CHASTITY IN THE LAND OF LUST

Understanding Lust:

I have seen people using lust and love as similar meaning words on many occasions. But the meanings of these two words are completely different.

Unlike love, lust is extremely self-centered, it never allows a person to see anyone else but himself or herself, it lets a person focus someone’s physical body than their inner beauty and it lets a person to have physical intimacy than establishing a deep emotional bonding with another.

Let me explain how lust can affect a person…

Have you ever seen a drunkard blabbering on a road tottering from this side to that side of it? Yes, we all must have witnessed it many times on the streets.

Do people take him seriously whatever he says in that fully drunk state? No, because we all know it very well that the drunkard is not in his own control.

Lust is a state something of that kind. It is an experience of intense carnal urges and unbridled sexual craving. Lust is not an emotion, but it involves the experience of fleshly enjoyment with anticipation of sexual pleasure.

Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and psychoanalyst says, “Lust provides a rare window through which you can view your vulnerabilities as you are swept away by your imagination.”

But the condition is, only if we can realise about our vulnerabilities then we can learn from it for a future reference otherwise we move towards destruction gradually.

Depth of Lust:

We all know, how different companies produce different products for their customers according to what they wished in their minds. In the same way, the media produces different films and series basing on the mindsets and desires of people of this world today.

Would you believe that the psychological disorders which I had studied while doing a counselling degree are now slowly being accepted as sexual preferences or choices?

Let me explain…

BDSM which has been unknown to most of the people previously has become popular among many today. I feel very scared to even think about it even.

I watched a series recently on the same subject and was amazed how it ended. A married woman who loves her husband a lot. The husband is a very good man and loves his wife as well. They didn’t have any problems whatsoever. But the woman always feels very lonely staying all the time at home when her husband is at work. She eventually meets a man on a chatting site who insists her to meet him at his place. She doesn’t agree initially but thought of giving a try as she is attracted to what the man used to write about sexual submission and dominance. And finally, she visits him and submits to his dominance. She suffers from a psychological issue later on and to help her out, her husband comes to know about her secret life. The story ends with the husband releasing his wife to that man. Message of the story was – Lust won over the chastity of marriage.

Examples like the above, are many, I can’t list them out all here.

Famous psychiatrist and author Judith Orloff, M.D. rightly says, “As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen how intense sexual attraction is notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in the most sensible people.”

Crimes Led By Lust:

Lust is an intense mental state which leads a person to commit heinous and soul stirring crimes.

The Bible mentions a good king who fell for a beautiful woman, slept with her and to marry her, he murdered her husband craftily.

We are aware of the crimes against women and children in the forms of sexual abuses, molestations, rapes caused by lust.

Have you ever heard about ‘Lust Murder’? Wikipedia explains, “A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone”. I was shaken literally when I read this sentence.

Apart from strong sexual urges, lust can also depict intense cravings for food, money and power as well which ultimately leads to various small and big crimes happening daily around us. Lust of money leads people to rob things from others. Lust of food makes people sick and obese. Lust of power creates disparity in the country and war situations around the world.

Chastity against lust:

In this context of lust, talking about Chastity seems meaningless and impossible. Isn’t it? It looks like Chastity has been swallowed up by the lust of human beings in this world. But we all are aware of the consequences; lust can only lead us to destruction.

The Bible stirs our minds with few thought-provoking questions –

“Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?
Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?”

We know the answer very well. Lust is like fire, like burning hot coals that can burn our chest, our body if we embrace onto it. It can burn our feet if we walk on its path.

Chastity is also a state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse. Basically, chastity means sexual purity.

So, as human we can live in one or other way – live a life of purity or lead an impure life. We can’t stay in a 50-50 condition because, a tiny bit of impurity soils and spoils everything. Yes, I understand that we as human are not perfect, we have weaknesses but there have to have a constant striving within us for perfection – moving from impurity to purity. When we stay stagnant at a point, we stay impurity of lust.

In short, I want to mention a few helpful points for our striving towards Chastity in the land of lust. They are as under:

Guarding my eyes: The Bible says, ““I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman”. There’s a tendency in us to look at another person of the opposite sex with lust but when we prayerfully practice it not to do so, one day we see the result ourselves. Practice makes a man perfect. But there has to have goal setting and willingness to strive for a life of purity.

Guarding my mind: The Bible says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”The Bible verse doesn’t contradict the natural instinct of human beings getting attracted to the physical bodies of people of the opposite gender. In fact, that is how we are made! But, lust in the mind creates a craving for adultery in action – “a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman I am looking at.”The eyes look at the woman, sends the message back and there’s a thought evolves in the mind instructing the eyes to look at the woman again and again. But when we guard our mind by constant striving, we can help stopping the lustful thought process and ultimately, we can hope for a positive result one day.

Guarding my steps: I always need to know whom I am following, what I am following. Am I feeding myself with filthy stuffs or feeding myself with good things? I can’t expect to be pure if I keep watching pornography. I can’t expect to be compassionate if I rear hatred in my heart. I can’t strive for chastity if I keep looking at this woman or that.

The Bible says,Don’t imitate the behavior and patterns of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If I want to change the mindset of my community and the people around me then I have to first change myself. That is possible if I do what is right. I can do what is right if I know and understand what is right. If I follow what people are doing then I will surely be faltering sooner or later. I need to know where and how I am walking in my life.

