Abstain from Passions of the Flesh that Wage War Against the Soul

Cheong Seong Gyeong 845

Parents first think about their sons and daughters when going through hardships. Then, what is the deepest concern of people’s hearts? You have to know how to find people of misfortune and strive to raise them up to your standard. When you do this, the entire world may oppose you and treat you with contempt, but God and heaven will admire and protect you. The spirits centering on God in the spirit world will go around protecting you like a cloud. Such a person will not perish. When this happens, the clouds will sweep away the entire circumstance and sort it out. Thus, you can create results in equal measure to how hard you work and how much you have invested. Although you are persecuted and suffer hardship, heavenly fortune comes behind you and lays this foundation. Saints were persecuted in their times, but in the following generations they left behind their names. Such phenomena occur because the spirit world, heaven, and heavenly fortune make it this way. (207-99, 1990.11.1)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1722

All of us are seeking after God’s world of love, the source of His love. All beings are on their way to possess the male and female organs. People are on their way to become God’s partners in love. Isn’t this the flawless view of the Principle? This is not some theory I thought up arbitrarily. It refers to the principles of the great way of heaven and earth. (288-334, 1998.1.1)

Subduing the Desires of the Flesh

ALL RELIGIONS AGREE THAT THE SEEKER of Ultimate Reality must restrain his or her desires and subdue the passions of the flesh. Striking and weakening the body through rigorous self-control, fasting, sitting hours at meditation, etc. are all commendable ways to struggle against the flesh’s desires and ultimately to dominate them.
For most people, the most challenging of them all is sexual desire. Jesus taught that we should be ruthless, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out…” to which we add a Buddhist story of a nun who did just that—to quench her counterpart’s sin, not her own. Buddhism promotes the technique of meditating on “the loathsomeness of the body” as a bag of fluids, lymph, bile and feces to help men curb their desire for the opposite sex. Father Moon also recommends summoning up an attitude of disgust for the body, calling it “Satan’s dance-hall.”
Related passages on self-conquest are found in Chapter 12: Self-Control; yet perfect self-control is nearly impossible to attain. Father Moon explains this predicament as a consequence of humanity’s impaired condition after the Fall. Extreme and forceful practice is required to do what does not come naturally. Therefore, religions developed to teach the path of intense and unrelenting efforts at striking at the body and subduing its desires. In some religions these practices became organized into monasticism; nevertheless people in every walk of life should be making efforts in this direction.

1. Extinguishing the Desires of the Body

Beloved, I beseech you…to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.
    1 Peter 2.11 Through the abandonment of desire the Deathless is realized.
    Samyutta Nikaya 47.37 (Buddhism)

Put to death what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

  Colossians 3.5-8 

Is he who relies on a clear proof from his Lord like those for whom the evil that they do seems pleasing while they follow their own lusts?
   Qur’an 47.14

Only on  complete obliteration of sensuality can one forsake violence.
    Acarangasutra 4.45 (Jainism)

Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.
    Tao Te Ching 19 (Taoism

When all the desires that surge in the heart Are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the knots that strangle the heart Are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal, Here in this very life
    Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.7 (Hinduism)

Realizing that pleasure and pain are personal affairs, one should subjugate his mind and senses.
    Acarangasutra 2.78 (Jainism)

Confucius said, “There are three things against which a gentleman is on his guard. In his youth, before his blood and vital humors have settled down, he is on his guard against lust. Having reached his prime, when the blood and vital humors have finally hardened, he is on his guard against strife. Having reached old age, when the blood and vital humors are already decayin 
  Analects 16.7 (Confucianism)

Monks, there are these three feelings. What Three? Pleasant feeling, painful feeling, and feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant. Pleasant feeling, monks, should be looked upon as pain, painful feeling should be looked upon as a barb, feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant should be looked upon as impermanent. When these three feelings are looked upon in these ways by a monk, that monk is called “rightly seeing.”
    Itivuttaka 47 (Buddhism)

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