atypical childhood and reaction to it are the motivating factors behind my insistence for progressive thinking and discovery of useful and universal insights of value. In that light, rejection of relationships is not a symptom of a problem but the result of newer, healthier, and independent thinking that acts in careful favor of myself rather than anyone else, in contrast to how I was raised to be influenced.

So I have so gratefully reached the point where the rejection of relationships is FINALLY a good thing- and in fact, a superiorthing. It is to me superior for many reasons. The internal practice and understanding of celibacy is aimed at gifting as many people as possible with an unselfish and respectful approach. Its intentions are to value each person not for what purpose they serve for you, but for what they are and how YOU can serve them. Reverend Keating explains it all very well in his interview linked at the top of this blog. I would not do the concept as much justice to explain it myself, nor is it necessary to be redundant.

I have always thought that reserving the best and most affectionate nature of one’s self for one “chosen” person is ridiculous and odd. If you are a good and loving person, you love all, don’t you? You care for the person on the street, just as much as though he or she were your own dear spouse, wouldn’t you? Why be cold to others while you adore one person? And why be so selfish as to give only where you expect to get a return, in egotistical forms of support?

This is not to say that sexuality is bad, or lust, or admiration, or relationships are bad or even that I don’t -like how all other humans do- spend time dreaming up the ideal ‘someone’. In fact I’ve experience quite the opposite: In my embrace of celibacy, I have experienced quite a spark and surge in both my sexual and affectionate drive. It is as though this is the scenario I have been searching for all along, and now that I have found it, I have been set free.

Freedom. This is a key result of the practice of celibacy; you are freed from your own demands and wants, and at the same time, from the tethers and HEAVY weight of others’ expectations on you. Freedom from being drug around as though you were a rag doll while others derive a thrill from “having you” – because as you do not use another or demand from another in order to please you, so do you also not expect others to be placing such demands on you. And such a release is something I have been searching for for years. Growing up the victim of an abusive parent, you learn that you are only valuable as far as you serve a purpose for someone else- good and bad. Good, in that your suffering can bring them pleasure, or, bad in that your natural, healthy existence and experience is a crime that you commit against your perpetrator. Life, and self, become centered in relation to everyone’s experience of you, rather than your own experience of your life.

It is ironic that the idea has sparked a newer, higher level of respect for both sexuality and relationships. Not in their ‘old’ definition, but in the context of celibate thinking. In my brief introduction to the practice, I have boosted my confidence in myself as a partner, and lover, in both the spiritual and in the physical sense. Understanding what it truly means to give without thoughts of the self creates a much more loving self, a more nurturing and attentive self… so I suppose it’s actually no wonder. I’m much less intimidated and marred simply looking at men; they appear less predatory to me already- I can understand them differently if I assume that others bear this same respect and sensitivity, too. The prospect of a new dimension being added to my life and to relationships excites me- I know that I grasp something that will guide me in my life, my growth, and even choice of a partner. But it would have to be someone of the same mind. I think that it is when one wants or desires something that he/she will then start to search for it. I am not looking; because I am not wanting. That someone else should not be looking or wanting either- therefore he, or even she- is practicing celibacy. My idea is to exist spiritually and should I meet another who is like this, then it will be a blessing even to exist as celibate partners- because celibacy is far more than mere abstinence from sexual relations- it is an understanding of life and an approach to it.

Not the result I expected! 🙂

To read the first article that brought me these thoughts, click here.

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~ by pecarrie on April 3, 2007.

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