The Doctrine of False Piety
While it may not be apparent to everyone, the real business of life is “growing” our consciousness. In the old archetype of spiritual- ity, the pursuit of consciousness was accompanied by self-sacrifice. Consciousness was associated with martyrdom and a substantial increase in suffering. The physical world was thought of as the devil’s playground, and the acquisition of material goods was strongly discouraged. To do otherwise was to be corrupted and to fail. Self-denial was seen as the essence of piety.
Enforced denial, however, creates a powerful attraction for what has been denied. Deny someone something he really wants, and you create a craving in that person for what has been denied him. Deny someone something necessary to his life, and you will only succeed in tying that person tighter to the object of that denial, while at the same time creating in him a great deal of fear and guilt about the issue in general. The end result of enforced denial is that what has been disallowed will become a more powerful theme within that person’s psyche than the search for consciousness ever could. What one can’t have will dominate one’s life. In the end, enforced denial only strengthens the desire nature and defeats the quest for consciousness. It is counterproductive to one’s growth and evolution.
More Internal Obstacles
Enforced denial then, often leads to the opposite of its intended result. Instead of smoothing and quickening the path to truth and higher consciousness, it creates more internal obstacles to be unraveled. It dams up and subverts psychic energy. If you don’t think this is true, consider the plight of the Catholic Church with its central doctrine of celibacy for all priests. Would the tragedy of pedophilia in the priesthood have happened if the doctrine of celibacy no longer existed and priests were free to marry? You don’t find much mention of children being sexually abused by ministers, rabbis, and imams, where the clergy in these respective religions are free to marry and raise a family.