QA181 QUESTION: The attitude of most parents towards sexuality for their adolescent child are restricted, prohibitive. And then there’s a small minority that have a kind of superficially sophisticated forcing of sexuality with a child, which indicates to me a kind of split between love and sexuality. Why is it that a parent can trust a child in so many ways, and yet when this comes up, everybody starts to run scared? As a parent, what is a real way of dealing with a child in relation to love and sexuality?
ANSWER: The real way is not ever the way what one says or what one does or a handling or an assumed attitude. The real way is a state of being within. Only the parent who is unified within himself, where love and sexuality is at least relatively unified, where there’s no rejection of either, where it is neither on the deepest level thought “sex/dirty” or “love/dangerous” – only then will this attitude communicate itself in the air.
It is not what one says or what one postulates or what one preaches. It is in the inner being. That is what counts, and that is what children respond to, regardless of the words being spoken. Of course, in all human relationships, this is what one responds to with one another – much more than the words that are said. You know that, my friend. But even more so with children.
Now, on the other hand, one cannot force oneself to be that unified. To become that unified is a long, long way; it is a struggle; it is growth. But to know this is already a tremendous asset. If a parent knows, “Yes, I have my problem here in this and that respect, where I deny my sexuality, where I am afraid of loving, where I cannot let go, where I have my own defenses. And this will, of course, communicate itself in some way to my child, whatever I say – that is inevitable,” then you have already attained a great deal. Because then you also know that the child will be affected by this only to the degree it has already its problem, which it has brought into this world. And it is up to this child to work out these problems.
To the degree you know of your own problem, you bring in a clear psychic atmosphere that helps the child to do this. To the degree you deny this problem in you or ignore the problem in you, you spread fog – psychic fog.
Now, it is no wonder, of course, that both sexuality and love, especially when they are unified, create these tremendously strong reactions in human beings. For this is exactly the same as the spiritual surrender to the forces of which you are an integral part – the letting go of the ego, the surrender to the cosmic processes that permeate the whole universe and also the self.
If this surrender of the ego takes place, the connection with the cosmic whole can be established. In human beings, the loving attitude – as opposed to fearing love – and the surrender to the total unification of sexuality and love, and the pleasure that comes from this total giving of the self, that is how the cosmic streamings that transcend the ego can be experienced for man. This is a more genuine mystical experience than the mystics who deny their sexuality, for it is but half an experience in most instances.
QA214 QUESTION: I’m having trouble with a problem with my daughter who is investigating her own sexuality. As her father, one part of me feels that she’s moving too fast. I would like to be loving and giving and understanding, and I think that’s very important here, but another part of me feels that I’m giving something up, and that I should hold on and maintain control. I feel a real conflict of feelings and I wonder if you could help me with those feelings?
ANSWER: Well, I would say, in the first place, in order to truly help and find the right balance in your approach to her, you would really have to deal with these problems and these fears in yourself. Because otherwise you will merely act out of what you think you ought to do, out of your own fears and your own limited perceptions of what is right and what is wrong, and so on.
So to give you advice on how to behave or what course to take would be very detrimental at this point, because it is not in what you do or what you say or how you act toward her – what course to take – that you can find the true answer. Each act you can take may be positive or negative, may come from a good place in you or a negative place.
That is always where man gets involved in his confusions – namely, that he constantly thinks of the act itself as the criterion rather than his attitude, his clarity, his own feeling of being whole in himself, that can determine his behavior. If you are not clear, then your best course would be to own up to this and say that you do not know what is right, that you express your reservations, you express your feelings, you express your worries.
You share them with her honestly instead of either being an authority who says, “You cannot and must not do this” or else be too lenient and too weak out of your own guilt feelings and allowing her to do something destructive to herself. So both again can be right or wrong. In searching your feelings in your own work, you will find a lot of clarification.
239 QUESTION: A group of us who work with children on the Path as Helpers, have started what we call a children’s seminar where we discuss the problems of working with children. One of the subjects of discussion is sexuality in children. I wondered if you could address the children tonight on this subject and help us who work with the children.
ANSWER: It is, of course, a wonderful thing that the old taboos are removed. The old restrictions that make sexuality a dirty, guilty secret no longer exist. It is important that a growing human being knows and learns to accept this beautiful force, this divine force.
At the same time it is of equal importance to realize that the greater a force – whether it be the force of sexuality or any other spiritual force – the more it requires a tremendous amount of maturity – and young people can be mature – which means a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. Self-discipline here is not meant in the sense of denial of pleasure, but in the sense of the constant process of self-purification, of honesty, of truthfulness, of commitment to growing.
If this deep sincere commitment to self-discipline is lacking, the sexual force cannot be borne and will turn into destructiveness. It is important to understand this. It is also important to realize that without a loving heart, sexuality becomes shallow, unfulfilling, empty, and it will always be guilt-producing, no matter what the mores of your outer society may be.
The guilt is then an inner guilt for wanting to grab a pleasure in a selfish way without lovingness. Only when that attitude of lovingness is cultivated can guiltlessness exist, and therefore the full capacity to enjoy all the pleasures, including sexual pleasure.
QUESTION: My daughter is of very low energy level, especially in the morning. It is very difficult for her to move in the morning. I know there is a characterological reason for this, but I would like to know if there is anything I can do about it and what is the deeper meaning of this problem?
ANSWER: The meaning is that she uses a great deal of energy in an artificially stirred up way. There is a lot of sexual energy there that she does not know how to handle and that creates an over-agitation that is then pushed into an over-activity that is not quite organic or harmonious.
So then an imbalance is created and at certain times energy is lacking. Now, you may not be able to immediately do something about this. At the same time, your understanding, simply your awareness of this, may already have an effect on another level of reality.