piti v. libido

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Paul Anthony, modified 10 Years ago.

piti v. libido

Posts: 71 Join Date: 6/22/10 Recent Posts
HI there,

I'd like to know what do folks think about the connection between 'piti' and the Western psych concept of 'libido' (basically sexual energy). In the literature and even for that matter in MCTB there is often a sense of a connection but it's not usually made very explicit. Is there value in a more explicit connection, on the rationale of transparency and 'it helps to know what to look for', etc? Or maybe the connection isn't explicit for a reason, because it's fundamentally misleading....

With warm regards!

Paul
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: piti v. libido

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I am sort of surprised no one did anything with this one...

Alright, if no one else will:

piti (a Pali word, for those non-Paliglots): a noun meaning a blissful or pleasant bodily feeling which comes to development in the 2nd jhana specifically and can also generally mean rapture, usually something really nice about what one is experiencing.

libido, depending on whose definition you use: a noun meaning the sex drive, or the general individual behaviors one engages in to get laid, or basically the primal drive of the id, or sexual energy in general.

These are two different things:

piti is a quality of experience, where as libido is generally related to looking for a sexual experience

While the quality of the second jhana can have a distinctly sexual aspect to it, not everyone makes that explicit association.
While libido may involve sexual energy, I personally think of it as more a basic aspect of the longing or questing for pleasure and the motive personal force driving that.

It is relatively easy to see where they intersect, as one can easily subvert the sex drive to look to jhana, in particular the second jhana, which, if one tunes it right or just has it happen that way, can be powerfully sexual.

Anyone want to add anything to that?

Daniel
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Beoman Claudiu Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: piti v. libido

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Ah yeah my reaction to this one was:

"What? I don't see any relation between those... let me start typing that ou - oh well hmm I guess that quality of energy does have something similar to quality of sexual energy.. specially like a pleasant post-coital afterglow... well i'll let other ppl talk about it"

hmm i stand by that now... that pleasant feeling post-coitus that you can kind of bask in is kinda similar... or maybe it's really good at leading into it. mm does it happen to anyone else that they start feeling piti/sukha when they start talking about it? hehe. pleasant body sensations mmm
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Paul Anthony, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: piti v. libido

Posts: 71 Join Date: 6/22/10 Recent Posts
Thank you both. I think what I'm responding to is the language in the texts, ancient and modern. The descriptions of piti are often kind of libidinous, physical and so by definition sensual. Yet piti is really about removal from sense pleasures as I understand it. So there's kind of a tension for me between the concept of piti and the language often used to describe it... But, based on the comments I can see that there really may be no other available language to describe piti.

Somewhere or other in a traditional text I've seen the word 'piloerection' in conjunction with piti. This had me running to the dictionary but it's basically goosebumps!

Paul

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