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Book of Eights: Chapter 7

FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountainsAlaska, USA Veteran

" People bound to sensual desires
Envy the sage living free
Who unconcerned with sensual desires,
Has crossed beyond the flood."

The chapter deals specifically with sexual obsession, and recommends living the single life. Too late for me, on that last part.

and verse 857 from chapter 10:

"I say they are at peace;
They who are not concerned with sensual pleasures;
They have no bonds
And have crossed beyond attachments.

and verse 948 from chapter 15:

They who here have overcome lust,

  • a clinging hard to overcome in this world -
    Don't grieve or worry.
    They have cut the stream, they are unbound.

Thick of head this evening, I can add nothing.

Comments

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    I need to take the book back to the library, so I will be giving it a rest for at least a short time - if someone else would like to take over, that would be most excellent.

    It occurs to me that it would be possible to discuss this book on a verse by verse basis, rather than taking on whole chapters in sequence. If someone sees a verse that speaks to him/her particularly, it could be posted and discussed in the context of the chapter in which it occurs, in the context of similar verses in other chapters, and in context of teachings from other sources. This might also make it possible for others who do not have a copy of the book to usefully join the discussion. Just a thought. Or am I getting hypoglycemic again?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    (verbose, I'd say. That's a long word for 7.00am.... :lol: )

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I have some difficulty with the sutra's main recommendation - I am calling it a sutra because the book also does - of "a single life" mainly because I feel that sex is a natural function of the body, and in a way to neglect sex and the function of one's genitals is to avoid an important part of physical and psychological health.

    To abstain totally from sex and live the single life seems like an extreme. Yes it is difficult to be sexually and emotionally involved with someone and maintain a good balance towards the dharma but i feel it is almost unnatural to exclude it from a normal, loving spiritual life.

    It's important to take note of the poem's wording. Those "addicted to sex", "indulging in sex like a vehicle out of control", "overcome by thoughts [for sex]"... all of these talk about the negatives of being out of control with sex. And perhaps for someone who suffers that a single life is an answer.

    But I think for most people, even for most seekers, a real single life or viveka, may be excessive until the desire naturally drops away. It says that for the Noble Ones seclusion is supreme, but I still find myself attached to being with people.

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