(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 07 March 2017, London, United Kingdom, King’s College Programme Lecture, Sex Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll)
When I was a teenager, I moved to Amsterdam which is 25 km from where I grew up. At that time, there was no internet but just near to where I stayed was the Dutch Society for Sexual Reform and they had all these posters which said, “If you’re a guy and like guys, call this number… If you like kids, call this number… If you like dogs, try this number!” So all this was there on the window and you could call at anytime. I walked past there every day and I started to think about it and it looked a bit sick to me to be honest and the one thing that struck me was that THE WORLD IS OVERSEXED!
I mean sex is okay but it is not always what you think it would be, at least that was my first experience. I haven’t always been a celibate monk as I am now and there was a time when I had experimented and one day while walking in the street an old, old song started playing in my head, “Is that all there is… Is that all there is?” Is this it? Is this what the big hype is all about? The whole world is making such a big deal to it and is this it! Gosh, is this what I am supposed to get excited about? I was a bit… a bit disappointed. Anyway as time went by, I grew up and got used to it. It got the better of me, what can I say!?
But I did realise that the world is oversexed and we give it more importance that it has in life. Sex has a place and certainly that is fine but SEX IS NOT THE GOAL OF LIFE and if it does become the goal of life, then you get weird people – like the strange men looking at all the prostitutes, people who sell it, people who buy it – the weird people who just see sex as the goal of life; excessive behaviour.
Well, there is nothing wrong with sex but when that is all there is to a relationship when it is only about the flesh then it has no meaning. But, I wanted more out of life, I wanted more depth, I wanted more out of relationships, more real exchanges – not just external affection but something real, some real appreciation – call it love, call me romantic, call me whatever you want but I wanted more depth.
With a topic like this, I am not speaking from the platform of a monk. So far from what I was speaking was the pre-monk days; so far these were just my human observations and my reflections as an individual.