Why Does Pleasure Make Me Feel Guilty?

WHEN: February 12, 2002 Afternoon Meeting

“A delicately beautiful talk from the archive on the essence of pleasure.” – JdR Gems Editor

Q: My question is about pleasure, pain and guilt. I’ve recently noticed that I’m experiencing a lot more pleasure running through my body but I seem to believe it’s sinful. I feel guilty and then create physical pain in my body. For example, making love can feel wonderful and fulfilling, but the next day I won’t be able to see properly or I’ll have physical pain. It’s the same if I enjoy dancing. I’d love more understanding around this.

John: For pleasure to become stable requires a stable opening of the heart. When the heart is not stabilized in being open then it can experience pleasure, but after experiencing pleasure you will always want to close. Let your heart remain open – not just during pleasure, but also after. Let the heart glow after pleasure. Letting such a glow be there takes apart the patterns that would have you closing just because there was pleasure.

The glow in the heart after pleasure doesn’t come from the enjoyment of pleasure. It comes from the enjoyment of the goodness of pleasure. It’s the enjoyment of goodness that makes the heart glow. When you’re experiencing pleasure, let your awareness go to the knowing of the goodness in it and remain in the knowing of that goodness even after the pleasure is gone. If you’re not remaining in the knowing of the goodness that’s in it, then after the pleasure is gone you’ll close. When you’re remaining in the knowing of the goodness that was there, that lets your heart not only remain open but it makes it glow; being in touch with the essence of pleasure, not just having pleasure because then you’re missing what pleasure is for.

The essence of pleasure is goodness. If you’re not being in touch with the goodness of the essence of pleasure, you’ll feel guilty in having pleasure. Love the goodness of it and you’ll remain open to pleasure. If you’re not in touch with the goodness of it, it will be easy for you to pursue pleasure and then, when you have it, closing it down: running after and running away from. When you’re in touch with the goodness that is in pleasure, and you’re abiding in such goodness, you won’t be pursuing pleasure or running away from it afterwards.

Pleasure isn’t about the experience of it. Pleasure is about your knowing of the goodness in it. The goodness in it isn’t an experience. It’s a knowing within the experience, you being the knowing of goodness instead of being the experience of pleasure. Love the goodness of it and the heart becomes stable in openness.

Q:  I feel a lot of relief in my body. It makes sense because I’ve been believing that pleasure is bad. Thank you, John.

Other Popular Talks

The Way of Delicate Clarity

Q: I want to ask you about gentleness in the face of injustice or inappropriate behaviour. I’ve been told in the past that I should toughen-up, but I struggle with how to articulate with clarity when I see something that is wrong. How can I discern a true voice in that?

John: Gently go to the clarity you do have and, in the circumstance, kindly give it. While you’re in that, and after the fact from your own increasing clarity, love learning and you’ll make your way...

Read More »

How Can I Help Others Heal?

Q: For some time I’ve been feeling that my purpose on earth is to help people heal, not as much physically as spiritually. What inside of me needs to open or develop to be able to do so?

John: You’re wanting to help people heal because you are open and sensitive to your needing healing. Your own sense in that then naturally moves toward others, but it isn’t that movement that you need to be following. It’s the first, within, that you need to be following...

Read More »

John Speaks Of His Awakening – And The Code To Ours

Q: John, I’m curious about how you were awakened. How did you remember who you are?

John: When I was seventeen, outside of my room at home, I deeply, deeply wondered. I wondered: what is it that is so much more than anything I’ve realized before? What is the deep, deep more? And in deeply wondering, I also simply, deeply, deeply opened, and as I opened I knew. I didn’t understand what I knew, but I really experienced what I knew. I experienced a most nurturing, profound sense of reality as much on the inside as on the outside, it all being, within multiple levels at the same time, all connected...

Read More »