On Celibacy, MGTOW, and Naked Women

To set up what you like against what you dislike–this is the disease of the mind: When the deep meaning is not understood, peace of mind is disturbed and nothing is gained. —Hsin Hsin Ming

The whole nature of man presupposes woman, both physically and spiritually. His system is tuned into woman from the start, just as it is prepared for a quite definite world where there is water, light, air, salt, carbohydrates etc. —Carl Jung

     Recently I posted the third of a small series of pictorials featuring young women in a state of nature, so to speak, sitting in meditative poses. (I’ve also posted a number of other lavishly illustrated essays, some of them naughtier or at least more sexually explicit than the “Beauties of Meditation” series.) I received some disapproving pushback on this…apparently being reactions coming more from some MGTOW fellows who read the blog than from strict and/or puritanical Buddhists. Then I was having an abnormally bad day one day and replied testily to one of these MGTOW comments, thereby, I presume, insulting some of the readers of this blog. Consequently I feel like I should elaborate on the issue, and maybe express myself in a less abrasive manner.

     I have written on the subject of celibacy on the older, more Buddhist blog, particularly here. Also I wrote a kind of contra MGTOW post on this here particular blog, namely here. What follow are just some reflections that have arisen lately over the issue at hand.

     First, a few philosophical ruminations, including one or two that I touched upon in the aforementioned comments section after I had mellowed and was having a better day. I think it was in a very strange book called Seth Speaks that I found an interesting comment to the effect that “you will not attain peace by hating war, you will attain peace by loving peace.” This applies to all sorts of things, not just peace and war. I’ve taken radical feminists to task along these same lines: if feminist activists are active out of love for their fellow women and a sincere desire for their wellbeing, then fine, and what they accomplish may actually be something positive and beneficial. But if they are activists motivated by resentment or even anger and hatred against men, then no matter what they accomplish it will wind up being more negative than positive. Negativity begets more negativity, regardless of the issue at hand.

     In short, whatever you struggle with tends to get stronger. A fat lady struggling on one diet after another is simply reinforcing her own struggles, and she will probably fail in her attempts, unless she can stop fighting and obsessing and simply and calmly cultivate healthier eating habits (possibly by transferring her urge to struggle against something to something else). A person motivated by resentment, desire for vengeance, or even righteous indignation is creating “unskillful karma” that may be successful in the short term but will inevitably lead to negative results, because the cause (the motivation) was negative, or largely negative. This applies even to struggling against one’s own defilements or bad habits: a Khmer Rouge attitude of destroying one’s enemies, even if they are one’s own internal defilements, simply makes more problems, and generally doesn’t work out so well. It is better to do one’s best to understand the situation and then take reasonable action with some semblance of equanimity and calm. Acting against something, with an attitude of againstness, may strengthen your own side, but it tends to strengthen the other side also through a kind of isometric tension; and even if you attain your goal by being against something or someone, you have created this energetic imbalance that will come back the other way, back towards you, eventually.

     So I guess that is two main points that I conflated: one is that outward struggle against a perceived opponent tends to strengthen the opponent as well as oneself, and the other is that the negative motivation of resentment or whatever creates “bad karma” that will also result in increased againstness being returned to the original sender of it. In fact the bad karma isn’t in some metaphysical limbo waiting for its fruition to manifest, but is lurking around in the mind, mostly subliminally, all the time.

     Consequently, using aversion as a motivation for dealing with any perceived problem will always produce new problems even if it works in the short term. Negative karma (=negative volition) begets negative effects. Also, the aversion or againstness can become habitual, so that after one problem is “solved” one habitually starts looking around for something else to be bothered by, and to struggle against.

     A serious and difficult essay I’ve been meaning to write, but have been putting off much in the same way that Dostoevsky put off writing his magnum opus novel (portraying a damned soul achieving redemption) his whole life, pertains to the idea that all phenomenal existence requires a kind of kinetic friction of opposites. In science this starts all the way down at the subatomic level; for example an atom is the balanced kinetic attraction/aversion of negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons. The human universe is composed of conflicting, or at least mutually reacting, opposites such as stasis/change, self/other, truth/falsehood, good/bad, pleasure/pain, happiness/unhappiness, right/left, beauty/ugliness, heart/head, security/freedom, work/play, and on and on; and one of the really big ones for us is the occasionally oppositional dichotomy of male and female. This kinetic balance of complementary at best, oppositional at worst energies results in some of the most phenomenal ecstasy and also some of the greatest misery that we humans experience on this plane of existence. Romantic love can be a real roller coaster ride, largely avoiding smooth, neutral sailing in favor of the ups and downs of emotional positive and negative.

