If I told you that it was a wasp that taught me the dangers of pornography you’d probably accuse me of being a honeycomb short of the full hive, but it is true.
However, before I recount the lesson… I have a confession to make. I do like pornography.
Actually, that is not entirely accurate.
Let’s say that I am “highly aroused” by pornography. It’s in my genes.
Anyways, I don’t watch porn anymore. I don’t entertain it at all. I haven’t for many years. I let it go around the time that I stopped drinking alcohol. But I don’t judge people who watch porn. My issue with porn isn’t a moral one. The reason I don’t like porn is because it is an addiction, and addictions are prisons for the weak of will.
I won’t be weak, and I refuse to be a prisoner of my senses.
The first and best and most immediate way to control the self is through the senses: I vigilantly tackle my senses through the deliberate slaughter of my addictions.
The Kabbalah teaches us that all our power, all our wealth is locked into our addictions, and when we kill those addictions we win our power back. Those who are heavily addicted are prisoners to their addiction. Killing them opens the door to freedom.
Our main addictions in this society are drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography and people pleasing – most people are infected with at least one, some people have them all.
This trick, I learned from Gandhi, who used this method of abstention to change the course of human history. At the time of his death, he had some 300 million followers. He believed that each of us had one major addiction and that when you closed the door to that you closed the door to all your addictions.
He started by killing his addiction to sex, then he set about mastering palate, claiming that if you controlled the palate all the other senses would fall into line, and when you controlled the senses you controlled yourself. From there, you literally controlled the world.
Porn Is Dangerous?
Like most people, I convinced myself that a little bit of porn was OK, as long as I kept control of it. But with something as powerful as sex, (especially for the sexually profligate male who has about a million years of procreational conditioning in his jeans) moderation, I believe, is an untenable philosophy.
Like any drug you indulge each injection needs to be stronger and sooner than the last to get the same hit. It is small wonder then that people who initially indulge light flirtation with porn quickly progress to the hardcore, often dangerous, mutations that no longer resemble the procreational act of intercourse with a loving partner.
I always justified it to myself as “just something guys did” until my appetite grew more and more and started to threaten my integrity. It got that it was hard for me to walk down the street without checking out (and imagining what I might do with) the curves of ever shapely female that happened to pass by. I’d go into book shops to purchase works on philosophy and psychology and spirituality and suddenly find myself in the erotica section flicking through the pages of ‘porn made to look like art.’
When you find yourself doing things against your own will you have to start asking yourself a few questions. This was the question I asked myself:
“Is this something I can indulge or will it always be an addiction looking for a host?”
We all think we can indulge and flirt around the edges of our addictions, but deep down we know that really we can’t — an addiction that is alive is always a threat.
Many famous folks have ruined their careers, their health, and their relationships because a dalliance with fire set light to their whole lives. I have many friends who have not given their addictions the respect they demand. Their flippancy has (or will) cost them dear. Some lost their jobs, others their liberty, many their lives. While I am not saying that porn will kill you, I am saying that it will imprison you without you even knowing.
And this is where the wasp came in.
This is not a metaphor. It is a true story…
I was sitting in my garden drinking a fruit juice. I’d just indulged in a porn fest (even though I really didn’t want to) and was feeling… weak and controlled. I no longer felt that I had a choice. The urge came on. I indulged it. I felt shit afterward. It had become a habitual cycle. I knew that I wanted to lose this addiction, but I just couldn’t find enough reason to stop. I kept rationalizing that “a little bit won’t do you any harm.”
Deep down I also knew that the little bit was getting bigger and bigger. It needed to be stopped. So I put down the empty glass, closed my eyes and did what I always do when I need an honest answer. I asked for a sign. When I opened my eyes, there was a wasp hovering just above my glass. It landed briefly on the glass, stole a residue of my fruit juice and then flew away.
Within a few brief seconds, the wasp was back. He was still careful; he hovered, landed, had a look around, took a glob of juice from just inside the glass and flew away again. When he returned the third time, he was more confident. He flew straight into the glass, took several globs of juice and, when he was ready, flew off once again. I smiled as I watched the wasp return again and again, each time more confident, each time staying a little longer, each time going a little deeper into the glass and each time drinking in a little more than the last.
Until the final time.
Arrogant now, my wasp flew straight to the bottom of the glass where there was a pool of thick juice. He stood right in the middle of it and drank and drank and… started to drown. He was up to his little knees in juice and could not lift himself back out.
The small indulgence had quickly turned into a life-threatening addiction.
I got the message.
I tipped the glass up so that the wasp – having kindly passed on its wisdom to me – could fly away to live another day.
I never indulged my addiction again.
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