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Re: The Purpose of Sex

Nov 29, 1996 12:26 PM
by Murray Stentiford

Responding to Patrick

>> Patrick, I would be most interested to know whether there are other
>> writings from spiritual teachers you consider to be of the Mahatma
>> class, that have more to say on this subject and, if so, what those
>> writings are.
>     To restate, whenever a Mahatma writes about the purpose of sex it
>is clear that the purpose is to bring children into the world.  (Is
>there a counter example?)

Uh?  Or maybe Duh?

You don't seem to have responded to what you quoted. This was an invitation
to give us some really interesting material and you leave me wondering why
you have declined in this way.

But I note that you have modified your earlier

        >The only purpose of sex is to bring children into the world.

to the slightly less uncompromising form above. This shift, plus your (to
somebody else)
        >The purpose (in a spiritual sense) of sex is indeed to create life
        >on the physical plane, but also other helpful processes do occur.

give me a small sense that some kind of dialog is actually happening.

You ask for a counter example, but to what, exactly? If you're challenging
us to come up with a case where a Mahatma is on record as saying that sex
has nothing to do with bringing children into the world, then your'e
obviously safe - there will never be one. But that doesn't support your
case; it is only an absence of contradiction, and a trivial one.

There is no doubt that a true Mahatma - "great soul" literally - would
always have the production of children in mind when considering sex, simply
as a consequence of a holistic and penetrating viewpoint. I see no argument
here, but you have been asking us to accept that a Mahatma would state that
producing children is the *only* purpose of sex, with hardly any attempt to
clarify what you mean by "purpose", let alone acknowledge the
multi-dimensionality of sex which is clear enough to us humans let alone any
being more evolved than us.

By repeating the formula "The (only) purpose of sex is to have children",
you have ignored the glaringly obvious resonance with medieval thinking,
that sex is sinful when having children is not the immediate intention,
leaving us to conclude that you somehow subscribe to it (perhaps
subconsciously), and wonder what your attitude is to the psychological havoc
this has wrought over the centuries.

There are many interesting directions this discussion could take and I would
like to follow up just one of them, now.

Purpose, if we take it to mean an intended outcome, begs the question of
where that purpose resides. This IMO is one of the reasons scientists shy
away from the word. Science has been dominated by a flight from medieval
modes of thinking like "So-and-so was created by God so as to
"such-and-such" but, with its present knowledge, has virtually no way to
conceive of a way that purpose could be held outside of the human brain and

This is where theosophy (broad, timeless, sense) can suggest meaningful
possibilities, eg subtler planes of nature where creative ideation can
exist, and various means by which it could affect matter such as the deva or
angelic kingdom, or other spiritual intelligences.

A scary prospect this might seem to many scientists, but what if we began by
proposing, let's say, Centres of Distributed Non-corporeal Intelligence
existing in a cosmos-wide mind space, or any other term that avoids the
medieval connotations? The right way to do this, of course, is to think of
the acronym first, then work backwards! A project for TI-L, methinks :-) .

Seeing science has had a while to accept the relatedness of consciousness
and matter at the quantum level, this might not be such a big jump, and
could open up quite a number of possibilities. I mean, think of some of the
Star Trek Next Generation stories, and consider how science fiction has more
than once anticipated discovery.

All of which still leaves us with many imponderables as to what purpose is
and how it could work out in the emergence of living forms. And, if we're
honest, a realisation that it is hardly up to us to tell Nature what
purposes are excluded from its processes, if purpose is the word to use at all.

So, if we must use the word, how about

        Sex has more purposes than producing children.

Maybe it's better to forsake potted statements and try to embrace more of
the dimensions of sex, for instance

        Sex is a multi-faceted means of creativity and expression that

        1) bringing children into the world
        2) a powerful stimulus to individual and global evolution
        3) a potent way to build and enhance relationships
        4) re-enacts the cosmic process of creative interaction of
        5) opportunities for mystical experience or cosmic consciousness
        6) a way to have fun, and
        7) plenty of opportunities to mess it up.

And having drawn up a list, maybe it's better to forget about trying to
capture this particular butterfly, and look around and enjoy.

I believe the last thing we need, if the potential of generalised theosophy
to be helpful is to be realised, is any kind of dogmatic statement, as some
of yours have certainly appeared to be. That will scare them away in droves.
Our role, no matter how certain we may feel about these things, is to
interface intelligently with people who are not familiar with these ideas,
and demonstrate a true awareness of their position plus the humility to
acknowledge that we truly know but little as yet. Then get creative about
ways to convey our ideas.

>> If your opinions are not based on written material so much, then what is
>> their basis?
>     Both writings and observations.

Ah, now....! We may not know what writings you mean, but you have dropped us
the hint of observations. Great, but whose?

You can say more on this list than that without being crucified  - a little
bit more, anyway!


I did. It was interesting to see some of your background, but there was
still little on the sex/purpose question that I saw. Maybe I have to buy the
$5 60-page book you mentioned there.

In the meantime, could you please make it a practice to offer more visible
support for the stratospherically serene statements you often make? This is
a discussion list, after all.

Finally, a genuine appreciation of your effort in publishing on the Web.


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