3rd path and letting go of sex

Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 4:18 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 4:18 AM

3rd path and letting go of sex

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
Hello

I'm having trouble with one last thing. A major thing. I've asked this in private before, but I think I won't be able to get to 3rd path if I don't get reassurance.

The traditional and orthodox theravada view is that after attaining third path, there's no sexual desire at all. That would imply not being able to have sex. I think this view is too strict. I think what happens is that there's no trace of sexual obsession, worrying, frustration, etc, but it's possible to be sexualy aroused. I can let go of the burden related to sex. But to let go of sex itself so thoroughly, to the point of never wanting it anymore, is too much for me, right now. I can't deal with that now, even though I've suffered a lot because of sexuality.

So, for those who have attained the 3rd path, can you have sexual intercourse? If it's not too personal, can you describe briefly the difference before and after 3rd path with regards to sex?

The more people with direct experience replying, the more reassured I will be. So please, even if it's just yes or no, reply.

Thanks! emoticon
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 8:56 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 8:56 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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The suttas say arahants can't have sex and can't eat stored up food. You'd have no other choise then to become a monk or at least an anagarika it seems if you want the arahantship of the Buddha it seems. I don't know where I want to get with this but I thought it might be related.
Andreas, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 9:45 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 9:45 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Use the path that dont require rejecting sex. Easy peasy. Having sex is one thing, attachment to sex is another as I understand it. If I have sex fine, if I dont have sex, thats fine too. I hold the view that sex in temples mostly caused conflict thats why one had to reject it. Since not everyone would get laid that would lead to jealosy among the monks and jealosy leads to conflicts. And if people are bitchy towards eachother they wont get much practice done.
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Bill F, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 9:46 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 9:46 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Blue Jay,

        You are describing third path in the ten fetters model. I don't think anyone here claims that. It seems a stretch to imagine that over the course of a moment your whole libinal system will go "lights out" for eternity. Where did you read about the model that describes this?
         If you are using the model that is most prevalent here when talking about paths, I believe it is most commonly referred to as the technical model. Though there may be some element of trust that propels progress, 2nd path involves completion of another broad insight cycle with innumerable mini cycles in the midst of those broader strokes. Whatever was done to complete first path generally seems to work as well in my experience.

Bill
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 10:06 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 10:06 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Hi Bill

I read it in the suttas of the pali canon. If the theravada orthodox interpretation is the correct one, then attaining 3rd path would be the same as spiritual castration. I think I can let go of sex to the point of not needing it ever again. But spiritual castration is a whole different thing!

And rationaly I know it doesn't make sense to say that 3rd path is the same as spiritual castration. But I still lack motivation. And I'm positive it's because of this
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Simon T, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 1:25 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 1:25 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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When you say you can't deal with it, is it that you don't want to give up those desires, or you don't want to give up the ability to have sex, or it's too hard to give up either of those?

I stubbled on a Ajarn Boowa talks some time ago where he talked about sexual desires. He said at some point he spent 3 days exclusively doing meditation targeted at giving up sexual desires and after that, he never had an erection again he his life.

To further desensibilisation, doing meditation while looking at sexual images and videos (yes, there is a wholesome use for all the internet porn!), and deconstructing all the craving that arises, can be quite effective.
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Bill F, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:16 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:16 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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I wouldn't be particularly worried about it. Until someone comes forth and reports this has happened to him it's probably safe to assume you are not in that position. It also seems unlikely that anxiety about such a thing could be prominent in a psyche and body in which the thing itself could dissapear in a moment. Also no one in this community knows anyone who co-authored the suttas. Not even a brother, or a cousin's cousin or something, so also safe to assume that mythology played a part in what's been relayed to us from a couple of milennia ago.
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:26 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:26 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Simon


I can't give up the ability to have sex. To give up the greed, or need of sex, is not a problem. But the two are obviously connected.

When did Ajahn Maha Boowa did those 3 days of meditation? Because I think he says he attained enlightenment some 50 years ago. If he decided to do that from the perspective of an enlightened ordained monk, then I guess I would have a similar choice if I would ever get there. But if that's what was required to attain 3rd path, I can't be interested right now.
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:34 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 2:34 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Bill,

