I am all caught up in my mind, my emotions and my sexual feelings - How can I free myself from these and increase my will power for spiritual life?
The questioner's philosophy
For example you wish to live a life of celibacy. You have sexual desires - then you react to these sexual desires by becoming frustrated that you have these desires. Where before you only had one problem, now you have two - sexual desire and frustration. Then because you have sexual desire and frustration you become disillusioned with your "progress." Now you have three problems, sexual desire, frustration and disillusionment! Then because you have three problems you feel defeated and decide to write to me. When you write to me you are feeling (at least!) four problems, sexual desire, frustration, disillusionment and defeat and your emotions, which follow your thoughts, are in turmoil.
Can you see how this whole cycle is working in your mind? This is the way the ego makes a problem out of everything and when it has that problem it adds three or four more. I want you to learn to see your ego's tendency to manufacture problems. Seeing the ego's tendency to manufacture problems is the ending of problems. When you have no problems you are self-integrated and your will is indomitable!
Be a little more understanding and gentle with yourself.
Peter Shepherd adds: A situation becomes a psychological problem, rather than a challenge to overcome, when there is internal conflict about one's actions: "I must do it; I can't do it," for example. Often one of these intentions is not openly admitted to, it is suppressed, and so regarding the situation, there is an ongoing state of anxiety, without a conscious understanding of why. Why suppress the opposing intention, when realizing and accepting it would largely solve the problem? Really, it's because of weakness, a fear of facing up to the reality of things. A weak ego is for this reason ego-centric: selfish and big-headed; compensating for an inner feeling of inferiority. A stronger ego is, ironically, more able to place attention outward, to face up to things, to be loving and generous - to enjoy the challenges of life rather than being the victim. If you are interested in the theory about ego development, Gregory Mitchell has a brilliant article called "Ego Autonomy and Overcoming the Superego." This article explains why - contrary to many people's assumptions - ego strength is vital to increase will power for spiritual life and ultimately, to be able to transcend the ego. To "transcend," one should note, means to integrate and go beyond, not to dispose of. The ego is, essentially, one's identity in everyday life - you need that, both before and after enlightenment. As the ego is cleared of conflicts, it naturally finds its home within the greater Self that is your true spiritual nature.
Further Help and Resources
I have the feeling that you might find my book of great help. It will support you in weaving your way through the ego's snares to find your authentic Self. I invite you to check it out at Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off.
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