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Sex and Reincarnation

Dec 07, 1993 02:30 PM
by Gerald Schueler

There are two difficult subjects that I feel we, as theosophists,
need to discuss, if possible. I am not sure that we can, because
both are sensitive, and I fear that few theosophists really
understand what I have tried to say about these two subjects over
the years. Also, everyone seems to be terribly opinionated on
both subjects. I am talking about sex and reincarnation. I have
been scorned and ridiculed on the first, and ignored on the
second. So be it. Yet I feel compelled to try one more time.
Let me briefly outline my thoughts, and if I am still too far in
left field, I promise to shut up.

Sex. I have an impression that theosophists are puritanical
about sex. Is this true, or simply a false feeling? Virtually
all theosophical writers from HPB to G de P have implied that
celibacy is a holy and necessary condition to tread the Path.
Sex is dirty, or at least unclean, and only condoned in marriage.
In short, theosophists view sex much like Catholicism. Is this
true? What is everyone's view on this? I would like to take a
pole though I find most won't even talk about it.

As probably everyone knows, I have a different view on sex. I
don't extol it, but I don't extol celibacy either. I believe
that sexual indulgence and celibacy are two extremes, and that
the best position to take is somewhere in between. However, I
respect the view of others who desire to go to either extreme
(whatever floats your boat, as my daughter would say). However,
it seems to me that theosophists are uneasy even talking about
sex. The recent Leadbeater controversy on Theos-l about "self
abuse" is a good example.

Why do I care? Because I believe that such a viewpoint is
destined for trouble. I see otherwise good theosophists cruising
down a river with some very large rocks ahead of them and I feel
the need to give fair warning to them. I have elsewhere
described what I have called "sexual currents" that exist on
every Globe of our planetary chain, and I believe that we all
must face these, sooner or later. We probably already have.
Anyone facing such a current with a puritanical outlook will
flounder as will anyone with sexual appetites or lust. This is
very much like a puritan having a very sensual sexual dream at
night. In the old days such a person would have concluded that
he or she must have encountered a succubus or an incubus and thus
was an innocent victim. Today we know that such demons exist
only in our own minds. Sexual desire is a demon indeed. And it
feeds on puritanism. If a celibate has sexual desires, then
their celibacy is a sham. Theosophists should look to their
nightly dreams as barometers to measure where they are. Don't
expect your devachan to be any better than your nightly dreams.
Don't expect to leave sex behind when you "become spiritual."
Don't think that sex can ever be outgrown or overcome.

Reincarnation. I no longer fear death, so much as rebirth.
Personally, I have no desire to be reborn, and hope that I do
not, except perhaps in the sense of returning to help others,
which I perceive as a responsibility or duty rather than a
pleasurable thing to look forward to. Reincarnation stinks. It
is an endless wheel of sorrow. I am tired of it. There is
little on this earth that I find attractive except insofar as it
is a manifestation of something higher. This is one of the
things that I really like about Buddhism - that reincarnation is
an endless wheel of sorrow and suffering and mayavic adventure.
But I have not found a single theosophist or theosophical writer
who shares in this Buddhist attitude.

Buddhism teaches that the Earth is a world of suffering and
promises an Eightfold Way out of it. Wicca (which is very
popular these days and perhaps the only religion that is founded
on the inherent equality of women) teaches that the Earth is
divine and that reincarnation is a gift from the Goddess and a
joyous occasion that we should look forward to. I think (please
tell me if I am wrong here) that theosophy teaches something in
between these two extremes.

Here too we see the importance of sex. During the downward Arc
of Descent femininity is emphasized and the Earth is manifested
and seen as good. During the Arc of Ascent masculinity is
emphasized and the Earth is spiritualized and its physicality and
mortality are seen as bad. All masculine religions emphasize the
goodness of spirit (male/solar) at the expense of the material
(female/lunar). All feminine religions emphasize the goodness of
the material (female/lunar), which is seen as being the Womb of
the Goddess, and downplay the spiritual path (male/solar) as
escapism. Where are theosophists on this point? If theosophy is
truly a religion, then is it masculine or feminine, or some
combination of the two?

                   Jerry S.

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