Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex and Spirituality

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Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Dear Cem, we’re now in our third year of The Wise, and we’ve opted for a pretty colorful cover topic for this issue: Spirituality and Sexuality. You’ve written books on the subject, and I imagine there’s a lot of useful information we can glean from you. Let’s start with a direct question: In your opinion, what is the meaning of sex?

Cem Şen
To reproduce.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Really?

Cem Şen
Yes! Well, you know me. I like to state the very core of the matter.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
To reproduce? Is that all? I mean, what about raising the Kundalini, attaining the state of divinity, sharing love, and so on? Doesn’t your statement reduce it to a mere animal act?

Cem Şen
I’m well educated about this, Hasan. I know what comes to mind when someone says, “educated,” but I prefer to proceed with a smile and leave it to people’s imaginations. Every single person with a proper education in this matter knows that the most advanced sexual techniques have a single aim: to put an end to the sexual urges. Hasan, would you prefer me to recite some airy-fairy, sugary-fluff about this, or would you rather ask me about something else?

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
I want to hear all there is, because I’m curious as to why people gradually become increasingly asexual on their spiritual journeys.

Cem Şen
Okay, I will try to explain, Hasan. You’ve first got to understand this, though: Any kind of voluntary action creates a tension. This tension becomes confused with other emotions because of the lack of awareness. For instance, some time ago, I was driving in my own car to Mount Ida, where I was to practice at the Great Heart Way retreat with my pupils. After arriving on Çanakkale by ferry, I started craving semolina dessert with fresh cheese while driving around the Mirrored Bazaar. The desire was so great that I could already taste the cheese. An elder master near the Mirrored Bazaar makes the best semolina desserts, but my awareness saved me just as I was deciding whether I should take the next turn or not. I asked myself, “Are you hungry?” I realized I wasn’t because I’d eaten a toasted sandwich on the ferry.  Even though it had been extremely bland, I was full. Did I need sugar? Hardly, because to need sugar, just like to need carbon, is not possible for a human. Besides, I couldn’t need it because I wasn’t hungry at all. So then, what was this urge?

From what could such desires emerge, Hasan?

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
From the belief that you need it…

Cem Şen
Let me rephrase. What comes to mind when I say, “Susurluk”?

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
My mother-in-law, because my wife’s family live in Susurluk, and toasted sandwiches and buttermilk of course.

Cem Şen
Yes, toasted sandwiches and buttermilk. Just like some of us think about semolina with cheese when “Çanakkale” and “the Mirrored Bazaar” are mentioned. It’s a tricky one. We presume that our urges stem from our minds and bodies, but they instead result from our circumstances.

The meaningless desire to eat those cheese desserts, which was a borderline eating disorder, was merely a consequence of the circumstances, and that’s it. I did what I usually do in these situations:

  1. I let go of the thought itself (the thought about whether I should really eat the dessert or not) so as to deprive the thought of the energy to grow stronger.
  2. I observed on which part of my body the thought was creating tension.

If you know the right observation and relaxation techniques, and have enough experience in meditative practices, you can understand how any kind of thought creates a tension that then causes you to sense it as a desire. When this tension is identified and relaxed using the right methods, both the desire and the thought that created it disappear.

Essentially, all thoughts create an accompanying desire one way or another, and this desire needs to be relaxed in some way for it to be identified with the tension. Sex is one of the most significant tensions or, alternatively, desires. It’s conditioned by circumstances, emerges from thought, and transforms into desire and tension. People who don’t know this process ascribe a meaning to it in the coarsest yet most divine form. Since taking the spiritual path also means becoming purified of tension to a certain extent, thought and desire disappear with it. So, what appears to be asexuality from the outside actually boils down to this. 

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Our focus diverted from sex to cheese desserts for a moment, so I’ll resume my questions on the main subject. There’s a woman before you who impresses you deeply. You know, it’s one of those times when your frequency with the other person resonates so much that you feel an almost tactile intensity in a sexual sense. Your heart races, and if you receive the same signals from the other side, you are carried away. Now, what kind of relaxation and tension release could soothe someone in this kind of situation?
Also, these feelings are usually misunderstood, and sex has been presented as a bad thing for eons. Such desires are typically smothered and suppressed, but they eventually burst out anyway in the end. What you describe is a process that could help here, so it really needs to be explained further. The history of humanity has developed little over this misunderstanding.