     Celibacy as an advanced spiritual practice attempts to remove this dynamic and thus to weaken our foothold in samsaric phenomenal existence by attaining to a bland state of sexual neutrality. Also, celibacy is a liminal state that disrupts universal structures and pairs of opposites and thus allows for the chaotic and miraculous to enter this world—although that is a subject I’ve pursued elsewhere. (Other liminal beings like psychics and witches may cultivate a different but still somewhat effective liminality through bisexuality, which also breaks down the hard masculine/feminine dichotomy.) But celibacy really works, spiritually I mean, only if the struggle and friction of opposites is transcended. Anything that reinforces the dichotomy (any dichotomy really) reinforces one’s samsaric existence. In my case I have been too naturally heterosexual, or polarized towards masculinity, or lonely, or whatever, for celibacy to be entirely a success…let alone all the other issues on which I take a polarized stand. It reinforces my samsaric existence but at least I can accept THAT—because struggling against that, like anything else, also reinforces samsaric existence. You shouldn’t even be against your own againstness. It’s tricky.

     Anyway, of course boycotting women is a nonstarter for a civilization or a society. Men and women have to come together to produce the next generation. Furthermore, most people come closest to true genuine love via their emotional relationships, with their family for example, and the fact of many failed cases, karmically conditioned in individual existences, does not indicate that the whole situation should be discarded. Seriously, love is the only thing in this world that makes life worth living. (So removing the intense intimacy of romantic love through celibacy also helps to make worldly life truly appear not worth living, in a kind of nonverbal self-fulfilling prophecy.) And bear in mind that although men and women are not equal in every possible way, we are equal with regard to capacity for wisdom and foolishness. Women are just as foolish as men are, and no more.

     It is a natural instinct of the human male to be attracted to women, as indicated by the statement by Jung quoted above. Liking each other is better than hating or resenting each other, and I consider woman-bashing MGTOW types to be essentially the male version of man-bashing obnoxious radical feminists. Going with Buddhist philosophy, if you can love all women as though they were your mothers, sisters, or daughters, then that’s great; although it certainly isn’t for everyone.

     So, do what you do, but do it with positive or neutral motives if at all possible. Acting to improve a situation is one thing, and acting out emotionally AGAINST a situation is entirely another. Every thought and feeling has its effects.

     Also, I may as well let you all know that I already have enough pictures collected for a fourth installment of Beauties of Meditation, and maybe even a fifth. So you have that to look forward to, in the not too distant future. One reason why I post them is to push the envelope and rattle cage bars in a politically incorrect manner. You have been forewarned.


  1. An old Slovenian folk tale illustrates the destructive nature of fostering resentment against our familiars:
    A wizard came to a man and granted him one wish:  Whatever wish I bestow upon you,  I will grant upon your neighbor times two.  The man replied: "gouge out one of my eyes."

  2. Very worthwhile post, Venerable. Good points, well expressed. I stopped looking at your blog after you started associating with Brian Ruhe. I hope there are ways to "push the envelope" and "rattle cages" as you say, without giving oxygen to Nazis and kooks.

    1. I recently learned of Aktion T4, the Nazi eugenics program. Doubtless the Soviets had their own version of this. Also, let us not forget that marvelous institution, Planned Parenthood. What is there to learn aside from the obvious?

    2. I think whataboutism is beneath you, intellectually. Once one has a platform and a significant influence, one carries a greater responsibility.

      And can the crimes of Stalin's regime or Pol Pot be traced to Marx to the same extent as the crimes of the Nazis to Hitler? There is also a false equivalence there., I think.

      I've also had some interactions with Ruhe and my impression was that he was more of a kook than a monster. In either case, as any sentient being he deserves compassion and kindness. That's not the question. The question is whether he also deserves a platform to air his hateful views. And that he does not.

    3. I don't see the whataboutism. My main point is that, although I am not a fascist of any kind (except maybe in the minds of indoctrinated lefties), if I had to choose between the two radical political ideologies I'd have to go with the fascists, who clearly were morally superior in certain respects (like for example a respect for spirituality). Some brands of fascism would be superior in many respects to Marxism of any sort, including the varieties promulgated in the western "educational" system.

      Also, there is quite a lot of evidence indicating that Hitler wasn't nearly so bad as mainstream "history" would have it--although I make no claims that he was a saint or sage.

      As for whether he deserves a platform for his "hateful" views, I'd say emphatically YES, and would also say that the onus is on you to demonstrate that he is in fact hateful, considering that you are accusing him of it, if by hateful you mean he is motivated by hate and not that indoctrinated fools are inspired to hate him, or even hate what he believes.

