Spiritual traditions, religious traditions, often have prophets who are what we might consider to be immoral or unclean in their dealings.
This is an interesting phenomenon. For instance, in the western tradition, in the Bible, there’s God’s favorite King David. Here’s the funny thing. I was having a conversation with this Christian the other day, someone who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Christianity, and I was just saying that I think it’s interesting that David is considered to be God’s favorite, when David was clearly dishonest and motivated by lust. We can’t necessarily say that. I don’t know what his motivations were, but you know, in the story of David, David is a king. He’s famous.
Lots of stuff goes on, but there’s one segment of the story that has to do with his wife and someone I believe he was close to. He sends him off to a war so that he can get rid of him, so that he can take his wife. I think the story goes that the guy returns, and he has already told the woman that the guy died. Instead he comes back so he has to kill him before she can see him.
This is obviously not the kind of friend you want, right? However, powerful men are often not that, and it’s hard to say what the decisions were. It’s hard to say how it came to be, but this is God’s favorite child. He has a son and is called Solomon. Solomon also becomes God’s favorite.
So this flies in the face of all of western thinking on the subject. I talked to this Christian Girl, and she’s telling me that it’s okay because he knew he did wrong. I just thought, “Wow. He knew he was doing wrong when he did it.”
So it’s a fascinating justification and way to kind of go around the teaching there. What is the teaching? What is the teaching of a God who’s favorite is a cold-blooded murderer so he can have a woman? In what universe is this okay? And clearly, it’s okay in our universe.
What else is going on in this story? So who or whom else, or what else is happening? The sixth Dalai Lama doesn’t take the robes. He winds up living in town, just as a common person, and he likes to drink and have sex and be kind of rowdy. Apparently, he gets drunk in the streets and things like this. But this is the Dalai Lama, so this is the spiritual guide who decides, “You know what, I’m not doing it, I’m doing something else.” How is that not spiritual then? You have to wonder.
Now of course it left the country without a leader to a large extent. The country was largely ruled by regions, but he had a reputation with the ladies. Some stories say that when he would travel and people would come out and offer their daughters to him.
This is the nature of what we have, as spiritual teachings, as examples in our spiritual life. They’re not the only examples, clearly. One example is what Lot’s wife did, the turning into a pillar of stone because she looked back. They were leaving and she was probably lamenting some things and that’s what the teaching is. But then Lot and his daughters go off and have sex in the woods and that’s okay. It is apparently okay because they got lot drunk and had him when he was drunk or drugged up or whatever it was.
Then how do we get so judgmental? If these are the examples that are given in our Holy books, of proper behavior, how do we wind up in a puritanistic society? How does that make any sense at all? I propose that that really doesn’t make much sense, that the puritanistic society. Say, well the Bible teaches not to commit adultery, sure!
It gives the ten commandments, but they were sort of like the ten guidelines. You know, and one of them is “do not commit adultery,” but why? Is it because people die?
Think about it the next time you think that you need to judge someone or that someone is just wrong for doing something. It’s not true according to the teachings in a lot of ways, at least sex. There’s a lot said in Buddhism about sex and how to control the sexual urges in a monastic lifestyle, including picturing woman as dead bodies and things like this, as a way to control one’s sexual urges. I think that there’s a lot reasons for it, but that’s not the important part. Religion has mistakenly demonized sex and the sexual urges.
On the advice to abstain from things like adultery and sexual behavioral promiscuity and various other things, I absolutely do believe that it’s a good idea to pay attention to that stuff. I absolutely think it’s a good idea, because it spreads bad feelings. It spreads feelings of desperation, helplessness, and many different kinds of feelings. However, I must admit that my own life has been filled with a variety of sexual partners, and some of the feelings are stronger than others.
So don’t judge yourself for your sexual urges or even for having acted out on them. Just let it open your heart to the forgiveness.