Bisexuality, The Virtue of Contentment, and the Second Nobel Truth

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)The first five virtues have dealt with healing and grounding. They have included Truthfulness, Awareness, Discernment, Forgiveness and Gratitude. We are now ready to development a life of conscious living. The first of these virtues is Contentment. Gratitude automatically leads to Contentment.  Gratitude is recognizing that life itself and every event in life is a gift. Contentment is living a life where our higher self is always present and giving us a feeling of peace and abundance.

The Buddha believed that the source of all human misery was having desires – no desires, no anxieties.[1] He identified three types of desires? According to the Buddha, Kama tanha is wanting sense pleasures through the body and always seeking things to excite or please our senses. Taste pecan chocolate cheesecake and see what happens: a desire arises for more. That is kama tanha. Like all philosophical and/or religious statements, I do not accept them carte blanche. What could possibly be wrong with sense pleasures and what is wrong with wanting to fill our lives with sense pleasures? What could be wrong with the wonderful taste of chocolate pecan? Granted discernment is needed, we must evaluate what pleasures  allow our soul to grow and what pleasures stunt our growth. A daily walk along the ocean fills my soul; daily viewing pornography, although it is a pleasure, affects the health of my soul; too much chocolate pecan, affects my health and can damage my teeth. If we are grounded, and in tune with our higher self, we know what desires and pleasures are good for the body, mind and soul, and which pleasures should be avoided or controlled.

The second desire is bhava tanha where we can be caught in a realm of ambition and attainment – the desire to become. We get caught in that movement of striving to become happy, seeking to become wealthy; or we might attempt to make our life feel important by endeavouring to make the world right. This desire is wanting to become something other than what we are right now. There can be no contentment without a sense of being present with the higher self in everything we do. Doing is not becoming, we already are. We do not have to strive to be happy but we have to understand what happiness is and know how to seek it and enjoy it without striving. When I am with my beloved there is no striving for happiness. Being present with each other is happiness and brings happiness to everything we do together. The same thing applies to being present with nature, with  life,  and with the giver of life, with the one who is, with the universe itself. Seeking wealth for the sake of wealth or power is a fool’s game. Endeavoring to make the world right should be the desire of all conscious human beings, but not to feel important but just because it is the right thing to do.

The desire to get rid of things is vibhava tanha. This may be a desire to get rid of our suffering anger, jealousy, fear and anxiety. We can see from this train of thought that “becoming” and “getting rid of”are very much associated. Vibhava tanha also applies in spiritual life, which can be very self-righteous. We may want to get rid of our human nature and become only spiritual. This involves hating our bodies and our minds and all the pleasures they can bring so that we can claim we are spiritual beings. We may desire to have spiritual gifts to show people that we are special or gifted. On the other hand there is nothing wrong with wanting to be rid of suffering, anger and anxiety. In fact, we should even strive for it as they interfere with our ability to be present. And there is nothing wrong with having gifts and sharing them to alleviate the suffering of others. But I think there is something wrong with putting our name behind it and charging for our services.

By understanding these three kinds of desires, we can let them go. The Second Noble Truth is not about identifying with desires in any way; it’s about recognizing desire. It is not about hating oneself for having these thoughts and desires but recognizing when they are conditioned by the ego or the mind. Desire then becomes behavior patterns that we slip into because of ignorance and then apply these patterns to everything in our lives. But we are not just hopeless victims of desire nor do we have to let go of all desires. We simply have to understand where they are coming from, consciously analyze them through our higher self, and either let them go or indulge and enjoy.

Here are the five applications to Bisexuality:

  1. Sex is great. It absolutely overwhelms the senses of touch and feeling. It links two people together through the joy of their bodies. But it should be based on pleasing as well as being pleased and it should always come from the soul, not desperation of anxiety or self-hate.
  2. Bisexuality is great, it allows for two kinds of pleasure and two different responses to life. However, it should also come from the soul. Promiscuity for the sake of promiscuity can harm the soul and lead to guilt and shame.
  3. When we are in harmony with our self and our partner there is never shame. There is a wonderful exchange of parts of our souls that we refer to as bonding. We should feel closer and share deeper understanding of each other.
  4. As bisexuals we have no obligation to set the world right or to gain our identity from being a bisexual. We do not have to strive to become anything or anyone but who we already are. We must enjoy being us.
  5. If we feel suffering or anger or shame because of our bisexuality –  we have to get rid of it. It is pure poison. We can never thrive with the virtue of contentment unless we accept ourselves just the way we are and  learn to control and channel our desires to become content with ourselves, the people around us and with our higher selves.

[1] http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble12.htm

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