Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Sensual Pleasures and Enlightenment
TM: I’d like to talk about one area that seems to be rejected by Christianity and Buddhism (maybe for different reasons) and yet Hinduism embraces it in part. And that is pleasures of the flesh. Two questions come to mind. When you say give up the pleasures of the flesh, or give up the sensory pleasures, what do you mean? Why do we have to forego pleasure in order to appreciate and live a spiritual life in the flesh?
Master Buddha: Those questions allow me to clarify some misunderstandings that have arisen from my original teachings and Master Jesus’ teachings too. Let me emphasize too that those teachings were provided for an earlier time in which the conditions of the time were different than they are now and so adjustment is required.
First of all for context, the questions posed that aroused the teachings had to do with achieving enlightenment or salvation. They were intended for disciples who had dedicated their lives to tread the path. Those who recorded the essence of the sermons and discussions were biased by their own personal beliefs toward the ideas presented. This doesn’t mean they are completely inaccurate, it just means that one must make allowances for the bias.
Secondly, we were in our own time biased by our own lives while incarnated. While it is true that Master Jesus and I achieved states of enlightenment beyond the norm we could not escape the effects of being human. This is often forgotten or is dismissed because we are elevated above our actual experience in the flesh by devotees and followers.
Now let me address your questions. Sensuality is a natural part of being human. It is so natural in fact that it can be mistaken as the primary aspect of ones being. It is in reality a reflection of higher consciousness. For those treading the path I ask, do you wish to play in your reflection in the pond or do you wish to know the one casting the reflection?
This was not and is not to be interpreted as an admonishment to those beings who are playing in their reflections. It is saying to the one upon the path, this is the way.
TM: So you are saying that one can’t find their way to enlightenment by exploring the pleasures of the flesh?
Master Buddha: It is knowing the distinction between the true self and the one who pretends to be the self. One will not find the true self by only exploring the reflection. Likewise one cannot deny or ignore the reflection and truly know oneself. I think what you want to know is can one experience and appreciate the pleasures of the flesh and pursue enlightenment. The answer is in each ones heart or center of ones intent. The non-self is a trickster beyond belief. To answer yes means that it is possible and to answer no is to exclude that which is possible. It will be different for everyone.
TM: So it is possible but it depends on the individual?
Master Buddha: Yes.
TM: How do I know if it is possible for me? How do I know what is the center of my intent?
Master Buddha: You will know when the power of your heart and your true desire for enlightenment out weighs all other considerations. All that isn’t from that place melts away and leaves the purity of true self. In other words until that point you won’t know. You will try this and that, and mostly you will try to strike bargains and negotiations with the true self to bring with you all the things that are important to the non-self. Until that day when you realize what you have been doing and it all falls away and leaves who you are. Then you’ll know.
TM: It sounds like what you’re saying is that the pleasures of the flesh are the parts that the non-self is bargaining to keep and that they will be the parts that melt away. Is that what you mean?
Master Buddha: I believe you were one of the ones who recorded these teachings many centuries ago. Why don’t you just find out for yourself?
TM: Well, of course I will. But I’m asking you as a teacher for a lesson that will guide me along the way.
Master Buddha: And I am a teacher along the way who is offering a lesson to a student who wants me to provide shortcuts that obviate his own need for experience, which in reality cannot happen. What more can I say except that you will have to find the way to the center of your heart to know your true self and in time know that which is not the true self. The pleasures of the flesh represent the reflection, but are not the true self. Is that clear?
TM: Humbly, yes. Although, I must say you are being forceful and adamant about this in a way I haven’t before experienced in your teaching.
Master Buddha: Sometimes that is what is needed. I am adamant that you experience life for yourself. A teacher shall point a way, but shall be cautious about dictating precise directions. It is through discovery that you truly learn the lesson, not through intellectual comprehension. The motivating force that propels you into discovery is from within yourself. There is no harm in vigorous stimulation of the mind on spiritual matters. But ultimately it is living experience that counts.
© TM 2015