Friends! Preaching is easy, practicing is very hard, and living it, is all the more difficult. It is a challenge for all of us to maintain Chastity in the midst of a lustful world but it is not impossible and also beneficial for us. Let’s keep guarding our eyes, our minds, and our steps.

Stay Blessed!

ADULTERATION IN EDUCATION

‘Wait, what?’

I hear you say. You must think I’m crazy. How is it possible to adulterate education? It’s not milk or masalas. Right?

Ever come across any of these situations?

  1. Students seeking admission to colleges don’t know how to spell the word ‘college’.
  2. Students from English medium schools don’t remember the Hindi alphabet.
  3. Students in Senior School do not know the names of North-East Indian states or their capitals.
  4. Students with over 90% marks in English make silly grammatical mistakes.
  5. Student’s who have apparently passed High School, don’t know how to read or write.

Don’t tell me you have never come across a single scenario like the ones enumerated above. If you have had your eyes open to the world, you will concede that each and every point I have written above is true. I have written from an Indian perspective, but I’m sure in your native countries, this must hold true as well.

Now comes the next question. If our students are not able to do even simple things like remembering the Hindi varnamala, then what exactly are they learning in school? Also, if we are supplementing our children’s education by an array of educational aids, like tuition classes, videos, interactive sessions, blah, blah, blah, then why are they faltering in the basics of education?  

Can you see where I’m heading with this? Yes, I’m trying to say that we are adulterating the education we impart to our children by feeding them knowledge that is doing the opposite of what education ought to do. To put it plainly and harshly – we’re making them dumber.

If you don’t want to believe my claims, I’ll present to you these alarming reports I came across –

The Hindu reported that in rural India only 53.5 percent of children were able to solve a simple two-digit subtraction problem in the year 2012. India Education Review quoted the Annual Status of Education Report 2014, where it was found that there was a steep fall between 2007 to 2014 in the number of children in Standard V who could read a Standard II textbook, in both government and private schools. Then,  a World Bank Study published in the year 2014 provided that around 1/3rd of all third graders in Indian schools could not read in their own native languages. The biggest shocker for me was reading the 2009 published OECD-PISA International Survey where India, much to our shame, was ranked 72 among 73 countries for the quality of our education. Ever since then we have stopped taking part in the PISA survey.  Any guesses why? Here’s another shocker – over a lakh of schools in the coutry have only 1 teacher per school…. yes, PER SCHOOL!

And the joke is that we have apparently brought down the number of our out-of-school chidlren from 32 million in 2001 to 1.4 million in 2011.

If this does not raise the question ‘what are we teaching our children in schools’, then I don’t know what else does. And if this does not prove the point that we have adulterated our educational system, then I don’t know how else to prove it to you.

I understand and appreciate that we are all loving parents who are doing their best to provide their children with the best education that their means can afford. But dear parents, the problem doesn’t lie in your intention or in your child, the problem lies in the system that is imparting education and in your blind acquiescence to its gaffes. Your nifty International schools with the air-conditioned classes and computerized educational aids may just be a money-making racket, guilty of teaching your kids the wrong things because they are too invested in providing unnecessary gimmicks to your child, while completely ignoring the point of education. Tell me what use is knowing how to operate a tablet if the child does not know how to read the words on a screen? Tell me what use are those fancy picture books, when all the child wants to do is stare at the pictures, and ignore the text?

Schools and their modern corollaries, tuition centres, are camouflaging noise, wrapping it up in glitzy software and serving it up to our starry-eyed children on the pretext of giving them ‘quality education’ and ‘helping them beat the competition’. Have you ever wondered why the octagenarian Dadaji living next door can still rattle off a poem by Wordsworth or Mahadevi Verma, while your Engineer child needs a calculator app on his smartphone to do simple arithmetic? It’s because Dadaji was taught to first clear his basics and internalize what he learnt, unlike we who want to learn things as soon as possible. Learning is a slow and gradual process that is best dealt with when it’s done step by step. Rushing it by too much data and too many distractions only hinder students from receiving true education. This is what adulteration of education is.

My point is, we need to separate the grain from the chaff here, get back to the drawing board and draw a line between what is cardinal to the education of our youth and what is frivolous. Imbibe the cardinal, leave out the frivolous. I agree education does not stop at teaching them the alphabet. But an education does not mean cramming and learning by rote, like how we are encouraging in our schools and tuition centres these days. Can you justify writing in bullet points for a Literature paper, when the point of learning Literature is to understand it subjectively? But this happens, like in our CBSE system where students are taught (I was one of them) that to gain maximum marks in the Boards, we must write our English Language answers in bullet points containing the main points of the ‘right answer’!

A huge part of learning is the struggle to learn. If we keep providing our children crutches, how will our children ever learn anything? A simple example will further clarify my point. If your child can’t count from 1 to 10, he can’t do addition or subtraction. Then please, stop giving him aids like calculators in the name of ‘good parenting’ and further ruin his chances of learning. Teach him how to count instead. AND teach him yourself instead of providing him aid from a tutor or a phone app.

Remember that education does not necessarily come from maximum exposure. There have been greats like Beethoven who was a musical genius inspite of being deprived of the sense of sight, hearing and voice.

Pradita Kapahi.