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|Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature|
|iv. Sex and Discipleship
I want to write a word on the subject of sex in the life of the disciple. There is much confusion in the minds of aspirants on this matter, and the injunction as to celibacy is assuming the position of a religious doctrine. We are often told by the well-meaning but illogical that if a man is a disciple he cannot marry, and that there is no real spiritual attainment unless a man is celibate. This theory has its roots in two things:
First, there has ever been a mistaken attitude in the East towards women. Secondly, in the West, from the time of Christ, there has been a tendency towards the monastic and conventual conception of spiritual life. These two attitudes embody two mistaken ideas, and lie at the root of much misunderstanding and at the heart of much evil. Man is no better than the woman, nor woman than the man. Yet many thousands regard women as embodying that which is evil and that which is the basis of temptation. But God has from the beginning ordained that men and women should meet each other's needs and act as complements to each other. God has not ordained that men should live herded together, away from women, or women away from men; and both of these great systems have led to much sexual abuse and to much suffering.
The belief that to be a disciple necessitates a celibate life and complete abstinence from all natural functions is neither correct nor desirable. This can be proved by the recognition of two things:
The first is that if divinity is indeed a reality and an expression of omnipotence and omnipresence as well as omniscience, and if man is essentially divine, then there can be no condition possible wherein divinity cannot be supreme. There can be no sphere of human activity where man cannot  act divinely and wherein all functions cannot be illumined by the light of pure reason and divine intelligence. I deal not here with the specious and devious argument that that which normally and by all right-minded people is regarded as wrong must be right because of man's inherent divinity. That can be but a loose excuse for wrongdoing. I speak of sexual relations of the right kind, within the permit of the spiritual law as well as the law of the land.
Secondly, a life that is not normally rounded out till all the functions of its nature - animal, human and divine - (and man is all of these three in one body) are exercised, is frustrated, inhibited, and abnormal. That all cannot marry in these days is true, but that fact does not negate the greater fact that man has been created by God to marry. That all are not in a position where they can today live normal and full lives is equally a consequence of our present abnormal economic conditions; but this in no way negates the fact that the condition is abnormal. But that an enforced celibacy is an indication of a deep spirituality, and a necessary part of all esoteric and spiritual training, is equally false, abnormal and undesirable. There is no better training school for a disciple and an initiate than family life, with its enforced relations, its scope for adjustments and adaptability, its demanded sacrifices and service, and its opportunities for the full expression of every part of man's nature. There is no greater service to be rendered to the race than the proffering of bodies to incoming souls, and the giving of attention and educational facilities to those souls within the home limits. But the whole condition and problem of the family life and of childbearing have been distorted and misunderstood; and it will be long before marriage and children assume their rightful place as sacraments, and longer still before the pain and suffering consequent upon our mistakes and on the misuse of the sexual  relation have disappeared, and the beauty and consecration of marriage and of the manifestation of souls in form supersede the present wrong grouping of ideas.
The disciple and aspirant upon the Path, and the Initiate upon his "Lighted Way," have no better training ground therefore than the marriage relation, rightly used and rightly understood. The bringing of the animal nature under rhythmic discipline, the elevation of the emotional and the instinctual natures upon the altar of sacrifice, and the self-abnegation required in the life of the family are tremendous purificatory and developing potencies. The celibacy required is that of the higher nature to the demands of the lower, and the refusal of the spiritual man to be dominated by the personality and the demands of the flesh. The attitude of an imposed celibacy upon the equipment of many a disciple has led to much prostitution and to many perversions of God-given functions and faculties; and even where there has not been this distressing condition, and where the life has been sane, consecrated and sound, there have frequently been undue suffering and much mental distress and disciplining, before unruly thoughts and tendencies could be controlled.
It is of course true that sometimes a man may be called to some particular life wherein he is faced with the problem of celibacy, and is forced to abstain from all physical relations and to live a strictly celibate life, in order to demonstrate to himself that he can control the animal and instinctual side of his nature. But this condition is frequently the result of excess and license in a previous life, which necessitates stringent measures and abnormal conditions in order to offset and rectify past errors and give the lower nature time to readjust itself. But again it is no indication of spiritual development, rather the reverse. Forget not that here I am dealing with the special case of self-applied celibacy, and not with the present  worldwide condition wherein, through economic and other reasons, men and women are forced to live without a natural and full life expression.
The sex problem must, in the last analysis, be solved in the home and under normal conditions, and it is the advanced people of the world and the disciples of all degrees who must thus solve it. 
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