Rejection of the Sex Impulse and Mastery of Its Force

Many religious traditions and cultures have placed sex in a ‘taboo’ category for discussion or consideration. Sex is considered by many to be something sinful, immoral and only to be conducted within the confines of a lawfully sanctioned marriage and under guidelines for procreation not ‘enjoyment’. This means that most have been acculturated to regard sex as something illicit and prurient, and this warps the response to the sexual energy when it arises, as the individual tries to keep it hidden, secretive and largely unexamined.

If we can strip away all of this cultural baggage from the sexual energy, we can observe it more scientifically as to its origin, its mode of action, its force, and the means to either redirect it or transform it. For the spiritual seeker in the integral yoga, seeking to bring about the next stage of evolutionary development and transform thereby the entire life on the planet, the sexual energy must be addressed and itself turned into a power of action, not sexual gratification, but a basic power of the physical consciousness put to work in the world as part of the transformation process.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “As to the sexual impulse. Regard it not as something sinful and horrible and attractive at the same time, but as a mistake and wrong movement of the lower nature. Reject it entirely, not by struggling with it, but by drawing back from it, detaching yourself and refusing your consent; look at it as something not your own, but imposed on you by a force of Nature outside you. Refuse all consent to the imposition. If anything in your vital consents, insist on that part of you withdrawing its consent. Call in the Divine Force to help you in your withdrawal and refusal. If you can do this quietly and resolutely and patiently, in the end your inner will will prevail against the habit of the outer Nature.”

“… for this also you must have no moral horror or puritanic or ascetic repulsion. This also is a power of life and while you have to throw away the present form of this power (that is the physical act), the force itself has to be mastered and transformed. It is often strongest in people with a strong vital nature and this strong vital nature can be made a great instrument for the physical realisation of the Divine Life. If the sexual impulse comes, do not be sorry or troubled but look at it calmly, quiet it down, reject all wrong suggestions connected with it and wait for the Higher Consciousness to transform it into the true force and Ananda.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, Sex, pp 299-308