Cem Şen
Firstly, in real terms, sex doesn’t act as an improvement method in a moral sense. Of course, Tantric or Taoist sex might seem like that from the outside, but the reality of the matter is different. I can answer your question more clearly after my next remark.

Your question is actually unrelated to sex. If you’re impressed with a woman as a sex object, you’re still in another Susurluk buttermilk situation. If you were talking about an emotional situation, the topic would be something other than sexual desire. We’ve have to talk about the difference between these two. Which one of the following questions would you like to direct to me? What should be done to experience a super-duper sexual act? Or what is the role of sexuality in a meaningful relationship? Could you repeat your question one more time?

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
In fact, both of those questions lead us on a merry dance, so I’ll ask this with a flat-out male mindset. You know, we have stereotypes of  “wife material” and “girlfriend only.” If the subject was the “girlfriend”—or in other words, a woman we’d like to have fun with without considering the future—my question would be about how to have a magnificent sexual experience. On the other hand, if it’s a woman who has impressed me immensely, such that I’d like to spend the rest of my life with her, I’d ask about the role of sexuality in a meaningful relationship. Now, I’d like to ask both questions.

Cem Şen
I see. Thank you for your honesty. A couple of years ago, my reply would have been different than it is now, but to me, talking about sexual urges and satisfaction is pointless according to the understanding I’ve reached so far. The reason is simple: Permanent satisfaction is unrealistic. Moreover, the most advanced sexual experience is only reachable when the emotions are in the loop. In someone that doesn’t know how to manage their emotions, the most intense experience consists of raising the desire to its peak, delaying satisfaction for a prolonged period, and then controlling the balance between pleasure and satisfaction when the desire reaches a maddening level. The highest need becomes continually insufficient, so it requires letting go of the imagination and enabling the imagination and the body to release themselves from any kind of restriction when the desire reaches a level that damages the emotions and brings the mind to the verge of insanity. Not a hard thing to do, but I’d advise you to lend an ear: This, unfortunately, is a dead end. Speaking of which, sex techniques, breathing techniques, and external contributions are all effective, but those are for the amateurs. The basic things people need are their bodies, minds, and imaginations.

When it comes to emotionality, the first and foremost thing to do is be certain of our feelings. Compassion is rarely involved when sexuality is in question, and this creates a serious void inside. In particular, the heart and kidneys become unbalanced in a Taoist approach. If there are feelings, compassion becomes dominant. You can maybe control this in order to identify your underlying feeling. In cases where you find yourself in an emotional continuum, these situations have a fuel just like “everything that is karmic” (because there’s almost nothing that isn’t karmic anyway). This fuel could be something we have inherited from a former lifetime, or it could be something we’ve accumulated during our current lifetime. You can perceive this fuel as favorable circumstances.

Suitable conditions are needed for something to form and endure, and these conditions are not always in our initiative. So, how long it will last and what we will learn from it are largely based on how the conditions are created. Sometimes the conditions that bring people together may diminish or change. In this case, the relationship, or whatever the two people have, has been completed, and it may become impossible for them to stay together.

In this case, the other person will be of secondary importance. It’s not always inevitable that you will hook up with a certain man or woman to experience the result of a specific karmic act, but ultimately, we need to get together with someone of a similar nature. In some cases, getting the result of the karmic act while staying with a partner becomes so improbable that we eventually have to separate. We later meet another person who is very similar in nature but more suitable for accomplishing the karma with. This is why the people we have had relationships with share some common ground.
In the times of old, it was not easy to end a relationship and start a new one, so it took people multiple lifetimes to complete one particular karma. We’re now far more fortunate in this respect. We can now complete a karmic cycle that used to take three or four lifetimes within the course of three or four relationships. This doesn’t mean I personally support constantly toing and froing between relationships. It sometimes, though not always, serves you better to keep your current relationship going in order to complete the cycle, despite all the difficulties you may encounter.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
What you just said snapped into place perfectly for me. You know, I’m looking at my own life, and the “human pin code” scores of all the women who influenced my life are all 1 so far.

Let me explain the human pin code for our readers who might be unaware of the concept. It’s a kind of numerology score, and everyone has a one-digit number according to their birth date. It seems I’m always around women who score 1.

