(Philosophy/Spirituality) Beauty, Love and Connection are the Antidote

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Draconid, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Draconid

    Draconid Fapstronaut

    "So addiction then, rather than being a disease as such or a human choice, is an attempt to escape suffering temporarily" - Gabor Maté

    The philosopher Schopenhauer believed that the inner essence of everything was an underlying persistent craving, which he called the will, or the will to life. All animals, including humans, live to survive and reproduce, and are thus characterised by "willing."
    Since one of the fundamental desires of the will is the desire to reproduce, and hence for sexual gratification, Schopenhauer emphasised the importance of "self-denial," or "denial of the will," or what is more commonly known as asceticism, and thus denied himself of any and all sexual satisfaction. He also believed that insofar as a person was endlessly enslaved to the will, that it was the root of his or her suffering. Liberation from the will, and therefore from suffering, is of paramount importance in Schopenhauer's philosophy.

    More on this topic here:

    I hope you can see the striking parallels that emerge between this philosophy and the pursuit of NoFap. To resolve PMO addiction, one must deny meaningless sexual gratification (denial of the will) in order to develop a healthy sexual life. Gratifying a desire to extinguish the craving only affords a temporary satisfaction, and thus the desire will inevitably return, perhaps even stronger than before. Instead, the means to an enduring contentment must be discovered and pursued within the circumstances of one's life.

    I believe (along the lines of Schopenhauer) that aesthetic experience is one such pathway to liberation. Speaking as a classical musician, the experience of listening to or playing a beautiful piece of music* can be totally absorbing, as though my individual ego is dissolved in the experience. This temporary experience of beauty is enough to remove my self from the present moment, and all the suffering that comes with it, in a way which is wholesome.

    *Here is such a piece:

    I call this experience "emptiness," as it is a moment when there is a complete lack of self. It is not something I can fully articulate, as it can only be known in subjective experience. Perhaps one way of articulating the experience of emptiness would be through poetry, in order to point to a place beyond the words:

    Beyond the unspeakable
    It remains
    Beyond faith and reason
    Death and pain
    In absolute emptiness
    There shall be
    A deep, abiding security

    There is a phrase in Buddhism which states "emptiness is the womb of compassion." In other words, if we all come to the realisation that all humanity is "one," in that we are all manifestations of the will (in Schopenhauer's terms), what must follow is compassion. In being empty of our own selves, we can take on the suffering of others through love.

    “Such a person who recognizes his own inner and true self in every being, must also regard the endless suffering of all living things as his own, and therefore must take upon himself the pain of the whole world.” - Schopenhauer

    One might ask, is watching pornography entirely different from an experience of beauty? Although the porn stars you watch may be physically beautiful, the difference is that pornography is an entirely unwholesome form of beauty. In contrast to a real sexual partner, pornography consists of merely self-gratification, whereas true sexual connection is to be found in the recognition of another person.
    Wholesome sexual connection is where true beauty resides, not on an image behind a screen. Therefore, the opposite of addiction is connection.

    Beauty, love and connection are what link us back to one another. They are the antidote to addiction.

    - Draconid
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
    ulaangom09, PermRB and BlueSheep like this.

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