It's not anxiety. I don't think anyone can attain any path against their will. To attain a path you need to let go completely, and only then the mind turns to cessation. If I don't want to give up, it's impossible for it to happen accidentaly against my will
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Bill F, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:19 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:19 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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My own experience is that things progress regardless, or in spite of, how we feel about them. Many a time while moving through the paths I wanted things to slow down, to the point of stopping practice at times, but there seems to be an impersonal element to the process that did not yield my wish. In my experience paths come through practice and in that practice the characteristics of impermanence and not-self became obvious. I did not have to give up anything pyscologically to proceed, but only to look clearly into the direct nature of experience repeatedly and the thing did itself. This is not to suppose the superiority of that path, just my experience.
I do not think we are talking about the same paths, and I do not have much knowledge of the ten fetter model, but if you want people here to give their input on third path the people that I'm aware of are using the "technical model" which does not include within it the idea or experience that at third path you will have no sexual desire. I have never seen one person claim that their sexual drive just vanished upon attaining path so in light of any evidence that this actually does happen (which means I am supposing that religous scriptures written thousands years of ago may not be factually correct in all instances and may contain some manner of mythology or exagerration) it is probably safe to assume that you are not at a place where this will happen to you.
J C, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:30 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:30 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Blue Jay:
Hello

I'm having trouble with one last thing. A major thing. I've asked this in private before, but I think I won't be able to get to 3rd path if I don't get reassurance.

The traditional and orthodox theravada view is that after attaining third path, there's no sexual desire at all. That would imply not being able to have sex. I think this view is too strict. I think what happens is that there's no trace of sexual obsession, worrying, frustration, etc, but it's possible to be sexualy aroused. I can let go of the burden related to sex. But to let go of sex itself so thoroughly, to the point of never wanting it anymore, is too much for me, right now. I can't deal with that now, even though I've suffered a lot because of sexuality.

So, for those who have attained the 3rd path, can you have sexual intercourse? If it's not too personal, can you describe briefly the difference before and after 3rd path with regards to sex?

The more people with direct experience replying, the more reassured I will be. So please, even if it's just yes or no, reply.

Thanks! emoticon

I have not attained third path yet - but I wouldn't do this if I thought there was any chance at all that I would lose any of my sexuality. That's just not going to happen. You can stop worrying. Daniel has stated that the whole "arahats cannot have erections or have sex" thing is a myth, and Dream Walker has also stated that he did not lose his sexuality after 3rd path. It's just silly mythology that got added to the actual process.
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:33 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:33 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Bill,

Thanks, that reassures me a bit.

I do find it strange that theravadans believe that there cannot be a lay arahant and that they would have to ordain within 7 days. They seem to have been wiped out of the scriptures. So we are talking about the same paths. I just don't believe the orthodox theravadan theory is a correct interpretation of the pali suttas.

But I would really apreciate more answers please.
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Bill F, modified 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:36 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/17/14 3:36 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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I understand. I meant only that "third path" as it is normally talked of here, does not equate to the third path of the ten fetter model if that means loss of sexual desire.
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 2:31 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 2:31 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Bill F.:
I understand. I meant only that "third path" as it is normally talked of here, does not equate to the third path of the ten fetter model if that means loss of sexual desire.
Yes, perhaps you should qualify your question to apply to only Fetter model third path people. Good luck finding them.
I will assume that you investigated the 6 senses to get to 2nd path. How have you destroyed your sex life so far? Did the transformation of ownership of the 5 senses affect your ability to feel sexual sensations? Are they yours? Do you still own them? What about thought? Are your sexual thoughts causing problems now that thoughts have been "seen" thru to not be owned by you?
What damage have you experienced so far? Terrible things? Why the worry? (I worried too about lots of things before each path...just not sex)
~D
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 3:37 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 3:37 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Thank you, Dream Walker.

In fact, my libido has increased, instead of decreasing. Not quite the obsession part. More like the "energy", or arousal part.

The worry is a long story with too much personal stuff to be shared outside a therapist office.
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Simon T, modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 9:22 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 9:22 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Blue Jay:
Simon


I can't give up the ability to have sex. To give up the greed, or need of sex, is not a problem. But the two are obviously connected.

When did Ajahn Maha Boowa did those 3 days of meditation? Because I think he says he attained enlightenment some 50 years ago. If he decided to do that from the perspective of an enlightened ordained monk, then I guess I would have a similar choice if I would ever get there. But if that's what was required to attain 3rd path, I can't be interested right now.

I posted the bit on Maha Boowa more as a trivia than anything, so we shouldn't read too much into it. As a monk, it was all in his interest this give up those desires early in his life.

So, can Enlightenment leads to impotence? Well, there men that are impotent simply because their wife earns more money than them. Stress can make someone impotent, so, should stress reduction practice do the opposite? I never heard a teacher says "I got more than I bargained for". I don't know.

There is a talk on youtube by Sadguru that tell the story of another guru. That guru said to his wife "The food you cook for me is the only thing that keep me in the world. If one day I don't want it anymore, I will be dead in 3 day (from starving, I guess...). So the story goes that he was constantly asking his wife was she was cooking, simply to keep alive that little bit of attachment, until the day he no longer had taste for it, and he died 3 days later.

