This is a delicate matter. This touches upon the most intimate aspect of our body and being. This is important.
First, let me say: I have much to learn, or perhaps to unlearn, in this arena. I have stumbled, tripped, made progress, had moments of clarity, and most importantly, turned to AYP for guidance on the often taboo topic of sexuality.
Pornography is the selling of sexuality, as well as the extreme externalization of its details. Porn displays nakedness and the various kinds of intercourse for purposes of stimulation, arousal, intrigue, and obsession. Porn is a lot like using drugs and alcohol to get high. There's something artificial about it: a quick shortcut, a prosthetic substitution for the real thing.
But I'm not going to talk about porn in terms of a right vs. wrong morality. Instead, I'm going to talk about it through the lens of cause and effect. I think there is more truth and usefulness to be gleaned from the latter option.
The driving cause behind porn, just like any other addiction, is the desire for union (bhakti). But the effect of porn falls significantly short of its predicated goal and desire. Why? Because, in the dynamic of porn, the interior of the human being is diminished and dismissed in order to shift the viewers' and participants' attention to the exterior. This shallow focus creates an imbalance between the inside and outside dimensions, and whenever there is an imbalance, there will be detrimental results. All of life thrives on harmony, balance, and keeping things in blissful proportion.
I was having lunch with a friend recently, and he asked: "Do you think lust is evil?" And I said: "No, I just think it's incomplete."
The beauty of the exterior is meant to entice us further into the interior. When I say "interior", I mean many things, but namely: emotional content, personal history and narrative, dreams and aspirations, long-term implications, procreation and family, spiritual dimensions, and so forth.
I quit watching porn around the same time I got sober. But adhering to the code of brahmacharya—preserving and cultivating sexual energy, thereby walking and abiding in the creative force of God—is about much more than renouncing a transgression, or resisting a temptation. It's about cultivating a new relationship with the divine feminine. When that occurs, there is no "resistance" to any temptation. The so-called temptation is not desired whatsoever, because it is seen for what it is: a shallow, incomplete version of the fullness that we have been seeking all along. It's not that we have to deliberately avoid lust or erase the exterior beauty of the physical form (with all its lovely curves and edges); it's just that we begin to see deeper into our Self, thereby finding more bliss, ecstasy, and pleasure than what is found on the limited surface.
Again, I am still a novice in this particular area, but I didn't want to hold back from posting a blog about the principles and ideals to be worked towards.
There is no value in repressing sexual desire or condemning the transgressions. The only real transformation is through elevating the desire to a higher plane of functioning and union. Therefore, I'm not advocating some kind of legal prohibition of pornography, though I certainly encourage the voluntary renunciation of it. Rather, I'm challenging myself and others to peer deeper into form and chase the thrill into stillness.
More stillness, more pleasure. So it goes.