I looked back and discovered that the very first woman I ever met, my cousin, scores 1. Furthermore, my mother also scores 1. Because I score 9, our total score also comes to 1, and in fact, my relationships with the women who influenced me have always been challenging. I’ve become tired of this situation to be honest, and I want this paradigm to change, so your words had an influential effect on me. A person who seems like a one-night stand principally has a reason to be, as things stand. If you were to scratch about briefly, especially when you’re familiar with techniques like numerology and human pin codes, you would see the horrific common ground of it all. It’s like a computer program in an endless loop, and the worse thing is that you cannot escape it! It haunts you rain or shine. And this is not just in love affairs; I have a similar karmic bond with Leos, for example. If I happen to break away from one, another shows up right away. So, let me ask you this: How can we complete the cycle and break out of this endless loop?

Cem Şen
By not wasting the experience, Hasan. You need to free yourself from that ”loop of blame” to begin with. You also need to abandon the expectation of not being blamed. You must free yourself from things like blame, expectation, and so on. You should live your experience, however good or bad it might be, to its fullest for as long as you can handle it. Trying to avoid an experience is like suicide or murder. It doesn’t put an end to the experience, and moreover, it might increase the rigor of it. Hence, one should live the experience with the least resistance possible and wait for the circumstances that caused the situation to deplete themselves. I appreciate this might not always seem possible. We may be exposed to physical or emotional violence that wears us out, for example. It then becomes inevitable to end a relationship in such cases. It wouldn’t be right to tell anyone to stay with a partner always, but the best thing to do is to make the circumstances deplete themselves. So, what’s the fastest way to make this happen? With patience, frankly. Tolerance is the quickest way. We don’t find ourselves constantly being pulled toward such relationships once the circumstances come to an end. Instead, we’re pulled toward relationships of a different nature.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Okay, so let’s assume that the limits of tolerance are exceeded in a relationship. Maybe there’s physical violence or very severe restrictions. We separate from this person, one way or another. Does this mean we will experience another relationship of the same nature?

Cem Şen
In the case you just stated, you would get into another relationship with a similar nature to the previous one. Of course, the differences of the new partner would make him or her seem different to your eyes, but you’d actually be living the same experience in a different way, and your experience would be proceeding despite these subtle differences. If the separation were a result of depleted circumstances, though, the deal would be different. You could still get together with someone of similar nature to your previous partner, but the hardships would be less than before. In this case, the difficulties are gone, and a different kind of experience has begun. I’ve witnessed this situation tens of times before. When I point it out, people usually blink at themselves continually getting together with people who are of similar nature. There’s nothing really to blink at. There’s nothing more natural than having an experience with similar people, because we, as human beings, have particular qualifications to have particular experiences in our lives. In fact when I bring people, especially those in joyful relationships, to a mental clarity, they figure out they actually knew what sort of people they would get together with during childhood, nearly as far as their physical appearances. I guess this might be an exciting fact for someone who doesn’t have a background in this topic: We actually know, to a certain extent, who we will get together with later.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
I want to ask you this: Do you believe in the concept of soul mates? I always thought that there’s many people, maybe even thousands, who we could be together with on this planet. We attract those we need to experience whatever we need to experience. However, further to this, do we really have soul mates? Like, you know, someone you could call your other half.

Cem Şen
No, Hasan, there’s no such thing. It’s certainly a very romantic idea, but unfortunately it’s not true. Of course, it’s possible to be together with the same person for a lifetime, or even many lifetimes in succession. The circumstances of this lifetime may require me to be together with a certain person, and this person may be someone who I hold in high esteem. I may intuitively search for this person despite the circumstances not being suitable yet, and this has been the case for me, for example. I sometimes may search for someone who I gave my heart to in a past lifetime, and I may recall the times I spent with this person. In this case, I may hopelessly look for this love and person, and I may even be reunited with this person in my current lifetime. Something would then be going on that’s not quite complete yet, and the circumstances would not be favorable for a relationship. It could be called a tragedy of living. The most ideal thing to do would be to reach the permanent happiness and wisdom that is above any form of tragedy.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
So, let’s look at the masters, saints, and wise people of the past. Why do we consider them to be people who never participated in sexual acts? Take Buddha, for instance. Did he never have sex in the wake of his enlightenment? If so, it was probably because of his state of existence. His consciousness was transformed into such a state that he didn’t feel the need. However, many people have walked the Earth who were not in this state of consciousness, but they still aspired to be like the wise men. They considered sex to be a sin because they believed these masters had a reason for abandoning it, so they restrained, rejected, and avoided it. There’s a movie called “Samsara,” which tells a tale of a priest who abandons all his beliefs upon seeing a woman’s breast in the village after spending months in a cave. Anyway, here’s my question: What was it that turned these enlightened masters away from sex? Or, was it that they never abandoned it, but it’s made to seem like they did? Moreover, what can we attain by aspiring to be like them?