    4. So there's a bunch of issues above:

      1. This "Marxism of a degenerate, emasculated sort " that you claim the West is following. I see no semblance to Marxism in what I am assuming you're referring to, since his thought was essential class-based and transcended other categories, emphasising solidarity between the people belonging to the same class, while the current identitarian thread on the Left works to undermine any kind of solidarity. See Mark Fisher's analysis, for example.

      I also think that is hardly something "that the West is following". Some sections of some countries seem to be somewhat beholden to these fears, is what I think can safely be claimed.

      2. The Whataboutist was in your response when I said that you had provided platform for Nazi ideology and you responded by say that Marxism is even worse. How is that a valid reply?

      3. As for the comparison between Marxism and Fascism, this isn't something that will be fruitful until it is properly defined. Otherwise, we can call any convenient boogeyman Marxist. Besides Nazism was not just fascism, it was a deeply racist genocidal German chauvisim, quite distinct from fascism of the Austrian, Italian and other kinds.

      4. You are, it appears, sympathetic to it, saying that "Hitler wasn't nearly so bad as mainstream "history" would have it". So you are coming out as essentially a revisionist and a Nazi apologist, am I understanding you correctly?

      5. Whether Ruhe is a nice chap plagued by delusions or a monster motivated by hate is irrelevant as far as giving oxygen to his awful views is concerned. Arendt quite convincingly showed that many leading Nazis were quite ordinary people. It was the ideology that was the monster. And human beings for various reasons became beguiled by it or followed it out of convenience. So the onus is not on me to show that Ruhe is driven by hate, just by a hateful genocidal ideology and that is plain for anyone to see.

  3. I found your blog after accidentally stumbling upon your video with Brian Ruhe on Evola. Based only on the videos, I've developed a high regard for Brian Ruhe although I don't agree with everything he says. He really does seem like a kind, good natured person who isn't angry or hateful in spite of the fact that his views can easily turn a person in that direction. Just wanted to say that in response to the previous comment.

  4. MGTOW is structures somewhat like Buddhism. You have the MGTOW monks, and the MGTOW laymen called pump-n-dumpers. I wonder if you wouldn't fit better in the latter category than as a Buddhist monk, because if you oppose the MGTOW monks, how can you be a Buddhist monk? MGTOW monasticism is merely celibacy without renouncing money.

  5. "Consequently, using aversion as a motivation for dealing with any perceived problem will always produce new problems even if it works in the short term."

    I am averse to murder. Is that bad? Will it cause me problems? LMAO epicly.

    You have fallen prey to some Leftist translator's trick in the Pali Canon, where older translations say something like "The monk letting go of the desire and dejection in the world fare on rightly..." you've been reading a Lefty rag translation that says "The monk letting go of desire and aversion for the world..."

    The difference is big. If aversion is always bad, we cannot be averse to immorality, and thus are required to do immoral things? What a Buddhism that is!

    Whereas, if the word means "dejection" then it means "depression about not being allowed to do a wrong thing." I.e. the monk must let go of craving/lust/desire AND the depression about having to let go of it. So, not only can he not lust for sex, but he can't sit around depressed about it "boo hoo, Buddha won't let me lust for sex," which would be "dejection."

    That is my understanding, and of course I am right.

    1. I've never even heard of "lefty rag translations," and I've read the Pali Canon in the original Pali. And a few of the most ancient texts (like the Purabheda Sutta of the Sutta Nipata) do say that one should not have aversion even for desire or passion. I'm not sure what the Pali term is that you are variously rendering as "aversion" and "dejection." Also, you can not endorse murder while at the same time not feeling aversion for it. Aversion is dosa no matter what the justification.

    2. I find it absolutely delicious that so much intellectual banter can be engendered by a few nudie pics.

    3. Yeah it really unleashes the neurotic tendencies, don't it!

  6. I think the reason you get push back when you post porn is because people simply expect more from a Buddhist monk. You lose all claim to moral superiority when you do this - and people expect more from you - because why did you go to be a monk in the first place - weren’t you tired of all the worldly crap, yet you spend your time making a porn collection and posting it online. What’s the difference between you and the guy down the bar?
    My own reasons for disliking it are different - the Porn industry has always been owned, run, and promoted by the same people - From Berlin pre WWII to Palestine to the degeneracy of the 60’s - always the same people and I refuse to give my soul to ‘them ‘ - it obviously doesn’t bother you.
    The second reason I have for disliking it is so many of the women involved are trafficked slaves with no choice but perform.
    It doesn’t matter if it’s soft core porn or hard core porn you lech over you give all your sovereignty to “them” when you do it and engage in a moral crime when you lech over women that may have no choice but to perform.
    Just so long as you’re honest with yourself (and everyone else) and don’t pretend to have a shred of integrity or moral superiority whatsoever. If you keep doing this you’re no different than any other “John” and it looks bad not only on you but on Buddhism too.

