tiltbillings wrote:Don't we self gratify all the time? Drinking a favorite tea while reading our favorite author? Listening to a beautiful piece of music? Company of good friends? The high that come from exercise? Wearing one's favorite shirt? Playing with one's grandkids? Petting one's dog?
What if we do? Does that mean masturbation is just another innocuous way to pass the time?
I do not think it is as deadly as some make it out to be.
tiltbillings wrote:I am simply exploring possibilities, but what is interesting is the particular opprobrium laid upon masturbation as if it were in a particularly bad class -- worse than others - of things we might choose to do to do that is pleasurable. Sounds like Victorian Christian guilt to me.
Guilt is a self-indulgence not unlike masturbation.
Sure, but there seems to be a lot of guilt and embarrassment around the subject.
tiltbillings wrote:If the one is not out of the realm of possibilities, then neither is the other.
That's the thing I'm not so sure about. Because it seems as if a person who engages in masturbation sets out solely in pursuit of sense pleasure without any other motivating factor.
And you make my point. Interestingly, you left out listening to music in your response to the list of things, but is sense pleasure is all that bad that we cannot abide in it once in a while? No bowl of popcorn, no video games, no looking at sunsets, no movies, no anything that has no redeeming value.
But if you're masturbating for self-gratification, I just don't see where there's anything skillful there at all.
Like listening to music or eating chocolate, or drinking a chai. What is skillful in that? Maybe you’re a bit depressed; self-pleasuring might make you feel a bit better. Is that bad? Maybe you are horny, it takes the edge of that the bodily pressures and feel good in the process. Is that bad?
It just seems like a pursuit in entirely the opposite direction as Dhamma. I don't see how it compares with those other activities you mention.
By the way, the books being read for pleasure with your tea have no educational value. Naughty books. No dhammic value.
In that respect, I highly doubt that it's possible to masturbate and yet maintain sampajanna. I think either you'd stop masturbating, or you would no longer have sampajanna. I don't think the same necessarily must be said about having sex with one's wife.
Now, that is funny. Masturbation is something within one’s control, no distractions of another person’s needs and reactions. If it is possible, it would more easily be the other way.