Cem Şen
Hasan, I actually answered this question earlier. If the tension is eliminated, the desire that creates the tension and the thought that creates the desire would both cease to exist. In other words, my urge for satisfaction arises from my sexual urge, and my sexual urge arises from my flawed thoughts about what sex could provide me. This is also true for most urges, not just sex. Urges operate like commercials: They make bold promises, but they fail to deliver! We suddenly get the idea that sex will make ourselves feel glorious. The desire arising from this idea is so magnificent that it creates a ferocious tension. This desire increases as the tension magnifies, and the promise of satisfying this desire makes you feel glorious, so you feel on top of the world with any temporary satisfaction. The desire increases again as the urge/tension magnifies.

A significant delusion here is the desire existing before the thought itself, but in reality, there can’t be a desire without the thought of it. So, desire is not a neutral state. It’s a biased state created by circumstances. Had the thought never existed, the desire would never arise. There wouldn’t be any tension, because the desire had never arisen. That is, the state that compels you to perform the act (sex, or seeking satisfaction through sex, in our example) is not self-existent—it’s created by your thoughts. If it’s created by your thoughts, then the urge you try to satisfy is not a neutral, solitary desire but rather some of your own thoughts.

Say I reached a state of consciousness where I could comprehend that not me but rather only my ego consisted of thoughts. If this awareness enabled me to understand the desires that resulted in me seeking satisfaction, so I never satisfy these desires, and if this level of awareness enabled me to control my thoughts thoroughly, then would I need any desires whatsoever? After all, if I realize that every desire is a tension and every satisfaction is a release of that tension, I can look at it with total awareness. Then, because of this awareness, I could live without the tension, so wouldn’t this state mean living in a constant state of satisfaction? In that case, what kind of reasoning would create tensions (e.g., sexual urges) that don’t actually exist? If the intention is to signify love, there are much more romantic (and aesthetic) ways of doing it. Of course, I’m not talking about eliminating sex completely, because both extremes lead to the same thing.

Movie scripts are up to the imaginations of their creators, Hasan, so don’t mind it too much. I find it a bit too pointless for someone who requires sex at their current level of awareness to play at being Buddha and avoid sex. There’s a good time for sex, just as there’s one for avoiding it too. Spiritual progress requires being as you are in the first place.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
You’ve really given the same reply as earlier, but this thought, to be honest, seems so distant and ethereal, especially to a Scorpio like myself. They say sex is in the nature of my sign. Speaking of nature, don’t our sex drives originate from the very nature of every human being? You said the desire is caused by our thoughts, but isn’t it more of a drive like hunger and thirst are? Hunger and thirst are in our nature, so we don’t consider them as thoughts or desires. Isn’t sexuality a similarly natural drive? Specifically, if we succeed in “getting over” sexuality, does it mean that one day we won’t need to eat or drink anymore? Isn’t this a bit far-fetched?

Cem Şen
As I said, Hasan, everyone should acknowledge their own level. It’s not a contest, and abstaining from sex is not for everyone. Simply deciding to be celibate is not the way to do it. This is a natural return of the developmental process. The truth is at where you are. Proposing racial equality wouldn’t have been accepted and reciprocated deep in the age of slavery, because the idea would have seemed so ethereal and far-fetched back then. However, this doesn’t prove that racial equality is wrong. Reaching this ideal of course requires favorable circumstances, in which the ideal can form with the least struggle. A heartbeat later, you might see a black president of that country. Likewise, what seems so ethereal and far-fetched now won’t seem so in another lifetime. Today, you can at least learn not to “ride roughshod over your slaves.”

