Okay. So, let me just start by saying that I'm in a very bad mood. And secondly, let me quote one of my all-time favorite songs. - You know, actually it doesn't matter if you "let" me or not, because I'm gonna do it anyway.
"You want it all, but you can't have it." - Faith No More ("Epic" - a song about sex)
While I was at my friend's place in Athens, I read as much from Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography as I could. This book is a delight to read. Gandhi gives his well-explored opinions on topics as diverse as liberty, vegetarianism, and the importance of good handwriting. Even if you don't agree with all of his views, he speaks with intelligence, and he's a concise writer.
He wrote about the "brahmacharya". This is a Hindu vow he took, after he'd already had some kids with his wife, to give up having sex. He'd been struggling with his efforts at relinquishing sex, so he decided it'd be wise if he bound himself with a vow. If he hadn't taken the vow, it would've indicated he still had a desire for that unwanted thing he wanted to give up, and he would still be tempted by it. He wrote:
"I realized that a vow, far from closing the door to real freedom, opened it."
This interested me. The particular thing I've been eager but unable to give up is masterbation. That's right. I think Gandhi's vow also prohibited this, but I could take my own vow.
I don't consider masterbation to be an asset to my life in any sense. Its release of positive energy is large and wasteful.
The longest I was able to go recently without it was a period of over three weeks. Not a very long time, huh? During that time, I benefitted from numerous extra strengths. I felt wonderful, it was possibly during this time when I got completely over my ex-girlfriend; I began needing significantly less sleep every night; my physical appearance seemed to me to possess a brighter glow; although a part of my body tingled occasionally with a desire to explode, the sexual energy I harnessed was redirected happily to more-productive endeavors.
So, two days ago, I made this vow:
"I, Justin Breen, on this 28th day of February 2006, vow, on my honor, that I shall not masterbate again during this calendar year."
And I have felt more free ever since.
Incidentally, the reason my previous three-week-long period ended was because my stomach had felt sick one day and I worried masterbation was necessary for the release of toxins. Ha ha, I know nothing about biology! I now don't believe that was true; my stomach was often ill while in the Czech Republic.
The biggest threat to my brahmacharya-esque desires had been a sense of loneliness. When I was laying in bed, wishing for a girl to be beside me, it eased or distracted me to masterbate. And when I drank, this sense of loneliness was heightened.
So, for this reason, and for other reasons, I also made this vow:
"I, Justin Breen, on this the 28th day of February 2006, vow, on my honor, that, for the rest of this calendar year, I will not drink alcohol on any day during which I have not already kissed someone." *
I didn't get that idea from Gandhi, though.
* - I wrote "someone" instead of "a girl" or "a female" because I'm not close-minded enough to rule out kissing a guy. I do, however, think I've never had a desire to kiss a guy. But, I must admit, I have insufficient knowledge of gay society to draw a conclusion. I did learn to enjoy giving cheek-kisses to guys upon greeting them in Argentina, but I see cheek-kisses as a friendly gesture and not romance. So, for now, that "someone" will probably be a girl. -
These vows were made in front of my tent, beside the small locomotive waves of the dank sea at night. From Athens, I returned to the village on the Pelopennisian peninsula where I'd stayed before. But, I moved from my olive orchard to the quaint lawn of a seaside restaurant closed now in winter.
The lawn is landscaped with yellow buttercups and girlish-purple-colored flowers. There are tall and bent "red pine" trees which drop pine cone bombs. My tent is sheltered under a tree which looks quite like a big pineapple. Seven young cats wander the lawn and avoid me. And beside me now, the sea is steady and turquoise.
But, the sun doesn't come out much. And my time in Greece has been exhausting and unrewarding as always. My new goal is to earn back the money I've spent here and then leave, but saving money is a slow process.
I think I'll be successful at that. I believe Gandhi was successful with his brahmacharya vow. And I think I'll still have honor in 2007. We'll see.
Thanks to Yeorgos for the ride!
"The deeper the search in the mine of truth the richer the discovery of the gems buried there." - Gandhi