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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature
One thing I will say, sad though it may seem to you to be. There is no immediate solution of the problem of sex with which we are at this time confronted. For ages men have misused and wrongly employed a God-given function; they have prostituted their birthright, and through their laxity and license, and through their lack of control, they have inaugurated an era of disease, both mental and physical, of wrong attitudes and illusory relations which it will take several centuries to eradicate; they have also brought too rapidly into incarnation myriads of human beings who were not yet ready for the experience of this incarnation, and who needed longer interludes between births wherein to assimilate experience. Those souls who are unevolved come into incarnation with rapidity; but older souls need longer periods wherein to garner the fruits of experience. They are however open to the magnetic attractive power of those who are alive on the physical plane, and it is these souls who can be brought prematurely into incarnation. The process is under law, but the unevolved progress under group law as do the animals, whilst the more evolved are susceptible to the pull of human units, and the evolved come into incarnation under the Law of Service, and through the deliberate choice of their conscious souls.

I shall divide what I have to say into four parts, for the sake of clarity and rapid reference: [273]

  1. Definitions of sex, of virtue and of vice.
  2. Sex in the New Age.
  3. Some suggestions for the present moment.
  4. Sex and the life of discipleship.

I deal not with history nor with the details of racial evolution. These are necessarily all connected with the problem of sex, but are too vast in their implications for my present purposes. As I said before, I deal not with the physiological aspects of sex, nor with the diseases incident upon the misuse of the function, nor shall I deal with the subject of sterility, except as it enters into our consideration of modern man. I cannot touch upon the quarrels of the various schools of thought, for I am not writing from any specific angle, such as that of religion or of morality or of partisanship. The whole question is wider and bigger than any religious view or the moral affirmations of the little minds. What is morality in one country or in one specific relation can be quite the reverse in another. What is deemed legal in one part of the world is found illegal in another. What constitutes a difficult problem under one climatic condition presents totally different possibilities under another. Polygamy, promiscuity and monogamy have been and are cyclically dominant in different parts of the world, down through the ages, and are to be found functioning simultaneously on the earth today. Each has been, or is, in turn right, legal and suitable, or wrong, illegal and unsuitable. Each of these forms of interpreting the sex relation has been the subject of attack or defense, of virtuous horror or of specious argument; each has been the common custom and the rightful method, according to the location, the tradition, training and attitude of the men who practiced it. In one part of the world, one woman may have many husbands; in another, one husband is legally [274] entitled to four wives, if so he choose, and in the harem and the kraal such conditions are always to be found. In the West, a man has legally one wife, but through his promiscuity and his so-called "romantic" adventures, he really has as many as an African chieftain, and today, women are little better.

I have enumerated the above conditions with no thought of criticism in my mind, but simply as a statement of fact, and in order to awaken in the average reader a realization of a worldwide condition which is probably quite different to their ordinary surmise. I write not for the specialists, but for the average intelligent student who needs a worldwide picture of existing conditions.

It is divinely true that the trend of men's thoughts and desires is towards an established monogamy, but as yet this has never been universally achieved. If one faces this issue with courage and with truth, one will be forced to the conclusion that down the ages men have never been monogamists. Women have been more so in the past than men, but are perhaps less so now, as modern knowledge is inculcating modern methods of protection from the risk and pain of childbirth. Up till now, the act of bearing children has been regarded as deterrent and as a penalty for legal or illegal sex relations. Think of the horror unfolded in those words! Women, practicing the ancient trade of promiscuity, have of course always existed, but I am referring here to women in the home.

Will you believe me if I tell you that the world situation today, where sex is concerned, is so critical and so serious that there is not a thinker to be found who can yet see the solution, or who can find - no matter how clear his brain or erudite his mind - the way out of the present impasse? The traditions of customs and of practices, with their inevitable consequences and long established tenure, serve to bewilder [275] the clearest minds. The physical results alone of sexual intercourse, carried on within or without the legalized marriage relation, have produced not only the world of everyday human life, but much of the disease, the insanity, the evil tendencies, and the perverted impulses which today fill our hospitals, our homes for neurotics, our sanatoriums, our prisons and our lunatic asylums.

Our young people, especially the idealistic types and the clear-thinking boys and girls, find themselves faced with a situation which defies their best efforts. They do not know what to think or what to believe. They look into, or form part of, homes which are sanctified by legal marriage, and find (on a large scale) nothing but unhappiness, legalized prostitution, ill-health, the seeking of illicit relations outside the home, neglected and unwanted children, the friction produced by wrong mating, divorce, and no answer to their many intelligent questions. They look then elsewhere, into the lives of those who have avoided the responsibility of marriage, and find naught but discontent, frequently a secret and hidden sex life, ill-health as a result of the frustration of the natural instincts, psychological conditions of the worst kind, sometimes illegitimate children, sexual perversions, and a growing tendency towards what is called homosexuality. They are overwhelmed by complete bewilderment and the failure to find an answer to their questions. They ask the worldly minded for a solution and for help, and get no clear reply, no sound philosophy and no fundamental instruction. They may be offered sound common sense, and the injunction to avoid excesses and those conditions which would impair their health or lay on them the burden of straitened economic conditions. The moralities of the past may be pointed out to them, and they may be warned of the results which inevitably follow when the laws of nature are broken and the [276] physical body is prostituted to ill-regulated desire. They may have the virtues of "straight living" eulogized to them, and even the fact that they are sons of God may be emphasized to them. All this is good and right and useful. But no true solution is offered, and no light is thrown upon their problem, and their confusion remains unrelieved. They may perhaps turn to the religiously minded people and seek out the orthodox churchman. They may be told to be good; the example of the saints may be cited to them; they may find themselves deluged in a flood of puritanical injunctions, in righteous platitudes, and with unsatisfying explanations, based often on personal prejudice and predilection. But seldom is a clear note sounded, and seldom is it possible to do more than enunciate the great Mosaic law, "Thou shalt not..." To the bulk of the young and seeking enquirers of the present generation the fact that God says thus and so, or the Bible ordains this, that or the other, does not satisfy their longing to know the reason why. The hope of an ultimate heaven, where self-discipline, self-control and sexual abstinence will receive a just reward, seems too far away to offset the temptations of the outer environing world and the insistent urges arising within the man himself.

That many do withstand the "temptations of the flesh" is indeed wonderfully true. That there are men and women everywhere who pass through life clean and uncontaminated is equally and wonderfully a fact. That there are advanced souls whose life is divorced from the animal nature and whose minds control their daily acts is the glory of humanity. But many of them, living in another world of thought and interest, are not tempted as are the more animally inclined of the sons of men. There are, again, of course, those who refrain from wrong doing because they fear the results, either today in the physical body or hereafter in the other world of [277] penalty. But which of all these people, even the most good and saintly, can speak with real wisdom and understanding of this universal problem? Which of them can see the way out for humanity at present? Which of them understands the reason for all the distress, sin and wickedness which have grown up around the sex relation? Which of them really comprehends the true significance of the sex life, its place in the great scheme of things, and the reason for the relation between the sexes? Which of them can say with true vision what the next evolutionary step will be, whither we are going, and what will be the next development?

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