What amplifies desire is being glued to vital needs. For example, hunger is a vital concern, and it tells us we should eat to sustain life. Eating cake is a desire, however, because it’s not so vital. Nevertheless, it’s misinterpreted as being vital because the desire is linked with the vital matter of hunger. Reproduction is for the continuity of the human race. The more sustenance there is, the more reproduction takes place. The more sperm we have, the more we reproduce. Reproduction is not vital for us, but it is for our descendents, meaning it is vital for our flock. So, sexual urges are not vital as such, but it’s misperceived as being so because it links itself to a vital concern of our flock. This is why we observe population explosions after natural disasters and wars, such as the baby boom that followed World War II.

Today there’s relatively few wars and natural disasters, and the average sperm count is down by a fifth or so. The population is already at an abnormally high level, so there’s nothing rendering reproduction vital. However, we still consider sex vital, just as we also consider eating cake vital, because this desire links itself to a vital need. We think we won’t find happiness if we don’t engage in sex. The fact that we, in that sense, don’t even need sex is not ethereal or far-fetched. Strictly speaking, the very core of this imaginary need is an enormous balloon of delusion.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
I guess we basically need to read between the lines of sexual desire. Seeking happiness is the key point. We need to identify what sex provides us with and what sort of urges we, as men, act upon. For example, do we depend on it to make us feel complete or for winning a woman and giving us a sense of power? What have you found by observing what lies beneath the desire part of the matter, because as you know, the influence starts to lighten when you see what lies beneath. Where do sexual urges originate?

Cem Şen
Sexual urges arise from contact, like any other urges. Touch represents the object of the urge making contact with our five senses. Our mental extrapolations (fantasy, imagination, emotion, etc.) then start making choices based on this contact. This choice comes in the form of what’s desired and what’s undesired, to define it concisely. My senses sort them into opposites such as good/bad, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable, and so on when I make contact with an object. It always prefers the one that is good, pleasant, or desirable rather than its opposite. Trying to obtain the chosen one and avoid the others starts the desire process. I become tense in case I can’t obtain my desired one, and if I do obtain it, I become tense with the fear of losing it. I become tense about the fact that I will try my best, but it’ll fall short nonetheless. The tension increases with the fact that it’ll soon end when I finally get to the climax. It increases because I can’t avoid the undesirable outcome. It increases because the chances are I’ll chance upon it again later after finally getting rid of it. The experience when I encounter the undesirable increases my tension. In general, achieving the desired outcome, avoiding the undesired outcome, maintaining the climax when I achieve the desired outcome, and continuing to avoid the undesired outcome causes me to live in a state of constant unease.

It’s the same with all desires, Hasan. Naturally, we can add education, culture, personal traits, and so on to it, but the origin is always the same. My senses and thoughts cause me to make choices, and this creates the desire.

So what will you do? It depends on which level you are at. I think it’d be better to approach the matter realistically. You could heed the Taoists’ advice: “Silence your thoughts and make love when not your mind, but only your body demands.” Even learning how to do this is a great success in the datum level. The initial lesson shall be this one, freeing yourself from sexuality is a very advanced stage. I guess there must be one in every ten or maybe hundred thousand people who could readily experience this stage.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
What do you mean by learning to make love only when your body demands? Could you explain this further? How can we learn to do this? Are teachings such as Tantrism, the Kama Sutra, and so on related to what you say? Well, what I mean is there are methods for delaying ejaculation, so are such as these required? Or is it a different kettle of fish?

Cem Şen
There’s no need for such things. They usually cause confusion and so on, and they might not be natural either.

If you abandon thoughts of sex, the desire gives way to natural urges. You need to realize that what usually lies beneath the sexual urge are thoughts, imaginations, and fantasies. Fantasies and thoughts cause the sexual urge to build up in the body, even when the body doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s easier for this urge to manifest within a male body than a female one, but the mechanism is the same. However, the body has a natural rhythm that can change according to age or season. The body of an average person in their mid-30s to mid-40s literally fills its capacity in between 20 to 40 days, and the sexual urge develops  naturally. This span shortens during spring season and lengthens during winter. Likewise, foods such as meat, grains, eggs, and honey shorten the rhythmic cycle. The rhythm is artificially accelerated at present because we live on strong nutrients. This artificial acceleration surely sometimes causes the body to wear out.

