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The Labors of Hercules - Labor II
The Disciple and Sex

An aspirant to discipleship has in sex a real problem with which to contend. Self-indulgence and the control of the human being by any part of his organism are always inevitably wrong. When a man's entire mind is occupied with the thought of women, or vice versa; when he lives mainly to satisfy an animal craving; when he finds himself unable to resist the lure of his polar opposite, then he is a victim of and is controlled by the lowest part of his nature, the animal.

But when man recognizes his physical functions as a divine heritage, and his equipment as having been given him for the good of the group and to be rightly used for the benefit of the human family, then we shall see a new motivating impulse underlying human conduct where sex is concerned. We shall see the elimination of promiscuity, with its attendant evil, [49] disease. We shall see the solution of the problem of too many children and, incidentally, easement of the economic problem. Through right control of the sex function and its relegation to the purpose for which it exists (the carrying onward of the human family and the providing of bodies whereby souls call gain experience) then right use will be made of sex. Then, passion, Lust, self-gratification, disease, and over-population will die out in the world. Matter will no longer be prostituted to selfish desire, and the relation between the sexes will be governed by understanding of divine purpose and skill-in-action.

Two points of view are equally wrong: in the one case we have practices taught which lead eventually to sexual orgies. These have been dignified by the name of sex magic, and in the sexual orgasm, deliberately induced, a man is led to believe that the physical sex act is his highest point of spiritual opportunity and that, at such a moment, he can touch, if he will, the kingdom of Heaven.

The other attitude, which makes marriage and all expression of the sex life a sin for a disciple and which says that a man cannot be pure in the truly spiritual aspect if he marries and raises a family, is as devastatingly dangerous. There is no state of consciousness and no condition of life in which it is impossible for a man to function as a son of God. If it is not possible for a man to live the life of discipleship and the life of initiation and, with due self-control and understanding, live a normal, balanced sex life; then there is a department of human expression in which divinity is helpless, and this I refuse to recognize. There is no department of life, no field of expression, no meeting of obligation, no use of the physical apparatus, in which the soul cannot fulfil the part of the dominating factor and all things be done truly to the glory of God. But the soul must control, and not the lower nature. People forget that some of the greatest of the world initiates married; that the Buddha married and had a son, and must have been an initiate of high degree when he entered into the married state. [50] They forget that Moses, David the Psalmist, and many of the outstanding figures in the world of mysticism in both hemispheres, were married and raised families.

Disciples belong to all races, both in the occident and in the orient, and the attitude of different races towards sex is widely diversified. Standards of conduct differ. The legality or the illegality of relations varies. Different epochs and different civilizations have seen relationships that were legal at one time, and illegal at another. Some races are monogamous and some races are polygamous. In some civilizations the woman is regarded as the dominant factor, and in others the man. Down the ages sex perverts, homosexuals, true and spurious, have been with us, and today is probably no worse than 5,000 years ago, except that everything is now dragged out into the light, which is good. Everybody talks about the problem; and the rising generation are asking in no uncertain tones: "What about sex? What is right and what is wrong?" How can they be expected to deal with a question which has been discussed, seemingly in the most futile manner, down the ages?

Here it is pertinent to note that Minos, King of Crete, who owned the sacred bull also possessed the maze in which the Minotaur lived, and the maze has ever been the symbol of the great illusion. The word "maze" comes from an old English word, meaning to bewilder, to confuse, to puzzle. The island of Crete with its maze and its bull is an outstanding symbol of the great illusion. It was separated from the mainland, and illusion and bewilderment are characteristics of the separated self, but not of the soul on its own plane, where group realities and universal truths constitute its kingdom. The bull, to Hercules, typified animal desire, and the many aspects of desire in the world of form which, in their totality, constitute the great illusion. The disciple, like Hercules, is a separated unit, divided from the mainland, the symbol of the group, by the world of illusion and the maze in which he lives. The bull of desire has to be caught and mastered and chased from one point to another [51] in the life of the separated self, until the time comes when the aspirant can do what Hercules succeeded in doing: ride the bull. To ride an animal, in the ancient myths, signifies control. The bull is not slaughtered, it is ridden and guided, and under the mastery of the man.

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