[How to Feel Good - continued]
Also, if you complain loud enough, you will be given a flash of insight into higher consciousness. If you deny yourself food, sex, communication, or sleep, you are in a way reporting to headquarters that your life form isn't working, and you may be allowed a brief return to space to check it out. But such flashes, though they presently make up most of what humanity knows of space, are not the entire light, no matter how convincing they feel. And these flashes are unstable, they are not the most comfortable way to get home. You will not be able to stay on higher levels when you get there through such negative emphasis.
No matter what high-minded rationalizations you comfort yourself with for coming back to earth, asceticism will keep bringing you back to the physical plane until you love enough to rise above it on a positive path. Indeed, it is love itself that is the positive path to space. There is no wisdom or holiness that is ever an excuse for the failure to love, in ourselves or others.
And in sexual relations, again, love overcomes the pendulum effect, the yin-yang of concepts, and at last we have a rational way to explain why love must be the first motive in sex. But love in this intention is much broader than romantic passion, and it must begin with loving yourself. If you love everything you feel and do, including your emotionally dry and empty moods, your pleasure will keep coming back. If you find sex unrewarding, it just means that in this lifetime or another you insisted too much on the other side of the balance. It is the action of contracting your awareness that makes any condition compulsory.
Also it is important not to judge others for their pleasures of the flesh. What you deny to others will be denied to you, for the plain reason that you are always legislating for yourself, all your words and actions define the world you want to live in. One of the necessary laws for our relations as equal beings is this: What you say, goesóbut only for you and those who agree with you. If you say a man should not receive help undeservedly, it may not affect his life much, but it will hold for you: you will not get undeserved help. If you say other people's sexual pleasures are vulgar, it won't change their experiences, but your pleasures will become vulgar. It is precisely your unlimited power to control your experience that hangs you up. How much compassion and forgiveness do you want for yourself? Give it to others. Go to the extreme: forgive all beings for their karmic debts to you. Grant to others the freedom, the love, the consciousness that you want for yourself.
Music shows us how to maintain pleasure and ecstasy. Normally we tend to think of a moment of euphoric realization as unbearable and impossible to continue. It slips away and then we pursue it again. It does so because we are unwilling to let it go, we are unwilling to conceive of being away from it. But if we take the example of music, letting go of one note to hear the next, then our pleasure can be constant though the vibrations change.
If we "listen" to the world, and let it act on us without either-or judgments and ideas, then we can learn to comprehend each flash of pleasure as a tone in the infinite harmony. The orchestra of the world plays the familiar melodies again and again, and the old folks stand around and tap their feet while the young ones dance.
Next chapter: Lifesavers
Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment Contents