Let’s put it another way. The body could get a sexual urge only once in about 20 days without needing to be stimulated by thoughts. This urge arises as an indication of vitality, independent of thought. Thus, those in the right mind may, for example, have stronger erections, behave more compassionately and sensitively, or be more playful because their emotions are not unstable.
I’d like to highlight that the key point is to not develop a notion. I’m afraid what underlies the marketing ethic nowadays is the promise of sexual satisfaction, so there’s something promissory of sexual satisfaction nearly everywhere we go. This certainly makes heavy weather of the matter.

You need to understand that it’s a journey, Hasan. It’s not really possible to revolutionize everything in one day. Changing thoughts would take time and, of course, the right method. The right method is to quiet the mind and increase the awareness.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Sexual marketing is actually something that should be properly emphasized as you’ve said. There’s far too much stimulation around, and I noticed I feel like I’m walking around one of those huge malls in Istanbul for the first time when it comes to the marketing issue. I hear voices in my head when I enter these malls: “Buy me. Buy me. Only this way can you get approval. Only this way can you be worthy enough…” The energy crashes right down on me.

In fact, the very same thing goes for the sexual issue as well. We’re so dependent on sex to feel approval and power because we’re continuously steered toward this channel. We’ve had a good nudge for our awareness, but doesn’t sex have anything to do with the spiritual journey? I mean, doesn’t it ever help us to feel the higher dimensions or experience the oneness by mingling with another? You know, they keep telling us about the awakening of the Kundalini, how it rises all the way from the root chakra to the top before sprawling from the crown chakra and returning to the root. Doesn’t sex ever help with this process? Or is this also a fantasy?

Cem Şen
Mostly, yes. Every one of us will certainly have had extraordinarily beautiful sexual experiences. These are not permanent experiences, however, and it’s pretty hard to repeat them.

Sex inarguably finds meaning and flourishes when it happens between two people who are in love. There’s no doubt about this, but even this is volatile. The experience is never going to be permanent, but it could of course transform into something else.

It’s not what you do but how you do it that is important for spiritual development. Sex becomes an instrument if performed with a full awareness. For example, an enlightened teacher, Dipa Ma, once advised a woman, who lacked time because of her children, to meditate by focusing on her baby’s suckling sounds while breastfeeding. The woman took her advice and was enlightened shortly after.

Another woman had a mental deficiency. She advised her to just keep an eye on her belly when breathing. It took a year for the woman to remember this advice, but she finally started watching her belly. As a result, the woman, who was regarded as retarded before, experienced her first enlightenment and became smarter than you or me. As you see, it’s not who we are or what we do that is of importance. You can be a prostitute in the sex industry and still attain enlightenment by focusing on the men you have to sleep with. Hope is everlasting. There is always hope when you focus on not what you do but how you do it.

Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş
Oh my, I bet all our readers who thought we’d be passing the time with a chat about bright lights and all that satisfaction, as well as how to get our partners over the moon, are as bewildered as I am right now. I couldn’t figure out what to ask for a moment. Let’s tie up this precious conversation with a question that an average Joe might ask: So dude, if Adriana Lima suddenly confronted you, ready to be all over you, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Would you just politely nod at her and go on your way, just like that? I mean, this planet is an experience—give this up, become free from that, and so on—but where is this going to lead? If a man arrives at such a dead end that he ignores Adriana Lima, wouldn’t he be wondering what the good of this life was? Or is there something beyond this point?

Cem Şen
Dear Hasan, among those of us in our Great Heart Way sessions, we call it, “I see you, Mara.” What this loosely means is you strive for a hundred times to satisfy a desire. Imagine you hooked up with a hundred women, one after another, and each time, they are more beautiful, more attractive, and more promising than the last. Then you meet with the 101st woman. She’s just as promising as the previous hundred, but she’s ultimately the same as the others. The matter is not the first hundred women, nor is it the 101st woman. The matter is within you, so when the 101st woman pledges permanent satisfaction, you tell her, “Oh, I know you! I’ve experienced the same thing before with a hundred different faces and bodies. I know what you are, what you are made of, what you’re promising, and what you can provide me, so I see no reason or benefit in taking this path once more.” So you stop struggling with desire. You stop forgetting the experience. You choose to remember.

Mara, or the origin of delusion, can be eliminated by not struggling with it but rather by remembering and recognizing it. For this reason, whenever we encounter desire, rage, and so on, we say, “I see you, Mara. You can’t fool me this time. I haven’t forgotten about you.”

 

Remember, recognize, and remember. That’s all.



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