"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Conservation Of Sexual Energy–Only So Many Shots In The Magazine

Gopal Srinivasan was a man who like many Indians took his spiritual journey seriously. He was devotional, carried out his duties at home, visited the temple every day on his way home from his government job, performed pujas and attended musical bhajans, and referred to God easily, respectfully and even intimately.


               Laxmi Puja www.ekunji.com

“You should conserve your sexual energy”, he said to Henry Baxter, an American who was an advisor to government and who had boasted of his many relationships with Indian women.

“The sex-energy must be controlled and diverted from the sex-purpose and used for aesthetic and artistic or other creation and productiveness or preserved for heightening of the intellectual or other energies”, Srinivasan said. “Entirely controlled, it can be turned into a force of spiritual energy also.” The point was, not to waste it.

“I do my husbandly duties”, he went on, “but that’s that.  No funny business.”

Sexual asceticism in nothing new, and most religions promote it.  Catholic celibacy, although rarely practiced either in the early days of the Church or now, is considered a way of reserving one’s energy for God.  Truly ascetic celibacy – a life led in all-male, remote monasteries - is even a more exalted confession of faith.  Not only do monks preserve their vital sexual energies and transform them into devotion; but there are no women to excite the fantasies which always precede the expression of sexual energy.

Image result for images into great silence

               ‘Into Great Silence’ www.rogerebert.com

Gopal took Henry Baxter and all Americans to task for their sexual profligacy. Adultery wasn’t so much a moral failing and disruptive to organized society.  It was simply an unconscionable waste of potentially spiritual energy.  Americans had no discipline and no self-control.  They talked of the scientific law of the conservation of energy, but as usual missed the point.

Image result for mathematic equation conservation of energy law

Americans were on the right track in believing that energy can be neither created nor be destroyed, but transforms from one form to another; but they quickly slipped off the rails when it came to human energy.  The human physical and spiritual organism are one, said Gopal; and the same laws apply. “There are no Johnny Appleseeds in heaven”, he said, pulling out the old chestnut that he always used in his informal evangelism.

Image result for images johnny appleseed


Gopal’s convictions were far closer to classical Hinduism that those of Arvind Shah who had distorted the retas and ojas of the Vedas into one simple aphorism: “There are only so many shots in the magazine.”  According to Shah, men had a finite reservoir of retas – sexual fluid – and this had to be husbanded carefully for only God knew how long anyone would live. “If all is spent unwisely in youth”, he said, “then where would we be at age fifty? The well would be dry, I tell you.”

Shah’s understanding of human sexuality was limited, and he linked retas with sexual performance. “When fuel gauge is down to Empty”, he said, “car will not start.”

“Trouble is”, he went on, “no one knows how many shots are in the magazine to begin with.  I know an old man of 70 who still services his wife; but who is to know how many rounds were fired before then? Perhaps only ten? Or even a hundred.  Problem lies there. Women, however, have no such issues”

Shah lived in an flat on Marine Drive in a building owned by his great-grandfather and had been in the family for generations. Radhakumar Shah had been one of the entrepreneurial Gujaratis who built Bombay from a swampy backwater to a major port and financial center. Arvind Shah, however, perhaps because of two generations of inherited money and indolence, had lost all of his ancestor’s discipline and moral rectitude.  He had a collection of Mughal erotic miniatures – over 100 exquisite paintings of the period never exhibited publically. Shah looked at them every day, but not for their artistic beauty, but for their pornographic detail.  His worry about his sexual magazine was made far worse because of a strong and ungratified sexual urge.

Image result for images erotic mughal miniature paintings


He told Baxter about ‘woman who does it with dog’, and how every evening he turns off all his lights and peers across the courtyard to the flats beyond to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Gupta and her mastiff. “Women can do it night and day”, he said. “With men, with dogs, with donkeys.  They have no reservoir to protect.  No magazine with more and more empty cartridges. No precious bodily fluids.”

In his own frustrated, ungratified sexual state, watching Mrs. Gupta copulate with a dog as big as a small horse was painful.  “What can I do?”, he asked rhetorically. “I am in bondage.”

All countries have their theories about sexual potency, energy, and expression; and Baxter’s own country was no different.  Back in the 60s he had visited a hippy commune in northern Oregon. They had blended the Hindu theory and American free-love, and felt that only through continual sexual activity could one activate the kundalini, a source of powerful spiritual energy. The guru of the commune explained that  Kundalini lies "coiled" at the base of the spine and is represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. Kundalini is an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force. “Mother energy and intelligence of complete maturation", he said.

Image result for hippies 60s commune


Baxter was bemused at these theories. No one ever seemed to be satisfied with just plain sex.  This was particularly surprising because when sex was good, there was nothing like it; let alone the miracle of conception and procreation. What more could anyone want?

“I went to my urologist yesterday”, a college friend of Baxter’s told him over drinks at the Mayflower, “and he said that frequent sexual activity was necessary to keep the pipes unclogged and the waterworks working smoothly. If the prostate is not used, he said, it becomes glutinous, soggy, and weakened. ‘Be sure to keep yours in good working order’”.

“Ask him if he has ever been to India”, Baxter said.

Now that Baxter was over 70, he wondered what all the fuss was about. Like all men, he thought about sex every day. “Je pense au sexe tout le temps”, said a British aristocrat to the lovely French ingénue sitting next to him at a formal dinner at the Elysees in a French satire of the 1950s. “Especially when I am with you.” Age had not diminished his love and appreciation of women, and every time he got the scent of perfume in his nostrils, he was lost in reverie. Sex stopped there, unfortunately, but Baxter was not the painfully pitiful old man full of regret that many of his friends had become.  He remembered the good times with a smile; but still wondered why sexual conquest had so obsessed him as a young man.  From his current perspective, it was a lot of valuable time wasted. “What, fifty women? Seventy-five? A drop in the bucket. Less than the number in a pasha’s harem”.  

Image result for images pasha's harem 19th century

        Francois Gabriel Lepaulle www.fineartlib.info

Maybe Gopal Srinivasan was right, he thought. Men hook up and marry for the most illogical and senseless of reasons.  We spent hours, days, years in an unproductive and ultimately unrewarding search for the perfect mate. Arranged marriage, that was the answer for sure. Targeted use of sexual energy; and careful husbandry of the munitions in the armory. That was all a man really needed after all.

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