That we believe this story to be true or not isn't that much relevant. The story talks of a level of Enlightenment way beyond any standards of measurement. The idea that someone can willfully let go of life entirely isn't talked much about in Buddhist circles, but if it is to be believed, we are talking of people living in caves that we would never hear about. The important bit is that the guru last little bit of attachment was a very worldly and sensual things. You can replace food with sex in the story and it doesn't change it's meaning. Instead of food, he would be asking for blowjobs (well, that pretty much how Osho and Trungpa ended up, so they say). I don't know what to make about it. I let you interpret it your way.
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Jake , modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 5:59 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 5:59 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Blue Jay:



I can't give up the ability to have sex. To give up the greed, or need of sex, is not a problem. But the two are obviously connected.


The two can be connected, of course, but are you saying they are necessarily connected? Like, you can't have one without the other? If so, that is an assumption very worth investigating. In my experience this is definitely not at all the case. And moreover, experiencing greed for sex or lust is not something that makes a solid seperate self, it isn't a solid seperate self, it's open ended, and even when lust is present there are other things going on in the energetics, relationship, the whole dynamics. In other words lust is empty of inherant existence and not a self. So it isn't something that needs to be eliminated in order for freedom to be. It needs to be seen and seen through and that can be great practice. That can free one's mind and behavior to be able to experience lust without being pushed and pulled so much by lust. 
Blue Jay, modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 6:28 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 6:28 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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. Jake .:
The two can be connected, of course, but are you saying they are necessarily connected? Like, you can't have one without the other? If so, that is an assumption very worth investigating. In my experience this is definitely not at all the case. And moreover, experiencing greed for sex or lust is not something that makes a solid seperate self, it isn't a solid seperate self, it's open ended, and even when lust is present there are other things going on in the energetics, relationship, the whole dynamics. In other words lust is empty of inherant existence and not a self. So it isn't something that needs to be eliminated in order for freedom to be. It needs to be seen and seen through and that can be great practice. That can free one's mind and behavior to be able to experience lust without being pushed and pulled so much by lust. 
Hi

I think that anyone can be aroused without any attachment. It's a natural bodily function. But the orthodox theravadan theory says that at 3rd path we lose all desires for sensual pleasures. In that context, 3rd path would be the same as spiritual castration. I don't believe it's true, but the tiny bit of doubt I have is enough to slow my progress. I really want to let go.

The two are related because I personaly think that the major insight I need for 3rd path is the complete distinction between liking a pleasant sensation and clinging to the sensation. When this distinction is made, 3rd path follows in the next second, so to speak. If this is true, and I think it is, I just need to be reassured enough to let everything go.
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Jake , modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 6:56 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 6:56 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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Look, you are making a ton of assumptions in how you are identifying your 'attainments'. Why not let THAT go? Investigating the distinction between liking a pleasent sensation and clinging to it sounds like a great practice. Why not just do it... and see what happens? Why assume you know what path is what rather than just practice and report on any lasting shifts that occurr without needing to label them as this or that? 

What MORE can you get out of practice by labeling the results of practice as this or that path? Especially since what you are describing sounds like solid practice for any level. 
J C, modified 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 8:01 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/18/14 8:00 PM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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. Jake .:
Look, you are making a ton of assumptions in how you are identifying your 'attainments'. Why not let THAT go? Investigating the distinction between liking a pleasent sensation and clinging to it sounds like a great practice. Why not just do it... and see what happens? Why assume you know what path is what rather than just practice and report on any lasting shifts that occurr without needing to label them as this or that? 

What MORE can you get out of practice by labeling the results of practice as this or that path? Especially since what you are describing sounds like solid practice for any level. 

I agree - and I like the practice of investigating the distinction between liking and clinging. I think I will look at that closely.
A couple thoughts on that / things to notice:

1. Time. A lot of clinging is focused on what you will or will not experience in the future or how long the experience will last.

Reminds me of this quote:

The Buddha:
He thinks unwisely in this manner:`Was I in the past or wasn't I in the past? Who was I in the past? How was I in the past? Become who and who was I in the past? Will I be in the future, or will I not be in the future? What will I be in the future? How will I be in the future? Who will I become and who will I be in the future?'


2. Labelling -using a label to attach some present experience to yourself "I'm happy because I am X"
Banned For waht?, modified 7 Years ago at 12/19/14 6:41 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 12/19/14 6:41 AM

RE: 3rd path and letting go of sex

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sensual desire is a key to next stage: what is patience, from 'patience' you can realise 'energy or effort' from there you can realise full enlightenment and from there you start next circle again as an ordinary man.

to empty out sensual desire you need have realised 'self' because self will be a reference point for clearing out the smog of sensual desire.
to realise 'self' is you follow a master and serve him and put his wantings before your own, this way you can find self (one possibility).

****
realisations like this:
awareness is not self. feelings are not self, everything happens on its own: are small vehicle. Who is this who realises these things?