Lust

Here is, in truth, the whole secret of Yoga, the science of the soul. The active turnings, the strident vibrations, of selfishness, lust and hate are to be stilled by meditation, by letting heart and mind dwell in spiritual life, by lifting up the heart to the strong, silent life above, which rests in the stillness of eternal love, and needs no harsh vibration to convince it of true being.

Rightly understood, the desire for sensation is the desire of being, the distortion of the soul’s eternal life. The lust of sensual stimulus and excitation rests on the longing to feel one’s life keenly, to gain the sense of being really alive. This sense of true life comes only with the coming of the soul, and the soul comes only in silence, after self-indulgence has been courageously and loyally stilled, through reverence before the coming soul.

Lust applies to the abuse of any or all of the senses in the pursuit of pleasure or gratification. Through the sense of sight man may lust after material objects; through the sense of hearing, he craves the sweet, slow poison of flattery, and vibratory sounds as of voices and music that rouse his material nature; through the lustful pleasure of smell he is enticed toward wrong environments and actions; lust for food and drink causes him to please his taste at the expense of health; through the sense of touch he lusts after inordinate physical comfort and abuses the creative sex impulse. Lust also seeks gratification in wealth, status, power, domination—all that satisfies the "I, me, mine" in the egotistical man. Lustful desire is egotism, the lowest rung of the ladder of human character evolution. By the force of its insatiable passion, karma loves to destroy one's happiness, health, brain power, clarity of thought, memory, and discriminative judgment.

Free again, but it's just a feeling; freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and commit yourself to what is best for you… Freedom continues to be the thing I prize most in the world. Of course, this has led me to drink wines I did not like, to do things I should not have done and which I will not do again; it has left scars on my body and on my soul, it has meant hurting certain people, although I have since asked their forgiveness, when I realized that I could do absolutely anything except force another person to follow me in my madness, in my lust for life. I don’t regret the painful times; I bear my scars like medals. I know that freedom has a high price, as high as that of slavery; the only difference is that you pay with pleasure and a smile, even when that smile is dimmed by tears… Freedom has a high price, as high as that of slavery; the only difference is that you pay with pleasure and a smile, even when that smile is dimmed with tears… Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and commit myself to - what is best for me… Absolute freedom does not exist: there is only the freedom to choose something from that moment onwards to feel bound by its own decision.

With the plundered people transferring their energies into relaxed and receptive thoughts, degradation and lust for power produced art.

Men are most apt to believe what they least understand; and through the lust of human wit obscure things are more easily credited.

The human spirit sublimates the impulses it thwarts: a healthy sex life mitigates the lust for other sports.

The lust of the flesh directs these desires [of personal union], however, to satisfaction of the body, often at the cost of a real and full communion of persons.

The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion.

The lust of fame is the last that a wise man shakes off.

Whoever breaks free from the lust for food can become a miracle worker. But someone who is stuck in this desire it is a sign that he is a liar. Even a Tzaddik who already freed himself from all desires and then falls back into the desire for food, it must be that something false left his mouth. It also shows that there is Judgment upon him from above and it is a sign of poverty.

Direct the six passions to God. The impulse of lust should be turned into the desire to have intercourse with Atman. Feel angry at those who stand in your way to God. Feel greedy for Him. If you must have the feeling of I and mine, then associate it with God. Say, for instance, My Rama, my Krishna. If you must have pride, then feel like Bibhishana, who said, I have touched the feet of Rama with my head; I will not bow this head before anyone else.

God cannot be realized if there is the slightest attachment to the things of the world. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if the tiniest fiber sticks out. The anger and lust of a man who has realized God are only appearances. They are like a burnt string. It looks like a string, but a mere puff blows it away.

I am speaking of the danger of the alligators of lust and the like. Because of them one should smear one's body with turmeric before diving in

It is not lust alone that one should be afraid of in the life of the world. There is also anger. Anger arises when obstacles are placed in the way of desire.

Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection.

My sins are more in number than the hairs on my head. I have bestowed my youth in wantonness, lust and uncleanness; I have been puffed up with pride, vanity and love of this wicked world’s pleasures. For all which, I humbly beseech my Saviour Christ to be a mediator to the eternal Majesty for my pardon, especially for this my last sin, this great, this bloody, this crying, this infectious sin, whereby so many for love of me have been drawn to offend God, to offend their sovereign, to offend the world. I beseech God to forgive it us, and to forgive it me – most wretched of all.

We lust, because our ancestors' lust helped pass their lustful genes on to us. Here, as it happens, Darwinism agrees with commonsense: the convention works. But sometimes the convention breaks down. If we are on the Pill, or know that our sexual partner is, it doesn't diminish our desire. We still inherit the ancient rule of thumb, now out of date. As Steven Pinker says, in his splendid book How the Mind Works, Had the Pleistocene contained trees bearing birth-control pills, we might have evolved to find them as terrifying as a venomous spider.

If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all... why then perhaps we must stand fast a little --even at the risk of being heroes.

O my God, I know that my sins are too great to tell,
And my trespasses too many to remember,
Yet as a drop from the sea will I make mention of some,
And make confession of them;
Perhaps I shall silence the roar of their waves and their crashing,
"And Thou wilt hear from heaven and forgive."
I have trespassed against Thy law,
I have despised Thy commandments,
I have abhorred them in my heart,
And with my mouth spoken slander.
I have committed iniquity,
And I have wrought evil,
I have been presumptuous,
I have done violence,
I have plastered over falsehood,
I have counselled evil, p. 110
I have lied, I have scoffed,
I have revolted, I have blasphemed,
I have been rebellious and perverse and sinful,
I have stiffened my neck,
I have loathed Thy rebukes and done wickedly,
I have corrupted my ways,
I have strayed from my paths,
I have transgressed and turned away from Thy commandments.
"But Thou art just in all that is come upon me
For Thou hast dealt truly and I have dealt wickedly."