    1. Well there’s one hell of a lot to unpack in this one. First off, as I’ve noted before, most of the pushback appears to be coming not from strict Buddhists but from secular MGTOW guys with some real negativity issues.

      Secondly, as I stated in the TRIGGER WARNING at the beginning of the third “Beauties of Meditation” post, the pictures were of women, some of them not covered with cloth, in non-pornographic religious poses. Seriously, adopting religious poses is as unpornographic as women can get; so if a nude woman sitting in meditation or prayer is pornographic to you, then practically ALL pictures of uncovered women are porn to you—and that is a reflection of your own dirty mental states. The filth that you loathe is within you, as indicated in the essay above, from which you evidently derived zero benefit. I deliberately posted pics of women in nonpornographic poses largely to highlight the rampant neuroticism some people have over female bodies. You apparently consider the physical bodies of at least half the human race to be obscene.

      As for you veiled accusation of God’s (alleged) Chosen People being responsible for porn, I wonder if they’re also responsible for Japan’s burgeoning porn industry, or the ancient Roman love for it for that matter. It’s going to be a major industry with or without Jews making money from it. But if you hate porn out of antisemitism that’s your choice.

      Also, I would be very surprised if ANY of the women in the pictures above was a sex slave, but you use this as an excuse to be against ANY portrayal of a woman’s uncovered body.

      It seems to me that you are projecting more of an image of “moral superiority” than I am. I frankly don’t care. Furthermore, I’m not sorry and I don’t apologize, and that “Beauties of Meditation” post was nowhere near being the first, and will not be the last, of pictorial essays on this blog featuring unclothed females.

      Finally, I will point out the totally obvious: If you don’t like the content, then don’t read the freaking blog.

  7. These complaints all very Victorian. So many women in the world used to walk around naked and nobody had a problem until the Europeans invaded and thrust clothes upon everyone as a show of their “moral superiority”, never mind the killing and pillaging.

    1. I think the taboo on nudity in the west may be largely a Christian thing. The ancients weren't so prudish.

  8. Mara's Chosen may not be responsible for all Japanese porn, but they are responsible for black on jap porn for sure.

  9. Dear Sir,

    I have been reading your blog since last November. Through your work and Evola's Doctrine of Awakening I have become increasingly interested in Buddhism. It seems to me to be the most accurate characterization of human existence and suffering.

    I desire sex as much as any other healthy, biologically normal man. That said, my capacity to get it (without resorting to the use of prostitutes) is effectively nil. To put it bluntly but accurately, my face is unusually ugly.

    Is it bad karma for me, as a layman, to visit prostitutes? If so, how can I overcome the lust that has occasioned me so much bitterness and pain?

    1. Well, technically it is against the 3rd precept ("sensual misconduct") to resort to prostitutes, although how bad the karma is depends on your own volition. Sometimes we have to make choices with regard to what sorts of bad karma we will make because existence itself, especially worldly existence, pretty much necessitates a certain amount of negativity and unpleasantness. So if you want some pleasure so much that you are willing to accept an equal amount of its opposite, then that is your choice to make.

      With regard to overcoming lust, I suspect I am not the best person to give advice on that, as I also have not overcome it very well. It's built in, instinctive, and overcoming it requires a whole-hearted desire not to like sexy women anymore, which is not so easy for some guys. The main thing is to want with your whole heart to leave that behind. Otherwise, maybe someday you'll meet a good-hearted woman who loves you for who you are inside. Then there's also masturbation as a pressure relief valve. Otherwise celibacy is a kind of ascetic practice in which one simply learns not to scratch the chronic itch.

    2. Dear Sir,

      Thank you for answering my question. I did not lose my virginity until I was nearly 26, so I have some experience with celibacy. Perhaps some day when I'm older and the desire for sex is less intense, I'll be able to try again in good faith.

  10. Is it true that all men are attracted to women? It seems as though the human sexual system can be hijacked by other stimuli, whether you want to couch it in biological or psychological terms.

  11. "Also, the aversion or againstness can become habitual, so that after one problem is 'solved' one habitually starts looking around for something else to be bothered by, and to struggle against."

    Well said. Looking forward to reading the essay you describe in the following paragraph. As I do believe that "the idea that all phenomenal existence requires a kind of kinetic friction of opposites" tugs at the root of Samsara.


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